Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Leading My Friends

"Management is about how the job gets done. Leadership is determining what the job is and moving people toward getting it done." - Larry Winget

Larry is a business dude / speaker / consultant who does not mince words. Here I think he is on to something that we should be aware of. It is not about the how.

On DJs blog there is a good discussion of the four laws, but in reality it does not matter what the tool is . . . any tool will do. Invent some more. What matters in leadership is what the job / goal is and then the ability to build systems that unleash and empower people to get it accomplished. Is this the way we handle students on campus? or do we micro them with some 'training' and tools and then program our way forward.

Or, in leading, do we hold high the vision for the campus or city (this equates to the 'job') and then move them toward getting it done by believing in them, serving them and facilitating their dreams for their campus. How do we do it? Let these young inspired leaders figure that out . . that is half the fun of the mission.

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On the broader picture . . . is this how we treat our staff organizationally? Of late, I have felt a whole lot of how and not so much what. All to often I think upper management believes the problem is on the local level and then tries to inform solutions (or like me in ESM . . . borrow some solution from another location and feed it to the whole). The reality is, most local leaders are leading bigger on the local level than any of the upper management ever did at the local level. It is, in fact, a different world - larger schools, broader geography and then the crazy ethnic landscape as well.

Crazy as it may seem, I believe the Cru system is built upon a strange unanimity that is debilitating. It is built to have poor leaders consuming coaching energy and forces good leaders to operate below what they could actually produce without having to navigate the system.

It is built to level the playing field and 'train' everyone to do much of the same things in the same ways. Oooops. The world (and the kingdom) simply do not work well that way. This is why DNA discussions and such are kind of boring and pointless.

"Please . . tell me what you are wanting me to accomplish (results), measure and reward me, and then let me make all the primary decisions (with who, where). Then we will see some new and awesome things begin to emerge."

The manager at Mickey Dees gets to hire his own fry cook . . . why cant the local leader put together his own team (without negotiating it with anyone above I might add).

6 comments:

Ken said...

I agree that we need more freedom on the local level, and I think that some is coming, but never enough for me. I have always led in some ways as if I was just given the mission and I have ignored much of the stuff that comes in regularly that is more focused on the how to. I figure, tell me what the goal is and let me figure out the how to, if it does not work then I am responsible and if I fail as a leader than move me out and get someone else in. With the system in place, we can blame the tactics not the leaders since it is the tactics that we are forced to do and not lead.

I also whole heartedly agree that I should be able to release someone from my team (fire them even). I think they should be given a couple months to find a new leader to take them on or they are out. I have wasted too much time when I have had someone on my team that should not have been and wasn't really in to what we were doing. When the people that are supposed to help you move forward in mission end up holding you back, there is a problem, and in our current context that problem has no fast solution.

As far as letting the students figure everything out, well this is good to a degree, but I do not think it is a matter of staff or student, but thinkers, cultural architects, apostles, philosophers, they should be figuring stuff out and helping the ones without such giftings go for it with tracks to run on. I have had a lot of experience releasing students and trying to go new places with them, but if they are not idea people it gets stuck and goes no where. So there is no magic student wand, but we do need to release the right people no matter who they are or how little knowledge or experience they have, if they can see, dream, go, let them go.

Wix said...

Wow, great posts! And Ken and Shane, I'm totally on the money with you guys on this one too! I love diversity and embrace creativity for the good of society and the world!! (I guess too because I'm a Third Culture Kid and I've see how much I've gained in having 3 cultures in my make-up.)

As a co-leader of a campus team, I HATE managing. But, the system and structure of Cru has totally locked me in in managing. For the past 2 years, I've been pushing the envelope more and more. And I've been communicating w/ leadership about how we need to change our structures, and how I want to part of changing our systems so that it's more conducive to building Movements Everywhere.

One of the ideas I've been thinking about IS the freedom to choose my own team (as the RT is doing placement right now.) I would LOVE to see the day when that happens!! My other idea, nothing really new, has to do with the WHAT and dreams you guys are talking about. Google makes it mandatory that all their workers spend 20% of their time initiating projects they're interested in - and you know what, that's how we got Gmail, Google Maps etc. They were somebody's idea/project at one time! Hey, if Google does this (and with such great success), why can't we try something like this with our staff and students? Similar to what you said, Ken, if someone has a dream and feels it's what Jesus is telling them to do, let's validate them, release them, and resource them to do it!

This also has to do with encouraging people in their passions and growing in their giftings. Yeah, not everyone's going to be gifted in the pioneering of world-changing things. And I think that's why our discussions have been revolving around TEAMS, as opposed to individuals. Cos it's not one person who changes the world, it's groups of people who change their world(s). So, people with giftings in management, admin, etc. need to be working with people with giftings in vision, leading etc. We can't get the job done without each other and working together.

Shane, I totally think you're right about how we're investing so much energies on the HOW, instead of the WHAT. If we get people, from staff to students to their dogs, investing more time and thought into the WHAT - like, what is it Jesus that you want me to become and do to change my world, with how you've gifted and wired me? - then the HOW becomes effective. It's when we start with the HOW that we get screwed up. In other words, it's our purpose/vision and mission (what we're trying to accomplish) that determines our form and function (how we're going to do it.) Not the other way around. I think when we have this straight, we won't be so anal and defensive and fearful about changing the structures and systems when they stop being effective.

Any more thoughts and ideas???

Ethan & Terah Wiekamp said...

Good post Shane...reminded me of a paper I wrote once where I discussed the idea of psychological empowerment. Here's the copy and paste:

Spreitzer (1995) identified four elements of effective empowerment:

1. Meaning: one will feel more empowered if the substance and outcomes of the work are consistent with personal values and ideals.

2. Self-determination: one has the ability to determine how and when the work will be done.

3. Self-efficacy: the person is confident that he/she can complete the work effectively.

4. Impact: the person believes that he/she can make an impact on the work itself, as well as the work environment.

Sounds pretty similar to what you're saying Shane. #3 is the training issue - how much training does it take to move the average staff person/student/intern into a position of of adequate self efficacy? For interns and new staff I'm guessing one week of training and one month of practice.

Of course the personal development and stuff like that will be an ongoing process, but as far as effective job training goes- one week, one month, release.

-Ethan

Joe Cross said...

i'm so mad. i had a lengthy comment written up when the tech demons erased it. i'll just sum it up by saying Shane Deike is my hero.

Ken said...

Shane - you are right on the money. Awesome thoughts. It is the role of senior organizational leaders to continually create S P A C E in the organization for new voices and ideas. Since it's 10 pm and I'm coming in for a landing after a 4 am start today, can I just copy/paste your entry?

Shane Deike said...

Ken - get some rest. What am I doing up!