Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. – Mark 12:23
Christ offers no simple cliché or motivational lip service here, but faith demonstrated through action. For on the previous day, He had cursed a fruitless fig tree, causing it to wither and die. Now how is that for leadership?
That type of leadership is pretty scarce today, but there was a time when it was commonplace. Then our business environments began to shift from physical to more soft-skill demands, and leaders slowly receded to the office, with a focus on managing metrics rather than actually leading their teams. Today we are seeing yet another shift in the business environment, as we are increasingly challenged to do more with less. And while our mountains may not be physical, but more quality or capacity related, leaders at all levels of an organization would benefit from devoting more time out in front, motivating and guiding their teams through the same methodology employed by Christ above:
Define: Ensure that tasks and standards are understood through clear and concise instruction. Do not let ambiguity or inference interfere with simple instruction.
Demonstrate: Get down into the weeds once in a while. Show them that you have the courage and ability to do what is being asked of them. You need not be the expert in each task executed by your team, but you must demonstrate competence.
Develop: Allow team members to own the tasks by encouraging initiative. Afterall, they ultimately own their future success or failure, and you may depart the team early, so they must become confident in driving their own growth.
Think back through your career. How may leaders have made you truly believe that you could move mountains? If you can recall one or two, then I would bet that those leaders guided you through trying times and instilled a lasting confidence in your abilities. Such leadership is what our team members desire and, more importantly, deserve.