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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.

11 Feb '12

Weak staff members and their impact on others

Posted by T.J. Addington in Healthy leaders, ministry teams, staff development
One of the responsibilities of team or ministry leaders is to deal with weak staff members (I am referring to paid staff). These are staff who do not have the capacity of the rest of the team and therefore pull down the level of dialogue and ministry results. Many leaders do not understand how this situation disempowers and creates issues for other team members. 

Healthy, synergistic teams are made up of individuals with different gifts and skills but with a common level of professional acumen. This means that they can play at the same level. In team meetings the common level allows for easy dialogue and synergistic ideas. In execution it makes for a common ability to deliver on ministry.

When, however, one has a staff member who operates at a significantly lower level of competency there is a negative impact to the whole team. At team meetings, the level of dialogue and discourse is pulled down and other members often shut down or become irritated. In ministry execution the fact that one of their team cannot deliver at the required level which puts additional pressure on other team members either to pick up the slack or unhappiness that the over level of ministry is being compromised.

Overall, this has a negative impact on the rest of the team as a whole and other team members look to their team or organizational leader to solve the problem. They cannot solve it but he/she can and they expect that they will. When they do not, the leader loses credibility in the eyes of the team.

Sometimes that solution is to find another role for the individual where their skills meet the standards of that role. It may mean moving them out of the organization. It could mean coaching to see if they can up their game. The relevant issue is not the particular solution, if there is one, but that the leader deals with the situation.

No leader relishes dealing with staff who cannot play at the required level. But it is one of the responsibilities of leadership. When they address the issue they gain credibility and protect their team. When they don't address the issue they lose credibility and hurt the rest of the team. It matters!