I feel like it is easy for any leader to drift into manager mode as they drift out of leadership mode. We tend to do this because we simply hit cruise control running through our day to day operations and we become more managers of the schedules and the duties than leaders of our people. I understand in any business there are a certain amount tasks that must be completed every week, but if forget our number one task which is the development of our team and the well being of our people/clients then every area of our organization will suffer.
I don’t care what business you may be in you are first and foremost in the people business. The faster you learn that and the more you focus on that aspect the quicker you will see life and success happening in your organization. You are not selling a product or a service although you may think you are. However, what you are selling is an experience, is a relief, and enrichment to someone’s life.
Coming from a ministry perspective I understand how easy it can be to drift into manager mode and get consumed in the task. You would think that it would be weird that a church could forget about the people, but every week Sunday comes and there is another service we have to pull off. So every week can get lost in the tasks over the experience if you are not careful. You can get lost plugging holes in the scheduling of volunteers instead of elevating the volunteers, you can get so distracted with writing a new message that you forget the audience that you are trying to help, or you can just pick a few random songs that sound good instead of prayerfully crafting a worship experience.
We must wrap our mind around this idea of people first and tasks second because in that we will execute on our tasks in a more impactful way that elevates our entire organization.
1. CHANGE THE LENS THAT YOU VIEW FROM
Let’s be honest what becomes normal becomes overlooked and the atmosphere, environments, systems, team members, and structures all become normal to us. Over time we just don’t notice what is wrong or what could be improved because frankly, we don’t really see it. Put on the lens of a guest, new customer, new client, or new team member and try to view your organization from their perspective. Start to think what their 1st impression would be when they encounter your organization, your product, your service, or your staff culture for the first time. A helpful tip is to visit a few other organizations in your realm of business and take in your 1st impression reactions and then with that new mentality view your organization through that lens.
2. KEEP FILLING THE TANK OF HONOR
You can never overfill the tank of honor in your organization because honor leaks over time. We must build a culture of honor in our organizations because there is nothing better than a reputation of honoring the people that your company interacts with day in and day out. Honor is seen through many ways by delivering on excellence with your service or products, by being generous with your time, talent, and treasure, and by showing and expressing tremendous amounts of gratitude for your team members and customers.
3. ELEVATE YOUR TEAM MEMBERS
Healthy organizations are a product of healthy leaders. We have to be equipping our team members with the tools to succeed. Unfortunately, as much as we know this very few leaders follow through with this understanding in their teams. We either allow the busyness of taking care of the day to day functions of the organization to override the discipleship aspect or we over complicate developing leaders. What I have found is that leadership development is neither time consuming or difficult and yet is still the most beneficial to your organizations’ growth. A few simple principles that are extremely helpful to build a culture of leadership development is first to read a leadership book together as a team and discuss it a chapter at a time. Neither difficult or time-consuming. Second is to make sure your team is writing out measurable goals and review the progress with them frequently. Both of these ideas are simple and neither are extremely time-consuming yet I promise you if you implement these ideas at first they will give you a HUGE ROI!
4. BUILD CAMARADERIE WITH YOUR TEAM
You must spend time with your team members and build camaraderie. If you don’t like spending time with your team members they don’t need to be on your team because if you don’t spend time with them you will never build the bond that stands the test of trials. Loyalty is built over time, but also you would be surprised how much discipleship takes place that is unplanned when you are spending enough time with your team members.
5. KEEP IMPROVING
We honor our customers, clients, and team members when we show a hunger for growth and continual desire to keep improving. When we keep making our services, our products, or our culture better it is felt by the people are serving. How we impact the people our organizations encounter is the testament of a successful organization and the testament of the fact that we are in the people business. That understanding is always fueled by continually getting better week in and week out!