Stomp and The Challenge of Leadership
Shaina and I went to see Stomp this past Friday night in Columbus. It was a lot of fun. And the talent of the percussionists was ridiculous.
One thing that happened that had me thinking about leadership (yes, some people are nerds), was that at different points in the show, individuals from the Stomp Cast would engage the audience in keeping the rhythm. It was almost always very basic. The guy would clap twice and we'd echo it. Then, he might clap three times and we'd echo it. The simpler his clap was, the more precise the crowd's echo was. However, at the very end of the show he tried to get 4 different sections keeping four different beats going. It was an absolute train wreck.
In your organization or your church there are going to be a select few who are All In. They are talented, operating in their strenghts and gifting, on board with the vision and mission and just ready to go at it with all they've got.
But then there are the masses. They are perhaps in it for the paycheck, or in it because that's what they've always done, or in it for a myriad of self-serving reasons.
The challenge in leadership is to figure out how far you can take that audience in imparting the vision and delegating authority.
Many will not trust the masses and give them little to no piece to the vision/authority. This will keep the onus squarely on the select few to 'perform' and keep the machine running. This may work for a while but losing one or two cogs in such a machine will be devastating.
Some will try to give vision away, imparting it to the masses in large quantities and then wondering why its been sabotaged, or why there was revolt, or no buy in, or a rhythmic train wreck.
Good leadership must find the balance between these two extremes, because when the whole organization makes beautiful music, it is powerful.