On the surface, we would assume if someone is in a leadership position, they would naturally be proficient. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Leaders need to know their job. Imagine the power of a leader who knows his job responsibilities and allows others to do their job.
Leaders also need to be familiar with the job responsibilities of others. When leaders know the job responsibilities of others and provide accountability, progress is eminent.
From a spiritual perspective, think of sheep with a good shepherd. When everyone knows their role and works to fulfill it, the church functions accordingly.
Leaders must not think small. Leaders must think big!
William Arthur Ward once said, “Nothing limits achievement like small thinking. Nothing equals possibilities like unleashed thinking.”
Small thinking overlooks opportunities.
Small thinking shackles the abilities of others.
Small thinking creates an “impossibility” mindset.
Small thinking places limitations on God.
If the church is to see the power of God at work through her to accomplish His will, we must stop thinking small. God needs leaders who think and plan big, work incessantly, and trust God to empower and deliver.
Styles of leadership are numerous, one of which is transformational leadership. The idea is leadership that transforms the people around them, shaping the direction of the future.
Transformational leadership characterizes leaders who have integrity and exemplify consistency in their example. They encourage, support, and help followers look beyond their own self-interests and focus on the good of the team.
Of all leadership styles, this one connects to the heart of spiritual leadership.
Are we transforming others to live closer to God?
Are we striving to transform the lives of others by the character we demonstrate?
When we cultivate something, we “acquire or develop, to win the favor of, prepare and use.” The very definition is powerful. When we consider leadership we need to apply cultivation.
Relationships must be cultivated.
Trust must be cultivated.
Vision must be cultivated.
These three areas are only the beginning.
Leaders must also understand the need to cultivate leadership. Acquiring and preparing others to lead determines the success of our leadership.
Cultivate leaders by mentoring.
Cultivate leaders by leaving a legacy.
Cultivating leadership requires action.
A good friend of mine says leaders must constantly “assess, adjust, improve, make mistakes and own them.”
We could describe this as the cycle of leadership. The principle shows that leaders know who they are and always seek improvement.
One of the ways to accomplish this is by asking difficult questions.
Do we really want to be a leader?
What is the motivation behind our desire to lead?
Are we willing to make the necessary sacrifices to lead effectively?
Will we commit ourselves to the task of continually developing our abilities to lead?
These provide a foundation to help us know who we are and improve our approach to leadership.
Are we doing the right thing?
Do our decisions reflect our beliefs?
Will we stand up for what we believe?
Does our leadership demonstrate the courage of our convictions?
Queen Latifah once said, “It’s not always easy to do the right thing. But, doing the right thing makes you strong, it builds character, it forces you to make decisions based upon your beliefs and not what other people think. In life, and in business, you have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone. But, what makes you a leader is having the courage of your convictions.”
Courage is the choice we make to act upon our convictions at times when doing so moves us into a minority.
Will we answer the questions and take action?
Sadly, words which often characterize much of a society or culture begin to characterize the church. Examining the world and culture we live in reveals the problems of indifference and lethargy.
Our leadership must find ways to prevent and overcome these characteristics in the church.
We must fan the flame of enthusiasm.
We must energize creativity.
We must strengthen the hands of others.
We must lift up hearts.
When leaders see the opportunity, prepare themselves to improve, persevere through challenges, we overcome indifference and lethargy.