By Bossidy and Charan

If you’re able to translate business examples into church examples this book offers a wealth of information about how to lead a staff so that dreams actually become reality. I’m going to try to make that translation for you.

Sharing a big hairy audacious goal is the easy part of leadership; making it happen is the real nitty-gritty of leadership.  This book shows you how to turn a dream into reality.

In most churches a huge gap exists between what the pastor wants accomplished and what the organization is capable of making happen. So the pastor has to translate the mission into concrete steps and then hold the other leaders accountable.  Along the way the pastor has to coach and rigorously ask questions.

According to the authors, the execution of a mission consists of

·         discussing the” Hows” and “Whats” of the mission

·         along the way rigorously questioning every “How and What” so that everyone sees the reality of the situation,

·          following through to make sure plans are on track

·          and insuring accountability.

Execution has three core processes:  People, Strategy, and Operational.  According to the authors, A leader needs to run all three processes.  I agree the pastor hires the lead staff and sets the strategy. But I don’t agree that the pastor oversees operations, not if you have an executive pastor. The lead pastor is intimately involved in the hiring of the lead staff, but the Executive Pastor runs operations. This is where the pastor has to constantly ask the right questions and continually recast the mission.

The Executive Pastor carries out the operations but is responsible to the pastor in regard to the details. This is where empowerment enters the picture.  But empowerment does not mean abandonment.  The biggest danger of empowerment is becoming out of touch. The lead pastor has to continually ask the hard questions no one else wants to ask. Reality has to be seen by everyone. It’s the pastor job to insure everyone is asking the right questions.

One of the guidelines in the book needs to be heard as much as anything else in the book – Never finish a staff meeting without discussing the follow through, and who will do it. Pastor, no matter how busy you might be, it’s your responsibility to insure that the “Hows” and “Whats” of the mission are actually happening, even if you have an Executive Pastor- not directly, but by following up with the right questions.