Leadership is about so much more than producing the numbers. Although it is about that too. Leadership is about developing those you lead to become as good, if not better, than you. It allows you to find the strengths of your employees and leverage it so they can become the best they can be and so that your organization become as successful as possible.
As a church, success should mean helping people come to know Jesus and to really become his disciple. We have enough taglines in the church that mean nothing. But that’s for another post. Bottom line is we are to raise up disciples who raise up disciples, all while creating leaders.
You don’t just become a great leader overnight. In fact, I am sure you had no idea when you were in seminary that you would need the leadership skills and abilities that were necessary to successfully lead a church. Here are 6 simple ways you can become a better leader.
1. Work on Your Own Personal Development
To pursue personal development, you must have some initial objectives. When you know where you want to go, you are able to be proactive and be intentional about your life. Personal development is about taking the time and making the commitment to become the best version of you. There are many benefits to personal development, including a sense of direction, motivation, and self-awareness. When your staff sees you working on yourself they will be encouraged to do the same.
2. Be an Active Listener
Don’t just listen to your staff, be an active listener. As an active listener, you try to catch every word that is being spoken and you aren’t thinking about your response while the other person is talking. It allows you to ask clarifying questions and to repeat back to your staff what they said to ensure that you understand what they said, and not what you think they said.
3. Include Staff in Important Conversations
Thinking of making a change in service? A change in the major vision? A change in children’s ministry? Include your staff. Long gone is the idea of the Great Man, that one man has all of the answers. The reality is that none of us are as smart as all of us. When you allow a time for your staff to brainstorm ideas in light of changes that must be made, they feel a part of the process and when changes are made you will already have their buy in.
4. Make Changes in Light of the Vision and Communicate Changes
Speaking of changes, don’t make changes just to make changes. Make changes that make sense to where you want to go as a church. And when you are thinking about making these changes and in turn make these changes, make sure that you communicate the changes. This doesn’t mean making a statement about the change after its done. Take your people along the journey with you. When a change needs to be made, make sure you share how it aligns with your values and vision. This will lead to less resistance
5. Understand Your Staff
The people on your staff are real people with lives outside of work. The odds of any two people on your staff having the same temperament and personality will be rare. Make it mandatory for your staff to take a personality or temperament assessment. There are many available but it is knowing what you want to know which will allow you to choose the best one for your organization. Knowing your staff, and them in turn knowing you, will help your working relationship and the organization be successful.
6. Genuinely Care About Your Staff
The church and its people are in the business of caring about people. Or at least we are supposed to be. Simple encouragement, casual conversation, and knowing what is going on in the lives of your employees leads to a greater level of loyalty and employee retention. Did you know that 75% of people leave their jobs because of their boss and not the position itself? You don’t care about your people to keep them around, but caring about your people will keep them around longer.
These six simple ways will help you become a better leader. It is the simple actions that leads to the greatest impact as a leader. If being a mediocre leader is what you want, then you might want to forget you read this post.
How are you becoming a better leader for your staff?