Some posts that are worth reading;
1) Michael Hyatt – Frustrating your team
2) Mike Breen – Leadership not the answer?
Both very useful and give room for discussion
We are so used to meetings that we may sometimes find ourselves in situations where we diary meetings because we can think of no other way in which to operate. If you are in this place, you may find yourself in meeting overload.
It is not always necessary to have a meeting in order to get the job done or to communicate with the team. Time is not a limitless resource – unnecessary meetings destroy motivation, necessary meetings engage with people.
“Simply being oneself brings about a power often lost in the rush to be something else” Sun Tzu
How often do we try and be like someone else? How often do we wish to be in someone else’s shoes? The truth is, we are at our most powerful, most able, most productive when we simply learn ‘to be oneself’.
It is all too common to hear excuses, unfortunately many without basis or need, that are used to hide blame or ignore problems. Far better to be in an environment that accepts responsibility than using excuses for why things are not as anticipated.
“That was before my time here”
“I was not consulted on this”
“I did not know enough detail”
“there is always a significant lead-in time that we had not anticipated”
There are many more, but these are an example of an excuse culture – once in a while they may be valid, often they are not.
Many people point to Manchester United and their loyalty to Alex Ferguson as manager, so that they can say longevity brings results. After 20 years of unparalleled success it is easy to forget that ‘Fergie’ was one match away from the unemployment statistics.
Was longevity the answer? Was the threat of losing the job alongside a couple of fortunate results the catalyst? What is the secret?
The truth is that most managers have what it takes….the difference is that run of good fortune, the timing of good things and the need for consistency are all necessary to achieve long term success. Timing and good fortune are not always within your own control but consistency usually comes from hard work and a one track mind that never loses sight of the winning post.
As Jack Nicklaus once inferred – it is amazing how lucky you get when you work hard for it.
One of the dangers in any work is “over management”. So often, there are attempts at controlling work, maximising revenues and increasing efficiencies, that we draw things closer and manage things tightly. This may inhibit creativity, work flow and the general excitement of team growth, more importantly, it may strangle faith.
In ministry “over management” can be stifling. We see in the Old Testament that the people of Israel, when arriving at the borders of the promised land, were warned to remember their God, the God who sustains, the God who provides, the God who is faithful. However, as they settled in the land, they forgot their God, relied on the land to sustain them and thereby forfeited those things that had been so longed for. Why was this?
The land was given as a gift, not as a possession. The land was owned by the creator and therefore the people needed to manage the land in a way that recognised ownership – instead they “over managed” the land as if it was their personal possession. It came to a point where they lost the land and were driven into exile.
What does this mean for ministry? It causes us to stop and remember that our ministry does not belong to us – it belongs to God. Remember who the rightful owner is – manage it appropriately, to enhance and not possess. Honour the owner of the work – remember faith is integral to all that we do. This is a challenge but it enables us to honour the Creator God – management is important but not to the point were we stifle those good things that need space to grow.
Easier said than done…..but I will keep trying!