Leadership: Is ‘Near Enough’ the Best We Can Be?

If you want your team members to bring their “A game” every time, the leadership style of the team leader plays an enormously influential role.

Leadership: Is ‘Near Enough’ the Best We Can Be?
For a band, the drummer is "the boss" of time for a band. They’re the one telling the others in the band where the beat is, and is the foundation that the house is built on.

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Leadership: Is ‘Near Enough’ the Best We Can Be?

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As I travel and work with church music teams, I see two diametrically opposed styles of leadership. The first I call the “Near Enough” leadership style, the second, “Best We Can Be.”

Do we choose fear or love?

Which of the two falls in line with your experience?

An Example Situation

You’re the musical director. During rehearsal, you’re explaining to the band how you’d like one song to transition into another. As you’re speaking, the electric guitarist is noodling, two singers are chatting with each other and the bassist is tapping away on her phone.

What do you do?

A. You try to ignore those distractions and continue talking.
B. Forcibly confront the offenders to bring them into line before you continue. This might involve a raised voice, even yelling and perhaps a “me against you” glare of disapproval.
C. Stop talking. Raise one clenched fist high above your head in the agreed and understood posture that lets everyone know that you need their attention. Smile (without any satirical pepper) and wait.

Two Leadership Styles

If you chose option A, you just might be a “Near Enough” leader. You’d rather allow your church family’s musical expression of worship to God be less than it could be, than risk any sort of interpersonal awkwardness.

You probably didn’t choose option B. Christians are far too “nice” to ever speak like that, right? If you did choose option B, or could ever react that way when exhaustion and/or stresses are high, you might want to be a “Best We Can Be” leader, but your leadership in that moment was counterproductive. “Me against you” confrontation is ugly and could result in team members withdrawing their availability to serve. They might even leave the church.

Option A and B are driven, at least in part, by fear. Fear of discomfort. Fear of not being liked. Fear of team members being unhappy. Fear of not being in control or respected. Fear of not being good enough.

Option C is the choice of the “Best We Can Be” leader. The motivation is love. Love for God, the church, our congregation, the team members. Love for music and the love of inviting a group of people to sing as a sincere expression of worship to God.
I believe that we are all inspired to give our best effort and strive for new heights of achievement when we know that what we’re doing is important, when expectations and the rationale behind them are clear, or when we have a strong sense that we — as individuals — are a small part of something much bigger than ourselves.

Team members will be prepared to work hard, giving their best when they are being led to where we have a strong sense that, as Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

If you want your team members to bring their “A game” every time, the leadership style of the team leader plays an enormously influential role.

More About Grant Norsworthy
A Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning musician, Grant Norsworthy is also the founder, owner, content developer and principal instructor of More Than Music Mentor, helping to equip church singers, instrumentalists and technicians for artistic excellence and authentic worship.
Get in Touch: me@grantnorsworthy.com    More by Grant Norsworthy

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Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Church Music Teams · Expectations · Follow-Up · Influential Role · Leadership · Musical Director · All Topics

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