I know the pressures and complications of these supervisors' jobs. I just left their role to assume this one. My crew accomplished more in less time than others in the state. Legally I couldn't say "The Lord did this..." but He did. He had to flip my priorities. I started off the planning for this role with the mission and vision first! I am an intentional goal oriented person. I love people; but I can get caught up in the mission and put people second.
This time the Lord caught my attention early and I made sure each of the 20 people under me knew I had listened to them; I knew some of their main needs; I had observed their strengths and I praised them often for their accomplishments. When necessary I quietly and privately suggested ways to improve their work. But I made sure I let them know they were the power that was needed to accomplish the important work.
Last night I shared with these committed conscientious leaders to take a breath on the mammoth task before them. Regroup and flip their priorities and focus on the people. We took the majority of our time together to identify what mattered most to the workers and we developed strategies to keep those issues running smoothly. I know the lagging numbers of production are going to turn into soaring numbers of great work.
When any of us know we
- are noticed as important
- belong to the group
- appreciated for our contributions
- are backed up by leadership
- our work is significant
- our voice is heard
we will work hard and carefully. Then we want the team to succeed and we hope our leaders look good to management.
Attending this meeting were some experts from a regional office. One of them told me later that everything I mentioned and focused on have been found to be the most significant motivators for this agency's workers. She mentioned no one had ever "packaged" it the way I did, but she thought this focus I chose for my leaders: people matter; then they will own the mission and see to it that it is accomplished....was easily understood and should work well.
The Lord is showing me how Jesus Christ poured Himself into 12 disciples. He could have poured Himself into 100; a thousand or more. He is God! But He listened and worked with 12. He knew those men better than anyone else knew any one of them. Are we not to look to Him and then emulate His work?
I've missed the main thing many times by putting community work for the poor; church work for the Kingdom of God; etc. as the first priority. Oh, to have known that the people embracing the vision were the main thing for me as a leader to show them:
They mattered to me
They belonged to our group
I would always have time to listen to them
Their input was key to accomplishing the goals.