How do you think you’re doing as a leader right now? Maybe you’re really proud of yourself and you’re thriving at leading your staff in this season of your ministry. Or, maybe you are struggling to be an effective and impactful leader to your staff. Maybe you have been more focused on preaching than leading. Maybe your congregation has been more demanding of your attention lately. Finally, maybe you have been stressed at home, so your tank is running low when it comes time to address your staff's needs.
No matter the reason, if you are struggling with leading your staff well right now, I have a few tips to keep in mind that might help you improve your leadership game. Remember, you won’t become a better leader overnight, but if you begin to implement these practices, I guarantee your staff will notice and will feel more valued, empowered, encouraged, and supported as they continue to work alongside you.Take the time to get to know your staff.
One of the best things you can do for your staff culture is to make sure you spend time getting to know the people you work with on a personal level. Showing you care about more than just their work performance will have a greater impact than you will ever know. Allow time in staff meetings for people to share their weekend plans. Get to know the names of your staff’s family members. Sit in the breakroom with your staff for lunch. The point is that you make the effort to build relationships with your staff so they feel valued as people and not just as employees.Lead by example.
Remember when your parents told you when you were younger, “Do as I say, not as I do”? That might have worked for your parents, but that’s not exactly the strategy you want to implement as a leader. As another popular saying goes, your actions speak louder than your words. Your staff is going to be watching what you do. They are going to see whether or not you take your own advice. They are going to model their work ethic, communication style, and attitude after you. Always keep this in mind as you go throughout your day, and remember to strive to lead by example rather than just leading with your words.Be decisive.
This tip can be easier for some leaders to implement than others, usually because of their personality style. If you have a dominant, strong personality, being decisive probably comes rather naturally to you. If that’s not the case, you might struggle with making decisions. You tend to try to find a solution that makes everyone happy or that everyone is on board with, but as a leader, you need to realize that that will rarely be the case. Your team is looking to you to be the decisive one, to have the final say, and to make the tough calls. So when the time comes for you to make a decision, just make one. You will never make any progress if you’re trying to make decisions to please everyone. Instead, be decisive. Your staff will thank you.
Leading a church staff is difficult. Leading any staff, for that matter, is difficult. Becoming a good leader takes intentional focus, practice, and good old-fashioned sticktoitiveness. Start honing your leadership skills today by following these three simple suggestions, and soon enough, you will enjoy the benefits of great staff performance and cohesion.