Healthy leaders understand who helped them, who supported them, and who got them to the victory that they are reveling in now. I seek to create teams. I seek to build people and create processes. Interestingly enough, when I have a victory, it is never a victory that I have won on my own. Only a fool would think such a thing. When we have a victory, there were certainly dozens of people who actually made this happen. Ministry is not a solo event. Ministry is a team sport.
Think for a moment of the actress who stands up at the award ceremony after being handed a gold statue for her contribution in a movie. Although it is somewhat annoying to the rest of us, these actors and actresses could go on for hours and hours for who was involved in making this opportunity a realization for them. This actress wins an award but there were hundreds of people who did their part in order to make this opportunity a reality for this actress. In the same way, if you sit in a position of leadership, don’t be fooled into thinking that your victories have been achieved exclusively by your efforts. It’s simply not true. It takes a team.
When you win, look out the window and congratulate and celebrate the contributions of all. Conversely, when you fail, look in the mirror. Now that is a hard one because it is super easy to point blame out at the crowd and point an accusing finger to say they didn’t do their job. What good is that going to do you? Rather, what if you were to look in the mirror and say why didn’t they do their job? Did they have the resources that they needed? Did they have the adequate instructions from me, the leader? Did they have the type of relationship and vision from me, the leader, that would cause them to want to labor and execute on this task? Typically, when things have not gone well and I look in the mirror, it is very clear where I had let the process down and I have let the system fail because of my lack of engagement and lack of involvement.
When it doesn’t go well, look in the mirror. Could you have been more clear in your instructions? Could you have spent more time articulating the vision to a time strapped volunteer? Could you have created a better timeline that was more realistic? At the end of the day when it doesn’t go well, where should the blame fall? Well, honestly, it should fall to the leader. If I am honest, humble, and transparent enough, I can have a tremendous opportunity for growth through self reflection and through looking in the mirror.
When a victory happens, look out the window at the team that supported and surrounded you for this victory. When it fails, look in the mirror and assess how you could have lead in a more expeditious way.