When should a leader allow another to lead?

Allowing others to lead - 1I have a friend, whom you may know; they contribute to this site as well. Maybe I should back up a little; first of all, I should say a good friend. Second of all, I don’t have a lot of friends. I guess some people don’t care for my humor; some people don’t care for my personality. I hold my good friends in very high regard and trust and fully reveal myself to very few people. What I really want to reference is how this friend signs off on all of his electronic correspondence. I am not sure how many of his “people” read his past the end, but his electronic signature includes something I have never really given a lot of thought to until recently…  “Leader / Follower / Guide

Now, if any of you know who I am talking about, the LEADER is easy to see. For those of you that don’t really know him, he also has a heart for leading young people, especially young men, so I think that is the GUIDE part. But what I really would like to talk about is the FOLLOWER part.

I have been part of some pretty good teams in my life. I have even been asked to lead a team on occasion. I have also felt lead to guide some folks through some things. But I have always had issues with voluntarily following someone else. I chose the word voluntarily because I have had some coaches, I have some commanding officers, and I have had some bosses that I would have stormed the gates of hell with or for. But it’s the times when I have to follow someone into something I may not want to do, or maybe “Let them lead me somewhere” that I may not have wanted to go, because it was important to them.

Allowing others to lead - 2I said all of that to get to this. At some point there is going to be an opportunity for you to lead by following. I can’t tell you how this is going to look. But I will lay out what it looked like for me. In the last couple of years my church has gone to a “Life Group” Sunday School scenario. I am thinking it is a plan to drive more interaction between people outside of the church. Personally, I think it has separated the church into even more “cliques” and I for one, needed the actual Sunday School setting on Sunday morning to get myself prepared to receive the Word in the morning worship service. So, needless to say, I have resisted participating in life groups. I now realize that this may be to the detriment of my closest team, my family.

I have since relinquished the leadership of this subject to my wife. She has recognized our need to be involved and has found a life group that she truly enjoys. So what is my role? Support her, follow her and help her guide my children.

Allowing others to lead - 3Leaders, I ask you, is there a situation in your life when it isn’t your leadership that is needed but maybe your example of following another? Leadership cannot be conceited, it cannot be static, and it cannot be shallow. Leaders, we have to learn to lead with our hearts, and learn to FOLLOW.

Yours in Leadership,

Billy Long

Striving to Lead / Learning to Follow / In need of Guidance



Photo credit: Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: Michigan Municipal League (MML) / Foter / (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Photo credit: DVIDSHUB / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: Strange Ones / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)

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I am a Christian, a Husband and a Father, in that order. Leadership is important to me, because I see too many outside influences acting on the lives of my children, and I need support to make sure I am the most dominant influence. I appreciate your feedback and enjoy reading your input. Thanks in advance for being part of this endeavor.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.