I know that some people just aren’t wired this way and so it’s hard to get your mind around this. Some of you are, but you lack the information or sometimes the inspiration to develop the systems you need. Here’s what I’ve come to know over the years. The breadth of your impact will often be determined by the systems you have in place. A ministry without systems will always struggle to grow. Charisma and environment will always help being momentum, but a lack of systems will frustrate, plateau and even cripple sustainable growth. I hear the story all the time, how someone loved a church, product or resource but they eventually left because they weren’t taken care of. This is usually the result of a flawed, broken or lack of a system.
In a basic sense of the concept, a system is simply a set of rules that dictate actions. You know a system is really good when it takes you out of the picture. It’s working well when some task is accomplished regardless of you having to remember to do it.
Why do we need systems? Isn’t it obvious? We’re flawed. We forget. We take on too much or we simply have too much to do. Systems help ensure that things happen in spite of our inability to to remember or be organized and intentional. There are many reports and studies that describe how many people one person can lead or how many things one person can accomplish. Leadership is about delegating and multiplication to increase leadership and productivity, but systems alone give you a competitive edge. They broaden what you’re able to do just on your own. They ensure that your emails don’t go unanswered, that volunteers get information and people are connected with. Now, when you combine systems with leadership, it’s a completely different ballgame.
This week I’m going to unpack systems, explore some things we should talk about and I’ll share some of my favorite systems and even some systems I’m working to develop right now.
However, I’d like to leave you with a thought/question. Are there certain tasks that you feel like you’re doing all the time (maybe something menial)? It’s likely there is a system that could help you there. Are there particular issues you encounter on a regular basis where you miss the mark (forget meetings, slow in getting back to people or a negative family experience)? You need a system here ASAP! Is there a task that has to be done, but doing it keeps you from doing something more critical or strategic? You have to develop a system here. I ask these questions to get you thinking about where you need new systems. Write them down and lets process these things this week and hopefully, we’ll get more done and broaden our impact because you’ve made something automatic.
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