I have a confession to make - "I am a leader watcher." It's true. Some people are people watchers, but I am a leader watcher. I love watching leaders - good ones and bad ones. You learn a lot from watching leaders. In fact, I think every leader should become a leader watcher. So, watching leaders has caused me to think of what are the most important qualities for effective leaders. I am going to give you my 7 pillars to effective leadership.
LEADERS LEAD BY INTEGRITY AND CHARACTER
The Bible says, "Whoever walks in integrity - walks securely" (Proverbs 10:9). For leadership, that simply means your integrity will secure your leadership capacity. Every great leader stands on their character and integrity. Unless, of course, you are a politician. Kidding. Not really. Yes, just joking.
LEADERS CONTROL THE PERCEPTION NARRATIVE
Perception is reality. That's why one of the most important jobs of a leader is to control perception. How do you do that? By being raw and real 100% of the time. If you are real, no one can change the narrative by which you lead. George Carlin once said, "Some people see the cup 1/2 full. Some people see it 1/2 empty. I say the cup is too large." That's all about perception.
LEADERS CREATE THE RIGHT CONDITIONS FOR THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO DO THE RIGHT THINGS
The ultimate goal of a leader is not just having the right people on their team, but also in the right places. A leader will always set the course - and it is our job to make sure the conditions are right for people to succeed. If the conditions are right and someone is not excelling - it's not a condition thing its a personnel thing.
LEADERS WILL KEEP A POSITIVE OUTLOOK AND ATTITUDE
I will be honest, this one is tough for me. I was trained to see the negative. So, I constantly have to choose to see the positive and be the positive. I do that by encouraging team members in text, email, or conversations. I am going to see the good - even if it takes a little more work to see it. Sometimes as a leader you to be positive even when things ain't positive.
LEADERS WILL CULTIVATE AN ATMOSPHERE OF TRUST
Trust matters. I say this expression a lot, "Trust don't rust." It is the lubricant to every relationship on the planet. If you don't have trust you cannot have a marriage, a friendship, or a business partner. How do you build trust? It's simple. It takes being consistent. Many of our staff members have been with us a long time - the reason - they trust us! They may not always like us, but I do know they trust us. Remember, trust don't rust!
LEADERS WILL PROMOTE THE NEED FOR EXCELLENCE
We have a code at our church - "We reject mediocrity." We serve an incredible God who excellently put our lives together. Because He did all that with excellence we are also going to work, serve, love, and create with a spirit of excellence. There is a verse in the Bible that I love: "Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord ..." (Col. 3:23).
LEADERS WILL ALWAYS SEE WHAT OTHERS DO NOT - SO THEY DO WHAT OTHERS CANNOT
Helen Keller once said, "The most pathetic person in the world is the person who has sight, but no vision." That is a legitimate mic drop moment. If others see what you should see, they should be what you are! That's just a fact. Leaders have to see it before anyone else - and see everything even if no one sees it.
I believe that these 7 pillars are critical to the success of every leader. Now, if you are a person of faith, there is one more pillar ...
LEAD LIKE JESUS
How would Jesus lead in the moment you are in? What would He say? How would He respond? I believe the best example of leadership that ever walked the earth is JESUS. So, I want to lead like Him, love like Him, and live like Him. He is must example, but He is also my aim. I will always fall short of His standards, but they will still remain my goal. If you a Christian leader then start with this pillar - LEAD LIKE JESUS!