Leadership is all about making a difference. You exist in your position to make a difference for others which in turn makes a difference in your own life. Occasionally, people will forget where they came from. When we lose focus on where we have been we tend to lose sight of where we are headed. The Apostle Paul is very intentional about maintaining this focus for the church in Colosse.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
Chart Your Activity
Statistical analysis is a great way to demonstrate progress. From the very beginning, determine to maintain records that will reveal the power of your impact. Maintain records of attendance in Sunday School and break it down by each class. Keep records of sales in your business. How many widgets did you sell that first year? What were your best months? How many people attended your organization’s meetings or participated in your events? What was your enrollment? As you grow in your ministry, business or other activity you will have documentation to use and encourage your participants.
Recognize the Intangibles
All growth, however, isn’t measurable by statistical information but that doesn’t make it any less real. In the spiritual realm, you can’t place a number on darkness or light. But that doesn’t mean that it is any less observable or reportable. Leadership not only takes note of the statistics but is mindful to recognize the intangibles. High level leaders are discerning enough to pick up on the intangibles and draw as much attention to those variables as he is to those measurable qualities of growth.
Do you notice the encourager in your organization? Do you see the lady who isn’t rushing out the door when her shift is over? Have your recognized the salesman who takes the extra time to understand the customer’s needs and desires? What about that deacon who has empathy for people within the congregation who have special needs? Did you hear about that Sunday School teacher who sends out birthday cards to all of her students? Are you watching that disinterested soul who is now attentive and engaged? If you have noticed, what are you doing to recognize and reward this progress?
There are times when people don’t even see their own progress and your input encourages them to see the difference and continue in a positive direction. Paul reminds the Colossians about where they came from. Without Christ, they were captivated by the power of darkness. They were alienated from God and dead in their sins. But a wonderful transformation took place when they received Christ. Paul uses a powerful word to describe the difference that took place. They were translated. No longer aliens, they are now citizens of the kingdom of God. Forgiven and redeemed, they not only enjoy a fresh start but inherit special privileges and responsibilities.
Anytime a leader reminds people of their progress there is an implicit expectation for them to live up to that reputation. Positive reinforcement is a powerful leadership tool. Observe, recognize and reward all progress, tangible and intangible. Rewards do not have to be complicated. Recognition itself is one of the most powerful rewards available. People appreciate positive acknowledgments. Genuine compliments invest others with the inspiration necessary to excel.
Inspire Peak Performance
Remind others of the powerful privileges that they have received. As believers in Christ, we have inherited far more than we ever deserved. What a motivation to serve Christ! Does your staff feel honored to be employed in your organization? Do they have a sense of purpose and fulfillment? Do you remind them of why you chose them and why they are valuable to you? Do you consistently recognize their significance and progress? The most effective way to continue a positive transformation is to recognize and reinforce those trends that have brought you this far. In doing so, you will inspire others to live up to the reputation that you have instilled in them.