Have you ever been in a restaurant where?two employees are angrily yelling at each other and then one of them comes to your table and takes your order with a smile?
Aside from it being very awkward for everyone in the restaurant, it is also confusing. What?s the disconnect that causes people to treat their team members differently than their guests?
Have you ever experienced this kind of dual personality from a leader or team member?
Let?s examine a hypothetical scenario together.
It?s Sunday morning. The volunteer coordinator spills a carafe of coffee on the new carpet in the lobby. The pastor happens to walk through at that moment and publicly ridicules them for not paying more attention. With unnecessary volume, he reminds them that this carpet is brand new and, stating the obvious, makes sure they know it needs to be cleaned up immediately. At that moment he sees a guest across the lobby and rushes over to greet them warmly with a smile and a pastoral side-hug.
So this may or may not have happened to you before, but is there incongruence in the way we interact with our guests and the way we treat our team members?
Unfortunately circumstances like this one are not hypothetical in our churches. Are they? In some cases, they are infrequent missteps and can be forgiven easily. In many cases though, they are chronic occurrences that ultimately drive staff and church members away.
If you see this pattern in your life and leadership, please stop and reflect on how it is affecting those around you. It is tempting to use excuses like, ?This is just my leadership style.? or ?It?s just the way I am.? But don?t fool yourself. It?s simply unaddressed?immaturity.
Make no mistake: Everyone around you pays the price for your unaddressed immaturity.[quote]Make no mistake: Everyone around you pays the price for your unaddressed immaturity.[/quote]
We all have areas of immaturity in which we need to grow, but it is the areas that we refuse to courageously address that become problematic. That is why I specifically refer to unaddressed immaturity.
Integrity and Trust
If you boil the issue down, it has everything to do with two things: integrity and trust.
A lack of integrity is a glaring sign of immaturity.
The word integrity comes from the Latin word integer, which means ?whole?. In math, integers are whole numbers. They are not fractioned. In the same way, having integrity of character means that you are one person?no matter the scenario. The same core character and values guide your actions in every relationship. There is no separation between your public and private character.[quote]There is no separation between your public and private character.[/quote]
This is stating the obvious, right? But we still see too many of the?private and public lives of church leaders not matching up. We still hear of and experience prominent pastors thrashing their staff members in meetings or using a microphone to call people out for their mistakes. Even further, we still hear crushing news like pastors? names appearing on the Ashley Madison list. A lack of integrity can destroy your influence and relationships.
Unaddressed immaturity is a major roadblock to cultivating trust.[quote]Unaddressed immaturity is a major roadblock to cultivating trust.[/quote]
You need to create the conditions on your team where trust can be cultivated. Where there is trust, there is safety. People feel safe to express their opinions and even make mistakes.
Leaders, can we please be done with making an example of a team member in front of the whole staff? You have to stop doing this. No, it?s not okay to say that it is just the way you are. This is a dangerous area of immaturity that can destroy trust in your organization. Until you address this it will be a concrete lid on your leadership. God did not place you in leadership to bring shame upon people but to lead them out from under it.
Embrace The Challenge Of Maturing
At the end of the day, we are all broken people trying to lead others to walk with Christ.
We will lead imperfectly.
We will make fools of ourselves publicly.
We will have moments we that we are not proud of.
We will say errant words we wish we could take back.
We will hurt people.
It is inevitable.
It is part of being humans who lead other humans.
But let?s fight against doing these things unnecessarily. Let?s make sure there is integrity and trust in our treatment of every person.[quote]Let?s make sure there is integrity and trust in our treatment of every person.[/quote]
Whatever you do in leadership, embrace the challenge of maturing in it,?and remember your first guests are your staff and team members. They are visiting your leadership sphere every day. Before you produce sermons, training manuals, new programs, or anything else, you?produce a leadership product. Those you lead are your consumers. Ask yourself these important questions about your leadership product.
Does your leadership product nourish integrity and trust?
What kind of taste does it leave in their mouths?
Do an experiment for a week. Try treating your team members like your first time guests. Give them that level of kindness, patience, and care and see what kind of difference it makes.