One of the best things about transitions in life is that they force you to reflect – consider what was, could have been, should have been, is, should be, and will be. Since I’m changing entire cities, jobs, friendships and more, I’ve had a plethora of things to reflect on.
I know with an intro like that, you might expect I’m about to lay out some heart-felt reflections, but not really. I just want to make one simple point that I’ve decided to be 100% true and vital for any business or organization, but especially for ministries, to be great.
I have resolved this will be true of my organization… or, should I say for my organization.
GREAT ORGANIZATIONS AND TRUE LEADERS INVEST IN DEVELOPING THEIR PEOPLE
Too often I see organizations take on people simply because they think they “need somebody” for that role (especially true in ministry). While I completely disagree with charity hiring (or keeping), I think something else is just as poor of leadership, and that’s not developing what you do have!
CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”
Motivated people are the best, and almost the only way, to build a great organization that actually lasts.
Sure you need to do the work to hire and fire (call it releasing if it helps you) to find great people, but then it’s our job as leaders to give them great training and time to learn! Even beyond great training though, an employee, staff, and volunteers most of all need to know you are for them!
This is more than just supplying a few job perks, or even taking them to a conference and getting them good training for completing their tasks or roles.
I’m talking about being real, raw and authentic, and encouraging them to be the same.
I’m talking finding out what your people are about. Their passions. Their interests. Their loves and hates. Caring enough to know them and being upfront about how much you can or can’t help them with those dreams, desires and aspirations.
It’s about fueling their motivations… and being honest when you can’t so they will go somewhere else for the good of you both.
It’s about loving people
Now I know many leaders are good enough to make it seem like they care, even when it’s fueled by selfish desires, but I long to be a leader that LOVES the people I’m working with! I long to be a leader that invests not just a few resources into people, but life and love!
I long to know more leaders that care to develop their people in every area of their life! To know them and care.
If ministries did a better job of this, more people would be reached, cared for, and more leaders would rise to the surface with enthusiasm and zeal. Ministries would do more and last longer.
I even believe the leaders would have less work.
The problem is simply that truly caring, and I mean truly caring, is the hardest work of all. We all hate trivial busy work, but it’s the easy work, and that’s why so many organizations get stuck on it.
If we’d care though, we’d empower people to do what they’re best at and everyone would flourish. People would want to work with you, God would bless your efforts, and crazy good stuff would happen.
But it’s the harder work. It’s hard cause most of us are selfish and insecure. We want to work in our own power, and have others work for us as well.
It’s about creating a culture
I’ve only been at this for a little while now, but I’ve seen many examples of this done well and many of it done poorly. I’ve experienced days and months of it both ways, and from individuals and groups both.
I’m saddened by how many people are in positions of leadership that don’t know the difference in a great organization, or a mediocre organization.
What happens when leaders do a poor job of this, is it trickles through the organization and others begin to do the same within their own confounds of their roles.
We don’t rejoice with those in victory and success, we become envious and difficult. We don’t hurt for and help those who are struggling, we become pompous and distant.
When we do well at this though, it frees up the head leadership to be supportive because they feel comfortable and supported. This in turn frees up those they influence and so on down the line! In turn, so many more are reached and truly cared for!
It all comes down to creating a culture, and that all comes back to the head leadership of any organization.
If those who are there are developed, then it will draw others to your group. If those who are there must develop themselves, they’ll either stay and bring down the organization with them or they’ll move on to something else where they can flourish.
I want to know more leaders who grasp this. I want to be that leader someday. I want to train others to be those kind of leaders.
Then, if we truly love our people, we celebrate if and when they leave, ask how we can help, and watch them go do the same or better! I’ve seen this done too, and I appreciate it so much!
Have you ever been a part of an organization that does with well? Tell me your experience! What made it great? Ever been a part of a group that did this poorly? Share why and how so.