The longer I lead and manage people, the more I realize that the most important element in leading and managing people is….

Have you forgotten that principle?

Leadership is about people. It’s relational. It depends on learning how to interact with people, how to encourage them, how to have healthy conflict, how to recruit them, and how to keep them informed.

You get the idea.

That’s not new information, but the problem is that every decision a leader makes impacts people. Some make the leader popular. Other decisions make the leader unpopular. Therefore, it’s easy for many leaders to become people-pleasers, trying to make sure everyone is happy. Other leaders go to another extreme and become a controlling leader; never allowing anyone input into the leader’s life or the decision making process.

One solution for me has been to do a stakeholder analysis of the situation. When I consider the person’s interest and power or influence in the organization, it can help the way I respond in making the decision, who’s involved in that process, and help us stay focussed towards the mission, while still valuing people.

This diagram shows a typical stakeholder analysis model:

Thanks to MindTools.com for this diagram. You can ever read more about how to use this tool HERE.

If you have an individual on your team with high interest and high power, such as a passionate key leader, you may react differently to their concern over an issue than someone who has little interest in your church and never intends to be a part of the church. As an example, the one-time guest who criticizes your music program may not be the voice you listen to most, but you probably should consider the voice of an elder.

I realize some may see this process as cold or even uncaring, but actually, I see it as a paradigm by which to apply wisdom to a circumstance. Ultimately I think our goal as a leader should be to bring the best people to the table, eliminate obstacles involving people, value people, and yet protect the mission of the organization. Doing a stakeholder analysis may help with that.

What do you think?  Could this be a helpful tool?

Have you seen the need to analyze the stakeholders in making decisions?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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