I did a poll yesterday. I was curious to see what people would say. I thought this because on sunday there were two shows on TV that had significance to me as a children’s ministry leader those shows were “Minute to win it” and “Undercover Boss”. I had to decide which one to watch. I chose Undercover Boss and in the next few posts I’ll uncover the reasons why through things I have learned from watching the past few weeks.
In undercover boss. A CEO of a major company goes undercover in his or her own company to see, observe and learn in ways he or she never could as CEO. In the process the CEO learns more about themselves, their company and employees they never would have any other way.
The first thing I have learned from undercover boss:
Leadership requires you to listen.
One of the best tools you can have in your leadership arsenal is the ability to listen to those you are leading. Am I advocating for leading by consensus? Not at all. To lead effectively you need to know who you are leading, what they struggle with and what you can do as a leader to serve them. One of the drawbacks to being the leader in the room is that unless you have intentionally created an environment where people can share their ideas and thoughts and even criticize yours respectfully,people defer to the leader. To often the leader is to eager to fill the empty space with his own thoughts. To lead you need to communicate but you also need to listen.
How to listen well as a leader:
1. Create an environment where ideas are exchanged and debated.
2. Listen with eyes – make eye contact don’t look around.
3. Nod your head –
4. Clarify by repeating the important parts of what you just heard.
How do you know you are a good listener? I use the following test for myself – When this person walks away from my conversation will they be thinking what a great guy he is or will they be thinking about how great I made them feel.
The CEO’s of each of the companies on the show found this out by using their MBWA degree. Management by walking around. In your kids ministry don’t get stuck somewhere every week walk around talk to your kids and your leaders but most of all Listen.
If you want to lead: Listen.