Five tips for leading from the second chair.


For 23 years I had the honor of sitting in a second chair position, while serving as a youth pastor for small and large churches. The things I experienced through the successes and failures of that journey taught me so much.

Today, I did a training session with one of the youth pastors that I coach in my one year coaching program. During our one hour conversation, we unpacked several things that I learned - mostly from mistakes - in hopes that he would be even more effective at serving his church body from the chair he currently occupies.

As a second chair leader, you are so valuable to your church. I thought I would post a few of these tips in bullet point form on my blog, for you to read and hopefully apply. These are just short snippets, if you would like to get in depth training CLICK HERE to find out more about our personalized coaching program.

Here are five tips for leading from the second chair in any organization.

1 - Be great at what you do. 
As a second chair leader, lead your area with such vision and precision that your leader does not have to worry about your department. Not having to be concerned with what you are over, will free your leader up to look at other areas that need their attention. 

2 - Communicate clearly to your leader. 
Your leader needs to know, where are you taking your team, and what problem are you currently solving. Communicate clearly these five questions to your leadership.

What are we doing?

Why are we doing it?

What is going to be the positive result because of this action?

Where are we struggling?

What is our game-plan to remedy to the problem?

Clearly communicate your direction with your leader, then be prepared to take the conversation deeper if they would like to.

3 - Be flexible. 
You are on the team to serve the vision, mission, and values of your organization. Be willing to bend and change if it will help the team accomplish its goals. 

4 - Don't be a "yes man". 
You are on the team to make the team better. So make it better. If you agree with a direction then let your leader know, if you do not agree, then let them know why. Don't just say what you think your leader wants to hear, say what your leader needs to hear. 

5. Take responsibility for your mistakes. 
We all make mistakes. When you make a mistake or your department underachieves, take responsibility. This builds trust and open communication between you and your leader. 

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