7 ways to become a leader who builds bridges


Leaders like you have many roles you’re required to play. Sometimes you have to be a coach. Other times you have to be a referee. The tough part about leadership is that your role is constantly changing and evolving depending on the situation or interaction.

More than likely, no one sat you down as a young leader to inform you of all the roles you would be required to play as your responsibilities grew. Like most things, recognizing and learning those roles came as you experienced them.

However, there is one role that I believe every leader should play, whether they’re leading a business, school, or ministry. Leaders must be bridge builders for their community. A few months ago, Justin Lathrop shared a terrific post on what it means to be a bridge builder. Using his post as a jumping-off point, here are a few keys to becoming the type of leader who builds bridges:

● Bridge-building leaders have an awareness of the needs of others and look for ways to fulfill those needs with their resources or connections.

● Bridge-building leaders are intentional about setting an agenda that helps others find meaning.

● Bridge-building leaders understand the danger of solitary confinement in leadership.

● Bridge-building leaders have to care about others’ success just as much as they do their own.

● Bridge-building leaders go beyond their comfort zone to accomplish the mission.

● Bridge-building leaders believe that people are their project.

● Bridge-building leaders know how to unlock success through relationships.

I’ve shared the idea that it’s impossible for our university to fulfill its mission without the support and engagement of our local community. As a leader, I had to realize that it was my responsibility to help build and cultivate those bridges with other leaders in our community in order to make it happen. I’m blessed to be surrounded by other great leaders who are working to do the same thing.

Whatever roles you might find yourself taking as a leader, never miss the opportunity to be a bridge builder. Doing so will maximize your knowledge and network to exponentially increase your impact as a leader.

How are you working to build bridges for your ministry or organization?