I’ve always been mystified with flight.
The fact that those who came before us were so bold as to see the birds of the sky and think, “Hey, we can do that!” is astounding in its own right. Add to it that two young, adventurous, North Carolina boys made that dream a reality blows my mind.
Flight has come a long way since the Wright Brothers first left Earth to soar for seconds, but one thing remains the same: pilots double, even triple-check their craft before taking to the air.
They use a list. A list that has their priorities and the nitty-gritty details. The big picture and the minute details are all covered. Why? Because they all matter.
What they do with this information once they check it off is what matters to them – and what I’d like to suggest matters to you as leaders.
Be Intentional (…with your priorities)
While everything on the pilot’s list has its value, some count more than others. For example, any plane I board better have both wings. That’s key.
Whether or not a bulb lights up in the cockpit every time the bathroom door locks isn’t something I think about because it’s cosmetic.
What’s keeping your ministry in the air? Who makes it possible for you to soar? These items are your priority. Invest time, energy, and resources in these people and tasks first and regularly. Not doing so may cause a nose dive, and that’s to be avoided!
Capturing projects and tasks creates anxiety and overwhelm until you develop a habit of reviewing and making intentional decisions. The leadership goal isn’t to avoid anxiety. The goal is to go through the anxiety to better decision making.
Avoid overwhelm and stay above the clouds.
Be Kind (…to yourself)
Think of it this way.
A pilot has three goals: she prepares a plane for take-off, then flies it effectively, and then lands it safely at your destination.
Looking at her preflight checklist, she may list and later see item #1 is, “Turn the engine on.”
Moving down her list through items 3-72, she may arrive at item 73 and find it says, “Make sure the engine is turned on.”
So she checks it again.
And then on item number 124, it says, “Are you sure the engine is turned on?” so she checks it again.
The end result is that the engine is, in fact, most definitely turned on.
What is your system? Do you sometimes double or triple list something, either because you’re simply trying to capture the ten balls you’re juggling all at once or because you use built in accountability? Do you highlight in different colors, first with yellow and then with blue so you know green items are definitely done?
Whatever your system is, it’s yours so as long as it’s working for you, it works!
Be Honest (…with your results)
Our pilot has a surefire way of knowing how effective her checklist is: the plane flies or it doesn’t. It arrives at its destination or it doesn’t.
Your system only works when the results prove it does, so review your results.
We suggest the Weekly Scorecard.
Know your numbers so you can know where your ministry stands and how it can stand stronger.
Be Gracious (…with your efforts)
Thank heavens the checklist mentioned to turn the engine on three times – she may have missed one!
You’re going to miss things, you’re going to slip up, you’re going to forget to review, or push it off until next week.
But we have to get back in the swing of things, get back in the habit.
Acknowledge the shortcoming, seek forgiveness from yourself or others if needed, go to God, and repent. Turn from your distraction and get back on track.
Tomorrow is always a new day!
I hope this encourages you to stay grounded and reminds you of your innate ability to assist yourself and your team to fly high!
Making sure you have the basic equipment to fly includes revisiting your Strategy Statement often. Has it been awhile? Download our Strategy Statement Tool today!