Dr. Jack L. Arnold
TOOLS FOR LEADERSHIP
I. General Thoughts
A. There are certain characteristics of a leader which vary with the personality of the leader. Yet, there are certain tools that every leader must use if he/she is to be effective.
B. A tool is nothing more than an instrument or vehicle used to accomplish a definite purpose or goal. Tools are essential if a leader is to be effective.
A. Delegation is the ability to share work with others so one person does not do all the work.
B. Before one delegates, the leader needs to recognize the abilities (strong points) and limitations (weaknesses) in others, so as to fit them into the job where they will do their best (reach their full potential).
C. A leader who cannot or does not delegate cannot be an effective leader. Delegation gives confidence to followers and subordinates.
D. When one delegates, he oversees but does not micro-manage.
A. A leader is highly motivated, upbeat and encouraging to his subordinates.
B. He shows general concern for people, not just superficial acts.
C. When a leader does not motivate his followers, it breeds resentment, cynicism, fear, low morale and contempt in both the leader and the followers.
A. Leaders must select the best people and place them in the right positions. This can produce a lot of hurt and resentment if it is not done with love and tact, especially in the local church.
B. This could look like elitism, cliques and showing favoritism, but Jesus did it (Peter, John and James over the other twelve). Paul did it (Timothy, Silas and Luke over Mark). Yet, it is not easy to select properly. Sometimes mistakes are made and those who are not selected are almost always hurt.
C. Selection is made on gifts, personality, dedication and faithfulness. Yet, there is still an element of subjectivity.
V. Planning Process
A. Man plans and the Lord directs in His sovereignty (Prov. 6:9).
B. Man commits his work to the Lord expecting GodŐs blessing on it (Prov. 16:3).
C. Leaders make plans, committing the plans to God, and leaders help other to lead, committing them and their plans to God.
D. Leaders evaluate plans because all plans need changing if they are not correct, need tweeking if not exactly on course.
E. Planning gives structure, security and accountability to the leader and the followers.
A. Leaders must communicate with their followers.
B. Leaders must learn to listen before they talk.
C. People want to be heard, and in most cases this is sufficient without any action.
D. Communication is the key element in morale, effectiveness and efficiency. People do not know where the leader is going unless he can clearly speak to them about the direction.
A. In order to recruit people, one must become a student of people.
B. In recruiting a staff, recruit to the leader first, especially to the leaderŐs weaknesses. Then recruit to the vision—people who will get the task done.
C. People are recruited by love (devotion to the leader) and by big challenges (the bigger the challenge the bigger the commitment.).
A. The leader should know, recruit and select his own people whenever possible. There are some people a leader cannot work with for various reasons—personality clash, previous dealing with the person, economic differences, etc. Be careful not to select your personal friends if they are not qualified for the position or you will show them favoritism.
B. The leader may use certain tests to determine skills, propensities and personality types.
C. A poorly selected team can be devastating to the accomplishment of the task. Yet a well-selected team is the very best use of resources.
D. A leader should be familiar with group dynamics.
A. A leader should have a standard of excellence for himself and the team. A leader can never be satisfied with mediocrity. It is better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly.
B. If the leaderŐs expectations and standards are low, then he will not rise to his full potential, and his followers will do poor work and have low morale.
A. The leader needs accountability as well as the team. All people need to know they will be evaluated from time to time. People do what you inspect, not what you expect.
B. The purpose of evaluation is to encourage and increase productivity not to criticize and point out mistakes. People must not fear losing their jobs if they are evaluated; they must sense the evaluation will help them improve.
A. Every leader should be committed to training—a mentor to another; a disciple to a small group; a leader to a larger group. There must be a commitment to training leaders who in turn can train others (multiplication).