I don’t think I have ever had an original thought. However, I have surrounded myself with great mentors and coaches over the course of my life...and I’m an avid reader. I’ve read hundreds of books!
One of my favorites is an oldy but a goody: Death By Meeting, by Patrick Lencioni. In this book, Lencioni talks about not trying to do EVERYTHING in EVERY MEETING. After I read this book, years ago, I decided to totally shake up our meeting structure. I decided to shorten meetings, and have one primary goal for each meeting. The following is what I came up with. I call it the five purposes of meetings:
Community requires consistency and proximity. Sure, we might hve able to plan the worship services through planning center and communicate through text and email, but if we are going to trust each other enough to fight with and for each other and have each other’s backs, we must have community. Sometimes a team just needs to get together with no agenda other than do life together. To build trust. To build the foundation on which every great team is built: relationships!
Every growing organization feels it. The number one challenge we face is communication. We need to make sure the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. People are DOWN ON WHAT THEY”RE NOT UP ON. I know of no faster way to boost morale and buy-in on a team, than to raise the level of communication between team members. So every day, ask yourself: “What needs to be communicated? To whom does it need to be communicated?” I made a promise years ago to never surprise my team with a decision. I would always communicate with them beforehand. They respected me for that. It also allowed me to expect that same privilege from them to me and the other team members.
Tactical meetings usually crowd out Strategic Meetings. That’s why I believe Strategic Meetings should always be separate meetings. There needs to be a place where the leader can sit in the midst of the rest of the leadership and say: “guys, here’s where I sense God could be taking us, what do you all think?” Then there needs to be ample time to chew on, process, dialogue and even debate the issue. I believe the best leaders are collaborative leaders. I believe the best decisions are always made in meetings...because more than one person is making the decision! A collaborative culture is the most prized culture by for real leaders. They don’t have to make all the decisions, they just want to have input.