For Leaders, Progress Depends on Process

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A leadership lesson I learned almost 20 years ago has not only stayed with me for two decades, it has become embedded in my leadership.

In leadership you can’t have progress without process.

As a much younger and inexperienced leader I found myself serving on the board of our church, and along with other board members I was growing increasingly concerned as to the space pressures caused by rapid growth.

Our church was, at that time, sitting in an auditorium which sat about 1200 people and we were fast approaching 1000 each week in our single Sunday service.

To us the solution seemed obvious; we needed to add a second weekend service.

The rest of the board quickly came on board and with the support of the senior pastor we notified the congregation at a hastily-called members meeting.

The new service motion was voted down.

I was stunned.

But a well-spoken, reasonable member of the congregation articulated the concern. “This is a major decision for this church, and you’ve really surprised us with this. There are some considerations we need to understand. What will happen with Sunday School? What will happen if there isn’t even distribution at the 2 services? What is being planned to ensure we don’t devolve into two separate congregations?”

They sent us away to do more homework. We called another meeting several weeks later, answered their questions, and received almost unanimous support.

What did I learn?

Great ideas are important; they’re just not enough
Simply knowing what needs to be done isn’t in and of itself effective leadership.

People might reject a good idea if process has been violated
The resounding “no vote” was a loud message that we hadn’t brought the people along on the journey.

The best route between two points is not a straight line
Our pastor Tim Schroeder taught me this gem. Effective leadership isn’t measured by the speed or simplicity of the journey. It’s about bringing everyone safely to the destination. Even if that means things move a bit more slowly.

You might have the solution to your organization’s problem clearly figured out. But coming up with that brilliant plan is just the start.

If you want to see the plan successfully implemented, the hard work of leadership is just beginning.

Because without process, there’s no progress.

What other processes are necessary to consider?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

8 comments

  1. M’enfin, Arrêteztout!, s’il est une chose qu’il cherche à faire, c’est de briser ce lien funeste qui a trop longtemps prévalu dans la civilisation judcio-Ãhrét©enne qui participe d’une résignation définitive au sort qui nous serait fait, si définitive qu’on baigne dans cette mentalité le plus souvent en toute inconscience, et ne serait-ce que ça, chéribéribi, ne serait-ce que ça !

  2. ó ég er alls introvert. just because that sounds better than ‘a total snot.’ en ég þarf gott makeup, gott hár, góður skór, gott denim…. ekki sem hljómar meira eins og alls Snot en samtals introvert… en ég eins og g Chapman…HolyMama! nýlega staða..

  3. These pictures are gorgeous!!! Wendy you did an amazing job at captivating Carla and Ryan’s special day! They are absolutely fabulous and you have given them something so special to remember there day by! I can’t wait to see the rest! It was so great to meet you and you have done a fantastic job!

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  5. Estoy muy interesada en el taller de dramaturgia, me gustaría saber los días en que se impartirá dichas sesiones, ya que de momento solo tengo libres los Miércoles en dichos horarios.Gracias!!!

  6. sera que o antonio patriota ja ouviu falar de juruti e cidades do oeste paraense; no papel fica bonito o projeto .eles deveriam documentar a realidade de nosso povo de verdade e naõ se promoverem com o que escrevem ou planejam,so para ingrupir quem naõ conhece a miseria e os miseraveis do interior do brasil; a naõ ser que eles se referem ao enriquecimento de todos os correligionarios do pt no brasil.abaixo a ditadura.

  7. This is absolutely brilliant. I could only bring myself to read the first couple of chapters before the pain became too much, so I salute you.You know, the best part is that the ‘special-handsome-teenage-mindreading-vampire-with-close-family-ties-falls-in-love-with-girl-whose-mind-he-cannot-read-’cause-she’s-special-too’ thing? Has actually been written before, and written well. It just kind of highlights the sheer sparkliness of the Twilight series.

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