As you lead others, always remember the end result is more important than your current situation or context.
In the book Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders, points to a need for leaders to follow a very systematic path of actions when dealing with those who have been entrusted to their care.
He offers these five critical steps specifically as it relates to discipline or what I like to call developing growth edges for team members.
1- Conduct a thorough and impartial inquiry.
2- Consider the overall benefits of the disciplinary action to the work & to the individual.
3- Do all in the spirit of love…be considerate.
4- Always keep the spiritual restoration of the individual in view.
5- Pray it all the way through.
Build a Foundation of Relationship
While each practice may appear self-explanatory in nature, it serves us well to recognize each one of these practices points to a solid foundation of relationship when dealing with followers. Keep in mind, this foundation of relationship does not ignore the need to lead followers in a way where growth can still occur before more punitive measures must be enacted.
A Follower’s Needs
What does this suggest to us about leading well as it relates to our followers? Great question! In one of my previous articles I shared about the importance of relationship as it relates to what the research calls, Leader Member Exchange (LMX). This concept revealed the likelihood of a favorable relationship being dependent upon a follower’s “needs” values and preferences.
Connectivity and Outcomes
While these needs can differ greatly between individuals based simply upon one follower’s preference over another. The research suggests that followers seem to be drawn to and perform better for leaders who offer them connectivity in relationship or something they specifically value, whether it is rewards, job stability, or some other desired outcome.
At the end of the day, if productivity and outcomes matter to you, then make cultivating relationships with followers a centerpiece of your leadership. Something tells me that you will be glad that you did!
Point of Clarity Quote
To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.
― Eleanor Roosevelt