One of the smartest leaders I ever met was a guy called Sam. We had a chance recently to talk, and I asked him about the kind of leadership experiences he had as a minister. While he was able to rattle of several, I found the following to be particularly interesting and kind of a leadership signature of Sam.
He was placed into a ministry in which one lay member had taken over much control of the church. Sam wanted to make changes without alienating this very powerful member. So, each year Sam would find someone who wanted to take over one of the tasks from the lay leader. Then Sam would go to this strong headed leader and ask him if he would relinquish just one area in order to let this other church member participate, get more engaged. The conscientious leader agreed to these small concessions until after 12 years the transformation had taken place—without anger or acrimony. Sam said, “ I never thought I’d stay for 12 years!” Some change just takes time.