healthy leadership

How's Work Going?

Brief Overview

Church leaders aren’t scared to work but struggle to do their best work. We feel guilty for not working harder, we’re frustrated that we’re not better at certain aspects of our work, and we feel like everyone else in our church thinks we don’t work hard enough. On this episode of the Five Factors podcast, Matt and Tal tackle those struggles head on and map out a better way to work.


Big Ideas:

  • The secret to great work is a leader who embraces their limits. Too many church leaders are always available, do work that belongs to someone else and are consistently distracted. Smart leaders create boundaries, priorities and focus on what matters most.

  • Audit your schedule. Make sure you’re clear on how much work you’re doing by tracking how your time is spent for a week. How many hours did you work? What exactly did you do during those hours? What did you accomplish at the end of the day?

  • Ask other leaders about their work. Ask five leaders in your church about their work. What time do they start and stop? How do they create boundaries, priorities and focus in their work?

Secret #3 - Healthy Leaders Finish The Year Well

Biggest Takeaways You Don't Want To Miss:

The holidays and the end of a year are unique seasons in the life of a leader. So much of our struggle as leaders stems from our failure to set an intention for our work, our family and our health. 

Secret #2 - Healthy Leaders Know How They Feel

Biggest Takeaways You Don't Want To Miss:

Focus on incremental change in your emotional vocabulary and the emotional vocabulary of your family and team. Use the feelings wheel to get a baseline - how well do you know how you feel? And then keep using the feelings wheel in meetings, interpersonal interaction and for yourself and watch what happens when you take small steps towards a better future.

Secret #1 - Healthy Leaders Are Flexible

Biggest Takeaways You Don't Want To Miss:

5F Podcast 3: Resilience

Some leaders have a high level of natural, God-given, intuitive, emotional intelligence. They know how they feel and they understand how others feel. They can build connections based on those feelings, and everyone is the better for it.

I (Matt) did not receive that particular gift under the leadership Christmas tree. I went to school for more than 20 years, and nobody told me that emotional intelligence was more important than 10th-grade geometry. Talking about feelings wasn’t something that happened in my house growing up.

5F Podcast 2: Strength

I (Matt) grew up playing baseball in the 80s. The high school I went to in Abilene, TX won the Baseball America (mythical) national championship in 1987 and 1988. As big as football is in West Texas, baseball was a close second at our school.

My primary position was pitcher. I wasn’t that good, but I wanted to be. Trouble is, I was “husky” - details are inside this podcast episode - which meant that I had zero athletic advantage over anyone on our team. I was not strong. I was not fast. I simply was not physically healthy.

Are you physically healthy? Can you make it through your everyday work without propping yourself up with caffeine and sugar? Do you have the stamina to make it through the work day?

5F Podcast 1: What Is Five Factors?

The Five Factors Leadership Podcast is a project that began almost twenty years ago at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. And while neither Tal Prince nor I (Matt Adair) had grand plans to take over the world with a podcast, here we are. And that’s a win for you.

Tal was the teaching assistant in a preaching class I had at Beeson, and he gave me a D- on a book review that I wrote for the class. I don’t remember the book, but I do remember Tal’s note: ‘Your writing deserves an A. But your arrogance makes we want to give you an F. Consider this D- an act of mercy.’

Here Are Five Reasons That Five Factors Leadership Exists

Five Factors Leadership Overview

Five Factors Leadership Community

Last week, Tal and I announced that we're launching the Five Factors Leadership podcast.

You'll be able to listen to the first three episodes next Monday.

Today, I want to share five reasons why we believe Five Factors can help you as a leader:

1. We Want You To Thrive

The best leaders are healthy leaders. These are leaders who remain faithful, make a difference and leave a legacy. 

In our experience, health is rooted in your humanity. Leaders who are unhealthy are not healthy people. So, conversely, if you want to be healthy as a leader - if you want to thrive - you have to focus on your personal health and development.

2. We Know You Feel Stuck

When leaders are unhealthy, they stop doing what's necessary to lead well. They feel stuck.

Every leader feels stuck sometimes.

Sometimes you feel stuck because of what's going on around you. Your situation and circumstances and context are hard. Life at home is challenging. 

Sometimes you feel stuck because of what's going on inside of you. The unhealthy things you have done and the unhealthy things that have been done to you creates guilt, shame, stress, fear that leave you unable or unwilling to do the next right thing.

3. We Have A Plan

So what should you do when you get stuck in your life and leadership?

Our suggestion is that you focus on taking the next right step.

Our plan is to help you do the next right thing.

When you take the next right steps - mentally, physically, relationally, spiritually, vocationally - you have the clarity required to build the momentum you need to get the results that you want.

Those results in each of the 'five factors' above, include resilience, strength, presence, hope and ambition. Combined, each serves as a critical ingredient in the recipe of healthy leadership that thrives in every area of life.

4. We Have Resources

How do you know where to focus, and what steps to take next?

We created a free overview of the Five Factors framework. When you read it, you'll have a better idea of the details we are focusing on in Five Factors. Plus, we added a simple self-assessment that you can complete in minutes and get an idea of how healthy you are.

We've also recently launched the Five Factors online community. This is an exclusive area where we host masterclasses, house a resource library, hold group coaching sessions - all designed to help you take action and thrive. I'd love for you to check it out and invest in your leadership.

And, as we announced, the Five Factors Leadership podcast launches next week. I'd love for you to check out an episode when it drops on Monday the 11th.

Why have we created these resources? To help you take steps (momentum) based on our plan (clarity) that will help you thrive as a leader (results).

5. We Don't Want You To Fail

There is nothing magical about Five Factors Leadership.

But it is a different way to lead.

It's different because we believe helping others starts with taking care of yourself.

It's different because we believe what's missing is not more information but the right information.

It's different because we believe the way leaders thrive is with a group of other leaders.

So you can learn lots of leadership by reading books, listening to podcasts and going to conferences. But without someone else to process with, to learn from, to encourage - you're playing against a stacked deck.

At best, you will struggle to lead well.

More likely, you'll get stuck and stop trying to lead well altogether.

Your choice.

Introducing The Five Five Factors Leadership Podcast

I want to tell you about a brand new podcast that I'm launching soon with my friend, Tal Prince. It's called Five Factors Leadership and it's all about helping you thrive as a leader.

We are combining our combined three decades of expertise as a pastor and leadership coach (Matt) and as a licensed therapist (Tal) to give you a way to evaluate your leadership. Are you merely surviving, or are you thriving in every critical area of life?

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