5 Truths to Understand When Leading Leaders

When leading leaders, be aware of these things.
When leading leaders, be aware of these things. (iStock photo )

Most of the time, when the topic of leadership is brought up, we tend to immediately begin talking about how to lead "doers." By doer I simply mean the people who are there to do a job.

They signed up to volunteer in your ministry. You hired them to work in a specific department. They are on your team and are expected to carry out tasks. They are doers.

This is in contrast to leaders. If you are in leadership for any length of time, there will probably come a time where you will need to lead other leaders. Leading other leaders is, in many ways, different than leading doers. Leaders expect you to interact with them differently.

In fact, I've found five truths that I believe that all leaders who lead other leaders need to understand:

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

1. Leaders need resources. This includes money, equipment and people. Nothing will frustrate a leader faster than firing them up with a compelling vision and then not equipping them with resources to accomplish the vision. Leaders are goal-driven and the most important thing to them is reaching the finish line—without resources, you're making it impossible for them to get there.

2. Leaders need the vision. Although leaders are typically good at vision casting, when you're leading them, they need to know and buy into your vision. From that, they will then inspire the team they lead, but it needs to be aligned with your vision. Asking them to lead something and not connecting it to a larger vision can seem like busy work or insignificant work and could lead to burnout for that leader and those that he/she leads.

3. Leaders need space. Micro-management does not work for leaders. When you're leading a leader, you should give them the vision and the goal and then get out of the way for them to take the team they're leading toward that bulls-eye. Constant looking over the shoulder of a leader or stepping in too often to give unneeded input and direction will push the leader to question why they are even needed. Often, I've found, that when leaders I lead are given the space to lead, they come up with ideas I never would have and reach the goal better/more quickly/more creatively than I ever could have myself.

4. Leaders need freedom. Leaders need the vision, but they do not need for you to lay out every single step along the way for them. Leaders must have the freedom to lead from their strengths, experiences and preferences—and it's highly likely that all of those are different from yours. Give them freedom to make decisions, freedom to be creative and freedom to make mistakes. Freedom will lead to a better outcome and better leadership.

5. Leaders need feedback. Sure, leaders need space ... but they don't need you to be absent. Once they understand the vision, their goal is to accomplish that vision. And it's your vision. Also, good leaders crave feedback on their performance. They want to know what they're doing well and what they could do better. They need to hear it from you, and you need to know that they're on track and moving in the direction that you expect. Leaders who lack feedback from the person leading them will find themselves questioning whether progress is being made and whether they're valued as a leader.

Regardless of who it is you're leading—doers or leaders—leadership is never easy.

But when you're a leader who is leading leaders, there are some specific truths that apply ... and if you miss them, you may find that you aren't able to retain leaders and that you're missing the goals you have for your work, your family, your ministry and more.

Tim Parsons is the executive pastor at First Assembly Community Ministries in Lafayette, Indiana. Tim is also a gifted teacher, speaker and consultant. You can check out his blog on leadership at and follow him on Twitter. He is married to the love of his life, Consuela, and they have three children. Tim and Consuela also blog together about marriage and family issues.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. Enroll in the FREE Mini-Course to experience Dr. Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry.

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

NICL Training offered in FL, TX and GA - Learn everything you wish someone had taught you about business and ministry before you finished seminary. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr. Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details.

The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Now, you can receive all 60-hours of Dr. Rutland's training from the comfort of your home or ministry for a full year. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders