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I am trying to do a better job of adding structure and management to my leadership style. Honestly my preferred approach is to hire the right people and trust them to do the job they were hired to do with limited interaction from me.  I want to be a resource for the people I lead, I try to be approachable, I believe in investment and teaching, but ultimately I want to lead, as I like to be led, and that is with limited direct oversight.

I have learned that this approach is not always effective and honestly it is not even always fair.  I realize, especially in the birthing stage of our church, that people are looking to me for accountability and structure. They want and need to be managed as much as be led.  (I personally believe there is a difference.  To read more about this concept read this POST.)

In my pursuit for consistent improvement in my own life I am opening myself up to a new approach. I will attempt to ask more questions to keep people accountable.  I will visit people’s offices more frequently.  I will eat more lunches with my staff.  I will do a better job of tracking individual progress. It is not a matter of trust but a matter of recognizing the responsibility that I have been given and the individuality of the people I lead.

Leaders, do you need to consider a different approach to your leadership style?  Are you willing to change your approach if the organization or the people you lead require something different than you are accustomed to giving?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Brandon – true. Seems whatever we shed light on tends to improve.

    Scott Couchenour’s last blog post..Y R U In2 Social Media?

  • Brandon Cox says:

    Ron I’m definitely with you on this one! I feel that same desire to let all the details go to others and to only handle the big ideas and general oversight. But “people do not respect what you do not inspect.”

    Brandon Cox’s last blog post..Boring Preaching Is A Crime

  • I’m thinking of it more of an “Protective Network” that encompasses RELATIONSHIPS, SYSTEMS/POLICIES, and PERSONAL GROWTH.

    RELATIONSHIPS: Take, for example, Leonard Sweet’s book “11 Indispensible Relationships”. In it he outlines key relationships we need to have in our lives. Among them is a Nathan (your butt kicker), a Zacchaeus (your outcast), a Barnabas (your encourager), and so on. I have a 3×5 card for each relationship description that I keep with me and am always on the lookout for those relationships.

    SYSTEMS/POLICIES: These include things such as internet filters (I’m an affiliate of, as well as personal policies such as a window in your office door for counseling sessions, never traveling with a member of the opposite gender alone, etc. I’ve posted on my blog about what a few high-profile pastors do in this regard:

    PERSONAL GROWTH: We all want to grow and develop. We all want to remain healthy and strong. But life is our task master unless we are intentional & consistent. This is where a deeper set of relationships is in order. A mentor, a coach. Someone who will not just be your friend and tell you what you want to hear, but one you meet with on a regular basis who will ask you the tough questions that will keep you on track.

    Ron, I’m not there yet myself. But this is what I’m trying to strive for. Example, I have even told my kids that and ANY TIME they can ask me, “Dad, have you been texting while driving?” That way, when I’m behind the wheel and tempted to text, I know they may ask me and I want to be able to say “no” as an example for them (not to mention my safety).

    Hope that helps.

  • Ron says:

    Scott, that’s a great question. The answer may need to be the subject of a future post. You’ve got my mind thinking. The issue of leaders who refuse to allow others to hold them accountable is what leads to the failure, corruption or tyranny of many leaders.

    I am trying to think how best to welcome this. I have always had men who held me accountable and have freedom to ask me hard questions. I meet frequently with other ministers and business leaders.

    Recently I invited my staff to evaluate me

    and recorded the evaluations here.

    I am very open to suggestions here from you or other leaders of how a senior leader of an organization invites people to hold them accountable.

    Your thoughts?

  • “I will attempt to ask more questions to keep people accountable. I will visit people’s offices more frequently. I will eat more lunches with my staff. I will do a better job of tracking individual progress. It is not a matter of trust but a matter of recognizing the responsibility that I have been given and the individuality of the people I lead.”

    Do you have someone who is doing this for you?