12 Nov '11
Driven leaders and their staff
One of the chief distinguishing marks of Jesus was his care, love, concern and compassion for people. His ministry was all about people. He always made time for the hurting and troubled and disenfranchised. He came to this planet to seek and to save....people.
It is possible for leaders to become so driven by their mission that they miss the people part! In fact, some leaders are users of people to accomplish their own ends and drive their mission forward at the expense of those who work for them. I know of a well known church, for example that sees massive turnover of its large staff regularly because of the lack of compassion and drivenness of the leader that negatively impacts the very people that support the ministry. His driven nature and success at all costs mentality leaves no room for anyone who does not live up to his standards.
The problem is that it is about the standards and vision and direction of the leader alone rather than a team that works together to accomplish the mission. Leaders who abuse in their drivenness have not developed a team mentality. They are the sheriff rather than the coach.
Driven leaders often hurt people because their focus is so much on success (whatever their definition) that they see those working for them as a means to that success rather than fellow colleagues on a journey of ministry together toward a common goal. It is really about their goal not a common goal. Any time we begin to use people toward our ends we have violated them and have moved away from the example of Christ.
Leaders must always lead and part of that leadership is encouraging their staff to be all that they can be and to maximize the gifting God has given them. Ironically, when leaders put people before mission, the mission is more effectively accomplished because staff are empowered, released and motivated. When the mission comes before the people who must accomplish it, people are often violated in the process.
Healthy leaders put people first. They create healthy teams of empowered individuals who together figure out how to tackle the mission and accomplish the goals of the ministry. It is about us, not me!