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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.

03 Jul '08

What spells success for you?

Posted by T.J. Addington in Healthy leaders, Intentional living, ministry teams


Fast-forward your life to the day of your funeral. Your family is there, as well as your friends and colleagues. What are they saying about your life? What are your children remembering? Your spouse! Those who knew you best? If there were a handful of things you would want to be known by, what would they be?

Assume that you have five years left in your current ministry. If you could accomplish three-to-five things that leave a lasting influence, what would they be?

What you have just identified are the big rocks of your life. They are the key results that you want your life and your work to have? Getting these big rocks right is one of the most important things we can do if we are going to live intentionally and focus on results. If we don't know the big rocks, we don't know where to focus our activity.

Now take another moment and answer this question for each of the big rocks above for your life and work. How strategically is my activity aligned with the few key results I want for my life and work? Be honest with yourself.

KRAs are Key Result Areas. Understanding of and commitment to KRAs is a major contributor in moving from activity to focused living (activity and results are two different things). Much of what we have been taught or seen modeled that is related to how we structure our lives, focuses around activity. For instance, most job descriptions are a description of the activities that the job entails. The message is that if one carries out the activities found in the job description they will have been successful in their work. But it is not true!

There is a major fallacy here because activity does not equal results. There are many people whose work lives are filled with activity but there is not much to show for it. All of us are busy with activity but activity is not the relevant issue.

Key Result Areas are the specific results that spell success for us in our job and life. KRAs do not spell out how we will achieve those results (activity) but describes the definition of success (results). KRAs define the critical areas of success that one must achieve if one is going to be successful in one's work.

Because KRAs define what success looks like, they cut through the clutter of activity and get to the heart of the matter - what our activity must lead to. They answer the question of success and are applicable in both our personal and professional lives. KRAs do not define activity, goals or methods. They define the end result of our work, the ultimate outcome that we want to see in any given year. Goals and methodology come after we have defined our KRA's.

Why KRAs? Key Result Areas allow us to focus on the critical rather than be driven by the urgent. They clarify the non-negotiable priorities and allow us to make decisions about our time and energy on the basis of a set of clear outcomes that will allow us to fulfill God's call on our lives.

Think of all the demands on your time. Some of those demands come from others who love to tell you what is important for you and how you should spend your time. All of us have options and opportunities as to what we could do with our time and we face regular pressures to fulfill the expectations of others. We face the challenges:
  • How do we prioritize?
  • How do we schedule?
  • What gives us the confidence to say yes or no?
  • Where do we focus?
  • How do we deal with competing voices?
  • How do we free ourselves from the tyranny of the urgent?
The answer is to identify your Key result Areas. They become your key focus and priorities and the grid from which you can answer these questions.

My Key result areas are these:

1. Personal Development: Ensuring that I live an intentional life in my spiritual, family, emotional, relational and professional life.

2. Strategic leadership: Providing strategic leadership to the organization or the part of the organization that I lead.

3. Strong team: Building a healthy, unified, aligned, strategic and results oriented team.

4. Leadership Development: Develop current and future leaders.

5. Mobilizing Resources: Mobilize key resources necessary for the ministry of the team to flourish.

Have you identified what spells success for you?