How You Lead Matters

How You Lead Matters

You’ve probably heard it a dozen times from leadership books, from leadership coaches, from social media, from every source imaginable. People don’t leave jobs — they leave leaders. It’s become a standard leadership cliche. But cliches often become cliches because they’re true. People don’t leave jobs. They leave the people who were leading them in those jobs. And if you’re a leader, that’s a reality you have to pay attention to every day.

Leading Others Well

How you lead your teams today will have a lasting impact on the health of your church or organization. In many cases, it will have a generational impact. People will either be in or out of your church for generations to come because of the leadership decisions you make today.

That sounds like a heavy responsibility. It sounds that way because it is. Leadership matters. And here’s how I think you can help make your leadership better.

  • Be a safe space. When your team needs to process unformed ideas, explore new concepts, or talk through challenging situations, you as the leader need to be a safe place for them to do that work. You can coach and guide these conversations, of course, but most of all you need to create the space and environment for them to do that. I unpack a few ways you can do that in this post over on Innovate4Jesus, if you’d like more details.
  • Be clear. You’ve probably worked for the kinds of leaders whose only feedback is, “I don’t know what I want, but I know what you’re doing isn’t it.” That doesn’t help anyone. Be clear with your people on what their roles and responsibilities are and how you’re both going to know if those roles are being filled and responsibilities handled. Your team can’t know what you want them to do if you’ve never outlined it for them.
  • Be relatable. As a leader, the responsibility rests on you to get into your team members’ heads and figure out what makes them tick. What really motivates them? Don’t think about what motivates you — learn about them. It might be completely foreign to you, but leadership isn’t about you. It’s about what it takes to motivate your people to push hard and push together towards a common goal. Leaders who can relate to each of their team members and motivate them in the lasting ways that really work for them as individuals are the ones who help their teams accomplish great things.

Your leadership matters. It truly does. Psalm 78 talks about sharing the commandments and teachings of God so that “a generation yet unborn” would know and trust God. That’s the kind of impact your leadership can have, if you steward it well. I know you can.

Which of these areas — being a safe space, being clear, or being relatable — poses the biggest leadership challenge for you right now?

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Posted by Steve Caton on February 02, 2016