So I realized something yesterday morning as I was heading into yet another day of necessary meetings, that I wasn’t quite sure if I’d make my own deadlines for the week. It’s cool casting vision and setting goals; these are activities that give me energy. But I also have desk work, a staff to care for, and volunteers to lead; being in meetings for 20 hours on top of my tasks during a work week doesn’t give much time for the people side of my job.
Yesterday I found myself being torn between Adobe Illustrator and a person.
It shouldn’t be as hard as it was to choose the person.
So I decided that I’m cloning myself.
I need to work myself out of part of my job description.
I’ve learned the hard way that leadership isn’t just about doing the job yourself. Making yourself seemingly irreplaceable only to wake up one morning with stomach cramps because there is no way the deadlines will be met. We can’t do it all. And in fact, we’re not hired to do it all. We’re hired to set goals and cast vision to those around us who can do the work. Lots of people can do our jobs, and probably a little bit better than we can. I know better designers, better writers, better photographers… my job is to find the best people for the job and figure out a way for them to excel in their gift set. I need to be available for these people to have what they need to succeed and catch the vision for what is at stake.
I know this. Yet at this time of year it seems easier to just do it myself than to take the seemingly inefficient time to train a volunteer. Yet this hurts the team. If I do this and hoard the work, I’m unable to give my team and my volunteers the attention they deserve. And in fact, I’m preventing skilled people from serving the body with how God has gifted them.
Today, I’m making some lists and checking them twice. What can I take out of my job description and give to my paid or volunteer staff? How can I train someone else to do part of my job? Who would these people be?
Part of me has no clue. I feel like I’m going into this next phase of my job wide-eyed and freaked out. My staff seems to grow daily as we acquire new interns and volunteers. There are more people than ever before and a huge responsibility to care for them like never before. It will not be easy, but I’ve got to clone myself if I’m going to be the leader I know that I’m supposed to be.
So I guess the questions today are something like this: In your work, where are you completely overwhelmed? Where do you need to replicate yourself? What’s keeping you from unleashing yourself to do what you’re really called to do?