A lighthouse is a beacon, a clear signal in the dark, in the storm, can’t miss it, can’t mistake it for anything else, so it is a perfect symbol I think for a leader, in any capacity. Having said that, lets make one thing clear, the beacon won’t save you magically from the storms etc…, and to have a pollyanna unrealistic give everyone around you acid reflux optimism ignoring and avoiding the fact that there are incoming storms for present storms, not dealing with them head on is well, OYYYYYYYY! Don’t do that! Now that we have rid you of that, we can discuss what take charge leadership entails either on a larger scale or even within a singular project one is involved with.
There are a few key points to look at and they are as follows. One key element is communications, particularly of the vision, the mission and goals. these have to regularly be spelled out and everyone needs to be on the same page, and if there are those who simply won’t be on board then this is not the place for them, best they find elsewhere to be. It may seem harsh, but a cohesive vision with everyone on the same page for the success of the organization etc.. is crucial. Those within the team have to able to have problem solving skills and ability, so if anyone in the group sees anything that is not working, they have to be able to bring that to the attention of the group, including the leader and that crack be fixed for the success of the organization etc…, action has to be taken, the leader has to be willing to take action. Feedback needs to be balanced, so while praising what works is okay, false constant praise and not relaying what has been presented by customers or an audience, fans that ticks them off is not okay. That also has to be presented and in a way that is not mean or anything like that. If the group or the parties involved refuse to hear it or make changes then the leader has to issue some tough love whatever that tough love needs to be. This is where the leadership part is not always fun and why say about the pollyanna thing “DON’T DO THAT!!!!!!” If you do, you won’t be able to deal with any of this stuff and if you have a “the whole world must love me, like me” thing also a problem. No, the whole world mustn’t love you or like you, respect you, your gifts, talents etc.. recognize them, okay, sure, I’ll give you that. As for everyone must love and like you, no. As I used to tell my students when I taught ESL in college even with their own kids to let their kids know even though they were parent and child they could love each other, but they didn’t always have to like each other and that was perfectly fine, so long as they respected each other and everything was perfectly clear. There are those who don’t want conflict, ever, literally, and would like to go through life totally conflict free, very pollyanna, but not very realistic in the grown up world, unfortunately. The issue is not conflict, but whether as a leader you address it, confront it, deal with it, and how. This is why for example if you are leading any kind of ministry or if you have any kind of a faith based group or organization it is a good idea to start things off with prayer, for wisdom of the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Holy Spirit, strength to address all issues fairly and in wisdom. Often when people don’t want to deal with an issue or confront it, they will hint and hope it deals with itself, which it won’t and things will just get worse, but the pollyanna view just thinks that things will magically get better just by hoping and thinking it will, which it won’t of course. I am a firm believer in prayer, but we also have to do our part as well.
Leading, taking charge require a combined dose of optimism, but also realism, and sometimes confrontation, tough love, all this, which can make people uncomfortable, but if you are focused on doing what you are meant to do and what the Holy Spirit means you to do and really have discerned it is the call of the Spirit guiding you then you proceed and it may not be all smooth sailing and you have to be ready for that, and for some to abandon ship, to escort some off the ship. Leadership is not always comfortable, and like I said if you have a pollyanna, avoidance of any conflict, have to like me everybody tendency, well “Don’t Do That!!” Lead, guided by the Spirit, a very cohesive, firm, concrete vision etc.., conveyed and those who refuse to be on board with it, well their loss and they just won’t be a part of it. Pray for them.