How Marriage Made Me A Better Leader
Let me say at the outset that I am not implying that being single shortchanges you of lessons or experiences that can help grow your leadership. I am simply reflecting on my personal experience of being married (for 10 years; dated for 8) and the positive influence it has had on my maturity as a leader in the home as a husband (and father) and in the church as a pastor. The following are 20 leadership lessons that marriage has taught me. They are in no particular order of importance.
1. Seek to understand and not just to be understood.
2. Don’t interpret every disagreement as being unsubmissive.
3. Watch your words.
4. As a default, see differences (of personal preferences, opinions, ways of doing things) as complementary instead of incendiary.
5. Cultivate an environment of open, honest, and respectful dialogue.
6. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
7. Humbly own up to your weaknesses, failures, and sins.
8. Follow through on your commitments.
9. Don’t assume. Ask questions.
10. Be patient.
12. Receive personal assessments periodically.
13. Be proactive.
14. Play to your strengths.
15. Delegate your weaknesses.
16. Do what God says even if people don’t agree or understand.
17. Lead! And don’t think that you are being prideful or stubborn when you do, particularly when you are responsibly carrying it out in humility and love.
18. Prioritize your personal devotion time with God.
19. Eat right, exercise, and relax. You are not going to be too much good to anyone if you are run down and an emotional wreck. Don’t feel guilty about taking some “Me time.” You need it.
20. Appreciate those whom you lead. People will give you their hearts and hands when they know they are valued and not simply used by you.