Church, Leadership

Here’s To The Pros

In a meeting yesterday I twitched with the unexpressed urge to insist on things I urgently felt needed attention. Something about one of the people in that meeting gave me pause, though. There was an attention, an ease, a control they projected over our work. I kept my mouth shut and watched.

By the end of the meeting, my urgent items had been addressed, and more thoroughly and appropriately than they would have been if I had thrown them into the agenda. The person I had my eye on got to them, calmly and capably.

Relax. You work with professionals. People who aren’t in your head have their own experience of the things that trouble you, and they’re just as committed to doing good work as you are. Letting other people work on your stuff is like riding in the backseat of your own car while someone else drives–you feel powerless, even irresponsible–but how difficult is driving, anyway? This driver’s probably steered more precious cars than yours. Strap in and enjoy the ride.

You better believe there will be intersections of disagreement where your collaboration will hang on communication and negotiation. There are a lot of green lights and straight roads too, though. Enjoy those and be thankful.

Here’s to the pros.



Church, Leadership

Dazzling Is A Form of Hiding

Keeping your mouth shut after an unimpressive introduction to someone protects you in two ways: 1) It guards you against being a jerk, and 2) it keeps your mind open to the impressive work they’ve yet to show you.

The best kind of impressive reveals itself over time, and not all in one showing like spectacle. We aim to impress with persistence, resilience, and growth more than with dazzling displays of skill, because dazzling is a form of hiding.

Likewise, we work with people more than once before writing them off. Our vision is limited, and we seek after our own image, which blinds us to ability we don’t share. So we stick it out a couple of times, so that people we don’t know can shine in ways we’re not apt to notice, and we trust that they’re doing the same for us.