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youth worker, youth ministry, tasks, traits, leadership

Balancing leadership Skill and Character

By Doug Franklin July 7, 2009

Most leaders understand the importance of leadership; they are surrounded by both good and bad examples.  What they often struggle most with, however, is how to balance leadership skills with character so LeaderTreks developed the 5 Tasks and the 5 Traits of a leader.

The 5 Tasks of a Leader describe the leadership process.  They provide a step by step guide to leading a team toward the completion of a project.  Whenever a leader gets stuck, he or she can return to this list of tasks and determine what to do next.

The 5 Traits of a Leader flow out of the 5 tasks.  In order to be successful in each task an essential leadership trait is needed.  To determine the goals and scope of a project, for example, a leader must have vision.  A vision to see what is possible and a vision to see what God is calling the team to do.  In a similar fashion, the other traits of a leader are demonstrated by leaders who are successful in each of the corresponding tasks.  These traits, then, become the hallmark of a great student leader.

5 Tasks of a leader (leadership skills)

Determine the scope and goals of the project.
One of the greatest challenges of being a leader is seeing the future. Leaders must be able to set the boundaries of a project and determine goals to ensure the project will be completed with excellence.

Calculate the people and resources needed to complete the project.
Leaders must put the right people in the right positions in order for a team to perform at maximum potential. Leaders must also provide the resources to complete projects whether that includes money, materials, or other necessities.

Cast the vision.
A clearly communicated vision can change everything. If leaders are able to articulate the vision powerfully, no obstacle will stand in the way of their mission.

Navigate the obstacles.
Leaders need to think about what is coming next and deal with problems before those issues sabotage a project. Leaders also need to establish healthy environments and deal with conflict between personalities.

Evaluate the performance.
Leaders need to ask, “How can we do this better?” Consistent, honest evaluation is the leader’s tool to bring about growth in followers and to ensure excellence in all that his or her team does.

5 Traits of a leader (Character)

Vision
Leaders see the finish line before anyone else – they look into the future and see what no one else can see. A leader, guided by prayer, dreams about the biggest accomplishments God will do through their team.

Wisdom
A leader must calculate the people and resources needed to complete a project. But to which one should receive the most attention, people or resources? A leader needs wisdom to find the perfect balance between hard materials and caring for followers.

Enthusiasm
For a leader to cast vision he or she must have optimism, creativity and a positive outlook. These things flow from a rock solid belief that life can be better. Enthusiasm creates a momentum for change that galvanizes followers for a common mission.

Perseverance
Navigating obstacles takes a deep commitment to finishing a project with excellence. Sometimes when we face obstacles we want to reduce our initial goals to make them easier. A leader must fight this pressure with perseverance in order to insure completion.

Honesty
True evaluation never happens outside of honesty. Honesty takes courage and commitment. When leaders are honest with themselves and their followers, growth will happen.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More