There are some significant obstacles in your way as you lead your ministry. One of them is you. Here are 3 ways senior leaders get in their own way.
1. Create ministry bottleneck.
The problem is a familiar one; a client of mine inadvertently named it when he was talking through the situation he was facing. He said, “I’m having a hard time getting any of my own work done because people keep coming to me with decisions I need to make. It feels like everyone needs input from me all the time. My office—and my phone and email—are like Grand Central Station. It takes so much energy for me just to keep all the parts moving, all the plates spinning, and I’m already running as fast as I can….” He sat for a minute, looking discouraged and reflecting on what he had just said, then suddenly it came to him: “Wait a minute… I think I’m the bottleneck!”
This is the Moses complex: everything must go through me. When leaders describe situations like the one above, I often ask, “What are you doing that’s contributing to that?”
“There are few investments you can make that will produce more fruit for the kingdom of God than truly developing and empowering new leaders.” –The Leadership DifferenceThere are few investments you can make that will produce more fruit for the kingdom of God than truly developing and empowering new leaders. Click To Tweet
2. Structure a system that doesn’t leave room for God.
Related to the above problem that leaves senior leaders with no bandwidth, is feeling the need to decline great opportunities because they don’t fit in with the existing to do list. When senior leaders are pressed for time—and focused on their current project—they tend to ignore people who come to them with big ideas that don’t fit in with what they’re already trying to do. Certainly there will be requests that don’t fit in with the overall vision, but when leaders come in with good ministry initiatives they are passionate about, don’t automatically reject or dismiss their project just because it doesn’t contribute to what you’re currently focused on. Rather, empower these people who have energy and vision. God just might do something you aren’t expecting. Scatter seeds as God leads and see what grows.
“Together you will be able to hear from God and clarify specific direction much more effectively than you would alone.” –The Leadership DifferenceEmpower people who have energy and vision. God just might do something you aren’t expecting. Click To Tweet
3. Motivate people before you have something for them to do.
A friend of mine aptly calls this one “Read-Fire-Aim.” You may have been to some of these types of events yourself. “We’re going to reach the poor in our neighborhood! Come to this info meeting!” The people who care about reaching the poor will attend the meeting and the senior leader, with the best of intentions, will motivate and inspire people to reach the poor. Then at the end of the gathering, when people are primed and ready to take action, there’s…. nothing. There are no options for action, no volunteer opportunities, no next steps. It’s not that the senior leader needs everything laid out beforehand, but they need some type of next step in place. Every time the senior leader does his, they make it less likely that they’ll be able to motivate and inspire in the future.
“Good intentions aren’t enough. They need to be translated into action.” —The Leadership DifferenceGood intentions aren’t enough. They need to be translated into action. Click To Tweet
Consider… in what ways might you be getting in your own way?
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