The longer I lead and manage people the more I realize that the most important element in leading and managing people is actually people.
Sometimes we seem to forget 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.
This is not new information, but the problem is every decision a leader makes impacts people. Some make the leader popular. Other decisions make the leader unpopular. Therefore, if not intentional 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.
I can be guilty of this as well.
One solution for me has been to do a stakeholder analysis of the situation before making major decisions. 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 focused towards the mission, while still valuing people.
This diagram shows a typical stakeholder analysis model:
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. It helps protect and advance Kingdom work more effectively. 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.
Could this be a helpful tool for you?
Have you seen the need to analyze the stakeholders in making decisions?