5 Things Every Leader Needs to Hear

Applauding

Sure I’m a leader. So this may appear to be a self-serving post. I understand — and accept — the risk.

The fact that I am a leader, however, gives me a certain credibility in speaking on behalf of leaders.

I wrote this post several years ago, but decided to edit it and post again. More convinced than others.

I recently returned from encouraging dozens of church planters in Chicago. One of these planters has worked for several years without seeing a single person come to faith in Christ. Yet, I saw first hand the good work the church is doing in a very hard community. Others have seen their work grow only to have the world change again as a third of the church moved away in one year.

I was reminded again — there are certain things that every leader needs to hear that fuel his or her passion for leading.

This is true regardless of whether or not the leader is considered a “good” leader. In fact, sometimes a mildly successful leader can transform into a superior leader simply by receiving these words of encouragement.

Here are 5 things every leader needs to hear:

Good job – In spite of a passion for the vision — even if the leader is a thick-skinned, high confidence person — every leader needs to be recognized for what he or she is doing right.

You are making a difference – Leaders are inspired by progress. Every leader wants their work to be meaningful and worthwhile. Numbers, while they are important, aren’t the only indicator of success. Context is always relative. (The fact is, it’s easier to produce growth in a church where I live than in most of the 70 plus unique communities in Chicago.)

I trust you – Leadership is about influence. Leaders are acutely aware that if they are not trusted, no one is truly following. To know you have someone in your corner — who believes in you — that’s golden motivation for a leader.

I believe in you – Leadership can be a frightening place to be. At times, every leader feels he or she is alone and needs to know there is someone in their corner who will be there even when things don’t look or feel that successful.

I’ll follow your lead – Most leaders question their ability at some point and are often timid about making the first move towards something new. The best leaders are never 100% certain. That’s where risk and faith and trust come into the life of the leader. When a leader knows that someone will follow that step of faith is easier to take.

Are you trying to follow a leader?

Make his or her job even easier…and possibly even more successful. Speak some words of encouragement today.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “5 Things Every Leader Needs to Hear

  1. Great post!! I just sent it out to my direct reports in a memo demanding they tell me something from this list by noon today!

    Just kidding, obviously! I do like the list and agree completely!

    Instead of using the memo method, I have successfully used another. I occasionally get a note, letter, email, etc. that has words of encouragement like you mention in this post. I am saving them (Evernote) and reviewing them in those dark days when I need the fuel.

    It is amazing the change in my outlook when I reflect on the situations associated with the notes.

  2. Great post Ron. As a leader it's encouraging when you get feedback. "Your message about ______ ( or song, or lesson, etc) really helped me."

    As a follower, it's helpful if we are generous with our encouragement for leaders, they appreciate it more than they let on.

  3. It's so important for us to invest back in to those who are leading us. After all, the health of our leaders directly effects our own. Thanks for the reminder!