This is the 5th and final post on the book Relational Leadership, which is about influence and accountability within community. Within a relational framework, the leader is to be a person of vulnerability. Many leadership books and guru’s give the advice that you never show weakness. You work on your strengths, and marginalise / ignore your weaknesses. ‘Yet the leader has to be vulnerable, because to be vulnerable means to be accountable to those they lead.
The leaders accountability flows in 3 directions. Upward, inward and outward. We are first and foremost accountable to God. We are accountable to ourselves and we are accountable to those we lead and are in fellowship with.
A great leader will proactively structure accountability processes in their leadership. They welcome critical feedback and ensure that they do not surround themselves with yes men. Instead they invite and embrace critical feedback, knowing that they can trust those giving such feedback. They can trust this feedback because they have worked hard at developing truthful and loving relationships – and they know that critical feedback is an essential part of the nurturing processes. Note however that the leader has been active in developing an encouraging environment – and so any negative critique has to be within an encouraging context.
The relational leader is not frightened of critique, nor are they frightened of confrontation. They know that if issues are not tackled head on through following due processes, they will eventually weaken their leadership and the organisation they are a part of.