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THE BIGGEST TEST OF LEADERSHIP ABILITY


Communication
Communication = set up, check-up, correct, set up again.

If leadership were boiled down to one quality by which we can determine a good leader from one who is not what would that be? I think Jesus told us clearly what that quality is in Matthew 20:26,27. In order to be great you have to learn to have a servanthood heart and attitude. This is a huge test of leadership that many fail as our culture tends to teach that leadership is dictatorship.

A Servant-Leader keeps in focus both the needed task as well as needs of the worker in the task. This balance is essential and must no get too heavy on either side. Every person has a natural weight that is heavier on one of those sides. A good leader understands their bent and works to weigh in more heavily on the balancing side.

There are other qualities that must be in place for an excellent Servant-Leader as well. These are 1)Eyes 2)Initiative 3)Order and 4)Communication. The term Eyes refers to the attentive focus on all that goes on and is needed around them. A person who only does what is asked of them while other needs are obviously around them is not a leader at all no matter what their title is. If a barn manager is asked to keep the aisles picked up and they put the bridles and feed tubs away but never see that the aisle needs to have the strewn hay swept up, they don't have eyes. They need to truly understand the job as well as see the need no matter what specifics were stated. If you have eyes you can ask ahead about certain parts to the job before you do it.

Initiative goes along with the Eyes quality as stated above but be careful you don't run over someone else's jurisdiction. Using your Eye's quality and asking ahead works well. Your supervisor will be impressed.

Orderliness is a quality of God's character and since we are made in His image it follows that we should reflect that. Without order of a place for everything and everything in its place or order of who is responsible for what in a job, you will expend a lot of energy with very little productivity. A good Servant-Leader saves everyone's energy by breaking big jobs into organized bite-sized pieces.

Communication takes a lot of continual set up, check-up, correction and set up again. This is the biggest test of the leader's servanthood because it gets very old and frustrating very fast but it is the greatest service you can give to your employees. There are a few tricks to the trade here that are simple but take work to keep doing. However, if you do these every time your try to communicate with someone you will have less failure in productivity and less anxiety or anger in the work place. State what you want with clear and detailed steps of action. Then ask the other person to tell you what they think you said. Correct anything that wasn't stated back to you correctly and then have them say it back to you again. After that they must report to you when they think they are done and you must always check the job. If it was done as you communicated then thank them for a job well done. Tell them how that lifts your load and moves the whole company forward. If you find you have a supervisor who is poor in communicating their expectations and desires then as they are telling you what they want, take written notes on your phone or paper. Read it back to them and see if you got it right. If they say yes, ask them to initial your notes so you know you understood. Now, when the job is done, if they say you didn't do it right you have initialed orders to calmly show them what they had told you. It will save your bacon and sometimes helps your supervisor to improve in their communication.

So a Servant-Leadership attitude and character is the bottom line. I hope these qualities as I have defined them give you a clearer picture to follow in your leadership.

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