A snapshot is an informal photograph taken quickly, typically with a small handheld camera. While we can define the word, the challenge rests in determining an application of this idea to our leadership.
Usually, the formal moments of our leadership are characterized by the pomp and circumstance of following a predetermined path. We practice what we “say and do” to insure we cross every “t” and dot every “i.” We make certain everything is perfect.
Informally, we tend to let our guard down. In those moments, our true self springs forth and a snapshot of who we are is taken by those who see us.
These snapshots are the most important to our leadership influence. Here, when people see us in the most vulnerable moments of our character, we formulate our identity as a leader.
Those who see us only in formal settings make decisions that may or may not have much accuracy. When they see us in those informal moments, a snapshot of the true self, we establish a consistency that gains followers who determine their trust in our leadership.
What kind of snapshot are others taking of us?
Each Monday for the next few weeks, we plan to feature a guest writer. Because they choose to be anonymous, we are simply sharing a “ghost post.” Enjoy!
Someone once said that “character matters; leadership descends from character.” If this is true, then what or who we are when no one is watching is where leadership begins. We must have or develop good character traits to be a good leader.
We can all rise to the top when on the stage of life, but when we are alone and no one is watching our every move and we still do what is right and appropriate; this is character. Good character traits translate into good leadership skills. Not only should we take people where they need to go as leaders, we need to be the kind of person that can be looked up to and lead by the example of our character.
What do people around us say about our character? Are we thinking about leading? We are, whether we know it or not. Let us be good leaders with good character traits that all will want to emulate.
“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.” Eleanor Roosevelt
The intent of this post is not to deal with every component of this thought, but there are several powerful ideas expressed in this one sentence.
Even though there are those in the world who deny absolutes, the truths provided by God ground us in them, regardless of what others think.
Objectivity, in the midst of an emotional stirring, is a trait that can provide leaders with powerful influence.
Perhaps, the humility and charity possessed by leaders is the most significant of all. The way in which leaders approach others in every circumstance of life can change the world.
Mrs. Roosevelt’s thoughts make a good compass for how we bring about that change.
Counting the cost when leading others can be a daunting task. There are so many questions that need answers when attempting to start and finish any work.
One of the most pressing thoughts among these questions involves having enough to finish well. Do we have enough resources to achieve the goal? These resources include, but are not limited to, money, skills, educational background, and / or facilities.
Do we have enough staff to implement the plans to achieve the goal? The infrastructure needed to accomplish the development and implementation of any work is critical to the success of the program.
Do we have enough time to complete the job? Time may be considered a resource, but a regular period of evaluation is necessary to determine what has been accomplished, what needs to be accomplished, and if there is enough time to finish on schedule.
Having enough resources, staff, and time are only three components that require our attention when setting goals, establishing plans, and implementing both to produce growth in the organization.
Utilizing each of these components is foundational for every leader.
An invoice serves several purposes for both the one writing the invoice and the one receiving it. What is interesting is how the idea of an invoice also factors into areas of leadership that will help us in the way we influence others.
An invoice provides information about services rendered and materials purchased that are beneficial for both parties involved.
An invoice gives a point of reference for both the business and customer that allows for future access to needed information.
An invoice also represents an agreement for each person identified, serving as a contractual agreement between them, thus creating responsibility.
If our leadership were to completely communicate the vision, goals, and plans that benefit everyone involved, imagine the level of morale it would generate.
If leaders stood as a point of reference for accessing the information that answered questions, the confidence of followers would grow.
If leaders understood the responsibility of everyone involved, then desire to fulfill that responsibility would be greater.
While there is not always a clear approach to achieving success at every level, these few steps can make a difference.
There are several powerful words associated with this week’s word. Words such as accuracy, correctness, exactness, and meticulousness are just four that describe the nature of precision.
When leadership is characterized by accuracy, decisions and actions pinpoint what must be done.
Leaders who pursue correctness, desire to insure others that what is being done is “right.”
An exactness demonstrated by leaders shows they are not approximating in any way, but they are precise.
The use of meticulousness in leadership distinguishes leaders who pay attention to the details.
As we examine our leadership character each day, precision is a word that should be considered. We need to consider how we measure the strength of our leadership.
Doing so with precision can influence the direction of those who are following and the power with which we are able to direct them on this path.
Developing precision in our leadership can be as simple as an approach that pinpoints what must be done, determines to do it right, does not approximate, and pays attention to the details.
These four areas can drive our leadership to greater places.
Everyone seems to have a line, a specific line that influences what will or will not be done. The line may fall into areas involving the moral, ethical, and / or legal character of the individual.
Sadly, the line, far too often, is adjustable and once moved, an effort to rationalize the decision pursues, especially when there is a part of us that knows we made the wrong decision.
The task before us is one of great magnitude and one that requires an understanding of where the line is drawn. A few ideas might be helpful in establishing the needed direction.
1) Remember God has already established and provided the line for every one.
2) Consistency is critical to developing godly character.
3) Consider the long-term consequences for rationalizing contradictory decisions.
In the final analysis, the souls we influence are far too precious and valuable to risk immoral, unethical, or illegal activity that compromises our character.
We are entrusted with the greatest responsibility as spiritual leaders. Whatever it takes to demonstrate the kind of integrity that leaves an eternal influence is worth the effort.