3 Tips for New Leaders


So you've just been elected to the board, or appointed to a committee. Here's a few things to keep in mind as you get started. 1) Never believe everything you hear.

Being in a non-profit or religious arena makes this one that much more difficult. What do you mean don't trust anyone? The cold hard truth is that everyone has an agenda. Once you attain positional influence, people will approach you to help them further whatever it is they are after.

You can't operate from a position of distrust. What is required of you is to verify everything you hear. Never take anything at face value. Always do your homework.

Hand in hand with this is to make sure you do not make snap judgments about people. People have more to offer than you realize. Take shura, and always verify.

2) Don't just focus on important people.

When you are in a new position, it is easy to shift focus to the important people. You will find yourself occupying your time with other influential people, board members, leaders, big donors, and others mover and shaker types.

Your job is to serve the community at large. As a leader, you are a representative for those who may not otherwise have a voice. As you make decisions, make sure and assess the impact of each decision on those who aren't in the spotlight. It's your job to stick up for them and make sure their concerns aren't railroaded by those of the more influential.

3) Practice good decision making.

While it's true this is somewhat of a natural talent, there are still steps you can take to ensure you are following good decision making practices.

Be in the habit of constantly asking questions. New leaders tend to want to display their skill level by constantly making assertions and statements. Do the opposite. Constantly ask questions and make sure you are fully informed of everything. Do your own investigation and seek counsel. Follow the prophetic advice of making the Istikharah prayer. Once you have done your homework, do not fall victim to analysis paralysis. Make a decision and move forward with confidence once you have covered your bases.