Through studying and being in leadership roles the past several years, I have developed some strong opinions about leadership. In a document I am putting together for our church planting team, I shared with them some of my basic philosophies. It was really the first time I have concisely articulated my core beliefs about leadership. Here is what I wrote for the team:
I strive to be a hands-on leader, because I am convinced that laissez-faire (or hands-off) leadership doesn’t work. “Hands-on” does not mean dominating or controlling, but it does mean involved. I want to know what’s going on with each member of the team, and I want to be involved in significant decisions. If I think something can be done a better way, I will open my mouth and make a suggestion.
I highly value accountability; I think it is one of the most important elements of team success. If we say we’ll do something, I’ll check to see that we’re doing it. If you are not fulfilling a commitment you have made, I will call you on it and expect you to improve.
Though a hands-on leader, I recognize that the different members of CPT have many gifts, abilities, and personality characteristics that I do not have. These are things that, when free to operate, make us a better team. To the extent it is benefitting the team, I try to give each person the space needed to work according to their gifts and personality. I am not a dictator. Where practical, I involve the team in decisions. Where necessary, I make “executive” decisions.
I think clear communication is another one of the most important elements of the success of a team. It is very difficult for team members to be successful if you don’t have a clear understanding of what’s expected of you. I see one of my chief responsibilities as communicating expectations. I don’t like leadership surprises, and I don’t think you do either.
I do not view myself as the sole guardian or keeper of the team. I speak in terms of “we”; it is OUR team. I am an equal member, no more, no less; I’m just a member with a unique role. My role is leadership, and I have been given the authority necessary to fulfill that role.
What do you think? Have you seen any of these philosophies work? Have you seen any not work? If you were articulating your beliefs, would you add or change anything? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!