Everyone who knows me personally, or through my teaching, blogging and books, knows that I am all about leadership development. Many churches are longing for leaders but have no plan for identifying, recruiting and developing potential leaders in their midst.
I often share that an intentional leadership development plan could be built on three areas:
Be would have to do with what you want growing leaders to be in areas such as Christ, character and chemistry with others…inter-heart issues.
Know would focus on things the leader needs to be taught and be knowledgeable about such as: The church’s theology, vision, values and history. Additionally, you could include where the church stands on certain societal hot button issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and divorce, as these issues will certainly come up.
Do would cover certain skillsets every leader needs to possess regardless of their role and responsibilities.
For the rest of this post, let me share three skillsets that are at the top of my list of “must haves” to be an effective leader who lasts.
1. Building a complementary and diverse team
I currently have five direct reports as one of my responsibilities at Village Church Irvine where Susan and I attend. I have communicated to each of them that they will simply not make it if they don’t focus on building a team that complements them and to whom they can delegate decision-making authority.
If you type “Building a Team” on the search line at davekraft.org you will find lots of helpful content on how to do this. I don’t believe that you can achieve all that Jesus has in mind for you if you try to do too much by yourself. Read Exodus 18 for some good advice that Jethro gave to Moses so he could be a leader who lasts.
2. Communicating well, both in speaking and writing
Any leader going anywhere today is working at being an above average communicator, both in writing and speaking. Generally, leaders have word gifts and lead by speaking, training, casting vision, motivating and inspiring followers. They do this successfully by taking their communicating ability to a new level as they intentionally invest time in getting better at this.
People are inundated with material coming their way both via email, websites, blog posts, vodcasts and advertisements. If leaders are going to compete with this information onslaught, they need to have solid content, arranged in memorable ways, and delivered with passion, conviction and spiritual authority.
This requires lots of work at becoming really good at getting your message across. I recently finished reading “Secrets of Dynamic Communication” by Ken Davis. There is a Book Note on this book at davekraft.org. I highly recommend this book for leaders who want to excel in communication.
Wanting to be the best I possibly could at communicating was what led me to join, and be in, Toastmasters International for 18 years. Best investment in my leadership I ever made!
3. Thinking and planning strategically
Good leaders see more than others see, before others see and farther than others see. This requires looking ahead at what is coming, not just down at what is currently happening. Good leaders set aside intentional blocks of time and guard these times so they can think ahead, pray, dream, write and discover what God is doing so they can join Him in where He is going.
Many leaders are so busy trying to keep up with daily tasks that they don’t take time to look down the road. Good leadership demands “bi-focal” vision: seeing what is up close as well as what is in the future.
So, how are you doing with these three skills?
How does your team feel you are doing?
Why not ask them, and then go to work on improving, by His grace, in these three critcal areas of leadership?