I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission. Isaiah 48:15
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:10
If the team is successful, the leader is successful; so it is imperative the team succeeds or the leader won’t. Your role as the leader is to provide coaching, resources, relationships, teaching, and training to the team. Help them craft their strategic plan and then let them execute the plan with excellence. Yes, there needs to be periodic assessment and feedback around the mission and objectives. But use this time of accountability for alignment and encouragement. The team wants to succeed, but they need to be assured that they are succeeding at the right things. Indeed, the team is where the leader has led them.
If your team is unfocused and ineffective, start by looking in the mirror. The leader sets the pace for focused, diligent, creative, systematic, and wise work. Your affirmation and the ability to help others adjust contribute catalytically to team success. Therefore, don’t hold team members back, but free them around their passions, skills, and gifts. You want the team to surpass any results you could accomplish alone. So allow the team to succeed by coaching them, but not micro-managing them. Provide feedback, resources, and training by investing in their personal development. Promote team members by giving them the opportunity to replace or surpass you.
Failure is an option for the wise leader, for God fosters faith out of failure. Some of your best lessons are learned through failure. It is imperative for the leader to give team members permission to fail, or even encourage them to fail. Team members who never fail are team members who need to fail. Without failure, there’s no innovation or creativity. Small failures lead to big successes, for this is the process for improvement.
The secure leader knows how to manage risk. When team members do fail, the leader is there to infuse them with courage and perseverance. The road to success is paved with potholes of failure. Therefore, give the team permission to fail by encouraging them toward their goals and aspirations. This gives them the respect and responsibility needed for a willingness to fail.
Allow them to craft their own plans. This ensures their ownership with passion around execution. Affirm them when they do fail. This invites them to continue taking risk. Our heavenly Father knows we will fail, but He is there to pick us up and encourage us to move forward by faith. Carry on with Christ through the ups and the downs. He celebrates with us on the mountaintops. He comforts us in the valleys. We lose, not when we fail, but when we give up.
So persevere, as you are a success in the eyes of your Savior. Wisdom says, “…for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…”(Proverbs 24:16a).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to lead well during successes and failures, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Application: Who needs to be reaffirmed in the middle of their failure and who needs to be affirmed for their success?
Related Readings: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 73:26; Proverbs 2:7; Luke 1:37; Acts 5:38