When things aren't going well, effective leaders are the first to know it. A delusional wannabe leader may never come to the realization that the ground is approaching at an increasing rate of speed.
Leaders develop a following because of a trained sense of the reality of a situation. I don't believe a leader is born with this trait—it is developed in fire. Crusty, experienced leaders with a full cemetery of buried projects have a better feel in the midst of a free falling project.
Developing leaders can learn to identify and correct a failing project. In your next team meeting, perhaps a mini-training session could focus on these points:
1. "Be anxious for nothing." Pray for peace and wisdom to see the Achilles' heel of the project. Pray for all things hidden to be revealed. Pray for favor.
2. One thing. Look for the central issue. It's there. In the course of failure, fingers tend to point in every compass direction. We probably expend energy on red herrings. Visit fallacyfiles.org for more on the subject.
3. Find a change agent. The agent could be a tool, outside input or perhaps even a new hire. Find someone with a vision for the forest.
4. Forget the long-term. Engineer a short-term, quick fix. Don't be afraid to use a band-aid. Do something quickly to stop the dive.
5. Daily attention. It's not fun to confront poor metrics. Plan a daily, 5-minute huddle. What is the daily reality of the project? What can we do today?
I won't suggest "know when to quit" in this list. If God inspired the project, our mission is to complete the project with excellence.
One other point to consider is the voice of the project leader. In the midst of severe turbulence on a commercial airplane, the voice of the captain is reassuring.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain. We will be experiencing severe turbulence. Check your seat belts but know that we have been trained for a time such as this. We will land safely in just a few minutes."
The shepherd calms his sheep in the presence of a wolf.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.
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