Patrick Lencioni, in his book, The Advantage, notes that ‘organizational health trumps everything.’ Not only have I found his argument to be true in the church to a high degree, but I have also found it to be true for the leaders of the church as well. Outside of the work of God, health is the most important factor in the effectiveness of pastors, staff and ministry leaders. Outside of the Gospel, the most important factor in the effectiveness of a church is the health of the church. Health trumps all.
Healthy leaders are teachable.
The most important quality in a leader or employee is teachability.
With teachability, anything is possible. Being teachable is not the cultural norm, nor is it easy. It can come naturally after time, but not without years of intentional effort.
To be teachable means that you have an openness to learning and growth. This means:
- You have a posture of learning
- You embrace curiosity
- You recognize that you can be wrong
- You know how to apologize
- You recognize that God is not finished with you yet
- You want to become better and are open to learning new things
- You have a desire to do what is best and right, not what is convenient and personally beneficial
Healthy leaders are teachable, but they are also life-long learners. Life-long learners are those who realize they never arrive and can continue to learn and improve. Life-long learners not only embrace new learning (teachability), but they pursue greater learning, knowledge and wisdom. Healthy leaders are open to learning, always trying to learn and pursue continued learning and growth.
Being teachable and a life-long learner is not just a part of healthy leadership; it is at the very nature of discipleship.
A disciple is one who learns from, follows and is a pupil or apprentice of Jesus Christ. Following Christ, a disciple has key markers, including a desire both to learn from Christ and to teach what has been learned, a desire to imitate Jesus in all areas of life, and a desire to multiply disciples and become more like Christ.
As one church frames it: our goal is to look more like Jesus everyday.
To be teachable and to be a life-long learning, you must have humility!
Healthy leaders are teachable and are life-long learners.
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director