5 Statements To Lighten Your Leader’s Load
In my last post, I encouraged leaders to ask their team members five potentially shocking questions. Today, I’d like to offer a few tips for team members on how to help their leaders.
Leadership roles come with great responsibility and the burden of knowing your decisions can have a significant impact on people’s lives. Serving in leadership within the church raises the stakes as we’re seeking to lead people into a relationship with Christ and help them grow in their faith.
If you’re not the point leader, you have the opportunity to serve the person who does carry that responsibility. As a leader it’s a wonderful feeling to know your team has your back and is working faithfully.
Here are 5 statements that can help your leader sleep better tonight:
Statement #1: Let me handle that for you
Maybe your boss isn’t good at delegation. He remembers what it was like to do (or at least try to do) everything and has a hard time letting go. The next time he mentions needing to do a task he doesn’t really need to do, offer to take that responsibility off his plate.
Statement #2: I’ve noticed this issue and have a few ideas for how to handle it
Leaders love problem-solvers. They especially appreciate it when a team member sees the issue, comes up with 2-3 ways to fix it, and then brings it to them if needed to weigh-in on how to proceed.
Statement #3: Here’s a quick status update on that project
Don’t wait for your manager to come ask you about the status of projects or tasks he’s assigned to you. Instead, provide a weekly update that includes a bullet pointed list of those items and the status of each (1-2 sentences maximum). This update could be via email, in-person, or a variety of methods. Find out what your leader prefers and go with that method. This will reassure him that you’ve got things under control and may prevent him from checking in on you too often (Hint: That’s an indication he’s nervous about your progress…or lack thereof.).
Statement #4: In private – Respectfully stating you disagree and explaining why (using facts, not just emotion). In public – Fully supportive of the direction your leader selected (whether you think it was the right choice or not).
Ideally, your boss hired you because he thought you had the skills and passion for the role. You’re getting paid to provide your expertise and do the job with excellence – not to be a “yes man” robot. If you think your leader is heading towards making a poor decision, you owe it to him and to the congregation to say something. Be respectful, but still state your concerns. If he still chooses the original plan and it doesn’t involve anything immoral or unethical, support it fully and do your best to help it succeed.
Statement #5: Thank you
Think about the last year at your church. What testimonies have you heard of lives changed and marriages restored? How have you grown as an employee or in your faith? Yes, it may have been a challenging year. Yep, your boss has probably made some mistakes and been a pain at times. However, if you’re working at a church where people are coming to know Christ and the staff is treated honorably there’s much to be grateful for.
When something specific comes to mind that you appreciate about your boss, tell him. Leaders (especially the senior pastor) may hear more about what people don’t like than what’s going well. Your leaders need encouragement too; so let them know you appreciate them.
You never know the impact one of these statements could have on a ministry leader who’s discouraged or feeling the pressure of leadership.
Leaders – What would you would add to this list?