Like many of you I have been a student of leadership all my adult life. I’ve read probably 100 or more definitions of it. It’s an elusive quality. And when it’s present amazing things happen.
In the providence of God, He has made His church heavily leadership-reliant. At the head of every church that is growing and impacting its community and culture, there is a leader. Anointed, called, equipped with God’s favor, that leader is leading boldly forward. WHile this list is not exhaustive, I’ve found there are at least three essentials that every leader brings to every great church, business, organization, or family:
Essential #1: A clear and compelling vision. Leaders do vision. They see the future and the present. They observe things and images appear in their minds: things that aren’t but should be and could be if all the right things came together.
Leaders with clear and compelling visions can reduce them to a sentence, even a word; can tell them convincingly to a group, or one-on-one. They can transfer that vision to the hearts of many people. And when that happens, really amazing things are created.
Essential #2: Ideas. Every great leader brings compelling ideas to the table. They are not just great vision guys, they are also “what if” guys. They can ask the question, “What if?” and expose a great idea hiding right there in the potential of the vision, Leaders deal in ideas, not petty power maneuvers or personality conflicts. When people say it’s not personal, it’s business, what they’re really saying is it’s all about the idea, not the person behind it.
Essential #3: Great leaders bring energy to their group or organization. Great leaders are happy, enthusiastic, passionate. That passion can often be misunderstood as anger. And sometimes when their vision and ideas aren’t moving forward at the pace they had hoped (when do they ever actually?) a leader can become frustrated. The energy can go sideways and become counter-productive. Good or bad, a leader brings energy into every organization. If you make sure that energy is aligned and moving down the field toward the goal, it’s an infectious thing; something great to behold.
Those are my three essentials: Vision, Ideas, and Energy. What are yours?