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My last post focused on some reasons why I’m not ready to be a great leader.

Today I want to focus on some really practical ways that I think will help me (hopefully you) become a better leader.  Most of these steps will cause me to have a greater sense of focus and discipline. None of this is new. But I think we all need to be reminded over and over.

1. Rise early to pray: Prayer/mediation/silence/solitude has become a lost art. The busyness of culture has created a new way to pray and seek God-which is usually on-the-go. My hopes are to rise every morning @ 6AM to spend 90 mins in prayer, Scripture reading and theological studies. Not because I have to; this is a desire to love and know Jesus.

For me this is vital. Dealing with church leadership issues & global poverty on a daily basis can be overwhelming to be honest. I know If I want to sustain a long-term effort I will need to trust God and cause my soul to slow-down.

2. Exercise: After my morning devotions I want to hit the gym. Usually I listen to a podcast when I workout.  By the time I start my workday, I will be focused on Jesus by reading, praying and listening to another leader challenge me in the things of God. Plus I will physically feel good.

3. Work hard and consistent everyday. When I start something it needs to be finished. When I give my word-I will follow-through. I think most organizations are just a few key decisions away from causing a lot of momentum. Consistent work and focus goes a long way. This is not easy for an A.D.D. generation. Less-is-more. My wife and I have a 3-year mini-life plan, she keeps telling to focus on the big picture. She’s right!

4. Find a mentor: I think having a mentor is vital. I need to find somebody who is AWESOME and who will help me become AWESOME. You can’t lead well if your not be led well. We can never stop learning. This is much harder then it seems.

5. Focus on my strengths: This is quite complex for those of us who are starters/pioneers. In the beginning you have to do everything. But in the long-run I must build a team of passionate people who are better then me at their respected positions. If I do things I’m not good at for a longtime, usually I burn-out and start looking for an exit plan. If you’re not good at delegating; this issue will be front and center in your leadership development.

6. Fun: It’s hard for me to separate work and life. It all seems so intertwined for pastors. But for me to lead well, stay focused and be consistent. I have to have fun. Relaxing is spiritual. I want to enjoy my family and friends and the city of Austin. Plus travel and recoup. I want to spend an insane amount of time with my daughters and enjoy the final few years they have as kids. Also, I’m usually way more creative when I get out of my day-to-day rhythms.

7. Sabbath: Every Friday I will try and spend time doing things that causes me to re-energize. Sleep-in, (for me that is 7 ish) read, drink coffee, hang with friends, learn photography, etc.

Those are seven practical area’s that I think can help me become a better leader. If any of these area’s get out-of-whack. There is a good chance I will struggle immensely.

Any other thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Thank you for the great post. As someone who also works with a relief organization, I so relate to some of what you said, and the solutions you offer. Blessings to you and those you serve!

  2. Hey bro, glad to see your focus here. I read your first post and felt a kindred spirit with you. Sometimes I am so aware of my inability to pull off what God has called me to that I can become paralyzed for awhile.

    What I am lacking right now is the strong #2 guy to wrestle through things with and to dream/push one another. I need that guy right now. It could be done with a mentor as well, but the mentors I have are relational mentors. They don’t tend to speak into ‘moving the ball forward’ for the organization.

    The only thing I would add is something you kind of have already, and that is time blocking. Monday afternoons are for one thing, Tuesdays are for meetings, Wednesdays are for strategy, etc. I work better on something when it is regular and I can block out time for it. Sometimes I shut off my wifi during some work times so I don’t check email and stuff.

    I will be praying for you brother.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Today’s Magnificant Links « Nathan Gilmer on 21 Oct 2008 at 3:02 pm

    […] Magnificant Links I’m Not Ready to Lead: This is a great post on some practical ways to become a better […]

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