Have you ever had a snag in a project and looked to the leader and nothing happened? Once upon a time, I was opening up a new CC’s Coffee House in the Mall of Louisiana. I was in charge from the company side but we had a project leader on the construction side. We needed to get the store complete and open for the major GRAND OPENING of the whole, entire mall. I had opened several other coffee houses by this time and the construction project manager was the LEADER!. Without him we were toast. He seemed to always be able to get inspectors out when we needed them, find parts and equipment if something broke, and keep his team motivated to finish on time. At this mall location we had a different construction project manager. He didn’t have the same characteristics as our “other project manager”. He would disappear from the job for hours on end. There was never any explanations and if we hit a snag he blamed circumstances rather than making things happen. This stressed me to no end as the mall had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the grand opening marketing. We had to make this opening!
Because our project manager had not made things happen thus far, the closer we got to the opening date the more time I spent on site camped out. We were down to to the wire and we didn’t have any air conditioning. Even in October you need air conditioning in Louisiana. Plus, it sort of left a big hole open. The day before we opened the air conditioner arrived but there was no contractors. None! They just didn’t show up. I got hold of the project manager and he said he would be right over. Two hours later I still was alone on my site with my team filling up sugar containers.
Finally, out of desperation, I realized I was going to have to lead this thing to completion on my own. (Now I am not much of a contractor. The extent of my knowledge is recognizing the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer.) I walked down the mall looking for contractors. I was randomly asking men with tools if they knew how to install air conditioners. Seriously! I finally found someone who could prove that they were equipped and experienced in air conditioner installation. I would say I hired them, but I think it was more like graveling. I basically begged. They said they would install mine when they finished the one they were working on. However, they needed to be paid upon completion. No problem, I just whipped out my personal check book, and told them they would be taken care of.
I couldn’t follow a project manager that didn’t make things happen. It caused me to have a Plan B. With God, we never need a plan B.
My third leadership tip from God is that leaders make stuff happen!
God makes stuff happen.
He is the ideal! He is wise, powerful and discerning. At the same time He can be patient, loving and merciful. When you combine these traits you have some unbeatable leadership! As a leader we usually have command of more resources, more training, and more experience than those we lead. In business we hit road blocks all of the time. In life we do too. When I hit major roadblocks in life most of the time I am smart and I turn to God to help me work things out. I do that because I know He is all powerful, all knowing and all loving. The amazing thing is that if we turned to Him in total dependence He acts. He answers our prayers in one way or the other. To get things done he may:
- part the Red Sea.
- heal the sick.
- work supernaturally through others.
- provide what we need when we need it (even if it isn’t what we want, when we want it.)
What our team is looking for from our Leadership
I believe our team expects similar results. They are looking for us to “part the Red Sea” on their behalf. I just wanted our project manager to get our store open on time. Since he didn’t have a track record of getting things done, I did not trust him. We don’t want that to happen with our team! We want them to have a foundation they can trust and a leader they can follow. At least if we have done our job as a Godly leader I believe that we will have employees who will openly share road blocks with us, will let us know if trouble is coming, and will follow us wherever we lead. Why? One of the reasons is that we make stuff happen. They trust us to solve the problem, provide guidance, equip them and/or pray to our God for help. Even if it requires the fine art of graveling and a personal check!