Organizational vs. Relational

canstock16049164There’s a difference between being an “organizational leader” and being a “relational leader”.

Carey Nieuwholf writes about that difference in his blog, and I’d like to encourage you to CLICK HERE and read his thoughts, then come back and let’s talk about it!

Did you read it?

I thought Nieuwholf’s ideas were right on and his definition of the difference between an organizational leader and a relational leader helps all leaders identify their leanings in leadership.

In my case, I learned early on that I am more of an “organizational leader”.  I became a youth pastor at the age of 22.  While I was drawn to working directly with students one-on-one, what energized me was the organizational side of youth ministry.  I learned to build a quality staff of “relational leaders” who focused on the needs of the students.  I was the happiest when I could focus on building the program, expanding our impact, creating events and getting involved in community networking.  This doesn’t mean that I didn’t connect with students personally, but I figured out that I could connect with about 6 students on a deep level, then I would connect with 10 – 12 leaders, and that was it!  I knew youth pastors that had incredible relational skills with many more students, and I would compare myself to them and wish that I was more relational.  We would go to camp and I would dread being a camp counselor because that forced me beyond my relational limit.  As I figured this out, I changed the way I did ministry.  Eventually, after way too many years in the camp cabin, I learned that my best role was in staying someplace else, then coming in to coach and support the counselors who were much more relational than I was.  I loved that role.

I wish I had learned this lesson earlier in my leadership.  It took years.

I wish I could have explained it as clearly as Nieuwholf does.  It would have helped me.

What about you?

Are you frustrated that you can’t spend more time directly with people?  Does growth freak you out because you can’t have the depth of relationship with everyone?   If so, you are most likely a “relational leader”.

Do you like creating programs and projects and leveraging the impact?  Sometimes do you feel guilty for all the planning time you need away from people?  If so, you are most likely a “organizational leader”.

Once you figure this out, it will change the way you manage your schedule, the way you bring people alongside you and on your leadership team.

What are you?  What do you want to be?

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