As a leader in the Kingdom, our mission is not to focus primarily on building production or profit, but rather something far more powerful – building people. God created everything, but only His people were created in His image. His people are the most precious creations in His Kingdom! Specifically, our mission is to care about, care for, and lift up His people for what they could be, and to have vision for what we could help them become. This is the absolute center of what we do. Leaders anoint future kings. They see greatness in people before they are great, then call it out, anointing them for a bigger opportunity than the current one. Leaders then challenge them and help them get there. Samuel anointed David, the boy, as King of Israel. It took 20+ years, however, for him to develop the maturity, skills, and team to BECOME the King. But he knew where he was going.
Our mission is to care about, care for, and lift up His people for what they could be!
In the movie Kingdom of Heaven*, in the heat of one of the battles, one of the leaders makes the decision to knight all of the men who could fight. The question is posed, “Does knighting a man make him a better fighter?” The answer is yes! When someone is taking care of the job they have, I love giving them a new opportunity! I always want to give them an opportunity that is a stretch for them, and then challenge them to step up to it. Calling out the greatness you see in someone can sometimes be what brings it into existence.
YOUR TEAM IS YOUR MISSION!
As a leader, you must be engaged daily with your team. THEY are your mission – their work is THEIR mission. Don’t do their job for them. Make sure they have everything they need, and then let them do it. Don’t be quick to give them the answer, but help lead them to their own answer.
One of the first things Jesus did was build a team, and the makeup and cohesion of that team was a top priority to him. We don’t hire stars here at our company. Instead, we invite people to become teammates. People must come aboard as a teammate, willing to add value to their team in the form of their skills and talents. That means creating a better team result than would have been without them. That is what we ask everyone to do in the beginning. They must be able to lead themselves well and forfeit personal ambition for the sake of team ambition. That translates into taking care of what is in front of them, and contributing to the team results. We believe most of the skills someone needs to succeed in their job can be taught, so when we are hiring, we try to focus more on how they would fit with the team.
STEWARDSHIP & REWARD
One of our central themes is asking people to take care of what is right in front of them. If they don’t, we must ask them to move on (to an opportunity with a different company!). We can’t make excuses for them and simply give them a different opportunity within our company. They are not entitled if they don’t give their best. But if they DO, give them some more! And reward them! You are not going to love every aspect of every job, but you MUST give your best to that job. Be a good steward of what you have been given and more will be given. Encourage your team members to do the same. There is opportunity around here all the time, but we promote people who are being good stewards of what’s been given to them.
As a manager/leader, we must constantly stretch ourselves and our people and evaluate the result. We must challenge them to more and then reward them. If someone asks for a raise, and I think about it and then decide they indeed do merit one, I have actually not done my job! I should have already recognized their merit and rewarded them. To do that, I must engage with them and constantly measure their results and provide feedback, both positive and negative.
Bring excellence to what is before you, and keep your hands on the plow in front of you. Don’t let future opportunity be your motivation for excellence. Understand that if you bring excellence to your role, people will notice and opportunities will naturally come.
The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25, The Message)
It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave $5,000, to another $2,000, to a third $1,000, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given $5,000 showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
The servant with the $2,000 showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
The servant given $1,000 said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.
Take the $1,000 and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’
Look for those moments when your team members have conquered an area and need to be challenged with something else. As a leader, your job is to help everyone get to the next level … even if that next level is YOUR job! Should you succeed, God will bless you with something else and more territory to conquer. Share everything you know and everything you have with your team, and God will bless you with more.
As a leader, your job is to help everyone get to the next level … even if that next level is YOUR job!
Jesus Christ submitted to God, His father, recruited a team, engaged with them daily, recognized the greatness within them, and anointed them as leaders … all in the mission to change the world! 2,000 years later their work is still changing the world. This, too, is our mission!
*For more information on the movie Kingdom of Heaven, click here.