Leadership and Legacy

As the Rio Olympics draw closer with the opening ceremony happening next week, here in the UK there has been quite a lot of focus in the press this week on the legacy of the 2012 Olympics that were held in London. Indeed a big part of the Olympic bid for the 2012 Games was based upon the legacy it would leave behind after they had ended. Different TV programmes have been aired exploring what effect the 2012 Olympics have had in encouraging people in the UK to engage more with sport - they show varying levels of success.

As a result, I have been thinking about the legacy we leave as leaders.

Since my cancer treatment began, I have pretty much withdrawn from all the leadership roles in my local church ministry that I hold, as well as being signed off work for at least 6 months!

It was a pretty sudden withdrawal as the doctors moved quickly from a position of 'we will wait and see how bad things are before treatment. We may see you in a couple of months' to a position of 'get into hospital right away! We need to save your kidney!'

There was no time to plan or put extra things in place. People in the ministry had to move pretty fast from a position of knowing I was not well and this might mean more of a burden on them in the distant future to 'OK so who is going to lead the band practise in 2 days time!'

The people that have stepped in are doing a great job and I am so thankful for them. Things haven't ground to a halt. Things haven't collapsed. They can do fine without me - and this is a good thing!

Sure, there are a few specific areas I feel that as a leader I need to do better at. Presently I feel this is in the area of the technical wires, mixing desks and speakers of the music ministry (the Sound) - it needs work and input. I feel this is the area that has suffered the most upon my departure. This area has been easier to do myself rather than to train others up to be effective without me.

One of the main aspects of leadership is to train and equip others.

How well will your church or organisation cope without you? What if you got a call from the doctors saying 'Get here now! We need to operate!' and this meant you were unable to function in your role for several months? Would your church be able to carry on without you? Have you led and trained up key people in key positions? Are you able to delegate now - even though you are not signed off work?

Sometimes leaders feel that the only way to do something right is to do it themselves - someone else will just mess it up! Letting go and delegating can be difficult, but it is necessary in order to make you more productive and more effective as a leader.

Are the leaders in your church able to train and raise up other leaders? If you are leaving a legacy, this is good - if those who follow you are also leaving a legacy, this is excellent!

Leaders should not only focus on the here-and-now but also on the future. This includes a future without them! Good leaders lead in the here-and-now. Excellent leaders lead with the future in mind.

It might be time to start thinking about your leadership legacy? I know I am.


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