Self-Checks Prevent Your Team from Checking Out
As a leader, your health impacts your team’s health and the health of your ministry.
I want to help you in taking an honest look at where you stand with the basics of self-leadership. I say honest because it’s not enough to know the right things to do – you must have the mindset, the discipline, and the habits to execute well.
Most leaders I work with truly struggle to cope from time to time with all the demands on them to get the results and meet expectations for which they are responsible. Add to this pressure marriage, family, and relationships in today’s culture and you have the challenge of a generation in a nutshell.
For your ministries to be healthy, you do not need to abdicate…but you must delegate.
Take heart knowing you’re not alone. Take courage – God is striding ahead of you!
Employment, not Ownership
Leaders I mentor are not seeking perfection – they’re expecting excellence.
Growth provides many challenges, and one of the first areas to take a hit is culture. When there is a disconnect between the culture, the cultural values, and expectations at the leadership level it will be seen in the day-to-day operations of your team.
A commonly believed myth is you must hire the right people and put them in the right environment for good things – great things – to happen. Unfortunately, because you’re working with humans, a + b does not always equal c.
A human’s actual behavior, left alone and lacking intrinsic motivation, moves towards decay. Muscles left unused will atrophy. Very few people come to work every day asking, “How can I work harder and at a higher level of excellence for greater results?” These people are rare…and are normally the ones who end up in leadership positions.
The fact of the matter is, there is a level of ownership that you as a leader have, feel, and experience that is simply inappropriate to expect from others.
So, as a leader, the question is: How do my behaviors need to change to be able to better equip and support the decisions that need to be made?
Patterns in Problems
I find going back to the beginning – identifying those responsible – helps to uncover patterns in our problems that need fixing.
Look deeper. Get results.
We run this race with our fellow man, and as humans we are prone to error.
- Do you truly have the wrong person? You thought you did everything right, that he or she was THE person for the job. Do not keep yourself in a holding pattern. Neither the employee or the ministry prospers when the wrong person is in the wrong role. Call out the mistake. Correct it. Move forward.
- Whose fault is it? Whomever hired the person, ultimately, made the mistake. See above: Call out the mistake. Correct it. Move forward.
- Does the person have the ability and you have delegated something that is not happening? The first thing I ask myself is: Have I delegated responsibility or a project? When someone understands that ultimately, they are responsible for a standard, it becomes a responsibility. You have not fully handed over control unless they received it. Step beyond a checklist into ownership by saying, “I would like to meet with you. Come prepared to share with me, in your mind, what you are actually responsible for that relates to the mission of this place.”
When you are able to identify and help others identify their responsibilities and the expectation, and speak into that, you are able to correct flaws. Put these discussions in writing.
Culture as a Verb
Culture is not simply created; it is not a ‘one and done’ thing. You as a leader must do more than model and serve.
Culture is continuously cultivated. It is the stories we tell and the celebrations we have. It is the things we honor and acknowledge.
Culture is a constant process.
When we as leaders see a culture slip – we must respond, not react. We must be intentional and identify where the problem is in order to address the problem with purpose. Do not approach with anger.
Put the problem in the right place.
I appreciate you and appreciate the work you all do. I look forward to hearing what you do with these pieces of advice and how you apply the work God has called you to do!
I would be honored to come alongside you in your leadership journey. If you would like to hear from me more, click here to get personal texts from me each week with more leadership tips and resources to keep you moving forward.