Connect with Others to Be a More Effective Leader

group holding hands

The technology we have today is wonderful, isn’t it? When I enter Starbucks, I immediately connect with the wireless system. My car is equipped to sync with my phone so I can retrieve my contact list and make calls. When I arrive home, my phone connects with our wireless setup, and I’m ready to go! My oldest son gave me a digital photo frame, and I’ve downloaded photos from my phone to my computer and then to the frame. If I wander into my office during the night, the frame immediately flashes on because it has a motion sensor.

Similarly, learning to connect with others can help leaders be more effective in mentoring, training, and teaching. New and experienced missions leaders must realize the value of connecting with other leaders, church staff, and members of WMU missions organizations. An entry point for someone not involved in missions activities can come through one of these connection points.

What, then, are some ways you can make connections that will help you inform people? Here are several suggestions:

  1. Since you are the “face” of WMU to many individuals, establish relationships that demonstrate the joys of ministry and missions efforts. When you seek to involve them, they will have seen your positive attitude and will be more likely to follow your leadership. Sync your love of missions with others’ interests.
  2. Be a listener. Be a keen observer of what is happening in your church or area that might mean changes for your organizations or groups. Be in sync with not only the present but also the future.
  3. Create a network of resources that will help you fulfill your leadership responsibilities. Find out about the abilities of women and men in your church or association. Have any of them done project management at work? Use their skills. Are some of them very artistic? Ask them to help with promotions and presentations. Are there church members who know about other cultures? Tap their knowledge. Get the idea? As you endeavor to make missions come alive, use the resources you’ve uncovered. Your events, projects, and learning sessions will be richer for it. Sync the need with a person.
  4. Build a leadership team that is interested in connecting to the entire church or association. A team working alone will never be as effective as one that relates to other teams, staff, and families. Each team member needs to have a clear understanding of the importance of connections. Team members need to see and use their talents and have input. They are the standards for stable team development. Team members need to be in sync with the purpose, each other, and you as the leader.

I barely think about my movements to connect to Starbucks’ wireless any longer. I assume when I walk in my back door that my phone is synced with our wireless provider and I’ll have access to email and Pinterest. For a leader, being in sync pays off with new members, successful ministry projects, and strong leadership.

Linda Clark is president, Indiana WMU. She lives in southern Indiana with her husband, Jan, and Melchizedek, the orange tabby cat. She is the author of 5 Leadership Essentials for Women and the main presenter of the CWLC course Leader Skills, based on that book.

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