The Power of
The column "Leadership Whiteboard" provides a short visual leadership coaching moment. It introduces and explains a new sketch in each issue, provides leadership coaching for further development, and shares a leadership quote and recommended book.
Part of a leader’s role is helping people identify
obstacles and how to get around, over, or through them.
If you were leading a small group of people hiking toward a summit or benchmark further up the trail and came upon a fallen tree blocking the path, what would you do? If staying put and having all your mail forwarded to this dead-end location is not an attractive choice, then choose not to be held hostage by any barrier.
I am sure any leader reading this article would not let a tree keep him or her from reaching that benchmark, but I know many “leaders” who allow their team to take up permanent residence behind some major obstacle. Sitting at roadblocks should not be your destination. Many who reside at roadblocks appear to have given up on pursuing any solution. Leaders are not wired to be apathetic in a stagnant situation.
The leader who finds an obstacle in the path should do four evaluations: the capabilities of the followers, the magnitude of the obstacle, the value of reaching the intended goal, and options to get past the obstacle. Leaders cannot be the sole movers of any sizable obstacle. First, evaluate the capabilities, talents, and abilities of followers and then ask them to help you determine how to get over the hurdle. The key is inviting followers into the process rather than telling them the answer.
The second evaluation helps followers see the dangers of allowing this obstacle to keep everyone from where God has called them to go. The third reminds people why and where they were going before forward progress was impeded. The second and third evaluation is the story of the Hebrew children headed into the land of Canaan with many formidable obstacles standing in their way. However, God used Joshua and Caleb to help the people keep their eyes on the benefits of the Promised Land, and even worked through the removal of resistance until they were ready for God’s destination.
The fourth evaluation takes on the shape of allowing people to help determine options or solutions to get past obstacles. Notice this step did not place the direction/vision casting (goal of where you are going) in the hands of the people, but does value their experiences and God-given gifts to help the group get to that destination. Leadership occurs in relationships, and together, problems are solved.
Imagine your leadership growth if you tackled the six books recommended each year.
About the Columnist: Ron Hunter Jr. has served as the director of Randall House Publications for 14 years, and has led the organization into family ministry initiatives for the past 12 years.