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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.

04 Aug '13

Why the need to know everything becomes a barrier to growth

Posted by T.J. Addington in barriers to growth, leadership
Many leaders believe that they need to know everything that is happening in their organization or on their team. It is usually a mistake! Why? Because it normally means that the leader is not empowering others to lead. In addition as a ministry grows there is no way that leaders will know everything that is happening.

While knowing everything works in a small ministry it becomes a bottleneck in a large ministry. In addition, those who need to know everything also need to control everything which means that they have not empowered others and that the more they know the more they meddle. 

I know pastors who operate this way in churchs of 1,000+ and it is deeply demotivating to staff who are unempowered every time they need permission to move forward or when their work is reworked by the senior leader. His goal may be to protect the ministry but it is the wrong way to accomplish that. You protect the ministry by having great clarity and the right leaders. 

My own rule is that I need to know what it is necessary for me to know, not all that I could know. I expect leaders in the organization (in my case at senior leadership levels) to tell me what I need to know. This includes major initiatives, where we are seeing significant results, significant challenges they are encountering and when things go wrong, a heads up.

What I really need to know is that I have the right leaders in place and that they have great clarity as to what the organization is about. If that is true, I can trust those leaders to lead well, deal with situations wisely and drive the missional agenda in a disciplined way. Knowing I have the right people is far more important than knowing everything that is happening. If I need to know the latter it is because I don't have the right people. If I know the former I don't need to know the latter.