Accountability: the quality or state of being accountable; especially, an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
The word accountability likely raises various ideas. For example, for what is a leader actually responsible? And what is beyond the leader’s responsibility? That could be the focus of our discussion; however, let’s take a different approach. Let’s accept the notion that the leader is accountable and responsible for her choices. And let’s focus on the idea that when it comes to choices, the leader should know the buck stops with her.
Motivating members of your leadership team is an ongoing challenge for most leaders. The sometimes-daunting task of knowing what to do to keep them motivated can be discouraging.
The unfortunate reality is that demotivation often proves easier. If you want to demotivate your team, do nothing; but keeping them motivated takes intentional action from you as their leader. Let me suggest a few things you can do to keep your team motivated.
The story is told of a little boy trying desperately to move a rock that stood in his path with his father looking on. The rock was more that the boy could manage to move on his own. As he struggled while fussing and complaining about the rock, his father said to him, “Son, why are you not using all of your strength?” The boy responded with utter frustration, “What do you mean I am not using all my strength, can’t you see I am giving it all I have got?” The father responded, “Yes, but you did not ask for help.”
I am the kind of person who enjoys being in the presence of people who see life from my point of view. When I am with these people, I am happy, calm and in control. No tension or emotion is rising because all our conversations are agreeable. I don’t have to think outside my box because everyone is in the box with me, no disagreements. I like living like that. I suspect the same is true for you.
But if I want to grow as a person, and more so as a leader, I cannot afford to surround myself with only those who see things like I do. I must have some people around me who see things differently. People who can challenge me in my ways of thinking and doing things. This can be uncomfortable, painful and challenging.
I am dyslexic and as a result, reading and writing are very tedious for me. I naturally struggle to comprehend what I am reading, and trying to capture my thoughts in writing is a real struggle.
While these are real issues of struggle for me, I have lived most of my life trying not to let others see my weaknesses. I tried to appear as I perceived others to be: without weaknesses.
Two of the most dominant attitudes driving actions in our society today are anger and hostility. We could use much more kindness and gentleness. We have a choice of which ones we want to characterize our lives. The challenge is that anger and hostility seem to arise naturally, but showing kindness and gentleness require us to be intentional.
For the past two weeks I have been focusing on the leader and prayer. First we focused on the importance of prayer in the life of the leader. Then we identified some reasons why the leader needs to pray. I want to conclude the topic this week with some practical suggestions leaders can apply with the aim of improving their prayer life.
Make time for your personal prayer life.
Last week we looked at the importance of prayer in the leader’s life. Jesus – God in human form – modeled to us the centrality of prayer in following the Father’s will.
Jesus, the God-Man, faithfully and consistently modeled a life of public and private prayer for his disciples and for us. If Jesus, the Son of God, needed to pray, then we too need to pray. Prayer is our lifeline; without prayer, we have no spiritual life.
Prayer is vital to godly leadership. At the risk of stating the obvious, let me suggest some reasons why prayer is necessary.
Every leader I know aspires to be a good leader. They want to lead their people to the best of their abilities with the direction of God.
Many attend school for years to learn how to be a good leader. Then once they begin their roles as leaders, they continue their training by attending workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats and special events, all in an attempt to be a good leader.
Some become part of a group of leaders that meets regularly to help each other be good leaders. Some leaders have a mentor or hire a coach to help them be good leaders.
If you spend any time talking with a leader in ministry, it will not be long before you hear of all the things they are doing as they try to lead their people well. You hear about books or blogs they are reading, podcasts they listen to, twitter feeds they follow, all in an attempt to stay relevant and be effective as a leader.
There is one topic, however, that I hear too few Christian leaders talking about as essential to their leadership: prayer.
Last week I asked the question, “Are you doing too much?” We looked at some signs which may indicate that you are doing too much. This week I will explore how you can take back control of your life and begin to live at a more manageable and healthy pace that will renew your passion for ministry and leadership.
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Think of it this way, when a baby, or for that matter twins, join a family, does that family get any more time added to their day to care for the additional family member(s)? Obviously, the issue is not a matter of “enough time” but of managing time effectively. How can you best use the time available to you and avoid becoming too busy? Consider the following.