Lot’s of people wonder why Joel Osteen from Lakewood Church in Houston is so successful. Why his TV program generates huge audiences, his books make best seller lists, and the church is so large. There’s always a mix of reasons, but whatever you think of his theology or preaching style, one of the biggest reasons is that his leadership team gets the big picture. They understand that you need to invest in NOW to achieve success TOMORROW. They’re willing to risk their success on the potential of a great idea.
On the other hand, I see a lot of other leaders who’s teams don’t see the big picture. As a result, they only care about this moment – how they can look good, how to gain more power, how to keep their job, or how to avoid risk. They don’t take chances, and are highly intimidated by outside voices. They even go so far as to skew information so results favor their side.
Teams like this usually spend a lot of time behind the scenes in politics and scheming. In some cases, I’ve seen employees who would let the organization crash before they admit they might be wrong.
Trouble is, sometimes it’s tough to tell which team you have – the long range thinkers, or the short term thinkers. On the outside, they can look just alike – loyal and hard working.
How to tell? Ask questions. Ask lots of questions and don’t take people’s word for it. It’s not disloyal to your team to ask for proof – it’s smart. And when you find a short term thinker? Get them off the team. No matter how much you think you need their particular skill, there’s no amount of talent that makes up for an inability to see the big picture.
The stakes are too high, because it’s about the future of your organization.