What Makes a Great Leader?

Emily Yancey, Social Media Intern

First things first, allow me to introduce myself. I am Emily, the new Social Media Intern at ABBA and am so excited to get started with this awesome group. Yet today I’m writing to introduce you to the Director, Rich Carney.

leaderAs the new kid on the block, I’ve done my best to jump in quickly and learn all I can fast. I spent last week in the planning meeting with the leaders of ABBA and I was immediately impressed by Rich’s leadership.

I’ve worked and volunteered for a lot of different organizations throughout my time in college and in my career thus far. If you haven’t picked up on this by now, leadership is everything. It can make or break an organization; and it does. I knew after sitting in on the meeting that ABBA was headed to the top under the direction of Rich, and have compiled a few qualities he possesses that we can all learn from:

Know Your People
Rich started the meeting by going around the room and naming the strengths of each member. Not all of us knew each other yet, so it was great for context, but also set an encouraging tone for the meeting. Rich understands that hiring a staff that has different and equally valuable gifts than him is vital to the success of the organization. He also acknowledges those gifts. Members of a group are prone to contribute when they are using their talents are utilized and recognized.

Communicate Your Vision

Rich spent a good amount of the meeting establishing and reestablishing the mission of ABBA. He challenged group members to answer basic questions in their own words such as “what are kingdom principles?” and “what tangible value can ABBA bring others?” He then developed a mission statement based on these answers. Going forward, Rich and the team alike are able to communicate the outsiders the vision of the organization, and work towards this common goal.

Be a Servant Leader

The Bible tells us to “consider others better than ourselves” (Phil 2:3) and that great love “lays down its life for one another” (John 15:13).  When leaders demonstrate these qualities, their team is able to trust them. It also enables the group to do the same for one another, and gives them a sense of loyalty to their cause. Rich demonstrates this in the way he engages his team and is never above even the smallest of tasks.

Ability to Inspire

Everyone feels good when business is strong, money is coming in and everyone is contributing equally; but that isn’t always the case. A good leader is able to encourage the team and push them forward when morale is down. When the going gets tough, a team looks to its leader to press on and they will follow suite. Rich inspires his team by acknowledging their hard work and going above and beyond in his own.

ABBA is thrilled to have Rich as its leader and we as a team can say with confidence that we look forward to the future of the organization.

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