Many pastors are great theologians. Many pastors have great relational skills. Many pastors are spiritually mature. But a pastor who lacks understanding of the qualities and skills of a great leader will never accomplish all that God has called them to accomplish. Why? Without leadership skills and the qualities of a great leader, people will not follow them.
What are some of those important skills and qualities?
Visionary – Before anything else, an effective leader is a visionary. In the leader’s mind she / he sees what the end result is to be, recruits a team to see that vision become a reality, creates a workable strategy to see the vision become a reality, then works alongside the team she / he has recruited to make that vision a reality.
Integrity – An effective leader must be a person of integrity. Integrity is the ingredient that makes people want to follow a leader. A leader lacking integrity may be able to get people to accomplish work but those workers will do the work begrudgingly and without passion, which will most likely lead to poor work and will, for sure, create an awkward work environment. Not only that, if the people the leader is leading are volunteers those volunteers will soon bail on the leader leaving that leader without the people resources to accomplish the vision the leader has been given.
Consistency – A leader who is emotionally inconsistent creates an unstable workplace. Followers don’t know which personality they’re going to be working for day to day because, one day when they share an idea they may be honored for it, the next day they may be attacked for not trusting the ideas the leader has already espoused, etc. An emotionally inconsistent leader inhibits synergy which ultimately keeps the leader from getting the best ideas from those they are leading.
Encouragement – Great leaders are great encouragers. They realize that people who are loved and appreciated do better work than those who work out of fear or obligation.
Organization – Great leaders are organized leaders. Anyone who has worked for an unorganized leader knows the frustration of needing information from the last meeting and the leader not being able to find it, or anticipating a response to a question asked but never receiving it, or showing up for a meeting on time and the leader showing up 15 minutes late.
An organized leader is organized not just so he / she can accomplish much, but so that they can gain the respect of those they lead. But also, an effective leader is organized so that they can stay aware of the many initiatives they are leading.
Leading from the top rung of the ladder requires that the leader see all aspects of the work being done. If a leader is overseeing the work of just 10 initiatives, without being well organized, that leader will lose track of some of the work in progress, making it impossible to hold those working on the project accountable for the work and being certain the work is accomplished in an effective amount of time.