One of the places I find good examples of leadership is the Bible.
Today, I was leading a lesson about a community that was struggling to be effective. The author Paul offered advice to the leaders. Here’s what he said to the leaders:
I get respect. If you want to be respected, you start with being respectful.
I get encouragement. Being one on the team who notices effort, acknowledges progress and voices affirmation causes one to be a positive force.
Certainly, we get helping. Being one who lends a hand rather than stands off at a distance fosters team building.
But, what about admonishing? What does that mean.
Candidly, I associate the verb with judges, preachers and school principals who correct with a wagging finger as they peer over the top of their glasses. I was puzzled at how that verb fit in with the others.
I looked it up. Admonishment isn’t stern. It isn’t forceful. What is admonishment?
It’s correction with a “light touch”. It’s accepting responsibility to teach again. It’s withholding judgment about ability, character and effort. It’s assuming everyone is trying and wants to learn.
As a leader, when you believe those things, you can admonish. You can offer advice. You can thoughtfully address performance that’s falling short. You can teach and advise with your arm around a shoulder. That’s admonishment.
You can’t admonish without choosing patience. You can admonish when you have confidence in your ability to lead and to teach.
Correct with a soft touch.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.