Over the course of almost four decades of leadership, I’ve experienced many seasons of great fruitfulness, and a few painful seasons of failure. This is what I’ve learned what it takes to become a healthy leader.
Looking back perhaps the the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that there is a direct relationship between my personal well-being and the quality of my leadership. The response of others to my leadership is directly proportionate to my pursuit of the things that I hope to impart. Healthy leadership is hard but, it’s a battle worth fighting for.
Here are five areas of development that must be pursued to become a thriving and healthy leader of a flourishing organization: Health, Head, Heart, Hands and Help!
Most leaders I know struggle to maintain their personal health and equilibrium. The demands of leadership can often become overwhelming and, in many cases, the first thing to go is our personal life. Our families suffer, our bodies sag and our spiritual life is neglected. The keys to victory in this area are to:
Remember, a thriving leader builds his inner world and leads from the inside out. Also check out Emotionally Healthy Leadership by Dr. Pete Scazzero for some practical help with what this looks like in everyday life.
One of the biggest traps a leader can fall into is to stop feeding on the knowledge and wisdom of others. If we think we have arrived, we will stagnate. The people we lead will always adapt to our pursuit of learning. If we fail to pursue knowledge and wisdom, so will they. The keys to becoming a lifelong learner are to:
Remember, a healthy leader is a lifelong learner.
The heart is the seat of our feelings, emotions and temperament. Unfortunately, many leaders fail to cultivate emotional health and maturity in their lives. Emotions are a gift from God. They are great servants but poor masters. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc. And, the final fruit is self-control (Gal.5:22). Maturity is the ability to govern ourselves under the government of God in a way that esteems others above ourselves and processes pain and disappointment in a positive way. The keys to cultivating Christ-like Character are to:
Remember, a thriving leader is growing in Christ-likeness in all things.
Whether leading in ministry or in the marketplace, your set of skills is crucial for success. In every vocation the three universal qualities needed are wisdom, excellence and relational skills. A thriving leader is constantly obtaining new tools and developing new skills so they can serve more effectively. The keys to growing your toolbox and skill set are to:
Remember, a thriving leader is constantly growing in their ministry skills.
We live in a highly individualized culture driven by performance and achievement. This causes many of us to feel an unspoken pressure to make it on our own. Although this may seem like a courageous attitude, it is antithetical to one of the greatest values of the Kingdom of God: Interdependency. A thriving leader is not afraid to ask for help and draw on a multitude of counselors. This is also why it’s so important to build an amazing team around you. The keys to receiving the help you need is to:
Remember, a thriving healthy leader asks for help and guidance when in need.