A dream deep inside the heart of every leader, is that the team they work with will be able to lift their level of capability in a consistent and noticeable way. That over time, each individuals contribution will improve, strengthen, and add value to the overall game plan.
In the mid nineties, I read a book by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus called “Leaders” The Strategies for Taking Charge, and one of the many things they highlighted was that the difference between good leaders and great ones was the “ability to learn new skills.” As I have reflected on this maxim for nearly two decades it still comes back to one hauntingly helpful question for me. “How do I make my/our leadership better?” Better for you, better for the current focus, better for me, better for the world. What does it take to improve our skills and abilities over time? How can we individually and collectively “Make Better.”
The answer is projects that matter. My friend and fellow thought leader Peter Cook is an expert in the art of implementation. He believes that implementation is the key to doing your best work in the right time frame, and he’s right. How many times have you began with good intentions, later to find the file buried deep under a pile of other good intentions.
In addition to my Corporate Practice, I have been leading the most fantastic local Church for the past five years, and in an environment that doesn’t have a profit as a driver, seeing people grow, learn and develop capability is a profound joy, and at times a paradox. In this environment we trade in intangibles. Vision, trust, integrity, community, joy and service. These among others, are the currencies of our environment. Finding the right way to help people “make better” is essential. Finding a pathway that helps people discover and develop new skills is one of my top priorities as the key leader in this organisation.
We use projects that matter. Projects we care about. Projects we are proud to tell the world about.
- Projects help you gather a team to make something happen.
- Projects help you have a defined task and end goal.
- Projects give you something to be proud of and share with the world.
- Projects teach you new skills and abilities.
- Projects can stretch you just that little bit more than you expected.
- Projects help strangers become friends.
- Projects reset what you thought was possible.
Late last year, we had this crazy idea to tell the story of Christmas through Instagram Pictures. We called it Instachristmas, and we learnt that finding a way to speak a new kind of “language” was a way to share the phenomenal Christmas story with the world. Nearly 20,000 people have viewed it.
This year we have the concept for Christmas up and running. It’s currently being worked on by a team of people who believe in the project. Only two of them are paid to do it, the rest are volunteers.
This week our Creative Team are launching a new EP called “Audience of One – Live at the Stables.” I have it on repeat in my car right now.
So far, this project has created a media team of volunteers from nothing; released a creative director that oversees the video and artwork components (a volunteer) that has translated into a wider group of people on the team. It has pushed the ceiling UP for the Creative Team.
It has opened the doorway for new writers to share their gift more publicly and create momentum that we can build on for the future. It has given the team something to be proud of that has THEIR fingerprints on it and won’t drain any cost from the organisation (always good news to the leader).
There’s no downside. We made something we’re proud of and became better for it in the process.
Forgive me is this feels like marketing. Yes, I want you to know about the project. But more importantly, I want you to know what the project has accomplished in making better. I’m sure you have some projects that will help you do the same thing.
#leadsmall – because when you do, big things can happen.
PS: You can view and listen to these new songs on Youtube by clicking the links below.
To listen to Resurrection,
To listen to Much Higher,
To listen to By The Cross,
To listen to Your Presence,
To listen to Audience Of One.