A Simple Word with Big Power

draftThe hour was growing long in the tooth. Eyelids drooped. Tempers tightened. For an hour, the leadership team had discussed, argued, and cajoled about the issue. The only thing that happened was the clock’s hands moved farther.

The solution is found in a magic word in the leadership dictionary. It’s a simple word, one we know but hard to use.

The word is “draft.”

What’s the magic of a draft of a document?

A draft signals someone has thought about an issue and has tried to solve it. At the same time, a draft indicates a work in progress. It is something which can be altered, massaged or changed.

An effective servant-leader changes the direction and dynamics of the next meeting with a “draft.” He has listened carefully to the issues and objections which were raised. He knows the itches which need to be scratched and has a map of the minefields. In a draft, he takes all these concerns, objections, hopes and fears and finds solutions that fit the needs of the group. He then organizes the thoughts and writes then concisely on paper for everyone to review. The final step is he writes in large letters at the top DRAFT.

At the next meeting, the draft gets read. Beware! Don’t fall in love with your wonderful prose. Allow it to be edited. Take note of changes. Once the group has reviewed it (usually in a very short period of time), the word DRAFT comes off.

Drafts are important because it lets the leadership group think about the solution rather than just complaining about the problem. With a draft in hand, meetings grow shorter, thinking gets focused and solutions gain traction.

The next time your church group (eldership, business meeting, etc.) gets stuck, go off and write a draft. See what it does to energize your church leadership.

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