For the past 28 seasons I have been a loyal Survivor fan. (Don’t judge me!) Every season I learn so many lessons about life and leadership by watching people navigate the game of Survivor. I’m behind this season so I just started to watch on the CBS App on my iPad. This year they broke tribes into brains, brawn, and beauty…it’s a pretty brilliant idea. What I watched this first episode was the brains team stall and break into dysfunction because of one critical factor…they would not work together. With so many brilliant leaders and thinkers in one group there was very little humility and teamwork to go around.
I wonder if this happens with our leadership in our ministry context? Are we too smart for our own good? Has our experience and knowledge blinded us to humility, patience, and teamwork?
When you look at scripture and you read the Gospels you see over an over that the religious leaders of Jesus day were blinded by their own intelligence. The Pharisees knew the Old Testament Scriptures, they new the law, but they could not see the hope Jesus was bringing. Their wisdom, intelligence, and desire for influence blinded them to the ways of Jesus. As you read the Gospels you start wondering how they could have missed what was right in front of them.
I believe leaders are learners. I’m always working through a book, reading blogs, and listening to pod-casts in order to be a better leader. I also know I have to be careful to not allow my experience and knowledge become a stumbling block from humbly listening and learning to others. As a leader I have to continually repeat these ideas to myself over and over…
I don’t have all the answers.
Most meetings I’m not the smartest person in the room.
If I’m going to learn from others I have to ask questions and actually listen.
My idea might not be what God wants for the church/ministry I lead.
Just because it worked at another church does not mean it will work at my church.
The church/ministry wins when the best ideas win regardless of who thought of them.
I can easily be blinded to problems in the organization I lead.
I will be the last to want to change something I have invested in and created.
When others have different ideas it’s not a personal attack on my leadership.
When we are open to good ideas from others we have a better shot at discovering the best idea for the organization.
As I remind myself of these truths over and over I have a better shot of not allowing my experience or intelligence to hinder innovation. What are some strategies you use to ensure the best ideas win in your organization?