“Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly a way of communicating.” – Simon Sinek

When you convey your leadership to others, what comes to mind about it? One of the most important ideas to remember is our leadership should be about others. It is never about you. With that being the case, the question of how should we deliver our leadership is important. Is it intentional? Does it carry a positive servant attitude? Does it…?

As a Christian, I learned an acrostic to increase and have a more purposeful prayer life. It is ACTS. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. A prayer life that models this style enables you to make sure everything has the correct place and is meaningful.
Now, what if we applied that same acrostic to making our leadership intentional? What would each letter signify? It could go something like this:

Intentional Leadership for Others… ACTS

ACKNOWLEDGE – When we provide leadership, do you focus on yourself or others? Steven Canfield, Lead Teacher for Life Action Ministries, said: “We should never look past others.” When I heard him say this, I had to camp out on it for awhile. Why is this important? If we are providing leadership, it should be for the benefit of those around us. When we acknowledge everyone in the room, the receptiveness of the group increases.

CONSIDERATION – Acknowledgement leads to consideration. It is one thing to acknowledge someone, but not to consider the value they could or can bring creates a downer. Considering others allows the quality of your leadership to enhance. Which allows the empowerment of others. If you want the attention of someone, acknowledge and consider them. Their thoughts and willingness could be a great addition to your leadership.

TRANSPARENT – Everyone needs help in some area. Thinking that you have it all together with your leadership leads to arrogance. What weaknesses we have should not be a secret. That is why transparency is crucial to leadership. People do not want to be around fakeness. Your leadership value strengthens when others see the example your leadership brings with transparency. True leadership is when you can express your weaknesses or acknowledge the weaknesses of others and help them. Weak leaders can do neither of these. Let others see the true you.

STEP – Go where you need to go next. Sometimes that might be a step forward or a step back. Know your audience. Trying to force your leadership usually backfires. Let your leadership be a living conversation that can go and change direction as needed. Be willing to adapt. Part of great leadership is doing what is best for others. Know where to step. Just make sure you do not step on others. (Thanks to Allen Marett for helping me figure out a word for “S”)

This acrostic might seem silly or simple, but how many times do we know if we are reaching our audience? If you do not ask yourself this question, then admit it is all about you. The next time you have the opportunity to provide leadership, try ACTS; acknowledge others, consider their thoughts and who they are, be transparent and know where and how to step next. Each one is intentional and builds on the other. When we do that, a connection is in the making.

Here is the idea of leadership… You can know right, do right, and still not be right.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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