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Hauser: The importance of women growing in leadership

My wife, Teri, was recently asked to write an article for Area Woman Magazine on the importance of women growing in leadership. She was asked in the afternoon and I watched her energy skyrocket as she sat down later that night with paper and pen in hand and a computer on her lap. Here is an excerpt of what she wrote:

What is leadership? I was asked this question by John Maxwell at a leadership conference in 1998. I wrote down, "a manager, a boss, a person with position." My next thought was, "I am not a leader. I don't need to learn what John Maxwell is teaching." But, during the conference, I became excited and intrigued to learn more. I wanted to become a leader; not a better leader, because I did not think I was one, but a leader who would help other women grow as leaders.

Well, I don't do anything half way. I came home from that conference and dove in. God had given me a new passion to grow as a leader. I began reading through "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership." The first law stopped me in my tracks. The Law of the Lid states that a person's leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness. And my level of effectiveness impacts the organizations I am a part of, my family and all those I am leading. I thought, I have to become a better leader so that others are impacted positively.

Over the past 20 years I have read and reread The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership many times. The last law in the book is The Law of Legacy. I ask myself every day "What legacy are you going to leave today?" The best leaders lead today with tomorrow in mind by making sure they invest in leaders who will carry their legacy forward.

As part of our legacy, my husband Jon and I moved to Fargo to start Prairie Heights—a church for people who don't like going to church; a place where people could walk through the doors and feel welcome, accepted and explore who Jesus is. As Prairie Heights grew we hired staff and were leading more and more volunteers.

To lead this amazing group of staff, leaders and volunteers, we had to continue growing by building relationships, sharing a contagious vision, pushing each other out of our boxes, and sharing what I have learned with other women. When I moved to Fargo, I prayed for God to show me what my legacy could be. I asked for that life sentence that would set the direction for my life and determine my legacy. I have my life sentence. I try to live by it every day. My purpose in life is to inspire others to grow as leaders. Step out of your box.

Email Teri at and share what steps you will take to raise your lid. Let's inspire each other to grow as leaders!

God bless you. See you next Sunday!

Hauser is founding and senior pastor, Prairie Heights of Fargo Moorhead. Email