One of the books I’m reading on right now is William A. Cohen’s, A Class with Drucker. Here are some good points on “Managing By Walking Around” he shares from Harry K. Jones (interspersed with some of my own comments):
Appear relaxed as you make your rounds. Employees will reflect your feelings and actions.
Leading churches is hard work. While we might have some paid employees, most of the people we work with are volunteers. Especially in today’s economy, there’s a lot of fear and anxiety. While it might be truthful to make lots of worried noises, I’d rather build confidence than reflect fears. Churches have an advantage over businesses since our ultimate confidence is in God, not the economy, not the Fed, not the government. If we trust God and obey God, we’ll be ok – whatever else is happening around us.
Remain open and responsive to questions and concerns.
I think I’m ok at remaining open and responsive, though I’m not always successful at appearing so. Since we’re all in it together, people deserve the respect of being heard.
Observe and listen, and let everyone see you doing it.
People expect leaders to take control. Sure, that happens sometimes. But if that’s all that happens the leadership won’t be happening very long.
Ask for suggestions to improve operations, products, service, sales, etc.
Pastors are the experts. We’ve been to seminary, tons of workshops, have many years of experience. We know what we’re doing. Sometimes. We often lack necessary information or a relevant point of view. If we ask people who may know what we don’t know, we honor them as co-workers in the mission of God.
Catch your employees doing something right and recognize them publicly.
We have so many ways to recognize people – from the pulpit, in newsletters, in group conversations, sending notes, etc. People need encouragement, not only so they’ll have the motivation, but so they’ll know what counts.