Learning To Lead

The past 90 days have been a whirlwind of information, change, and learning the new role of GM. Lessons have been learned the hard way, through failure. Wins have also been experienced by hitting our fundraising goal. Unity within the team and drive to grow and change our community has been amazing to see. Over these past months I’ve learned a lot, with much more to learn in the future, but I wanted to share a few of the things that I’ve seen.

Leadership doesn’t have a title. It doesn’t have a salary. You can lead from wherever you are, no matter your position. Leadership is serving your team to the best of your abilities, working hard in your area, and looking for ways to improve yourself and your team. When the focus is on serving, it takes you out of the center and puts your team at the forefront.

I remember our first team meeting after I was named GM. I had this feeling that I had to have it all together, and impress my team with my leadership abilities and big words. It’s ridiculous looking back at those thoughts. When the meeting started, I was honest and told them that I was nervous. I hoped to communicate that my desire was to serve them well, and that I had a heart for the team to experience fruitful growth. We didn’t change the world in that first meeting, and I’m sure I didn’t say anything that was worthy to quote or hang on a wall, but even in my fumbling words I hope it was understood that I aspired to serve them as their leader.

Something else I’ve learned about leadership, is that it is important to invest in yourself. The first time I heard this, we were going through the “Timothy Project” with Randy Bronkema from Advocace, and I was a little confused. I thought this was the opposite of serving others, but what I began to understand was that you have to invest in yourself if you want to grow others and serve them to the best of your ability. Your team’s growth will be limited if you aren’t taking the time and effort to invest in yourself.

Invest in your learning. Read a book, or listen to a book…Audible can be a great tool. At the moment, I’m going through “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. Next, I’ll be starting “The Power of the Other” by Dr Henry Cloud. There are also tons of leadership podcasts available to help you grow. Ask Randy about the “Timothy Project” it totally changed my perspective about what leadership looks like. The point is, invest in yourself to make sure you are growing. If you’re not growing, the chance of your team or station growing greatly decreases.

Finally, make sure you are helping to grow the next generation of Christian Radio leaders. I have been on the receiving end of this with great leaders through PAR and the industry. I am forever grateful to the time and energy that has been invested into me as a leader. They have counseled, corrected, challenged, shot me down, and most of all, served me well. Whether it be your entire team or an intern, if you have someone around you that is under your influence, make it a priority to invest in them. Remember the importance about being transparent with your mistakes, so they can learn from them. Push them to dream, help them learn from failure, and tell them you believe in them. That last one may seem small, insignificant, even a little awkward, but it is so important to let them know you believe in them, their abilities, and talents.

Dear Christian Radio

1. Leadership isn’t fixed on a title. Lead where you are. You have influence!
2. Invest in yourself. You have to be growing yourself. Your team is depending on it.
3. Grow the next generation of Christian Radio. Be real, be honest, let them learn from your mistakes.

Adam McCain
General Manager WCQR
Director of Listener Engagement PAR

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