In the last few weeks the subject of Leadership has been very close to my heart. I think it’s because, as I travel around the world I am seeing more clearly that everything good & bad in families, societies, Churches, Institutions is almost directly because of leadership or the lack of it. This can be true of YWAM oplocs, schools and centres too. It is because of this I’ve been realigning my own leadership style in line with what God’s word speaks about this subject. As a result, I started reflecting on life-lessons I’ve learnt from my various experiences. I am studying God’s word a bit more from the grid of leadership. I began to see other leaders – good ones and ones that could be better. I became even more convinced that this topic needs to be re-visited in a simplified way. Therefore, I started putting my personal reflection in the form original quotes the Lord was giving me on my personal Facebook account. It did not take me long to realise that many were affirming me for those quotes and in fact saying that they are being blessed, inspired and challenged. Soon, I decided to start an official Facebook page on the 15th of May calledwww.facebook.com/LeadershipTips and in just under three months this has almost 3000 likes. I praise God for it. Obviously people are crying out for good leadership in their context. And I believe you can be an answer to their prayers.
I’d like to share my heart on some of my simple leadership tips for you today. I am hoping it will have a profound impact on your leadership role.
Leadership Tip # 1
“Spiritual Leadership is more about following Jesus than it is about following leadership techniques.”
Leadership at its best is only a stewarding responsibility of our vocation (Being a Missionary, a Doctor, a government servant, an Engineer, a Teacher etc). A good leader knows that the higher purpose of life is not to be carried away by the glamour of leadership & its activities but rather he/she is inspired by the intimacy of God’s call to Himself, His Character and His purposes! You may be working as a DTS staff or a leader or working in YWAM with some other role. That’s good thing but that’s not your fundamental calling. Your fundamental calling is to love Jesus, to follow Jesus, to obey His commands. When we truly love Jesus and His word it becomes clear to those around you. While we don’t love Jesus for the sake of those around us it does affect them positively. It’s important that we in YWAM do not allow any other person or thing in life take the place of Jesus Christ.
Leadership Tip # 2
Gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit are to make us better servants not super stars.
Leadership has become a fashionable word today. The world thinks you are a great leader if many people serve you. Jesus tells something totally different. He says, you are great when you serve many people. A lot of people in ministry today have a super star status. They revel in public praise and it seems like they can’t stop talking about their incredible spiritual abilities. Some even go to the extent of saying they have all the nine gifts of the Spirit (as if there are only nine). But even if someone is extremely gifted by the Holy Spirit, it is important to note that those gifts are given to become better servants not super stars. In YWAM we value servant leadership and so it should continue to be. The day YWAMers lose this value we will lose our cutting edge.
Leadership Tip # 3
Great Leaders work on cultivating the art of serving from a place of rest & calmness and not a place of stress & drivenness.
True spiritual leaders are not looking to become great but they can’t help but have a great influence over people. One of the reasons leaders develop this greatness is because they cultivate the art of serving from a place of rest and not from a place of stress. Our modern life breeds ambitious driven people. There are plenty of people who are madly and blindly running a rat-race of life. According to Dictionary.com our modern term ‘rat-race; refers to any exhausting, unremitting, and usually competitive activity or routine, especially a pressured urban working life spent trying to get ahead with little time left for leisure, contemplation, etc. The problem with this rat-race culture that most people don’t seem to realise is that even if they win this race, they stay to be rats. There are a lot of Christian workers and missionaries who are coming under this spirit of running from one activity after the other. Such a life-style locks us in a pattern of thinking that is not biblical. A spiritual leader learns to slow down and make time for calmness and cultivates the discipline of solitude. Today, many people are afraid of silence. But, we need to develop this love for inner quietness and enjoy the inner peace God so beautifully brings in our lives.
If you are running from one thing to another without waiting in the presence of God you need to be still and know that God is missing His time with you.
Leadership Tip # 4
The best leadership currency is love.
Leadership influence doesn’t depend on the size of your wallet it sure depends on the size of your heart. Someone said, ‘people don’t really care about how much you know but about how much you really care’ That’s true most of the time. We live in a global world where we see many cultures inter-facing with one another. Often times, it will become difficult to understand one another simply because we speak another language. But when we master the art of speaking the language of love it cuts through all cultural barriers. That’s why love is the best currency a leader can have. Make a note of the names of people you serve in your leadership. Write them down on your heart. Speak to them the language of love genuinely. As you do this, you will see many things turning around for you.
Leadership Tip # 5
An average leader tolerates diversity, a good leader celebrates diversity and an effective leader knows how to cultivate synergy in & through diversity on his team!
In todays world, no matter where you serve it is more possible to have or be in a multi-cultural team rather than a mono cultural team. That’s why there is so much talk about CQ (Cultural Quotient) in this Global generation. An average leader manages to live with people who are different but hangs out a lot more with people similar to his/her style. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this but it is not effective. This will not go far in leadership influence. On the other hand, a good leader learns to accommodate and celebrate diversity not just tolerate it. Affirming someone’s culture and knowing how to respect it will take help you farther in leadership. But, if you really want to go long then become a highly effective leader. Don’t just celebrate diversity but master the art of creating synergy between all different kinds of people on your team. Create unity and synergy. A good orchestra does exactly the same. It produces harmony as the music conductor synergizes diverse kinds of instruments. The result – a happy and inspired audience! Your role, as a leader is to create synergy out of the variety you have. It will not be easy but it is possible.
Take time to allow these thoughts to sink deep into your heart. Meditate on the scriptures given for each of my Leadership Tip. Print out this article and read it several times in the light of your work right now. Make sure you ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His Spirit so you can live for His glory. Remember, your godly leadership can truly change the world around you & beyond. All the best!