Today, I had the opportunity to hike with five other people to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The map took us to an overlook with a beautiful elevated view of the Garden of the Gods. The picture to the right is the view we had from that beautiful spot. After we made it to the overlook, we looked down and asked each other, “Should we find our way down there?” The map showed no trails that would get us to the Garden of the Gods. But all six of us agreed. We were going to try. We began to journey down unmarked trails or paths that looked like trails. We had no idea how we would get to the Gardens, but we had it in our sights and we just kept on making decisions to go right or left or straight to get us closer and closer. It was the unknown journey. We finally did make it down to the Garden of the Gods after some work and trailblazing. It was totally worth it.
As I reflected on the experience, I immediately saw a practical leadership lesson in this journey. If I was on this hike alone, I would have been less confident about my decisions to find the path down to the Gardens. In fact, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have even tried and I would have gone back the way I came, the sure route home. But with six of us there, the adventure seemed possible and doable. We didn’t stop to question whether this was the right way. We just decided to go. It was much easier to do in a team. And our journey was a success.
The principle I learned was that:
- It is easier to lead into the unknown together then it is to journey their by ourselves.
This is true for a few reasons:
- Together, there is more feedback and input to help make the right decision.
- Together, the decision was a group effort. We were able to lead with greater confidence knowing that we made the decision together.
- Together, when we doubt, we quickly work to turn that doubt into the next action step.
- Together, when one falls down, the others are there to help lift them back up.
A wise leader brings others around them that will help move the ministry or organization forward with greater confidence. The input from others is key, not only to make the right decision, but also to keep the team motivated to continue on the unknown journey. A leader does not lead by themselves. A leader leads with others. And that’s the power of teamwork.