student ministry, youth ministry, leadership, dream big

Mission First – People Always

By Doug Franklin May 6, 2009

Leadership is a balancing act between people and goals. I can cast vision, develop resources and motivate others, but I can’t do any of these things well unless I already have 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 the balance with this phrase, Mission First- People Always. This creed reflects the balance that is needed to create high performance teams. 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 into this person’s life if he had to confront him. The scale had tipped and the leadership structure was out of balance. Leaders must value people and mission with the same amount of weight. This friend of mine needed 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 he can make them great. Strong leaders chose greatness for their people.

When balancing your mission and your people remember the following:

Make integrity and honesty your highest priority
Repeat the vision often – people always follow vision over rules
Focus on winning more than  problem prevention
Encourage your team to see one team member’s problem as everyone’s problem
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