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!