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    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Leadership Lessons by Napoleon

    Napoleon Dyanamite is an often quoted character but rarely has anyone ever uncovered the depth of leadership advice that this man and his cast bring to the table. 

    Wait, are you laughing?  I am serious...ok it seems ludicrous but there are a few leadership nuggets in there and I will share them because truly I think they are great and worth adding into our tool belts...plus when said by Napoleon we just seem to remember them!

    "Girls Want Guys With Skills!"- Napoleon Dynamite.

      Here we see Napoleon wrestling with who he is and in a moment of candor, Napoleon shares his outlandish handful of skills he thinks women dig and what he has to offer.  Girls don't just want a lame guy who does nothing, girls want guys with skills.

      Now call this far-fetched but I believe people desire their leaders to have skills, not hyped up skills, not skills they say they have but real leaders with real skills.  In order to lead, a leader mus know who they are.  You can't lead people if you don't know who you are.

      You might think you have flippin' sweet skills, but in reality those are pipe-dreams strikingly similar to the Napoleon Dynamite list of skills he possesses, which if you know the poor sap he doesn't have at all.

      A leader must Be honest with their strengths and weaknesses and never attempt to be something they are not. Too often people lead where they have no business leading but they've faked it so well simply by sharing how many sweet skills they possess but never actually having those sweet skills.

      If a leader isn't honest with who they are, they offer a false self to the people they are leading and will lead those folks down a terribly painful road that could have been avoided if the leader were just honest.

      I think this happens too often in the church.  People get into leadership positions that have no business leading but "the position needed to be filled" or "They are such a nice person" or...any number of other reasons.  Put simply people need leaders with the right skills for the right task.

      Leading from a position of knowing yourself helps you become a better leader.  This type of honesty can get you to realize where you need work.  This type of leadership is authentic because you lead not out of a place of superiority but out of a place of commonality because you too have weaknesses.

      When we look at Napoleon and his list of skills, we crack up and we say how little he knows of girls.  How often do we as leaders who don't know ourselves also fail to know the people we lead? (and that's not funny)  We may think a certain group needs certain skills but we are to proud, or foolish to seek what they actually need.  Not knowing oneself also leads to the misreading of a people's need and that's not funny.

      When leading we must be honest, we must be authentic especially in the church because so much is depends on it. 

    What do you think?