Cal Poly football team around 1924

It’s every normal human being’s favorite time of the year; Fall. We all know why Fall is your favorite season; state fair’s, fall decor, Thanksgiving, cooler weather, beautiful foliage, deer hunting and football (Friday, Saturday and Sunday…c’mon with that!) Okay, maybe those are just some reasons why I love the fall, but my guess is that many of you resonate with that as well (unless your name is Danny Franks.)

As the Fall season begins to unfold, I’ve found myself learning a lot of lessons in leadership from my interactions with football coaches. Today, I share two of them with you.

Visibility: A good leader is visible as often as possible. The easiest thing to do in a place of leadership is to retreat to your office and never be out among your people. Imagine a football coach that never left the film room. Sure, he’s working on the strategy for winning the next week, but eventually he has to come out of the film room and be with the team, coach the team, and encourage the team as they carry out the goals.

Even more so, a good coach engages in their community. Think about the life of a college football coach, for instance. On top of all the things he has to do with the football team itself, he also has appearances with local clubs, meetings with community leaders, hanging out with boosters, and he has to balance all of that with a healthy family life.

I love this simple truth for church leaders: lead your team, plan for your team, encourage your team, and engage in your community.

Availability: The coach at the high school that I work with has an open door policy. What that means is this; any time one of his players needs to talk with coach, he drops what he’s doing and he listens. He’s never too busy for his players. His availability is a result out of his desire to love and care well for his players, and his players sense that. That’s why they keep coming back to him. Here’s the best part, this coach is trying to rebuild a program. He’s busy, overworked, underpaid, and has a lot of things to put in place to get the program where he wants it to be in five years. The reality of this is that the people are the program and if you’re not available, they won’t follow you.

We would do well as church leaders to be known as leaders that are visible and available.

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