As an organization gets larger there can be a tendency for the “institution” to dampen the “inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?
There’s two parts to this one. First, to be intentionally aware to the institutional signs. Leaders need to be constantly aware of what people are complaining about. If they are complaining about institutional things, then you are tending towards the institution. If the majority of complaints have to do with the inconvenience of growth (i.e. less parking spots available, having to sit in different places, not knowing everyone, schedule changes), then growth will stop being their goal. The best complaints about these things are connected to, “Isn’t it great!”, then you know that growth will continue to be the goal. The best complaint I’ve heard recently was from someone who was a bit late for the service at The Grove, he said, “There’s hardly any parking spots out there! This is awesome!” It made my morning.
The second part of this is that the leader must remain inspirational and not institutional. Leaders have got to intentionally choose people on their schedules over programs, policy development and structures. For me, inspiration is raised through personal time with Jesus, scheduled physical activity (exercise and around-the-house work), scheduled free thinking time and creative inputs like reading, music and other teachers’ lectures. To do this intentionally, I frequently check my schedule at the end of the week to see how much time was spent with people. It needs to be high, like 20-40% of time should be spent with people.