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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

13 Jan '14

Does your staff work for you or with you?

Posted by T.J. Addington in staff, supervision, supervisors
There is a big distinction between having staff who work for you  and staff who work with you. And it is all in the attitude of the supervisor and how they see the staff of the organization.

I meet far too many leaders who think that staff works for them. They can be demanding that staff respond to their needs when they require it - even late night phone calls to solve some travel problem. If they become irritated with staff it is easy to marginalize them, after all they have failed the leader. If they disagree with the leader they may be seen as no longer loyal. As long as staff jump to their requests and give the honor they believe due to them all is well. When that does not happen, they are easily shuttled aside. 

This is not a surprise if a leader thinks that staff are there to serve them. In fact, it is to be expected.

There are healthier leaders who see staff as those who work with them - toward a common goal. While there are levels of leadership, these leaders develop a collegial, open, candid and friendly atmosphere where everyone's work and opinion is valued and appreciated. They understand that they as leaders serve those who work for them. It is a two way street of staff serving one another in order to accomplish something important. It is with not for. 

These are the cultures where staff feel appreciated and a vital part of the enterprise or ministry. And this is where you find healthy leaders whose ego needs do not need to be met by people jumping at their request. In fact, these leaders are deeply sensitive to the implications of their requests and ensure that they do not cause undue difficulty for staff.

In your organization if you lead. Do staff work for you or with you?