Effective leadership is intentional. Great leaders spend time in both effective leadership planning and practice. Some great things to consider as you plan your successful leadership are:
“If you would have a happy life, remember two things: In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current,” Thomas Jefferson. If you haven’t yet established your set of core values, start there.
Be flexible with the things that are negotiable. “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist,” Indira Gandhi. So, seek to be a plow rather than a bulldozer. The plow cultivates the soil, making it a good place for seed to grow. The bulldozer scrapes the earth and pushes every obstacle out of the way.
Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Even the greatest leaders cannot please 100% of their constituents. A good rule to remember is that 10% will be cheerleaders; 10% will be naysayers; and 80% will be general supporters with swayable influence. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”(Proverbs 27:17) Mentors can be great sounding boards to help you keep your perspective. Find coach, a mentor or a colleague to bounce ideas and gain feedback. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)
Create a Happy File! Collect encouraging notes, thank you notes, recommendations and testimonies in a file folder with a big smiley face on the cover – and take a moment to read through them at least once per month to remind yourself that you are making a difference! Everyone needs an encourager – recognize your Aaron. Use your words to give life to yourself and others! (Proverbs 15:4) And be sure to laugh – “Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything,” Herbert Gardner
“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges,” Joseph F. Newton. But God calls us to “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), since “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pith the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Effective leaders need more that positional power and personal power – they need spiritual power too. Spiritual power comes through knowing the Word of God (Joshua 1:8) and by connecting with Him through the armor of prayer (Ephesians 6:13).