As an individual, I am constantly striving to improve. Because of this, there is one thing I do regularly, at least a couple times a month that I would highly recommend for you as well. I listen to the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. It does not matter what you do, you could work in fast-food, retail, banking, ministry, or anything else. This podcast is updated once a month and each update is worth your time. Why? Andy Stanley is one of the most well-known leaders in the country and God has clearly gifted him in this area and this is a free way for you to enrich your life both as a person and as a leader. All of us in one way or another are leaders and most of the things we can do to become better at it is worth our time. I highly recommend you find this podcast and subscribe to it.
The podcast I listened to was The Art of Inviting Feedback and it was divided into two parts. This podcast featured a guest, Clay Scroggins. Clay first served as an intern at North Point then became a part-time employee and now he is employed full-time by North Point as campus pastor of their Browns Bridge campus. Clay was recently given the opportunity to come before the staff at North Point and present this outline he had come up with recently. This outline was all about the art of inviting feedback and this apparently began a series of conversations among staff at North Point that has helped it continue to be the church it is and reach the number of people it does every week. Within this outline was a question and on the podcast, they spend most of their time discussing this question. You might be asking: what is the question? Here it is:
If you were me, what would you do differently?
On the surface, it may seem like a simple question, but as you contemplate it, this question is has a ton of power to help someone grow. How? It invites feedback that will be beneficial to someone’s growth and maturity as a person. First off, as they talk about on the podcast, it requires humility. No one will ask this question if they are prideful. Simply put, this question does not allow room for pride. The very essence of the question comes from a position of humility in that if someone is truly asking this question, they are inviting feedback. As I listened, I was challenged to ask this question of people who know me. As someone looking to constantly improve, one of my best resources is the people who know me. Many times, they can provide wisdom and insight I might be missing. I am one who is prone to give myself a better review than someone else might so a good way for me to figure out what other people think I could do better is to simply ask them. This is something I wish I had known while I was still in college and working a couple part-time jobs because I could have been a better employee. However, in my pride, I never thought to ask this question.
Along with that, asking this question also requires maturity. When you ask this question, you are putting yourself in a position for people to be honest. And more often than not, there will be people who cannot wait for you to ask this question so they can give you a piece of their mind. Some might hold a grudge against you or be jealous of your accomplishments or anything else and what they share might come as a personal attack instead of constructive criticism or encouragement. With these people, you need to be willing to take what they say and sift through it because even the people who dislike you the most can still offer you pieces of wisdom worth considering. Maturity comes in by being able to think through what they say and not respond in the same manner they do but being caring and patient with them.
So, once again, this question requires humility and maturity. If you are not humble enough to want to ask someone this question, you should definitely make a point to ask someone. Once you are humble enough to ask, remember you need to be mature with whatever feedback you receive. This question has the potential to be one of the most life-changing questions you ever ask someone, not for them, but for you.
As I said, I do not take credit for everything written here, it is simply my words put to a topic presented on the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. I am not getting paid anything by them to promote this podcast I just know it has been extremely beneficial to me and wanted to share something I learned with you. So check it out.