Leadership would be so easy if it didn’t come with problems.
If all we had to do was cast a vision and everybody got in line, we’d all be succeeding without stressing.
Here’s the issue. Leaders are meant to solve problems, and problems don’t fix themselves. Your leadership value is directly connected to your ability to identify and solve problems others can’t.
Now, leaders come in all shapes and sizes. I am sure you’ve encountered bad, good, and great leaders. Let’s identify what separates the bad from the great.
You can probably guess what a bad leader does.
They are unable to identify problems and fix them. They often blame their problems on external sources and can’t push their teams to the next level.
A good leader can identify problems and fix them. They can’t always fix problems for the long haul, though.
So what’s a great leader…let’s unpack it.
There will never be a moment in your leadership, whether you’re leading your family or leading a church, where there’s only one problem. A great leader can prioritize problems and know what to give attention to, to gain the biggest reward.
Ready to be a great leader… here are 5 steps to get you started:
Step 1: Identify the Problems
What’s not working, what’s causing pain and frustration, and what’s inhibiting your organization from growing or accomplishing the vision?
Step 2: Dig Deep. Understand the ins and outs of the problems.
Often, we see a problem, and we make a knee-jerk reaction. But we haven’t asked enough questions or done enough research.
It’s essential to autopsy every problem you face. What was the cause of death? Who was involved? What was the cause of this problem? There will always be multiple causes of one problem.
Step 3: Create a System to Eradicate the Problem.
Let me give you a simple example in the church setting.
Let’s say someone completed our membership class, and our goal is to get them into our volunteer system as soon as possible. However, for some reason, people are leaving our membership class without knowing if they are part of a volunteer team.
We need a system that can help achieve the goal.
That system could look like they fill out a volunteer interest form at the end of the membership class that gets inputed online and sent to our leaders.
The leaders are then notified automatically and know to contact the interested person. At the volunteer interview, the leader can pull up the form online and make notes to it and also ensure that the interested person has taken every step of the membership class.
Once the system is created, it’s crucial to train people to run it ( we often forget this part). A good system without great people to execute it will never produce great results.
Step 4: Tweak the System
The first version of your system will never be the best. It’s like our phones, updates change so often. You can go from update 13.0 to 13.1 in less than a month. Because, even with the millions of dollars of research put into the phone, there is always room for improvement. And it’s not until it’s tested in the hands of real people that the company realizes what was missed. The same goes for your systems. The first version of your system is insufficient to completely fix the problem.
Step 5: Set Metrics & Track the Data
Back to our membership class example…
Out of the number of people that come out of our membership class, the goal is to get 70% of them on a volunteer team. Once that metric is set, it is tracked on a regular basis, monthly at a minimum.
So now we can go back and check; hey, what was the transition rate this year, this month? 85%. Oh, we’re doing excellent—55%. Oh, we’ve got to look at that. Maybe something’s off in the system or how it’s being executed.
If you don’t set a metric that dictates the health of an area, you’ll never be able to glance at it and see if it is working.
These five steps don’t include all the ways a problem should be reviewed, but it’s a great start.
Remember, great leaders prioritize and create solutions for the long haul.
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