I’ve heard it said, “Great leaders aren’t afraid to hire people better than themselves.” I wish I could fall into either of those categories but I have observed some things that have reminded me of that quote.
For starters, I was out of the office all last week. My boss was gone for half of it and another key person on the team was gone for the week as well. In the past, that equals a lack of productivity for the team. However, this week our interns did more work than some of the years past intern teams completed all summer. Their hard work has given us a lot more freedom and room to breathe this week. Sure there is still plenty to do in preparation for Boot Camp (summer camp for rising sixth graders) but knowing how much is already done allows us to focus on the details. Good thing too. This is our biggest Boot Camp in history. We’ll be taking somewhere in the range of 240 – 250 sixth graders to camp. Along with their leaders and our team. It’s going to be crazy go nuts. (Obscure Home Star Runner reference)
On another note, my wiffle ball team is amazing. If you remember correctly, my former softball team was unable to win a single game in the entire season. The soccer team I coached won three of the last five…okay, three games total for the season. I was asked last minute to Captain a team for our interoffice wiffle ball season. I was able to pick all but two or three of the people I wanted for my team. It shows. Right now we sit happily with two wins and zero losses. I had an off day and my team still won 6 – 2.
I say all that to … well, brag a bit but also to show that sometimes the most success comes from finding people who work well together and letting them do their thing. Even if it means that you do less yourself. As a person who has had a difficult time letting go of ownership to others, I see not only a huge advantage to giving people opportunity but a necessity. If we don’t hire or pick or pull together the right people AND let them work, play or execute we will have a limited success rate. Where would any of us be if someone older and wiser hadn’t given us our shot? What would we have learned? Christ handed his entire message and ministry to eleven men. Yet we get antsy about letting an up and comer handle something without giving us the credit. It’s time we got over ourselves and started pouring into the cups of people who will “do even greater things.”