Like many leaders I am what I call an architect by wiring. God has given me the ability to see what can be and look five to ten years in the future. Like an architect I can envision what the ministry could be and the macro pieces that will be needed to see it happen. God has given the ability to think conceptually - which is what architects do. Many senior leaders have similar wiring. It is simply how God made me.
Architects, however have a different skill set than does a general contractor. Those who are wired as general contractors have the unique ability to take what the architect has drawn and ensure that it is translated into reality. Architects draw pictures while general contractors run process, hire sub contractors and make sure that the right thing is done at the right time so that things are done in order and properly. No architect is successful without a requisite general contractor and general contractors rely on the architect for the picture of what could be.
If you translate this into my world as a senior leader who paints the picture I need a general contractor who can help translate that picture into reality by finding the right people and running the right process to build what is on the picture one step at a time. If the skill of the architect is the picture, the skill of the general contractor is process.
Ministry leaders like me need a general contractor like my sidekick Gary Hunter whose complimentary skills in running process can bring a ministry structure and strategy to reality. The partnership between myself and Gary were and are critical in building a fabulous senior team and running the change process we have been through. I could not have done it alone and I never ignore the counsel of my partner.
Senior leaders who operate without a partner to help build what they envision find themselves in trouble on a regular basis. The two skills are different but both are necessary to see success. It takes a non-threatened senior leader, however, because the general contractor's influence is found throughout the ministry. They may not be in front but they make it happen.
If you are a senior leader, do you have a general contractor beside you whom you work with, listen to and empower? If not you are missing one of the key secrets of long term success.
All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence, are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.