I previously said in a blog post, “Anyone who aspires to be a leader or manager must take on the responsibility of clarifying the win for themselves and their team.” Here is my follow-up question to that statement. “So… how does a Christian leader determine a proper “win”?
I determine a win by using three words: 1)What, 2)Why, and 3)How. Before I explain why these three words are so important, let me first explain my context. I do not lead within a corporate organization. I’m a pastor. I lead inside the local church. I believe that the local church is the hope of the world and is the primary vessel in which God is furthering His kingdom throughout the earth. The key word here is “Kingdom”. I am apart of God’s kingdom in which God is the King. I submit to God’s authority which means I do not get to decide what a proper”win” looks like, but rather I get to discover what a proper “win” looks like through God’s word. As I have studied scripture and have learned about the character of God, I have discovered the above three words help determine a win. Whether you are a Pastor, mom, team leader, business owner or simply a christian in the work place, these three words will help you be better at what you do. The three words turn into three questions: 1) The “What” question, 2) the “Why” question, and 3) the “How” question.
First ask the “What” question:
I often ask leaders, “What are you working on right now?” And sometimes their response is, “I’m growing the kingdom!” As awesome as that sounds, I always follow up by asking the person, “What exactly does that mean?” In other words, “What are you working on right now that is impacting the overall success of your organization/ team?” The key word here is impact. It’s not enough to simply list off a big elaborate to do list that keeps you busy. Any leader or individual can stay busy. A LONG task list doesn’t grow your organization. The RIGHT task list grows your organization. Answering the “What” question is about doing the right things at the right time. A leader will not be successful if he does not strategically answer the “What” question. It must be measurable and achievable. So let me ask you… “What are you working on right now?” Or let me ask it like this. “What are you doing today that is making impact on your organization tomorrow? Are your tasks measurable? Are they impactful? Are there any tasks you are currently doing that you need to delegate? Are there any tasks you are currently doing that you need to dump?
The second question is the “Why” question.
It doesn’t take long to discover throughout the bible that God isn’t just concerned with “What” you do, but also “Why” you do it. This becomes an issue of the heart. Let me be clear. Jesus is concerned with the attitude of your heart. He addressed a group of Pharisees in Matthew 15:8 when he said, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” In other words, they did the right actions with the wrong heart.
Ask yourself, “Why am I accomplishing this goal?” This question is important for two major reasons. First, It keeps your motivation centered on the Gospel and mission of Jesus. Secondly, it gives you the fuel to pursue what you do with energy and passion. When things get difficult, “What” you do won’t keep you going. “Why” you are doing it will. Even the secular world is starting to understand the importance of “Why”. In fact, Simon Sinek, wrote a book called, “Start with Why” explaining that organizations can not succeed longterm with out clearly defining and communicating the “Why” of their organization. I am not talking about just having a clear mission statement, but more importantly, having the right heart towards what you are accomplishing. I fear that too many Christian leaders do not work their craft with the right motivation because they simply haven’t learned how to. This is why this question is so important. It forces you to deal with your heart. I don’t know about you, but I never want to serve the king and lose His heart. So let me ask you, “Why are you accomplishing your goal? Is it for your pride? Your bank account? Your reputation? Are you building your kingdom or are you building God’s Kingdom?
The third question is the “How” question.
It’s not enough to simply know “What” we want to accomplish and “Why” we want to accomplish it. There’s a third question that God is concerned with and we as Christians leaders must be concerned with as well. That third question is, “How am I accomplishing this goal?” The “Why” question has to do with your heart. The “How” question has to do with your character and attitude in which you accomplish your task.
Paul said in Philippians 2:5 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” He goes on to say in verse 14, “Do everything without grumbling or complaining.” Paul is clearly communicating the importance of “How” in relation to the way you conduct yourself as a Christian. How a person accomplishes a task is sometimes more important than the task itself. This is also true in your leadership. If you ruin a friendship because you were determined to get the job done, did you really win? If you sacrifice apart of your reputation and character because you were determined to get the job done, did you really win? If you get the job done, but your family resents you because you spend way too many hours on your phone or in the office, did you really win? This is why the “How” question is so important. This is where your leadership as a Christian can really stand out above the rest. No one is impressed by a winner that tramples over people, but everyone is impressed by a person of integrity whether he wins or loses. So let me ask you, “Are you keeping your integrity while pushing for your next level within your organization?” Don’t forget to ask yourself, “How am I accomplishing this goal?”
Next time you are determining a win for you or your team, think “What, Why, and How”. When I have implemented these three words, my team has accomplished much with great unity and energy. When I have slacked on these three words, we have suffered for it. Hope this has been helpful!