Leadership Tips: Disciplines for Leadership Success
Leadership is a decision. It is born out of a desire to see something significant happen for, in, and through the lives of others. Leadership is not chasing or cherishing a position, but choosing to serve for the good of those you lead.
If you choose to lead, it is helpful and important to develop the qualities of a leader worth following.
What are these qualities?
Leadership Tips: The Six Disciplines
My friend, Dr. Jim Laub, is the author of the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA). OLA is a heavily researched model of servant leadership. He identifies six disciplines that when practiced make for effective leadership and an effective organization.
- Provide leadership –
This involves establishing vision and direction. Paint a clear picture of the preferred future. Take into account the dreams and aspirations of those you lead. They need to see themselves in the picture. Test your vision with them and be open to their input. Articulate the vision clearly, deliver it passionately, and implement it relentlessly.
I have found, particularly in smaller organizations, that being caught up in management costs you effective leadership. Do all you can to free yourself from operational management. That will enable you to champion the vision and develop strategies to fulfill the mission.
- Build community –
Healthy relationships result in organizational enjoyment and effectiveness. Partnership, collaboration, and teamwork are terms that describe community. But they need to be more than words.
Genuine caring, understanding the needs of those you lead, embracing differences, and personal presence (engaged presence) are strong indicators of a healthy community.
What are the community-building steps you are taking as a leader?
- Value people –
Listen to, trust, and serve those you lead. These actions communicate to those you lead that they are valued. Joel Manby is the president and CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment and the author of Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders. He draws his leadership principles from, “The Love Chapter,” of the Bible (1 Corinthians 13).
Qualities of Love from 1 Corinthians 13:
- Be patient
- Be kind
- Be trusting
- Be unselfish
- Be truthful
- Be forgiving
- Be dedicated
When these qualities are consistently practiced, people feel valued.
- Display authenticity –
At its core, leadership is a trust relationship between the leader and the person or people being led. To be authentic is to be real (open, honest, and unmasked). Admitting failures, weaknesses, and shortcomings creates connections with those we lead. Leaders and followers are on the same level playing field, so we all learn from each other.
- Develop people –
Provide learning opportunities and involve people in the decisions that directly affect them. Deliver encouragement and affirmation. These actions help people improve in what they do, as well as advance them in the level of their responsibilities. Everyone needs appreciation; effective leaders recognize the contributions of others. They give public praise and know how to celebrate victories.
- Share leadership –
Effective leaders consider themselves a resource rather than a director. Impactful leaders see those they lead as partners. Sharing leadership involves dispersing power and decision-making authority, creating an environment where people are free to take initiative, and deferring to others who have more expertise.
Leaders must be intentional about these six disciplines if they are to be effective. Each of us has room for improvement. In which of the six disciplines can you improve?
- Adjunct Professor of Theology and Leadership
- Certified as a Human Behavior Consultant
- Authorized Wiley Everything DiSC© Partner
- Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) Partner
- Certified Facilitator of Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus Encounter Groups
- Certified Facilitator of CPP Personality, Career, and Organizational Development Assessments
- International Speaker and Trainer
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