As a leader, there is such value in the people that speak into our lives. We can oftentimes miss this value, and easily allow the wrong voices to influence what we do, and how we lead. And if we’re not careful, we will find ourselves (and our team) miles off track from where we originally wanted to be, simply because we were allowing the wrong voices to influence us. With that said, below are three voices that I believe it is imperative as leaders that we listen to:
The Voice of the Holy Spirit
This isn’t to sound super spiritual, but if you want to be effective as a leader it is so important to listen to the sometimes still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. What that means is that leaders shouldn’t just lead simply with ideas and intuition, but through prayer and listening to where God is leading them and their team. So many leaders unfortunately dig a mile deep into leadership principles and practices, which are all very valuable & beneficial, but yet their prayer life is an inch deep. Don’t neglect this important voice. The first voice that’s necessary to listen to is the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The Voice of Reason
I believe God gave us all a sound mind for a reason. Often, as we’re making a decision, or about to lead in a certain direction, something just doesn’t seem right. In those moments, sometimes we ignore it because everything else seems to be in place. Listen to the voice of reason, both in your own mind, and from the wise council around you. Don’t neglect the great gift that is around you in the people on your team. Their wisdom, experience and perspective, can oftentimes be exactly what you need when making a decision and determining direction. Listen to the Holy Spirit, and listen to the voice of reason….the last voice that’s important to listen to is…
The Voice of Your Critics
This is the toughest one. I know the saying goes, “Don’t listen to your critics”, and while I’d agree with the intention of that, I don’t necessarily agree with the practice of it. You see, while a critic’s heart can, at times, be in the wrong place, there may be some ounce of truth in their words. The person that can listen to the voice of their critics, and filter out the truth in their words, will always find themselves better off for it. As a leader, it’s easy to ignore critics because they’re painful. But to become a better leader, and to have a more accurate picture of reality, it’s valuable to listen to your critics. Don’t take everything they say as fact, but filter out the truth, and allow what you learn to help you become a better leader!
As you lead, remember listen…listen to the Holy Spirit…listen to reason…listen to your critics. And as you listen, you’ll find yourself gaining wisdom just as Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”