Flying In Fog – How To Lead When You Can’t See What’s Coming

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog!

That’s because like so many leaders I have had to get on with leading more than just write about it.

The world stopped on its axis for a while and now we are on the reboot, with so many changes already having happened and repercussions working themselves out over time.

We have some brilliant team members here at Ivy who have been with us a long while, and a whole bunch of new ones. It’s been a season when it’s hard to navigate forward well and recently when I spoke to our team as we had a day to outline our present and near future priorities I laid out briefly the things that I have tried to keep front and centre as we have been flying through fog.

When a pilot hits thick cloud, he or she has to now fly on instruments. What’s on the panel ahead of you that will mean you reach the intended destination rather than make a dent in a mountainside?

For church leaders, the present time can put us in a spin if the measures we use to go forward are all about counting how many people are coming back (they may not) or how much money is in the plate (does anyone still do that?). We need other measurements and indicators.

The icons above are my leadership instrument panel, and help me provide a checklist to not freeze in fog, but keep moving ahead.

LOVE

LOVE

Let’s keep LOVE front and centre. 1 Corinthians 13 says in effect if we do great ministry without great love, it’s useless in the end. So often I can get driven by results or measuring success but in the end if it’s not done for love and from love, so what?

But this isn’t some passive feeling – ‘the love of Christ compels us’ to action so the next instrument to check is..

WHY?

WHY?

Simon Sinek says ‘Start With Why?’ – and it’s a great book, but I don’t want to start with why – because I want to make sure MY Why comes out of love.

Knowing I am loved BY God, before I even do anything for God deals with my insecurity and can slow down my natural drivenness long enough to receive directions from the ‘control tower’.

The WHY of ministry can’t just come from myself, or others. It has to come from the God who is love.

Our WHY at Ivy is ‘helping people find their way back to God.’ Simple and clear. I keep it central in our decision making.

It’s important that YOU know WHY you are doing what you’re doing, the difference you’ll make. How else will you communicate that to others so they can join you?

ATTITUDE

ATTITUDE

One of the biggest indicator instruments in the cockpit is the attitude indicator.

It tells me where I am at in relationship to the ground. Nose down? I’m headed for trouble. If the last year or so has taught us anything surely it’s that I can’t control what’s happening down here on the earth – but I can always choose my attitude relative to it.

It’s the difference maker. I have to have a healthy attitude myself, before I’ll be able to look after others.

WHO?

WHO?

Who’s on the team and how are they?

Who’s on board with us – and how are they doing?

The people are a priority!

Getting the right people in the right places doing the right things the right way means constant observation and clear, caring communication, both of which I need to continually work on!

WHERE?

WHERE?

My final dial (what others do you have? let me know in the comments) is to keep checking where we are going, on the way to our destination.

What I mean by that is that while I may be clear where we are ultimately headed, there are any number of adjustments to be made along the way.

If I set out from Manchester to Chicago it won’t be a straight line trip (despite how those little screens on the headrest in front make it look). There will be turbulence and winds and other traffic to consider so we will zig and zag and zag and zig all the way, until we get where we are meant to be.

So – if right now you feel like you’re flying in fog, check the instruments, and keep going – you’ll get there in the end and if you’re not there yet, it’s not the end.

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