Do Whatever It Takes

Leaders, regardless of their positions, need to carefully consider the promises they make. The key question is “Can I keep that promise?” Many factors impact whether leaders can make changes, and it’s not uncommon for those influences to be completely out of their control.

Leading successfully is a challenge not unlike climbing a snowcapped mountain. The higher you go, the thinner the air! Leaders make sincere promises but cannot keep them and feel as if they are climbing higher and higher without a support system. What, then, can leaders do to ensure the success of their work?

Here are several suggestions that can help you as you try to fulfill the promises you’ve made:

  1. Make a strong commitment to lead. If your commitment level is low, any obstacle may demoralize you and keep you from a sound follow-through. When a leader is passionate about an issue, a process, or a ministry, it shows in his or her enthusiasm and approach to doing the work. Promises should come out of zeal for the circumstance.
  2. Make sure you have all the facts. If you make decisions and take action before you have detailed information, then you are headed for big trouble! Leaders need to be certain they have all the information and that it is correct information. It is embarrassing when a leader moves forward and discovers he or she has taken a wrong turn and taken followers along. Be sure you have the specifics before making promises.
  3. Make a habit of leading by example. A successful leader knows he or she is being watched most of the time. Leading a missions group or directing a ministry involves many things, but one of the most important is being a good example. Integrity is critical; therefore, making promises that can’t be kept is harmful to a group, team, or organization. A group’s reputation rests partly on the leader and the promises he or she makes—and keeps.
  4. Make things happen by doing whatever it takes. This is not advocating that a leader can go “rogue” and do whatever he or she wants to do. But it does mean that a leader must exercise creativity, courage, and concern to ensure a ministry is supported and projects are completed. In difficult situations, a leader’s promises need to be made to meet the organization’s goals and within the boundaries of reality.

Christians in leadership must be careful not to make promises casually. Commitment to our responsibilities, gathering facts, being examples, and taking action come together to make it possible for us to fulfill the promises we believe we should make. Commit to do whatever it takes!

Linda Clark is president, Indiana WMU. She lives in southern Indiana and enjoys spending time at her favorite coffee shop. She is the author of 3 leadership books for women: Around the Table, 5 Leadership Essentials for Women, and Awaken the Leader in You

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