1) Model the way
It is easy to teach how to live, but can we model the level of character we are teaching about?
2) Inspire a shared vision
Good leaders invite the people they are leading to have a stake not only in the organization as it currently exists, but in what it can become.
3) Challenge the process
If we look about us we might see things currently being done that are not effective. Questions might spark some ideas or make us aware of where and how we can do better. “Am I getting the results I would like?” is one such question.
4) Enable others to act
Leaders don’t do everything for everybody. Rather, they teach others how to care for themselves and fulfill their mission in life.
5) Encourage the heart.
Learning how to act on our own can be discouraging at times, so the leaders stand by to encourage them.
These five practices of exemplary leadership can be applied to businesses, community service clubs, and churches. It can even be applied to families.
Moms and Dads who do their jobs well are functioning with the five practices of exemplary leadership. If they teach their children to tell the truth, and they tell the truth themselves, they are modeling the right way to live.
If they share their view of the Christian life and encourage them to pursue that in their future, they are fulfilling number two, inspiring the shared vision.
If they question themselves at least occasionally about how well they are filling their role and how they could do better, they are challenging the process and are opening themselves up for more growth for themselves and their children. Questioning themselves doesn’t mean they are needlessly harsh or doubt their own value, but that they ask how they are doing and how they can do better.
Fourthly, healthy parents enable their children to act. They teach them proper behavior and as they mature and grow, give them rope to move and act. And when children move and act, they will make mistakes and even experience some rebellious streaks. Moms and dads will have to step in and reprimand and punish. But they will also step in with necessary encouragement so their hearts will not become discouraged (that’s number five).
Whether they are always aware of it or not, parents who function for the health of their family and children are practicing exemplary leadership. Thanks, moms and dads!