This month, I celebrated 33 years of leading a church that grew from 21 people to thousands in less than 24 months. The opportunity to add value to so many lives is a source of great celebration and fulfillment. However, this miracle has also been the source of great pain. Pain and heartache are a natural part of life and every leader must learn how to lead while in pain and processing disappointments. I've discovered that there are three actions that will help every leader to succeed in the face of their internal pain.
First, don't waste time trying to find someone to blame. That process will discourage you and has the potential to hurt the positive relationships in your life. Blaming doesn't solve anything! Find it in your heart to forgive and focus on the plan to improve, not on things you can't change.
Secondly, do not internalize your pain. Every leader must have a place to go so that pain does not consume your heart. Talk to someone who can effectively help you...
In line with crafting the vision for new change(s), how we communicate change is essential. As leaders, we are tasked with being the spokesperson for the vision, so we must sharpen our skills. We have to prepare our team to fully embrace and understand the vision for the organization. As you work on creating the vision, document in detail the pathway for implementing the changes that new vision can stimulate. Your team and stakeholders need to be informed throughout the process, providing regular updates and addressing any concerns they may have.
However, no matter how strong your vision and change plan is, there will be those who resist change. Change is not always easy, so it's important to anticipate potential roadblocks and have a plan to address them in whatever form they might show up. Do your best to engage with stakeholders early and often throughout the process and listen to their feedback to address any concerns they may have. As much as possible, try to communicate...
Our leadership journey is often characterized by changes that we hope will help our organization grow and take us one step closer to our desired vision. However, change, even when desired, can be challenging. Our greatest successes will likely come through our ability to lead during seasons when changes are happening. Change brings out the best in leaders because change is required to grow and fulfill vision. This is why we are dedicating this month to discussing change management for leaders.
The first thing to do when you want to make a change is to develop an effective communication strategy to share your strategic plan. I would suggest you begin by:
Taking these actions will help you create a vision and plan that you can comfortably...
One of the most important soft skills within the corporate world is conflict resolution. As leaders, it is essential that we consistently find ways to improve our ability to handle conflicts within our organization. We are leading teams of people with different points of view, so conflict is inevitable. Choosing to carefully manage every conflict with emotional intelligence is important. How do we do this?
In every human interaction, there is a need to listen to each other. We all want to feel "heard" and that we are capable of adding value to the conversations and interactions that we are a part of. We can feel left out or invisible when we feel like our needs aren’t being listened to, which can affect how we see ourselves. The principle of listening also applies to our roles as leaders.
In the same way, as we want our team to listen to us and actively implement our goals and desires for the organization, so do our team members want to trust us to listen to them and nurture the right kind of environment for every team member to thrive. How do we listen?
You've probably heard me say this a million times….so here it is one more time. Most of our communication is nonverbal. How you say it and what you look like when you say it far outweighs what you said! Smart leaders don't stop by asking, What did I say? They ask the bigger and more pertinent question. What did they hear?
We are all different. Words mean different things. Expressions have different meanings. Even humor can be misunderstood because of environmental and cultural differences. The differences in our backgrounds require leaders to be intentional about nurturing environments and relationships that value clear communication and feedback.
Since leaders, by virtue of their position are primary sources of information and often the first line of communication, our chances of being misunderstood can be higher than anticipated.
We want to be the kind of leader that's empathetic to the pain and feelings of others. Our goal is to communicate from the strengths of emotional...
We often hear people say there are just not enough hours in the day. Hey, you and I have said it! But my honest opinion is that the day was created perfectly with just enough time to fulfill destiny and purpose. The challenge is not a deficit of time in the day; the challenge is the ability to manage the time in a day.
Our time is broken down into days, weeks, and months and they are all connected. Our lives are driven by our sense of purpose, which breaks down into our thoughts, words, actions, and habits. To maximize our time, we have to be intentional about how we schedule our actions. Once we do that, every second, minute, and hour begins working to cause our purpose to materialize. This means we have to employ the tools we have to order our steps, and we discover that there is enough time!
When we approach every day with this knowledge, it helps us better manage our destinies. As a leader, when you begin to master time, your decision will have a ripple effect on your...
The work of strategy does not begin when we sit to map out our plans. It begins from the moment we craft our vision, the moment we take on the role of leadership. One of the larger burdens of leadership is reminding yourself and your organization that every task or plan has to align with the overarching goal of your organization. This is strategy. With every plan drawn up, and every move to be made, we have to think of how it aligns with the goals we set for the organization.
As leaders, we do not have the luxury of only focusing on the current immediate reality, there is always a larger picture and we have the responsibility of seeing it. How do we keep seeing that picture?
The work of emotional intelligence doesn't just benefit you but will blossom into a collective effort that will nurture a healthy organization. So how do we get started in this journey of leading your team to thrive emotionally and change the culture of our workplace? Let's start with the foundations of emotional intelligence.
Here are the four basic tenets:
Leadership is a lifetime commitment that will require us to be around people a lot. We will have to nurture diverse kinds of relationships with people who have different backgrounds. However, if there is one thing I am certain we all have in common, it is a desire to feel valued. When we meet people in a professional setting, we can lose sight of who they are because we get so focused on the work that they do.
If we are to nurture the habit of emotional intelligence that is necessary for taking our leadership to the next level, we might have to put some extra effort into getting to know our team and other people we meet beyond the surface. Sometimes, a daily “how are you doing today?” can build the trust and loyalty needed for the relationship.
Other times, it can look like giving them the opportunity for leadership feedback. This might have to be done anonymously to ensure more people participate honestly. Giving people the opportunity to communicate with...