This is a guest post by Joseph Lalonde. He is a youth leader at Oak Crest Church of God and leadership blogger at JMLalonde.com. Joseph shares leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. Connect with him on Twitter or at his blog.
Being a leader is great. I won’t make any bones about it. Leadership definitely has it’s perks.
Sadly, it also has it’s downfalls.
Now, I don’t want to be a downer. That’s not what this post is for. It’s actually to uplift and encourage you. To let you know that you’re not the only one feeling this pain. Other leaders have felt this way and it’s okay.
That Bad Feeling
Having been involved with leading the youth group at our church, I can tell you one thing. Hearing the news of one of your followers failing is heart wrenching.
You’ve poured your time and energy into giving someone the best of yourself. You’ve encouraged and loved on a student who has so much potential. Only to see them “throw it away.”
I’ve read news stories about the failings of our students. I’ve run into other students who have shared the bad news of young men and women making bad choices. I’ve seen students put into the back of a police cruiser due to their bad choices.
This is the worst thing about leadership. Knowing I’ve poured into someone and they just didn’t get it.
The Good News
I know I’ve made leadership sound depressing. It can be. But it’s not the be all end all.
There’s great happenings in leadership.
A lot of times leadership is a waiting game. The influence and wisdom you impart to someone doesn’t always take hold right away. And we see the negative results of the years of previous negative programming.
They struggled to overcome it but they couldn’t. At least not right away.
The good news is you’ve had influence on those you’ve lead. It’s not fully developed in the person’s life but it’s taking root. Even when they’ve messed up and made horrible life choices.
These same students that have made bad choices, I’ve seen them turn their lives around.
The young girl who got pregnant at 15. She decided to keep the child and is raising it the best she can. She made the choice of life.
The young man who went to jail. He’s struggling but knows he needs to change. He’s decided to straighten out his life after 6 months in jail.
It Takes Time
This is the key to leadership. True influence will take time.
And during that time there may be mishaps along the way. But you know that something great is just under the surface.
It’s waiting for it’s time to shine. It’s waiting to change the life of that person you’re leading.
Give it time and cultivate the influence. Eventually you’ll see the fruits of your labor.
Question: How do you stay encouraged when you’re leading and nothing seems to be going right? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.