Tag Archive for: leadership
Have you ever had a rotten boss? I mean the kind that just should not be leading? The kind who maybe gets your name wrong every time, or the kind of boss who hides behind an office door. I had one just like that. He was the principal of an elementary school, but you could tell he did not like children. He did not even really like teachers—or teaching, for that matter! Yet, there he was leading us.
Lucky for me, I had a good team. It was my first year teaching, one year out of college and even some experience under my belt. I knew, though, that this man was no leader. He could not remember his teachers’ names, let alone any of the students. He was not really respected at the school, because he never came into the classrooms! He somehow even delegated the job of observations and lesson plans to a Curriculum Coordinator who actually interacted with us. He was a far cry of a leader; everyone knew it. “How did he ever become principal?” I often wondered.
When you think of the word leader, what do you think of? I think of Jesus—someone who gets in with the people, someone who feels the pain of the people. A leader is someone who helps and guides and prays for his/her people. A leader is confident (yet, not over powering), stern, and gentle. Good leaders are really in the business of serving others.
When you interact with people in your business, you may not think of yourself as a leader like Jesus, but think of this quote on leadership from John Quincy Adams: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader.” I like that image. I believe all of us have the potential to be a leader, and some of us have the potential to be GREAT leaders if we so choose. It is a choice. How do you see yourself as a leader in your business? Do you have the courage to be a great leader?
Courage is defined as a noun, but it is very much an adjective…an action word. You have to put action to it for it to be effective! One of the best pictures I have seen describing this came from Brene Brown. She points out four qualities of a courageous leader:
- Ask for what you need. Even leaders need help! Just ask—it’s biblical!!
- Speak your truth. Share with people what you know—it helps them and you.
- Own your story. When you share your story, people respect you for being real.
- Set boundaries. This seems very hard, but this, too, is biblical!
- Reach out for support. We are designed to be in community. Get help to be and do better!
Matthew 7:8 paints this picture the best. It’s a great representation of a healthy way to show courage. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Even if you work by yourself, you are a leader. You (should) have a community around you that you are reaching out to and serving. In order to gain trust and respect as a leader, you can always learn more. Use helpful resources around you to make yourself a better leader. As a NACWE member, you have this built-in community to learn from. A wise person gets it. Proverbs 16:16 states, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!” Do you choose understanding over gold or silver? I do, because what good is having tons of gold if I’m dong nothing good with it?
If you ask me, the biggest thing that my first boss lacked was the fact that he did not seem to understand the qualities of a leader, and that was why he wasn’t respected. But, what did I know at 23 years old? You are not automatically a leader; you become a leader.
Paula Tobey is a Healthy Living Coach for Parents, Speaker and Founder of PheMOMenal Life. Paula works with moms who are looking to put balance back into their hectic lives. Her inspiration for living a healthy lifestyle came as a mission from God and she is living proof it can be done one baby step at a time focusing on the five areas of health. She is a former special education teacher, mother of two great girls, and a water and nature lover. Learn more about Paula at www.PheMOMenalLife.com.
Everyone has his or her own unique style of leadership. Personality, training, and emotional wellbeing are a few elements that impact a leader’s way of interacting with others and the decisions they make in their businesses, homes, or ministries. However, one element needed by all leaders who desire their businesses or influence to grow and advance with purpose is the ability to lead with vision rather than simply managing a status quo.
Visionary leaders are not content to simply maintain what already exists. They look for ways to improve, grow, streamline, and have wider impact or influence in what they do. They see beyond the moment. They want bigger and better.
On a recent episode of the television program Restaurant Impossible, I was impressed with how an interior designer walked into a restaurant and—despite its present condition—was able to envision something else. . .something better, fresher, and updated. She saw its potential. Once the vision was concrete in her mind, things had to be removed, rearranged, and remodeled to accommodate her vision.
How about you? What is your vision for what you are currently doing? Are you maintaining a status quo, or are you hungry for change?
If you desire something more than what currently is in your life, business, or ministry, here are a few tips that might help you to move past managing and advance with a fresh dream:
- Close your eyes and think about what you want to see in the future. Then, write it down. Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision, make it clear.”
- In your description, use active words that invoke passion. Include the gifts God has given you.
- Make sure that your vision encompasses your beliefs and matches your goals.
- Keep the vision before you—make pictures of it, and create a wallboard of what you envision.
- Do not assume that current structures in your life will always look the same. Be open to modifying ways, means, methods, training, direction, locale, techniques, etc.
- Create a mission statement of your purpose and function. Your mission statement must be future-oriented, must focus on one common purpose, and should portray your business or ministry as it will be, as if it already exists. Make it one or two sentences, specific to you and not generic.
- Be aware of vision killers such as tradition, apathy, fear, short-term thinking, or negativity. You are destined for more and greater things—believe it, and go for it!
I hope these tips will encourage your journey as a leader. Your vision and influence matter in making this world a brighter place.
J. Nicole Williamson is an inspirational speaker, author, and CEO of King’s Lantern International, a motivational ministry. Certified with AACC and a licensed minister with a Bachelor of Theology, she trains in personal development through empowered thinking, authentic identity, and intimacy with God. Her books include The Empowered Woman, Heaven’s Secret of Success, and Freedom in the Light. She and her husband live in the Dallas, Texas area. For more information, see www.kingslantern.com.