Choose to “Lean in” Right Now

“Thirty Ways to Lead Different” celebrates Arrow Leadership’s 30th anniversary with a 30-week series providing insights and practical tools to help you lead with Jesus at the center.


At the start of every new class of the Arrow Leadership Program™, we encourage participants to “lean in” to maximize their experience and transformation.

We are calling leaders to lean into not just the process, but to the community and into “safe but not soft” relationships.

Sometimes it’s hard to “lean in.” As both an introvert and a private person, I’ve been in circumstances when everything inside me wanted to lean out of community. I had to choose to “lean in.”

We can also let what I call the “nobody lies” gain a foothold in our minds. These lies are subtle but powerful. They tempt leaders to believe that nobody really cares, nobody can really understand and nobody can help.

Jesus’ example should encourage all of us to lean in.

For his crucible moment at Gethsemane, Jesus chose to bring along his inner circle of Peter, James and John. It’s an understatement to say those three didn’t fully understand Jesus’ situation. In fact, they drifted off to sleep multiple times while Jesus was sweating blood.

Despite their imperfections, Jesus chose to lean into imperfect people. He lived, loved, served and suffered in the context of community. He chose to lean into community.

Christian leadership should never be a solo endeavor–especially now. If you are feeling that leadership is extra hard, extra lonely and extra tiring right now, please choose to lean into community rather than out of it.

Lean into Jesus. Of all the people who have walked this earth, Jesus understands. Jesus cares. Jesus can help.

Lean into your team or board. Live out the “one another” passages from Scripture and “bear with one another.”

Lean into professionals. A spiritual director can help you listen to God. A counselor can help you process and cope. A doctor can monitor physical and mental health. A coach can help you find solutions and determine the next steps. A consultant can help move projects forward.

Lean into peers. Find an hour or two per month with two or three peers. Ask these six questions: How are you really doing? What can you celebrate right now? What are you learning? What are you grieving? What’s hard? How can we pray? Then pray. Where do you need to “lean in” right now?

Cheering you on to live and Lead Different!

Dr. Steve A. Brown
President, Arrow Leadership

Adapted from Leading Me – Eight Keys for a Christian Leader’s Most Important Assignment, Steve A. Brown, Castle Quay, 2019.

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