I moved this past weekend. Which means this was the most physically demanding, emotionally challenging, stressful and exciting weekends I’ve had in a long time.

Moving does that to you.


image credit: simplemom.net

As always, there’s a lesson to learn around every corner. If you’re open, God can teach you something about yourself in just about any environment. Turns out, we can learn something from moving.

10 Leadership Principles I learned from Moving

1. You’re more effective with others.

Don’t try to move by yourself. That’s just dumb.

In leadership, don’t try to lead alone. That’s dumb, too.

2. Surround yourself with your friends.

If you enjoy the people you work with, you’ll be much more effective. If you can laugh together, you can weather the toughest of storms, too.

In leadership, it’s important to recruit people you enjoy spending time with. Your team will move further, faster, if you enjoy each other.

3. A little motivation goes a long ways.

I bought coffee and donuts for the guys helping me move. Caffeine and sugar work wonders, especially on a cold day. I call them “manna.”

In leadership, don’t overlook motivation and encouragement. People need to know they bring value to the table, that their ideas have merit, and that their role on the team is vital.

4. Work hard and take good breaks.

While we were moving, I made sure to take good breaks. Especially a good lunch break.

In leadership, help your team work in a rhythm. Work hard and play hard. After “playing,” you’ll find your team is much more motivated to work.

5. Invest in people.

The guys that helped me move were guys that I had invested a portion of my life into. They’d given much to me, too. When you invest yourself in people, they’ll be more than willing to help when things get overwhelming.

In leadership, don’t just lead out of positional authority. Lead out of the relationship you build with people as you invest your life, wisdom, and resources into who they are. Leadership based on position alone is weak leadership.

6. Ask for help.

You may think that this is just like #1 above, but it’s not. Asking for help takes a bit of humility.

In leadership, learn to ask for help. You’ll get better ideas, more buy-in, and more effectiveness as a team. “I’m not sure. What do you think?” is a great way to get that ball rolling.

7. Planning is crucial.

We had to pack our entire house in a moving pod. If we just threw boxes and furniture in at random, it would’ve never fit.

In leadership, planning events and initiatives in advance ensures you have the right people at the table, the right ideas implemented, and goals reached. Develop a 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, and 24 month plan. Spend 80% of your planning effort on the 3 month plan. 10% on the 6 month plan. 10% on the 12 & 24 month plans (combined) (via Steve Gladen)

8. The leader sets the pace.

When we were moving, if I slowed down, everybody else did, too. If I powered through, everybody followed.

In leadership, you set the pace. If you put your nose to the grind, you’ll find your team doing the same. If you celebrate well, your team will, too. If you’re lazy, your team won’t pick up your slack like you’d hope.

9. Working hard and leading aren’t the same thing.

I had to step back from doing the work of moving and be certain I directed people to take the right boxes, load the right things, and ensure we were moving efficiently.

In leadership, don’t constantly have your nose to the grind. Be sure you’re stepping back to lead, not just do. Your team needs to have direction and high-level leadership, not just another worker. Someone needs to direct, advise, and make quick decisions. That’s the job of the leader.

10. Don’t forget the attic.

We were almost done packing, when someone said, “Hey, what about the attic?” Stupid attic.

In leadership, know that you’ll forget something. Some detail will be overlooked, an idea will fall through, or a deadline will be missed. It’s ok. Build some margin in to plan for rainy days and times you won’t hit your intended goal. Know that you’re not perfect. Remind your team that it’s okay to mess up. When you do, pick up the pieces and move on.

Pastors: the Gospel we proclaim deserves the best, most effective leadership, right?


When was the last time you moved?