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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

21 Sep '13

The art, gift and maturity of graciousness in leadership

Posted by T.J. Addington in leaders, leadership
Think of the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self control. Then think about the critical way in which we often communicate in meetings, personally or worse in email.

I recently saw a communication (email) from a staff member to his supervisor, both had fairly high level roles and thought "Oh My!" I would never send that to my supervisor or for that matter to a staff member who reported to me. It was blunt to the point of being unkind, black and white in its analysis and made assumptions that I suspect were not fair. It was unkind and very inappropriate.

Now we have a  no elephants policy in ReachGlobal where anything can be put on the table with the exception of personal attacks or hidden agendas. That is not a license to be unkind, unfairly critical or to disempower others by our attitudes, words or actions. In fact, the freedom to speak candidly raises the stakes in doing it well if we are going to be heard.

This goes as well to comments we make to others about different leaders and divisions. It is easy to be critical but have we walked in their shoes? Have we talked to them to discover the reasons for why they do certain things? Have we worked with them on potential solutions? 

Good leaders are critical thinkers but not critical people. They are also flexible in their analysis understanding that there are a variety of perspectives and issues that inform any action. I will never put a non critical thinker into a leadership position. Nor will I put a critical person in a leadership position. Leaders who cannot live out the essence of the gifts of the Spirit in their leadership role will never be good spiritual leaders.

The sign of a good leader is the ability to be circumspect in their thinking, communication and relationships. It is the ability to hold an opinion loosely - knowing there may be information you don't know. It is also the ability to speak candidly but without the kind of strong words that elicit reactions that shut down discussion. It is truth spoken with grace.