Follow First, Lead Second

How to Lead in an Unexpected and Unexperienced Context.

by Liam Glover

[3 minute read]


Irrespective of the leadership context or the influence you carry, there are some guiding principles which might help navigate the current (and seemingly daily changing) times. Like you, I'm walking a leadership journey in a context that I neither expected nor have experienced before. I hope the following reflections help you as you walk this road too.


Let’s follow Jesus and his practices. In a stunning example of love, Jesus found a way to love those who were ostracised because of their physical disease and their emotional, social and spiritual dis-ease. Let’s be acutely aware of our teams and their levels of stress and anxiety, bringing certainty as we reassure them of a way forward.

Let’s follow wise counsel and current protocols. Let’s seek counsel and gather knowledge to assist in making informed decisions. Fact checking is particularly important in days when personal ideas seem to quickly present as facts and information. Government information, public health authorities and denominational guidance are great places to start when making informed decisions for the future.

Let’s follow the laws of the nation. Romans 13 urges us to oblige the laws of the land. Today non-essential gatherings are discouraged with many limits in place for our protection. By next week, new requirements may be established. Stay up to date with the laws of the land to ensure we are personally and organisationally compliant.


Let’s lead in clear communication. Providing leadership at any time requires clear communication, but especially in times of emergency (as some are suggesting we are in). Better to communicate accurate limited information than communicate at length, beyond scope of knowledge or understanding. 

Let’s lead in faith and hope, speaking into the lives of people we are leading. God is still God, as he has been throughout all previous pandemics that our world has experienced. His promises remain true. Let’s be intentional in reminding the people we lead (and ourselves) of God’s faithfulness (Psalm 91).

Let’s lead in recognising storms are part of everyone’s lives, irrespective of faith (Luke 6:46-49). Those who come, hear and obey are like those founded on the rock (Psalm 18:2). The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate by age, social or economic status, culture, religion or gender.

In this current season, let us Follow well and Lead well. Let's encourage the people we lead to adopt practices that inhibit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and to adopt practices that accelerate the transmission of hope.