Four Leadership Skills Necessary For Growth
So what does it take to lead a group from one level of function into a new level of growth and excellence? In my role as Lead Pastor, I have had to work continuously on my leadership skills. As I coach church planters and campus pastors, I often find myself talking about these four areas.
#1 – VISION – to describe a picture of a specific preferred future.
You can’t lead people anywhere unless you tell them where you want them to go. What does the future look like? This involves describing both WHAT you want them to do and even more, WHY you want them to do it.
#2 – STRATEGY – to describe how and when you are going to do it.
Vision and strategy are different.
Vision is about SIGHT. It’s about seeing a picture and feeling the emotions of what life will be like when we arrive at the fulfillment of what we are all trying to accomplish together.
Strategy is about STEPS. It’s about HOW we are going to work together to accomplish our goal. It’s also about WHO is going to do WHAT and WHEN they are going to do it.
#3 – EXECUTION – to mobilize action and measure results.
A tremendous amount of time is spent on the first two items. So much has been written about vision and goals and strategic thought. But none of that holds any value to us if we cannot manage the process and actually get something done.
Execution is about managing time and resources. It’s about managing people. And it’s about managing the step by step strategic process, so that what we say we want to do, we actually do. Execution requires that we act in a timely and effective way.
It requires that we measure short-term goals and results. It requires that we hold ourselves and others accountable for whether or not they actually do what they have agreed to do.
#4 – COMMUNICATION – to motivate, encourage, and report.
If we establish our vision, form our strategy, and start to execute, but fail to communicate – our efforts will stall out and we will fall short. I think it was Andy Stanley who said, ‘vision leaks’. The moment you think that everyone understands the plan, is the moment they will forget.
Skillful leaders communicate often. They reinforce the vision. The celebrate the execution. They add urgency to the process. And they keep on telling people why what they are doing is worth all the effort.
If we are missing any of the above four, it is very difficult to lead anyone to the next level.