To be constructive is to be involved in something that is useful with a tendency to build up. The thought behind this concept is powerful when applied to the field of leadership.
When leaders are constructive, life and leadership change before them.
Constructive leaders are characterized by several key qualities.
They have a vision for what is right, rather than what is wrong.
They possess an understanding of what is beneficial, as opposed to harmful.
They provide tools to assist followers in reaching their potential, not holding them back.
They are driven by the desire to achieve the good of others before focusing on themselves.
These four ideas are just a beginning point when thinking about the nature of constructive leadership. The characteristics listed are four reasons why constructive leaders are defined by their usefulness to others and the overall organization.
When the church is led by a constructive leadership, growth to maturity in a spiritual sense and numerical growth through their influence on the church will naturally go hand in hand.
The time to consider how to be more constructive is worth it.
At the beginning of a race, the idea of focusing on the finish line does not always seem natural.
Yet, the finish line is what must be in the mind of the participant. Without knowing where the finish line is and keeping it in full view, the following occurs:
1) The motivation for starting and enduring is eliminated because there is no purpose to begin. Why would anyone want to begin something when there is no reason?
2) The preparation suffers for the same reasons. What should someone prepare for if there is no reason to prepare and no reward for the effort?
3) The direction is nonexistent. Without a finish line to focus on there is no way to have direction. Instead, we tend to wander around in circles.
Leaders have an incredible task before them because they have the responsibility of helping others see the finish line. When this is accomplished, people are motivated; they prepare properly for the journey; and they have a vision of where to go and how to get there.
Consider what God has done for us and lead with that in mind.
“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.” Dan Millman
The reality of the first line can be tough. How many times do leaders find themselves in a position where they are trying to do everything and become so overloaded or overcommitted, the stress levels are through the roof.
At least one key thought is expressed in the idea of priorities: when to do what needs to be done. The idea involves evaluating what must be done today.
Too often it is easy to be consumed with thinking about what should be done tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year. We feel overwhelmed and accomplish nothing, as if we do not know where to start. The key is examining what “has” to be done today and prioritizing those matters, then getting to work.
Within no time, we will find that the timing falls into place perfectly and everything works out.
We are told it takes 21 days to develop a habit. If we work on a specific activity or trait for 21 days straight, it should become a habit.
What is meant by a habit? How much time should be given each day to reinforce something to make it a habit? What about good versus bad habits?
These questions are valid for developing the kind of habits needed in leadership.
First, when something becomes a habit, it is more like second nature, or perhaps first nature. We naturally participate in some activity or we develop a trait that is done or seen without thinking. We just do it.
Second, the amount of time necessary to reinforce the activity or trait development depends on the dedication of the individual who seeks to develop the habit.
Third, some habits are good and some are bad. Interestingly enough, it seems so much easier to develop bad habits than it is the good ones.
Further still, is the challenge of breaking the bad habits: a post for another day.
Leaders need to be diligent in developing the kind of habits that promote godliness.
A number of phases exist when working on various projects.
The planning phase is where we dream, research, and begin organizing the direction and tasks involved to reach specific goals.
The activation phase is where we implement the activities needed to accomplish the goals we have established.
The evaluation phase is where we examine what has been accomplished at certain check points to insure we are on target.
The completion phase is where we reach the end of the project, the goals have been completed, and the rewards are enjoyed.
These four phases have application for nearly every area of life, including our relationship with God and leadership in His kingdom.
We find that each phase has good and bad, highs and lows, as well as, consequences and rewards. The difference involves careful planning and execution of each phase.
Leading others is about helping them see the value of reaching the end. Far too many quit before reaching the end, maybe because of frustration, challenges, lack of will-power, or a hundred other reasons.
Our task is to keep others focused on reaching the end with faithful dedication.
The reason for which something is done, created, or for which it exists: this is the definition of the word for the week and it is significant when examining one’s leadership.
What is the reason for which we lead?
How is our leadership created?
Why does our leadership exist?
These three questions should provoke thought on our part when considering our leading others.
The reason we lead needs to be for the cause of Jesus, helping others prepare to stand before the throne of the Almighty God with a confidence based on the blood of Jesus.
Our leadership is created through learning and experience. Perfection is not attainable, but we strive for it, each day learning and applying what we learn to help others.
Our leadership exists because God planned, designed, and needs His people to have the desire and motivation to assume the task of changing the world, one soul at a time.
The purpose for which people approach life may vary depending on the worldview of the individual. As Christians, however, we know that the purpose for which we exist is to glorify our God!
The most precious commodity in existence is time. Thinking about an existence without time is an impossibility, because all we know is based on time, from the time we are born to the time we die.
We intellectually know the Bible speaks of a day when time will no longer exist, but we are incapable of comprehending it. Even the way we speak about eternity is measured in time, as we say we will “spend” eternity in heaven or hell.
Our life exists within this span known as time.
Since we have been given this measure and moment of time, it should concern us to think about how we use our time while it exists.
We can use our time for ourselves, selfishly using every minute for pleasure. The book of Ecclesiastes informs us this is vanity.
The alternative is to use our time for others. Herein lies the purpose of our life and leadership. The greatest fulfillment and satisfaction of life is to use our time for others, helping them physically and spiritually reach their potential.
If everyone focused on this, imagine what the world would be like.