Monday, February 19, 2018

Leadership Quality- Administrative

Earlier this month I wrote on the four indispensable qualities of a leader. You can read that post here.

When you look at good leaders you find they have three of these qualities. They are good communicators, are administrative and relational. But if you are looking for a great leader they are going to line up these qualities in such a way to have humility stuck right in the middle to hold their leadership together.

When I first think of an administrative person I think of some of the phenomenal people I've worked with. I wouldn't consider myself veery administrative but I would consider myself organized. When I was a student ministry pastor my pastor once said, "Neal, look at your desk compared to mine. You are organized. You clean your desk every day before you leave the office."

Have you ever worked with or around someone who is anything but administrative or organized? They can't make an appointment on time? Their desk looks like a small tornado hit and their car hasn't been washed in six months? It just looks like their life is haphazardly happening around them.

Here are three things I've noticed about people who are administratively minded and organized.

They manage their time well

When I first started in ministry I had no clue how to manage my time. Someone would ask for help and I'd do it. A call would come and I'd drop everything to meet the person's needs. People loved how much I was helping them, but it wasn't helping my personal life. One night, at youth group, I asked a leader for help with something I had completely dropped the ball on. She looked at me and said, "Neal, don't make your failure to plan my problem."

I didn't know how to manage my time. It wasn't till I was 29 that I really dove into this. Sophie was nine months old, my work responsibilities increased and I was in seminary. I met with a guy named Bill Randall who took an interest in my life. He helped me manage my time well and it was a game changer for me. I'm not one who likes to plan ahead but I was sick of people calling me at 12:15pm to see if I would make our lunch appointment.

They keep their personal world organized 

My inability to manage my time well spilled over, (probably better to say, rushed over) into my personal life. There was one night I came home for dinner. Charity was done and my food was cold. Charity reminded me that I said I'd be home around 5pm and it was 6:30pm. My personal world was in distress because I couldn't say "no" to other things.

In my short 38 years on this planet I've learned that administrative people know how to keep their personal world in order. Most of them have a routine for sleeping. Many of them eat healthy and make healthy lifestyle choices. They do their taxes on time because they know a paycheck is coming. They keep their bills paid and life isn't a constant mess for them.

When I was younger I had my desk organized but not really my personal world. Growing up was a quick process for me and I had to learn a ton. As you think about being administrative make a point to plan things out. Have a mental, or written, check list of what needs to be accomplished. Be mindful with your time and plan for margin incase somethings goes wrong.

They think about the future

This probably goes without saying, but administrative people are thinking about what is coming next.  I am more of a dreamer. I have great ideas (and horrible ones). I like to think about the future and so do administrative people. I've had many meetings with people who know that the next camp, vision meeting or sermon series is coming. They may not have all the details but they know it's coming. They want to be prepared and help make it a success.

When you think administratively and live an organized life you actually help out those around you. An example in my current setting is this; I currently have a solid plan for the next four months of preaching. After that I have a penciled in plan for the next four months; we will probably do it and its getting more figured out. For the last four months of the year we have a fluid plan of what we're going  to preach on. For us to have this at set is going to be a huge help to our team. People can find creative ideas. We have time to figure out a graphics package for the sermon series. We can even dream about the stage design with time to spare!

Take some time today to plan the future with care. Seek the Lord in all these decisions. If you're not naturally administrative, you can learn. You might not want to exhibit all your energy to being administrative but I'm sure you can think of an area you can improve on.

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