This week I spent an hour and a half of my time sitting in a Starbucks looking for the perfect most excellent photo I could find for a card we are sending out to friends, family, and supporters of our new church. Frustrated with how long it was taking me to find something I liked, I eventually gave up and settled on a picture. The next day I listened to a podcast that reminded me of something I really needed to hear,
The difference between an 8 and an 11 is not that much.
I love that quote and here is the reason why.
I had actually already hired someone to find this perfect picture. He was also paid to make the graphic with the picture and send it to me for review. It was his job to find the most excellent photo for the backdrop of the card. It was his job to spend time searching and creating the card. However, because I want everything to be perfect in my eyes, there I was trying to do his job when I could have been using that time in a more productive way. I could have spent that time praying, making phone calls, connecting with people or countless other things. Instead I was doing someone elses job trying to find a picture that would be an 11.
My point is this, why was I doing something that ultimately didnt matter? Does it really matter if the picture is an 8 or 11? As the podcast pointed out, the difference between an 8 and an 11 isnt that far. I think this is a concept so many of us as leaders need to realize:
Let the people you have hired do the jobs you have paid them to do. Let the people you have empowered with a task do the things you have empowered them to do!
This applies even if you think their final product is an 8, because in someone elses eyes it may be the 11 you are looking for. Also, remember what you perceive to be an 11 might be a 5 to someone else.
The next day, after my hour and a half search I showed the picture to a launch team member and he said, to me the picture is a 5, not an 11. Ha! All of that work and still someone elses opinion was different from mine.
As leaders, I believe everyone has three things God has designed us to be great at. Three skills we can perfect and do an awesome job with. Every time we stray outside those three things and put our hands in something we have empowered someone else to do. We disempower others and forget that area is not ours to make great it is someone elses. As leaders, we need to learn to let go and trust our team. I want to be a leader that doesnt freak out if something is an 8 in my eyes instead of an 11. The difference Im learning is really not that far.