No matter how great the leader’s vision, it will never rise above the caliber of the people who carry it out. Not only is it important to have the right people working in your organization, but it is also important to find the right place of ministry for each follower. The right person in the right position with the right attitude is almost unstoppable. Difficulty occurs when we are so happy to have a volunteer that we use little effort to position that volunteer appropriately. The right people will believe that they can accomplish their goals; this belief will give them the energy to achieve them and tackle new ones.
Hierarchy, or top-down leadership, is not effective in most situations today. It simply does not motivate people to give their best. Rather, inclusion is an important value. More flat structures draw out everyone’s creativity and innovation. Furthermore, those working in a more flat structure feel a part of the team, accomplishing an objective that has meaning rather than simply “doing a job.”
In order to create a flat structure, you must develop trust in the people you work with. The leader must instill values that will produce decisions and actions that line up with the vision. For this to occur, the values must be:
- clearly articulated,
- consistently lived out in the life of the leader, and
- appropriately applied in team members’ decisions and actions.
As leaders, we must give each person help and support to instill courage and the ability to be what God intended. As westerners, we tend to think of action as a means to an end, and view success or failure as a benchmark. We find it difficult to realize that the outcome is not as important as the contribution we make. Each woman must be encouraged to share her own insight or gift. Workers must be trained. Asking them to make decisions without relevant understanding and experience is counterproductive.
The primary reason people say they leave a secular job is because they received too little praise and recognition. If this is true, in the work place where they are compensated, how much more praise is needed in volunteer situations. James Kouzes and Barry Posner in Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others, suggest seven recognizable, learnable, and repeatable actions that are needed to make people feel special:
- Set clear standards
- Expect the best
- Pay attention
- Personalize recognition
- Tell the story
- Celebrate together
- Set the example
How can you encourage involvement in your Women’s Ministries?
What present practice is discouraging women from becoming a part of the leadership team?
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®. COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984 BY INTERNATIONAL BIBLE SOCIETY®.
“Transformational Leadership” is published by the National Women’s Department at women.ag.org, 2020. Permission granted for personal use or within a teaching setting. Do not reproduce.