So much has and is being written about leadership. Often I think I do not believe one more thing can be said regarding the subject. Then I hear a speaker, read an article or a book and I think “that was helpful.” So to add to the enormous wealth of material concerning leadership, allow me to offer a few items for your consideration:
- Be authentic. Nothing sabotages your leadership like trying to bluff or fake your way through life. People would rather be around an authentic person who makes mistakes, and messes up but is genuine and transparent, than a person who thinks they are always right. This is your decision. Be real and authentic, it is alright to admit that you don’t know, but that you will find the answer. You are not paid to know everything, you are paid to find the answers and solutions. It all starts with a humble heart and mind. Call it self-awareness. Do not be someone else, be the person God created you to be!
- Connect with people. People do not follow credentials! People are not impressed with who you know, what schools you went to, and how many awards you have received. They are asking themselves continually, “do you care about me?” Regardless of where you lead, family, work, church, they all want to know “do you care about me?” Connecting with people is not about your temperament and personality, it is about taking a genuine interest in others. People are important and we must find ways to connect. The onus is on the leader to connect. It is not someone else’s responsibility it is the leader’s job. If you are the leader you must reach out to others. You must take the first step. You must have a genuine interest in other people. Get to know them, know about them, understand their dreams and aspirations as well as their heartaches. There is one word to describe this subject: care! Care about the people on your team!
- Be a lifelong learner. Leaders do not study and read and listen to just develop themselves. We develop ourselves in order to help develop others. If you are not learning you have little if anything to pass on to others. You have to develop yourself before you can assist in developing others.
- Never forget the big picture. It is so easy to get caught up in the intricate details, that I forget there is a vision that is overarching and I must not lose sight of the goal. We need leaders to constantly remind us, why we are doing what we are doing. Leaders need to keep before the people issues of purpose and mission. As a leader, you are responsible to see that the details are taken care of and can pass that task off to others on your team, but you cannot delegate the vision-casting. It falls on the leader to guard the vision!
- Raise up more leaders. Call it mentoring or being a talent scout. Call it chief recruiter or being a multiplier. Leaders need to pour into the lives of people. Leaders need to develop more and better leaders. It should be a requirement to help to pass on what we have learned and experienced to the next generation. If we look with leadership eyes we will begin to see folks who are receptive to sharing together our stories. As leaders seek to develop more leaders.
There is a dearth of leadership! In the world, businesses, and the church. The crying need in a plastic phony world is an authentic woman or man who leads from both the heart and the head.
I think you are that kind of leader.