Building Your Team
by: Hugh Ballou
Learn to be the leader
Leadership skills you employ in this area are important to the transformation of volunteers into workers, critics into advocates, and detractors into supporters. Learn to define, recruit, delegate, support, nurture, and facilitate. The Servant Leadership model enables leaders to get the right people, tell them what is needed, let people complete their tasks, and celebrate the results. After all, professional leaders lead. If we did everything, we would be called professional doers. Leaders lead. This means getting out of the way.
If you have lots of volunteers, then learn to limit your time with those who are not as productive and give more to those who produce. Here’s a chance to use the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your volunteer support time with the 20% of the people who produce 80% of the results. Gather the remaining 80% of the volunteers who produce 20% of the results into groups. Support them as a group, not individually. This will give you a major bounce on your results and free up enormous amounts of time. (This is the “Pareto Principle” named after the nineteenth-century economist who developed the 80/20 rule for business.)
Learn to recruit
The first principle of leadership is having someone to lead. This might seem logical. But it is very difficult for some leaders to ask someone else to do something. Looking back at the previous chapters, remember that relationship comes first. Once you have earned the relationship, then it is easier to ask someone to participate in a program that you lead. It is even easier to ask someone that you do not know yet. This is a wonderful way to develop lasting relationships, if you handle it correctly. So, let’s recruit.
Recruiting is a skill, not a chance roll of the dice. Get to know people–what makes them tick, their skills and talents, and their interests. This sounds like the background work you did to create your vision statement, doesn’t it? Well, it is similar. Recruit people who want to do something worthy. Recruit a person who wants to be invested in something that is consistent with your goals and passions. Don’t recruit people who want to set up a power base and hold on to it! This is critical! Recruit people to help for a specific time and for a specific purpose, and then rotate people and responsibilities. This is a very important principle! This principle will actually help you recruit. People will say yes more readily if they know that they will not get stuck doing the job forever. This is one of the greatest challenges to overcome in recruiting; so clearly define the scope of what you are asking them to do.
Define the task for which you are recruiting. Tell the person how much work is needed, how much you anticipate it taking, and how long the commitment will be. The normal tendency is to downplay the commitment by saying something like “It will only take a little time.” Don’t cloud your reputation in future efforts by creating the opinion that you are not straight with people or that you are just giving them a “sales job.” Tell it like it is! Be straight! They will appreciate you for that and even work harder than they originally agreed to do.
It is really difficult to take a chance on being turned down when you ask someone for a commitment to help. Assume that people want to help. They deserve an honest description of what they are being asked to do. And they deserve the chance to say yes or no. Be prepared for a “no” answer. It is better to get that answer than to have an uncommitted volunteer doing a less-than-adequate job.
All this may be difficult for some leaders, especially since the majority of church musicians and pastors end up in the “Introvert” category of Myers-Briggs. That doesn’t mean that you are shy or even that you don’t want to deal with people. It just means that you do well by yourself and are energized alone as opposed to being with a group for energy. People can take your energy. Knowing that fact, if indeed you are an introvert, then use your energy wisely.
The rest of us who are “Extroverts” in the Myers-Briggs, may have another problem. We may find it difficult to give the introverts the space they need to do what we have asked them to do. We extroverts may want to socialize and help. Remember, you are not recruiting a friend. You are recruiting a worker! Figure out their best style of relating and then delegate!
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