• What is a Wingman?

Posted by: kidhelper on Monday, January 3rd, 2011


What is a Wingman? I have images of Tonto when I think about a “wingman.” This is a word that is taken from military usage, particularly of pilots having another plane nearby that would give another set of eyes looking for the enemy and provide additional protection in time of need. This has prompted the phrase…never leave your wingman!

It has taken on further meaning in social interaction involving another well-known person, who is on the inside, and provides escort or chaperone-like qualities to assist one in potentially awkward social situations with potentially difficult relationships. This one is at your elbow (like a wingman).

So what about a wingman in leadership?

In leadership it has come to mean having an assistant (like a Tonto), who shares the experience of leadership or ministry. In mission work it would be like doing ministry with another…“they were sent out two by two.” There is courage and strength in this approach. I have noticed that I am bolder witness by having another person with me. I believe that we do not always accomplish significant ministry alone.

In addition, to having a “team approach,” for doing children’s ministry, which we all believe in, it would a good thing to have a close associate or friend who can provide this service for us in potentially demanding settings, i.e. any large meetings that you are responsible for…at least an assistant (if I said, a “gopher,” you might understand).

In my lifetime, I have observed Billy Graham, who always had others who would travel with him. I was aware that Luis Palau would always travel with a designated male assistant, who provided some support, managed his schedule and helped escort him in and out of the crowds. This idea of a “wingman” might have some benefits for you, if not now, perhaps in the future. This is a concept that might benefit your leadership.

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