I have a confession – I tend to live as if I believe the cliché, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” For me, this means that I confront challenges directly. I assess the situation, determine a solution, roll up my sleeves, and get it done. Honestly, that has served me pretty well in my career, both in business and in the church.
But more and more I find myself asking the question, “Am I leaving room for God, or have I left Him out of this process?” Many years of education, training, and life experience have taught me to rely on myself, and only go to God as a last resort. It’s easy to do this in a second chair role. Many competing demands scream for attention. And they’re usually not saying “Seek God in this” – they just say, “Fix it now!”
For second chair leaders, I believe the best answer is a balancing act in which we do both. God called us to be good stewards of all that He has given us, and that includes our abilities as problem-solvers and gap-fillers. But He also wants us to be dependent on Him, to ask Him for wisdom and for His power to be made perfect in our weakness. So in the future, I hope you’ll find me in my chair AND on my knees.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Have you ever wanted your leader to fail? This admission was shared with me over dinner Friday night, as a strong, up-and-coming second chair leader sat there frustrated, confused, and uncertain as to what he should do! He said, "Some days, I just wish he would fail. I know that is my flesh, or pride, or whatever, but his incompetency and lack of initiative are keeping us from going anywhere. . . I wish he would fail so that I could get his job and show everyone how it is done!"
Pretty intense! Kind of hard to step around this one, huh? But, isn't he like us all who have been wired to lead from the second chair? In some ways, haven't we all wanted to be the leader who comes to the rescue after our leader fails miserably? Maybe your pride hasn't been that awful, but what about the times that you have hoped that your first chair leader will at least recognize their need for you to bail them out of a situation?
If you were in this guys shoes, as a strong second chair leader of a para-church organization, but were frustrated with the regional guy's leadership, what would you do? Would you bail? Would you confront? How should you handle it?
Maybe you are just like this guy and you too feel frustrated for one reason or another with your first chair. How should you handle it? What next steps should you be taking for your own career path? Which way would you go?
Friday, December 02, 2005
Welcome to our new blog for second chair leaders. We are excited about the way this blog will capture more community among second chair leaders in the church across the globe. Please let us know of ways that we can enhance our new blog as we move forward, seeking to add to the conversation of what leading from the second chair really looks like.
Please take the time to post questions about our book, Leading from the Second Chair, comments about your second chair experience, and struggles that you are experiencing, or whatever is on your mind.
We hope to hear from you.