Five Ways to Increase Your Leadership Capacity

Capacity—it's how much you can handle and how much you can produce. When you have your first child, you think you're maxed out. All the diapers and crying are more than you can handle. But then you have a second and a third child—and you realize you're getting better and better at the things that used to take you out. Your capacity has grown.

The same is true when your business expands or your church grows from 30 attenders to 100 attenders. A funny thing can happen, though, as you stretch and grow. You can reach a leadership lid, a ceiling on what you can manage on your own. Suddenly the things that got you here won't get you there—there to the next level you're shooting for.

I hope these five "C"s can help you work past that lid and increase your leadership capacity.

• Build your Confidence.

When we hit our leadership lid, we can start talking in the 'language of the lid.' We belittle ourselves, tear ourselves down. We say, "No matter what I do, it's not enough."

And with just our own strength, sometimes we really can't do enough. But we need to realize that we are so much stronger because of Jesus in us. You are not the worst version of yourself. You are not who others say you are.

You are who God says you are. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead works in you. Build your confidence, and secure that confidence in who God is.

• Expand your Connections.

Show me who you listen to, and I'll show you who you are becoming. When we're around people, they rub off on us. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you're feeling stuck under the leadership lid, find some new people to learn from, people who are already where you want to be. Don't try to copy exactly what they're doing. Instead, learn how they think.

• Improve your Competence.

Sometimes, we continue doing the things we've always done and expect them to bring us the same success they did five or 10 years ago. If we're honest, we'll see that things change around us, and we need to learn new skills so we can continue to impact our area of ministry.

If you're not sure what things you need to improve, ask your family, your friends, and trusted teammates. The things that you need to improve are often completely obvious to those around you!

A few years ago, I asked my wife Amy if there was anything I could do to become a better stage communicator. I expected her to say, "Of course not, you're amazing!" What she actually said was, "Well, honey, you always look like you're carrying a box." She explained that I had developed a weird habit of keeping my elbows locked at a 90-degree angle, and I didn't realize it. Because of her honest feedback, I could tweak my stage delivery to be more relaxed and natural.

Some areas to look at for developing your competency are: communication and listening skills, delegating, giving and receiving feedback, encouraging, hiring, work ethic, technology, casting vision, and running meetings.

• Strengthen your Character.

As you work hard and start to see success, remember to put as much importance on developing your character as on developing your ministry or business. If you aren't strengthening your character now, you're inadvertently weakening your future capacity.

Check for character leaks now, and stop them before they become major problems. Look at your marriage, your walk with God, your prayer time. Do you tell white lies, deceive others, or live with secret sin?

If you're doing something privately that could cost you publically, stop now, repent, and strengthen your character against it. Eliminate character issues while they're still small. Be honest with yourself. You're only as strong as you are honest.

• Increase your Commitment.

Strengthen your capacity by taking your commitment to the next level. Reinvigorate your passion. Recommit to your cause.

True commitment is the difference between "I kind of want to do something" and "I will do this at any cost!" Instead of just thinking about going on a diet, say instead, "I will radically commit to living a healthy lifestyle." Do you see the difference in the level of commitment?

So, if you're thinking of getting out of debt, tattoo Dave Ramsey's face on your arm (not really).

If you want to improve your marriage, commit to honoring God and your spouse.

If you want to reach people for Christ, do anything short of sin to show them His love. 

What we've learned:

When you reach your leadership lid, don't give up. Increase your capacity by strengthening your confidence, connections, competence, character, and commitment.

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