6 Ways Leaders Can Remain Relevant

Older leaders can't remain detached from their younger underlings.
Older leaders can't remain detached from their younger underlings. (iStock photo )

In a recent podcast, virtual mentor Michael Hyatt revealed that as he became increasingly successful, he discovered more and more layers isolating and detaching him from the people he was trying to help.

This is a scary reality that no effective leader wants to discover in his or her life. How can leaders keep the pulse of the people they are serving, no matter how high up they are?

Here are a few ideas I have tried to put into practice in my own life:

1. Read – I have reading time built into my morning schedule. After spending time in God's Word and prayer, I skim a handful of credible news outlets, a few great blogs and books on leadership or topics aligned with my day-to-day. I find that when I share what I'm reading, others do too and meetings and conversations are that much more efficient when we're on the same page!

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2. Write  I've been blogging for three years and doing doctoral work at the same time. My calendar is riddled with blocks marked "study/writing." But I've found that writing not only helps me organize my thoughts more quickly, but it has also helped improve my public speaking as well.

3. Research  In 1960, American writer John Steinbeck took to the road with his poodle Charley to reacquaint himself with the culture he was famous for writing about. I'd love take my Sherman on an extended road trip, but I think immersive research is a little more realistic and enlightening.

We've done our own massive studies, like our 2012 Attitudes and Behavior of Youth study, and regularly participate in studies like the 2016 State of Children's Ministry to better understand and serve the current needs of our partners.

The Three Randoms

1. Listen  It's a noisy, cluttered world out there. In meetings I multitask to keep up with emails, texts, and more often than not, am interrupted by a phone call. Listening has become a lost art. I'm the best at listening on an airplane when I have to turn my phone off and am trapped 30,000 feet above the hustle and bustle below. There's something to proximity, eye contact and focus that we've got to be better at despite the dings, buzzes, screens and rings that clamor for our attention.

2. Serve. It's easy to become an expert and forget to remain a practitioner. You should be regularly serving and connecting with people, which will give you a chance to dialogue and listen (see above).

3. Hang out with 20-year-olds. They have more wisdom than teenagers and are inherently in tune with the culture. They'll give you the scoop ... and talk you into using Snapchat.

Rob Hoskins in the president of OneHope, an international Christian ministry working with children and youth in more than 125 counties.

For the original article, visit onehope.net.

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