One of the best parts of working in the church is people.
I have had such a fun life because of the people that God has put around my wife Jackie and I.
The honor of leading and developing a creative team, volunteer or staff, is a gift.
Volunteers and staff, the people around you make the difference.
The honor of leading and developing a creative team, volunteer or staff, is a gift. As a leader, you have a responsibility to lead and to lead well. It is a stewardship issue. Maybe the team you are leading is new to you, or maybe you have been doing this for a long time with the same crew.
Regardless of your situation, you must always be evaluating and refining the team to get the most and best out of them.
There are a few things that hold true all the time when it comes to team leadership.
As a leader, you have to always define the win and set the expectation. No matter the discipline, you are responsible to set clear expectations, help the team achieve those expectations, and then celebrate the wins after you have accomplished the expectation!
One of the best ways to set expectations and define the win is by asking good questions.
What are we trying to create?
What do we want to feel like?
How will people experience this?
What is the take away?
Have we fed our mission/goal/vision?
Is this helpful?
What's the why?
What's the win?
Once we set the expectation, we have to remember that how we accomplish a goal is not the same as how the next person might. Let people work the way that best helps them achieve the stated goal. If you have set the expectation well, you won't have to worry about how we are getting to the end, just that we arrive there.
Let creative people be creative.
You will love the end result most of the time and empower people with authority, not just accountability.
In doing this, you probably will want to offer suggestions instead of mandates. Others opinions bring value to creativity. Of course, there are times you are going to have to make the decision, you are the leader, but as much as possible, allow teammates to have buy-in to the process. Use your experience to provide suggestions and then watch God use people to produce amazing experiences.
As you lead, you will start to leverage the right people for the right opportunities. Learn what the skills are from each of member of your team. Leverage those skills based on the person, not the job. Put people into opportunities to use or develop the things that are great at and excited about doing!
A lot of times, we get so busy leading through the process and we forget the essence of service.
Being willing to be a team member, not just a boss, will give you equity with your volunteers and team. Be willing to do whatever you ask your team to do. Get dirty sometimes. Don't live on the wrong side of the line.
Coaching and mentorship happens best when people know you understand what they do, why, how, and the challenges they have.
As a leader, you have a responsibility to occasionally create some chaos. Often, the best stuff comes out of the discomfort of crazy. Play with chemistry on the team by adding other voices from the outside from time to time. Drop a couple projects into the workflow at the same time. Find ways to create healthy chaos that will challenge the team. Chaos often allows us to work on multiple projects at the same time, which is healthy for creative people. Our brains work in sprints and the switching of focus helps create new ideas. The key is being in healthy crazy spaces. We can't put our teams into areas that are not healthy.
As we work with and through people, we have to make sure we are watching their energy tanks. Manage energy, passion, burnout, and desire. Watch each person's tank and know that each of the members of your team, whether a member of your staff or a volunteer, require different types of fuel. Fill them up but fill them with the stuff that gives them energy. As we do this, we have to make sure we help people turn off. Being on is easy. Show up for work and do your work.
As a leader, force your team to take time off. Time off allows them to be ON when it is time to be on and fully charged!
Finally, coaching is vital to a strong and healthy creative time. Art is subjective, so "right and wrong' are not always black and white. Know when to have the hard conversations. They are important, but even more important are what we call at Cross Point Church the last 10 percent conversations. Leaning into the real truth that lives in that last 10 percent of a conversation. The stuff that hurts but the stuff that really works.
Learning the essence of when to lean in to when, where, and how to lean into the last 10 percent of conversations. And the real magic happens when we lean into the last 2 percent, the really hard conversations.
God uses those moments to grow us as leaders and to develop the best in people around our organization!
Keep leading well, friends!