What You Typically Don't Get on This Blog
A Seven Step Way
A little "FORMULA" to use as it is helpful
I know you can't get much in a nutshell... just like you can't put much in a tweet... but here is a major attempt.
You all know I enjoy complexity and I think simple ways are rarely workable or sustainable ways. Most issues are complex, life is complex, people are complex… and the truth of God is rich and full and wide and mysterious (at points)… so I am fine with complexity.
But, not unnecessary complexity. There is no virtue there. I do believe we should simplify when possible.
Here are a few thoughts in a bare bones, simple way to understand the essence of leadership. This is what leaders have to do, without telling you how to do it.
You may want to cut and paste this into a document and print it out and hang it at your desk.
Be sure to do some assessment on how you are doing in each of these leadership responsibilities.
ONE: Achieve clarity about vision and values…
Thisis hard work. How many times have we spent too much time doing "stuff" that is really not contributing to the reaching of a vision. We deal with mission drift and vision leak. We do "stuff" all the time that is counter to our values. So we MUST get clarity on vision and values. But that is only the start of leadership. Then, the ongoing work of leadership begins. There are six more core “works” a leader must do and do well. If you don’t do them, then you will fall short of being faithful and fruitful. Here they are (in their simple format). They are somewhat sequential, but not rigidly so.
TWO: Establish Objectives or Outcomes.
These desired outcomes flesh out what you MUST do and achieve if you are to realize your mission/vision. A vision is too general. What are the most important things you must do if you are to actually reach the vision and achieve the mission? Objectives show you AND OTHERS the way forward.
THREE: Strategically organize.
Now you determine what resources you have to work with, how to allocate resources, what problems you will face, how to address them, who is most suited to help in which particular job . . . many more thoughts could be added to this. I believe the work of team building fits here, although it is so important it could be added as another work of leadership.
FOUR: Motivation and inspiration.
Since almost everything you want to accomplish will need others working together toward your desired ends, you have to enlist, recruit, partner with others. You have to motivate them to partner with you. You have to keep them motivated, energized, inspired and loving what they do. This is huge… I mean REALLY HUGE. Part of this discussion has to be the ideas of emotionally intelligent leadership that creates resonant work environments.
FIVE: Empowering and training
As you are finding people to be a part of the dream or the project, you usually have to train, develop, empower and resource them. You can’t assume they have what they need to do what you need them to do. Now this is cool, part of motivation and inspiration happens as you truly empower people.
SIX: Communicate and inform.
Ongoing communication is the constant need. It is striking how many people do not have access to the information they need to do the work they need to do, or to do it as well as they need to do it.
SEVEN: Supervising and sustaining and improving via assessment and adjustment
You have to be able to measure results and progress toward the desired results. There are a variety of tools available for the work of supervision and at any moment, you may need to cycle back to an earlier work of leadership. For so much of what we aren't reaching desired outcomes has to do with leadership failures to do these steps of leadership.
So what do you think? Does this make sense? Does it help you think about how you lead? And give some perspective as to what can be improved?
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International