by Kevin Thomas
Sometimes the path is foggy.
Clear leadership is the best solution and most overlooked answer to most problems.
Clear leadership is the missing success factor in most plateaued churches, business failures, and organizational collapses.
Great churches, businesses and organizations became great because of clear leadership. They weren’t lucky. They operated in the same environment as those that failed. Their leaders were simply clearer as they led the people through misty twists and turns.
A leader with a desire to go somewhere is no substitute for a leader with a clear sense of direction.
One of my professors at Dallas Theological Seminary, the late Howard Hendricks, said, “A mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pews.” If the preacher is not crystal clear, the people are left in a fog. If the leader is not crystal clear about what he or she is saying, just imagine how unsure the team and followers are.
Lack of accomplishment in most churches, businesses, and organizations is actually due to this lack of CLEAR leadership. This might sound like bad news, if you’re the leader. But please don’t let this discourage you. Instead, this should encourage you, because this means you have much more influence over your future than you might have thought.
Most, if not all, leadership deficits are due to a poor, missing or unclear leadership communication.
A clearly defined task is like a good map. You can see where you are, where you’re heading and where you want to go. Many leaders have no idea where they are currently, have no sense of direction, and no established destination.
If you are in a healthy environment, God has placed people around you that want you to lead them to victory. If, however, your leadership is unclear, then two consequences at minimum arise.
One, the people who want to be led cannot follow effectively.
Two, some of the talented ones become frustrated and refuse to follow or move on down the road to where the leadership is clear.
The problem is not your heart. It’s most likely your foggy definition of leadership. It’s hard to master something that you have yet to clearly identify and define. It’s even harder for those who are following you.
If you’re serious about leadership, then commit now to clearly identify what leadership means in your context, so that you can clearly define it. You yourself will be the first beneficiary of a good definition.
You will be amazed at how a good definition of leadership will reshape your thinking and leadership habits. The do’s and don’ts will almost fall out by themselves, making it easier to communicate your style, values and goals to those you need to help you.
Ask these questions to those around you. Don’t assume the lines of communication are fog-free.
- What needs to be communicated more clearly?
- What’s our definition of a win? What spells defeat?
- What is our next step? Has it been clearly communicated?
- Does everyone know who our contact or point person is?
- What’s our deadline? Budget?
- Who needs to know what we know?
- What’s the best communication tool for us? Text? E-mail? Video? Handout? Phone conference? Face-to-face meetings? Etc.?
- How often should we communicate? And with whom?