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Leadership isn't easy. As a leader, you are being watched by your team. Whether you are a pastor, chair of a search committee, elder, or Bible study leader, you carry a tremendous responsibility to help provide direction and vision to your team. As you develop as a leader, be sure to avoid these six bad habits.
1. Being Defensive - A poor leader makes excuses when approached with constructive criticism. A good leader takes constructive criticism well and even seeks opportunities to recieve it. Receiving honest feedback can be humbling and is never easy. However, learning to avoid being defensive and admitting when you're wrong is key to becoming a leader your staff wants to follow.
2. Being an Impulsive Decision Maker - A poor leader makes decisions based on their emotions and doesn't think about how their decisions influence others. A good leader thinks carefully about big decisions and seeks wisdom from those they respect. We all make hundreds of decisions each day, and we live in a world accustomed to instant gratification. However, many decisions do not need to be made within a few minutes. When faced with a difficult decision, good leaders will take the time necessary to make a well-informed decision.
3. Being Unassertive - A poor leader lets others speak up or procastinates when faced with difficulty. A good leader speaks up when faced with a challenge and helps facilitate solutions. It is much easier to sit back and let others do the work, but a good leader takes initiative and equips their team to succeed.
4. Being Negative - A poor leader complains. A good leader celebrates. Both negativity and positivity are contagious - which do you want to spread among your team? A good leader encourages their team, compliments their hard work, and celebrates achievements. This doesn't mean that problems aren't addressed. A good leader provides an outlet for his or her team to discuss potential trouble spots before they become a problem and helps the team come up with solutions.
5. Being Disorganized - A poor leader is disorganized and distracted. A good leader has a plan and is focused. Effective teams have a vision and mission to work toward and are equipped with the right systems and tools to achieve their goals. A disorganized leader often lacks direction and causes staff members to become frustrated and unmotivated.
6. Being Change-Resistant - A poor leader says, "This is the way it's always been done." A good leader asks, "How can we improve it?" Be aware of updates in technology that can make your team more effective. Challenge the status quo and allow your team to be innovative. Allow for a work environment with a propensity to yes and the opportunity to fail. Change is hard but necessary for an effective team.
By working against these six bad habits, you will become a better leader and provide your ministry staff with the opportunity to grow.