I love working with people!
Put me in an office alone or in a place where there is no one I will soon go crazy. I can’t be really fulfilled if there isn’t life, vision and people around. We are all different this way. Some people love being alone and spend days being happy not seeing anyone. I guess I’m not one of them..
But people are messy. We have different views on things. We see things from different angles based on belief, culture and upbringing. I can look at things with one pair of glasses and others look through a completely different lens. We may both be correct, we may both be wrong.
As leaders we need to be able to love, care for and embrace differences in personalities, cultures and perspectives. Leaders that are not able to facilitate this will get conflicts easily and lose people. What is needed? I have said it many times, and I can echo it for many more times to come..
Face to face conversations
What do I mean by this? Coffee, good talk, encouragement, empower people, see them! If we are able to create a culture where people are valued and seen, I believe we are leading well. In my living room I have a big picture saying, “Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded”. If you walk that mile with a cup of coffee and a smile, there may be a line behind you wanting to follow a true leader.
I did not say anything about confrontations, boundaries, time frames, because they come far down on my list of what is leadership is about! We are always too quick to run into confrontations, not that we don’t need to from time to time. We do whatever we can to work with people, see their point of view, walk with them instead of making a gulf. There is nothing wrong with making people aware of their less flattering sides, but this should always be done in a nice loving way and the problem has to be of sufficient importance or of a nature that cannot be ignored.
I love seeing people with different ideas. The best thing I can say as a leader, in my Scandinavian English, would be “WHY NOT!” that means “GO FOR IT!” If there is initiative, if there is passion and if people see an open place and an empty spot where they can do something, it’s just this simple word: WHY NOT! GO FOR IT..
We embrace when we give people room and freedom, when we don’t need to be in control or put our stamp on everything. Embracing means that we get to know people and that we trust people. We as leaders need to deal with our own insecurities, our own fears and, sorry to say, the different levels of inherent mistrust that exist in our cultures.
It’s hard to care for people you don’t know or, even more, when they just become numbers on a paper or chess pieces on a table. Remove the human interaction and people don’t matter any more. This is true for big concerns with thousands of people, but also local church and mission. Does your mission or church have such big turnover that people lose their value?
Leaders are not carriers of titles, but action oriented men and women who are out there knowing their people.
When we lead people we do it with passion and vision. We need an overall vision that people can follow and then the rest is basically up to the three points I have described above to set up a culture for people to thrive.
Why not, go have a coffee with your people?