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Effective Leadership

7 Ways to Lead Effective!



The key to healthy life, growth and success in any organization is an effective and efficient leadership program that can recognize and develop the potential of others and so promote leadership.  Effectiveness is indispensable for leaders to continue at present and advance to the future. Effectiveness requires that leaders make men and women responsible by giving tasks and providing motivation to achieve the goal.  Generally speaking, leaders are successful when they motivate their followers to achieve their objectives.  When a company makes more profit and expand its business horizon, definitely its executives are efficient and effective.  But there should be a constant reevaluation of the whole system of their approach so that any thing that they do may result in long lasting effectiveness.  Leaders must constantly keep in mind the basic task of effective leadership, that is, developing relationships with people in such a way that they are enabled to formulate and achieve goals for groups and individuals that meet real needs.  John C. Maxwell in his excellent book, Leadership 101 What Every Leaders Needs to Know, says, “Effectiveness is the foundation for success.”  In an effort to delineate leadership effectiveness in today’s business and religious world, the following criteria are suggested.  Other things certainly could be added to the list, but the following seven decisive factors are central to leadership effectiveness. 


1.        Flexible and Open to Change

A leadership that is flexible and open to change is the need of the hour. Effective leaders with vision will want to make changes.  We live in a changing world and every thing in today’s world experience new and different phase.  An effective leader must be able to know the need for change, the factors resisting change, the time of change and the different approaches to change.


It is important to consider both long-term and short-term results in an organization or business enterprise.  Flexibility and openness are absolutely necessary, that is, the ability to make changes when they are needed in the future. Right changes must be introduced at the right time. Change will be resisted if it is made at the wrong time.  Therefore leaders need to keep re-examining the program that is, “Is there anything that should be eliminated or accepted? Are we working on tasks of yesterday when we should be bending ourselves to the opportunities of tomorrow?  If a task is inherited and not bringing results, it should be dropped and forgotten.  Every program in an organization or church should be conceived as temporary, expendable, or ready for expiration after a few years.  When we do a new activity or implement a change, keep asking the question: Is this worth doing? 


2.        Shared Leadership

Effective leadership must be a shared leadership.  This simply means that leadership must be carried out as a team.  Any thing that is worked out under a plurality of leadership will be more result oriented.  One of the skills needed in leadership is the ability to build and maintain a strong team.  Only by mutual sharing, counseling and supporting leaders can be effective.  Stardom and individual heroism are the obvious aspects of our competitive society.   We see here the dominant image of the self-made man or women who can do it all alone.  It is true that individuals can do a lot, but one can accomplish more by the help of someone who encourages and gives opportunities.


Today we need a team approach in leadership.  An effective leadership develops a strong team.  In a team none falls behind, none gets ahead, but everyone wins together.  Failure of one in the team will not affect the institution since there are others to carry on the task.  Two people will have the potential to accomplish more than twice as much as one working alone.  Results are better when work is done as a team.  Team members are quick to help each other in difficult situations.  They can delegate their responsibility to others in the team which will create an effective and vital leadership. Team leadership will help avoid the temptation of absolute power, accumulation of illegal possessions, and manipulation of accounts.  One of the greatest problem today’s leaders face is loneliness.  In a team one can share with others, get counsel from others and support each other.  An effective leader is the one who works with others as a team. 


How to work together in a team?  Stephen R. Covey in his brilliant book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says that valuing the differences is the essence of synergy - the mental, the emotional, and the psychological differences between people.  The key to valuing those differences is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are.  We can value the differences in other people.  When someone disagrees with us, we can say, “Good! You see it differently.”  We don’t have to agree with them; we can simply affirm them and we can seek to understand.


3.        Vision, Mission, and Goal Oriented Leadership

Effective leaders are proactive and future-oriented.  Leadership begins with a vision.  A vision is a clear picture of what the leader sees his or her group being or doing.  Effective leaders are wholeheartedly committed to their vision, which involves beneficial change for the group.  They must be aware of the importance of their vision and make it the driving force behind their leadership.  Leaders must seek to effectively communicate their vision, mission and goal to their followers.  Having a vision is not enough.  There must be a commitment to act on the vision.  That is called a mission.  There must also be a set of specific, measurable steps designed to achieve the mission.  Those steps are called goals.  Goals design the program for achieving the mission and thus fulfilling the vision.  With all these, keeping the focus on important things is the nature of effective leadership today.


4.        Competent Leadership

Leaders face everywhere the problem of incompetence.  Incompetence has become a virus to the present leadership.  Laurence J Peter and Raymond Hull in their hilarious and stimulating book, The Peter Principle, talk about the universality of incompetence.  According to Peter, in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence.  He affirms that those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence accomplish work.  John C. Maxwell in Leadership 101 stated, “20 percent of the people will make 80 percent of the decisions.” He further said, “20 percent of the people in an organization will be responsible for 80 percent of the company’s success.”  This is because 80 percent are incompetent in their job.


We need competent leaders to accomplish the task. How do we know weather a leader is competent or not?  According to Peter and Hull, the competency of an employee is determined not by outsiders but by his superior in the hierarchy.  If the superior is still at a level of competence, he may evaluate his subordinates in terms of the performance of useful work.  If a teacher is effective, our task is to make him or her better teacher and not the principal of the school.  If a company executive is effective and efficient, our task is to make him or her better executive and not the chairman of the company. To be effective, our task is to make a teacher a better teacher; a sales person a better sales person; an accountant a better accountant; an executive better executive and so on, if they are still competent in their present capacity.   It is because one may be competent as a teacher, but incompetent as the principal, he or she may be effective as an executive, but incompetent as a chairman. Future needs competent leaders!


5.        Self-Disciplined Leadership

Effective and spiritual leadership for this century must be a self-disciplined leadership.  How can a leader discipline his institution or followers unless he himself is disciplined?  Maxwell in his book, Leadership 101, states, “No matter how gifted a leader is, his gifts will never reach their maximum potential without the application of self-discipline.” We cannot serve people effectively as leaders unless we have first mastered our own life.   There needs discipline in the area of emotions, relationship, freedom, material possessions, accomplishments, experiences, ideas, etc.  Unless we can lead ourselves through these essential disciplines, we will have difficulty leading others. Effective leaders need discipline of the body and mind. 


It is important because effective leadership starts with character. A leader is not defined by performance or by the results, but by the character.   Leadership is influencing people and not winning popularity.  Influence gains respect, but popularity gains power and in the end we w’;[‘’ill lose it.  If we are concerned with image, power or prestige, we have taken the first tep toward becoming a dictator.  An effective leader must the possessor of a disciplined life.  Such leaders will be able to influence others through the strength of their character.


6.        Steward-Leadership

An effective leader is a steward of those whom he or she leads.  Steward-leaders use their gifts and the talents to bring out the best in the people they lead, in order to accomplish their vision.  Good steward-leader focuses on people, realizing it is they who must accomplish tasks.  Such leaders must be ready to serve people.  The essence of leadership is service.   As stewards, leaders must be loyal to their institutions and accountable to those they lead. The whole matter of accountability is important here.  This will help them overcome the temptation of manipulation of wealth, possessions, properties and accounts.  A strong concept of accountability is the characteristic of effective leaders so that they can effectively lead.


7.        Reproducing Leadership

An effective and vital leadership at present must be a reproducing leadership.  Effective leaders produce effective leaders.  This is a paramount responsibility of leaders.  Effective leadership is an effectively trained leadership.  John C. Maxwell in his exciting book, Developing the Leaders around you, states, “If you really want to be a leader, you must develop other leaders around you.”  Effective leaders facilitate the growth and accomplishment of their employees.  He further says, “Leaders create and inspire new leaders by instilling faith in their leadership ability and helping them develop and hone leadership skills they don’t know they possess.”  A leader is effective if he or she is able to produce a few who will carry out his or her vision. Effective leaders will not come automatically, they must be raised, cultivated and trained by business firms and voluntary organizations, such as churches and other charitable religious and secular institutions.  Such effectively trained leaders will be faithful and more obliged to their particular organizations. 



Effective leaders are aware of the nature of their leadership. A leadership that is flexible and open to change will focus on the future and make necessary changes at the right time, considering both long-range and short-range results in an organization. A leadership that is shared will build a strong team, which accomplishes its tasks more effectively. A vision, mission, and goal oriented leadership will have a clear picture of what they see, what they do and their programs. Such a leadership keeps focus on important things. A leadership that is characterized in its competence can accomplish the work successfully. A self-disciplined leadership can bring about discipline in their whole organization.  Steward-leadership uses its gifts and skills to draw out the best in the people who are under the leadership. A reproducing leadership stimulates people and makes effective leaders.  Effective leaders make a big difference. If you are with the above distinctiveness in your leadership, you will make that difference!




Effective and Efficient Leadership

Mathew Philip


What do we mean by effective and efficient leadership?

A leadership that is effective and efficient is what we need today. Effective leadership is the one that accomplishes or fulfills what is intended with maximum effect. It is a productive and capable leadership. It is not a leadership that is made up of ineffectual persons of mediocre talents and ability. It is a well organized leadership that consists of active and energetic leaders who press forward accomplishing the goal that is ahead of them. Effective leadership produces the desired result with the minimum wasted effort. Effective leadership is the one that anticipates and creatively responds to its challenges. John C. Maxwell in his book, Leadership 101 What Every Leader Needs to Know, says, “Effectiveness is the foundation of success.” The excellence of your ministry depends upon how effective you are in it. If you want to have a successful church or organization, you need to build effective and efficient leadership. 


Why do we need effective leadership today?

The answer to a healthy life, growth and success in any local church or organization is an effective and efficient leadership program that can discover and build up the potential of others and so encourage leadership. Effectiveness is indispensable for leaders to continue at present and advance to the future. Effectiveness requires that leaders make men and women responsible to achieve the goal. For this, we must give to them tasks and provide motivation. Generally speaking, leaders are successful when they inspire their followers to achieve their objectives. The basic task of effective leadership is to develop relationships with people in such a way that they are facilitated to formulate and achieve goals for groups and individuals that meet real needs. Competency in leadership will fade away, consistency in Leadership will fall apart, credibility in leadership will break up, confidence in our leadership will be traumatized, and the best leadership for the future may be a shot in the dark.  It is there that one needs to plan and strive for an effective and efficient leadership. 


Who can lead effectively?

Any ordinary person with an extraordinary determination can lead effectively. Everyone has the potential to lead in some way or the other in the array of life and ministry. Effectiveness means to identify those potentials in your congregation or team members or employees and train them to develop their gifts and talents to achieve the desired goal. Jesus had the habit of always seeing the potential for good in the people around him. Jesus saw the potential for good in Simon Peter (John 1:42). Jesus identified the potential in Simon when he said, “You are rock” before he understood his own potential to give leadership to the Church. Jesus while knowing that Peter had the potential to deny him three times, could also see the potential for this man’s boldness and standing on the Day of Pentecost proclaiming the Gospel. There are good and bad potentials in others.  Effective leaders will see the higher potential for good in people and help them to develop it. Jesus saw the potential for good in Matthew the tax collector that was to write the first Gospel. (Matthew 9:9). He also saw the potential for good in Samaritan woman that was her effective testimony to the Samaritans (John 4). Once we identify the potential in people, we must provide them with motivation and acceleration to achieve the tasks. An effective leader is a facilitator of his or her followers. You must be a leader who can be trusted. Effective leadership is there if the employees are satisfied in an institution with their trust and confidence in top leadership. You must be able to communicate a vision of where the organization needs to go. Your team members must understand the team’s overall strategy. They must know clearly how they can contribute to accomplishing the vision. You must share with them on both how the institution is doing and how a team member’s department is doing. Everyone is a leader and everyone is a follower. All of us are leaders and at the same time we are being led by others and ultimately by God. You must know who you are, what you know, and what you can do. It is the followers, and not the leader who determines if he or she is effective. To be effective you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed. Only an effective leadership can lead effectively. If you are committed to your job and faithful in the responsibility given, you are an effective leader. If you really care about it, you can lead effective!


Well-defined Leadership

Mathew Philip


What does it mean to be a leader?

A leadership that is well defined is the need of the hour. A leader is someone who is entrusted with the authority to say the final word, ‘yes,’ ‘go,’ ‘do,’ etc. A leader is the one who conducts others as a guide to accomplish a definite task. For example, a person who takes the lead in a business or movement is recognized as the leader of that business or movement. Today people go after those who perform well as leaders and praise those who produce much result. You must discern that leadership is not defined by performance or by the results, but by the character. What is a leader by his or her heart? 1 Samuel 16:7 says that we are not to focus on the outward features. The Lord is concerned with one’s inner disposition and character (Luke 16:15; John 2:25). You are a leader not by what you do or how you do, but by what kind of a person you you’re your leadership must flow from your life. Leadership is more than a title or position; it is your inner motivation to achieve predetermined objectives. To lead means to show the way by going first and not by chasing people behind. A leader is like a shepherd who leads his sheep from the front. The one who drives his sheep ahead from behind is a butcher. To lead means ‘to show the way’ or ‘go in front.’ It is an oft-quoted statement, “A leader is the one, who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way.” Such a leader is someone who leads by being in the forefront as an example. Leadership is mobilizing, motivating, influencing, and inviting people to follow example. Henry Miller said, “The real leader has no need to lead; he is content to point the way.”


What is Leadership?

David W. Bennett in his book, Leadership Images from the New Testament says that leadership is a process of influence. Those in leadership should never try to influence others by power, money or pressure, which will not last. People must follow the decision taken by their leaders just because they are godly.  Jeff Jernigan defines a leader as, someone who influences others to follow a decision or course of action through strength of character. An effective leader is the one who influences others by the strength of his or her character. Myron Rush in his practical book, The New Leader-A Revolutionary Approach to Effective Leadership, defines a leader by using the life of Christ as an example, as one who recruits people to follow his example and guides them along the way while he is training them to do what he does. Effective leaders train followers by their example, to do what they do. Their purpose is to help followers become leaders like themselves. Efficient leaders will never command of demand, but always appeal. An exemplary leader is the one who identifies himself with his or her followers. Spiritual leadership is always operated on the basis of love and appeal and not on the basis of demands and commands. Paul Beasley-Murray defines a leader as the one who works as a senior partner with other members to achieve the task, build the team, and meet individual needs.  An effective leader is the one who works along with others as a senior partner. He or she works with the team and is devoted to build the team. Such leaders care for their team members and are committed to meet personal needs and welfare.  John Maxwell in his captivating book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, sums up his definition of leadership, as "leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less." This talks about the ability of the leader to influence both his or her followers and those outside that circle. The capability of the leaders to influence always depends on their character that absorbs integrity and trustworthiness. According to Oswald sanders, the spiritual leader, however, influences others not by the power of his own personality alone but by that personality irradiated, interpreted and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Because he permits the Holy Spirit undisputed control of his life, the Spirit’s power can flow through him to others, unhindered. One’s personality is valued in leadership, but it is a personality that is surrendered to and empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is a spirit filled personality. Education is needed, training is necessary, experience is desirable, but fullness of the Holy Spirit is a must for Christian leadership. An effective leadership is the one that follows Christ as its best example having His attitude of self sacrificing humility and love for the followers (Philippians 2:5-8). Peter Wiwcharuck in his helpful guidebook, Building Effective Leadership, writes that a Christian leader can be truly great only when he or she models Jesus Christ, our Leader.


In brief, we can say that an effective and vital leader should be an authentic Christ-like leader. Twenty-first century Church looks for leaders who have the attitude of Christ. If you can clearly describe who you are and what you are in regard to leadership, you can lead effectively!

Mathew Philip


Today?s leadership must be aware of its temptations.  They cannot effectively lead if they are caught in any of the following traps.  I like to talk to you about four temptations that will badly affect today?s leadership effectiveness.

1. Power: Leadership should not get intoxicated with power. The love of power is the love for oneself.  A man or woman who is captivated by power is fascinated in himself or herself.  They are not fascinated in people or in what they can achieve. The love of liberty is the love of others. Power is not of itself good or bad. It really depends upon the one who handles it.  We know whether power is constructive or destructive when it comes to what its holder makes it. One must lead with spiritual authority and not with carnal or muscle power.  Spiritual authority comes from the Lord and not from money, influence, skill or coercion. Those who rule with cold-blooded power in Christian ministry will have spiritual blackcats/goondas (protection force) around them to get things done.  God never approves of such leadership. There will be a wide gulf between the leader and the followers when the leader becomes more powerful.  The first temptation Jesus faced in the desert was to show his power. Jesus could have exercised his power to make the entire Palestine a bakery when Satan said, ?If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.? Jesus answered Satan by quoting God?s Word, ?Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God? (Matthew 4:3-4).


How to get rid of this temptation? The Solution is to accept your powerlessness and depend on God?s strength.  God?s power manifests in our weaknesses. There is authority in leadership, but that authority must be tampered and transformed by the power of God. Although the leaders are conscious that God has made them the head over their congregation or a group of people, yet this should not overly impress them nor should they ever become a lord over God?s heritage (1 Peter 5:3). They should not rule with ruthless force or high handedness, but rather they should rule with gentleness and patience. Effective leaders understand that sharing power ultimately means increasing their own power and influence. Ineffective leaders are parochial and fight to retain the power they have at all cost.

2. Popularity: We should never go after popularity and never fight for prestige and privilege in Christian ministry. One of the temptations the leadership faces today is to do something spectacular and become popular. Many are interested in conducting healing and miracle crusades through which their photos are posted on the street walls and printed in the newspapers. They will have a lot of followers and prayer partners. We are not against meetings in which healings and miracles take place, but against such temptations of name, fame and popularity. Our name, fame, ability and all come from God.  As apostle Paul says, ?our competence comes from God? (2 Corinthians 3:5). Such things in leadership are for the benefits of the common people and not to enjoy by oneself in leadership. When popularity increases leaders become less accessible to their followers. The second temptation Jesus faced in the desert was to do something spectacular.  Jesus could have jumped down from the highest point of the temple and legions of angels would have been there to help him. Thus he would have been popular in Palestine and that would have definitely contributed to the credit of his public ministry. Here again Jesus resisted the devil with the Word of God (Matthew 4:5-7). 


How to get rid of this temptation?  The Solution is your willingness to be led by the Holy Spirit and going the way you do not know. Abraham became the father of believers. How? He literally obeyed the command of the Lord to leave his people and place.  He went to the place even though he did not know where he was going (Hebrews 11:8). He was not looking for name or fame, but looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10). Those leaders who build their own kingdoms on earth should never forget to look forward to the city with foundations.  It is because the city with heavenly foundations will last forever, but the city with earthly foundation will not last. Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent those two-by two to preach the good news of the Kingdom.  They returned with much joy and reported to him all the miracles that had happened. They said, ?Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.? Jesus told them, ?However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.? (Luke 10:1-20). We may be able to do a lot of things and all ?in the name of Jesus,? but there is a possibility that we may be out of God?s plan and will.

3. Property: The love of money is the root of all evils. We should never accumulate unnecessary properties and buildings in the name of Christian ministry. To some, it is a matter of their status in the society.  Money is needed for the ministry. Land is essential and a number of buildings are absolutely necessary for large ministry purpose. These things should not be a symbol of one?s power and authority, but for the benefits of the community among whom one serves. The final temptation Jesus faced in the desert was an offer from Satan to give him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. Satan promised the whole thing if Jesus would bow down and worship him. Jesus rebuked the devil saying, ?away from me Satan!  For it is written: ?Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only?? (Matthew 4:8-10).


How to get out of this temptation? The Solution is your accountability to God and to the people you serve. The temptation of greed is more when there is no accountability. Your contentment with what you have and your determination to live on minimum must be the lifestyle of the spiritual and effective leaders. Never give an impression that your leadership is for monetary gain. Trust in God?s sufficiency and avoid trusting in your own abilities. This is the feature of effective and spiritual leadership.

4. Politics: Playing politics is common in leadership today.  People do this to secure their own positions in leadership. Such leaders will make their position safe and sound at any cost. They either entice or coerce their followers to make allegiance to them so that they will be able to come into the power next time. We see a lot of canvassing going on in churches and organizations in the name of politics. Leaders persuade people by giving them money or false promises. Such leaders spend a lot of money in advertising.  When leaders are needed for the church or organization, they should be selected unanimously on the basis of their character, qualification, seniority and spirituality. 


How to overcome this temptation? We need people who are filled and guided by the Holy Spirit to be effective in the ministry. In the early church when the apostles did not have enough time to see the details of daily administration, they needed some assistants to whom they could delegate responsibility, so they could give themselves more fully to the ministry of the Word.  Setting up lines of authority and delegating responsibility solved this organizational problem.  What kind of people was selected to assist them?  They selected ?men who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom? (Acts 6: 3).  They worked under the authority of apostles.  Because of the largeness of the work, it is biblical to give geographical and cultural representations. The government of the church usually depends on the type of government the people are familiar within their culture.  Some people like a system in which all have a voice.  In that case voting makes decisions.  The saddest thing we find in Christendom is big and expensive campaign in the name of election like political parties do today.  Some others like to have one leader they recognize.  They trust him to select those who will work with him.  The danger here is autocracy.  However, ?one man rule? is not the biblical pattern.  Acts 15 records a church council where important decisions were made.  The apostles were the early church leaders, but they worked together with elders of the churches (Acts 15:6, 22).  Bible says, ?Plans fail for the lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed? (Proverb. 15:22).