Peter Drucker, in his book, The Effective Executive, advises that anyone who wants to lead should not worry about doing everything perfectly but commit to doing the right things for the right reasons every time. Here are six habits of visionary leaders that will help you to keep doing the right things, for the right reasons, over and over.
1. Have a Clear Vision
Start by developing a long view. See clearer, farther, and more than any one else.
Communication increases commitment. Share the vision in committees, from the pulpit, and in private conversations.
Vision makes church appealing. When a congregation shares a vision, excitement and anticipation can be felt everywhere.
Vision takes a church beyond maintenance. In church, everything is energized with a vision.
2. Influence Influencers
Recognize and utilize your basic leadership inclinations and strengths. A cohesive leader creates togetherness and warm, fuzzy relationships; a task leader has visions, sets goals, and goes all out to accomplish the dream. At times, both leadership styles are needed in the church. A wise pastor will value both kinds of influencers.
A clergy or lay leader gains influence in various ways:
Clear vision—Elmer Towns says, "When people buy your dream, they buy into your leadership."
Credibility—Do what you say you will do.
Confidence—Be a faith-filled and hope-filled person.
Character—Teach ministry by modeling ministry.
Commitment—Be the most committed of all.
Courage—Faith involves taking risks.
3. Build a Winning Team
More is accomplished when people work as a team. Synergism captures this idea and means everyone combining his/her unique giftedness to produce significant achievement for Christ. Visionary leaders must build individuals together into teams and empower them for their ministry—laity want to be in the action.
4. Be a People Person
People are the church’s main business. Cherish people; laugh and cry with them. Listen to their fears, failings, and feelings. Value their affirmations and rejoice in their potential. Remember, the Savior established His church for them.
5. Attitudes Really Matter
Most leaders have a special attitude inside them. Call it possibility thinking, passion, positive thinking, energized focus, or vital faith. They believe God wants to help them accomplish the impossible. Every church that desires explosive growth must have someone near the top of their team who believes and communicates an attitude that expects and experiences miracles.
6. Never Give Up
When the going gets tough, with Christ’s help, the tough get going. Struggles give us strength to fly higher, to become what God created us to be. God has placed resources within us that we can discover only through struggles and hardship. Strength, both physical and spiritual, is the product of struggle. That is why it is so important never to give up.
Adapted from Dale Galloway’s article "Seven Habits of a Visionary Leader" from Leading With Vision, Beeson Leadership Series, Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, Mo. ©1998. Used by permission.