01 Jun '08
The five priorities of every leader
Good leaders must do at least five things well in their leadership role. There may be other things a leader does but if she or he does not do these five things well, they will not become great leaders. These five responsibilities are the five highest priorities in one's leadership role. How well they are done will determine the effectiveness of the team.
One: Personal Development - Ensuring that I live intentionally in my spiritual, family, emotional, relational and professional life.
By personal development I mean the core issues that make and keep a leader healthy spiritually, relationally, emotionally and professionally. These become a leader's highest priority because health in these areas determines their ability to lead spiritually and professionally and to model the kind of faithful, fruitful, connected life that the New Testament describes for leaders.
Two: Strategic Leadership - Providing strategic leadership to the organization or part of the organization you lead.
This is not about administrating the team. There is a crucial difference between 'activity' and 'results.' Good leaders are always seeking results that are consistent with the mission. Leaders do some administration but they are not administrators. Rather, they are always pushing the mission forward - which often gets lost in the press of activity. Strategic leadership is about keeping the mission of the organization central and the team aligned toward accomplishing the mission.
Three: Strong Team - Building a healthy, unified, aligned, strategic and results oriented team.
Newsflash: The higher the altitude at which you fly, the less you can do yourself and the more you are dependent on other people. Your ability to influence the organization you lead and advance the mission is directly dependent on the people who make up your team. Your success is tied directly to your team. So, the better the team, the more you will see accomplished.
Four: Leadership Development - Develop current and future leaders.
Are you developing current and future leaders for your ministry? It amazes me how many churches and organizations have no strategy or plan to develop future leaders and then wonder why they have trouble when new leaders come and create problems. Leaders pay close attention to identifying and developing new leaders for the future. I will have failed if I do not raise up the next generation of leaders for the organization I lead so that it flourishes into the future.
Five: Mobilizing Resources - Mobilize key resources necessary for the ministry of the team to flourish.
Team leaders are mobilizers of people, strategies, finances and other needed resources. Leaders use their authority, vision-casting ability and position in the organization to ensure that their team has the resources it needs to fulfill their responsibilities. This may mean negotiating with others at their level or higher for necessary budgets or cooperation.
Mobilizing resources is not simply about funding. Leaders are 'people raisers,' always looking for individuals who can contribute to the mission. They are always on the lookout for strategies that might work or people who have been successful in what they are trying to do. All to often we try to 'reinvent wheels.' Leaders point their team to those who have already figured it out and encourage them to explore successful models.
If a leader pays attention to these five priorities, they will grow healthy and effective teams.