Establishing objectives for where you want to go and what you expect to achieve in your work or ministry is an intrinsic part of leadership. Your team needs to see you demonstrate vision, initiative and continued personal development. If you take the lead in setting goals, you are setting an example for those you are leading to strive for progress.

Effective leadership coaching empowers your team to make an impact and to achieve and maintain success. When you set your own objectives for personal growth and development, you are modeling a culture of empowerment for the rest of your team.

Elements of Effective Leadership Coaching

In their book, The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner define five key elements for healthy leadership: vision, values, aligned behaviors, humility and established community. Let’s take a look at each of these factors, and how you can be intentional in cultivating them in your team setting.


What does your team envision for the future – what do they want your organization to look like one year, five years or ten years from now? Working toward a specific vision, and setting goals to accomplish that vision, will prevent your team from getting sidetracked by non-productive activities.


If you and your team aren’t focused on a clear vision, you are engendering misplaced values, with team members going in different directions. Even with a clear focus, it’s not uncommon to have hiccups along the way, due to elements beyond your control. But it is within your control to have values that support a clear vision.

Values motivate behavior. Your team needs to understand why they do the things they do. The ultimate vision should be implicit in every task the team performs. Empowering your team with correct values will take you closer toward realizing the shared vision.

Aligned Behaviors

An exemplary leader models behaviors that line up with the specific vision and values on which the organization is focused. Through your own example, you establish the integrity and credibility necessary to lead your team in walking out the values that support your team’s stated vision.

Once again, every project and every task that is performed should be aligned with the ultimate vision. If you are laser-focused on the end goal, and if your behavior exemplifies that, you motivate your team to follow your lead and stay on task. A motivated, vision-driven team understands what they need to do and why, and their actions reflect this.


A humble leader is ultimately a powerful leader. Ask for and value the opinions of your team. Realize that each member of your team has their own strengths and contributions to bring to the table, and be quick to recognize and affirm them. In so doing, you are empowering your team with confidence and competence in their own abilities, and motivating them toward growth and progress.

If you model humility before your team, you engender their trust and team spirit. You are encouraging them to be humble and honest with each other and with you. This leads to a healthy team dynamic that is all about enabling each other to achieve mutual success, rather than competing with each other for individual recognition. Lead by serving and strengthening others and fostering collaboration.

Established Community

A visionary leader cultivates an agreeable, approachable and attractive atmosphere that draws people in and makes them feel welcome. The people working for such a leader feel they are part of a community – a synergy – where they belong and where their contributions are acknowledged and celebrated. Communication is open and warm between teammates as well as with parties outside the team.

Developing a community spirit is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the effective leader, especially when it accompanies vision, value, aligned behaviors, and humility.

Five Things Effective Leaders Do

Kouzes and Posner identified five practices of leaders who achieve extraordinary results.

Exemplary leaders:

  • model the way
  • inspire a shared vision
  • challenge the process
  • enable others to act
  • encourage the heart.

Establishing credibility through consistent behaviors that support your vision and values, and cultivating communication and relationships are the emphasis of these five practices.

Model the Way

The accomplished leader leads by example. You earn respect from your team by what you do, more so than what you say. You first need to clarify your core values. What are your personal values that impact your decisions and actions? Does your behavior line up with your stated values? This is intrinsic to establishing credibility.

Once you have clarified your core values, and your behavior comes into agreement with these values, then you can begin to discuss your values with others. Take time to explore your team members’ beliefs and learn what is important to them. As you do, you will find you hold many values in common. Discerning and respecting their core beliefs and values will help you establish unity and harmony on your team.

Living a life that is consistent with your stated values is crucial for your team. They need to see that you really believe in what you say and demonstrate it by your actions. This earns their respect and trust and provides a model for them to follow.

Inspire a Shared Vision

We never really know what the future holds, but an exemplary leader carries dreams of what is possible. Such a leader embraces the future with eagerness, knowing that with the joint efforts of the team, possibilities can become realities. Get your team on board with your vision. Your vision must become their vision, giving them the inspiration and motivation to achieve great things.

The visionary leader not only has dreams for the future, but also knows just how each team member can contribute to these aspirations, and can inspire them to use their individual abilities to make them happen. If you can provoke passion within your team, and open their eyes to realize possibilities and have them working in unison, you will make great progress.

The key is clear communication of exactly what the vision is, and how each individual can contribute to the vision through their unique strengths. Secondly, enlist your team’s support by explaining how achieving the vision will benefit them individually and corporately by serving their values and interests. Inspire your team through your message of optimism to take ownership of the dream and run with it.

Challenge the Process

Never be satisfied with the status quo. Cultivate a spirit of adventure by taking risks and trying innovative methods. Don’t allow your team to sink into mediocrity by never changing the process. Embrace challenges as a means to test and perfect abilities. Stretch yourself and your team members beyond what they know they can do in order to develop new ideas, new abilities, and new methods.

Leaders usually come up with the vision, but it’s generally the ones actually doing the work that come up with new methods and more efficient processes – especially if innovation is encouraged. When a problem comes up, seize it as an opportunity to apply a new way of doing things. Listen closely to your employees, and value their suggestions and put their ideas to work! Develop an atmosphere of collaboration.

Excellent leaders realize that every member of the team drives innovation and improvement to the process. Constantly seek advice from your team on how to solve problems and work more efficiently, and also explore what’s working for other organizations. Receive and analyze feedback from employees regarding the implementation of new methods – how’s it working? What can be improved?

Progress is rarely made in a single leap forward. More often, it comes in small, incremental steps of victory – sometimes even the occasional step backward as significant challenges come along. When such setbacks occur, turn them to your advantage. Celebrate each step forward, no matter how small, and tenaciously stay the course through times of struggle, using those times as learning experiences.

Venture forward with boldness. Progress involves risk-taking and experimenting with new ideas. Taking risks inevitably involves occasional disappointments. As long as you learn from mistakes, you are still moving forward with new knowledge to apply to future challenges. Don’t allow fear of failure to stagnate your organization. Be fearless in learning and growing with your team.

Enable Others to Act

Exemplary leaders recognize the importance of collaborating with those they are leading. The leader that tries to micromanage every detail or shoulder most of the important tasks is doomed to exhaustion and failure. Develop an atmosphere of cooperation and team spirit. Encourage your team to use their individual talents and knowledge to collectively achieve the stated vision.

Wise leaders invest their time and energy in earning the trust of their team and also building mutual respect and cohesion within the team. Each member should trust you, and trust each other and work in unison to achieve the same end. This involves understanding each member’s needs, and realizing that being supportive, considerate, and appreciative creates a healthy and productive environment.

As a leader, you want to develop a team with spirit and ownership. Building a family atmosphere, and giving each member the opportunity to be involved in planning and making their own decisions develops their personal growth as well as the growth of the entire organization. When you enable your team members to grow and give them respect, they will, in turn, enable one another and work in cohesion and unity.

A great leader edifies others, appreciates them, and gives them the freedom to develop their abilities and self-esteem and to feel they are in control. If you nurture mutual respect, facilitate relationships, and foster collaboration, you will be rewarded with employees who take responsibility, work well together, and are passionate about achieving the shared vision.

Encourage the Heart

Achieving vision requires tedious hard work and struggle, often accompanied by disappointments and discouragement. Effective leaders recognize that encouragement is an essential tool to keep the team moving ahead with hope. You encourage your team when you recognize and praise their achievements, celebrate successes with them, and inspire them during the hard times.

Writing thank you notes, giving commendation to team members during meetings, even a smile or pat on the back are all ways to keep your team motivated and strong. Take pride in what your team is accomplishing, and brag about them. Find creative and fun ways to celebrate success along the way. Make it a habit to consistently encourage your team members, celebrate victories, and create community.

Another way of encouraging your team is working alongside them, taking interest in their individual projects, and setting an example of approaching hard work with a playful, fun attitude. Joy is contagious. If you communicate your joy and enthusiasm in even mundane tasks, your workers will enjoy their work more and develop a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty.

Great leaders love what they do. They love the people they are leading, and they express this love and encourage mutual love in the team. They love the people their organization is serving. They love the results that come from cohesion and harmony. They get close to people and learn what makes them tick. They support them and show them that they care.

Closing Thoughts

When leaders integrate these five practices into their organization or ministry, they set the stage for developing incredible teams with extraordinary accomplishments. Leaders who model and encourage personal growth, vision, innovation, and community will reap the rewards of loyal and enthusiastic team members using their individual talents to work in harmony to achieve the shared vision.

Building a culture of trust, respect, collaboration, and appreciation empowers your team to push beyond their self-limits and develop personally and collaboratively. It all begins when you, as a leader, set your own personal and professional goals, and lead the way in continued growth and a healthy approach to life and work.

“Teamwork,” courtesy of,, CC0 License; “Humility”, Courtesy of Matthew Henry,, CC0 License; “Leadership”, Courtesy of Rawpixel,, CC0 License; “Helping Hand”, Courtesy of Dane Deaner,, CC0 License
By Published On: October 8th, 201810.4 min read


Articles are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All opinions expressed by authors and quoted sources are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors, publishers or editorial boards of Irvine Christian Counseling. This website does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk.

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