Have you ever noticed how a change in leadership can immediately change things…for better or worse? Although examples exist in other places, it’s often most stark in the world of sports. Remembering back 40 years (this year), having won our high school football championship two years in a row, upon my graduation and the resignation of our head coach, a new one was hired for my brother’s senior year. With a comparably talented pool of players, the results didn’t come close.

Why is that? You often times see it in the opposite direction, where a head coach comes in and takes a team that has been struggling, and hardly changing personnel, then excels. As I stated in my August 5, 2020 blog, Great Leadership Doesn’t Just Happen, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a large corporation or small business, the federal government or a family, a not-for-profit, including a University or a Church, or any small group, inside an organization or otherwise. A dynamic, thriving organization always has a great leader. You can count on it”.

In part #2 of that series, I indicated the changes in me that took place, all rooted in my spiritual journey, that have made me the leader I am. In this post, I thought I’d provide some practical tips to leadership. I saw a presentation years ago, where leadership was pointed to as the following acronym:

  • Lead by Example
  • Educate
  • Attitude
  • Discipline
  • Empowerment
  • Receive and Respect Input
  • Sacrifice
  • Humility
  • Initiative
  • Plan, Prepare, Practice 

There’s a lot of truth here, all good things to keep in mind. I’m intentionally not including a lot of commentary on the above or what follows. Please think/pray through it. 

I also strongly believe that our journey as leaders starts from within. It’s based on:

  • Our identity in Christ – understanding and internalizing His unconditional love and forgiveness
  • Personal prayer life – we have to be in relationship with our Savior – spiritually and practically 
  • Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, Accountability – all based on our character (our identity in Christ)

The following are the things I’ve lived by as I’ve grown in supporting my team(s) as a leader:  

  • Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care
  • Love them, love them, love them
  • Affirm, affirm, affirm
  • Be invested in helping them be their very best professionally and personally 
  • Always be willing to do what you ask of others
  • Celebrate successes – individually and collectively
    • Personally
    • In writing
  • They need to know you have their back 
  • Collaboration is critical…people need to be part of developing the solution
  • People don’t need to be agreed with; they always need to be heard
  • Address challenging issues quickly and charitably
  • You can say anything as long as you say it softly
  • If struggling with addressing an issue, identify it and use it 
  • Always over-communicate, especially vision and plans
  • Don’t be distracted in your personal communication; zero in on person in front of you
  • No favorites – hold everyone to same standards; morale suffers otherwise

As always, please feel free to contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph

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