Good Leaders Don’t Have to Be the Smartest People in the Room

by | Sep 11, 2020 | Faith and Work, Resources, Videos

You know, it’s an interesting season for us here right now. We are in the middle of trying to close multiple large real estate transactions. We’ve got a new assisted living facility that we’re planning for Whitestown (Indiana) and we’re trying to get the economics worked out for the beginning of The Stone Table Campus hopefully sometime next year. And it becomes obvious to me very, very quickly how inadequate I am as a leader.

I don’t mean that as hyperbole. I think when you get into large transactions like this, you realize very quickly that you don’t know all the answers. And sometimes as a leader, that can make you really insecure, because you think, “gosh I’m in a position of leadership, I’m in a position of responsibility and authority. I should know everything, I should understand everything.” And while there’s some aspect of truth to some of those things, I think one of the things I am learning as a leader, and one of the things I really think that scripture shows us, even in the marketplace or whatever leadership position you find yourself in, is that leaders aren’t supposed to know how to do everything. That’s not what leadership is all about.

Leaders need to know instead how to get everything done through the gifts and abilities and talents and bent of other people. You see, God made us in his image. All of us are made in God’s image, but we all aren’t made with the full gift mix and gift set that God Himself has. He has given individual gifts and talents and abilities and personalities and passions to different people, and so while we all carry the image of God – the Imago Dei – we don’t carry the whole image. And so we actually need one another!

God designed us that way. He designed us to need one another. And you know, Paul in the New Testament talks about the gifts that God has given to His people. And I think a lot of times, we in the Church only think about that in the context of the church organization itself, but Paul is actually talking about, that God has given gifts to people for the blessing of His Church, but also for the use in the marketplace and the community, in and around those that we impact on a day in and day out basis, including through our work and through our jobs.

And so I just want to encourage you, all of us really are leaders in one way or another. We all have influence over other people. And leadership is not about knowing how to do everything, leadership is about knowing how to get everything done through other people! And I think this is a key thing that we need to grab onto as leaders because it’s part of how God has wired us. Our role and our job as leaders is to bring people together to do something beautiful because God made us to need one another. And that is the role of leadership.

Erik Cooper

After starting his career in the business world, Erik spent 12 years in full-time ministry, both on staff at a large suburban church and as a church planter in a downtown urban context. In addition to his role at The Stone Table, he also serves as the Vice President of Community Reinvestment Foundation, a nonprofit real estate company that provides high-quality affordable housing all over Indiana while investing its profits into missions through The Stone Table.

The Stone Table Exists to Mobilize Marketplace Believers for The Great Commission.


We partner with global missions initiatives that focus on taking the Gospel to unreached places.


12 + 7 =


14 + 12 =


The Stone Table exists to mobilize marketplace believers for the Great Commission.


2498 Perry Crossing Way
Plainfield, IN 46168


11 + 5 =