How To Be An Outrageous Leader

[box]This is a guest post by Dwayne Morris. Dwayne is an author, speaker, husband and father. He recently released a book called The OUTRAGEOUS Life. You can read more about Dwayne on his blog and follow him on Twitter. Read more about his book here![/box]

outrageous leader

Outrageous Leader?

What adjective would people use in front of the word, “leader” to describe you? Are you a visionary leader? A predictable leader? A boring leader?

How about an OUTRAGEOUS leader?

My glance across the leadership front often leaves me slightly perplexed. I find myself straddling the models of old-school leadership and new-school leadership. My disarray is due in part to the intersection of my leadership experiences and a shift to a very different model.

New-School Leadership

The new model of leadership asks, “How can I help you succeed in your task?” That’s a little different than, “I hired you to do a job.” The best people on your team aren’t looking for a J-O-B. They are looking to make a difference; to do something bigger than themselves; to do something outrageous.

What it Takes to be OUTRAGEOUS

Leading your team members to use their God-created gifts to accomplish things they never thought possible requires an OUTRAGEOUS leader. This breed of leader understands a few key principles that help them standout and get noticed. All four of these come from the life of Gideon (Judges 6):

    My Contribution is Critical
    When God challenged Gideon to go save the Israelites from the oppression of the Midiantes and surrounding nations, all Gideon saw was what he could NOT do before ever considering what he COULD do.

    OUTRAGEOUS leaders don’t hide behind limitations. They know how God has gifted them and how He hasn’t. They delegate their weaknesses and play to their strengths.

    Obstacles are Opportunities
    When given the challenge to deliver his nation, Gideon went straight to making excuses. This is a natural response when we are pushed outside of our Comfort Zone.

    OUTRAGEOUS leaders know the area outside their Comfort Zone is called the Growth Zone. They embrace challenge as an opportunity to grow their faith and for God to do something outrageous Himself.

    Fear is the Signature of Success
    Any time you consider attempting the OUTRAGEOUS, fear will always show up with a Sharpie, ready to autograph your task. Gideon was covered in fear. So much so that he tested God with a magic show of sorts and a fleece.

    Fear is the natural by-product of any faith-driven task. The OUTRAGEOUS leader embraces fear as part of the formula for success.

    Small Plans Can Limit Big Possibilities
    Gideon obeyed the Lord’s command and rallied his army, but he had 32,000 too many. God wanted to do something outrageous and knew He had to stack the cards against Gideon. He told Gideon to send them all home but 300.

    The same is true for OUTRAGEOUS leaders. They realize the potential for God to do something beyond their limited ability and vision and allow Him to show off in their lives.

What About You?

Are you a candidate for an OUTRAGEOUS leader? Are you in a place where the Lord feels confident that you will allow Him to challenge you to do something beyond your ability? It’s a great experience to be a part of something bigger than we can imagine and to see God do something outrageous!

Which of these four components do you need to work on first?

What success have you had with one of these components?

Do you see your potential to be an OUTRAGEOUS leader?

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  • Um, I can’t pick just one. I need to work on all of them. I guess I can sum up my biggest leadership obstacle as believing that I actually am a leader. My failure to believe that is wrapped up in all the obstacles you discuss. Yet, even in my doubt and lack of confidence in this area, I feel a significant desire to be an outrageous leader. This has long been simmering in me, but I fear the stew is going to burn and evaporate if progress doesn’t come soon.

    • Just start by leading yourself. I suggest identifying (on paper) 3 – 5 changes or initiatives that will begin your leadership journey. John Maxwell is known for saying “Leadership is influence.” If there’s just one person you can influence, then you’re a leader. Can I recommend a book? “Extraordinary Leadership for Everyday People” by Chuck Allen. Good Luck!

      • Thank you for the advice, Dwayne. I will definitely take this to heart and start looking at and praying about how leadership exists and should exist in my life. Time to stop wondering and start struggling through to where God wants me to be.

    • Kari, I agree with Dwayne. You and I have had this discussion before…you are, without a doubt, a leader. Try his advice below, but also start praying for God to show you some evidence of your leadership impact. I know it is around you…you just need to be able to see it.

      • Well, since you both agree and since I am learning to not ignore wisdom from others willing to mentor and lead me, I will take this advice to heart. I think I need to spend some time breaking down leadership like I have other topics (boredom for example) to see how it is intricately working in my life. Thank you for the wisdom!

  • A Mighty Woman of Valor

    What a timely and inspired message! I am currently in a season where God is stretching and growing me to step into the leadership role in every area of my life. He began nudging me toward this by leading me through a study of Gideon. It is no coincidence that He led me to your article. I was praying for more direction and zeal for my tasks, and God answered my prayer through you! Thank you!

    • Wow! We never know how the Lord will nudge us to do some things He can use for His glory! That’s the whole premise of the OUTRAGEOUS life. Thanks for chiming in!!!