I have compiled, added to, and continue to edit this list as I synthesize my own lived experience. I was probably told a version of all of these before stepping into leadership managing others. I did not realize the challenge each presents to serve and lead well until the lived experience of managing paid staff.
Here is my list of things no one tells you about leadership:
- Everyone has an opinion on decisions you make.
- Reading a leadership book won't prep you for actually doing it, so give yourself grace.
- More responsibility = more accountability. In theory, people understand this but don't like it when push comes to shove.
- The faster you develop relationships with other staff, teams, and areas outside your department, the better off you will be.
- Bad news never gets better. So, say it as soon as you know it.
- The gospel is for you and not just your team, volunteers or congregation.
- You will have to deal with drama - internal drama, personal drama, team drama.
- It's ok to make a wrong decision, but you have to make one.
- You don't have to know everything about everything, so don't act like you do.
- Someone has already solved every problem you are going through or trying to solve, so don't be afraid to ask for help.
- Letting someone go never gets easier.
- Someone will always think they can do it better than you if they were the one making the decision.
- There is a dynamic that will take place where you go from the peer to the leader.
- People > progress > perfection > programs.
- The bible is still an extremely relevant and better source of wisdom than any other book.
- If you think people will follow, just because you have a title. Wrong, not in meaningful ways.
- We are imperfect people, leading imperfect people - it's messy.
- People will think what you do is easy, and they could probably do it better. (Yes, it's on the list twice.)
- When you think you have seen it all, you will be surprised every day.
Q. What would you add to the list?
Q. What stands out to you from the list? Why?
Q. Read Proverbs 22-24. From that list of 30 items, what needs to be on the list?