Have you ever delegated a task only to be disappointed when it wasn't executed as quickly or as effectively as you expected? Me too! I often assume it's because the person doesn't move at the same pace I do or have the motivation to do it. But I've found the assumptions I make are often in error and prevent me from seeing the real issue.
Several months ago Jay, our Lead Pastor at The Chapel, was working with a bunch of leaders. John Bostain, one of the leaders in the group, mentioned he gives his team five important permissions during training. Jay was so impressed that he added one of his own! Up until this point I hadn't really thought about the importance of permission-giving in leading a team. But as I've been reflecting on these permissions more and more, I've found they are an essential part of delegating responsibility in a life-giving and equipping way.
6 Permissions your Leaders Need:
1. You have permission to make decisions that need to be made. In other words, you are trusted to make decisions that fall within your area of responsibility. When we empower leaders with a task, we need to give them the full responsibility for making wise decisions within their areas. When we make them jump through hoops and obtain a series of approvals before a decision can be made, it communicates the message they can't be trusted. It also prevents them from owning the decision and learning from the outcome.
2. You have permission to start things that need to be started. We need to empower leaders to take initiative to notice when things aren't right and give them permission to make changes that lead to improvement. If we aren't starting new initiatives on a regular basis to reach new people with the gospel, then we're choosing to be stuck. Giving leaders the freedom to innovate fosters a creative culture that keeps the whole organization on mission and moving forward.
3. You have permission to ask for help when you need it. Leaders are learners and the only way to learn is to ask. When we give people permission to ask for help, we're communicating that we expect them to take risks and do things they don't yet know how to do. This creates a culture with a growth mindset.
4. You have permission to help others when you see they need it. Silos often exist between ministry areas and this creates a culture of, "Not my circus, not my monkeys" where people do not take initiative to help in ministry areas outside their own. We need to create teams without walls that inspire people to be observant and assist when someone is struggling. This doesn't mean you take away the responsibility from the one who is struggling, but that you come alongside and offer assistance and support- even if they haven't asked.
5. You have permission to do what inspires you. Inspired people are passionate people. Passionate people look for opportunities to serve, learn, and lead in all avenues of their lives. When your leaders are doing what they were created to do, they're better leaders in all aspects of their lives.
6. You have permission to fail. This is the final permission that Jay added to the list. As a matter of fact, you can even turn this into an expectation. You are expected to fail. If we never fail, are we really doing everything we can to reach people who have not heard the Gospel? Are we going far enough? If we do everything, short of sin, to reach people with the Gospel, we will be taking risks and some of those risks will fail. Give your leaders permission to fail and create a culture where failure is seen as a normal step on the journey toward success.
The next time you delegate a task or responsibility, consider giving your leaders permission to lead, create, innovate, and learn. Watch what God will do through someone who has the gifts, talents, and permission to lead the way they were created to lead!