Name: Craig Anderson
Title: Founding Pastor
Organisation: INFINITY CHURCH
Craig and Chris retired from the senior pastor role in June 2022. They chose this time because the next generation leaders were ready to transition. Craig now serves the INC movement by coaching other pastors and preaching in various locations in Victoria and other locations by Video. Craig also works as a mediator and Christian Marriage Celebrant.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.
I hope Craig's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?
Firstly, respect. Every person we interact with will respond better when they perceive we genuinely respect them. They are not respcted for any particular reason, but as a person whom God has created, and I may or may not know the challenges they have faced in their life. Secondly, truth. Having kind and genuinely purposeful conversations with the ones serving with me means not assuming, not demanding, not accusing, but when things seem out of place - I ask a question that is not loaded.
A question that seeks understanding. Issues can not be avoided or minimised, but must be understood. My main motivation in leading them is not to fulfil my vision but to help empower them to obey God's leading and purpise in their life. If that is serving with my team - then great, if not, then how can I empower them to move to the better place of obeying God's leading outside my team. Thirdly, listening. Listening is a supernatural skill. I must learn to listen to understand not listen to respond. When a person senses that I have truly understood who they truly are and how they feel, then they will feel a genuine sense of acceptance and valuing from me.
2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?
My Mission is my (or my organisation's) job description, what we believe we should be doing right now. My Vision is a clear picture of the future outcome that results from the things that are covered in my (or my organisation's) Mission. The leader must be able to paint a picture of what the preferred outcome looks like in detail. In a real world business, working with these ideas and terms means having times of conferencing with the team where everyone gets to hear and understand how the vision and mission came into being and to share their ideas and perspectives so that they gain value as they "buy-in" and hear what others see and value as parts of the big picture. It's not hours every week, but probably a day or two per year.
3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?
Empowering people begins with getting to know them. Then, believing in them. Every person shows up great at the start, but soon we all show our faults and weaknesses. These things need not disqualify us but a good leader sees the gold under the junk in each of us. The empowering leader gives the person opportnity to take on responsibility, then guides them, without micro-managing. Then, helps them review outcomes with the goal of growing and learning to be just as important as the outcomes desired. They are more empowered when we consider their own health, family needs and challenges they face. They see in us the committment we want to model, and we ask them to step up only if, one, they are ready, and two, if they are capable. Mental health must be observed and known so we give people motivation to grow but not pressure to achieve if they are struggling.
4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?
Some of my coaches have been Graham, Gary, Geoff, Dave, Peter, and another Dave. Through different seasons in my life different ones have been the one God has used to help me, guide me and encourage me to be all that I can be. The first Dave was an amazing example and inspiration to me. He was one man I could see had a true Spirit of Faith. He was one who was able at times to actually laugh at toubles and calamities knowng that the outcomes would be great and powerful and Godly. One time, when challenged with very significant sickness and being in hospital, he asked the doctor - please just give me a few hours to pray before you do the treatment you suggest. I want to ask God to help me. He grabbed hold of faith and pulled down a healing from heaven and was soon out of hospital.
5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?
In practical terms, spending time with God every morning gives me time to love God, worship, pray for needs, but also, hear from God. Ideas come about what responsibilities are on my plate. God reminds me of what's important. He gives perspective and helps me see the bigger picture. This has been my daily practice for 40 years. Also, it is very important to have planning times. Times when I can dream and scheme. Times when I can prioritize what's important? What needs to be done today, this week, this month, this year. The famous Johari window is used to tag all tasks as urgent and important, urgent and not important, not urgent but important and not urgent and not important.
6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?
Planning begins with vision. No matter how big the dream or how impossible, paint the picture of the preferred outcome. Exactly what has God called you to do? If it's not clear, fast and pray until you know what you are called to do. There's special times in life when this seeking God time is very important. At times of change, transition, big challenges or major setbacks. No man can show you all you need to know. Your coach can encourage you but only God can show you who you are and what He wants you to do. Once the picture is clear, then the planning begins. What must change for you to reach those goals, what must you learn, grow in, find out? Now plan the next 2-5 years. what steps must be put in place to lead to the vison being completed? If it seems impossible, no problem, just plan for the outcome you feel called to. God will make a way. Now plan this year coming up. Then monthly, spend a day planning the next month and reviewing the yearly plan. Adjustments will always need to be made.
7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?
It's very hard to delegate up! In other words, people will not want to be asked to do a job for someone they don't respect or see them as a smaller leader than they are. So choosing the right person to delegate to is finding the person who is able. Then, talk it through with them, how God called you, how doing the early tasks/jobs you had led to you being more effective and being a more capable leader. Share the struggles you had, and how you overcame them anyway. You're building respect, building a picture that God called you and togther you and the person you're delegating to are called make a diffierence in the kingdom.