Doing vs. Designing

IMG_0023As a leader, our primary task is not to be the chief “doer,” but rather to be the “designer” for the doers. This is hard for most people to grasp. We were trained to be the doers. In seminary, I was trained to give Bible studies, to preach, to make decisions, to lead youth groups, to lead worship, etc. I was never taught how to lead others to do that. I was never taught to team-build. I was never taught to delegate. I was never taught to use my leadership gifts in a way that would empower others and I would direct the traffic.

Yet this one fundamental issue – doers vs. designers – is the key to unlocking the potential of a church/business. If the leaders would lead and not micromanage, the organization could really capitalize on the future. I’ve learned this the hard way. I get it. Getting second-tier level leaders to get it is just as hard though. But I believe we had a breakthrough yesterday. And I believe we are on the verge of helping third-tier level leaders get it.

The classic example of what I’m talking about is a church deacon. When a really good deacon rises to the top, we make him a head deacon. And most head deacons know nothing about delegating and handing off. Thus, as the head deacon, when they get a call for something needing done, fixed, or accomplished, they do it themselves. But as a head deacon, they should be leading a team. My current head deacon gets this. It’s cool to watch him hand stuff off, incorporate others into the doing, and not feel like he needs to do it all.

Another example is of a friend’s church. Evidently his pastor told him one day, “I’m the guy who does Bible studies in this church. I’m the one that should be doing them all.” How sad that this individual feels the need to be so needed. How sad that his church isn’t being utilized in their giftedness. How sad that people’s spiritual lives are being stunted because this pastor chooses to be the doer, rather than the designer.

As a leader, are you doing, or designing?