Over the years I have played a lot of sports, I have also found myself officiating many games. I can watch their eyes and tell you if they have any experience or have a chance at being successful. When an official is under the goal and the ball is shot- their eyes should remain on the players not on the goal or ball (that is another officials job). Often, new officials watch the ball and miss the fouls and physical contact under the goal. They must learn and discipline themselves to watch for illegal contact and not the ball going through the net.
So what does this have to do with leading?
Glad you asked, leaders must be trained or train themselves to give their attention to the physical contact and not just the score (know what to pay attention to). Often times, leaders focus on the wrong thing and their job or ministry fails as a result. Let me get real specific, the challenge we face on Sunday at church is huge. So many things going on – what do I need to focus on? If we give attention to or measure the wrong things we find ourselves becoming a slave to things we have no control over.
I find it incumbent upon leaders to insure the win is clearly defined (Andy Stanley wrote a great book about it) for themselves and every leader. For example, attendance matters but on Sunday you cannot define a win merely as a number- because on any given Sunday you cannot influence that number (during the week – sure, but not on Sunday). So if it rains, snows or is a low attendance Sunday, and we look at attendance boost our sense of a win, we feel defeated.
I suggest executables!
Executables look like this: What are 3-5 things you can make happen this Sunday that you feel would make it a win? These are things you can affect not things God is responsible for. Then after a Sunday you and your team can look at your executables and see how you did. Can you see where this leads? If you help your team decide on personal executables they can experience the same sense of completion and significance. By the way, make sure the leader has input in the executables of those they lead or else you may find people focusing on the wrong thing.