One of my favorite verses in the Bible is, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).” This verse helps us understand that the launching pad to true wisdom begins with the knowledge of God and our reverence for Him.
Based on this simple Bible proverb, I’d suggest another proverb related to leadership: “The beginning of true leadership is the knowledge of our own need for others.”
Once a leader acknowledges their own limits, deficiencies and need for others, they can begin to invite others to join them on a journey, helping them to build something greater than any one person can accomplish.
When a leader starts with this acknowledgement then it’s easier for them to continue to credit great successes and breakthroughs to the team and not merely to themselves. This is essential in not only growing a team but also in maintaining a team.
For example, I need others so that WE can succeed, not merely so I can succeed at their expense. When people sense that a leader is self aware and understands their need for others, they will be more fully engaged in serving that leader’s vision.
When the vision of the leader is greater than themselves and requires a team, the team understands they’re all in it together, not just subservient to a leader’s vision.
God seems to make a habit of placing dreams in people that are way bigger than they can really wrap their minds around. Many times when God gives direction to someone, they feel unqualified or incapable. I believe that God delights in working this way, because he shows great power through our weakness.
If God has called you to something great, you are going to need help from others. This is why embracing your need for others and committing to grow as a leader is essential. When you commit to growing and becoming a more effective leader, you will learn how you can rally like-minded people around you to accomplish a common goal that is greater than any one person. The success of it all depends on God’s Grace, lots of prayer, and having some leadership tools under your belt, which help you recruit, develop and grow a team to run with you.
Here are three simple things that have helped me the past ten years to grow in leadership. These things have helped me not just in my profession but also with my family, as a husband and a father.
I have read dozens and dozens of books on leadership in the past ten years. I continue reading them, because I always find new ways to challenge myself and grow into a better leader. There is always more to learn.
2. Place leadership reminders around you in your daily life.
I intentionally hang pictures and quotes in various places around my work and my house. Seeing these hangings helps me remember the things I want to work on. One leadership quality I’m developing right now in myself is learning to listen to others better. I’ve placed reminders on my desk that I look at each day to help me grow.
3. Find mentors and other leaders that will help you grow.
I love to spend time learning from other passionate leaders. Sometimes I may have a brief conversation with someone or develop a mentoring-type relationship for a season. Either way, I’m always looking to glean from others who have been successful in areas I hope to be as well. Find people who will invest in your life and learn from them.
Leadership growth is a lifelong journey and I have definitely not arrived. One of the things that has helped me the most along the way is remembering that working with others and having a team is key to doing great things. I hope to continue learning and growing as a leader so that I can partner with others to see God do the impossible through our efforts.
May He get the glory and His kingdom be expanded in the earth as we grow, serve and work diligently in all that He has called us to do.
-Andrew Chalmers, Founder and Director
I have been serving in some way with Take the city since October 2013. I spent a lot of time on the prayer team in the beginning and encountered God’s heart for the city in a life changing way. When the teams came back and shared testimonies, it was always fun to see that our prayers coincided with some of their testimonies in special ways. More recently I have had the privilege of leading a team to a nursing home where I used to be an employee. I used to pray over the facility every day, and it was such a miracle to see an old friend who lives there give his life to Jesus on one of our outreaches a year later. God sure has a way of answering prayers. And Take the City is an answer to so many prayers that have gone up here.