I just found my notes from Hans Finzel’s book – a must-read for any pastor / church leader. Just in case you’re like me and already have 3-4 books going at this moment and don’t really have time or energy to add another book to the list – here are the ‘cliff-notes’ version: (Don’t miss #9 – it’s my favorite!)
1. Top-down Attitude
This is the “mother of all leadership hang-ups.” Based on the military model, this autocratic model is set to be abused. It promotes talking instead of listening and often neglects the art of delegation.
2. Putting Paperwork before People-work
People are opportunities – not interruptions. Need-meeting is at the core of leadership and ministry.
3. The Absence of Affirmation
People thrive on sincere praise and appreciation. Don’t underestimate the power of a ‘thank-you note.’ Do your best to catch people doing good and be generous with your compliments. The ratio of positive to negative should be no less than 6:1.
4. Beware of not Making Room for Mavericks
People with different ideas are often pushed to the side by their leaders. Make room for independent thinkers by creating an atmosphere of innovation. Creativity has been terribly stifled in today’s churches.
5. Dictatorship in Decision-making
You can’t delegate philosophy – only procedure. Don’t think you are the only one who can do it. The one who does the job usually knows best how it’s done and how it might be improved. The best ideas usually bubble up from the bottom – not from the bureaucrats!
6. Dirty Delegation
One of the most frustrating things to an employee or a volunteer is to be assigned something with no authority to do it. Sometimes the job given has so many strings attached to it, that the worker is afraid to make a move. Don’t be afraid of losing your authority – and don’t give into your tendency to micro-manage. There is nothing that crushes morale and causes resentment quicker than this!
7. Communication Chaos
Never assume – NEVER. Communicate your vision and repeat your dream. Do more listening than talking. The larger the group, the more formal the communication needs to be, and the more methods of communication needed to interact.
8. Missing the Clues of Corporate Culture
Corporate culture is defined as: the way insiders behave based on the values and traditions they hold. Theologians call this ‘contextualization.’ Part of establishing credibility is learning to identify with the specifics of your team. Know them. Be sensitive to what people think.
9. Success without Successors
Instill your convictions and philosophies deep within your followers. Pride tightens the grip, humility relaxes and lets go. A good mentor:
- sees potential in others
- tolerates failure and weakness
- is flexible
- must have patience
- looks down the road
- prays for discernment
- gives timely advice
- has the capacity to encourage
- gives freedom to allow leadership to emerge
- is willing to risk his own reputation
10. Failure to Focus on the Future
Be pre-occupied by planning. Don’t settle for long-term dreams — set short-term goals. Then evaluate your progress.