Leadership Practices

In January, I did a series called “Ethos” in which we talked through our Ministry Principles at Harris Creek. These five principles were created to outline how we make decisions at Harris Creek and clearly articulate what makes us unique as a church. We want people who are considering becoming covenant members to know what they are signing up for before they make a commitment to this body.

While we were developing these Ministry Principles, we also adopted a set of Leadership Practices for our paid staff. These Leadership Practices are meant not only to articulate what we expect from our paid staff members, but also to create a work environment that is highly effective, efficient, and enjoyable. By the way, if you are interested in getting work experience and learning more about our staff culture, a great way to do this would be through our Intern Program.

I thought it would be good to share these practices for those who are in leadership roles in other organizations. While this list is not exhaustive (in fact, we may continue to add to it as time goes on), it does give you insight into the staff culture we are trying to create. Here are the five Leadership Practices our team has adopted:


SPEAK WITH CANDOR
A leader is someone who is capable of speaking with candor in all situations. To speak with candor means you are able to:

  • Say the last 10% that needs to be said
  • Address any “elephants” in the room head-on
  • Season your language with both grace and truth
  • Speak your mind, even at the risk of disagreement, without being a jerk

SHOW YOUR WORK
A leader is someone who can deliver tangible and measurable results in a timely manner. To show your work means you are able to:

  • photo-1421757295538-9c80958e75b0Point to quantifiable results in your ministry area
  • Place a completed project in someone’s hand from the last 30 days at any given point
  • Demonstrate attention to detail, a focus on quality, and a healthy work ethic
  • Document when, where, and how you have spent your time

ACT LIKE AN OWNER
A leader is someone who thinks and acts on behalf of the entire organization, not just their own ministry area. To act like an owner means you are able to:

  • Think about the health of the whole, even before your specific ministry area
  • Take personal responsibility for creating a healthy and productive culture
  • Act decisively to get a problem fixed if you see something that is broken
  • Do the little things without complaining because you take pride in what you own
  • Work to understand what you don’t know to be a better manager of the resources entrusted to you

CREATE EXCELLENT ENVIRONMENTS
A leader is someone who pays attention to detail and works to create intentional and excellent environments. To create an excellent environment means you are able to:

  • Prepare the space you are responsible for before people arrive
  • Take hospitality and hosting our guests to a new level
  • Focus on even the smallest details because they communicate your level of preparation to lead
  • Engage as many of the five senses as possible in a positive way with the environments you create

DISPLAY SELF-AWARENESS
A leader is someone who is aware of both their strengths and weaknesses. To display self-awareness means you are able to:

  • Be vocally self-critical when necessary and appropriate
  • Acknowledge your mistakes before others are forced to bring them up
  • Actively work to identify and correct any mistakes you’ve made
  • Put systems and structures in place to offset any weaknesses
  • Respond in the moment by saying “thank you” when presented with criticism

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