Having a job like a pastor, boss, manager, or supervisor does not mean you are a great leader. Anybody can get a position, be promoted, and be in charge of people. But living in the role of a great leader takes dedication, growth in your personality, and focusing on becoming a quality leader.
Excellent leadership skills are something most people can develop over time. While some people already have an innate God-given ability to be a great leader, most of us need to build our leadership skills from the ground up.
Suppose you're in a position where you need to showcase your leadership side; no worries. The following tips give the guidance you need to build your ability as a great leader.
Try these strategies:
1. Know what kind of leader you want to be.
Becoming a great leader is hard if you don't know what one looks like. I look to the most outstanding leader of all time, Jesus. So when I am questioning how to live out leadership, I always look to Him, His Word, and His life on this earth. It would be best if you had a general idea of how you'd describe a strong leader so you have a benchmark.
● An excellent way to start is to look into some inspirational figures in your industry. Then, think about the leaders that appeal most to you and determine their leadership styles.
● Transformational leaders stand out because they're empowering, positive, and inspiring, but each person approaches their role differently.
● If you're unsure what your leadership style is, you can take quizzes online to help you find out.
● Once you know what kind of leader you are and who you want to become, you can start planning a route to living as the great leader you want to be.
2. Encourage creativity.
If you want to achieve incredible things, it's important to encourage those around you. A creative team is more likely to develop positive ideas for growing your ministry or business and generating new opportunities. Great leaders are not people who do it all. Looking to Jesus, He ultimately raised a team of leaders and gave away all His leadership influence.
● With that in mind, be sure that everyone on your staff feels comfortable sharing their thoughts.
● Offer challenges to your team members and ask them to share their best ideas. You could also ensure that it's easy for people from all over your ministry or business to provide feedback about the ideas they like most.
3. Embody the values you want to see.
Leaders are there to guide and inspire the people around them. If you want to see incredible things from your staff, give them a model to replicate. Jesus did this; it is His model of influence.
● Although it can be challenging to present yourself as a role model, particularly if you're new to leadership, it all starts with understanding your values. It's much easier to do this when pointing people to Jesus. Think about what matters most to Him and you as a leader and what you want to see in those you lead.
● When you showcase the things you ask for from your staff, you'll notice that they can more often imitate the actions you want to see. For instance, if you want your team to be passionate about their roles and responsibilities, show evidence of your passion often.
4. Invest in Communication.
Strengthen your communication skills wherever possible. This includes ensuring that you can effectively communicate when you're chatting with people in all forms of communication, in person, through written messages, or via video calls. As a Pastor, I am constantly working to improve my communication abilities. Yet, I'm always surprised to hear from peers who never listen to their messages to improve. Or never go to workshops or seminars or take continuing education classes on communication. You may feel like you have been preaching or communicating for so many years that you got this down pat. But I assure you, you have room to improve and add value to your leadership.
● Great leaders should always work on being better communicators in all areas as often as possible.
● This includes leaving the lines of communication open, so your team can come to you with any feedback they haven't been able to share in a group meeting or recent session.
● Ensure that no one ever feels nervous about coming to you with insights or questions about what to do next.
5. Encourage and motivate your team.
As a leader, you can judge yourself by your team's successes. But, ultimately, the wins of the people you lead are your wins too. Therefore, it's important to constantly encourage, motivate, and inspire your team members to achieve the best outcomes.
● Avoid taking all the spotlight in any situation.
● Ask your team members to give their input as often as possible. You can also make it easier for less extroverted people to share ideas.
● If you have trust issues on your team, you may want to start by providing a digital environment where people can submit insight anonymously until you can see a cultural shift in trust in your group.
● In others, it might be helpful to sit down with team members face to face every so often, so you can discuss their goals and how they align with the overall targets of the ministry or business.
Strengthen your leadership skills with these strategies and become the leader God created you to be and the leader you aspire to be.