Would your life change as a leader if you had more help? Seven years ago, I thought you only had to go before your team and tell them you had a position to fill and you’d get instant volunteers. I was wrong.
Many inexperienced leaders make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves. Common sense tells them that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This works for a while. The key phrase is a while. Eventually Lone Rangers get burned out or realize the importance of equipping others. Like someone once said, you are successful when you better yourself, but you become significant when you better others. Great leaders better others and one way they do that is by empowering them to use their God-given gifts.
But there’s a rub. Many people do not step up to fill available positions when they are asked to do so publicly. Sure someone may once in a while, especially if they’re looking for public recognition, but in most cases nobody will. Let me explain.
As a pastor, I’ve asked people from the pulpit to volunteer, only to hear crickets. There are probably a number of reasons why it happens this way. I’m not a psychology major. The reason this happens, in my opinion, is because when you do it this way, people assume the position you’re trying to fill could be filled by anyone. If it were special, they assume, you’d be looking for someone who is qualified, not just any old person.
What if there was an easier and more effective way?
Lets face it, when you need someone to do a job, you usually have a particular person in mind, don’t you? Rather than just asking anyone, talk with THAT person privately and make your proposal. The worse thing they’re going to say is No. If they do, you haven’t lost anything, in fact you’ve narrowed your search.
We could riff on this theme forever! Did you ask a roomful of people to marry you, or did you ask one? Do you ask all of your neighbors to borrow a tool, or only the one who has what you need?
You also don’t put an ad in the Want Ads when you need work done on your car, do you? No, you search the Net or call a friend and ask for references. To go a step further, if you needed brain surgery, I’m sure you’d do your research and find a Doctor with excellent credentials and references.
Rather than asking anyone and everyone, imagine what might happen if you gave someone a personal invitation to meet with you. Then, rather than making an impersonal request, imagine what might happen if you told them why you feel they are particularly qualified and asked them to join your team. There’s a difference between personal and impersonal invitations.
If you’ve repeatedly looked for help in performing the tasks you are faced with and had poor results recruiting people to help, imagine what might happen if this instantly changed overnight. It’s quite possible there are some who see you trying to do it all yourself and they are just waiting for you to ask them personally. So what do you have to lose?
The work you’re called to do is a great one, and having the right players in the right seats on the bus is of the utmost importance! Singling people out for promotion is not only important, but your responsibility as a caring leader. People are depending on your leadership.
I’m like you, I don’t know what happens when I turn my iPhone on, but I’m glad it does. The same is true of this powerful principle. You can influence people from a distance, but you have to get up close and personal if you’re going to make a lasting impact. So stop shooting at every duck in the flock and pick just one.