Think strategically and lead effectivelyWhen I asked my staff for tips to give senior leaders on working with their staff, they came up with five.  Here’s number four:

Excellent team leaders think strategically and lead effectively. 

As a team leaders, you need to create the time and space to be think strategically together with your team. Effective leadership is not just leading in isolation and then telling your team to implement your decisions. Processing strategy with them will help you lead much more effectively.

When I was leading a church staff, we went on retreat together once a month, on an overnight trip for two days. We did that for eight years and it was a sacred time. No one could schedule anything over it unless everyone on staff could make the change. Even when the church was small and we couldn’t afford it, we found some free lodging and paid for the food out of our own pocket.  It was that important. Why?

We’d start with half a day or even 2/3 of a day in sharing, relationship, and prayer.  Then we’d have a one-word agenda: something like “assimilation” or “training” or “evangelism.” Then we’d engage in a process of reflecting on that topic across all ministry areas– what’s working? What’s not working? What are we learning? What needs to change? What are the next steps? We weren’t just conducting business; we were setting aside time to think strategically about a whole area that needed to be applied on a church-wide scale and listening to God about where we needed to focus our attention.

The process was significant in allowing staff members to focus on their contribution to the whole church beyond just their area of responsibility. It also helped them to see and understand where we were going and why.

Excellent team leaders think strategically and lead effectively.

  • take time to plan and set priorities
  • share where you are going and why
  • help staff members focus on contribution
  • learn to ask good questions
  • realize the value of leading by example
  • consult with team member before making decisions pertaining to their responsibilities

Action point:  Set aside a specific time to think strategically and set priorities.