Over 18 years of full-time ministry I’ve had the opportunity to work some great leaders and my friend Scott Ridout is one of the best. Scott has recently been appointed to be the next President of Converge Worldwide, the movement of churches that Sun Valley (the church I serve at) is a part of. I don’t single out individual leaders as examples very often, and if you knew Scott, he’d be embarrassed by the fact that I’m even writing this, but I believe the best place to learn leadership is from leaders. And I think there is a lot we can learn from the way Scott has led. So here are 6 qualities of a leader that I’ve personally followed…
When most leaders these days protect, posture, and hang onto their leadership power, Scott consistently shares and gives it away. He isn’t afraid of other strong leaders, rather he recruits them to his team and then frees them to excel and lead in their area of brilliance. Even if that means submitting at times to others where they bring strength to the team. This has allowed him to build and keep a high performing team when they could have gone elsewhere.
Scott doesn’t shy away from risk. When it became apparent that Sun Valley Gilbert, the original Sun Valley Campus, would eventually max out on attendance due to property, parking and facility constraints Scott had the courage to lead the Board to consider not just planting new churches (which he has led the church to plant more than 20 churches in his time as Sr. Pastor), but take the risk of going multisite. When the opportunity to adopt a church to be a Sun Valley Campus came up, Scott took the risk to leave the original campus to build the Sun Valley culture at the new location. Leadership always requires risk, growth, and loss; and Scott courageously embraces them all.
Unlike many high profile leaders Scott is consistently available. He makes it a priority to get to know his staff and their families. Even intentionally scheduling time to take them out to dinner to invest in those relationships outside the context of work. If you’ve ever served on a team that Scott has led you knew that your leader cared deeply for you, not just the performance that he could get out of you.
Years ago when Scott became the Sr. Pastor of Sun Valley he successfully grew the church from 400 to 200. A little known fact he jokes about now. But he didn’t give up on the dream that God put in his heart. Scott is disciplined in his daily pursuit of what God has called him to lead the Church to become. Today Sun Valley runs more than 5,000 people in attendance across 3 campuses. Much of that is due to the fact that Scott didn’t give up even when things got difficult.
Scott is a coach at heart. He loves seeing others get better and he loves helping them get better. He’s a trainer and has built a culture on his teams of insentient tinkering and improvement. He himself has taken on the posture of a learner and in doing so encourages a culture of learning.
6. Moral Authority
Scott leads with moral authority. If he expects his team to be in a small group, he’s going to be in a small group. What you see on stage, is what you get in person. He is the same person, all the time. His public life, personal life, and private life align.
Photo Credit: Kay Gaensler via Compfight cc