What makes a Good Leader Good?

So I’m not really sure how to start this sort of thing; I’ve never done a blog post before. For those of you who haven’t met me before, let me tell you a little bit about how I got into production around the church. I’ve been on production all around PC3 for a long while starting all the way back in student ministries when The Drop was what we called the summer nights. I started my way on CG just running slides and slowly moved my way up to just running lights my last year in Ripple Effect. Then once I graduated, I got introduced to JJ and starting doing production for Overflow and I started once again on CG and worked my way up the video world to switching before I started volunteering on Sundays backstage with Carson and started doing that on Tuesdays as well. Then I started running cameras at Overflow, once again hopping into another position becoming a jack of all trades to be used wherever I was needed. Then Carson brought up the idea of starting an internship program for Sunday and I instantly hopped on that to start learn audio as that is what I wanted to do for a living. From there I started my internship with Carson and did the first one over the summer and then one during the fall and now starting another one for the spring making it almost a full year being one of Carson interns. Now, I’ve stepped off the Overflow team for a bit just to attend and I run FOH on Sundays while also leading the other interns, helping them learn, and making sure the backstage team and band are good for each service and find out if there’s any way I can help make the service run smoothly. Throughout the internship, I’ve been learning about leadership and how I can grow and hopefully be a good leader. But what makes a good leader good?

First off, I’d like to say that a lot of the ideas that I learned while reading Andy Stanley’s, Next Generation Leader, a fantastic book that we read during the first internship. The rest came from just leading the team that Carson has allowed me to help lead.

I believe the first thing that needs to be said is that leadership can come naturally to some people and that was definitely not the case for me. I had to grow into the role for sure. I had to overcome that unsure feeling that I had and just go head first into the fray.

Secondly, leaders need to know how to overcome and adapt to whatever gets thrown their way. For example, a couple months ago, Carson was going out of town and was not going to be here for Sunday, which left me to lead the whole audio team; for someone with only 6-8 months of knowledge of mixing sound and only a couple months of knowing the volunteers I was leading, freaked me out. That weekend we had one of our stagehands cancel last minute, which threw a wrench into the already shaky plan I had, but I thought through who we had on the team and I was able to have the person running monitors that morning run backstage for the transition to help out. Leaders need to be able to adapt to the situation they find themselves in and keep a level head about it. Something that helps me is to first take a second to breath and really assess the situation before attempting to work through it.

One last thing that a good leader needs to be good is someone to give them advice and help them work through problems;  a coach some might say. Carson is that person for me. We talk about the week coming up, the rehearsal on Wednesday nights and who is running what that weekend and he gives me advice on things I need to work on and gives me tasks to delegate out to the other interns while also helping me teach them about monitors and FOH audio. One quote from Stanley that really helped me realize that having someone there to help you and work through things with you was, “To be the best next generation leader you can be, you must enlist the help of others. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach”. Stanley, throughout that chapter, points out that you can’t be the best at what you do or even the best leader without having someone behind you pointing you in the right direction and helping you grow through mistakes and corrections made. Through those three things are the beginning steps towards becoming a good leader and even then there is even more to learn; I know I still have learning to do when it comes to leading the team and I think that everyone always has some learning to do and everyone can always grow.