Some who have the role of leader don’t actually have the soul of a leader—that’s a problem, because “everything rises and falls on leadership.” We didn’t make that iconic statement; John Maxwell did. But we believe in it so strongly that it feels like we wrote it! We also believe that an openness to self-evaluation sets good leaders apart from the rest. Leaders hold others accountable; but they must first hold themselves accountable.
WHY do healthy leaders evaluate themselves?
Effective leaders welcome feedback because they understand that healthy things grow. To be as effective as possible for God’s Kingdom, you must be willing to ask yourself tough questions and face the challenging realities that surface because of them—while trusting that Jesus will guide you to the next right step. Asking the right questions takes skill and courage, but the benefits are huge.
WHEN do healthy leaders evaluate themselves?
Self-evaluation is warranted any time you’re tempted to criticize or complain about teenagers, volunteers, or parents. For example:
- Instead of complaining that teenagers aren’t reading the Bible or volunteering at church work days, perhaps you can ask how you’re doing at discipling young people to value and practice the core Christian disciplines.
- Instead of complaining that volunteers aren’t connecting well with teenagers, perhaps you can ask how you’re doing at equipping volunteers to be effective youth workers in kids’ lives.
- Instead of complaining that parents aren’t attending any of your meetings, perhaps you can ask how you can be a more effective resource to parents.
Insecure leaders complain about others, while strong leaders evaluate themselves first and look for ways to create a healthier system.
HOW do healthy leaders evaluate themselves?
Good leaders evaluate everything, even though feedback can feel risky. Here are three questions to ask, as well as some uber-practical examples of how we try to answer them:
- How am I connecting with teenagers and helping them grow in their trust in Jesus? The best way to find out information is often the simplest: Ask! Download one of our Student Surveys, and feel free to email Tim if you have specific questions about how to use them. (He loves that stuff!)
- How am I connecting with parents and meeting their needs? Recently we wrote about 10 Things Parents Don’t Need From You. You also can download our annual Family Survey to get the creative ideas flowing.
- How am I connecting with my team and equipping them to be better youth workers? Check out Students Need Adults and Our 10 Failures of Leading Volunteers for more insights. Plus, here’s a peek into our annual Volunteer Training Schedule.
How open are you to feedback? How can it help you grow as a leader?