Engaging the Disengage

Question with peopleWhen to correct, how long to correct, and when to disengage… Every good leader must know the timing for each.

If you have led people for any length of time, you know how tedious a job it can be since leaders have to ensure productivity and effectiveness. Hopefully you desire to build a team with integrity, which often poses a challenge of also dealing with the character issues of everyone entrusted to your team.

I believe that every leader worth his/her salt is also a great teacher and a great motivator. And further that one of the most vital responsibilities of the leader is to teach his team members not just about the job at hand, but about life in general. I am the kind of leader that wants to inspire the people around me to be amazing mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, citizens, and employees, whether we are baking a cake or building a skyscraper it doesn’t matter.

When teams are working together, I want to know that the person standing next to me has my best interests at heart and will do whatever it takes to make the task at hand successful. Likewise, I believe team members want to know the same thing about their leaders.

Because of this I am willing to go the extra mile with someone who is struggling with character issues or who seems to have difficulty learning their job. Having said that I know all too well, (I once had to terminate an employee during my first week in a directorship position! Not fun!), there comes a time when you’ve gone as far as you can go with a person and for whatever reason they just don’t seem to get it or be able to produce the kind of change necessary to make themselves as valuable as they need to be to the team.

 So here in-lies the leadership issue, knowing how far is far enough!

The initial correction is most likely brought with an opportunity to teach. Once teaching is complete the continued need for correction indicates a pattern of behavior that cannot be overlooked. Immature leaders and for that matter most people don’t like what they call confrontation. I have switched up my perception of confrontation with an understanding that any great relationship in our life requires good communication. And, when leaders have to sit a team member down to discuss certain “negative” issues, he or she must know that it is in the best interest of the team as a whole to communicate with this member about the things need improvement.

It’s merely speaking the truth in love, which causes all of us to grow up. Scripture says, come let us reason together. This is a coming together of leader and team member to discuss how things can be better.

The worst thing a leader can ever do is avoid the situation. Unwillingness to lead in the hard times creates ultimate destruction among all the members. It places unnecessary pressure on the other team members who must cover for the one who isn’t pulling his/her weight. It then breeds resentment for the team member and will cause the team to question the abilities of their leader.

Leading is like discipleship, it’s like being a counselor to the team members. But, how far do you go? Each person is unique. Most labor laws establish specific requirements for time invested and causes for termination, but great leaders typically go beyond legal requirements.

One thing is for certain, if a leader can impact the life of someone along the journey by speaking wisdom into their life, then it is seed sown in their heart for the future. Hopefully in the end, former team members will come to appreciate your time invested in their life.

I know this; the mentors of my past have not been the people who dismissed me the first time I made a mistake. They were the ones who required more of me and corrected me when it was necessary. They weren’t willing to let go, but held on long past the time allotted by the world system. They were the leaders who truly made a difference not only in my life, but in the person I am today!

So I would like to personally thank all the leaders who are willing to communicate, confront, and correct. Today you are shaping the leaders of tomorrow!


~ by Charlana Kelly on July 2, 2009.

One Response to “Engaging the Disengage”

  1. Well put my friend. I agree to be a leader you have to be a good communicator, encourager, and bring correction when necessary. According to the word in Galatians you who are spiritual should go to the one in a spirit of meekness and “restore” such a one.
    I am encouraged as a leader in the coming days to encourage others as I desire to be encouraged myself. Thank you Lord for giving us the wisdom we need to mentor and disciple others for the glory of God and the kingdom’s sake. In Jesus name amen!!
    For the sake of the CALL!!

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