As a Christian leader, you are held to high moral, ethical, and social standards. As a leader, you are held to high standards, but that bar is raised even higher as a Christian leader. Why? Because both the Christian and non-Christian social environment has tended to expect that Christians measure up to their self-proclaimed moral and ethical standards, as they rightly should. What can you do to be sure you stand up to the test in the area of Christian leadership?
1) Probably the most important thing you can do as a Christian leader is to clean up your act—
If there is anything in your life, moral or ethical, which would not stand up to scrutiny if the entire world found out—you must eliminate it immediately. Do not give anyone an occasion to think that you are a hypocrite.
2) Be sure that every decision you make is honest and ethical.
You cannot effectively lead, as a Christian or not when your decisions and actions are not above-board, fair, and honest.
3) As a Christian leader, commit to telling the truth no matter what.
As a Christian leader, when you lie or tell half-truths, people tend to feel that your entire faith is a sham. In fact, if you are habitually lying and telling half-truths, your faith may indeed be a sham.
4) Learn everything you can about the tasks at hand
even if it means working in the trenches for a while. No one likes to be led by someone who has never done what they are doing. This doesn’t mean you have to become an expert, participate in the menial work long enough to understand the work’s frustrating aspects. Another benefit to this is, when you have actually done the work, you can more effectively brainstorm solutions to challenges when they arise.
5) Lead by example.
Do you expect your employees or secretaries to arrive on time for work and dressed well? Then you must do the same. Sometimes, it is easy to think that you have earned the right to come in whenever you feel like it or return from lunch whenever you wish. Sure, you may have earned the right, but you gain far more by setting the example for performance. Do you expect others to work overtime when a project is behind projections? Then you must be willing to do the same.
6) Be Involved in Productive Tasks
Although you may feel you have earned the right to delegate away all the work, continue to be involved in productive tasks. By doing some of the work, you gain your employees’ respect and keep in touch with the flow of things. As a leader, it is easy to become disengaged from your business’s actual productive segment and resultantly make decisions that look good on paper and sound good around the boardroom table but are actually worthless when the rubber hits the road.
7) Constantly reevaluate your own performance.
Often, you may spend so much time correcting others’ actions and solving crises you didn’t create that you develop a sense that others aren’t as capable as you. Consequently, you may not recognize when you are falling into bad habits that need to be corrected. Be the first to recognize and correct your own short-fallings.
8) Avoid pride.
Once in a leadership position, especially if you are good at what you do, it is easy to begin to feel that you are invincible. Once that occurs, you become vulnerable to pride and may make decisions you would frown on if your subordinates made the same decisions. Maintain full responsibility for your actions, and keep them above-board at all times.
9) Learn to manage your time.
When you are in a leadership position and find yourself delegating away most of the time-consuming tasks, it is easy to lose control of your time. Again, when your employees see you wasting your time, they will tend to do the same.