Impact – “to have a strong effect … on someone or something; to hit something with great force”. This is how Webster’s dictionary defines impact. The first part of the definition is what I am focusing on, though anyone in leadership has felt the urge to complete the second part. Last week I posted about “4 Keys to Guarantee that your Leadership has Impact”, this is the first follow-up to that post.
The first key to guaranteed impact in your leadership is Clarity:
-This means having a clear vision for your leadership, what to do and how to do it. It also means having a clear vision for their organization, group or church.
-This requires asking some simple, but not easy, questions. Such as, “Who are we as an organization?” and “What is our mission?” and “Who is really leading?”. The answers to these questions are something you must discover. Realize that you cannot have clarity until you have an answer to these questions.
-When you have an answer to the question of mission, begin to share it. Share in a raw form at first. That simply means begin to share it with your team even before you have it polished. In fact, if the mission is clear and resonates well your team can polish it. A huge mistake we leaders often make when it comes to sharing the mission is we wait to have it all polished up, and looking perfect, before we share it with anyone. That leads to getting bogged down in the polishing instead leading your organization into doing the mission. When we only working on polishing and not also on doing we become irrelevant in whatever we need to accomplish.
-In answering the question of “Who are we as an organization?” be sure to make this an honest evaluation. Measure your organization against the mission and get a hold of what you are and what you are not. Even if there are negatives discovered in this evaluation it can be a very positive experience. You are answering who you are so that you can lay out a clear path to get to where your vision is directing you. To lay out a path you must know where you are beginning as well as where you are headed.
-In leading for impact you must lead. This means being the leader, not the dictator or the pollster. It means to lead. Impactful leadership is never defined by position it is always defined by the influence and impact on the organization and the people around the organization. A person in a position of leadership that bosses people around from above or behind, pushing the people will never make an impact. They may inflict some pain, but they will not impact or influence the people around their organization. To influence and impact you must lead from among and in front.
-Some questions to ask in evaluating whether your leadership is influencing and impacting your organization and the people around it are … “Do the people around me get better?” “Do the people around me gain confidence in themselves and the organization as a result of my leadership?” (I don’t want people to only gain confidence in me as a leader, but I need them to gain confidence in themselves and our organization. If not then we will never get any further than I can carry them.) “Do people feel free to try new and innovative things without fearing loss of position?” “Are the people around me saying ‘we’ or ‘your’ when referring to our organization?”
Clarity is vital to any organization that is going to make an impact. This is especially true of churches.
Here’s hoping that you are seeing clearer than before you read this post. Here’s hoping that you will courageously lead with clarity. Here’s hoping that you will begin to see the impact of your leadership. Here’s hoping that if your evaluation was discouraging that you will find someone to talk with who will encourage you and help.
Watch for more posts on Impact Leadership coming soon.