by Troy Page, The Unstuck Group
Through the years, I have attended literally hundreds of staff meetings. Sometimes they are encouraging, fun and energizing while other times they can be heavy, frustrating and discouraging. Often in these meetings there are intense discussions followed by big decisions and a strategic plan of attack. Most of the time, the senior pastor puts his stamp of approval on everything.
Guess what? Sometimes I don’t agree with what has been decided and/or don’t like the impact it may have on my team or volunteers. There have been many times that I have walked out of these meetings sweating over the potential fallout. Yet as the number two guy, it is my responsibility to execute what has been decided whether I like it or not. In these situations, I have a decision to make. Will I embrace it and make the decision my own, or will I pass the buck and blame the pastor in order to save face and/or avoid confrontation?
Nothing irritates me more as a leader than when one of my team members deals with a difficult issue and blames me as the bad guy rather than simply owning the decision. A true leader with a heart for unity will take a bullet for his pastor or supervisor. As a staff member, part of my job is to bear the ministry burdens and protect my pastor from the stress and conflict of unpopular decisions. The last thing a staff member should say to those he leads is, “Pastor Bob wants everyone to…” Rather, a great staff member says, “As a ministry team, here is where we are headed, trust me on this and help me by…” A great number two staff owns the unpopular decisions and establishes himself as the leader in this situation. Here are a few positive results of “owning it.”
- Communicates “I’ve got your back” to the senior pastor.
- Creates a greater sense of trust in your ability to boldly lead through difficult circumstances.
- Establishes your authority as the buck stopper. The last thing you want people to do is subvert your authority, go around you, and try to manipulate the situation.