I also need to be dedicated to the vision that God has given me. The vision I have as a leader is one thing that won’t change. It’s the hill I will die on. I have to keep that vision in front of me and allow that vision to motivate and fuel me when the going gets tough. Every great church leader has and will carry out a clear vision from God and will be dedicated to that vision.
Lastly, I need to be dedicated to the people I lead. Do you know the most important ingredient of what makes a leader? FOLLOWERS! If you call yourself a leader and no one is following you, then you’re just going for a walk by yourself. Dedication to the people I lead means I have their back, especially when they have mine, and it also means considering their thoughts and concerns, even if it means neglecting mine, at times. Dedication and loyalty is infectious and it always, always, always starts with the leader. When the people I lead are UNCLEAR about my dedication to them, things can get NUCLEAR in a hurry.
One of the biggest flaws that I’ve seen hold leaders back, possibly more than any other, is the flaw of not communicating well enough. How clear are you as a leader? Do the people under you really know what you expect of them? If they don’t, things can get NUCLEAR!! I’ve seen it happen. It usually starts with the leader not communicating clearly what they want and when or how they want it. Expectations aren’t met and BOOM … the leader explodes. If the people under them are strong leaders, they explode. And like a room full of bombs, a chain reaction of explosion ensues. People get hurt. Relationships suffer. Morale sucks and productivity and vision evaporate into the mushroom cloud. It’s a NUCLEAR reaction from simply being UNCLEAR and falling short in communication!
As a leader, I’ve learned that you can sometimes over-state something, but you can never over-communicate something. When you over-state things, it means you’re doing a LOT of talking. Communication is a two way street of talking and listening. I can’t properly communicate to people unless I know what they need to hear. I can’t know what they need to hear unless I know where they are. I can’t know where they are unless I listen to them. Al Pacino once said that listening is the most important aspect of acting, because it determines your reaction. For a leader, when you listen to your people, you will, in turn, know how to respond to your them. Communication happens when everyone, including the leader, is listening and responding in order to complete the task at hand. Communication has the power to clear things up like no other. Ninety-nine percent of the time that productivity and participation is low, it means that a leader is not clearly communicating the purpose, process and vision of what needs to happen.
So, as leaders, we need to evaluate our own communication and then we need to seek the evaluation of those under us. Leaders that invite critique grow and lead those under them better and better. Ask your people how well you’re communicating.
Leaders need to be CLEAR in their DEDICATION and COMMUNICATION
Leaders never get away with being UNCLEAR.
Things may sustain for a while, but something will eventually give.
You’ll hear it—people will be confused, frustrated and they’ll start to grumble. Before you know it, disgruntlement will set in.
Then, you’ll see it—things won’t get done, morale will drop and, eventually, so will the bomb.
The mushroom cloud will bellow up and reveal the need for clarity. Sometimes, it will be too late.
We can avoid the NUCLEAR, if we avoid being UNCLEAR.
You can’t expect those under you to accomplish something that you haven’t clearly defined.
Pursue clarity, starting with yourself, the leader, and then watch it domino into a positive wave leading to your end goal!