Five Ways Weak Leaders Kill Momentum
Mo-men-tum: The strength or force something has when it is moving. Momentum in organizational leadership or ministry is a good thing. You can make progress toward your mission with continued forward movement, even when smaller problems arise, or when a leader needs to briefly slow down, or when a change takes place within the organization. Despite the interruption, the organization continues forward. Ideally a leader will make decisions that propel his or her teams or followers forward and no one will notice the natural interruptions that inevitably take place.
There is another side to the equation. Some leaders stall or reverse momentum. The result can be a lack of growth and ultimately decline if the momentum cannot be regained. All leaders are vulnerable to circumstances beyond their control which can decrease momentum. Effective leaders prepare for those eventualities developing systems, policies, and best practices to minimize the effect of those external speed bumps. Unfortunately, some leaders personally cause the erosion of the momentum. Here are some ways that weak leaders, kill momentum:
- When the leader loses or lacks passion. The leader sets the tone and his or her followers will rarely have more enthusiasm for the mission and work than the leader. If you are not “pumped” about what your organization is doing, then why should anyone else be?
- When the leader disconnects from the team members. Contrary to the opinion of some, you cannot lead from behind. That is not a political commentary or intended as an insult to the one who proposed it. You must be visible, out front, and continually rallying followers toward the objective.
- When the leader’s recollections of past victories are spoken about more than dreams of future possibilities. Every leader should remember the past, respect the past, learn from the past, but lead into the future. Yesterday’s victories will not guarantee tomorrows successes. In addition, younger leaders and followers want to hear a vision for the future with more frequency than reveling about the “good ole days.”
- When new leaders are not being developed. The primary function of an effective leader is to develop new leaders. You cannot have too many. Only one can be the “lead dog” but an effective leader is primarily a “leader of leaders” rather than a “leader of followers.”
- When a leader relies on momentum. A leader should desire momentum. He or she should work to generate it. But, the effective leader works and prays as if the momentum will disappear within the week if they are not diligent. Therefore, while it may be necessary to slow down at sometimes, they never coast. They could because they have momentum. But, they don’t.
That is why they are so effective in their leadership. What about you? Are your actions generating momentum or killing it? Learn these important lessons and you will maximize your leadership.