You and I have an incredible gift. We get to be involved in other peoples’ lives. Part of our legacy on this earth is to be led by others and to lead others. It might be in the work place, in marriage, or in parenting. It is both a privilege and an honor to have the place of “leader” in a person’s life.
However, we live in a world that changes because it is filled with people who are changing. You and I are changing. Occasionally, you are led differently than you would like to be led or differently than how you would choose to lead. Regardless of those leadership styles, feelings, or experiences, everyone has to understand one’s boundaries and experience the empowerment to lead. I believe when this happens we are able to lead in a responsive way. We become Responsive Leaders. We lead out of a confident calling and are able to respond to the challenges sent our way. We become the leader, spouse, parent, and friend those around us need us to be.
I want to define Responsive Leadership as the authorized ability to take action and make leadership decisions regardless of the tensions and uncertainties of the people around us, emotions within us, and the leadership preferences of others.
All of us are faced with many challenges both in our personal lives and our professional lives. Instead of confident decision-making, there can be critical second-guessing. Yet in these emotions, God is calling us as leaders, parents, husbands and wives to lead. He is exhorting leaders to step out and be the person He has created them to be, and “respond” to the life around them.
Below are some questions that I think may help you and I gain confidence when we are hesitant. These critical leadership questions can replace hesitation in a leader. Set aside time to talk about these questions with those you lead, in your family, and with friends who know you best. It’s my hope that the answers to these questions create an even greater confidence in you.
Questions to ask seeking clarity and confidence:
- Do you feel you know what you are expected to do in your role? If so, what is it?
- Do you feel you are empowered to do your job?
- How would you define success in your role?
- How does your leader or organization define success in your role?
- Do you feel as if you are in a ministry partnership or a ministry subordinate role?
- Do you feel you have the freedom to give options or recommendations and be heard?
- In what ways do your own ego needs enhance or detract from your relationship with your leaders or those you lead?
- Do you feel your leadership trusts you?
- Do you feel you are entrusted with the authority needed by your leaders to make decisions?
- Are you excelling in your current responsibilities? Why or Why not? How do you know? What do you use to measure?
- Do you feel you are given the freedom to lead effectively?
- Do you feel you are equipped to lead effectively?
- Do you feel your leaders are willing to give you the opportunity to take risks even if those risks fail?
- How often do you give commands rather than seek consensus with those you lead?
- How well do you understand the strengths & weaknesses, joys & hurts of those you lead?
- Do you have a deep respect for the leaders you follow? Why or why not?
- Do you have a deep respect for the leaders you lead? Why or why not?