Last week, we focused on our relationship with God in ministry. This week the these is Improving Ourselves. We’ll find out our leader and learning styles and learn to put them in practice to effectively improve they way we lead and the way we do ministry.
There are a number of leadership styles. Sometimes we might have more than one style depending on who we’re working with. We’ll learn about their strengths and weaknesses and give you a link to an assessment survey to find out which you are.
Authoritarian Leaders: These are the leaders that focus on getting things done. Their biggest strength is productivity. They make decisions with little or no input from their team. They rely on their decision making skills and know how to get things done. But they also are viewed as controlling and bossy. These are the dictators and the micromanagers. There is a place for this type of leader when quick decisions need to be made, but they often alienate people who want to contribute their skills and input.
Although Moses was a great leader, he sometimes fell into this style. He wanted to make all the decisions himself when it came to judging the people even though it wore him out.
Participative Leaders: This is a more democratic leadership style and is generally the most effective. These leaders offer guidance to team members, but they also allow input from their team. They may not be as productive as the authoritarian leaders, but everyone on their team feels like an important member. Team members are more creative and motivated.
These leaders have fewer problems getting team members and workers to stay because the team feels more of a commitment to the goals of the ministry. One thing participative members have to remember is they need to keep the final say on any decision, and when a quick decision needs to be made, they can’t consult their team.
Paul was this kind of leader. He would assign pastors for each church, but he would follow up with the congregations to encourage them to follow Christ and remember what Paul had taught them.
Delagative Leadership: This leadership style is the least productive. It works best if everyone on the team is an expert in their field and works well without supervision. But it can also cause workers to become discouraged because the leader never sets clear expectations or encourages the worker by giving guidance. It can lead to lack of motivation and disorganization where nothing gets done. Many time, leaders in this category don’t understand why, even though they make friends with their workers, they constantly have workers quitting. Eli was this kind of leader. He gave no direction to his sons.
These are the three major leadership styles, but there are two more you categories you might fall into.
Transformational Leadership: This is often identified as the most effective style. This style of leader motivates and inspires followers to make positive changes. These leaders are energetic and passionate. They not only help the team fulfill the ministry’s goals, but they also commit to helping each team member fulfill God’s calling on his or her life. King David was this kind of leader. He inspirited a nation to follow God.
Transactional Leadership Style: This leader has the view of a leader-follower relationship with every member of his team. He expects the team to obey him and follow his lead. Usually this style is found in the workplace. The follower is expected to obey the leader in exchange for a paycheck. Good performance will receive rewards. Bad performance can expect corrective. One benefit of this style is that workers understand expectations.
Leadership Assessment: You may already have an idea which leadership style you fall under. Many times thought, a leader may have flaws he doesn’t see. If you’re not sure, ask God to show you and ask your workers to evaluate you. There’s also an online Leadership Assessment Test you can take at this link.
Improving Your Leadership Style: Here are some online sites to help you with your leadership skills.