Leaders know how frustrating it can be when team members fail to follow what seem to be simple directions to complete a task. It’s tempting to attribute the glitch on the staff member, but wisdom instructs leaders to rethink this notion. Instead the leader should consider whether the source of the problem might be his/her leader’s failure to communicate their purpose. “Purpose” tells people how to interpret orders, execute procedures, solve problems, resolve conflicts, and overcome unexpected challenges; it informs their judgment and allows them to improvise. “Purpose” is also the power behind initiative, goal setting, and perseverance. So it is always wise to communicate the purpose of a task or project when you assign it.
I believe what people say. More than that, I believe the attitudes they express knowingly or unknowingly. When I enter an organization, I pay close attention to what managers say, and I have learned some of the telltale messages of managers who aren’t leading anyone anywhere. Among the worst messages are those that shut down communication. When communication is blocked, trust erodes and decisions go uninformed. After that, little else matters.
The Bible says that with God, all things are possible. But, as Christian leaders we must establish goals that are first vetted with Him. “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5, ESV). So, make sure you follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in identifying the right goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics to fulfill the path that God has ordained for you (Proverbs 3:5-6) and to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).