Leaders who desire to have long standing success in their influence, and see their ministries last far beyond their positional placement as the leader, must develop their ability to think strategically. Strategy is the development of a plan to guide a ministry in relation to the community that surrounds it (Jain, 2014). It is the approach a leader takes toward developing vision, processes, and tactics that will propel the ministry toward the realization of its goals and objectives (Hughes et al., 2013). A leader who is strategic is able to take advantage of emerging opportunities as they present themselves (Liedtka & Rosenblum, 1998). For most, being a strategic leader is not an innate quality, but is a skill developed and learned over time. Strategic leaders must be strategic about their pursuit of becoming strategic leaders.
Developing into a strategic leader necessitates several points of self assessment such as identification of the current reality, taking inventory of personal qualities and gifts, identifying the steps between the current reality and desired outcomes, and having regular assessments of progress along the way (Hughes et al., 2013).
Though regular personal assessment is of vital importance, even more so is the assessments of others. An effective support network of trusted accountability partners can provide one of the strongest mechanisms for strengthening leadership effectiveness and strategic development (Hughes et al., 2013). 360° assessments such as the Spiritual Leadership Training Assessment (SLTA) can provide invaluable insights for ministry leaders to assess their strategic abilities. The insight others provide allows any leader to see beyond the immediate reality leaders assume they live in, and better understand how their actions contribute to strategic missteps in order to correct them for future effectiveness.
What obstacles do ministry leaders need to overcome to allow a 360° assessment to take place?
Hughes, R. L., Beatty, K. C., & Dinwoodie, D. L. (2014). Becoming a strategic leader: your role in your organization’s enduring success (Second edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Jain, M. (2014). Organizational Effectiveness and Strategic HR. Journal of Social Welfare & Management, 6(4), 199–207.
Liedtka, J. M., & Rosenblum, J. W. (1998). Teaching Strategy as Design: A Report from the Field. Journal of Management Education, 22(3), 285–303.