5 actions responsibility-centered leaders do that others don’t: Communicating Constantly and Repetitively to Employees.
I’ve read studies that say employees have to hear a message seven times before they believe executives are serious about it. Until then, they discount it as corporate speak or internal propaganda. P.158.
Before I took on my first solo lead pastoral role, I was very blessed to be a part of a church who took leadership development very seriously (Thank you Compass Church Regina). Our mission statement was drilled into our minds. An invitation to our guests was drilled into our minds. Any chance we had to say these things we did and we did for one particular reason: “Once you begin to tire of hearing it, only then will your audience begin to hear it.” Or something along that line.
I can’t remember who we took it from but it is one of the truest things I took away from my time at my first pastoral internship. We had a handful of phrases we used to communicate the importance of what we do.
- We equip the saints for the work of ministry!
- Stick of Six!
- We exist to Point People to Jesus!
- The pulpit drives the church!
And there are several more that I won’t divulge at this point, but you get the idea. There are phrases that drive the purpose of why your organization exist. Even my mentors have sayings I remember to this day. The most common one that comes to my mind is ‘leaders are readers’. As a person who is a terrible reader and is a weakness for them, I can’t tell you how much I hate and know this to be true.
It… was… Tedious! And those who heard it again and again and again became frustrated that we wouldn’t move past it! “Who cares” they would say? Well, it’s the role of the leader. If you’re a leader, I challenge you, take five minutes to think of your most common phrases you use. Think of your mission statement. Think of your ‘pitch’. Why are you ‘essential’? Then go and ask those who are closest to you or your organization and ask them to repeat something you would say to them. Ask your leadership team to repeat your mission. Don’t worry if they get it wrong but it should communicate to you that if you’re leadership team (those closest to your organization) can get this critical fact of your organization wrong, then who would get it right?
We have the important role of becoming broken records. Our mission, our purpose, our message has to be so important that it cannot go unheeded by the community we are building around it. Why can we remember Subways or McDonalds catch phrase while not remembering our own? Because these massive chain restaurants know if they want people to remember who they are and what they stand for that they have to scream it into our ears until their blue in the face so we might have a chance to know why we want to Eat Fresh or Love It or Have it Your Way!
Yes its tedious and boring and you’ll pull your hair out after the 20th time your second in command forgets why you exist and what your mission statement is, but this is the job of a leader. Take a different approach: This is the job of your marriage. Husbands, tell your wife till your blue in the face that you love her, and you would lay down your life for her and do the chores for her and cherish her AND THEN GO DO IT! Say it every morning, every evening, every time you leave the house and every time you come home. Say it so much she’ll know it like the back of her hand and then live up to it. Isn’t your marriage worth expressing why you married her in the first place, or are you going to get bored with the primary aspect of why you married this woman?
Say it from the rooftops. Say it in the secret. Say it until your blue in the face because if this is why you exist, if this is what is so important you’re going to dedicate your life to it, keep it at the forefront of your life! Leaders do the work of communicating consistently and repetitively to their employees, subordinates, community and loved ones!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.