5 Things a Leader Should Say Every Day

female leader talking at team meeting

Leading is not done in isolation, is it? As you work with church staff and other missions advocates, it is important to be aware of what is going on while you’re leading and teaching. What you say can often “make or break” your effectiveness. You must communicate clearly and often. Say these 5 things every day to increase your effectiveness and influence as a leader:

Here’s the situation.

People want to know what’s happening. “Here’s the situation” is a phrase that can calm nerves and make others feel included in what is going on. Most likely, they will find out anyway, but it’s best the news comes from you. A leader’s energy is quickly drained if she keeps things to herself. All of us like to feel our input is wanted. Keep your information simple to avoid misunderstandings.

Here’s what we’re going to do.

This phrase shows you have a strategy, can make decisions, and delegate tasks. Think ahead as different situations occur and have possible solutions ready to propose. There will be times when a leader must make a decision quickly or choose a solution when the group or team cannot do so. If you alone must make a decision, do so and then stand behind it.


All of us like to feel we are included and our input is wanted. 

Tell me what you need.

If you make assumptions about the skills and resources your team members have, you could be making a mistake that will hinder the project or effort and undermine the final results. Resources fall into several categories ranging from financial to instructional publications. If you never ask “What do you need?” you may unintentionally create a financial hardship. Paying registration fees and providing materials are 2 ways to show you care and you value their abilities and skills. Ask your group or team members what they need to carry out their responsibilities.

Remember our purpose.

It is a leader’s responsibility to ensure the group or team knows its purpose. Saying “Remember our purpose” frequently brings strategies, ideas, and training into line with the values and principles that formed the group. Viewing all activities through the “purpose lens” helps you make thoughtful decisions and evaluate whether actions are strategic or simply motion-oriented. If team members are uncertain about purpose, your job is to prepare them to move forward with a depth of understanding about purpose.

You can trust me.

When you say “You can trust me,” you are telling others your word is good and you will do what you promise. On a popular TV home improvement show, the renovator makes promises she is never able to keep. Don’t promise things that, in reality, you probably won’t be able to do. If this happens, your integrity is called into question and people lose their trust in you.

What a leader says is important. How a leader communicates is critical. If leaders take shortcuts in their communication, it leaves others wondering what’s expected of them, what their job is, and how they’re going to do it. A popular quote says, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” If a leader remembers to make the 5 statements above, everyone’s day will be better.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What method do you use to evaluate how your team or group functions within its purpose?
  2. What do you provide in the area of resources?
  3. What have you done to instill trust in yourself as a leader?

Linda Clark is president of Indiana WMU and adult lead strategist for national WMU. She has written several books on leadership for New Hope Publishers, including 5 Leadership Essentials for Women, which addresses communication skills.


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