When was the last time you slowed down long enough to count your hats – the various leadership roles you are responsible for? Hats seem to appear out of nowhere. Suddenly your head is heavy, your balance is questionable, and your stress level is off the charts.
As a leader, you tend to be in charge wherever you go, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It is how God wired you. The problem is that often you accumulate hats until the stack of hats on your head grows tall. You wear the stack of hats proudly, like a mature set of antlers, except you are far from being a buck! It would be good for you to pause and consider which of the hats you are wearing are still in style. What fit you several years back may no longer be in vogue.
There is one hat I believe we are all supposed to wear: the relationship hat. It is a big hat encompassing our relationship with God, family, friends, and coworkers. You might not view this hat as a leadership role, but it is a significant part of how you choose to lead your own life. Neglecting these connections will cause the other areas you lead in to languish. Having such a large hat for the base of your stack of hats also makes a stable foundation for all the other hats.
Often the areas you lead in require multiple hats. Parenting is a perfect example. As a parent, you wear a wide assortment of hats: chef, cleaning lady, landscaper, nurse, coach, chauffeur, and so many more. The same might be true if you are a business owner. The potential hats you wear might include bookkeeper, HR person, advertising executive, visionary, and executer. If you are in ministry, your stack of hats might include networker, visionary, coach, communication expert, and recruiter extraordinaire. Frequently leaders must operate in all three of these roles simultaneously. I know I have!
Does it matter how many hats we wear? It does if we want to be effective and fruitful in the places we lead. Less is more! Wearing fewer hats allows you to focus your energy for greater impact.
Which hats are out of style and need to go? Are there hats you should be wearing, but you aren’t? As a leader, your capacity is limited. How clear are you on your limits?
Here are some telltale signs that your stack of hats might need some adjusting:
- You feel like you are perpetually running in circles and things are falling through the cracks.
- Peace is not a regular part of your life.
- You feel like you are failing more than you are succeeding.
- People are complaining that you never have time for them.
- Your relationship with God is shallow or non-existent.
- You never have time to do what rejuvenates you and allows your creative juices to flow.
- Frustration is on your most-used word list.
- You are tired, unmotivated, and dissatisfied with your life.
I invite you to remove your stack of hats and evaluate them one by one. Allow God to show you the hats He wants you to wear, the hats that will be most becoming on you in this season.
Coaching is a great way to determine which hats flatter you most and to discover strategies to help you wear your leadership hats with style.
I’d love to hear about your stack of hats. Take a minute and share your experience.