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Journal

LeaderTip - Don’t Just Do It (yourself)

Mark Junkans

For type A leaders, having high expectations for yourself and your team is normal.  You drive hard towards your goals and  expect others to do the same.  Many leaders, however, find it easier to just do something themselves rather than being disappointed with another’s performance (or lack of).  By doing so, they secretly hope that others will see how they do it and follow their example.  Most of the time they are sorely dissapointed.

Unfortunately, the more you “just do it yourself” the more others will sit back and let you.  Whether your concern is timeliness or quality, don’t fall into this trap. You are not really leading, you are doing.  This is sign of either perfectionism or leadership laziness (both of which I’m guilty of).

A true leader develops the leadership of those around her.  It’s ok to show someone how to do something or to help out in a pinch, but never ok to do your subordinate’s job because it’s easier than “getting them to do it.”  As frustrating as it is, do the hard work of leading someone to do their job well.

By not just doing something yourself, you actually raise the expectations of those that you lead.  

  1. You force yourself to clearly communicate your expectations. 
  2. Those you lead will default to taking action instead of waiting to see whether you will do it.
  3. You can begin to focus less on the execution of the task and more on the quality of the work, raising expectations even more.