Learning to lead (2)

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When people feel ‘used’ they begin to drop out, but when they feel appreciated they’ll follow you anywhere. Paul, one of the finest leaders of all time, told the Corinthian believers, ‘I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged…my joy knows no bounds’ (vv. 3-4 NIV 1984 Edition). He was their biggest cheerleader. He didn’t just correct, he comforted. He didn’t just sharpen, he strengthened – all hallmarks of great leadership.

Good leaders:

1) Are consistent. They set an example by walking the walk so everyone knows that what’s heard at the bottom is practiced at the top.

2) Voice their appreciation, realizing that people need to know they’re an important part of the team and the vision.

3) Always listen to suggestions, opinions, concerns, and ideas. They don’t prejudge, and they’re not dismissive. Author Betty Bender said: ‘It’s a mistake to surround yourself only with people just like you. Throw off that warm comforter and replace it with a crazy quilt of different and imaginative people. Then watch the ideas erupt!’

4) Don’t see people as statistics. Businesswoman Mary Kay Ash said, ‘P&L doesn’t mean “profit and loss” – it means “people and love.”’

5) Explain why they like things done a specific way. It lessens mistakes, and the resentment that can stem from feeling ‘ordered around’. Statesman Clarence Francis said, ‘You can buy a man’s time and physical presence at a certain place…But you can’t buy enthusiasm, initiative, loyalty, and the devotion of hearts, minds, and souls. You have to earn these things.’

‘I have great confidence in you.’ 2 Corinthians 7:4 NIV (1984 Edition)

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