“What should we do?” We think of this as a central leadership question. It’s a question that focuses on making the right decision. And while the ultimate choice between several options is important, I believe a different question is just as important: “How will we decide what to do?”
The latter question focuses on the process by which the decision will be made. And process matters. If people perceive a process to be flawed or unfair, their attitude toward the decision will be tainted, regardless of the outcome. If people understand the process, they are much more likely to accept the decision that emerges, even if it wasn’t their preference.
When the process is defined and communicated well, others in the church or ministry will understand:
- Who is making the decision
- Why these people are making the decision (What gives them this authority? How were they chosen?)
- How others will be involved, if at all (e.g., a survey to get input from the entire congregation)
- What criteria will be used in weighing different options and making the final decision
- How long the process is expected to take
A clear, well-defined process is most important for decisions that will take a long time or that could result in major directional changes. For example, spinning off campuses to be independent congregations, or selecting the next senior pastor.
For leaders who make decisions intuitively, or those who tend to be impatient, the effort to clarify process may seem painful and unnecessary. And while there are examples of people who simply lead through charisma and strength of personality, with little regard for process, there are many others who have crashed into a wall of resistance because process was lacking. So pay attention to process – it really does matter.
It’s easy to receive my blogs by email. Just sign-up on Feedburner by clicking here.