When Nehemiah heard that God’s pitiful few in Judah were in “distress, their walls broken down, and gates burned (1:3), he returned to Jerusalem to lead the people. Despite opposition, the wall was rebuilt within 52 days. That’s certainly competent leadership!
Do you know what God has given you that makes you competent to lead? Self-awareness is a great skill for a leader to cultivate.
Keep in mind that teams need to:
- make decisions
- acquire resources their team needs
- get people on or off their team
- expect exceptions and handle them with team members
- divide projects intentionally
- measure progress with facts
- focus on the work not personalities
- encourage others
- hold people (and themselves) accountable
- make progress reports as needed
- find a way to stay on track when timelines or resources must be adjusted,
- celebrate successes!
Successful leaders find team members to help with all these things.
Good team leaders know how to quietly remove a disinterested, non-performing team member without saying one negative word to the team, but making it clear that the decision was made to enhance meeting the team’s goal.
Sometimes a leader needs to be the person who knows more about a subject than anyone else. But often, the leader needs to be capable of finding the ones who know the most and engaging them in the project — even if that person is not on the team. This means learning how to network among peers and experts beyond your current competence. Follow a great networker around and learn. The person may not work in your department, but you can find a networker. Start talking to people about your need to learn to network, and the networker will find you!
Time management is a competence that comes from practice in watching other leaders whose projects stay on track, and learning basic management skills.
If you don’t have this competence, and seem not to be able to stick to a schedule, put a good project manager on your team and follow the schedule, or adjust the schedule mindfully with the project manager’s help.
Understand your own Myers-Briggs strengths and if you need a project manager, get one. Do not blow your own schedule or be lazy — it indicates a lack of COMMITMENT and derails team TRUST.
Team members soon learn if their leader does not have basic skills in working with people and time. There are books about this. Do not make excuses for yourself.
Stick around! In the final posts, we’ll look at the last two Cs to grow great leaders who are ready to go to work!