At the NCD EFCA Women’s Leadership conference, we all received a list of the following characteristics of great leadership. These are excellent. Anything in italics are comments from me.


1. They understand that to be effective the folks they are leading have to want to help. Getting behind the podium and barking orders gets a lot of head nodding, but not a lot of results. Leading is selling the led on doing what you ask. Oh, and you ARE asking, not telling. Volunteers know better than anyone, they can always say no.


Have you thanked your volunteers? That assumes you HAVE volunteers, doesn’t it? If you are doing a job all alone, do your best to find yourself a partner. Remember, we should always be building up our replacements. Who else could do this job if God calls you to a different position?


2. They communicate effectively. People understand what they are doing, why they are doing it, how to do it, what done means, and when it needs to be done.


Don’t assume people know what you want/need and how or when you expect it to be done. You must tell them. Sometimes you need to put it in writing, so they can look back at it. Remember, for those of us with TCS (Teflon Collander Syndrome), what doesn’t stick falls through the holes. Give your volunteers everything you need in writing.


3. They operate within the constraints of the folks they are leading or just slightly over. They do not give stretch goals because they know at the end of the day, a volunteer has other things to do and will do those things instead. Keeping things reasonable means things get done.


4. They do not ask folks to do anything that they are not willing to do themselves and often assign themselves the worst of the tasks. They make sure that if at all possible, the volunteers get the gravy and the glory.

… even if this means you are washing dishes, taking the least desirable shift or are working outside of your giftedness now and then. 


5. They work harder than anyone on the team and do not let them know it.


6. They praise publicly and correct privately and they do both immediately. People are like puppies sometimes, they need to get the feedback when the act is still fresh in their minds.

May I remind you that email is a fine way to praise someone publicly (reply all … cc) – though LIVE is better – and email is NEVER an acceptable way to do reproof or correction and certainly not a mass email.


7. Last, but probably most important, they see the prize and focus on it. They are not distracted, but they know sometimes you have to take a few steps back to keep moving forward. They not only look to the horizon, but have picked their spot on it and no matter what happens, they are moving towards it.

This is all the more delightful when you share a common reward with sisters-in-Christ. Serving in community is an exponential blessing.


*Leadership Tips & Techniques

by Toni Bowers, TechRepublic

with comments in italics by Vicki