How we are defined as leaders is based on our actions. Patrick Ness said, “You do not write your life with words… You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
We may have the noblest of intentions. We may have abundant talent. We might even possess the highest IQ. If our actions, however, do not display exemplary character, then our intentions, talent, and intelligence represent little, if anything.
Let our actions define the true nature of our leadership.
Leadership is a combination of many components that come together to help followers get from where they are to where they need to be and when they need to be there.
While these components will vary based on the people and situation, one of the most critical pieces to good leadership is knowing when.
Moving too slow causes frustration and moving too fast creates tension and anxiety. Like the story of the Three Bears, when we get it just right, everything works and moves to the benefit of everyone.
Time moves at incredible speed, especially as we approach the middle of the month. As each day flies by, we must continue to evaluate our leadership and our influence with those who follow. Do we know where we are leading them? If not, how will we know if we get there?
Ken Davis said, “Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time. Know where you are going and you can take anyone with you.”
Others are following, and when we know the destination, we can point others in the right direction.
How well do we listen? Consider the barriers: phone, email, computer, television, preconceived ideas, responsibilities, hunger pains, future plans, etc. Our minds tend to wander. We get easily distracted when someone else speaks.
Listen leaders. Consider two major listening techniques: active listening and reflective listening.
Active listening involves observing behavior, body language, tone of voice, and words spoken. One must fully concentrate, understand, respond, and remember what was said.
Reflective listening involves a greater focus on the words spoken, but with a twist. One is required to listen and repeat back what was said to confirm understanding.
Imagine the impact on our leadership if we learned to practice both.
Numerous questions exist when thinking about leadership in the next generation. Tim Elmore’s book, Habitudes, uses images, relatable stories, and experiences that are designed to help the next generation of leaders form the right habits and attitudes.
A few questions need to be considered within the realm of spiritual leadership: what are we doing to make a difference in the direction of the church for the future? How are we preparing the next generation to lead? We need more than a conviction of the situation. We need to take legitimate steps to change the crisis we face in the current generation. Let us lead with that in mind.
Leadership and the discussion about change seem to go hand in hand. Yet, we find an extreme contrast in the way our world thinks about change, and there is often much resistance to it.
Every breath introduces some form of change; our bodies constantly change from conception to eternity; the earth changes with every turn on its axis; and every organizational decision produces change.
For some, the idea of change will always represent moving into a bad place. Maybe the reason is because the approach has been to tear down or destroy the past. Perhaps the positive side of change can be realized if we do not remove the old, but use it as a foundation to build toward the new.
Dan Millman says, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
We can accomplish great things when we look through a different lens.
One down and fifty-one to go. Weeks clip by amazingly fast, and before you know it we will face another new year. But, before we get ahead of ourselves, lets consider the next fifty-one weeks.
Most of us are adjusting to routine again after the holidays, and that is good. Take a deep breath and relax for a second.
Instead of adding another activity, responsibility, or assignment to our full-plate, what if we considered ways to eliminate something that helped simplify our lives?
The thought can be frightening, because it is challenging. However, if we prioritize life just a bit, we might find that removing areas on the fringe not only simplify life, we also de-stress it.
Imagine the benefit to our leadership.