Issue No. 153 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features a spiritual leadership classic. At your next staff meeting, ask a team member to read and review it for a future meeting. Why? “Read to re-fill the wells of inspiration,” wrote Harold J. Ockenga, who took a suitcase full of books on his honeymoon. (Yikes!) And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Enmeshed in Secondary Detail
“There is no virtue in doing more than our fair share of work,” writes J. Oswald Sanders in his oft-quoted classic, Spiritual Leadership. Referencing the delegation counsel from Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, Sanders adds, “Moses could doubtless have done the task better than the 70 men whom he selected, but had he persisted in doing so, he would soon have been only a memory."
My buckets-leaning heart was blessed to know that Oswald Sanders included a chapter on “The Art of Delegation” in this masterpiece on spiritual leadership. (See the Delegation Bucket chapter in my book.) So…what’s the spiritual issue at play in effective delegation? “It is a mistake to assume more duties than we can adequately and satisfactorily discharge,” he warns. “It is good to be able to recognize and accept our own limitations.” Leaders who have spiritual depth have delegation depth also.
Sanders cautions us that the person who is “in a place of leadership who fails to delegate is enmeshed in a morass of secondary detail that not only overburdens him but deflects him from his primary responsibilities.” He adds, “The leader who is meticulous in observing priorities adds immeasurably to his own effectiveness.”
The 22 chapters have something for every leader, including: Can You Become a Leader? The Cost of Leadership, The Perils of Leadership, Replacing Leaders (good stuff!) and Reproducing Leaders.
Published in 1967, Spiritual Leadership has sold more than 500,000 copies and shows no signs of slowing down. When I checked its sales ranking on Amazon this week, it had a #2 ranking in one of the bestselling lists. That’s amazing! If you have never read this classic, or it’s been some time since you’ve feasted on the author’s wisdom, then read it again. Or…delegate your reading to a team member who will appreciate a leadership book that soars above the trendy stuff.
To order this book from Amazon, click on this title: Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer, by J. Oswald Sanders.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Why do you think Oswald Sanders included “The Art of Delegation” as one of 22 chapters in his book on spiritual leadership?
2) In groups of three, make a quick list of the other 21 chapters you might include in a book on “spiritual leadership” that will sell at least 500,000 copies—and will still be selling in 2050!
Diminishing Returns - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Systems Bucket, Chapter 18, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to understand the Law of Diminishing Returns. This law fits in many buckets, but it’s a frequent sin in the Systems Bucket.
Ken Behr, former president of ECFA, cautions leaders and managers to evaluate growth and decline cycles so they know when it’s time to pull the plug on a program, product or service. For example, if you invest $5,000 to increase your customer base by 10 percent, should you invest another $5,000—or will you have diminishing returns? If two staff members are overloaded, does adding a third person make economic and organizational sense? Use systems thinking, Behr preaches, to analyze the Law of Diminishing Returns.
On the Buckets website, you’ll find a unique add-water-and-stir resource that is amazingly simple, yet profound. FYI: For Your Improvement: A Guide for Development and Coaching offers a systems approach to coaching your people.