Reblog: You can’t be a leader unless you…

make decisions.
In the end, that’s the basic things leaders need to do… They might do it with their team, or without their team – but that’s one of the decisions they make. Heck, they might even decide to ask for a vote.
Leaders need to make decisions because, in the end, they are responsible for what got decided.
Some leaders are really people orientated, and they are great at relationships, and building teams. Others are very task orientated and take a humans-as-resources approach. But the mistake is to think that the former don’t make decisions, while the later do.
If you’re a leader who’s good at building relationships easily and “getting people on board”, you’re still the decision maker. But chances are you’re guiding people to want the same thing you’ve already decided. That’s not bad, but there’s a danger to be easily avoided; they might “want” what you want, but they know it’s not their decision – and they don’t think you’ve made a decision (because you keep talking about it) – so nothing actually happens.
So don’t just go and make a heap of decisions… rather, ask the question, “Have I communicated my decision clearly?”

Reblog: You are, by God’s design, a decision making machine

1Cor 3 reminds us that we don’t actually make disciples, we don’t actually make people change or grow. God makes those things happen, by his Spirit. But we do make decisions – that God uses.
I don’t just mean that we decide what we say or do. As leaders we make significant decisions about projects and people. Every time we’re faced with an issue in ministry, or an opportunity arrives before us; we are forced to make a decision. And that single decision will have a huge number of consequences and outcomes – many of which you can’t foresee.
This is an important aspect of GTD; it forces you to decide what your next action is for a project.
Don’t underestimate the importance if this. You are, by God’s design, a decision making machine.
What are the decisions on your plate at the moment?
What decisions are you putting off?
What are the projects that are just sitting there – stagnant – because you need to make a decision about it?

Define what TYPE of conversation you’re having

What type of conversation are we having? Because if you think we’re having a “Let’s come to an agreement before we move on anything” conversation, and I think we’re having a “tell me your ideas, perspectives, issues with my plans and I’ll decide” conversation, then chances are both of us are going to miscommunicate a great deal and have to come back and talk this all out all over again.

So stop talking, and make clear the TYPE of conversation you’re having. It’ll save hours of painful untangling conversations in the future.

And don’t we all want to avoid those?

A different definition of coaching

Another Manager-tools concept that’s been helpful… taking the idea of a sports coach, who kinda’ walks around and keeps pushing players forward. He’s not the guy who trains you in how to tackle or pass, there are trainers for that. The coach calls you aside and says, “Son, let’s talk about your game. What are you going to work on this year? Are you going for a first stringer position, or are you content in the 2nd grade team?”

It’s pretty american, but there’s something good there. It’s empowering people to make decisions, work out a plan, stick to it, and see through to the results.

I’ve tried something like this a few times. It’s gone well. I’ve asked guys what they think they would like to do. I’ve asked them how they think they’re going to make that happen. And as we’ve caught up, I’ve asked them where they’re up to. What stage are they at? What do they need to do next? Who do they need to call?

One guy even started calling me “coach”!