Smart things Andy Said...

Tony Morgan's blog is one of the forty or so blogs I read every day on bloglines. It's one of my favorites, because Tony posts regularly, creatively, and with some degree of wisdom - three things I fail to do with regular frequency.

Several months ago, Tony posted a series of live posts from the Drive conference at North Point Community Church entitled "Smart things Andy Said." "Andy," of course was Andy Stanley, the Senior Pastor of North Point.

Today, Andy was the featured speaker at a day-long conference here in Dallas that the adult team from Fellowship attended. I originally thought I'd post a "Smart things Andy Said" post like Tony's, but my I figured it would make me look like I was trying to be like Tony (Not that there's anything wrong with that...) But instead, I want to camp out on one of the smart things Andy said, and wax eloquently about it.

The topic was "When Less is More," a topic that Andy talks a lot more about in his book "The Next Generation Leader." As a part of that conversation, Stanley makes the point that great leaders should, "Within the context of your current [leadership] responsibilities and core competencies, only do what only you can do."

The illustration was perfect: "I can juggle 3 balls, but not 4. When I try to juggle 4 and bobble one, I drop them all - not just the one I added."

Pastors are notorious for trying to juggle too many balls at one time. And unfortunately, boards of Elders are notorious for adding more and more balls to the mix and then firing pastors when their preaching isn't like it used to be.

What is it about your particular sphere of influence that only you can do? Another way to say it might be to ask, "How has God uniquely gifted you to serve His specific purpose at this time and place in history?" What about your staff?

But the question of what only we can do is not the hard question to answer. The hard question is, "Am I currently occupying space in an area that God has created someone else to do more effectively?"

There is nothing more frustrating as a leader than knowing you have the capacity to lead, knowing what needs to be done, but seeing some other leader who has tremendous leadership capacity in a different area screwing up an area that was custom made for you. And yet, there's nothing more tempting as a leader to get your hands in everyone else's business. After all - maybe they don't own the vision as well as you do. Maybe they won't do things the same way you would do them. Get the best people you can possibly find on a task, and let them do what they do. You wouldn't want them with their fingers all over your specific area of influence, would you?

So, as a leader, don't be the guy standing in everyone else's way. If you believe in a big God who has created little people to do big things - let them do what God has created them to do... even if means they won't do it as well as you. Even if it means they do it better than you.

One of the most important things we can do as leaders is learn that even though we have authority to act in an area, we may not have the expertise.

That's a smart thing Andy said...


GUNNY said...

That Andy's a sharp guy. I was never exposed to any of his stuff until Monday at a CCL conference at DTS.

Smart things Andy said there as well.