Recharge As You Lead
Effective leadership requires intentionality in planning and actions, as well as in times of restoration and renewal. And like communicating, influencing, and supporting, effectively recharging necessitates a multi-directional approach as we lead:
- Our teams
- Other leaders
“It is God the Creator who made limits, and…placed them within us for our protection. We exceed them at our peril,” said author Richard Swenson in Margin. (NavPress, 2014)
To lead others well, we must lead ourselves well.
Leadership is hard, and 2020 has multiplied the difficulty through uncertainty, unfamiliar scenarios, new challenges and rapidly changing information. To lead others well, we must lead ourselves well. And the most important part of leading ourselves well? It is following God well.
Times of personal retreat are essential for disconnecting from the world and connecting with our Savior, not to mention our spouse and family. Ridgecrest is one of many hospitality-focused ministries offering low-cost options for ministry leaders and their families to retreat, recharge and refocus. Contact Christian conference centers and camps in your area to inquire about such opportunities and take advantage for the benefit of yourself, your family and your ministry.
Recharging Our Teams
“…he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31)
Annual goals, strategic sessions, and tactical discussions have their place, but so do these three R’s: rest, renewal, and relationships.
Ministry teams also need to recharge, and leaders should intentionally plan opportunities to do so. Our executive team typically has an annual three-day/two-night retreat, and I have learned to:
- Remember the purpose. Annual goals, strategic sessions, and tactical discussions have their place, but so do these three R’s: rest, renewal, and relationships.
- Put some open time on the schedule. When my team members read this, they will likely remind me of the times I gave out discussion topics or audio books for the drive to our retreat site. My inclination is to fill our schedule in pursuit of maximum efficiency, but I am learning that including margin is often a more effective use of our time.
- Get away to another location. This reinforces that your team is disconnecting from the daily whirlwind and helps prevent interruptions. If you are like us and have an abundance of meeting space, it can be tempting to stay onsite and save some expense. However, we have found when we gather elsewhere, we are more productive and connect on a much deeper level through our meetings, prayer times, meals, games and informal fellowship. And this recharges our team! Even when facing budget or time constraints, we will meet at our camps, a local church, or a supporter’s home with incredible mountain views.
- When possible, share meals together and stay somewhere overnight. This will provide additional opportunities for fellowship and connection.
Recharging Other Leaders
“(T)he last 10% of leadership is the loneliest. The very problem you most need to solve in leadership is the very thing most people can’t help you with… the people who can help you with the last 10% is a community you need to build for yourself,” said Carey Nieuwhof in a Blog post entitled “6 Reasons You Feel Lonely in Leadership.”
Even if blessed with an engaged, high-performing team, leaders must face some challenges and decisions alone. Building a network of advisors outside your organization will be a significant asset. Mine includes leaders in Christian hospitality, leaders of similar-sized organizations, leaders experienced in change management, and leaders with expertise I lack. Most importantly, they are leaders who graciously and generously invest in me. Christian Leadership Alliance plays an important connecting role in establishing these relationships through its Outcomes Conference, Women's Leadership Forums, mentorship opportunities, and more.
Recharging Your Leadership!
“Progress is great. But lasting progress is something achieved over time, and it includes seasons of rest, practice, and preparation,” said author Clay Scroggins in How to Lead in a World of Distraction. (Z Carr, 2019)
As always, others are observing as we lead. They watch when we plan and act, and whether we make time for restoration and renewal. They see the care with which we communicate, influence, support, and recharge. May our leadership show that sometimes the best way to move forward is to retreat.
Art Snead leads Ridgecrest Conference Center and Summer Camps, ministries focused on impacting lives for God’s glory. As one involved in Christian hospitality, he appreciates the opportunity to emphasize the importance of renewal, recharging, and retreat. And as a leader who struggles in this area, he recognizes the irony.