When Leaders Are Only BIG Picture People
By author and Church Consultant, Rev. Dr. Barry Winders
What would a 69-year-old adult, like myself, say to me as a 19-year-old? I’ve thought a lot about that lately. As a 19-year-old I was focused on what was happening to me and around me. If being a leader at 19 was defining reality…then yes. However, leadership can be visioning with the ability to zoom out in order to see the big picture. But there is more.
Interesting, the more (at age 69) in leadership is the ability to also zoom closer by three practices:
Reflection is the practiced skill of looking back with the aim to quiet ourselves from deadlines, goals, and destination. This is an intentional exercise to focus on the journey and the people who are going with you and how healthy relationships matter most.
In a recent Barna study, 42% of surveyed U.S. ministry leaders were seriously considered leaving ministry altogether. Many responses revealed intensive stress, family issues, political divisiveness and overall discouragement about the future. These were just some to name a few. Do you know any leaders who feel this way? Does it sound familiar? Even a little bit?
Renewal for leaders is like taking a deep plunge in the swimming pool on the hottest day(s) of Summer. It is so refreshing. This is important for leaders to distract their minds from the grind of daily or weekly production of leading people. This can and should be fun. Let me ask, what activity can, and should you do that totally requires your focused attention away from the grind? For me, it is golf. I’ve found that I enjoy golf so much more and requires my focus. The golf relationships and the activity become fun…and renewing. What activity gives you renewal?
Authentic restoration is more than a distraction or even a planned activity. It is different from reflection and renewal because it is healing. When it happens to a leader a definite shift is realized in thought processes, energy levels, patience, and it shows up in our relationships. Other people may even see a change in our countenance. Others may notice the “spring in our step” or a positive, upbeat tone in our voice.
In summary, leaders must learn how to take care of their emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Being a healthy leader makes you more valuable to those you lead and places you in a better position to hear God’s voice. So, go do it. Be more than a BIG picture leader.