In your role within the media industry, you have the opportunity to be a trusted voice for God, glorifying Jesus in what you say and do. Below are five qualities that good leaders possess. Will you aspire to and work towards these?
1. You ask God what His vision is
Ask God what His hopes and plans are for you and your area of responsibility. If you’re leading a team, ask Him to guide you in your relationships with the people reporting to you. If you’re developing a new script, ask for creativity, imagination and divine inspiration.
Listen intently to the heartbeat of God. Remember that you can’t do everything, so commit to acting on specific things God speaks to you about, and pray that others will rise to lead in those areas of the media where you cannot reach
2. You listen and serve
Ask your team members what they think needs to be done and research your area of expertise. What processes should be maintained and what practices should be changed? Are there communities underrepresented in your newspaper? Are there workflow processes that are inhibiting, not aiding, your team’s ability to work?
See the need, understand the challenges, and do something about it. Don’t let goals and outcomes become so consuming that you forget to serve the people you lead.
3. You take responsibility
Servant leadership shouldn’t be a passive activity, waiting until someone else asks you to do something before you act. A good servant leader will be proactive, intentionally stepping into the gap and taking action where it is needed. They are not power-hungry, but nor do they wait for instructions; they use their initiative and act on behalf of those they lead, where others might walk away.
If a colleague in your production crew or social media team falls ill, can you offer to temporarily take over their workload? Refuse to give in to the idea that it is always someone else’s problem – if you leave it to someone else you’ll be left following their vision instead of God’s.
4. You never stop learning
Good leaders learn from people who have gone before them, from those at the chalk face who they are leading, and from their own experiences, good and bad. Is there an experienced press officer, photographer or producer who you could ask to be your mentor? Everything won’t go right all at once; be humble enough to acknowledge areas for growth and then build your competency in that area.
Learn and grow by doing. Hebrews 11 is a list of ‘heroes’ of faith – scared people who felt unprepared and had made bad decisions in the past. But they trusted God enough to step out in faith and begin doing what He had called them to do. If you have the opportunity to work on a new project outside of your comfort zone, ask God if this is an opportunity for you to learn and grow.
5. You speak out
When something needs to be said, step up to the microphone. This applies to those who have an external audience, such as journalists and presenters, as well as those who don’t, for example sound technicians, camera operators, and the like. Has your documentary work given you a heart for a social justice issue you could champion? Is there an internal matter, perhaps a damaged relationship in your team, where you could play a role of reconciliation and peace?
You serve under the authority of God and are committed to speaking with that authority into the place to which God has called you. But make sure you speak with wisdom and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and not rashly or in anger (Proverbs 13:3, James 1:19).
Earn the right to lead and speak by establishing credibility: work hard, know the facts, and demonstrate your commitment.
Abi Jarvis is Public Leadership coordinator at the Evangelical Alliance. Find out more at thepublicleader.com, @PublicLeaderUK on Facebookand Twitter, or email firstname.lastname@example.org