You likely know the Tour de France bike race consists of 21 day-long segments over a 23-day period and covers around 2,200 miles. Here’s a fun fact about the Tour: the smallest winning margin in the history of the race was 8 seconds by American Greg LeMond in 1989.
Can you imagine? After 23 grueling days, mere seconds separate victory and second place.
Pastoring is not a competitive sport like the Tour de France, of course. Yet, the landscape in which ministry takes place continually changes and the challenges of pastoring are real and many. Today’s pastors report greater tendencies towards stress and burnout. Navigating change, managing expectations, dealing with conflict and reaching the unchurched requires that pastors operate at their peak.
Pastors need every bit of “edge” they can get. Winning sometimes comes down to incremental improvements. Eight seconds, in the case of the Tour, can make the difference.
That’s why after publishing my blog on emotional intelligence for pastors over a year now but never naming it, I’ve decided to call it The Leader’s Edge.
Fact is, development of stronger emotional intelligence provides an edge for leaders. I don’t suggest emotional intelligence is all you need; far from it. However, I do state emphatically that emotional intelligence provides a real advantage in pastoral leadership.
Research – both mine and others – demonstrates that emotional intelligence brings increased ability to manage relationships, create teamwork, manage stress, and lead turnaround churches!
Here’s a formula:
↑Emotional Intelligence = ↑Success in managing relationships + ↓Stress
Since ministry occurs in a volunteer organizations among people with varied personalities and expectations, it makes sense that increasing your ability to influence people gives you an extra edge!
Why do I care? Because anything I can do to strengthen your leadership, support your efforts, or help you fulfill your leadership potential brings me closer to the fulfillment of my own vision: “to positively impact the kingdom of God via strengthening pastors and leaders”.
So, that’s my perspective. But what aspects of life and leadership do you feel leaders today must develop?