youth ministry, youth worker, leaders

What Leaders Do

By Doug Franklin April 4, 2013

We often think of leaders as the most outgoing or the best looking. We even think the leader is the one who has the best ideas, but this is not always true. We want our leaders to solve our problems and do the heavy lifting. We want our leaders to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. Because we have these beliefs, we are often disappointed in our leaders when they don’t make good decisions or lead us in the right way. We like to blame our leaders when we don’t like the outcomes. This kind of thinking leaves all decisions in the hands of leaders but is this what leaders do? I honestly don’t think so, I think leaders do the following:

1.    Leaders navigate obstacles
Leaders are looking ahead at what is coming. They don’t live in the present they live in the future. They are the first ones to see trouble coming and they warn the team to make corrections. They steer us away from the pot holes so we don’t get slowed down. Most people deal with obstacles when they are in the middle of them, leaders navigate around them because they see them coming.

2.    Leaders communicate intentionally
Leaders don’t just tell you what you need to know. They tell you the why you need to know. Great leaders communicate in a way that shows people don’t listen. If you are a leaders and you think people listen because you talk you are making a big mistake. Leaders make stories and instructions come to life. They know how to get people to internalize what they are hearing so it will lead to action.

3.    Leaders champion their team
Good leaders know when to hug and when to kick in the pants. These leaders set an example by how they work and how much they go beyond what is expected of them. They care deeply and they live the mission. A champion’s body grow tired but his heart won’t.

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