Sunday Lessons – Leading Absent

“The test of your leadership is not what happens when you’re there, but what happens when you’re NOT there.” Ken Blanchard

I read this quote this morning on Twitter and it’s the perfect description of the tension I feel every Sunday.

On the DISC profile I’m a high C, followed by a strong D.  This creates a very unnerving war in my personality…

My conscientious side wants to be extremely thorough and attentive to detail.  Some might call it micro-managing or controlling but I tend to think of it as being a responsible steward :).  The problem with my “C” is that it can be a slow moving boat.  Making sure all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed can be extraordinarily time-consuming.

And that slow moving boat wars with the strong “D” that is nipping at it’s tails.  The dominant, driver in me wants to get things done.  I want to see continued growth and progress.  I love change, especially changes that says we’re going somewhere.

Do you feel my tension?

This is the tension I live with every Sunday.  My “C” can’t control five campuses, but my “D” says five campuses isn’t enough.

This tension is what forces me to evaluate whether I’m truly being an effective leader.  My warring personalities can only be at peace when I’ve channeled both of them to lead through others.

So what do you need to do as a leader to pass this test of leadership that Blanchard talks about?

  1. Communicate expectations. Too many times we as leaders have expectations that we think are understood when in reality they are not.  Before you coach or reprimand someone, be sure you have been clear about your expectations.
  2. Praise what’s working. Don’t withhold a compliment… ever!  If someone did something well, tell them.  Don’t assume they know.  They might, but it always feels great to be told.
  3. Create a system for feedback. Invite your team to tell you the good & the bad.  I ask our campus pastors to send me a text message every Sunday afternoon giving me a quick report of their day.  I love to hear their successes!
  4. Spend intentional time with your key leaders. Make sure they feel like you are available and listening.  Know them.  Know their families.
  5. Pray for your organization and your team daily. It’s all still God’s.  Give it back to Him.

What else do you do to lead your team well, especially when you’re absent?

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  • Fuser8 June 20, 2011  

    Great Post! You can never “over-communicate!”  🙂

  • tony morgan June 20, 2011  

    Sounds like you and I have the same DISC profile. Thanks for sharing this.