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It’s Not Personal

Posted on February 19, 2014 in General Ministry, Management, MMI, Volunteering | 0 comments

One of the biggest challenges in leadership is to be able to provide direction without people taking it personal. It is especially an issue when it comes to working in ministry. It is very important that leaders can be constructive with direction, critical or positive, so that no one every forget that it is all in the best interest of the organization.

Ministry work is very hard. One of the hardest parts is the issue dealing with providing direction while the organization is in the process of change. Change is hard. It's even harder when people were used to working within an environment of self-discipline or direction. The insertion of accountability and role requirements can set some people off in the wrong direction as they naturally assume its a personal attack on their previous performance. It may be related, but in most cases it just a matter of saying, “I know you used to do it this way, but we are not going to do like that moving forward.” It's called getting better at what you do.

We tell people often that 90% of leadership is personnel related. We cannot be afraid to tell it like it is and expect others to get past their own insecurities. Most people will respond favorably when challenged and kick it into gear and make things happen. Others may choose to go the other way and if so, we will make a change in the best interest of the organization. It doesn't mean these people are bad people, it may mean that their ability to adjust to change limits their opportunity to succeed in the organization and they need a fresh start. It's hard because most are really good people that you like, but it's also a necessary change that must occur for the organization to be successful.

The same can be said for people who volunteer. We love volunteers! They want to help the organization to move forward, but unfortunately, there will be times that a volunteer lacks the skills necessary to help the organization. A major flaw in ministry is that many leaders are not willing to tell the volunteer they need to volunteer somewhere else. It's hard, but in the end, they don't want to harm the organization they have volunteered to help. You are doing more harm letting them not help, than you are telling them the truth.

There are great people in every organization. Some can handle anything thrown at them, others struggle when the stress level ramps up with change. If they can't handle the pressure, its in the best interest of everyone to have them move on and get people that can. It's not personal, but the organization must position itself to achieve all that's possible.