When I was called to be a leader, I pursued that call; however, I didn’t feel confident because I am not a natural leader. Some leaders are born, and others are made like me. I shrunk back from the task many times in fear with overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Finally, the call on my life was so strong that it gave me the courage to push through my fears and learn to be a leader. The first thing I needed to sort was what kind the leader I wanted to be.
So, I asked myself how my personality and experience contribute to what kind of leader I am?
I only answered that question over time as I observed how I developed and emerged as a particular kind o leader. The shepherd leader style came to the fore repeatedly, so I became aware of what kind of leader I am. The problem with a shepherd leader, some people regard me as weak because I do not demand my own way. Conversely, I prefer to enable people to be the best they can be and do the ministry Ephesian chapter 4. I want to be a compassionate leader. It took many years for me to recognise what kind of leader I am; it may be quicker for you, it may not, so be patient and regularly engage in self-reflection.
Leadership traits, like other skills, can be acquired with time, education, and practice. Below are seven traits that I have found of an effective leader:
1. Effective communicators
Leaders are excellent communicators, able to explain problems and solutions clearly and concisely. Leaders know when to talk and when to listen. In addition, leaders can communicate on different levels: one-on-one, via phone, email, etc.
2. Accountable and responsible
Leaders hold themselves accountable and don’t blame others for their own mistakes.
Leaders take responsibility for any mistakes and support and encourage individuality while abiding by organisational structure, rules, and policies that need to be followed.
3. Leaders can submit themselves to others
Christian Leaders are humble people and are ready to put others before themselves for the greater good.
4. Long-term thinkers
Leaders are visionaries. This is demonstrated by the leadership trait of planning for the future through tangible and quantifiable goals. In addition, they understand the need for continuous change and are open to trying new approaches to solve problems or improve processes.
Leaders are self-motivated and can keep going and attain goals despite setbacks. In addition, good leaders try their best to exceed, not just meet, expectations. Leaders also are self-learners. They don’t need anyone to tell them to improve their skills because they desire to do so and pursue them.
Virtually all good leaders share the leadership trait of confidence. They can make tough decisions and lead with authority. By being confident, leaders can reassure and inspire others, establish open communications, and encourage teamwork.
Leaders are typically people-oriented and team players. They’re able to foster a team culture, involve others in decision-making, and show concern for each team member. By being people-oriented, leaders can energise and motivate others. By making each individual feel vital to the team’s success, they secure the best efforts from each member of the team.
8. Emotionally stable
Leaders exercise reasonable control and regulation over their own behaviour and can tolerate frustration and stress. Leaders can cope with changes in an environment without having an intense emotional reaction.
To be genuinely effective, leaders need to build a toolkit of knowledge, skills, and behaviours that will establish their teams and their ministry up for success.
As mentioned above, there is a broad combination of fundamental skills that leaders need to acquire and develop. Setting objectives, motivating, delegating, coaching, and giving feedback, to name a few. Leaders are managers, and good management starts with the self. Therefore they must develop an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. They must be aware of their preferred style and approach and their emotional triggers; and learn how to manage, alleviate and maximise these for the benefit of their teams.
The best leaders expand their thinking beyond what’s obvious and can benefit from the hidden opportunities of organisational success: inclusion, swiftness, flexibility, and employee or volunteer wellbeing and engagement.
Leaders are also role models, and the example they set has a significant impact on the organisational culture. So, it’s critical that they first appreciate and then show the appropriate behaviours that build trust and encourage a positive ministry environment – and do so genuinely and consistently.
Consistency in the leader’s behaviour is of utmost importance because there’s nothing worse for a co-worker dealing with the leader’s unpredictable behaviours.
A true leader brings their best selves to work every day.
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Paula Rose Parish