It was a defining moment in our China campus ministry. The apostolic leaders of our churches there were empowering a young man to lead the campus ministry nationally. Like many similar moments with them their words were simple, but powerful.
“You’re not the coordinator. You’re the director,” said the older leader.
“What’s the difference?” asked the young man.
His pastor answered brilliantly, “The coordinator asks, ‘Can we do that?’ The director says, ‘Let’s do that.’
It’s a big job, but we believe you can do it – one hundred campuses, one hundred new workers in five years.”
The young leader bowed his head and said, “I feel the weight.” Then he smiled, “Let’s do it!”
I’m excited for our work there. What a privilege to be able to help and serve the students of that nation. And it left me with a powerful picture of leadership without getting hung up on the titles.
Real leadership is about results. This man was being empowered, but the empowerment came with an expectation: produce results. He understood and took the challenge. That’s leadership.
Real leaders bring change not complaints, progress not problems, and results not reasons.
Wherever you are now, if you want to lead then produce results. As Jim Collins said in Good to Great,
“Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce results.”