One of the most frequent concerns I receive from young leaders about their organizations is they aren’t being given adequate responsibly or authority. Instead, they are handed a set of tasks to complete. They don’t feel they have a part in creating the big picture for the organization.
Since most of the young leaders I talk to are in ministry, this means it’s happening in the church too.
And, the other side of this dilemma is most the pastors I hear from are looking for leaders. They want someone to take the reigns of leadership and actually do something.
How do we solve the problem?
How do we find leaders for our churches and how do we allow younger team members to feel included? How do successful organizations (churches) attracts leaders?
Here’s my best advice:
Hand out visions more than you assign tasks.
In order for the organization to be successful, you’ll need to attract leaders. You know that, right? You need to know something about leaders and potential leaders.
Leaders want to work towards a vision, more than they want complete a set of tasks.
Leaders don’t get excited about checklists and assignments.
Leaders want to join a great vision, then help develop the tasks to accomplish it.
Leaders get excited about faith-stretching, bigger-than-life, jaw-dropping acts of courage.
That’s the kind of vision leaders – and those who claim to want to be leaders – want to believe in and follow. “To do” lists often get in the way of that kind of fun. Visions excite people. The details to complete them don’t.
So, if you want to create a successful organization and recruit leaders hand people a big vision with lots of room for them to choose on the implementation side.
Of course, they may indeed need to create checklists. I would even suggest they do if I were coaching them. They will need measurable action plans. They need to have a list of assignments in order to complete a project successfully. All those are necessary to accomplish a worthy vision. A vision is simply an idea until someone puts legs to it so it can walk.
But, start with the vision. Start with the big idea. Start with what you hope to accomplish some day. And, make sure you’re real clear about illustrating the problem to be solved or the opportunity to be seized.
And, then get out of the way and let people figure out how they will accomplish the vision.
This doesn’t mean your work is over, either. They’ll need your help along the way. They’ll still need your help to develop structure, discipline and follow through. But that’s way different than handing them a set of tasks in the beginning. And, it’s practicing good leadership and delegation skills.
I realize this is especially hard for some leaders who may want to control the desired outcome. (Leaders often like me – just being honest.) You’ll have to take a risk on the people you’ve recruited to lead and discipline yourself to let them work in their own way. You’ll get burned a few times, but overall, you’ll find more success when you:
Paint big visions – not specific tasks.
When you do this you’ll attract and develop more leaders and a more successful organization will be built and sustained.