It doesn’t really matter what type of leadership you are in. You can be a small business owner, in vocational ministry, a community leader through your school board or something else. If you are leading anyone or anything, you probably have a team that is looking to.
In every setting, across the board, there will be three fundamental things that your team needs from you. Interested to know what they are? Keep reading.
Have you ever been stuck with a manager or leader that belittled you? Didn’t seem to trust you? Or never freed you to lead from your strengths, then you know what I am talking about. Leading with a full heart enables you to lead from a place of security and therefore, empower others to reach their potential.
When you are secure as a leader, your team will love it because you’ll be a leader that empower and elevates the people who follow you.
Leaders with full hearts are able to get the most out of their team because they free them to do their best work. What do I mean? When a leader is not content with themselves or secure in their own leadership or abilities, then they will find themselves tending toward squelching the potential of their team members. They are worried that they will be surpassed by their subordinates.
Conversely, a leader who is secure recognizes that by elevating their team, they elevate themselves. A strong leader is able to develop the people they lead to actually work themselves out of a job. The odd thing is, this makes the leader invaluable to the organization. How? Its because the leaders has multiplied themselves and given the organization a team of great leaders. This skyrockets the organizational potential.
Leading from a place of confidence will allow your team to flourish and make you invaluable.
Hear me out. The only way a leader sky rockets their potential and that of their team, is when they’re secure enough to develop, empower and release their team. That happens when the leader takes the time to fill their heart and find their confidence.
How do you lead with a full heart?
- Remember who you are. Especially as a Christian leader, your identity is found in Jesus. Your favor is found in Jesus. No matter how you, or your team performs, He delights in you. What does this do for your leadership? It frees you to moves you away from a mindset that you have to claw your way to the top. And instead, allows you to give away the same love and assurance that you have received.
- Remember that your team is not your enemy. When they reach their fullest potential, everyone (including you) wins! It enlarges your mindset to see yourself as a part of the team. When you’re a part of something, you love it. When you’re in competition with something, you hate it. Your team needs you to love them. Now, love doesn’t mean “walk all over”. Ever heard of tough love? It’s real. And important. But love prompts us to see the people around us as people as just that; people. Your team is not your competition. They’re real people.
There’s not room in strong leadership for blurry vision. That doesn’t mean that you need to have every answer all the time. That’s not realistic. When you face adaptive challenges, you won’t have the answers! Charging toward the unknown is part of leadership.
However, the clear vision your team needs from you is the picture of the win. If a team doesn’t know how to win, they don’t know how to move forward. In fact, they won’t know the end goal or the rules to get there. Every time, when the team doesn’t know the vision, they will flounder, everything will feel chaotic and nothing will get accomplished.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll know every step along the way. And the vision might even morph as you get into it. But, your team needs you to bring clarity around the picture of where they’re headed. Then, tell them. You’d be surprised how many leaders to the work of bringing clarity in their mind and never communicate it to their team. Let me be clear. If the vision is in your mind but not your teams, it’s not a vision and it’s not clear. And you have not done your job.
If you are waiting for someone else to bring clarity to the vision, slap yourself. Girl, you’re the leader. It’s your job to name the unknown and to help your team know how to move toward it.
How to you lead with clear vision?
- Cultivate a rhythm of getting alone. You may not know all of the answers (in fact, you wouldn’t need a team if you did- just robots), but you’ve got to know enough about the direction you’re going, to invite people to follow you there. Again, you’ve got to be able to let people know what winning is. Maybe it’s just a short term win you know, but you’ve got to be able to paint a picture for your team. So, get alone, get a journal and get clear.
- Fight distraction with your biggest sword. No matter what you’re chasing down, there will be a million and one distractions that pop up. To lead your team with clarity, you have got to be ruthless about weeding out distractions. Have you read the classic business book “Good to Great”? There will always be good things that will try to steal you away from the great thing. The only way you’ll be able to lead your team to accomplish the goal, is when you know what it is… and what it is not. Don’t fall for the distractions that lead you toward what it is not.
A Whole Lot of Courage
Mmmm, girl. Leadership takes courage. A lot of it. To foster a healthy and thriving team, you’ll have to have challenging conversations, to confront members of the team, to own your mistakes, to call people forward when all you want to do is stop. But, that’s what you signed up for.
Don’t get too discouraged though. There’s a great thing about the courage it takes to lead your team. If you embrace it, you will grow. Not just you as a leader, but you as a person. Oh, and there’s another great thing. Your team will grow. Not as workers, or even leaders, but as people. When you lead with courage, you don’t just accomplish a goal. You change lives.
When you confront someone (which you will… often), what you’re actually doing is communicating value to them. Confrontation say, “I care too much about you, to let you continue in this poor behavior.” Oh, it will take courage. But, it will grow you and the person you’re confronting. Likewise, owning your mistakes (of which you’ll make plenty). That will take tons of courage. But, when you do it, and do it quickly, you’ll find the grace of your team saying they’ll follow you anyway.
Your team doesn’t need you to be perfect in these scary tasks. They need you to be courageous. The leader that lacks courage doesn’t do these things. And as a result, their team falls apart, flounders and fights. If you’re going to lead well, and lead with courage, you will do the hard things. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to do them. Your knees might be shaking and your voice quivering, but you must be courageous and do them anyway.
How do you lead your team with a whole lot of courage?
- Do the stuff you don’t want to do. It will be hard to build a value of confrontation and honesty into your team culture. But it will be so worth it in the long run. It will be hard to consistently and quickly confront, apologize, press forward. But, these are the habits that build your courage muscle and help you shape a team that thrives.
- Be humble. Leadership has a way of naturally humbling people. But to really help a team grow to be healthy and to lead them with courage, you’ll have to make a choice early on to embrace humility. The leader who wears a mask of perfectionism or self-protection or fill in the blank isn’t courageous. They’re selfish. They have an arrogance they won’t allow them to value the people on their team enough to confront them, to apologize to them, to bring them into unknown territory. Those leaders are so worried on themselves that they cannot lead with humility and therefore cannot lead with courage. The courageous leader will humbly serve the people on their team. Serving them means loving them well and leading them with bravery even when they don’t feel like it. And these leaders are the ones that shape lives, cultures, communities.
Full Heart, Clear Vision and a Whole Lot of Courage.
That’s what it takes. If you want to lead a high performing team and develop people to reach their fullest potential, you better get secure in who you are, figure out where you’re going and don’t hold back. The leaders who change the world, are the women and men who have grabbed hold of these things. If you, my friend, want to leverage your life to make a maximum impact in the world, then get these three things straight. You’ll be surprised how your influence, and the influence of your team, soars.