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youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry, balance

5 Keys to Balancing Relationships and Goals

By Doug Franklin June 18, 2012

Leadership is a balancing act between people and goals. I can cast vision – I can develop resources and motivate others but I can’t do any of these things well unless I developed strong relationships with my followers. As I lead, I am convinced that leadership is about balancing strong relationships with the performance goals of an organization. I like to describe this balance with this phrase, “Mission First, People Always.” This creed reflects the balance that is needed to create high performance teams.

Just the other day a friend of mine shared with me his concern of confronting a subordinate at work with a performance problem due to the fact that he was mentoring this person. He felt he would be unable to continue to speak truth to this person if he had to confront him. The scale had tipped and the leadership structure was out of balance. A leader must value people and mission with the same amount of weight. The answer was to confront the problem because the problem was keeping both the person and the organization from reaching their potential. The leader has a choice to make: he can make his subordinates happy or great. Strong leaders chose greatness for their people.

When balancing your mission and your people remember the following:


1. Make integrity and honesty your highest priority.
2. Repeat the vision often – people always follow vision over rules
3. Focus on winning more then on problem prevention.
4. Encourage your team to see one team member’s problem as everyone’s problem.
5. Demonstrate your confidence in your team by saying sorry when you need to.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More