Leadership is hard. Anyone who says otherwise will lie to you about something else. It is even more difficult in the church-world because there is this misconception that the church is always a nice, happy, pleasant place. It's not! Churches are full of people and people are messy. Hurting people hurt people. As a church leader, we are constantly having to walk a fine line when it comes to leading people. We should always be kind but we cannot always be nice. We should always be gentle but cannot always be easy.
This book by Patrick Lencioni is a great reminder of why we put up with all this. Why do we lead and do the hard things? Below are some notes from an excellent article by Dr. Sinclair as she breaks down some of the overall ideas from Lencioni. I highly recommend this book to any leader.
Link to the book:
- Developing the leadership team. Many leaders try to delegate this responsibility or simply ignore it because they don’t enjoy it or see it as all that important. The leader is the only one who can take personal responsibility for, and participate actively in, the task of building his or her team.
- Managing subordinates. Managing individuals is about helping them set the general direction of their work, ensuring that it is aligned with and understood by their peers, and staying informed enough to identify potential obstacles and problems as early as possible. They must ensure that their subordinates one level below are managing their people too.
- Having difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Having difficult conversations with colleagues is usually about addressing uncomfortable behavioral issues in an organization. Many leaders try to avoid this interpersonal discomfort. Yet, when leaders dodge these situations, they jeopardize the success of the team and the organization as a whole.
- Running great team meetings. Meetings remain one of the most unpopular and underestimated activities in an organization. Many leaders admit they hate meetings so they simply tolerate awful meetings rather than making them as focused, relevant, and intense as they should be. This sets a negative precedent for the rest of the organization.
- Communicating constantly and repetitively to employees. Employees have to hear a message seven times before they believe leaders are serious about it. Unfortunately, many leaders refuse to repeat themselves. Yet, the reason a leader communicates to employees, at all levels, is to ensure that people are aligned with and have bought into what I going on and where they fit into the success of the enterprise.