12 Thing i have Learned the Hard Way in Leadership

I am not the sharpest guy in the world. There is nothing spectacular about me. I feel called to serve a mighty God. By His Grace I am able ...

I am not the sharpest guy in the world. There is nothing spectacular about me. I feel called to serve a mighty God. By His Grace I am able to do that. These are the things I have learned. Unfortunately, most of them I learned the hard way! Ron Edmonson pastor of Grace Community Church in Clarksville did a similar blog and it inspired me to share some of my thoughts. These came to me very easy. I finally just had to stop. I could have gone to 100.

1. Excuses don’t buy you time or the right to fail. They do however cost you trust and self-discipline.
Throughout life there will always be a reason for you to not do what you have said you will do. Choose to overcome them. Eventually in everyone’s life they stop becoming reasons and they become excuses. At some point someone will love you enough to not allow excuses. Be that person for yourself and push yourself beyond your own limitations.
2. Do what you say and don’t feel the need to always say what you do!
Trust you have value. Be a person worthy of trust and worthy of praise and you will receive it. If you don’t then that is ok. If the reason you did it is for the praise you started off wrong and unless you do course correction you will most likely finish wrong.
3. Bad news never gets better with time.
It would be nice to be able to put off problems long enough that eventually it just fixes itself. It very rarely happens. At our heart we all want to be accepted and loved. You will be if you deal with the bad news with the same diligence and passion that you deal with the good news. Postponement only allows bad or negative feelings to get worse. Being able to admit you made a mistake is something a good leader must be able to do. Realizing you made a mistake and fessing up to it immediately then doing everything you can to fix it separates the Great leaders and the Good leaders.
4. Lead and Live with the end in Mind
This is an Andy Stanley thought. Make your decisions with the future in mind. Temporary fixes are usually long term headaches. Wisdom begins at seeing past the now and into the future. Have a goal, and then be strategic in all your decisions to accomplish it.
5. If everything in you realm of leadership is dependant on you, then failure is inevitable!
Whether it happens before you leave or when you move on what has been built will fall if it all rests on your shoulders. You simply cannot carry the all that weight forever. You will fall. If you leave and have not trained people on what to do if you leave then everything you poured your heart, sweat, and tears into will fall because you are not there to do it.
6. Say No
You cannot do everything. Do not use this as a crutch to do nothing. Be a hard worker and do what you do with excellence, but do not over extend yourself. If it is dependant on you to happen and you cannot do it without sacrificing something important then it should not be done right now. You simply cannot be all things to all people. Trying to be will lessen your impact on the people you can affect.
7. Failure is ok. Settling for failure is not.
You will fail. Never allow that to be ok. Do not spend the rest of your life beating yourself up for it. But do allow it to motivate you and make you better. If you are ever at place where failure is acceptable all the time then move on. You are no longer being pushed to be what God has made you to be. Live life as though you can never fail. Make decisions as though you have.
8. Every situation in Life is teaching us something. If you aren’t learning, then you probably aren’t paying attention.
Every circumstance in life will teach you something if you let it. All of our experiences in life make us who we are. What we learn from them will determine the success of where we are going.
9. Never confuse being direct with being disrespectful
Sometimes life requires that we ask people the hard questions. Life will require that we give people the real answers. This does not involve yelling but it does involve being honest with people. Telling then the truth in a way that they understand it is not disrespectful. It is acknowledging that they are important enough to you that you will be honest and give then the real answers and ask them the tough questions. Ignoring people or beating around the bush so much the point gets lost will be far more detrimental in the long run. Trust me they will get over it. If they don’t then you have learned a valuable lesson about that person.
10. When the lights go out and you lay down at night the people in your house are your priority.
I have been guilty of making my wife a widow before I was dead. The most support you can have is to be loved by your spouse and children. Spending time with your family will generally puts everything in perspective. Investing in your family first and foremost will give you the buy in to work those long weeks be in a bad mood from time to time. Cherish your children. They grow up way to fast. Treat them for what they are. A gift from God.
11. You set the bar for the people under you. Make it reachable, but let it push them.
The best leaders I have ever served with have always brought the best out in me. Pushed me to levels I did not know could go. Never allowed me to settle and allowed me to fail but pushed me to be more than I ever imagined. Set the bar where success is reachable, but where it still pushes them to be more then they could have ever imagined.
12. If you have a rough past, it is not a crutch. It is an example of how big God is.
Don’t spend the rest of your life being mediocre because of your past. Allow people to see God in you by what you become. If you let God mold you and make you then where you come from is confirmation that God is that BIG and He LOVES that much. It’s not about pour ole me but our huge, loving God!

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  1. These are great principles Ryan. If you live these you will accomplish a ton in leadership. Michael Bayne continues to speak highly of you!


  2. Great stuff bro! I too have a list of about 100 things! I am proud of you because you never settle for what most people think is acceptable. You are having an awesome impact on our community! It is a privilege to have you on the team here, but mostly to call you my best friend.


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