leading others - the art of christian leadership


Leading Others 
Helping Others Become All They Can Be 
© Lee Wise 2003 All rights reserved 

I have spent a good part of my life striving to encourage people. It seems as though I've always wanted to help people "win." When I was in high school, I coached a swim team during the summer months. I loved coaching... 

Seeing the kids improve. 
Helping them "win." 
Having fun with them. 
Being their friend. 

One of the greatest joys of my life has been "coaching" my children. I love being a dad... 

Watching "the kids" grow in any area of their lives. 
Helping them "win" at anything! 
Having fun with them. 
Loving them. 
Being their friend.

I have spent many -- if not most -- of my years in ministry in some sort of training capacity. I have loved... 

Helping people succeed. 
Encouraging people when I could. 
Inspiring people at times. 

Assisting them in becoming all they can be. 


In my own way, I have tried to encourage people. I have sought to influence them -- to help them do what they have wanted to do. Maybe that's why I kinda favor, grin, this short quote of mine about what it means to "lead others." 

"Helping people become all they can be through your influence"
(LEADING OTHERS ©Lee Wise 2003 )


I was interacting with a student the other day. We were working together in an effort to establish a set of goals he wanted to accomplish for his present ministry. After I was done communicating with this person, I realized I was following a pattern: a pattern I have gone through over the years as I've tried to help people. I'm not saying I'm the "cat's meow" on this subject. Far from it! What I am saying is that maybe this simple process will assist *you* as you strive to help people become all they can be through *your* influence. 

Here are the steps in the process: 

1. Listen to people 
2. Strive to capture the desire of their hearts 
3. Chart "action steps" together 
4. Prompt them to strive towards excellence 
5. Release-Guide-Release 

Since you already know where I'm heading on most of these points, I'll be brief. 


Back to my "pattern." I realized that my pattern was to listen. That's right -- listen. Much of my interaction with people has been trying to discover "where they are at." What they mean by things. Allowing them to express themselves. Pausing. Asking questions to clarify. Just listening.  Because if I listen closely I can... 


I help interns create goals for their ministry projects. It is a part of my role as their coordinator. In the process of helping them create their ministries, I have often said... "Does this express your heart's desire?" "Forget school work. Forget this project. Just tell me this: what is your heart-beat in this?" If I can "capture their heart" in the process of writing their goals, it will give them staying power. It will help stay them motivated. I love it! Which leads me to the next point... 


Term it whatever you want: set goals, establish steps of action, create a way to solve a problem... Whatever. Just give people something specific they can do. Help them "take action." In doing so you help those help you are influencing become all they can be. But there's something more to this process: put *their* heart it! I have stated to the interns over the years: "If I can wed these two together, I have a winner: your heart's desires and your goals." It's true. When you... 

Understand someone,
Capture their heart's desire,
Create actions based on their heart's desire.

You have a winning combination! But you can do "more." You can... 


I'll give you another example. In talking with the intern that prompted my thinking -- and eventually this issue -- I mentioned: 

"I've included a sample to show how you can improve. The other example I gave will do for now. However, if you want to keep on developing your skills in this area, pay attention to what I have written and it will help you in the future." 

I was quick to add: "Don't let this kill you. Do what is 'you' in this regard. However, pay attention to these simple suggestions and use them as you can." 

Why did I add the statement above? Because I wanted the intern to see that he *could* do more -- but he didn't have to make it his life's passion! You see, I knew it wasn't his area of interest. I gave him a slight challenge to excel *in his own way and *at his own time.* But it was a slight nudge towards excellence! Then I had to... 


It was time for the intern to "just go and do it!" We had talked before. And, I'm sure we will talk again. There's the pattern: release -- guide -- release. Let the person you are influencing try! Be there, yes. Like a good coach. But let the person run his own race. When I was swimming competitively and I heard the words, "Timers and judges ready. Swimmers take your mark." And the gun went off... Don, my coach, wasn't leaving that starting block. Lee Wise was! 

You've got to release. Let them try. But be ready to guide them again. After the races were over, I found myself back in the pool again with "you know who" guiding me, pushing me, and challenging me to be the best I could be. You got it -- my coach, Don. Good swimming coaches do operate that way. And so do good life coaches. Which is what you might term "a leader." 


*Capture the desire of the heart 
*Chart action steps 
*Challenge towards excellence 


Can you identify any of the stages of this pattern where you are *right now* with someone? 

Could you improve in listening, capturing, charting, challenging, releasing or guiding? 

That's not a guilt trip. I'm not "in" to guilt trips. It is, however, a reminder to both of us. A reminder to keep improving our ability to help others become all they can be through our influence. 

Yours for a day filled with beautiful moments in time, 


Lee is a seminary administrator, has a part-time business 
at home, and writes his own motivational mailing entitled 
"A Beautiful Moment In Time.". 
Email: Lee@vital-sea-nutrients.net 
Link: http://www.vital-sea-nutrients.net


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