Every leader knows that effective delegation is a crucial skill. Over time, even those leaders who like to control everything come to the realization that in order for their church or organization to function efficiently, they must learn how to delegate.
Here’s a parable about effective delegation.
I recently had a conversation with Steve Bruger, who leads the Church Leader Support Team at Church Community Builder. He was sharing a story about a church that was implementing our web based church management software in the midst of major tension. The executive pastor empowered a church leader with technical expertise to make the software decision and purchase, which he did.
But then tensions escalated, and that church leader left before implementing the system. No one else knew why the purchase was made or what the person hoped to accomplish by implementing the software.
You may or may not be surprised by the story, but we see this a lot while working alongside churches. Over time, you begin to realize that it is not just a symptom of poor technology decisions or implementation processes. In my opinion, it’s an exceedingly common and ineffective leadership move.
What separates a “good” delegator from a “great” one?
As leaders, we all know we should delegate. Good leaders know how to delegate and empower people to do more and help achieve the goals of our organization. The executive pastor in our parable was a good delegator. But he never gave the church leader a sense of the greater why behind the need for new church management software—nor did he effectively communicate any specific goals to meet by moving to a new system. This is where is his delegating skills ultimately failed.
Great leaders know that they have a responsibility to provide the vision behind what we want to see accomplished and establish the banks of the river to guide people down the stream in which our people need to operate.
Good leaders delegate responsibility, but great leaders don’t forget to clearly articulate the why behind those responsibilities and the desired outcomes or results.
When we do so, there will be a unified effort behind the initiative and no surprises (like the one Steve encountered) for the staff.
Leaders: What are some ways you communicate the why behind your delegated tasks? How have you seen it pay off?