It was Sunday evening, and I was just settling down when I got a text message from a good friend: “I got through the first interview and have been invited to a second interview tomorrow morning! Are you free for a quick conversation this evening?”
My good friend Steve leads a small Christian charity but had applied for a job as CEO of a large charity with 20 times the number of staff and 50 times the budget (and twice the salary) of his current role. It was an organisation he loved and had worked with before, and I knew this would be his dream job. “They want to know how I would scale up my leadership for this role. Do you have any thoughts?” he asked me.
I got him to go to LDHR.org as we talked, and I pointed him to the Leadership Pipeline process, particularly the “Leadership Turns” involved in leading at a new level. As we chatted through the turns from Local Team Leader to National Ministry Leader, Steve was already jumping ahead to how he would have to lead differently if he got the new role. “So if I’m going to be leading leaders rather than leading individuals, do you have any thoughts on how I can figure out what sort of leadership they would need? Different folk are going to need different things.” Although not on LDHR.org, I’ve long been a fan of Ken Blanchard and the Situational Leadership Model that addresses the balance between supportive and directive behaviour, depending on your leader’s competence and commitment.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a more perfect set-up line than his next question: “So, do you have any sort of leadership framework that you use?”. I pointed him to the Leadership Framework page on our site, and we spent the next little while chatting about a leader’s relationships, roles and responsibilities. It was a beautiful way to spend an evening. We finished up by talking about heart and character and the Bible verses that had been key for both of us; the things that have felt like our ‘North Star’ in how we lead and how we have understood God’s calling on our lives, in light of who he has made us to be.
He got the job.
Paul Cheesman works in Leadership Development and HR for CCCI / Cru. He’s based in the UK and works with LDHR leaders worldwide.