Moving From Management to Leadership

November 28, 2023

If you’re looking to cultivate a healthy team, look no further than the mirror; a healthy team starts with a healthy leader. But how do you know if you’re a healthy leader? 

The first step to becoming a healthy leader is being able to lead yourself, according to Matt Tresidder, CEO and co-founder of Leadr, a people development software. And to lead yourself well, you need to be open to your team’s suggestions for improvement and willing to work on your blindspots. Here’s how:

  1. Ask your team for feedback

You can send out an anonymous survey every few months and ask your team for your top three skills and your bottom three skills. Or, if you have an inner circle you have a high degree of trust with, you can ask them face to face. 

  1. Work on your bottom three skills

Make sure the same feedback doesn’t turn up on your next survey!

  1. Watch your game tape

Watch the video of your sermon. Listen to the recording of the meeting you led. Take a good, hard look at your work and make note of things you can improve on.

Another big part of leading yourself well is being consistent.

“Consistency is the No. 1 quality of a healthy leader,” Matt said. “It’s the least sexy attribute we ever talk about, but it’s so underrated. I want a leader who can weather the storm. I want a leader that, despite the challenges, is going to be steadfast. I want to work with folks that, despite the chaos, stay calm in the midst of that. Those leaders are the ones who stand the test of time. The leaders I look up to the most have been through the most challenging horrific moments in life, but they are still optimistic. They’re still so hopeful for the future. Those are the folks I glean the most from.”

Along with being consistent, healthy leaders care about each person on their team and their individual needs and goals. Healthy leaders are focused on their people, not just the projects they can get from their people. 

“It’s the leaders that make time for people, the leaders that take time to care and coach and develop their people that are going to stand out,” Matt said. “Management is archaic and obsolete, and leadership is the only way forward. The difference between the two is leadership 

is developing and coaching and management is purely focused on outcomes and performance.”

So how can church leaders make the move from management to leadership?

How to shift from management to leadership

  1. Conduct regular one-on-ones

Scrap your open-door policy and plan scheduled one-on-ones. Sit down with each member of your team on a regular basis to give and receive feedback, discuss goals, and generally show you care about them as a person, not just what they can produce.

  1. Set and revisit goals

Don’t create a “set and forget” goal culture. Ensure the goals are front and center on a regular basis and let your people know how they’re tracking.

  1. Give and ask for feedback

Ensure everyone knows where they stand and that blindspots are being discussed

  1. Make sure everyone on your team has a growth track

Discuss with each of your team members what they are focused on, what they plan to go next, and what their best next step is.

  1. Encourage continued learning

Talk with your team about what they’re reading, watching, and listening to that is furthering their development. This helps your people not fall into apathy.
If you are interested in specialized coaching for yourself or your team as you shift from management to leadership, Slingshot Group can help. We offer coaching to unleash your team’s potential and help people love their work through coaching for new staff, teams, leaders in transition, succession, and more. Learn more about our coaching here.

Slingshot Group

We take the guesswork out of nonprofit and church staffing.

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