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The Fragrance of Leadership

Is your influence inviting?
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Grace—Lisa's leadership style is based on Philippians 2:3-4: "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." Lisa intentionally invested in a relationship with each member of her team. She spent one-on-one time with each person, asking about dreams, passions, and vision for the future. Feeling valued and affirmed, each team member wanted to execute Lisa's vision for the fundraiser.

Generosity - Lisa gave ministry away, often asking individuals to speak at community functions. When she saw potential in others, she would give them opportunities to flex their leadership muscles and spearhead a project.

Authentic - Lisa didn't pretend to know all the answers. She understood her weaknesses and managed them by humbly submitting herself to accountability partners.

Those of us in leadership can see ourselves both in Dana and Lisa, but to what degree will determine the fragrance we leave in the lives of the people we influence.

Use this quiz to determine the fragrance of your leadership influence. Use the following scale:

4 = always

3 = sometimes

2 = seldom

0 = never

1. Do the people you lead hang around after meetings to speak with you?

2. How often do you affirm and reward the people you lead for a job well-done?

3. How often do you use social media to acknowledge a job well-done?

3. How often are you developing new leaders?

4. How often do you allow people you lead to represent you at public functions?

5. Are you invested in your staff's leadership development and discipleship?

6. Do you have regular meetings with your spiritual authority, discussing your heart issues?

7. How often do you have heart-to-heart discussions with the people you lead?

8. Do you regularly pray for the people you lead?

The higher your score, the sweeter your leadership influence. If your score was lower than you hoped, here are a few practical steps to improve your fragrance:

• Speak candidly with your spiritual authority, giving permission to address issues that hinder your leadership.

• Find a mentor to help you develop your leadership skills.

• Humble yourself before your team, explaining your desire to improve your leadership and, if necessary, ask for their forgiveness.

• Consider taking a sabbatical from your leadership position. Take time to reflect, pray, and seek the Lord. Remember, at the end of your leadership tenure you want the lingering fragrance of your leadership influence to smell of grace, generosity, and authenticity.

Julia Mateer serves as the director of women's small groups at Bayside Community Church. A writer, speaker, and professional Christian counselor, she lives in Florida with her husband, Mark.

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August27, 2012 at 2:54 PM

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