Welcome to awkward-ville

You've been there.  A conversation with someone that is headed to one place: Awkward-ville. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqjItfGjBlU

What do you do when you have a team member who just doesn't fit a leadership culture?  The critical question to ask is "What makes up our leadership culture?"  There is a huge difference between a person who is a little different than a person who isn't getting it done.  Awkward moments are typically a result of unspoken expectations because we have to confront things that we've never been clear on.

So if you are leading one team or multiple teams ask yourself a few questions:

1.  Have I been clear on what it means to "win"? I like using what the Dave Ramsey organization calls a KRA or Key Result Areas.  Every team member should know what the key results are for every role.  Clarity can assit community, chaos leads to mutiny.

2.  Are the expectations reasonable? Jim Collins reminds us that leading in the social sector can be more complicated because the only leverage a leader has is relational.  If you are a pastor of a church can you reduce the pay of a volunteer?  Of course not.  Do you know the line between challenging someone and burning someone out?  That line is different for every team member so if you push people hard you better have a system where people get to play hard too.

3.  Are you listening? This is a tip for spiritual leaders that I learned listening to Andy Stanley.  What are your people praying?  If they are praying for the vision you have been casting then people are getting it.  People pray about the things that are most on their heart.  If it never comes up in prayer then folks probably don't care.

4.  Am I providing space? Hopefully, one of the folks on your team is living out the vision.  THEY are the key holders of the leadership culture, not you.  Are you providing them space to lead the team?  When they lead other team members see it, it becomes real to them.  Those other people are thinking, "If someone else can do it who is just like me, I could do it too."

I think it's important that we don't hold people to unknown or unseen standards.  We can't label someone as awkward or not fitting the leadership culture if we as the leader can't define the culture ourselves.  This might throw you but they might not be the awkward person, you might be.  After all, no one knows what you expect?