Because your vision is too great & people are too important!
It is likely that “leadership” isn’t in our job descriptions, and if by chance it is, it isn’t clearly defined. However, we are all expected to be “leaders,” but what does it even mean?
In my first role as a leader after college, I had envisioned myself saying all the right things and creating a plan that excited people to the point that they couldn’t help but get involved! Have you ever had that kind of ambition and excitement? They say every boxer has a fight plan until he gets in the ring and gets hit. That’s what my experience was like. Early on I made three key mistakes:1) I created my vision, mission, and strategy in a vacuum by myself. 2) I didn’t align and empower my team properly. 3) I failed to intentionally invest in them! Because of these missteps, the success we experienced initially due to “newness” hit a dip, or I should say the dip hit us. Not only did we lose whatever momentum we had, we missed out on what we could have had.
The participants in the student ministry that I lead started at 15, grew to 30, and then plummeted to 8 total in college, junior high, and senior high! All of this happened in a matter of months. I didn’t have buy-in from anyone, and it was all because of my “leadership” or more aptly, lacking! I was back at square one, which was exactly where I needed to be! My struggle to lead caused me to start reading anything I could about leadership: blogs, articles, and books. I consumed as much as I could without going cross-eyed! As a result I learned that a compelling vision is created by a team, not an individual leader. I started to understand the need to define roles clearly as well as to empower my leaders to make judgement calls on their own. I also realized the need to share what I was learning so that they could in turn develop as leaders and apply the principles of leadership. As I started to implement these practices, my leaders had more buy-in, took on more responsibilities, and our ministry started to grow.
When I left for South Korea roughly a year after implementing these changes, we had grown our ministry to 65 students, and tripled the number of volunteers involved on a weekly basis. What would your organization look like if you could gain more buy-in? Whether a small youth group in Texas, a classroom in Korea, or a church plant in Virginia, I have tested and found that these principles transcend all types of organizations with similar effects – healthy growth!
You need a comprehensive strategy with a compelling vision, strategic organizational alignment with effective deployment, and purposeful development of leaders because your vision is too great, and people are too important not to lead well! My desire is to help you and your team find your “why,” help you cast a clear and compelling vision, align and deploy yourselves for maximum success, and create a plan for personal growth as your challenges grow!