All of us desire to be part of a great organization. Who wants mediocre or average? A great organization can be a small local church, a large ministry or anything in between. But they are characterized by five key elements.
First, they have great clarity about what they are about and they focus on that clarity with a lazer like focus. Great organizations are not scattered but highly focused. That focus allows them to go after specific results and know when they have achieved their goals. Everyone in the organization is aligned around that focus and those goals. Great organizations are not distracted by all the things they could be doing but focused on the few things they must be doing.
Second, great organizations treat their staff well. They hire the best, compensate the best they can and empower staff to use their gifts and energies to achieve the goals without micromanaging. Staff morale is a significant marker of the health of any organization.
No matter how strategic a ministry is, or how driven to meet their goals, if they do not treat staff well, develop them and have a high retention rate, one cannot claim to be a great organization. Staff culture and health is a major indicator of the true health of the organization.
I recently stayed in a hotel in Kenya where I interacted with many staff. I asked all of them how they liked working for their organization and to a person they told me how happy they were with the General Manager and the empowered atmosphere he had created. At the end of two weeks I knew that this was a great organization just from watching and interacting with the staff. Staff culture reveals the true DNA of any organization.
Third, great organizations are team led and driven. The strongest organizations have strong leaders and strong teams. Teams provide far more synergy, energy and creativity than any one leader. Further, if that leader was to be hit by the proverbial "bus" there are others who can step in and continue on. Any organization that is dependent on one key leader is unlikely to be a great organization. The creation and deployment of teams is indicative of a collegial and empowered atmosphere.
Fourth, great organizations are always developing the next generation of leaders. I believe that the test of our leadership is not simply what happens when we are leading but what happens after we leave. Did we leave the organization stronger then when we came? Did we leave behind the next generation of leaders who could take the ministry to the next level? A culture of leadership development is a sign of a great organization. In making this a priority we are committing to the long term health of the organization rather than simply short term success.
Fifth, great organizations are led by humble, intentional leaders. This applies not only to the top leadership role but all the leadership roles within the ministry. Humble leaders create a culture of dependence on God and collegial work, knowing that life is not about them. Humble leaders create opportunities for others and develop others. Humble leaders are open and approachable. Humble leaders serve others rather than use others. Pride is incompatible with Christian leadership.