Paulo Pinheiro is editor of the Portuguese edition of Elder’s Digest.

We live in fast-changing times that require leaders to 1 flexible and adaptable without losing sight of the mission and fundamentals of their faith. Let us observe what efficient leaders are doing to follow this fast-changing rhythm:

Leaders delegate and develop the people they lead. They give them important tasks and the authority to make decisions. However, leaders follow up on the process with discretion. When challenges are overcome, abilities are developed and new leaders are formed. The result is that the church gains competent people who can assume greater responsibilities.

• Leaders get involved. They get enthusiastically involved with the ones being led, at least in the initial stages of a new task or campaign, until they influence and build commitment to promote and follow up on the program.

• They give feedback. The ones being led always wait for feedback from their leader regarding matters of interest that have been presented to superior organizations (Church committee, Elder's Committee). Honest and coherent leaders always try to communicate the results of what went to the committees, whether the answer was positive or negative.

• Leaders promote practical activities. If they are going to do or suggest something (church construction, reform, etc.), they present the means available for the new undertaking, making it easier to accomplish. Efficient leaders approach change in a positive and realistic way, not suggesting impractical plans with no provisions for their execution. Leaders are also flexible and willing to alter or adapt a plan, if necessary.

• Leaders respect others. They explain and respond patiently to questions asked by those they lead. They do not mock procedures or words they consider strange, make negative observations, or ridicule anyone's physical characteristics or regionalism. They accept everyone as they are, not allowing situations to generate constraints. If they are not skilled to lead people, at least they respect them.

• Leaders build relationships. Efficient leaders are skilled in interpersonal relationships. They are capable of dealing with problems without alienating people. At the right time, they make needed observations. They demonstrate that they understand others' perspectives and needs and that they are capable of obtaining cooperation, trust, and consideration. These people are dear because they know how to build and keep healthy relationships.

Paulo R. Pinheiro
Brazilian Publishing House Editor for Elder's Digest Magazine