Have you ever taken a leadership position and wondered where, or how to start? Has it been a straightforward, “Let’s get the job done” or maybe it’s “Let’s get in and see what we’ve got” before making any changes?
I’ve thought and done both before. Usually I’m the “Let’s see what we have” kind of person before anything else. I like to know what’s going on before making any changes and it seems to have worked decently up to this point. Yes, there have been some things that have gone slower than should have because of that approach, but it’s where I’m comfortable.
I’m taking a leadership position as a worship pastor. I’m going to be influencing people. And I know none of them. This honestly scares me. I really have no idea where the best place to start is. Do I push vision? change systems? recruit musicians and tech people? This can really be a daunting task for an introvert such as myself
However, the more I study leadership, the more I realize that the people we are leading are far more important than whatever it is we are doing. Especially when it comes to ministry, well because, ministry is all about people. Without people, there would be no need for any ministry.
I recently read through John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and came across what he calls the Law of Buy-In. Basically, what he says here is that people will follow you because of what you do for them, before they follow the vision or system you are trying to implement. Maxwell says it this way,
“As a leader, your success is measured by your ability to actually take the people where they need to go. But you can do that only if the people first buy into you.”
What he’s saying is that, the people I lead are going to follow more willingly and loyally if I spend time and invest in them. If we as leaders take time to add value to the lives of our followers, then they will follow along by buying into the vision of the organization. But first they need to buy into us.
So yes, it may seem even slower this way, to invest in people first and then move onto changing things. Some changes may need to happen fast, but significant changes will have more buy-in from the followers if you first invest in their lives.
So leader, are you investing or adding value to the people you lead?