Get Intentional About Your Influence: How to Lead Up

February 15, 2019

“Ministry, work, and life in general would be a lot easier if I could just be in control of everything.”

We can all admit we’ve had this thought before, right?

“If they would just listen. If they would just do what I’m telling them to do. If I could just make the decision for them.” 

Church communicators collaborate with, support and promote the work of so many leaders and ministries. It can be deeply satisfying ... but also frustrating if you feel like everything is out of your control. 

So what can you do if you’re feeling a lack of control?

Here are 4 principles to help you lead up and get intentional about your influence:

  1. Mission Above Everything
    When you start feeling frustrated about a particular challenge or lack of control, check in with yourself to make sure you are striving to serve the mission and not your own desires or insecurities.

  2. Honor at All Times
    Honor everyone you interact with. Do your best to fully understand their perspective, their goals and their experiences.

  3. Get Intentional
    If you need to have an important conversation, think about their workload, their stress level and their schedule. Anticipate the questions you might need to answer. Show initiative to align your individual goals with a higher level organizational or team goal. Do your best to serve others every step of the way. Leave assumptions at the door.

  4. Speak the Truth
    It’s tempting to think we have to choose between speaking the truth and maintaining relationships. But when you hold back from saying what you think, know or feel, you aren’t protecting the relationship. You are actually isolating yourself and distancing others from your unique perspective. Speaking the truth isn’t always easy, but you have to bring your whole self to the table.

Doing work that matters requires we all step up to the challenges in front of us, especially when we aren’t in control. When you lead up well and when you use your influence effectively, everyone wins.

What are the biggest roadblocks you come into contact with as you tried to lead up? Where do you feel stuck right now? 

Adam Bouse

Communications Strategist