The Pitfalls of DIY Leadership | Ashley Varner
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The Pitfalls of DIY Leadership

Pinterest has paved the way for DIYers to throw extravagant birthday parties, decorate their homes with twigs, and create outfits for every occasion. But many leaders make the mistake of taking this DIY thinking into their leadership.
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It has been said “if you’re leading and no one’s following you, then you’re just taking a walk.” But it’s also been said, “If you want something done right then you need to do it yourself.”
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Leaders, especially Christian leaders, can fall into the trap of wanting to do everything ourselves. But that’s exactly what it is…a trap.
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A Lesson From Moses

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In Exodus 18, we read about Moses. He was given the task of leading the people of Israel through the desert to the promise land.  But he faced a little snag…their short trip, ended up being detoured by God and lasted 40 years.  Now that’s a job!
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Numbers chapter one numbers the men of Israel at 603,550. Not even counting women and children.
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Now, Moses grew up in the palaces of Egypt. He had seen incredible leaders, but now, he was assigned of governing an entire nation, some scholars believe the number was close to 2 million people!
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While Moses was in the midst of this leadership challenge, his father-in-law, Jethro, came to vision and had some wise advice.
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Jethro recommended that Moses select judges to help rule the people.  Moses would teach these qualified men, and then it would be these men who would listen to the people’s problems and disputes.
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If there were any circumstances that these men couldn’t figure out, then only those special cases would be brought before Moses.
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A LEADERSHIP EXAMPLE

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Moses is a great example of leadership for us.
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He surrounded himself with three types of people:
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He listened to a mentor.
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Jethro wasn’t only Moses’ father-in-law, he was his mentor. He was able to pour into Moses’ life and Moses listened. As leader’s we need MUST have people who can guide the way.
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If we don’t learn from others, or take constructive and godly advice, we’re going to keep re-inventing the wheel and waste valuable time and energy.
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Moses was selective in who he listened to. During their time in the wilderness, several men came to Moses (mostly with complaints) and I’m sure they all had “great” advice for him. But he was careful in who he listened to and we should be too.
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Andy Stanley said, “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.”
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He appointed a team.
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Moses saw the wisdom of having a team that could work on his behalf. He trained them and then let them share in the responsibility.
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It’s also important to note that when he gave the responsibility to the assistant that he didn’t exclude himself from any work. Michael Jordan said, “Earn your leadership every day.”
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Delegating doesn’t mean the leader doesn’t work. It means that the leader’s time is freed up to deal with the problems only they can handle.
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You don’t become a leader just because you’re in charge. You earn your leadership by being an example to the believers “in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

He relied on co-workers.
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Moses had some colleagues. They were on his level and were his trusted inner circle.
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We see this example in Exodus 17. The Israelites were in a battle. When Moses lifted his hands, the Israelite army was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, their enemy’s would gain the upper hand.
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When Moses grew tired, his inner circle: Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on each side so that his hands remained steady until sunset.

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Moses realized that in order to be the best leader he could possibly be for God’s people, he needed to have people above him, below him and beside him.
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When you build a team, there are two extremes that leaders can take:

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THE BYSTANDER

This leader delegates everything and ends up stagnant because they’re only overseeing and not truly in ministry themselves.

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When you delegate, make sure you’re working by example. John Wooden said, “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.”
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If you’re a ministry leader, don’t delegate every chance to connect with your people to your team.
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As a mom, would you delegate every chore to your children and then sit on the couch eating Bon-Bons and watching I Love Lucy reruns all day? No! Of course you wouldn’t.  You delegate the smaller chores so that you can handle the larger ones.
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Don’t be a bon bon eating mom, make sure that you’re leading by example. If your team consistently sees you not working, they will follow your example and do the same.
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THE MICRO-MANGER

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This leader attempts to delegate, but they are so in bondage of perfectionism that they micromanage their team.
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Let’s go back to that mom scenario…when my boys were around 3 years old, we started having them make their own beds. We taught them and helped them the first few mornings, then we gave them the task of doing it all by themselves.
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The first time they each made the bed, it wasn’t anything spectacular. But I didn’t dare go back and remake it. They were given a task and I let them complete it to the best of their abilities.
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Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods. My goal with my boys was to teach them independence. The goal wasn’t a picture perfect room. So my methods had to be flexible.  Keep the big picture in mind when you delegate.
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When you delegate, have confidence in your choices. Appoint a person, train them correctly, and then LET. THEM. WORK.
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There is nothing more frustrating for a team member than a leader who delegates and then micro-manages.  It makes the team member feel as they they are not capable or trusted to do the work they’ve been asked to do. And they will soon grow weary of feeling inadequate and end up leaving the team.
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CONCLUSION

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At the root of it all, be a leader you would follow. Care about others, inspire them to dream more, give them confidence to do more, and watch your team make an impact for the Kingdom of God in ways that you could never do on your own.
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Are you in a leadership position? If you want tools to help your ministry (and your own faith) reach new heights in Christ, then you NEED to check out Lead with Heart.

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