Leading with certainty

posted in: focus, leadership | 1

Several years back, I went through a leadership training course with about 12 other people, mostly ministers. It was a valuable experience. I learned a lot about myself and why I think and act the way I do.

One of the things I learned was there are different types of leaders. One of the instructors said that sometimes the best leader is the one who says, “We’re not ready to take that hill yet.”

So how can you spot a leader? Let’s get specific about what it takes for you to be looked at as a leader.

You must offer a clear-cut path in a single direction. If you give choices, people get into a debate inside their own mind over which is best. They’ve convinced themselves, often without even realizing it, that they just don’t have the ability to make a good choice. So nothing will happen. The way their thinking goes, they don’t know how to get to where they want to be. They will be totally happy following, so long as you grab the lead. Just tell them exactly what they must do. That gives them a clear choice to follow you or not.

For people to follow you, you must have chosen a path in which you have very strong belief. You need total certainty, because any doubt in your voice or in your actions comes through loud and clear to everyone who is looking at you. If you demonstrate the single-minded will to lead in one definite direction, then you have a real opportunity to gather followers. But if you are dispersed and can’t focus, then people will keep on looking for a leader.

No leader can force anyone to do anything for very long. Your team must want to follow you, or it will all fall apart. You promise very specific results, and you spotlight a step-by-step plan to achieve them. You do everything in your power to make it as easy as possible for each team member to walk (or run) their chosen path. Every time you truly inspire your people, they subscribe to your plan and commit to their assigned roles – because by doing so, they move closer to achieving what THEY want.

Steve DeVane
This free mentoring program taught me about leadership