14 Axioms to Raise Your Leadership Level

  1. Language MattersLeaders rise and fall by the language they use.  Sometimes whole visions live or die on the basis of the words the leaders choose to articulate that vision.
  2. You’re always in a SeasonA key responsibility of a leader is to know what season(growth, consolidation, transition, malaise or reinvention)the organization is in, to name it and then to communicate the implications of that season to his or her followers.
  3. The Dangers of IncrementalismYou know you have ingested a little incrementalism when innovation is no longer welcomed in your environment.  No matter how flawlessly you execute, attrition cannot be avoided.  Trusting God for tiny increases is tantamount to planning a funeral for an organization.
  4. How are you doing … really?Ministry should not become so professional and efficient that the stuff of relationship and community gets squeezed out.
  5. Pay Attention to Greetings and GoodbyesThe most important part of a meeting is not the agenda, the decisions, or the outcomes; it is the greetings and goodbyes.  Most people have a low grade concern that their leader is going to use them and then toss them out.  Make it a habit to do a personal, enthusiastic, warm, highly relational, “look you in the eye” greeting to every single person sitting around the table before you even think about starting a meeting.  When you adjourn the meeting, personally thank every member as they leave.
  6. Deliver the Bad News FirstAlways deliver the bad news first.  What you leave with someone at the end of any given communique sets the tone for how they feel about the future of the organization or the endeavor.
  7. The Bias Towards ActionWhat we are trying to build, the local church, will not get built by “hammock swinging”, pipe smoking, video watching sleepy types.  Lead with a bias toward action and surround yourself with others who have a bias toward action.
  8. Performance buys FreedomHow tightly should team members be managed? If a team member is exceeding the expectations of the leader, a more loose management style is necessary.  If not, then they should be monitored more closely.
  9. SOSWhenever something goes wrong that threatens to violate the values of an organization people need to sound an alarm.  Providing a mechanism to do this(i.e.: Special email address)can be a useful tool by which people who are deep in an organization can air their frustrations and assist in troubleshooting broken parts of the ministry.
  10. Pay Now , Play LaterIn order to be successful at whatever endeavor a leader puts their hands to they must discipline themselves to do the critical tasks first.
  11. Are we Still Having Fun?Leaders carry a responsibility to lead in such a way that those they lead are as freed up as possible to do their jobs from a place of life and peace.
  12. What life are you Waiting For?This is the only leadership life you get and your one and only shot at following God?
  13. Help Me UnderstandWhenever a mistake is made effective leaders do not get angry they seek to understand the thought process that lead to the mistake; which will allow a teachable moment.
  14. Lead SomethingIf you want to get better, stretch beyond your current ability and really find out what your strengths, talents and gifts are; lead something.