Leading or Managing?

In Leadership on September 1, 2011 by scottsund Tagged: , , ,

The hardworking staff of Sund's Lodge 2011

“There is a vast difference between management and leadership. In management you get people to do things.
In leadership you help people become someone.”

This week marks our last week at Sund’s Lodge for the 2011 season.  This is the fishing lodge where I work, and have worked for the last 29 summers.  The staff came to the property in late May and prepared the boats and property for guests.  We spent a whole day training on the art of customer service and the experience we hoped to create for our guests.  We broke into teams and did a play on Minute to Win It to create teaching opportunities on TEAMWORK.  Then on June 14, the first guests flew in, a group from Nebraska.  Since then, we’ve had over 425 guests come through at a steady rate, with the largest group at one time being 25 guests.  Our staff of 14 has mostly worked the whole summer although a few people did short shifts to cover staff that needed a break.  Through it all, I’ve been coming and going…running Sund’s Lodge at the same time as running Bethany North.  It has been a wonderful and challenging summer, full of good days and discouraging news.  In short, it has been much like real life.

On Sunday I was back at Bethany North, leading the church in one of our best services of the whole summer…powerful worship, teaching by Pastor Richard, a visit from Bethany’s Ensemble Choir, a baby dedication for a 1 year old who has spent most of his first year’s Sundays at our little church.  Sunday night we had a vision meeting with our Team Leaders, our Leaders of Leaders, who create the experience of our church.  Though parts of the meeting were my leadership, most of the meeting I simply absorbed what others had to offer as they assessed current strengths and weaknesses of our church.  One of the themes that emerged was that I have done a lot of MANAGING as a pastor at our church, and more VISION is needed.  This was dead on correct.

Steak dinner for the staff on the beach

Monday morning I was back on a floatplane to Sund’s Lodge and hosting the end of summer Staff Party for our hardworking staff.  I cooked dinner for my staff, marinated flank steak and corn on the cob on the bar-b-que and fresh boiled Dungeness crab that I cleaned an hour earlier.  We sat by the fire pit near the beach and at the conclusion of dinner, I shared words of appreciation for each and every staff person.  These are the hard workers that had created one of the most successful seasons ever and I needed them to know how much I appreciated their hard work.  In my 18+ hour days of work up here, had I been lending VISION?  Or simply MANAGING the employees?

As we prepare to shut down the lodge and return to full time church pastoring again, I want to be a great LEADER of my church and LEADER to my people.  I have a tendency to want to go at things alone and quite often it is simpler to MANAGE people and check off lists of what people should be doing.  But it is hard to ever go anywhere when your vehicle doesn’t have direction.  What is needed this fall at Bethany North is more leadership….a map of where we’re going.

Lord knows I’m painfully aware right now of my own failings and lack of leadership and I’ve got lots of resources.  This blog is a good start and I’m taking a masters level course on Christian Leadership in September so I’ll let you know if I find any nirvana moments 🙂 but I really like this quote from Stephen Covey about leadership where he used the symbol of a ladder: “Management is concerned with getting up a ladder in the most effective and most efficient manner. Leadership is making sure the ladder is on the right wall to begin with.”

I realize I have spent too much time in our first year as a church making sure we were going up and down the ladder each week.  Right now my eyes are scanning the horizon and making sure our church is on the right wall to enable real life change for people to connect with Jesus Christ.  I love the scripture from Habakkuk, which says:

“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.”

Now the theologians amongst you will be quick to point out that the Lord was revealing to Habakkuk the coming Babylonian captivity, but let’s do a wider view of this for a moment.  God says, “Look and be amazed for I am at work in the world.”  True- God you are at work in this world.  Real work for real change for real people.  Jesus help me watch YOU and really LEAD this year…in my home, in my church, in my world.

Its time for some leadership.  I’m ready for the task.


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