Real Leaders Create the Environment

Once again a good idea came to me while I was worshiping in the house of the Lord. On a recent Sunday, my wife and I spent an enjoyable hour or so singing hymns at the Colts Neck Reformed Church.

Once again a good idea came to me while I was worshiping in the house of the Lord. On a recent Sunday, my wife and I spent an enjoyable hour or so singing hymns at the Colts Neck Reformed Church. Reverend Scott Brown has created a special worship service where we in the congregation are allowed to select the hymns.

Each person in the congregation is encouraged to write the name and number of our favorite hymn on the form provided within our order of worship. Scott then has someone pick the slips out of a basket. He calls out the number to the organist and we sing a couple of selected verses. In this way each of us has the opportunity to influence the way in which the service flows.

In essence each worship participant is allowed to play a role in the service. However, it is really our leader, Scott Brown who has set the tone and tenor of our worship service. He created a particular environment that allows for us to express our feelings, preferences, and perceptions. We then do just that.

His talent for drawing out the best in the church congregation involves one of the rarely-mentioned roles of a leader. It is my suggestion that a truly effective leader takes positive steps to guide the organizational environment in a positive direction. They create a focus whereby people become desirous of playing an active role. They make it a place you want to be rather than a place where you must be.

My friends, it is my intention to share some thoughts with you about a way in which a leader can and should influence their organization. After all, where would we be without the people who guide our organizations toward that uncertain place called the future?

We complain about the need to change, however, an effective leader will create an environment where people seek out and embrace the future, rather than cowering in fear. We complain that we need members. We then create leaders who do everything in their power to drive away people. Something is wrong with this picture.

Over the past few years, many of you have commented to me about the role of leaders in everyday life. In some cases you told me about the lack of leadership in your world. Others among you have decried the bad leadership that has made a shambles of your life. The rarest of all messages from you involves praise for those good leaders abroad in the world laboring amongst us.

It is my intention in this week's commentary to speak of one of the most important tasks that a leader must accomplish. I am referring to the way in which they create the operational environment for their organizations. It is my fervent belief that it is incumbent upon the leader to set the tone and tenor of their environment. It can pay great dividends. Sadly, far too many who claim to be leaders leave this important task to chance.

They act as though they were members of a comic improvisation group. They provide no direction, no guidance, and precious little in the way of caring or concern for the people who are looking to them for guidance. They just flit from crisis to crisis, flailing their arms and flapping their lips. These people spend their entire careers winging it.

Let me assure you that life is not a chance occurrence my friends. You can alter your destiny by trying to set a course for the future. Far too many alleged leaders among us fail to recognize that they must take the time and expend the effort to impact the people around them. They live as though the world was created for their sole amusement and enjoyment.

Even worse are those people who proactively care only for their own selfish wants and needs. They live by one half of the famous "one for all and all for one motto." Everything is OK for them only as long as they are the one who is allowed to gather in the "all" that is in question. Some of these people even take the time to steal bread from the mouths of the people around them.

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