Communication in leadership is critical. Unfortunately, it is usually downplayed or tossed aside. Miscommunication can lead to disaster. Successful communication can lead to victory. So, what does the Bible say about communication in a leader?
When Communication Fails
A leader is defined as a person anointed with a vision. The vision is part of God’s plan. It is given to the leader so that they can deliver the message to the body. Just like the quarterback gives the game plan to the team in order to reach the end zone. The leader has to be a good communicator or the end zone will never be within the visual field of the team and therefore the purpose is empty.
What happens when communication fails? Let’s look at Adam in the first few chapters of Genesis. In the very beginning of Genesis, God creates Adam and entrusts the Garden of Eden to him. He lays out the instructions on how to handle a large job like taking care of a beautiful garden and a multitude of animals. He was very specific on what to do and what not to do. Adam had free reign with all except for one tree. All God told him was to not eat of the tree in the middle of the garden which was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He said that if he ate of it he would die. That was the simple and direct command.
It wasn’t long after that God gave Adam a gift in a companion that would later be named Eve. Now, we have to stop and realize that God did not set Eve down and have the same introductory meeting with her. Adam was the man in charge. He was aware of the entire situation and as leader was expected to take charge. He was to set the beautiful gift down and explain to her all about the life around her. The details of that meeting were not recorded, but later on when she is in conversation with the serpent we understand that she was aware of regulations of the garden but they seem to be a little bit muddied. She tells the serpent that not only is she not allowed to eat it but not even to touch it. What? Where was that in God’s command? Now, we are not aware if Adam added that part or if she did. But we are confident that communication was not successful. The result? Sin entered the world and mankind lost the paradise it was originally gifted with.
Communication is important. The purpose was for paradise. The end result was pain and death. Communication is important for the vision to be accomplished. The leader is entrusted with the vision and is entitled to see it carried out. The message should be simple. God’s message to Adam was simple. Moses message to Pharaoh was simple. It should be easy to remember. It shouldn’t be complicated or so wordy that semantics can mess it all up. A good leader uses communication succinctly. The goal is to be clear.
Needs to be Real
Also, a vision should not be told once. Maybe if Eve had been told daily or asked to recite it each morning, things would have turned out differently. An important message needs to be repeated. Do you remember the words of a song the first time you hear it? No. You have to hear it over and over again. A leader should never assume that the message was received correctly. The leader verifies it before proceeding and checks back periodically to make sure that the same message in the same form is still active.
A leader needs to communicate visually. Maybe not with actual visual objects, but it needs to be visual in the recipient’s mind. If it is not real to the team, it will not be a reality. The most vivid dreams are those that are real in the mind and in the heart. It has to be made real. It has to be alive. Communication has to be clear. Jesus is the prime example in making it real. He was constantly delivering the message. He was visual. The parables He told got the message across in a way that was not distant. It was intimate to the listener. It stuck with them. He made it personal.
Who’s the Source?
But in the end the most important part of the communication from an anointed leader is whose words are really used. When a leader speaks and uses their own words, their own vision, their own game plan, there can only be failure. A true leader communicates with God’s words. His words are so much more potent. They carry more power. They carry more truth. Only when a leader lets God guide him and use him will there be success. The leader has to be walking right with God so that communication is received correctly and thus delivered correctly. That is why a leader should always be reflecting internally about their own walk with God and communing with Him daily. It’s so easy to let our own ideas come into play and take over. But when we are communicating with God and saying that maybe this one method could work, are we waiting to see if He says yea or nay? The true source of the perfect vision is from God. The leader is the chosen one who is to deliver it and see that the vision is accomplished. When the leader begins to believe that they are the source of the vision, failure is guaranteed.
Communication is not something that can be thought of later. It is not something that a leader can put on the back burner. Communication could be one of the most important traits a leader can master. It needs to be:
If communication is not any of these, everyone might as well go home.
This is not just important for leaders of countries, churches, or teams. We all communicate on a daily basis with a variety of people. How are your communication skills?