5 Ways to Lead Without Driving People Crazy

Author: Jenny Lind Conlee | www.jennylindconlee.com  | @jennylindconlee

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Look, being a leader is hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it! I, like you, have leadership pet peeves and have developed a few ways to make sure I avoid them. If you’re a leader and you’re not doing these five things, I guarantee you have unintentionally alienated people. Or maybe you have done it intentionally - I DON’T KNOW YOUR LIFE! I was a pastor’s kid, then became a pastor’s wife, and have also done my time working in church offices, so I have seen things. I know things about leaders. And I know myself pretty well, so I’ve done plenty of the crazy stuff too. Here are five things I think every leader must do to lead people without driving them to drink: 

1. SHOW UP ON TIME

I once read that people who are chronically late are optimists and their reason for being late is that they feel they can accomplish more when they are pressured by the clock. My theory? You’re late because you don’t care. You overslept. You stopped for Starbucks. When you show up late to meetings, you’re signaling to your people that your time is more valuable than their time. https://www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/optimistic-people-have-one-thing-common-always-late/1097735 I hate it when people say it’s just the way they are. Time to grow up, little camper!

2. BE PREPARED

When you have people showing up to volunteer to serve, make things as smooth for them as possible. Your effort in preparation makes serving easier and everyone happier. The old saying “fail to plan, plan to fail” applies. If you’re not prepared, you lose volunteers. People eventually stop showing up to help because you’ve given them nothing to do. Make people a part of what’s happening and let them know they’re a valued part of the operation.

3. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

What’s the plan? Did it change? Why? Bring people into the process. Too much communication is better than not enough. Do not forget to respond to texts and emails. Do not “ghost” people. This isn’t Tinder, this is ministry.

4. OWN IT 

I wish I could tell you that in ministry, you’ll never get hurt or hurt anyone else. But you’re going to. You’ll be the offended and the offender at some point. It’s awful. It’s “friendly fire” in our spiritual battle that can cause such unnecessary pain. My only advice is to OWN IT. Just like a parent must carry the parent-child relationship and be the adult, you need to be the bigger person because you’re the leader. Others will watch how those situations play out, too. I pray daily that I don’t leave a body count. It may sound very Prayer of Jabez-y, but I pray all that time that I won’t cause pain. It’s one of my greatest fears and I know I’ve not done this flawlessly, but I keep trying.

5. BE DECISIVE 

You’re the leader, so make the call. Don’t be a waffle. If you flip-flop all the time, people will not trust you because you’re not trusting yourself. This can make people go rogue and make the decisions for you. Indecisiveness can also indicate a lack of confidence. If that is the case, find a trusted mentor or counselor to talk to. This individual will encourage you in the position God has given you for such a time as this.

Nobody is looking for you to be perfect. You’re going to fail sometimes. Just do your best. Remember, you’re in the people business. You set the bar. Lead by example; it’s the best way to get people to follow you. Lead the way, sister! You’ve got this!


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