Leadership Lessons

Manage Work and Advance Performance

Jesus feeds 5000 A legitimate question for leaders to ask themselves, rearticulated in the 1999 American comedy film Office Space, is "What would you say... you do here?"

From Genesis to Revelation, we see God demonstrating His purpose, revealing His character, and redeeming His people for the Kingdom. A short sampling of scriptures is: Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 61:1-2; Mark 2:17; Luke 19:10; John 18:37; Galatians 4:4-5; Revelation 21:6. The personification of Jesus Christ, the written Word, and the Holy Spirit are a testament of His communication to us explaining exactly 'what it is that He does here.' By managing work and advancing performance, we, as leaders, ensure the department functions effectively and take responsibility for achieving goals.

Strategic Focus/Visioning
Jesus came on the scene pronouncing, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). As leaders, are we as clear with our vision, purpose, and intent? How well do we connect our assignments and our employees' tasks to Baylor's mission? We have a mission that allows us to move forward in confidence because of its calling, responsibility, and impact. However, the intent of our mission needs to interpreted, framed, or contextualized for individuals, teams, and departments within our University. Translating, communicating, and reinforcing those expectations are the leader's responsibility. In what ways can you be more confident in communicating and living out your team's vision?

Manage Others
After we are honest with ourselves about what we do on a daily basis, the next question to ask is, "To whom does it matter?" The answer to this will help identify and solidify the strategic focus and vision for yourself and your team. The question naturally moves the thought process beyond the self towards an outward focus. How do we position ourselves to benefit our employees best, use our resources to impact the community, and propel us towards excellence, worldwide leadership, and Christian commitment? We must constantly assess ourselves and the department, to discern between the point of influence and the point of friction, and where influence is most appropriate. The better a leader is able to 'telescope' - balance zooming in and out - from each point, the better they can evaluate the needs of the community and their staff in order to find solutions that meet the intent.
Note: When we ask 'to whom does it matter?' we must be able to accept the realization that our invested time, energy, and resources may not proportionately correlate to effective outcomes. This is an awesome revelation because now we can make changes regarding root issues that would drive us towards mission and purpose.
Drive for Results
Jesus ended his ministry with, "It is finished" (John 19:30). Do the outcomes we have in the workplace have an eternal significance? When we finish the workday or career, can we confidently say, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith?" (2 Timothy 4:7) Does our performance reflect the end result we want to see on a short, mid, and long-term basis?

Each month, the HR Center for Learning and Leadership spotlights an excerpt from a leadership publication. Recommendations for future leadership lessons may be submitted to BaylorCompass_