In order to become a great leader you must learn to make things better in your organization. The first way to start to make things better is to ask great questions. Great questions lead to better answers and more clarity about the true and current status of your organization. Once you have true and clear picture, you will have a better chance of plotting a course of action that will improve and grow your church, non-profit, or business.
As a church consultant, I have audited many church financial balance sheets. The audit process can often feel painful to staff members, but it is necessary to insure organizational health.
In the same way, leaders must audit their ministries, systems, and models. Why? Ministry auditing makes things better.
Andy Stanley, of North Point Community Church offers six questions that every leader should ask on a regular basis. These are great questions.
- “Do I have the right people at the table? Do I have the right people who are informed to make the right decisions?”
I like this question because without the right people, you really have nothing. The wrong people in the wrong positions always lead to the wrong decisions and the wrong results. If you manage others in your organization, you must ask if you have the right people in the right positions.
- “Where are we manufacturing energy? Where are we pretending? Where are we trying to convince people to go to that we don’t want to go to ourselves?”
There is a difference between buzz and hype. Buzz means that there is a groundswell of interest. Hype means that somebody is trying to sell others on being interested. In your organization, you want buzz. You want people to want to do the ministry activities. You must regularly guard against yourself and your other staff from trying to make things happen that just don’t have genuine interest.
- “Where do I make the greatest contribution to the organization?”
This question leads you to self-evaluation. Let’s face it: you’re not really good at everything. Don’t believe me? Just ask your spouse. You must stay in your lane. Every good leader knows their strengths and their weaknesses. Stay in your lane and make the biggest contribution you can.
- “Who’s not keeping up?”
Every organization has people who are ahead and behind. Nobody likes to be behind. However, when we fail to evaluate who is not keeping up we are discrediting the work of those who do. I’m not saying you have to automatically fire people who don’t keep up with you, but you do need to be aware and take appropriate action.
- “What have we fallen in love with that is no longer…? What have we become emotionally attached to that no longer belongs? What is our way but is no longer the best way to…?”
Just because the rotary phone used to be a good idea, doesn’t mean you have to keep using it today. Every system and ministry in your church was at one time a good idea. However, your church is not a history museum or an art museum. It is a living and breathing group of people. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it works for today. Organizational leaders need to be rigorous in their evaluation of their systems, ministries, and models regardless of how in love they are or used to be.
- “What would a great leader do?”
I like this question because it allows leaders to step outside of themselves and to imagine and dream what somebody else might do. This process often frees mental roadblocks and allows a leader to think clearly and creatively about how to move forward.
For more from Andy Stanley, check out: www.insidenorthpoint.org.