Leading From Last Place

Do you find that it is difficult to lead when you are not in charge? When you are in an organization where you are not the point leader how do you act in order to gain influence or leadership?

Difficult times, possibly even the reason you aren’t in leadership, can also be tough times to assume leadership. Whether it is a season that has impacted you relationally, financially or simply in a company that isn’t a company that you own. Any of these scenarios can make someone feel “less than” when it comes to impacting those around them. These are times when many begin to doubt their self worth, thus pushing them downwards instead of allowing them to ascend into leadership.

Maintain hope…… don’t allow the gravitational pull of mediocrity to impact your behavior. Difficult seasons of life often force those who have been in leadership roles previously to succumb to the herd mentality. Simply finding the way of the masses and merely fitting in.


I continue to emphasize, Maintain Hope…. The lessons of humility and perseverance are valuable lessons, but rarely fun to gain.


As a Christian leader we recognize, but often lose sight of, the fact that even during times that we are  leading the most people or have the greatest levels of influence that we are not ultimately in control. Though we begin to deceive ourselves that it is of our own skill, wit or talent. Possibly, the reason that God will reel us in during these times, to impart those valuable lessons that I mentioned.

Outlined below are five ideas that will allow you to stay above the masses within your organization. So that a stressful period doesn’t begin to define our lives or who we are; focus on making the five points below daily habits. If these ideas can become life habits you will ascend into additional leadership responsibilities. These new habits will begin to afford you influence among your friends and peers.


So when you find yourself in an organization where you aren’t the leader…..


Choose To Be Positive

Choosing to be positive is a daily decision. It is very easy during these times to allow negativity to creep in. Guard your mind and your time against throwing yourself a pity party each day. in addition, don’t allow others within your organization to bring you down with water-cooler conversations that aren’t productive. Simply choosing to be positive each day will allow you to rise up above the masses.


So when you find yourself in an organization where you aren’t the leader…..


Create Ideas

Creating ideas that will better the organization makes you more valuable to the organization. Only followers wait for their instructions from their leaders. Even worse is when you begin to secretly hope and wait for others ideas to fail. Those who bring ideas will ultimately get ask their opinions about ideas.




So when you find yourself in an organization where you aren’t the leader…..


Serve Others

Be available to help others within your organization. A real temptation or bad habit that can form when you are not the business owner or point leader is to solely focus on yourself, your work or your problems. Avoid the temptation to just finish your work and idly wait for your next orders to be delivered to you. Continuously look for opportunities to assist in other facets of the organization.


Be available to serve in community projects that do not directly benefit you. I personally have experienced times when my own plight was beginning to define me. By serving something bigger than myself I was able to eliminate “ the me centered attitude” that was beginning to permeate me.


So when you find yourself in an organization where you aren’t the leader…..



Envision The Future and Take Action!

Create a vision for how you want to fit into your current or future organization, department or team. If it is an area that is relational cast the vision of how you want your family or friendships to function or look into the future. Once you have set the vision create reasonable action steps that lead towards your vision. Make sure that from your current financial position or role that it is reasonable/possible to take these next steps.  Even if they are smallest steps; setting out on this new journey will be liberating.


So when you find yourself in an organization where you aren’t the leader…..



If you have found yourself feeling like you are in last place or in a position where your voice isn’t being heard, ask for help. God is there to partner with you. He is there to provide guidance and wisdom from the very place that you have found yourself.

Encountering setbacks in life’s journey is inevitable; it happens to everyone. So don’t be discouraged but also don’t try and go it alone because there will be additional resistance and setbacks ahead. I don’t want to be a downer but the rebuilding or change that you are setting out on will often be met with naysayers and resistance. If previous failures have led you to this place these negative reminders will creep in and cast doubt over your vision of the future.

This new partnership will allow you to embrace the idea that there will be future setbacks. Knowing that you aren’t entering into them alone will provide a new level of confidence. It takes confidence to be a leader.


These seasons of life can feel like an eternity. Turning the principles above into habits will allow you to ascend within your team, company or church in due time. Regardless of how quickly you move within your organization or gain additional influence your life will be more meaningful and peaceful.

I’ll close with this one last thought from the book of Matthew:


So the last will be first, and the first will be last.

–       Matthew 20:16 (NIV)






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