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Cultivating Leadership

July 18, 2016 0 Comments

Titles and Position will only carry your leadership so far. People often follow those with titles because they have too. In reality they are driven or pushed forward not lead. True leadership is when people follow out of their own free will. This type of leadership does not just happen; it will require hard work to cultivate.

Outstanding Field

You could fill a library with all the leadership books claiming they have the magic formula for successful leadership but a magic formula really does not exist. However, there are some keys to building a strong and solid foundation. Careful cultivation of these keys will cause your leadership to grow and flourish

Compelling Vision and Mission

This is where it starts or fails. What is the main purpose for the people to get up every day and follow your lead? Without a strong “why” your followers may start off strong but will soon fade away.

Integrity / Character

A leader must have a strong set of core values and principles that act as a guide. Words such as honesty, dependability and trustworthy describe a true leader. Words not backed up by action always ring hollow and great leaders are the same in both public and private.

Your character is little more than the collection of choices you make and habits you cultivate every day. – John Maxwell

Service

It amazes me that the most successful and lasting leaders are those that serve their followers; yet, so few leaders live this out. A servant leader takes the position that life is not about themselves but about others. They know that if they lift up and support others the task / job will get done with excellence. A servant leader will show care and concern for those they lead, making investments in their people helping them grow personally and professionally.

Proactive and Intentional Relationships

Strong relationships don’t just happen, they take constant hard work. This will require making contact with the closest followers (this depends on the size and structure of the organization) every single day. Work the room. Take a moment each day (early morning is best) to get around and greet each team member. Show concern for them. Don’t carelessly ask, “How are you doing?” Recall an event they told you they were attending the night before. Ask about their kids’ activities and programs.  Make an effort to know your people. Make notes and reminders if you need too. (Just don’t let them see you making notes). Of all the things you can focus on as a leader, cultivating relationships is likely the most critical.  Take great care to be sincere and not act in a way that is manipulative. Remember, it is about them.

Personal Growth

You are always a work in progress. The important word is “work.”  Make sure you are always reading, learning and training. The day you quit learning and growing is the day you quit leading.  Even as a servant leader you are important so treat yourself that way. Don’t leave your life to chance; keep challenging and stretching yourself to grow beyond today.

So much of our world hinges on great leadership but great leadership is lacking.

Great leadership requires hard work and cultivation. Constantly communicate the vision, live a life of integrity, serve your followers and grow your relationships. Never forget to take care of yourself. If you can work these into your leadership tool set, you will find success.

Are you having a hard time in any of these areas? I would love to help you move forward. The cost? Just your time. Send me an email and we can set up a time to talk.

Did I miss anything? What helps you cultivate leadership?

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About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 25 years. We currently live in Stockbridge Georgia with two of our children Matt and Victoria. Our oldest Chris has left the nest. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Taffy.