Your Leadership Letter
April 26, 2020
We don’t write letters very often anymore. There is nothing more personal and revealing about someone than the letters that they write. A letter is different from an e-mail or a tweet. A letter involves a lot of thought, emotion, and integrity. There is something very personal about a letter!
For a moment, I want you to think that your leadership style is like a letter. What would your letter reveal? Remember that a letter, once in the hands of the recipient, is usually irretrievable – you can’t call it back. It means that if your leadership style is a letter, you need to be exceptionally careful about what it contains, the impressions it leaves, and the guidance that it gives. Style comes out in a letter. The choice of words, the grammar, the flow, and the context all leave a deep impression on the recipient. The flow of your leadership style also leaves certain impressions. Love letters convey deep emotion, trust, and sometimes worry. Legal letters are succinct yet conveying fact and direction. A letter from a Dad to his son often includes encouragement, love, empathy and even tough advice. Usually these are in a perfect balance so that receiving the letter brings motivation, edification, and a feeling of worthiness.
If your leadership style was captured in a letter, what would it convey? Would it be a balance or realism, clarity, motivation, and encouragement? Or would it be a diatribe of impersonal, self-embellished boastings with a lack-lustre call to “follow me”. Most importantly, would your leadership style represented in the letter be one that fosters trust, commitment, objective feedback, and even a foundation of love? Upon receipt of your letter, would the recipient want to follow you? Most of all would the recipient trust you.
The Apostle Paul is the source of my interest in considering leadership style as a letter. Paul writes that “you yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts” (2 Cor. 3:2). Of course, Paul was specifically talking about the authenticity of leaders in the church. Applying this to other leadership situations, if we were to think of our leadership style in this way, we would spend a lifetime trying to refine that style and making it genuine, because when it is received, the style and competency expressed in that letter is written on the recipient’s heart. Paul goes on to say that as a written letter you are known and read by everybody (2 Cor. 3:2). If your leadership style and capability was a letter would you be comfortable with anyone reading it? Paul goes on to say that if we are letters and if we are not written with the love of God as our motivation and guide, then letters can be deadly (2 Cor. 3:6). Is your leadership style a product of you alone, or God who directs you? This is worthy of consideration. Once your letter is postmarked, it will be received, and it will leave the recipient with impressions on the heart.
Copyright © 2020 Rev. Michael F. Dell, Footpath Leadership, All rights reserved