What are you looking for?

Press [Enter] to search

7 Leadership Principles from Tom Julien

Tom Julien was a wise and insightful Executive Director who led Encompass World Partners to success for decades. We’re so grateful for his leadership, and these are some of the valuable lessons he left behind for us to follow.

1. People can’t give us a ministry—they can only offer us opportunities.

Just having a title doesn’t make you a leader. True leaders demonstrate responsibility regardless of their title. No matter what your title is, you can conduct yourself in a way that influences others positively, earns their respect, and makes them want to follow you. True leaders often “lead up” by positively influencing those who lead them.

2. New opportunities grow out of faithfulness to present responsibilities.

If you demonstrate self-discipline and effectiveness in your current role, that will open new doors for leadership in the future. True leaders focus on seizing opportunities rather than complaining about restrictions. We all have opportunities to initiate positive changes and make a difference. You can start leading in your current role by proposing your ideas.  

3. Leadership opportunities come to those who seek to serve rather than those who seek to lead.

In Matthew 20:26, Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must become a servant.” Leadership is all about helping others become who God intends them to be. It’s about helping others grow rather than just focusing on your own gain. A leader should be like a coach in that they spur others on towards being the best they can be.

4. While a title defines the scope of leadership, authority comes from the person.

Your title defines your area of focus, but that only gives organizational authority. True authority can be thought of as “the ability to deserve respect and influence,” and that has to be developed from within. As you personally grow in dependability and effectiveness, others will naturally come to respect you and want to follow you.

5. Build on relationships rather than structure.

While structural authority is necessary within an organization, effective leaders focus more on the people. Influence is relational rather than structural. If you force people to do tasks when there’s no relationship, that reduces your influence.

6. Look at the big picture by focusing on priorities and following up on details. Dependability is more important than ability.

Effective leaders see what others don’t. They keep the big picture in mind as it drives them forward. They know what’s most important and don’t let the details distract them from the overall mission, following through until the concept is completed. 

7. A leader is guided by conviction rather than comments.

No matter what you do or how good your ideas are, there will always be people who disagree. Listening to their comments is an important part of learning. However, if comments become your guiding principle, you’ll never make progress. It’s impossible to please everybody, which is why effective leaders are guided by their conviction rather than the comments of others.

We hope these leadership principles will stick with you and help guide you to success in whatever leadership opportunities God has for you.