When I was in college I served as a volunteer youth leader at my church. The church at the time had about 125 people attend on a weekly basis. Being a small church the entire leadership team other than the senior pastor were volunteers, which meant the team worked full time jobs.
The youth pastor worked for the Portland School District. He was promoted from a supervisor position into a senior management position. When this first happened he (like I believe most would) was overwhelmed with the significant increase in power and responsibility. He felt like he was thrown into an ocean with hungry sharks and did not know how he was going to survive. I can say he not only survived but thrived in his new position.
I want to share with you 3 things that he did to allow him to be successful in his new position. I also recently went through a job change and wrote about what I did during that busy season in my life in, Two Principles Guaranteed to Help You Successfully Move Through a Transitional Season. When you are thrown into a new or increased leadership position you can:
Lean into God-
The youth pastor leaned more into God during this time. He made sure to stay connected and in close union with God, the source of life. He found the byproduct of placing God 1st in his life was that God gave him an increased level of confidence and favor, and allowed him to be effective in his new position. I believe different seasons require different levels of faith, trust, and grace. Being placed into a new or increased leadership position can be demanding and you will need an extra dose of what only God can provide.
Make necessary adjustments-
Due to the increased responsibilities he had to make adjustment to the amount of time spent volunteering. He had to rely more on his volunteer team. This provided me with the opportunity to step into even more leadership roles. When he was not able to attend activities or the weekly youth night, I was given the responsibility to organize and lead the events. When he was able to attend, I did my best to serve and help so he would be able to spend as much time with the kids as possible.
When you are thrown into a new or increased leadership position you will have to make necessary adjustments to your schedule and time. You might need to stop doing or cut back on participating in some activities or tasks so you can focus on your new position.
Focus on professional development-
It’s too late to prepare yourself when you are thrown into a leadership position. The key to success is being prepared beforehand. However, if you did not prepare completely you can still learn the skills you will need by finding specific resources and coaching that would help you in your new position. Even though he was extremely busy with his new position, he understood that he needed to learn and develop himself. He invested time in professional development.
Questions: What else can a person do to be successful when they are thrown into a new or increased leadership position? What has been your experience?