What Can We Learn From This? Part II

Dear Christian Radio,

In this series, I’m highlighting the things I’ve learned–or was reminded of–regarding leadership during the height of the pandemic.  The last blog highlighted the fact that as a leader, you need to be the dumbest person in the room:

  • Be sure to hear other voices
  • Learn
  • Adjust

The next leadership principle I’d like for us to consider is this: as a leader, you work for the team. Never adopt the attitude that they work for you.

That’s tough for some leaders to accept.  As a matter of fact, some leaders just outright reject this line of thinking, but they do so at their own detriment.  What should you do?

  • Serve the team
  • Work for them

Allow me to flesh this out.  Serve the team by making sure they understand that what they do is connected to the mission and vision.  Remind them of their importance and that their work has weight.

Also, are your people happy?  Are they happy working for the organization?  As a leader, those questions should cross your mind often.  Team members who simply tolerate the culture, but have no buy-in, do not excel in their roles.  So, set the stage for happiness.

Here are some ways to do just that…

  • Be transparent – Share information about financials, decisions, and obstacles.
  • Reward your people – Surprise them with bonuses.
  • Praise them – Acknowledge them in group settings, but also in one-on-one conversations.
  • Help them progress – Don’t do annual employee reviews. Rather, have weekly one-on-ones where important issues and other things are discussed.
  • Pay a good wage – Raise enough money so you treat people with dignity. Just because you’re a ministry doesn’t mean your team should live in poverty.
  • See the whole person – Recognize great attitudes not just great work.
  • Honor stellar projects – Give credit where credit is due.
  • Look deeper – Help the team do autopsies on everything they do. This makes the entire team better. Believe it or not, your team wants to get better each day.
  • Encourage & practice candor – Be honest.  Don’t be a jerk.  Your team needs to trust you enough that they can call the baby ugly. In other words, they need permission to point out the areas that need addressing.
  • Love your team well – Don’t just love what they do, love them as individual people.
  • Don’t expect reciprocation – If you’re waiting for the thank yous to come, they won’t.  Love your people anyway.
  • You’re the boss – Team members will always keep their distance, but never doubt they won’t appreciate being loved and cared for.

Serve the team. Be the example for them.  Your ego may take a bruising, but your team will still soar.  Leadership is hard, but so worth it.


Brian Sanders
Executive Vice President, PAR
Positive Alternative Radio


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