So far we have looked at character as the fundamental essential for a leader. But that isn’t enough. Leaders need to have skills and expertise in order to lead well.
This takes me to the next two C’s in our series ‘C’ the difference:
People are looking for skilled leaders—those who know what they’re thinking and doing. Whatever field, he should endeavor to learn the subject and be willing to be trained. A leader who is constantly upgrading himself will command a following.
I remember years ago in our Church context we didn’t have a single good musician. A verse from the Bible that we regularly quoted to one another was: make a joyful noise to the Lord.
This helped us stay encouraged but also made us push aside our desire for competence. The Bible also says play skillfully to the Lord, but we ignored that. I have seen many good men not going further because of a ‘chalta hai’ mind set—an attitude that does not go for excellence and competence. You want to lead well?–then work hard to grow your competence.
Good leaders have followers. If you don’t have a follower you are not a leader. Recruiting followers requires communication. Often leaders think that because they have said something, people would have understood it. But that is not the case. The outcome of good communication is clear understanding and a response.
In my early days, in the context of administrative organizing, my mentor once said to me: ‘It is better to be clear than to be right.’
I debated that in my mind: Isn’t being right more important? But later it dawned on me that bad communication in that context would have caused a riot, but if the communication was good, even if the best option wasn’t chosen, there would still be order. Communication is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.
So friends, let’s guard ourselves from laziness and work on our competence and communication. These are essentials.