Easter’s Over-Now What? 4 Ways to Maximize Easter Momentum

Easter’s Over. Now What?

4 Ways to Maximize Easter Momentum

 

Recovering from a Big Fat Easter Hangover? 

For those of you in full-time church ministry, you likely experienced a big fat Easter hangover.

Easter weekend included additional services, increased attendance, special events, more production – every aspect of ministry was in overdrive for the biggest weekend of the church calendar.

Now what?

Frankly, you and your team are tired. You’ve been working for weeks, even months to prepare. It was a great day, but you know this week was back to reality. No wonder you feel like you have the “Easter” hangover – “a letdown following great excitement” (dictionary.com).

It’s normal.

But here’s the thing; You’re the leader. You have to lean into this moment. While all of the things that I’ve named are true and it feels like a letdown, it doesn’t have to be and how your team responds depends on you.

 

4 Ways you can Maximize Easter Momentum

 

1. Celebrate

Circle your team up and celebrate how good last weekend was. Share stories that you heard about the person who came to church for the first time, the family that attended church together, the person who gave their life to Christ, etc. I’m sure you heard stories and probably received some calls or emails. Share them. Celebrating reminds your team of the “why.” Don’t take this for granted.

Celebrate the attendance numbers, salvation numbers, baptism numbers, and whatever metrics that matter to you. And remember every number represents a person. It’s not numbered for the sake of numbers; it numbers for the sake of lives.

Celebrate by doing something fun as a team. Go out to lunch, get a cake, or go bowling. I don’t know what is fun for your organization, but you do. Have fun together!

2. Rest

If you didn’t take a day off to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect with your families, it’s not too late. Send everyone home. Pick s day that everyone can take the day off. If you can’t shut down for a day, rotate the days off. I don’t care how you do it but give back some time to your staff and their families. I can pretty much guarantee that everyone put in extra hours these last few weeks. You need the break, and so does your team.

3. Follow up

You and your team made dozens, possibly hundreds of new connections this weekend with first-time guests and casual attendees. Follow up with each person. Hopefully, you have a system for follow-up and if so, be more purposeful about that follow-up system than ever. If you don’t have a system for following up with guests, this is the time to make one. Remember, every email, voicemail, welcome card, and lobby conversation is an opportunity to help people take another step towards being a part of your community of faith and becoming a follower of Christ. Don’t look at your “to do” list as a bunch of tasks. See the living breathing human on the other end of that medium and seek to connect with them.

4. Stay the Course

Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Next Sunday will probably feel rather ordinary, and that’s okay. Stay the course and make every weekend count. You never know when that Easter guest will return and when they do, you want to be ready. Make sure every weekend is one where guests feel welcomed and included. Make your church a place where people feel like they can belong any Sunday they come.

 

Maximize the Momentum for Today and Tomorrow

Easter may be over, but Jesus has risen. God always redeems, restores and saves. And he does this work in the lives of people every day, not just Easter Sunday. And guess what? He partners with you to do this fantastic life-changing work in the lives of others.

Don’t let the Easter hangover cause you to miss the restoring work that could happen today, tomorrow, and next Sunday.

He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

His work in all of us continues!

Keep leading well!

Jenni Catron

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.

 

 

 

Solving Gender Issues In Leadership

I frequently get asked, “What is it like to be a woman leader?” 

Frankly, I loathe the question. As if being a woman is like having a third eye or some other science fiction abnormality.

I am a leader who happens to be a woman. That’s all. My gender shouldn’t define my opportunities or limitations. It shouldn’t dictate whether I’m a good leader or a bad one. It shouldn’t be the thing that holds me back from leading nor should it be an excuse for me to receive opportunities that I haven’t earned.

But for as much as I wish gender wasn’t an issue, it is, especially in ministry leadership. We get clumsy, fearful, and inhibited when we lead among the opposite sex. Many of our church cultures dictate that men should lead men and women should lead women. Create nice, clean, tidy, and controllable lines. But is that God’s best? Did he intend for us to be segregated? Did he mean for our spiritual gifts to only impact half of the population? Are we limiting God’s work through us because of our fear of the gender he assigned us?

I believe we can create environments where men and women can lead effectively together and in doing so accomplish great work for God’s glory. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.

 

Men and Women Can Lead Effectively Together

We need to wrestle with three questions if we hope to create a culture where genders can lead well together.

1. The Theological Question

I know. I know. Some of you were getting twitchy with the subject as soon as you read the title. There’s a legitimate theological conversation to be had about what the Bible has to say about gender roles. If you’ve never explored it, I encourage you to do so. Seeking to understand scripture for yourself in this area is incredibly important. Many of us have formed our views about women and leadership by osmosis. We’ve simply absorbed the beliefs of denominations, our leaders, our parents, and our mentors without asking the questions and studying the issue for ourselves.

2 Timothy 2:15 reminds us to examine God’s word so that we can do the work he’s called us to with confidence. For those of us called to lead men and women in the church, it’s essential that we study the scripture and prayerfully consider how we’ll lead through the gender issue in ministry.

2. The Sexuality Question

Our over-sexed society has done us a disservice when it comes to an understanding of what it means to develop healthy relationships with the opposite sex. There is ideally one individual among the seven billion people in the world with whom you’ll have a sexual relationship. Do you think God intended for you to avoid half of the population for fear of sexual attraction?

Your temptation is not another human being. Your temptation resides in your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us that our heart is deceitful. We too must plead as the psalmist did, “search me, oh God, and know my heart.” Rather than avoid others for fear of sexual sin, we must search our hearts and seek God’s healing and restoration.

3. The Community & Unity Question

What does Biblical community look like and what is the purpose of unity in that equation? What message do we send to a watching world when they see men and women in the church segregated, divided and isolated? In their book, Mixed Ministry, Sue Edwards, Kelley Matthews and Henry J. Rogers share, “God did not create us male and female, so we could tease or limit one another, but so that we could join together, two images of God combined to make a whole, and glorify him through our unity.”

 

Community in Unity

Psalm 133 says it this way, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

I believe our goal as believers is to reflect the biblical community. What would unity between men and women in your church or ministry look like? Time and time again, I have seen God do great work through teams who have been willing to engage the conversation rather than avoid the issue.

 

Men and Women Can Create a Thriving Culture

What clarity might these three questions bring to you and your team?

Men: I would plead with you to take the lead on this conversation with your teams and your churches. Your willingness to engage the conversation is a gift to the women who feel alienated as well as to the men who feel the tension and uncertainty within your culture.

Women: I encourage you to be patient and prayerful about the limitations you may feel. Be faithful to steward well the influence you’ve been given. Don’t allow bitterness or resentment to derail you from being faithful. For those of you who do have positions of influence and leadership, be intentional to pass it on and create opportunities for other women in your organization.

Can men and women lead well together? I believe the answer is yes. When we’re willing to ask difficult questions, wrestle through our uncertainties and fears and seek a community of unity, I believe we create a culture where everyone – men and women – can thrive as they use their gifts for God’s greater purpose.

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 

 


What Christmas Movies have taught me about Leadership…#2

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Somehow that Andy Williams song always welcomes in the holiday season for me, followed closely by the movie “Elf.”
In fact, let me just say right now that if you have not seen the movie ELF, it’s a Christmas must!

See, Buddy the Elf is a human that was raised by elves at the North Pole, until he discovers that he is actually a human and that his father lives in New York. When Buddy ventures out to meet his dad, he only has a few requests… “I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.”

Since 2003, I have watched the comedic behavior of Will Farrell who plays Buddy the Elf, and as the laughs come, I am reminded of a few simple characteristics that apply to our every day life and that can greatly impact our leadership.

In fact, here are 5 Leadership Lessons from Elf:

  1.  Everyone has value, and everyone is special! Buddy does a great job seeing value in each person with whom he engages.  Whether they are a child, an executive or a maid, he views everyone through this lens of potential, value and joy, and encourages it out of them.  As leaders, when we choose to see in people what they don’t see in themselves, we create a space to show them what is possible!
  2. He models his message. “I like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”  Buddy engages every situation with clarity and confidence and does not waiver in his resolve to live out what he believes!  One of the greatest things that will build trust and earn respect for us as the leader is also to model our values, so that those we lead can follow our example.
  3. Perspective.  Buddy treats everyday like it’s Christmas.  The fun, hardworking culture in the elf shop has taught him to work as a team, and celebrate with anticipation what is to come.  Because of that, he carries a perspective that everyday holds expected joy, purpose and simple fun.  What would it look like if we walked in to our office with that perspective?  What would it sound like if we conveyed a sense of joyful anticipation for our team or project?  I bet we too would impact the culture and the atmosphere would change over time.
  4. Ownership. “I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.”  It’s a little comical how  specific Buddy’s apology to his father is, but what is great is that he is taking full ownership of the perceived wrong that has been done, that seems to be creating division.  As leaders,  when we take ownership of where we have fallen short or responded poorly, it shows those around us that taking ownership is valued in our culture.  It gives other people permission to mess up,  to own it AND then to move forward.  Ownership from the leader helps yield a healthy culture to grow in.
  5. Sing Loudly.  “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear.”  Out of every scene, you probably know this scene the best! In this scene, people are  grumbling, curious and anxious, but when someone begins to sing…everything changes. The singing at first is soft, unheard by the masses, but shortly a few join in, then several others and one by one, the singing is the loudest thing you hear and the smiles are what is seen.  In the same way, in our organizations, there will always be talk, feelings, questions and other things circulating amongst our teams.  We have to be the loudest voice of encouragement, truth, vision, clarity, hope, support, heart and truth that our team hears.  So cheer loudly for those around you and it will be contagious!

This holiday season will go by quickly, it’s an amazing season and probably filled with lots of deadlines and demands.  I want to encourage you this season, find the fun, be a carrier of joy and model for your team how to lead well both personally and professionally!  Make sure Elf is on your list to watch this year, it’s always a good one!

What Christmas Movies have taught me about leadership…#1

BY: Brett Detken

So, it really IS that time of year!

Christmas music and movies are on every channel, every station, and are playing around the clock! And no matter who you are, at some point each Christmas season, we will all make time to sit down and watch our favorite Christmas movies. And so, if you are a fan of Hallmark movies, the Christmas Classics, or the new Christmas movies of today, here are some things we can learn from these incredible stories that apply to how we lead.

For example, here are 4 leadership lessons we can learn from one of my favorite movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

– Leading well happens when life goes differently than you planned! 
In the movie, George Bailey, the films main character learned first hand that life can change in a moment, and yet leading well means adapting to the changes as they come. Leading well starts not just from being responsible, it grows when we are “response-able” to the changes that occur all around us.

– You often inherit the team you lead. (For good and bad!)
Just as George inherited his team from the generation before, leading well means bringing the best out of the team you inherit. Look for ways to get them in the right seat, and to help them succeed.

– Leaders take responsibility for their team’s failures. 
When an employee makes a disastrous mistake, George does not blame, but instead takes the responsibility on himself. As John Maxwell says, “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, and a little less share of his share of the credit!”

– Successful leadership should impact your community, not just your bottom line. 
This season, remember that your leadership is about something bigger than just what you can produce. No matter what type of organization you lead in, remember that your leadership legacy will not be built on stats or numbers, but on the people you impact along the way. So, keep pouring into people, keep leading with excellence and courage, and keep investing into what matters. It is making a bigger difference than you can imagine.

Join us over the next couple weeks, as we learn more from our most favorite Christmas movies!

So….What Christmas movie is your favorite? 

Brett Detken is a leadership expert and the Director of Marketing for the 4Sight Group. She loves raising up the generation of leaders to change the world.

Leadership Lesson’s I’m Thankful for….#4

BY: Brett Detken

Have you ever had a cringe worthy moment? You know, those leadership moments, that when you STILL think back on them, you get that sinking feeling down in your gut!

I remember a time when I believed (really….I really believed!) that my boss needed to hear my opinion about how bad his ideas were IN THE MIDDLE of staff meeting! UGH! Cringe!!

I mean somewhere down in my young, inexperienced brain, I believed that because I had been on staff for a whole year (yes, insert eyeroll here) that I had a right to be heard! Luckily, my boss was very gracious and instead of firing me, gave me a chance to learn one of the most important lessons of leadership. And here it is: In any organization, you may be given a job, but you always have to earn credibility.

Whereas, character is about who you are, credibility really does come from what you do. Credibility is how you establish your reputation and it is how you build trust in an organization. And honestly, this is something leaders often forget to do. We often forget we need to earn credibility in order to be influential in any organization. Credibility, or the right to be heard, is always earned, and never just given.

So how can we as leaders earn credibility?

● BY DOING WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO: It’s so simple, but the first way to earn credibility is simply by being faithful to what you are already doing. Leaders who are clear, consistent, and who follow through on their commitments, earn the right to be heard.  And more than that, leaders who do what they say they will do with the right attitude, earn more than credibility…they earn favor. So, if you want to influence your organization, be consistent in what you are doing RIGHT now. Do it well, do it faithfully, and soon your influence will grow.

● BY DOING WHAT’S RIGHT EVEN WHEN HARD: The second way to earn credibility is to choose to do what’s right even when it’s difficult. Finding the courage to make changes when unpopular, enter into conflict when uncomfortable, and take risks even when unfamiliar, is what creates a lasting legacy and earns leaders the right to be heard in the future.

● BY PURSUING UNITY: Finally, a key to earning credibility in your organization as a leader, is by relentlessly pursuing unity. Meaning you will do whatever it takes to root out a critical, toxic or divisive spirit, and instead choose to lift up those above you, beside you, and below in your organization.

Building trust, respect, and credibility is one of the most important things any leader can do in their organization. It will take time, but as your credibility grows so will your influence.

So here’s a question:

Out of these three things above, what is one step you can take to earn credibility?

 

 Brett Detken is a leadership expert and the Director of Marketing for The 4Sight Group. She has led in the local church for the past 20 years, and is a Professor of Business and Leadership. 

Leadership Lessons I’m Thankful for….#3

As I’ve pondered the leadership lessons I’m thankful for, I think of the times where I was the most uncomfortable in my leadership. The times when others gave me difficult feedback or the seasons where I lacked skills I needed for the role. These were the moments that shaped me the most because they forced change. It’s funny how some of the toughest moments of our lives become the ones we are most thankful for. “People don’t like change” is a phrase we often hear, but when I really step back and think about it, I am not sure I necessarily agree. My experience is that we like change that we can control, but we don’t like change that is forced upon us.

So when someone gives us tough feedback that requires change, we resist.
When circumstances force change, we resist. 
When decisions are made that we don’t agree with, we resist.

I once heard Seth Godin say that we don’t like change because it pushes us to a place of incompetence. We don’t want to feel incompetent so we resist change. To feel incompetent triggers fear, insecurity, doubt, and uncertainty – all the emotions we want to avoid.
And yet, change is where growth takes place. We don’t grow without change!

We don’t grow without change.

So today, it’s not necessarily a specific lesson I’m thankful for, but rather I’m thankful for those uncomfortable moments in my leadership that have forced change and therefore produced growth.

So the question today for all of us is, “Where are you resisting change?” And more specifically, “What might be on the other side of that change, that might be exactly what you are looking for?

 

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best!

 

Leadership Lesson’s I’m Thankful For…#2

Recently, my family came back from a trip to Yellowstone National Park.

The park is simply amazing in it’s beauty, vastness, and grandeur. It was so interesting to visit the famous landmarks, like the mud pots, the grand prismatic geysers, and namely the Old Faithful geyser. However, one of the biggest lessons we learned inside Yellowstone almost happened by accident, as we were driving our way through the park.

In fact, the lesson was all around us and yet, unless someone had pointed it out to our group, we most certainly would have missed it. This lesson comes from the Lodgepole Pine Tree. See back in 1988, there was a massive fire in Yellowstone which covered a significant amount of the park. The fire raged, thousands of trees were lost, and everyone thought the forest was gone. However, when you drive through today, you now see thousands of lodgepole pine trees. How did this happen? Well, here is what researchers discovered:

Lodgepole pine trees are created to have pine cones on them that are shut tight with an impenetrable glue like mixture. Because of this resin, the seeds are locked in tight, and cannot be released UNTIL they come into contact with VERY high temperatures–the very type of temperatures that fire provides!

So get this…..in order for lodgepole pine trees to grow, to expand, and to reproduce, they have to go through the fire! I mean, come on!!! What a leadership lesson for us!

In the same way, as much as we try to avoid it, the fires of life help us grow. They strengthen us, they prime us for new life, and they help clear away the junk. And oftentimes, it’s only after we go through the fires of pain, struggle, or hurt, that we are best able to plant seeds in others around us so that they can grow as well.

And listen, as leaders we will all have seasons where we will have to go through the fire. We will be hurt, criticized, and attacked. We will fail, make mistakes, and fumble. We will ALL go through the fire.

And the question for us when the fires rage around us is not,“Why is this happening”, but instead, “What do I need to learn?”

Because maybe, what you need to learn, will be the very thing that will help those around you and those you lead, grow and find new life.

So, the next time you are in a place in your life or leadership where the heat is getting turned up, and life is getting hot…remember that lodgepole pine, and how you too are uniquely created to grow stronger as a result of the fire.  

In fact, looking back on your own leadership journey, how have the fires of life helped you grow?

 

Brett Detken is a leadership expert and the Director of Marketing for The 4Sight Group. She has led in the local church for the past 20 years, and is a Professor of Business and Leadership. 

Leadership Lessons I’m thankful for….#1

Leadership Lessons I’m thankful for….

by Jenni Catron

The longer I lead the more I realize that there are times in our leadership journey when we have to make critical perspective shifts to think differently and therefore lead differently.  These moments are often hard to identify because we don’t know what we don’t know. That’s why they’re called blind spots. The longer we have these blind spots the more limited our leadership becomes.

That’s why I’m thankful for other leaders in my life who have been willing to identify these blind spots and expand my perspective.

One particular perspective shift that comes to mind is when a leader that I served with coached me on the need to chase momentum rather than fixate on problems. This thought was so counterintuitive to me. One of my strengths is identifying problems and creating plans to overcome them. This gifting has served me well but the more my leadership influence grew the more problems that mounted and the more I was figuratively chasing my tail rather than moving us forward.

My leader’s challenge to chase momentum first was not permission to ignore problems. It was simply a challenge to shift my perspective. I needed to recognize that my greatest attention needed to be given to where we were experiencing momentum as an organization. How could I provide more resources and support for the things that were working? How could I coach and encourage my staff who were leading initiatives that were experiencing momentum?

Momentum is an extraordinary gift.  

One of our responsibilities as leaders is to protect and propel momentum because building momentum or regaining momentum once it is lost is disproportionately more difficult.  

As leaders, there are problems to solve… and we need to solve them, but this perspective shift helped me realize I needed to prioritize momentum over problems. My tendency as a leader was to believe that spending time on problems was my greatest contribution, when in fact giving attention to our successes would actually reap greater rewards, both with our staff and to the bottom line.

So, are you more prone to fixing problems or fueling momentum?

This could be the perspective shift that makes all the difference!

 

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best!

3 Proven Tactics to Break the Growth Barriers in Your Organization

3 Proven Tactics to Break the Growth Barriers in Your Organization

By: Pam Marmon

 

Do you want to grow your organization and achieve more impact? If you are on a want to reach more people, you understand that scaling your organization is expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting. There is never enough time in the day to read one more book, attend one more training, and listen to one more podcast. You need to grow, now! Through my experience as an organizational effectiveness and growth management consultant, I’ve helped organizations of various sizes and industries, as they embarked on massive transformations. While some were wildly successful, many lessons were learned through failure. Here are three things you must apply if you want to gracefully scale your organization.

1. People

Your people are your biggest asset. The right people will take your organization to places that far outreach your imagination. Diversity of thoughts, backgrounds, and ideas enhance the quality of perspectives and helps you make strategic decisions. Apart from the obvious characteristics you need your team to exhibit, such as people who are knowledgeable, trust-worthy, and overall a great culture-fit, there is one superior characteristic that will drive your organization to growth.

Ownership.
To cultivate a culture of ownership, people must demonstrate entrepreneurial behaviors. Entrepreneurs obsess about their organizations. They have a stake in the game, an investment, and a higher level of commitment. Your role as a leader is to demonstrate those behaviors yourself, foster incentives that awaken an entrepreneurial mindset and encourage others to think and behave like owners. What can your organization change to cultivate an entrepreneurial environment?

2. Strategy

If you don’t know where your organization is going, you will end up somewhere. Do you want to leave that to chance? This is why successful organizations that scale well host quarterly strategic sessions to define the future path, review what needs fixing, and align on goals and objectives. If this is so important, why isn’t every organization doing it? Because you will need to stop all the important and urgent things you are already undertaking, and invest time in important and yet not urgent matters. Busy organizations are not necessarily productive organizations. Strategically aligned organizations, where people talk to each other, and do what is best for the collective interest of the organization, are productive. They have less re work, less internal strife, and less time putting out fires. If you want to scale your organization, host quarterly strategic sessions and cascade information throughout your organization. Listen, learn, and continuously adjust the plan. How can your organization gather data necessary for a successful strategic session?

3. Execution

If execution eats strategy for breakfast, then great ideas are worthless if not executed well. Execution is about discipline, accountability, and consequences. It’s about operational excellence and resolving the bottlenecks in your organization. It’s
about purposeful meetings, completed tasks, visibility to status, and recognition when milestones are met. It’s ok to run a tight ship and reward people for a job well done! If you want your company to excel in execution, create a culture where high- achievers thrive. Set the expectation that when commitments are made, people are held accountable and rewarded. It’s ok to make mistakes as long as we learn, adjust, and move on. Execution is about getting things done. How is your organization rewarding teams that excel in the area of execution? It is hard to get people, strategy, and execution flawless. But if you want to grow and scale your organization, you need to transition how you’ve done things in the past and look towards the future. Most importantly, remember your why! You need a compelling reason to anchor when the storms come and the inevitable challenges shake your position. Your people will persevere, your strategy will guide you, and your execution will help you get there.

This is a guest post by Pam Marmon who is the Founder of Threefold Tribe, a
consulting firm helping growing churches multiply and equipping the church to be
the highest functioning organization in the world.

Pam is also the Founder of Marmon Consulting, a growth management consulting firm helping growing companies scale by providing leadership and insights that deliver results and break the growth barrier. Church leaders and Christian non-profits can receive Pam’s free video resource on The 6 Steps to Effective Internal Communications, with bonus materials including worksheets, checklists, and an Excel toolkit. In the absence of communications, rumors, anxiety, and lost productivity emerge. You can change that! From strategy to execution, you can improve how your organization serves more people to achieve greater mission and impact.

Leader, Jenni Catron, Leadership Consulting

From Possibility to Reality: The True Mark of a Leader

From Possibility to Reality: The Bridge Building of a Leader

By: Jenni Catron

 

I WAS SO FRUSTRATED! WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN EXCITING OPPORTUNITY BECAME ONE OF MY MOST FRUSTRATING PROFESSIONAL MOMENTS.

I was fuming at the end of the meeting. Each person on the marketing team had been tasked with brainstorming an idea for an upcoming project and presenting it to the entire team. The executives would choose the best idea with the understanding that the winning idea would be the anchor promotion for the campaign we were working on.

The meeting started out really fun. Everyone had come with some great ideas. We were inspired and excited about the possibilities. Sure, some of the ideas were outrageous but the creative juices were flowing. The energy was infectious.

Now it was time for the executives to choose the winning idea. I didn’t expect to win. Even I knew my idea wasn’t the best one presented… after all, I’m not so much an ideas girl. I’m more of an implementer. I take pride in being the one on the team that can find a way to get the big idea done. And that’s what puzzled me so much about what happened next. When the executives announced their choice I thought they were joking. Sure, the idea they chose was a really fun and outrageous idea, but it wasn’t a doable idea. Not just in that it would be challenging or stretching… it wasn’t a doable idea because we couldn’t LEGALLY do it. Contest rules and government regulations limited the viability of the idea.

While everyone was high-fiving and talking about how cool the idea was. I was internally screaming at the stupidity of the decision. What good is an idea… a vision… if it’s not a doable idea?

Oftentimes we as leaders don’t realize the frustration we cause when we pitch extraordinary ideas and outrageous goals to our teams. Time and time again as I work with executive leaders and their teams I discover an enormous chasm that exists between a leader’s ideas and the reality that it takes for the team to accomplish them.

But what I’ve also discovered is that most ideas are actually possible, it’s just that the leader has failed to connect reality with possibility. A big part of our job as leaders is to be vision casters. We need to be dreaming of the possibilities. We need to have hope for a better future and greater outcomes. But casting vision is not enough. The challenge emerges when we disconnect too much from the reality of what it takes for our teams to help us achieve these visions. Gary Vaynerchuk describes this as living in the “clouds and dirt.” He says, “I spend all my time in the clouds and the dirt. That is to say, I only ever focus on the high-end philosophy of what I believe, and the low-down subject matter expertise that allows me to execute against it. Know the philosophy, know the details, and ignore everything in the middle.”

When we live in the clouds and never get in the dirt, we are no longer equipped to adequately lead our teams. Leaders lose credibility when we’re disconnected from reality. We have to create the bridge. We have to help connect the dots and create a pathway that our teams can see.

As leaders, we must keep ourselves tethered to reality. Remember, not everyone is on board with your big idea. As leaders, we think our grand ideas are obviously great. We birthed them so how would we think any different?  But while you’re pushing through a grand dream, you could be pushing your team to burnout. If your team really hasn’t embraced an idea as their own they aren’t prepared to put in the long hours and sacrifice it takes. What is a natural overflow for you is grueling, resentment producing work for them. You have to slow down to bring them with you, and perhaps let them shape the vision too.

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best!

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