How Do We Measure Success? – A Great Conversation Starter for Your Team.
Often times in ministry we experience a cloud of confusion rolling into our best laid plans. It seemed as though everyone was on the same page at one point, but now it doesn’t look so much like it.
Have you ever experienced that feeling? Maybe you have had several meetings on an issue and felt like the direction was clear only to find out it wasn’t. Chances are if you have ever had this experience it is because the description of “success” had not been clearly defined for the issue.
Example: Imagine you told 20 of your friends that you were holding a race this Saturday around your neighborhood and that you would like to invite them, and the winner would receive a great prize at the finish line; but then left it at that. Well, you have just set yourself up for some unmet expectations, frustrations and disappointment.
Some of those friends might of assumed you meant a bike race, so they brought their bike, others – running on foot, others – walking, others in their car. Also, your idea of a great prize to the winner might be not so great to your potential winners because it didn’t meat their expectations of “great”. Typically without clarity, our own imagination paints a very different picture of success.
In contrast, if you want a specific type of success to be achieved you must be very specific in describing what it would take to be successfull. Leave nothing in the description to chance and nothing to remain unclear.
As a team you will have to communicate as to what level you have to go into specifics for each project or process. Defining success should not be a practice in hand cuffing your ministry teams. It should, in fact free them up to reach that target in the best way as their skills allow because it gives them the necessary information to formulate a best case scenario solution.
As a team discuss the following questions:
- Describe a time in the recent past when we failed to properly define what success would look like with clarity?
- What effect did that lack of clarity have on the team?
- What effect did that lack of clarity have on the project or process?
- What are some ways that we could do a better job of defining success as a team?
- How will we strike the right balance of clear direction and freedom to reach success by using our individual gifts?
- Is there a project or process on the table right now that we need to define success for more clearly?
These simple starter questions can set you and your team free to hit well defined targets in the future.
What would you add to the list?