Leading Well Through Mistakes
Lead through the problem(s)
One thing that I’ve seen happen time and time again, is that when problems arise during a show, service, production or prep, the leader just walks away. They don’t stick it out and lead. Leadership is more than barking orders and telling people what to do. It’s showing those you lead how to overcome the problems that they will undoubtedly encounter at some point.
It may not be while they’re under your leadership, but you can help them in the long term (and short term) to be prepared for anything that may come their way. If you lead them well in the challenges, they’ll be less likely to abandon their post if you’re seen as being a steady leader in your position.
Avoid the temptation to just take over
One of my biggest weaknesses is being a “I’ll just do it myself” guy. I know how to do something and I know (usually) how to do it well. I know in the tech world there are so many leaders that fall into this category. You have a “team” but they’re really just button pushers and cable cleaners. Trust me, they’re longing for more than that. Your team wants to understand what you’re doing. They want the opportunity to do what you do. Don’t be threatened by this. Lead people to where they want to end up. You should always be trying to lead yourself out of a job. It will make your position stronger to the organization and give you more opportunities than you could ever dream of when you hold onto things too tightly.
Lead people to where they want to end up.
Follow up with your team
Mistakes happen, things go wrong, equipment and people fail all the time. How you handle it in the moment and the aftermath speaks volumes to the type of leader that you are. It’s easy to lead well in the moment (especially in front of the client, pastor, etc.) but then after the fact, to harp on your team for the mistakes.
Don’t pass over blame, but use mistakes as ways to learn and grow. If someone missed a cue, it’s a great opportunity to practice that cue during your next rehearsal.
If you can work through mistakes and build people up, than your team will grow and thrive. No one wants to work for (or volunteer under) a leader who is always negative in how they lead.
Make time to develop new leaders within your team. This investment will help ensure that excellence is the goal and outcome of every production. People want to lead and be lead, not simply bossed around.
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