Leadership is all about momentum and focus. Leading people out of a comfort zone and into a conquest zone takes skill and experience. Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem to a defeated and discouraged population. In just days, he turned the same people into conquerors who said, “Let us rise up and build.” How did he achieve that momentum?
Here are my top 7 things to build momentum:
1) Shared Responsibility.
- Volunteers start and stop. They sign up but don’t follow up. The problem is that they have not taken ownership in a small part of the entire project.
- To begin momentum, build a leadership team first. Then, give each individual in the team a goal that stretches them. Let them see that without their contribution the “wall will never get built.” Projects PARALYZE but goals MOBILIZE.
- Momentum builds whenever predictability is built in. That’s why a “series” in preaching has more momentum. That’s why a restaurant’s consistent menu and food quality grows in popularity.
- Changing directions deflates momentum. BE there. Start on time. Complete things. Build systems. Start traditions. Maintain YOUR focus and people will stay focused.
- I’ve been told that people have to hear your direction 7 different ways in order to “get it.” Read it, sing it, show it, video it, put it into messages, whatever!
- Start communicating something EARLY. Build anticipation. What you are excited about and want to talk about they will be excited about and broadcast your message for you.
4) Small Successes.
- Celebrate the very first efforts people make. If they are giving, report the total so far. If they are attending, give the attendance. If they are working, tell how many people served.
- Work moves faster when small victories are celebrated. People want to SEE and HEAR progress.
- As much as they love to hear small successes, people also need to hear the “large picture.” What does the leader see about the entire project? How much more is still remaining to do? What is the impact this project is having?
- People keep their heads down in the “trenches.” Be the general who spreads the word that the battle has turned in our favor!
- Jacob built momentum with his sheep by putting peeled rods in the water troughs. The sheep responded by producing striped sheep.
- Keep the goal before your people’s eyes. Banners, slogans, and pictures build momentum. “In house marketing” (promotion) should be going on continually during an effort.
- Build yourself and you will build momentum.
- Lift up your eyes and look around you. Study what other successful models are doing. Contact three other groups to learn “best practices.” Read everything you can get your hands on about where you are going.
Leading people is exciting! Like a mighty ocean wave, keeping people focused all the way until it reaches it’s goal on the seashore is a challenge.
Remember that every wave you lead is changing our world forever!