LEARN TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
A leader that cannot communicate his or her passion, plans, goals, or vision will invariably flop. Without the ability to convey your vision, desires, goals, or passion to those who are following your lead, you will lose them either to confusion, a competitor, or through frustration and even bitterness.
Words are the most valuable tools in a leader’s toolbox. Words can motivate the languid one, encourage the dishearten one, strengthen the weary, bring hope out of darkness, establish relationships, give direction to the confused, bring understanding to the ignorant one, and promote ideas to everyone. A good leader has learned to wield words gracefully and effectively.
This is not a skill that is intrinsic to our nature. It is one that needs to be learned. Learning how to solve misunderstanding, convey ideas correctly, mediate disputes, and endear people to your vision is something that is gained with time and experience.
Find books on communication. Read them. Learn to communicate well.
YOU MUST HAVE A VISION
No leader will ever be effective until he or she has a vision that has gripped his or her life. Why would anyone follow someone who does not really have an idea of where they are going?
Leadership for the sake of power or position always produces tyranny. If your vision is merely power and control, you will produce rebellious followers. Parents, pastors, employers, and politicians must beware that their leadership position is not one of control and power else they lose their right to lead. You must have a vision, a direction, a goal that your followers buy into.
People follow people only when that person is going somewhere they believe in. As the leader, you must never lose sight of your vision. Some get enamored with the power that leadership affords, and where there was once a strong vision, the leader loses sight of it and is now a leader whose goal is merely to possess influence over others. This is fatal to a leader. You will lose your followers.
A leader is not someone who gets behind his followers and pushes or drives them. He is no longer leading at that point. A leader says, “This is where I am going, if you want to go, come ahead! I’ll help you get there!” A good employer who is also a good leader has instilled in his employees a desire to be part of and grow with his company. He has instilled in them a desire to follow!
YOU MUST BE LOYAL TO YOUR FOLLOWERS
This is vital. We all know that loyal followers are essential to a leader. But you gain that loyalty by first demonstrating loyalty to them. A strong leader is loyal to those who have chosen to follow him.
Never dismiss your followers! Without followers, you would not be a leader.
I pastor a church and one thing I will never abide is an outsider criticizing a church member. True or not, the church member deserves my loyalty. I would want them to give me the benefit of the doubt, so I give it to them. I defend each of them and I do not tolerate or indulge in criticism of them. I would hope they afford me the same courtesy, but it begins, always, at the top.
Be loyal to your followers and they will be loyal to you.
To learn more, or to get the Author’s book, Fitly Spoken, a book on developing communication and social skills for relationships, visit: www.fitlyspoken.org