Leadership Qualities – Part 4 Integrity

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Today we look at Integrity in leadership.

Integrity – trustworthy and conscientious and can be relied on to act and speak with consistency and honesty.

Leaders should be noted for their truthfulness, consistency and reliability. All responsibilities are fulfilled ethically. Their actions are consistent with their spoken word.

Integrity leads to credibility. Such a person is “real” and authentic rather than appearing distant and unapproachable. Integrity generally leads to a sense of openness and the ability to admit to being “human”, to having faults and failings. Rather than undermining credibility, this vulnerability adds to it. Integrity appears to build upon good self-awareness and an understanding about what personal beliefs, values, principles and thoughts motivate them. Read more

Leadership Qualities – Part 3 Communication

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The third of six leadership qualities we shall look at is Communication.

Communication  – Gives and receives information with attentiveness, clarity, understanding and perception.

Communication in this context includes speaking, listening, reading and writing, all of which are an everyday part of the responsibilities of a leader. Communication of one kind or another is at the heart of all human interactions and almost all decisions. A person’s non-verbal behaviour – body language, attitude  – are also powerful communication tools, sending strong messages without the use of words.

Communication is the common denominator in all social skills and the person who communicates well demonstrates a combination of abilities. Read more

Leadership Qualities – Part 2 Commitment

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This week we shall look at Commitment.

Commitment – the attachment a person has when the beliefs and values, vision and mission of a person or organization are aligned with his/her own.

Beliefs and values lie at the heart of individuals and organizations. They make a person or an organization what it is. Whether they are acquired subconsciously or deliberately, beliefs and values give an individual his/her motives and life goals and an organization, its raison d’etre, vision and mission.

Commitment describes the emotional attachment people have to an individual or organization and what it stands for. Christian commitment arises from belief and trust in God and is outworked in the church, where shared commitment is expressed. Read more

Leadership Qualities – Part 1 Accountability

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In this first in a series of six articles, we shall look at accountability.

Accountability – acknowledges the need to evaluate work relationships and performance, willingly giving and receiving feedback.

All leaders receive their authority from someone and in turn are the source of authority for others. In the place where accountability should be most notable – amongst Christians – it is often most notably missing. Sometimes, Pastors, having been “called by God” believe they are accountable directly to God, not to people. Like other leaders outside the church context, Pastors do not receive their authority directly from God in order to fulfill their day-by-day responsibilities. Like all leaders, they receive their authority from those who employ them and pay their salary. This means that they are accountable to them for how well they fulfill those responsibilities. Read more

Perception is Reality – (For the Perceiver)

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Have you ever had the experience of your Board being very divided on an issue because the members couldn’t agree on the truth about something.  It happens particularly often in matters where someone’s personal behavior is part of the issue.  What is reality?  The perceptions vary among the Board members, so it is very difficult to know what is reality?

For example, your CEO or one of your own Board members may have been accused of some wrongdoing, and the perception “out there” is that there is “some truth to the rumor”.  What action should the Board take?  Shall the Board take some disciplinary action, because the person is tainted by what people think is true?  Or should the Board defend the person and try to change what you consider to be a misperception?

“Perception is reality” is a very common saying, which if taken literally can do a lot of damage, even though there is certainly much truth in the saying. Read more

What is the Role of a Pastor?

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Imagine that conversation you had with an unhappy member of the congregation about the pastor’s performance.  You heard a litany of complaints about what the pastor wasn’t doing.  There were references to the preaching, the visitation program, the office hours, something the pastor said and a lot about what the pastor doesn’t do.  There seemed to be nothing you could say that would satisfy the person you were talking to and no way to resolve the issue or to improve the situation.  It was just another conversation that you’ve heard before and will hear again and again and…

There is something that can be done to break this cycle of unhappiness and frustration with the role of a pastor, a frustration that is shared by members of the congregation and the pastor.  It’s a process that is remarkably simple but in Christian congregations seldom followed.

Negotiate expectations. Read more