When you drive up to the parish office and walk inside, what responsibilities are on your mind? For many parish leaders, it’s their overflowing email inbox, the projects they didn’t finish last week, or the latest fires that have popped up to be put out.
It’s normal enough to be preoccupied with the task-related needs of our work. But, for a leader, this picture is incomplete. Often, parish leaders think that their primary responsibility is for the strategy, budgets, and operations of the parish. While these things are needed and important, an effective leader recognizes that their greatest area of influence is not in accomplishing tasks, but rather in forming people.
Many leaders prefer the safety of their desk to the messy, unpredictable, and often difficult nature of investing consistently in their staff and key volunteers. When this happens, dysfunction, confusion, and mediocrity set in in a parish office and cause frustration for all.
A truly influential leader walks into the office thinking about the people they are responsible for and the proactive steps they will take to serve them. Employees and volunteers are responsible for accomplishing tasks. Leaders are responsible for guiding, inspiring, and encouraging the people they serve.
- Make a short list of the people you need to invest in this week. Set a time for when you’ll connect with them and what you need to prioritize with them.
- What tasks are you intentionally setting aside in order to prioritize these relationships?