It’s been a little while since my last Faces of Innovation post (based on the chapters from Tom Kelley’s book The Ten Faces of Innovation). The Director is the last of the "organizing" personas.
Think of the director of a film when you think of this persona. The person responsible to bring the whole thing together. A good Director is able to take the massively various talents and skills needed to make a good movie, and somehow tie everything together so at the end of the day what the audience sees is a beautifully-told story. They need to have a deep understanding of people and their motivations, as well as an ability to make chemistry happen among teammates in order to bring out the best in everyone.
Straight out of the book, here are five traits of successful Directors:
- They give center stage to others.
They let others take the spotlight, knowing their behind-the-scenes work will make the whole thing better (you never see Robert Altman on-camera, but you know when he made the movie).
- They love finding new projects.
They see team chemistry as an intrinsic part of project success.
- They rise to tough challenges.
Looming deadlines, long hours, waning budgets, all in a day’s work!
- They shoot for the moon.
It always seems impossible at first.
- They wield a large toolbox.
Improvising, solving problems in real time, embracing the unexpected.
Directors are able to get innovation jump-started with a brain-storming session, or with an elegant "code name" for a project that builds solidarity and chemistry on a team. They know how to motivate people and get them to work well together, making the whole much better than the sum of its parts.
And they are sorely needed in the church.
The church needs those who can lead a team, but are content to have
others get the visibility. Too many churches expect one man or woman to do it all, to be Super-Pastor: preaching, counseling, balancing the budget, administrating office staff, leading a pastoral team, praying eight hours a day, studying the Bible, teaching a weekly class, discipling young people, causing the sun to stand still, etc. I have a friend who until recently thought he wasn’t made
for ministry. He is very intelligent, articulate, passionate, and
knowledgable about theology and the Bible, so I wondered why in the
world he’d never thought church leadership was at least an option for
him. It was because he thought he’d have to be super-pastor, and he knew he wasn’t.
A Director can put together a team of people with a wide variety of gifts, and then help them play to their strengths, making the whole stronger than the sum of its parts. We wouldn’t have so many people trying to be Super-pastors if we had more Directors around helping them simply do what they’re good at. People are happier when they’re doing what they’re good at, too, which only helps team chemistry.
I’ll end this post with photos of a few of my favorite film directors. One bonus point for each director you can name, and another bonus point for names of films they have directed. No cheating!
The first one’s easy.
Not so easy…
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