walls

Destroying the system: part 2

Quick review: The first part to destroying the system is to recognize where the process is failing instead of blaming people. The second part is one of the more difficult steps, especially if the leader has a low level of emotional intelligence because it requires vulnerability and accepting that "I" (The leader at the top) might not have the best answer.  If you want to do the best for people you lead it helps to ask them what's best for them.  I love that Andy Stanley, a church leader of Northpoint Community in Atlanta says the first rule in their constitution is, "The people we use are more important than the system we choose."  Let me repeat that, "The People we use are more important than the systems we choose."

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The problems with systems is that they can become a wall to people (which we choose them instead of people), it becomes something that they can't get past.  But a wall comes down a lot faster with multiple people trying to bringing it down instead of you trying to bring it down on your own.  The people you lead want to knock down the wall!  They have been nodding their head at you when you speak about why the wall was put up for their own good but they have secretly been holding a sledge hammer behind them the whole time.

But I bet you've never asked them, you've never been the first to say, "I think this wall (system) is holding us back, what do you think?"  When a system is created to help management we call it a policy.  When a system is created to empower people we call it a mission. Until the people around you feel like they have an equal amount of input as you have, you will continue to manage people who really want to lead everyone else past the wall.

So what's the second step to destroying a system? Seek input from those most involved, ask great questions, and allow creative solutions. 

There is still one more part we have to discuss on Friday because if you don't do this last step the exit door to your team will be wide open!

Get your butt in the room!

So we've been talking about millennials leading other millenials, which I think is so challenging.  The question has been how do we have EPIC leadership (Experiential, Participatory, Image driven, and Connected)?  So let's finish this sucker off and talk about the value of connectedness. Anyone who has ever led a team has felt the advantages of a connected team and the disadvantages of a disconnected team.  A connected team runs through walls together.  A disconnected team stops short on the charge and lets the leader run head first into the wall splitting his/her forehead open, drooling and screaming incoherently, and then weeping on the curb wondering where everyone else was when the wall fought back.  I've seen it a hudred times.

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So how do we create an environment where people feel connected to one another?  Really, the question is how do we create a community and not just a team?

Patrick Lencioni in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (This is one of my must reads if you are a leader.  Get out from under the rock and open a book!) notes that the first breakdown of a team is absence of trust.  Lencioni's challenge is that vulnerability always begins with the leader.  I think this might be the scariest thing when leading your peers because it's like handing a shank to the person your sharing a prison cell with.  But here's the good news: the imperfect leader allows for imperfect people to do great things.

When imperfect people are engaged in changing the world they should recognize that not one of them is capable of fixing everything.  After all, they're imperfect.  If this is a faith based mission, prayer is the greatest resource to connect one another.  It's invaluable, because it allows the imperfect people to focus on the one who is able.

To paraphrase the author of Hebrews, let's not stop getting together in a room.  Because as soon as we stop meeting together, the wheels are going to come off this community and we are all going to be stranded not doing anything effective.  Meeting together is a principle but actually getting together is a practice.

Millennials need to get together in the same room often and pray together.  But don't we all?