When I was at Secondary school in the late 80s/early 90s, we (especially girls) were taught that you could be it all and have it all. I had big hair, big shoulder pads, I was physically strong, and the “you can have it all” mantra was very appealing.
In my 30s, I learnt that mantra was a crock. You can’t have it all or do it all – you have to choose. There’s simply not the time and energy in life to do everything, and often priorities compete with one another. I have to decide what’s most important to me and focus on that.
It’s the same in leading an organisation or program or group. Your organisation can’t do everything or be all things to all people. You have to focus. As the old saying goes, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit nothing.”
Here are some basic questions to help think that through:
- What are we on about as an organisation/group?
- What is the one thing we absolutely must do?
- How do we want the future to look for our group/organisation, and the people we serve? Really try to imagine this.
- What do we need to start doing to work towards that future?
- What do we need to stop doing so that we can focus on the most important things for us?
Thinking about a body metaphor is helpful – it’s a lively reminder that we’re one part of something much bigger and interconnected. We need to focus on doing our specific part well.
“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body (the church). We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
(From the Bible – Romans 12:4)