Friday, June 13, 2008

Nancy Beach On Leadership Challenges

We are at our hotel, waiting to leave for the airport in half an hour (and getting messages that flights are being delayed...I WANT TO GO HOME! PLEASE!) I'm scrolling through my notes from Nancy Beach's point leader session. Called 'Behind Closed Doors: Leaders Examine Their Greatest Leadership Challenges', it was full of fascinating nuggets of information and encouragement. I also enjoyed the change to see Nancy communicating in a more intimate environment.

And doesn't every woman in ministry secretly want to be Nancy Beach? I know I do.

Anyway, here's some of what I heard that resonated most deeply with me:

Arts leaders' job descriptions will morph continually. This is a good sign, but difficult to process internally. It requires mature leadership.

Generally, arts leaders start out in the center of planning, concept and design from every angel and detail - right up next to volunteers. Eventually, this era ends and you become a leader of leaders, which will remove you from the blessing of being up close to volunteers.

Whoever is leading the arts ministry should have a seat at the senior management table.

In order to create a sustainable job description, determine your unique contribution to your team; what would be most missed if you left? What would be the hardest thing to replace? As a small group of those who know you best to help you discover your unique contribution. Design something that is 1) sustainable, 2) joyful, 3) gives you creative room and 4) contributes to a rhythm of life that has breathing room.

Create a schedule that deals with energy management rather than meeting blocks. Consider this: Where are you most productive? When are you most productive? Adjust accordingly and protect that time! (Nancy often spends her mornings at Panera to write and plan.)

After you determine your unique contribution and establish a working rhythm, you have to divest yourself of relationships, your identity as a leader (and learn to celebrate the wins of those who take on your responbilities) and your pride (how will you function if you are not at the center of everything?).

As you develop the next set of leaders, look for people who have good instincts; this is integral and not easy to teach. Good instincts appreciate and understand aesthetics and what is appropriate for our church and community.

Create a culture that understands the fluidity of job descriptions for everyone. Evaluate every six months.

Protect against burn-out of volunteers by building community and giving them evidence of life-change.

This was good stuff - things I am still processing as I seek to determine
the four or five issues that I will carry with me as Big Ideas from this

It really has been wonderful.

As we wait to head for
the airport, we're saddened to hear that Tim Russert has passed. Praying for his
family today.


annie said...

Sounds like a great conference, one that was very helpful for you!

kim said...

i think this is the first blog post that I'm actually going to print out. Thank you!!!

Connie K. said...

This really resonates with what's happening all around PCC -- similar thoughts conveyed in various ministry and leadership meetings. It is critical that the creative arts ministry function in this way...we creative people tend to want to do it all, or become protective of our efforts, and the Godly leadership model calls us to spread the power and creative opportunity around so those who are called can serve, and those who are considering service can see that their contributions will make a difference.

Mary said...

Good. You have lots of food for thoughts. I know you love that! Welcome home!

dorothy (vicar of vibe) said...

That was helpful. Thank you.
Still looking for set designs...