The type of leader it takes to create an empowering culture

In a sanctuary pulsating with the worship of hundreds of passionate church leaders, Pastor Craig Groeschel brought the first night of the Network Summit to an inspiring close.

“Most leaders are trying to figure out the right strategy. The best leaders are obsessed with empowering the right people.”

As the Kindrid team sat together at the campus in windy Oklahoma City, just a few short days ago, we found ourselves stirred by the contrasting picture.  

The Kindrid team at the Network Summit in OKC

A reminder that success lies not in doing it all yourself, but identifying, developing, and equipping others, here’s how Pastor Craig taught us to cultivate sustainable leadership in our own organizations:

  1. Communicate with clarity and extend trust
  2. Guard values and surrender control

 When you choose to place people first, effective strategy flows from the individuals who’ve accepted responsibility and ownership over their particular role in carrying out the vision. 

Instead of letting your actions mock others with an “Anything you can do, I can do better” attitude, flip it—“Anything I can do, you can do better.”

If you think others are incapable of doing something as well as you can, Pastor Craig warned that you’ll become the ceiling to organizational growth. Instead, look to Scripture for a Biblical form of empowerment: 

"Jesus showed us the ultimate form of empowerment. He told his disciples 'what' to do and 'where' to go but He left the 'how' up to them."

While you clearly communicate what needs to be accomplished, maintaining a firm hold on organizational values, and where it should take place, do not specify how it ought to happen.

Leaving ambiguity in the execution stage awakens creativity, problem solving, and unlocks leadership potential. As Pastor Craig put it, "Leading with the 'how' strips all creativity from your team." Instead, delegate authority, rather than tasks.   

“When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders.” 

Give people the freedom to fail and make “faith-filled aggressive mistakes.”

Commanding the stage with characteristic confidence, the pastor tied these thoughts together with a helpful dose of realism:

“You must be willing to experience a temporary loss of excellence and effectiveness for an exponential explosion of influence.”

Craig Groeschel shares that empowering others will yield a loss of influence, before the exponential returns come.

Spoken to a culture drunk on individualism and doing it all ourselves, not only getting out of the way, but empowering others to lead is a significant challenge.

If we take the plunge, things will get worse before they get better. But when that upward turn starts happening, the investment will be well worth it.

Creating an empowering culture requires a leader who communicates with clarity and trust, is committed to the cause at hand, willing to forfeit control, and see others lead.

At Kindrid, empowering people is at the heart of what we do. While we're far from having it all figured out, we want to be the type of organization that builds up so we can see others flourish and so we can see generosity unleashed. 

We're grateful to the Network Summit team, Pastor Craig Groeschel, and everyone else who helped make our time in OKC so incredible. 

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