12 Keys of Effective Leadership

 Key # 1: Keep God at the center of all decisions and programs. Make sure that you are spending deliberate and intentional quality time with God. 

See 1 Chronicles 1:10 – Solomon asks God for wisdom

Hit your knees every morning in prayer; ask God to give you wisdom to make honorable decisions for the Kingdom.

Read the word – have a set time for a devotional – take notes as you read. Be intentional about hearing what God is saying to you.

Key # 2: Have a growth centered vision that pushes beyond limits – whether they be real or perceived.

See Luke 18:25 – Jesus tells a parable about a judge who fears no one

Limitations (real or imagined) stand in the way and will block your vision. Learn to look past obstacles. Push and drive. Be tenacious and do not accept defeat.

Key # 3: Build your team with people who are hungry for growth and believe in success.

See 1 Corinthians 1:10 – Paul advises the church to be of one mind

Your team must have intellectual buy-in regarding what the mission or vision is. They must be systemically positive: the “Can Do” attitude is infectious. 

Key # 4: Root out and quarantine negativity. 

See Numbers 13:25-33 –  The 10 spies return and give a negative report

Do not tolerate a negative and nay saying spirit. Words and attitudes are powerful. If someone on your team is being negative, pull them aside and approach discreetly. Speak the truth in love but with authority as a leader. If they have a course correction, great…if not, then cut your losses and move on. Do not let a bad report infect the camp!

Key # 5: Don’t tolerate sycophant ‘yes man’ behavior.

See Matthew 6:5 – Jesus talks about the hypocrite sycophants who love to get noticed and receive favor

A sycophant (aka “yes man/woman”) will go out of their way to be overly polite or complimentary toward a person in leadership. They seek to ingratiate themselves and gain approval through flattery rather than through genuine talent and hard work. It is a mark of insecurity and can be an indicator of deeper more serious issues. Tolerating this type of behavior is a major demoralizer to any team. A “Yes man” will tell you what you want to hear; not what you NEED to hear.

Key # 6: Punctuality and deadlines must be enforced:

See James 4:17 – James says it’s a sin to do the opposite of what you know you should do.

Sticking to a schedule is a commitment. It is also the responsibility of everyone on the team. Punctuality is critical in order for an organization to run smoothly. Being routinely late is disrespectful to the team, vision =, and leader. It’s also a sin to say you’ll be somewhere at a certain time and then consistently break your word. Of course,  there are always exceptions to the rule; life happens. Flat tire, sick kids and so forth. I’m not talking about emergent issues, I’m pointing out chronic tardiness when it comes to both meetings and project deadlines. A person who is habitually late lacks organization in their personal life and it is a sign of immaturity and undependability.

Key # 7: Be a problem solver – not a fault finder:

See John 13:17 – Effective Leaders don’t simply see a problem and walk away. They have solutions hand and implement them. 

Being a ‘fault-finder’ and identifying discrepancies without ever having a solution at the ready is probably one of the most un-insprational and destructive things a person in leadership can do to kill operations. It puts negative energy into a process, program or organization and feeds that negative spirit. It’s self-sabotage. (See rule # 4).

Key # 8: Praise in Public – Correct in Private:

See Proverbs 17:9 – Show some tact and confront in private…grace goes a long way.

Nobody likes being chewed out in public. In fact, there are only a few instances where public confrontation is warranted. Some examples warrant a public rebuke, like a blatant personnel safety violation, but for minor discrepancies, including some personal lapses in judgment, learn to show grace; after all grace is what the gospel message is all about.

Key # 9: Just because you’re the leader doesn’t make you always right:

See Proverbs 19:20-21 – Having wise counsel is vital to ensuring success and mission accomplishment

Just because you’re the leader, does not make you a know-it-all. In spite of your position of authority, you are still a flawed human being that requires honest feedback and constructive criticism. Have within you close inner circle, trusted advisors that are willing to speak the unpopular truths.

Key # 10: Authority can be delegated – but not responsibility:

See Exodus18:13-26 – You don’t need to take on all the work yourself; you can hand authority down to those who are fit to assist…but the buck stops with you. You’re the leader.

There are going to many times that the scope and sphere, of whatever your organizational mission is, will become so overwhelming and burdensome that you’ll need to enlist the help of qualified personnel. Just don’t forget you’re the leader and the responsibility of successful mission accomplishment rests on your shoulders. Leadership by walking around: Don’t just task via email, text message, etc. Actually engage in a face to face conversation with individual members of the team and the team as a whole.

Key # 11: Inspect what you expect:

See 1 Timothy 4:17 – There will be many times that you’ll need to follow-up and ensure that expectations are both clear and being met.

When guidance has been provided and a set of orders has been given, it is important that the leader follows up and does a climate check. Are things running as initially expected or do some modifications need to be made real time, now that the plan is being executed?

Key # 12: It’s lonely at the top:

See Luke 5:16 – There are going to be many times that you’re going to need to take some alone time with just you and God, in order to recharge. Additionally, your sphere of trusted friends will be a lot smaller as a leader.

As a leader, you’re going to be responsible for makin the hard decisions; some of these decisions may not please everyone. These are decisions that have low popularity, but they are necessary for the accomplishment of the organizational mission. This is why leaders must use wisdom and discretion with who they allow as close friends and trusted confidants.

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