J0433093 Leaders never stop learning … learning new things and re-learning old things.  I was listening to my good friend, Dave Ferguson (lead pastor for Community Christian Church in Naperville) speak yesterday morning.  Dave is a great leader … and as a leader is like a sponge.  He never stops learning.  He focused part of his message on what he has learned (or relearned) over the past year.  He focused on five lessons which are definitely worth thinking about:

1.  Leaders must be followers. (This is a real paradox in leadership, but how true it is.  For me, this very lesson holds the receipe for the healthy humilty required in every leader).  Are you as effective at following as you are at leading?

2.  It goes way to fast. (Dave is just experiencing his oldest daughter graduating from high school and going off to college this fall.  This wakes you up to the speed of life.  I can relate, having spent the last two months taking my middle daughter college to college to look at their women’s soccer programs.  It goes way too fast.  So does our leadership opportunities.  Leaders are blessed with a small window of opportunity to make a difference.)  Does this narrow window create a sense of urgency within you?

3.  There will be “ups and downs”. (Oh yes there will!  And the sooner you realize this the more prepared you will be to find humility in the “ups” and courage in the “downs.”).  How prepared are you for the roller coaster of leadership?

4.  Create opportunities for others. (This was my favorite!  It is the magic of meaningful leadership.  The sooner we realize that the privelege of leadership is all about what we get a chance to do for others … the more we will grow as leaders.)  Who is your leadership about?

5.  Better to be lucky than good. (My mom used to tell me this. She wasn’t letting me off the hook for developing my skills, but rather challenging me to make good use of the luck that came my way.  Luck is a blessing if used for good.)  What is the last lucky thing that happened to you?  How did you use it?

Dave’s leadership reflection might serve us all well as we start this new week.  Make the most of this new week ahead!