One of the blogs I enjoy following is LeadingSmart which is written by Tim Stevens. In his most recent post, he discusses briefly a book he has worked through with and Executive Pastor Coaching Network entitled "Just Ask Leadership". He shares a few quotes that captured his attention which in turn have captured mine. Here were the two that jumped off of the page at me and my initial reaction to each of them.
First, I must be asking myself "Am I Leading or Managing?" It is noted that one of the ways in which one can answer this question is by reflecting on your weekly schedule. If I am handling issues that are months or even years out I am leading. If I spend the majority of my day handling immediate problems or issues, I am most likely managing. My immediate reaction to this is threefold. First, I have come to learn that there are seasons of ministry that require much more hands on managing until the season runs its course. Secondly, I need to evaluate what I've been called to as defined by my role in any given organizational setting. Am I called to manage or lead. Thirdly, based upon my answer to this question, I need to evaluate my daily schedule and "to do" lists to make sure I have found the balance and focus needed to successfully accomplish what God has called me to within any given organizational structure.
The second quote that caught my eye was "The person best equipped to solve a problem is the one who lives with it every day." This in part ties into the previous point. Leaders will let managers/co-workers solve the day to day problems and make decisions. If I am called to lead, I will help develop a culture that empowers those who manage and are engaged in the day to day stuff to make their own decisions with confidence as they are truly the ones who are best equipped to be the problem solvers in their areas of expertise.
I recognize that the church is not just an organization to be lead and managed. We are the living Body of Christ, but these principles are well worth pondering.