Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Leadership Thinking – KNOW

Using the simple outline of Know – Be – Do – Reproduce we can categorize the important functions of this vast subject called leadership.  Today we will address the category of “Know – How a Leader Thinks.”

How we think as leaders directly influences how we act as leaders.  Here are some practical ideas on thinking well as a leader.

1.  Take personal responsibility for your development as a leader
–   Focus on developing your strengths, not weaknesses, unless it’s a ‘career stopper’
–  “Maximize your strengths and staff to your weaknesses.”
–  Find a mentor to help you grow in specific areas
–  Ask them to help you in a specific area for a specific time
–  Guide your learning from them with good questions on topics you are interested in

2. Communication is key to good morale – your morale and those you lead
–  Dwight Eisenhower – “Morale is the greatest single factor in successful warfare.”
–   Ask questions of your leaders – know ‘why’ you’re doing what you’re doing; know the next 6 months events that you will be expected to attend and plan accordingly
–  Keep those you lead informed about upcoming events, organizational changes, personnel changes, etc.
–  Keep your family informed

a. Travel schedules – goals; itineraries; prayer requests for the trip
b. Help your children communicate what you do to others
c. Help your children feel special regarding the ministry of their parents

–  Help your extended family communicate what you do to others
–  When returning from a trip; set some guidelines for communication

a. What will your spouse need to hear from you?
b. When will you debrief and reconnect?
c. How will you re-engage with your children?

3. Relationships are key to the breadth and depth of your influence

–  Spend individual, personal time with those you lead

a. Get individual time at meetings
b. Phone calls without a reason other than to say ‘Hi’ and catch up
c. Birthday cards or personal email notes

–  Visit those you lead in their homes as often as possible
–  Focus on the family, not just the ministry

a. Go with them to family events (i.e. sporting events, school activities)
b. Take the family out for dinner; let them choose the restaurant

–  Get into the Word together
–  Pray together
–  Listen much, talk little; seek to understand, rather than to be understood

a. Be an active listener; give feedback and ask probing questions to really understand what God is doing in their lives

4. Bring intentionality to your leadership

–  Pray, Teach, Model – 3 primary means of influence
–  Never underestimate the power of your own example; you are being watched!
–  Travel with someone – the ‘apprentice model’ for developing others
–  What you speak on or write about is what you will become known for; therefore choose your topics carefully!
–  As a leader you speak at a volume of 2, but are heard at a volume of 10!
–  Be sure you’re setting a spiritual tone for the work of the ministry!

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