If you read any leadership book, you are likely to be encouraged to encourage the people you lead. If you have served with an encouraging leader, you know the impact the encouragement makes on the morale of the team, the focus of the people, and the commitment to one other. Here are five reasons leaders must encourage:
1. Teams can drift.
Some have defined courage as sticking to one’s core beliefs or convictions. Thus, in this regard, to encourage is to prod people to continue sticking to their core beliefs and convictions. Leaders must encourage the team they lead to stay focused on the mission and to live their collective core convictions. Without encouragement, mission drift is inevitable.
2. Disunity can fester.
Because people are different, with unique personalities and perspectives, disagreements are certain when people work alongside one another. But disagreements don’t need to degenerate into disunity. A leader who encourages the team to unite around a larger agenda proactively fights against the disunity that can fester.
3. Distractions can overwhelm.
Many have pointed out that information is increasing at a relentless pace, and those we lead are bombarded with tons of messages and a plethora of information. Without encouragement, minds are easily distracted from what is most important. Leaders must encourage those they lead to remember the sacred why behind all the work and the essential aspects of the work.
4. Work gets discouraging
While work is a gift from God, it has been marred by the fall, just like everything else in creation. God told Adam that work would be painful (Genesis 3:17). Because work can be discouraging, morale will suffer without leaders who offer encouragement.
5. Hearts grow cold.
When leaders don’t encourage those they lead, hearts grow cold. The writer of the Book of Hebrews challenged Christians to “encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” Encouragement is the antidote for a hard heart.
How can leaders be more encouraging? By first being encouraged by Christ. An encourager has an encouraged heart. If being united with Christ encourages our hearts, we will encourage others.