Knowing Who You Are Not

So yesterday, the staff of Fellowship Cabot got away for a day and did some planning.  The process at Fellowship is planning in the spring for a ministry year that runs with the school year (sort of) from July to June.  During this time, we talked about things that went well the last 12 months, things we could improve upon and then began to look ahead to next year.  We did this for about 8 hours.

I am going to let you in on a secret (which is really no secret if you know me at all).  I don’t really care for meetings.  I am not what you would call a “planner.”  So “planning” + “meeting” *8 hours = long day.  I love our staff.  I love our church, but the all day planning meeting is tough.

Here is the thing though, I called the meeting.  This was my idea.  I looked at our staff a couple of weeks ago, told them why we needed to do this.  We put it on the calendar and had the meeting yesterday.  This is my responsibility, and we did it.

However, I know that this is not my strength.  I know that.  Furthermore, not only do I know that, but I am also able to admit it…out loud…to my staff…and to the world (and by world, of course, I mean the 8 people who read this).  I have no problem at all admiting to you that this is a weakness.  I do not want to pretend otherwise.  What good do I do myself or the church if I pretend that I am the total package?  The answer is none.  In fact, I can do a lot of harm.  Important things will not get done and if done, will not get done well.

So what do I do?  The first step is admiting the weakness.  Then I look to surround myself with other leaders who are good at the thing with which I struggle.  Then I let them lead me.  Milk-a-what?  That’s right I have people that are technically my staff, where I am “the boss” and I let them lead me.   Scott Monnahan is far and away a better organizational leader.  You should have seen the color coded charts.  You should have seen the pieces of paper that he had taped all over the room.  It was beautiful.  You could have given me a month and limitless resources and maybe I could have done what he did.  He did it out of his back pocket.  Why would I not let him lead out during the detailed portions of our day yesterday?

I tell you why not, because I am an insecure leader who is intimidated by other people’s strengths and feel the need to pretend to the world that I am excellent at everything.  News flash: I am not excellent at everything.  News flash:  neither are you.

Know who you are.  Know who you are not.  Surround yourself with great leaders who are better than you.  Then watch your team conquer all the challenges that are put before you.  If you’re lucky, you might even get to see something as cool as this:

Scott Monnahan and a color-coded flow chart.  Sweet!


7 Responses to “Knowing Who You Are Not”
  1. Megan says:

    Eight readers! That’s up from seven from last week, isn’t it? Progress! Besides, your 8 are way more comment-y than my 20.

  2. cloften says:

    With any luck, we will be up to 10 by 2012.

  3. Aaron Reddin says:

    Great post! Thanks for being authentic. Don’t stop doin’ what you do dude!!

  4. Ben Ghormley says:

    Great word Charlie…feel privileged to be one of the eight or possibly the ninth to be fed by your blog:)

  5. TVance says:

    Great post CLoften. One of the greatest barriers to progress in organizations can be the inability of leaders to use people’s strengths effectively. Pride and/or insecurity are often the impediments to freeing all followers to do their best. When everyone is free to contribute from a position of strength and the leader holds followers accountable for their unique contribution then positive momentum begings to build. Luv it!

  6. Stephanie Fain says:

    I agree with your post here. All too often there is one or maybe even three doing the work of 10 who could do it more efficiently and effectively if only egos were not in the way.

    Ok, I like the way you put it CLoften. So I’m steppin’ out!

    By the way, it’s my first time here.

    See ya

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