Imagine The Olympics Without Judges.
What would the Olympics look like without judges? How necessary are they really?
Perhaps the athletes could do it themselves, diplomatically? They could get together and discuss each others’ routines; coming up with the deserving winner.
Maybe the coaching staff could discuss and delegate the medal winners? After all, coaches should be fairly trustworthy.
“Stay tuned to find out who will be your next (danananana) Olympic Idol?“
Obviously, much like many American Idol contestants, this might bring out some pretty annoying behaviors from athletes. I can just see them trying to use hand-signals for their represented countries, mouthing their country name with fake smiles; much like American Idol contestants do with the number they represent.
Yep, looks like judges are the best way to go!
What about me?
As a spiritual leader, do I need judges? On that note, who judges a spiritual leader anyway? The quick response would be God does and that is true. God will definitely chose whether or not to lead a spiritual leader to success or failure.
But what about our earthly judges?
One may resolve to look at the popularity of one’s messages, books, podcasts, etc. However, that’s pretty fleeting since most of these people don’t know spiritual leader personally. Hence, they’re more like fans and/or critics than actual judges.
For me, I think the best judges are my staff. As a leader who works on a prominently volunteer staff, the first judge is whether or not I have staff. As Walter C. Wright notes in Relational Leadership,
“The choice of the follower is critical. Unless the follower chooses to follow there is no leadership…“
According to Walter, I’m doing alright considering a few people follow me. But what about tangible scores on how I’m doing; much like a score card that an actual judge would complete on specific areas of my leadership?
Can a spiritual leader get this kind of specific report, knowing that each staff member will be completely honest? I believe they can.
The Comment Card
For those of you who don’t know my background, I worked in the Hospitality & Tourism Industry before I started my ministry career. For a hotel, the comment card has long been a great resource to give Management valuable guest information.
A few years ago, I decided to match a leadership survey with the hotel comment card and give one to each of my staff members.
The goal was to obtain accurate scores on how I was doing as a leader. I specifically told them that I did not want them to include their names, so that I could make sure I was receiving their true thoughts and opinions.
Much like the hotel comment card, I ask well-structured questions that addressed particular areas, but I also left a fair amount of space for additional comments.
Choose To Be Judged
If you’re in a position of leadership and you don’t have an anonymous way for your staff to give you information, you’re missing out. Sometimes our titles and positions as leaders make us unapproachable.
It’s not that we’re unapproachable people, or that we have weak staff. Our teams simply need to be asked for information in a fashion that feels comfortable.
What’s really interesting, is that since I’ve put this into practice, I have received many tough comments. However, most of the staff are willing to come clean of what they wrote after they submitted, with no prompting whatsoever.
My estimation, is that once they’ve formulated their thoughts into the comment card, they knew the cat was out of the bag (so to speak). They were then empowered to articulate their words, face the situation and address it in a positive manner.
These are the situations that prove to me that my staff make great judges!
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
Would you ever use an anonymous comment card with the people you lead? Why or why not?