“Leadership” is one of those things everyone does but; don’t believe they do or don’t even believe they can, or worse yet..deny they do. From the playground to grand parenting, in every walk of life, at every age in life, in every conceivable activity leadership is employed. What’s more, we actually use a range of leadership skills either knowingly or unknowingly. For example, have you given someone feedback or commented on “how” they have done something? Great, then you are practising leadership!!!
Here’s some help, which you can practice and build your leadership muscles.
Direction & Vision: Direction is pointing the way, whereas vision is about imagining an end state of benefit to “you”. God’s promise of a land flowing with milk and honey is a clear vision. The beneficiary is the person who is going to experience the vision. God also gave Moses directions; how to get the people out of Egypt and into the land flowing with milk and honey. Its easy to confuse direction with vision, I’ve been there. I’ve painted a picture of the way to achieve an outcome that I wanted and convinced myself that I was being visionary, when in fact I was pointing out the direction. Both vision and direction are important; practice using both appropriately.
Feeding & Inspiring: Spiritual feeding is about learning great lessons and opening up new insights. Inspiration may create the same feelings as feeding, however the purpose of inspiring is to ignite action; to get things done. The team pep talk is supposed to be inspirational, however some leaders use the pep talk to feed but hope for inspirational outcomes. To do something new or different requires inspiration. So do both, feed and inspire!!!
Accompanying & Navigating: Accompanying me on a journey means we travel together and experience all together. Take the disciples, Jesus was with them, they could call on him to calm the storm. Navigation is about plotting the path for someone, like sending out the 72, Jesus informed them where to go, what to do under different circumstances, but he wasn’t with them in the flesh on their journey. When mentoring, it can feel like you are going through experiences with the person, slow down…you are still only the navigator!! We can suggest possible options, but ultimately we have to trust the one traveling to make the decisions for their journey, like Jesus did.
Feedback & Condemnation: Everyone loves giving feedback but I’ve yet to find anyone who love receiving feedback!!!! Feedback is interesting, get it right and the receiver will love you for ever, get is wrong – condemn them, and they will rightly see things differently from you. Feedback is about showing someone how specific decisions or actions contributed to the success of failure of an outcome. Condemnation is about pointing out behaviours or approaches of “yours” that offend “me”. Condemnation is always personal. I was once given personal feedback which went like this, “you’re very articulate but some people wouldn’t warm to that”. This is condemnation wrapped up as “feedback”….a praise sandwich!! Condemnation is designed to trigger a change in behaviour to benefit the one “condemning”, whereas feedback benefits the “receiver”.
Feelings & Fact: We all use feelings to understand the “vibes” the other person is giving off, whereas being factual is about making decisions on fact rather than what I’m feeling. My interpretation of what I’m feeling may be 100% wrong. So the challenge here is to know how to apply feeling and when to operate with facts. Feelings should rightly give rise to additional “investigation”, but you should be very careful making decisions on feelings. However, my advice would be, invite the Holy Spirit to control.
Now, use these tips at home, at work and church and see your leadership cred increase!!