I love camp. I am frequently reminded of how much camp has taught me about leadership, ministry, and relationships. One thing that I have learned over and over again is that leaders set the culture of the people they are leading whether that leader is leading a team of volunteers, is just the emerging “leader” of their friend group, or in the workplace. Here are three ways that leaders set culture:
- A leader’s attitude will be the attitude of the team.
If you are unhappy with the way something is going, so will your followers, because they are just that: followers. If you are passionate about what God is doing in the life of your church and are supportive of your pastor and teachers, so will your volunteers. An upbeat, honest, and loyal leader normally means a healthy team. A leader who values their followers will be valued.
- What a leader talks about is what your followers will think is important.
If you are constantly talking about how your Sunday school teachers really need to leave their room clean on Sundays your volunteers will be great at that, but they will probably miss out on some of the more important things that they could be focused on. If you are constantly talking loving on kids, investing in their lives, and teaching them the Gospel, then that is what will be most important to your followers as well.
- A leader’s expectations and training set the course for the work today and for the future.It’s not enough to just have a good attitude and talk about the things that are important. A leader’s job is to equip followers to become leaders. Even in a group of friends, if you are the leader, you are informally training your friends about what leadership looks like. Especially in a church setting, you want to train and equip your team in the best ways that you can, frequently sharing resources, ideas, and tips to continue to get better.
What have you learned about leadership over the years? How would you say a leader sets the culture for a team?
Mary Carlisle serves on the CentriKid office team and directs CentriKid team 3 at Millsaps College during the summer. She is passionate about leadership and learning. Follow Mary on twitter.