NCLS Research

Leadership Strengths

Listen Connect Envision Explore Inspire Empower Structure Communicate Optimism Act Resolve learn

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Engage With Others


Listen : Listen deeply

Engaging with others involves listening deeply to them, understanding things from their perspective. Solid foundations are created if leaders can be fully present for others, stepping beyond their own agendas.


Connect : Build Mutual Connections

Effective leaders work with and through people – building teams, alliances and networks – becoming a trusted part of the social fabric. They need to come alongside others, discovering common interests and building solid platforms for new possibilities.

Develop Shared Directions


Envision : Envision together

Churches and organisations grow best when they have a clear, owned vision that binds people together. Effective leadership focuses on purpose and the future, not just on immediate issues or matters of maintenance.


Explore : Explore options creatively

Effective leadership will help people understand the importance of moving in new directions. It will encourage lateral thinking and inspire people to look at old problems in new ways. This can be critical to arriving at effective responses to difficult situations.


Inspire : Inspire heart commitment

Inspiring heart commitment is vital for a group to move in new directions. Effective leadership will connect people’s passions with a group’s visions and directions, generating emotional commitment and heart connections to the journey.


Empower : Empower people to contribute

It is not only important to grow commitment to new directions but also to help people find their place within those directions, empowering them to make contributions. Leadership needs to draw out and nurture each individual’s gifts and skills.

Create A Secure Environment


Structure : Create clear positive structures

Clear positive structures matter. People appreciate trustworthy systems where they know how things operate, what is expected of them and where they can contribute readily, with their efforts valued by leadership.


Communicate : Develop reliable communication

Clear reliable communication is important at all levels in order to create a nurturing and trusting environment in which people feel safe. This is important in formal meetings, less formal gatherings and in conversations. Effective leaders will encourage reliable communication among others and model it themselves.


Optimism : Build a culture of optimism

A culture of optimism in a group will encourage people to build on what they have, inviting them to explore potential and hopes rather then limitations or needs. Even when facing serious challenges, effective leadership involves looking beyond them to the hopes and aspirations of the group or community.

Make Things Happen


Act : Move to action

There comes a moment when it is important to step out and give something a go, even though it may feel risky. A leader’s capacity to move to action, to make things happen, to bring people together around an initiative or hope is an important leadership strength.


Resolve : Maintain resolve through challenges

Leaders face many competing demands and pressures that may blow them off course. Having a clear sense of purpose is vital; as is the determination and resolve to hold fast to those purposes when things get difficult.


Learn : Learn and grow from experiences

Action without reflection can be very dangerous. Leaders, expecting others to learn and grow on the journey also need to be willing to learn and be changed, perhaps in quite significant ways.

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