Leadership Question: What Is in Charge?

I have a leadership question. I recently led a workshop in a large banquet hall. I was invited in as the speaker. I was excited to be with this group. I knew of a few in the group who had been eagerly awaiting my presentation.

When I arrived, the hall was set with large round tables very far away from the podium and screen. I shared with the event organizer that the set-up wouldn’t work. Half the group would be seated with their backs to me. This seating arrangement wouldn’t allow for good dialogue as I made the presentation. I majored in hospitality, and this really bothered me.

She winced. Then proceeded to share why she couldn’t ask the event staff to change the set-up without a huge fight. So, I started to change the set-up myself, only to be told that I couldn’t do that. We had to leave the set-up as it was.

So, who is in charge? Not the speaker, not the event organizer. Unfortunately, not even the guests are in charge in this situation. In this situation, it is the support staff who run the show.

Who is in charge where you are? Or maybe better, what is in charge?

Here’s a leadership question to get your wheels spinning. Are you the church leaders who only talk about mundane issues like whether the coffee is good or whether to pay the organist an additional $10 per month? Maybe you just talk about how far behind the budget you are.

Or, are you an organization that launches new programs because your program director thinks would be fun, not because the market you serve needs the program offered? Or, do you just offer what the marketing department says it can make work, even if it isn’t fully aligned with your mission?

The strategic plan needs to be in charge.

Whether you are a church, a hospital, a camp, or a Fortune 500 company, the strategic plan should guide you. For faith-based organizations, in the planning you should welcome God’s guidance and then follow it as the plan is implemented. Your plan comes from your mission, which is to serve your market as best you can. Your plan makes sure that your support staff are focused on what is most important − your mission.