3 Things GREAT Leaders Do

Do you find yourself in a leadership position?  This is a high calling that comes with a great responsibility.  You can be a good leader, or you can be GREAT!  You also don’t have to have a special title to be a leader.  So what do GREAT leaders do?

1. Lead from the Front – Have you ever played tug of war?  I remember being a student at The University of Tennessee at Martin and  participating in training our rope pull team.  This was an annual event in which fraternities and sororities were on opposite sides of the rope.  Their feet were in holes, with ten people on each side.  This is a grueling competition with people regularly pulling muscles and some cracking ribs.  Winning was a great tradition to many of the groups who participated.  It is something alumni look forward to each year during the homecoming festivities.  I wonder what would have happened if one team tried to “PUSH” the rope instead of “PULL” it.  Could the same competition be renamed “ROPE PUSH” instead of “ROPE PULL”?  Of course not.  As with leadership, leaders must be out front pulling the rope, not in the rear trying to push.  Are you pushing your team, or pulling them?

2. Tithe Your Time – Those of us in the Judeo-Christian tradition understand the concept of tithing.  For those not familiar, it is a setting aside of your “first fruits”, also known as the first 10% of income to be given to your local church.  This principle can also be applied to your time.  One of the best ways to lead is by donating your time to the development of someone on your team.  We all have been given gifts, and thankfully they are not all the same.  You have gifts others on your team could benefit by learning, and there is nobody more capable of teaching them than you.  If we use the 10% model, this would mean blocking out 4 hours per week to donate to a team member’s benefit.  Zig Ziglar reminds us, “You can get what you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”  Who will you tithe your time to this week?

3. Communicate Expectations – Have you ever performed an annual review with a team member and found nothing you were expecting from them had been accomplished?  You could feel the blood rushing to your face, but you knew blowing up would not be the most professional action you could take.  You find yourself alone at the office late, following a day of performance reviews, and dejected by the lack of accomplishment from the team.  How could they have missed it by this much?  Did they listen to anything I said?  Then the light bulb goes off.  A sinking feeling enters your stomach because you realize you failed your entire team.  You hadn’t communicated with any of them about what your specific expectations were.  You made the assumption that each of them could read your mind.  How arrogant.  I can say this, because this has been me.  How unfair.  This activity is like a teacher covering material from Chapter 1 & 2, only to come back and test on Chapter 3.  The problem is easily remedied, and can happen as soon as today.  Schedule an individual meeting with each team member and communicate the Key Results Areas (KRA) for each of them.  This will be the roadmap to judge performance…and will be fair to everyone.



  1. […] Lead from the front (previously written about here) – When my son became scared from his first experience in the ocean waves, he didn’t want […]

  2. […] In Dave Ramsey’s book, Entreleadership, he talks about the importance of developing a Key Results Area document for each position on your team.  It is a short document, including 4-5 bullet points, […]

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