Leadership is complex and there are lessons to learn for all of us no matter where we see ourselves or where we may think we are on a leadership scale.
Five things I find helpful to keep myself on track in leading others:
1. Model the way
This is about being authentic and genuine with others around you. By all means learn but please model! Fail here and you will be found out quickly! Others want to see the evidence of the knowledge and that means how you live consistently. It's no good talking the talk you have to walk the walk. Practice what you preach! Dishing out the latest leadership lesson with no back-up of your example is shallow and short lived, leaving those you attempt to lead confused, frustrated and and often in despair.
2. Inspire shared vision
It is crucial for a visionary leader to inspire others about the mission and the vision regularly. However, it is also equally important to inspire and allow others to be a part the visionary development process. Good leaders value their teams wisdom, experience, perspectives, challenges, gifts and commitment. This is crucial to anyone who aspires to to be a leader of leaders. Team also provides accountability to all in fulfilling the vision.
3. Challenge the process
If you want things to be better, if you want others to grow do not settle for the 'status quo.' Reviews, and analysis are important. Examine results, look at performance, Ask challenging questions: Why are we doing this? Is what we are doing working? Where are the weaknesses? What needs to change? What are the threats? Develop a strategy from this to implement the actions you need to take to move things forward.
4. Empower others to make decisions
Delegation without giving authority dis-empowers development and personal growth. Remember that! A leader assists others to make good decisions. Ask yourself, what does each person on your team need to learn to make better decisions. Suggest ways the people around you can grow. Fid resource to help them: books, websites, blogs, podcasts, training events, conferences, visit other churches, meet with other leaders, etc.
5. Encourage regularly
People who are encouraged thrive! They sense their contribution is valued and are empowered in their role as part of the team. Look for opportunities to encourage others in around you constantly. If issues need to be challenged, take people aside, connect them again to the vision, express their importance and value of their role, then tackle the issues - can we talk about what's not working or what just happened. Leadership influence for the long haul rises and falls on this issue.