Effective and Efficient Leadership is defined as having influence with God and man. It is also a well-known fact that Leadership is both goal-oriented and people-oriented; and because we are looking at leadership from God's own perspective, the following are a few of the qualities that God expects from anyone of us who aspire to leadership position(s) in His vineyard:
1]. Visionary-minded: Effective leaders are those who are able to visualize relevant needs, proffer solutions, map out goals, as well as articulate how the goals and/or needs would be adequately communicated to their followers. In order words, visionary-minded leaders are bridge-builders, gap-fillers, capacity-builders and dream-facilitators.
Vision is defined as the requisite and most indispensable tool for articulating a realistic, attainable, credible and attractive future - a condition that is far better in several important and easily quantifiable ways than what presently exists.
Vision is also the act of having an imaginative perception of how things ought to be. This is only possible by combining hindsight, insight, and foresight in order to help forestall or overcome any unforeseen oversight.
Helen Keller the blind African-American Activist was once asked by a pressman, "What could be worse than being born blind?" She replied without hesitation, "To have sight without vision!" That is to say that vision is not just about what one can possibly see in the physical. It is also more of mental perception than physical or surreal realities.
2]. Action-oriented: An effective leader must be one who is action-oriented. It has been generally discovered that great men of God who excel in their various areas of calling are almost always people who have great faith in what God can use them to do for Him. The effective and efficient leader must, therefore, have faith in what God has called him to do.
In leadership, people will not only want to hear what we have to say, but they also want to see what we do. And most often, the success of dreamers, leaders and visionaries is usually the result of 99% perspiration, but only 1% inspiration.
3]. Risk-taker: Effective leaders are always people who derive great pleasure in worthwhile risk taking, always daring to conquer new territories, and ever venturing into where only the proverbial eagles dare.
However, like we noted above, effective leaders do not necessarily nor deliberately embark on careless risk taking. Risks should only be taken with calculated reservation and tepid caution - especially with or towards anything or anyone you do not know very well enough. Also, you must only have trust in only those who stand to lose as much as you if things should unexpectedly go wrong, (as they often tend to do).
4]. Agent of Change: Effective and efficient leaders are usually agents of positive changes. As a leader, you have been designed by God, vicissitudes of life, and rugged experience to be able to effectively manage the challenge of changes.
Carefully take note of people around you who are most resistant to change, because by and large, they are the ones who need to change the most.
Weathers help to shape mountains, so do challenges help to shape up our character as leaders. We should therefore, welcome change as friends. Change is usually classified into two major categories - noble change and needed change. The effective leader is the one who is amenable to and always glad enough to welcome both kinds of change.
5]. Committed and Disciplined: Effective Christian leaders must be seen and known to be highly committed and disciplined in morals, habits, priorities, values, principles, preferences and ethics.
You must also be committed to self-development, self-discipline and personal spiritual growth as a Christian leader. Your private life must be strongly and dynamically built up. As well, your prayer and Word study life must be built up to reflect the godly leader the Lord has raised and intended you to become.
This is further re-enforced by the maxim which simply states that leaders are readers, and readers are leaders. If you don't read, you cannot lead; and if you do not lead, you are definitely not well-read. It is equally true that the way up is usually the way down, and that as you begin to rise in leadership, the way to the top becomes ever so cold and lonely indeed. To get to the top, effective and efficient leaders know that they must get there alone. In other words, if you don't think for yourself, you will inevitably sink!
6]. Highly Responsible: The responsible leaders are those who take life rather very seriously. They do not leave their responsibilities to their subordinates, colleagues or to others. They usually initiate personal accountability for every job or work assigned to them.
The responsible leaders are also those who roll up their shirt sleeves and personally help with any job at hand. They do not normally sit somewhere at the top floor to issue strings of incomprehensible order. And they do not only supervise to ensure that a job is well done, but where necessary, they get personally involved.
7]. Effective and Efficient: All good leaders are both effective and efficient. To be effective is to be capable of bringing about a desired result or needed effect. On the other hand, to be efficient is to be quite competent, highly versatile and very proficient.
In other words, whereas 'efficiency' majorly focuses on the 'process' of how to arrive at any given task or assignment, 'effectiveness', on the other hand, focuses on the 'results', that is, the means of getting it properly executed or done. These two highly desirable qualities must be found in all competent leaders in order to lead effectively and efficiently.
Using common sense and being practical in everyday living will always result in efficiency and effectiveness. These essential qualities endorse a leader's credibility, and ensure the cooperation and submission of his followers and subordinates.
8]. Character and Integrity: Your character defines you and how people see you from the outside, as well as the mental image they hold in their mind about you. Integrity, on the other hand, is your true inward profile or personality, (which may not always be known or perceived by others), and it is how you personally and genuinely see yourself when the chips are all down.
To be effective as a leader, your character must be shaped and sharpened by the word of God, and your integrity must always be above board. Character formation will always be reflected on one’s general attitude to life. Character is that part of us that is visible to people.
9]. Self-motivated and Enthusiastic: We take it for granted that leadership is influence, and conversely, we accept that influence is usually contagious. However, effective and efficient leaders are those who always endeavour to maintain a high level of self-motivation, and who radiate inward enthusiasm. Such enthusiasm will always exuberantly spill over to the followers, who in turn, also get self-motivated and radiate same.
Enthusiasm by its very nature is usually highly contagious. If you are positively enthusiastic and always self-motivated, your followers will invariably notice it, and come to understand not only the purpose of the group that you lead, but also understand the importance of their work, and only then can they become more enthusiastic about the task at hand. In the long run, the outcome would always be outstanding results of success.
10]. Goal-oriented and Result-driven: Effective and efficient leaders are bi-visionary by nature. That is to say that they are able to see both the goals ahead and are also able to carry people along with them to accomplish those goals. The sole aim of leadership therefore, is the ability to sell a leader's vision to the followers and carry them along with you. In other words, leadership must always have a clear-cut objective as well as direction.
Leaders within this bivisionary category will not settle for anything less. What keeps them going is the desire to be able to achieve positive results. You have no business with leadership if there is nothing you are passionate about.
The heart and soul of leadership remains the accomplishment of goals and the attainment of results. But you cannot attain nor accomplish any of these just on your own alone. You need people, and people need you.
11]. Tenacious and Persistent: It has been said that persistence will always wear out resistance. Effective and efficient leaders are those who face their tasks and challenges with equanimity, courage and determination. No matter the nature of obstacles along the way, such leaders eventually accomplish or achieve their desired objectives.
Tenacity is also defined as staying power. It is the ability to keep one's head above the stormy seas of life. Tenacity is strong resistance. It means never letting go no matter what comes. It is endurance at its maximum elasticity strength.
Tenacity looks at obstacles as merely the things you see once your sight is removed from your main goals. Persistence therefore, is what helps you to remain steadfast, focused, unshaken and unwavering even when things go very awfully wrong or awry.
12]. Uncomplicated and unsophisticated: Simplicity of lifestyle, frugality of existence and straightforwardness of conduct are among some of the required qualities of effective and efficient leadership.
Leaders who make a lasting impact are those who are cautious in their utterances, careful in their actions, and wise in their decisions. Jesus always evaded the Pharisees and Sadducees by confounding their logic. Always, they wanted Him to complicate matters, but He always simplified things instead.
To become more effective and efficient as a leader, learn to always speak plainly and clearly. Avoid contradictory circumlocution and/or prevaricating statements; and never ever be double-standard in any of your dealings.
13]. Decisive and sound in Judgement: Effective leaders stand out by their pragmatic ability to deal wisely and decisively when it comes to matters that require accurate judgement or strong decision making.
Your ability to take prompt, accurate and quick decisions on a consistent basis is one cardinal quality that will endear you to your followers and earn their healthy respect and admiration. You must never be afraid of conflicts and clashes when they arise among your followers.
Make necessary decisions based not on sentiments or favouritism but on principle and objectivity. Sometimes, your decisions or judgements may cause you to become unpopular among your followers. You may even lose some 'friends' in the process, but never vacillate nor go back on your words, because this is usually normal in every leadership setting.
One other basic requirement of effective and efficient leadership is the ability to have a correct sense of judgement. Good leaders may make mistakes only occasionally, but they cannot afford to make such mistakes all too often, or else, they may lose every respect that their followers have for them.
14]. Transvisionary: Finally, effective leaders are not only visionary and bivisionary, but also transvisionary. Transvisioning is the ability to effectively communicate and/or impart your vision into those who are your followers to the extent that that vision eventually becomes theirs, and they are convinced enough not only to run along with it, but are even ready to make worthwhile sacrifices in order to ensure the fulfilment of the vision.
Until this is accomplished, the usefulness of spiritual leadership has not been fully explored.
Leaders should feel so adequately secured in their divine calling not to ever feel threatened when they see people coming up under them. These should rather give you a healthy measure of joy - to see the people under you coming into spiritual maturity, and going on to fulfil their own God-given ministries.
You are destined to excel as a leader in Jesus' Name!