I have been doing leadership with the college ministry at Blackhawk for over five years now. As my experiences grow, I am learning so much about what it takes to influence college students, and particularly college leaders. I love to read books and go to conferences on leadership development, but so often we learn best by the experiences we have with those we're leading.
This semester, as I was writing out my thank you cards to those on my leadership team, I was able to reflect on what these students have done in the last 16 weeks (or so) for the ministry. This wouldn't have happened if the card read as follows:
Dear Leader - thanks for your help and service this semester. Looking forward to next semester. Here's $10 to use at Starbucks.
I don't mean to slam you if that's the extent of your thank you card, but I guess I kind of am... If you are serious about leadership, you're serious about making an impact. There is no impact in that thank you.
So I made sure to write a few sentences of specifically what I was thankful for in their service, what I saw in their efforts with the ministry, and (specifically) what I was looking forward to as we prepare for the second semester. This was such a great reflection for me - it's really going to be a springboard as we begin thinking about the spring semester.
Are you a leader? Do you want to influence others? Imagine the impact you can have when you get specific with your thank you cards and pour out praises for team members... Celebrating victories and encouraging spirits go a long way in the heart of the leader.