What does a leader do?
This is a good question since leadership feels like juggling too many things at once. Have you been there?
So the answer to this question can be complex and varies in opinion based on who is asked. But the reality is, that leaders do a lot that is unseen and unknown. When something goes wrong people blame the leader and when something goes right, good leaders give others the credit. The dynamics of a team and the productivity they have is a result of leadership.
Where there’s success, healthy attitudes, growing people, and unity, there’s good leadership.
But this is not automatic and at times, a challenge to achieve.
Leaders know leaders because they know what it feels like and what comes with it. The responsibility is a weight all leaders carry.
Being a leader is honorable and it is an honor!
This is what Paul said about it.
“This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.”1 Timothy 3:1
So, what does a leader do?
Out of all the things leaders do, here are the top five, in my opinion. All of these are done through love.
1st – Have a vision.
With our vision, there’s nowhere to go. Vision takes you somewhere and compels others to want to do it.
With that said, the vision must be clear, quantified, compelling, and bigger than your ability.
It must drive us to reach beyond our resources and see what God can do when we believe. This is huge because God uses tasks to make us who He wants us to be. Meaning, that the vision He gives us will require us to change, grow, and evolve to see if it comes to pass.
We must have a vision and lead it out.
2nd – Empower others.
One person can’t do it all and nothing great happens with just one person.
Therefore, we must empower others to do their job and be free with the gifts they have. No one has every gift which is why we need a team. No one can do everything which is why we empower others. No one thrives when their wings are clipped, which is why we don’t want to clip them.
Good leaders let others lead with them and when they do this everyone gets better. So, we empower them with clear boundaries and a job description that lets them go free to lead with safety and care.
This is a huge thing leaders do!
3rd – Build teams.
Teamwork makes the dream work. For that to happen, people must become a team. This is not easy and it happens over time with intentionality.
With everyone’s quirks, issues, and dynamics, it takes patience and skill to do this but it must be done.
To build a team we must have clear job descriptions and everyone knows who does what. Then we facilitate talking to each other through conflict, miscommunication, and partnerships.
Teams thrive through trust and clarity, and both of these are constant aspect to build and fortify, it’s not a one-time thing but rather an ongoing part of working together.
Leaders lead leaders and build teams with them. When this happens, the vision can happen!
4th – Sacrifice for the team.
Good leaders will sacrifice for the team and put others first. Meaning, their decisions are based on the big picture and think ahead for what’s next. Impulsivity is dangerous. Sacrificing for the team is safe and successful.
Being a leader has perks, but that doesn’t mean we put what we want over what’s best for the organization.
When this happens it siphons the momentum away from others and ultimately slows down forward progress.
But, when leaders lead out front and sacrifice for the team, growth can happen through the stability of a grounded leader.
5th – Grow personally.
We cannot escape this principle which means, we must grow personally. We can’t live on what we know, we must reach for what we don’t know.
This becomes especially difficult when success begins to happen. Our default says if we are doing good and achieving our goals, then I’m OK to stay where I’m at. But this is not true. Success is not forever and if we are not growing and learning new things, the success we have today will soon be a thing of the past tomorrow.
We must grow personally.
We do this by learning from leaders ahead of us and being around people that make us feel small. If we’re always the strongest leader in the room, the smartest leader in the room, and the most accomplished leader in the room, we’re in the wrong room.
To grow means to be challenged, expanded, and open to new things. So, our message and character are built on Jesus and our method is evolving and changing to be relevant right now.
So, how are you doing with these five things?
God has called you to more and the time is now! You can do this and begin to do these five things one step at a time.
If you are doing them, keep going and reach higher, God has more for you.
What God starts, he completes and the best is yet to come,