What I wish I’d known when I was 33

Recently I sat down with a leader I highly respect. I had a list of questions for him, but the last one is what I want to share with you.

I asked him this question, “What do you wish you would have known, as a leader, when you were 33?” This leader is 52.

He said:

  • “I wish I had appreciated and valued strategic planning and thinking.”
  • “I wish I had known the value of networking… building friendships.”

Strategic Planning

This leader said that every leader is going somewhere either intentionally or by default. The leaders who are thinking and planning strategically are more likely to get to their destination quicker and with less relational damage!

Strategic planning essentially consists of three parts:

  1. Knowing what you want to do
  2. Breaking the goal down into simple steps
  3. Executing the steps

Strategic planning is tough for impetuous leaders… particularly young leaders, but it is the key to successful leadership! His last word on this subject was, “Lead towards your vision intentionally.”


Two of the other questions I asked dealt with building a team and financing the mission.

He said the most successful recruiting was done from relationships he had already established! In other words, if you think that someday you’ll build a team… start making friends today!

Speaking of financing the mission, this leader said that, “Fund raising is synonymous with friend building.” The bottom line is that people aren’t giving to a vision, they are giving to the vision caster – you.

So what do team building and fundraising have in common? Friendships… networking.

Get out and build friendships, and out of these friendships will come the resources (human and financial) that are needed to accomplish the dream God has placed on your heart!

Wrap up…

Go where God is pointing and take friends with you.

2 thoughts on “What I wish I’d known when I was 33

  1. So true Paul. Good wisdom from this guy. We want to build our church one relationship at a time. One guy I talked to said, “I think it is just going back to good ole fashion relationships”.

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