Encouraging Reminders for Effective Leaders
Here are some simple reminders a mentor gave to me years ago as snapshots of some of the things effective leaders do. Please share these ideas with younger leaders in your sphere of influence and share your stories connected to these ideas.Have fun!
- Know the difference between leading and managing.Warren Bennis on this:“Leaders are people who do the right things; managers are people who do things right. There’s a profound difference.” The challenge is that leaders must also manage at some level in their organization. When Noah heard the weather forecast from the Lord, he ordered the building of an ark – that was leadership.
The he looked around and said, “Make sure that the elephants don’t see what the rabbits are up to “–that was management
- A leader must build trust.True story. A young and capable leader-pastor took a solid traditional church call understanding a transition from tradition to mission was going to be the order of the day.He was asked by a friend how long he thought it was going to take him to make the transition.The leader-pastor replied, “It will take at least ten years of building trust…if I survive.”He did.Don’t be in such a hurry.
A leader is “a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal.To be a leader, one must have followers.To have followers one must have their trust.A leader gains trust over time.”
- Unearth your personal and corporate sense of purpose.Purposes are often buried in personal and corporate DNA brought to light by the Holy Spirit.Proverbs 22:6 instructs parents to: “Train up a child (grow a church) in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”(NASB)
Commentary: The proverb’s injunction not only contemplates the broad principles of education, physical, intellectual and spiritual which are the same for all, but it contemplates a deeper recognition of their adaptation to each particular case, in a study of individual character and capacity, with a thoughtful regard to a future course in life.PARTICULAR WAYS, INCLINATIONS AND CAPACITIES ALREADY RESIDENT WAITING TO BE RECOGNIZED AND ACTED UPON (in your church).
- Use candor.Build a culture of “real, mercy, honor and transformation” in personal relationships and then the truth can be shared in love.When you say what you really think, you encourage the people you lead to do the same.
“Candor is a compliment.It is how true friends talk.”-Peggy Noonan
- Limit yourself to key objectives and initiatives tied to organizational strategic planning. Choose the right people, allocate organizational resources and transmit ideas and messages precisely and timely.
The Pareto 80/20 Rule means that in any situation, 20% of the inputs or activities are responsible for 80% of the outcomes or results. This is a useful construct when analyzing our efforts and outcomes. It is priceless when applied to task or goal lists, and it provides a useful analytical framework for many problem situations. Use this mental framework liberally but don’t accept it as an absolute or you are likely to misstep.
As Christian leaders the leading of the Holy Spirit always trumps!
- Borrow the best ideas and methods from others who have time-tested them and simply recontextualize them. Jesus Christ has already given the church its purposes:worship, evangelism, discipleship, community and mission.
“Stop trying to be unique.Be effective.”Rick Warren
- Remember that great leaders are both born and made. Clearly, some people are born to lead—or at least their DNA is predisposed toward leading, and they were brought up in a way that allowed this leadership predisposition to be expressed. However, it’s also clear that with training, a supportive environment, and real-life experience, anyone can become a leader—and a great one at that. Great leaders inspire others with a compelling vision of the future, they sincerely listen to their people—and respond to their suggestions and input—they create an environment of experimentation and constant improvement where mistakes aren’t hidden and everyone learns from them, and they build the kind of organization that people want to work.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.2 Timothy 2:2
- Be yourself. Do you like you? Are you comfortable with who you really are? Do you know what you are really good at? Don’t fall into the trap of comparison and mimicking other leaders. You are not that good of an actor.
“I praise you Lord for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”Psalm 139:14