Most of these “Leadership Proverbs” I’ve just picked up, absorbed and imbibed by some process of osmosis along the way and don’t know exactly whom they originated from. But when I know I’ll make reference, and when I don’t it’s not that I’m ungrateful or that I want to appear like a genius. It’s genuinely that I can’t remember. So if I’ve flogged something from you let me know and I’ll happily acknowledge it.
Leaders are all about doing things. Moving forward. Getting things done. Achieving things. Accomplishing things. Planning ahead. Solving problems. All that good stuff. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But every now and then you need to pause and take a breath and look around at what God has done in and among and through the team and celebrate and thank Him for showing up and being at work.
No matter how enthusiastic and godly and developed your team is they will still lose momentum. The friction of ministry will push against them and the grind of the task will sap enthusiasm from them and slow them down.
So you need to intentionally take time out to see what God has achieved among them and why all their effort has been valuable. They need to see that what they’re doing matters. And while it is true that God keeps most of the positive impact we have on people from us so that we don’t get puffed up with pride, it’s also true that he does reveal just enough to us to keep us in the game. And when you’re working as a team sometimes there’s only one person who is aware of the win, but it’s a win the whole team had a hand in achieving – because you’re a team! So the team needs to hear those stories.
It might be surprising to notice how often God legislated for his people to take time out and celebrate. And it might be surprising how long some of those celebrations went for. All the Feasts in the Old Testament were God’s legislated, intentional celebrations for His people. A time for them to stop and reflect and notice what God had done for them and was doing among them. There’s a good reason why he did that. Celebrating is important to God.
And it’s good for your team. Celebrate wins. Celebrate them in small ways along the way, and block in time for big, official, intentional celebration. It communicates to your team that thankfulness is valued. It communicates that God is the giver of all good things and all growth. It communicates that you’re not just interested in squeezing as much productivity as you can out of your team but that you want to sow into them as well. It communicates clearly what it is you see as a win and what the vision looks like in practice because those are the stories you highlight and celebrate. And celebrating communicates that this team is worth belonging to.