5 Tips for Leading Strong Willed People

a My WayToday’s guest blogger is my social media friend Ron Edmondson.  Ron and I have never meet in person but talk frequently through Twitter.  Ron who is the pastor of Grace Community Church in Nashville has a outstanding leadership mind.  For a steady flow of leadership wisdome check out www.ronedmondson.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ronedmondson and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ronedmondson. Ron’s devotional site is www.mustardseedministry.com and his church is www.gcomchurch.com

 5 Tips for Leading Strong Willed People

Have you ever tried to lead someone who didn’t want to be led? The same children that were labeled “strong-willed” by their parents often grow up to be strong-willed adults. Perhaps you know one…perhaps you are one. (I know one personally…me!)

I believe leadership should be individualized for the needs of the follower. Read a similar post HERE. With that in mind, here are 5 tips for leading strong-willed people.

Give clear expectations – People respond best when they know what is expected of them, especially those with strong opinions of their own.

Be consistent – Strong willed people need boundaries. They will test them, but they want to know what the limits of their freedom.

Give freedom within the boundaries – Once the guidelines and expectations are established, allow followers to express themselves freely within them.

Pick your battles. – Don’t cross a strong-willed person for issues of little importance to the overall vision of the organization. If you back them in a corner…they may bite.

Respect their opinions and individualities – Strong-willed people ultimately want to be heard (as all people do), but they resist most when their voice is silenced. Learn what matters to them and give credence to their opinions.

What tips do you have for leading strong-willed people? Are you one? How do you like to be led?

Leadership: What’s Love Got to do with it?

LshipLoveWhile I’m on vacation this week I’ve asked a few of my friends to provide guest posts.  This first one is from my friend Chip Judd.  Chip has had a huge influence on my thinking about the heart of leadership.  He is a professional counselor who has been counseling individuals, marriages, and families for almost twenty years. His approach is a biblically sound blend of spirit-filled theology and what he calls “sanctified psychology.”  Chip’s driving desire in ministry is to see people experience and enjoy real freedom and lasting change.  To learn more about Chip go to www.chipjudd.com or follow him on Twitter @chipjudd.


It seems odd to stress the importance of love to leaders, particularly Christian leaders. But I’m not focusing on the importance of the love that you bring to your role or display through your responsibilities. I’m talking about the love you receive and the ease or lack of ease with which you receive it.

We would probably all agree that love is one of our most important needs, preceded only by air, water and food (maybe sex). But how many of us live life from a place or sense of fullness rather than a sense of emptiness striving for fullness? Matthew 10: 8 says,

“Freely (easily and without cost or conditions) you receive (for yourself), then freely (easily and without cost or conditions) you give (to others).”

What if it’s not so? What if your capacity to receive love is damaged or underdeveloped? Does that have any impact on the way you do life and leadership with and for others?

When you live empty and for fullness you tend to be driven in your approach to work, relationships, success, etc… Your work/rest balance and priorities are easily and frequently skewed. When you learn to live from fullness, not for fullness, you live from rest and more naturally and easily maintain a healthier sense of life-balance and priority.

1 John 4:19 says “We love [him] because he first loved us.”

Imagine starting your day already full of the love, approval, acceptance and sense of significance that you need. And imagine that that is accomplished in the first hour of your day over a cup of coffee while still in your pajamas.

Your first and greatest act of obedience and service to God is to allow him the pleasure of loving you. He didn’t create you to do chores — he created you to receive his love and then reflect that love back to him. Let me recommend the addition of a new tool into your “Life and Leadership Toolbox” — the ability and practice of going to God first and most to receive the love and other soul-satisfying elements you seek and need.

Consider the following:
Do you routinely spend part of your God-time just receiving His love?
Have you ever practiced being mindful of His awesome, unconditional love for you as you go through your day?
Are there some people, activities or achievements you need to release from their job of making you feel special, accepted and loved when you consider that God would be honored to do that Himself?