Developing oneself as a leader can be a costly endeavor. Churches, companies, and organizations spend serious money on consulting, coaching, and training to improve organizational effectiveness. Did you see how much it costs to attend leadership conferences these days? Of course, if you get good results, the investment can pay off, but what if I told you there are leadership hacks that cost you little or nothing, but can have serious impact in your leadership?
No Cost Hacks
It didn’t cost me any money to find these hacks either, except some time researching. These are small practices that will help you lead better, motivate and mobilize your team, and of course, will move you closer to the vision God has entrusted you with.
Be on Time by Arriving Early. Whether you are having lunch with a colleague, discussing strategy with your superior, evaluating a subordinate, or taking part in a staff meeting, arriving five minutes early and being ready when the meeting is supposed to start sends a powerful message to everyone else in the room. It says “I am serious about this meeting.”
Have Three Questions Prepared. I read this one on someone else’s blog and I think it is a great idea. Always come to every encounter with three simple questions to ask. They are your agenda for the meeting. This little exercise will help keep you focused and will make your meetings more productive. Oh, and if you can’t come up with your three questions, I have one for you: “Is this meeting worth the time?”
Give Undivided Attention. That is another cost-free practice that speaks volume to those who are interacting with you, and will make your meetings quick, productive, and positive.
Recognize a Job Well Done and be thankful. Don’t be skimpy on compliments – and if at all possible, do it publicly. Affirmation and gratitude are investments in the relationship. There may come a time when you will need to hold the same people accountable for failures or missteps. In that tough moment, your previous investment will go a long way to keep the relationship healthy.
Smile and Give Grace. As biblical visionary leaders, our lives, and even our leadership are the result of [God’s] grace. Remember the Biblical words that “we are stewards of God’s grace.” You and I received grace from God so that we could extend it to others, especially when things don’t go as well as planned?
Leadership is influence. Healthy relationships facilitate deeper influence. Relationships are built on the day-to-day of our leadership, through our meetings with people. This means informal encounters, shared meals, phone calls, video conferences, etc. The five hacks listed above have zero cost, but can have high impact on the quality of our influence over others.