Three characteristics of every effective missional leader

January 22nd, 2020

A new year brings fresh opportunities to assess, clarify and refine our priorities. In this first month of a new decade I am reviewing these critical practices with the folks in my coaching network. These three characteristics are essential for the success of both personal and corporate objectives. Every effective leader must have:

  1. A clear PICTURE of where the organization needs to be in the future. Vision leads! Vision comes from leaders; it doesn’t come from committees. George Barna reminds us that leadership is based on the ability to see future possibilities and shape the environment to facilitate desired outcomes. Effective leaders are vision wombs. People commit to following visions, not institutional programs. Vision is a leader’s mental image that conveys where an organization needs to be in the future. Vision addresses WHY, WHAT and HOW. Vision is primarily right-brained and passionate. Vision evokes emotion. Goal setting and strategy development are the result of vision. The process does not precede vision. There are four characteristics of vision: clarity, urgency, importance and scale. 
  2. A detailed PLAN that lays out the action steps for the fulfillment of God’s preferred future. The plan contains desired outcomes, strategic action steps with measurable results and clear timelines. Making personnel assignments according to gift mix and training for effective outcomes is also essential to the plan. Personal goals without detailed action steps and timelines are no more than wish lists. 
  3. A persistent, repetitious PRACTICE. The January resolve to lose weight and get healthy are well intended. The line was long at the membership table at my gym this morning with people who have made serious New Year’s resolutions. A majority of these folks will have fallen off their resolve by the middle of February, if not before. Fruitfulness is the result of long, sustained, persistent action in the same direction. I experienced the effects of persistence in my over 38 years of leadership at Ginghamsburg Church. 

My prayer is for God’s fruitfulness in all of your New Year endeavors!

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