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Occupying the position of leadership in any setting – organization, nation, family etc comes with a huge responsibility. As a matter of fact, leadership is about responsibilities that requires effectiveness in tackling. Therefore, as a leader, you are expected to tackle these responsibilities, producing a result that is wanted. THIS IS WHAT SEPARATES EFFECTIVE LEADERS FROM IN-EFFECTIVE LEADERS. For example, if you are elected the president of a nation to solve the insecurity challenges bedeviling that nation, and under your watch the challenge became worse, then that makes you an in-effective leader.
So effective leaders are those leaders that are producing expected result! Today, we will be examining 6 secrets of highly effective leaders and taking our case studies from the bible. The Holy Bible is replete with a lot of highly successful leaders that we can learn from.
To be an effective leader, you must be prepared, spirit, soul and body. Jesus was going to start a movement known as the BODY OF CHRIST on the face of the earth some 2018 years ago. But it took him thirty years of His life preparing for this huge assignment. The reason we have many failed leaders in our World today is because many of them just stumbled on the position of leadership, or what I termed ‘Accidental Leaders’, they never prepared for it. Even those that appear to have prepared soon find out enough that they weren’t prepared enough.
Highly effective leaders took their time in the place of preparation before they are launched forth into their assignment. In the place of preparation, they learn, they observe, they ask questions and they study. At the age of twelve, Jesus was in the temple asking questions from religious leaders. He needed to understand their psychology, their problem and belief system so that he can know where to address their need from (Luke 2:41-47).
Today, we have political leaders, leaders of big organizations and corporations who does not know the need, the challenge and aspiration of the people they are leading and so, find it very difficult to lead them properly. You must understand the people you have been sent to lead, and the assignment or task ahead of you. All these you must consider in the place of preparation, if you want to be an highly effective leader.
2. LEAD FROM THE FRONT
Highly effective leaders lead from the front, and not from behind the scene. As the leader that has been giving so much responsibility, you must be seen tackling them, and not making excuses. I remember President Muhammadu Buhari promised during his May 29, 2015 inaugural speech that he was going to lead Nigeria from the front, but what we have seen so far are various excuses why he has failed in achieving results in many areas of his administration. Leaders that lead from the front see the challenge first hand, and tackle it head-on.
Moses was a great example of a biblical leader that led his people from the front. When they got to the red sea, and there was no way to move forward, he saw it and consulted God for the way forward. The bible recorded that God told Moses to “Move Forward.” (Exodus 14:15-16). You see, a leader that leads from behind cannot tell his people to move forward when faced with difficulty because he himself is behind. When you lead from the front, and your people can see you leading, then they will follow you.
3. BE A SERVANT-LEADER
Becoming an highly effective leader requires that you be a servant leader. Jesus himself taught this secret to His disciples in Matthew 20:26-28. One of the ways to endear the hearts of your followers to you is by serving them. Jesus repeated the same message to them in Matthew 23:11, that tells you how important this secret is. No wonder at some certain point, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. He was simply setting a precedence for them by doing so. Are you a leader of an organization, and instead of leading your workers, you have been bossing them around? Don’t you think that is the reason your organization has not made considerable progress as it ought to?
Are you a politician (a public servant), and instead of serving your nation, your state or your local government, you have been serving your own greed? You have diverted your nation/state/local resources into foreign accounts for your generations yet to be unborn? No wonder your nation has not progressed! You need to repent and truly serve your people in the capacity that has been handed over to you.
4. REPLICATE YOURSELF IN OTHERS
Another secret of highly effective leaders is embedded in them replicating themselves in others. If a person owns an organization, and that organization dies at the instance of the death of the person, then such an one is not an effective leader. Effective leaders reproduced themselves in others who would take over the mantle when they are no longer in action. Jesus came and made 12 disciples, Elijah came and made Elisha, Moses made Joshua and Caleb and the examples is on and on like that.
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus charged His disciples to go into the World and make ‘Disciples of every Nation’. And through that singular assignment of the disciples replicating themselves in others, just as Jesus had replicated Himself in them, the gospel was able to reach even the ends of the earth. So, Jesus was an highly effective leader because his ministry on earth did not went into oblivion even with his physical death. So, this is an important secret for leaders to learn if they are going to be effective in discharging their duties.
5. BE VISIONARY
Highly effective leaders are visionaries. They can see a picture of the future, and can effectively communicate it to their followers. The reason we have so much failed political leaders across Africa is because many of them can see the proper future for their countries. take Nigeria for instance. we have political leaders that are short-sighted, who only cares about their party, their pockets, their tribe, their people at the detriment of the entire nation. No wonder we see so much nepotism and favoritism going on within the corridor of power.
Jesus painted a picture of the future for the people He has been sent to, so that they could all key into it. He told them that there is a home in Heaven, far better than anything than anyone has even seen on the surface of the earth, and that anyone that would key into this vision by simply following Him would make it there (John 14:2). As a leader, what picture of the future are you painting for the people following you? Is the future attainable or is it just an Eldorado? Highly effective leaders are great visionaries, and they are able to lead their people into this future.
6. BE COURAGEOUS
Lastly on this note, highly effective leaders are courageous people. An individual who is timid, and easily discouraged may lead, but may not be effective in leadership. Such leaders are the ones that would complain and give a million reasons why they are not making progress, because the necessary courage they need to move their people, nation or organization forward, they are lacking in it. How do you muster enough courage to pursue after your enemies, and recover all that they have stolen; even when your people are contemplating of stoning you?
That was the story of David in 1 Samuel 30. He and his men had been away for three days fighting their enemies. While away on that assignment, another enemy had attacked the home front they left behind, and had carted away everything they all possessed, including their wives and children. The only thing left for David was to turn to himself for courage (amidst the discouragement), and then turn to the Lord for direction. Highly effective leaders must be able to look within for the necessary courage in times like this, and look to God for direction.
There may be times in your leadership destiny that you would feel like giving up or throwing in the towel, but you must be able and courageous enough to muster courage, just like David in this story, and know what to do next. This is when you can achieve the necessary result. Never forget your source in times like this, David knew God as his only source, and was able to turn to Him alone for the next move. Remember the scripture that says “trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding.” Effective leaders in periods like this turn to their source. Jesus was almost giving up on the road to Golgotha, He looked up to God if peradventure God will look for someone else to complete the task He has given unto Him, but God’s will alone encouraged Him to forge ahead because He knew quite well that He is simply obeying His (God’s) will.
I believe you have picked a couple of lessons from this piece on how to be an effective leader. Thank you for the gift of your time and stay winning as a leader.