One of the things I hear many leaders say, and I have said many times myself, is, “I am an approachable person; therefore, you can come talk to me about anything. I would prefer hearing it from you first rather than some third party.”
As a leader, you try to communicate to others that you are approachable, and still you continue hearing things about your leadership and decision-making from third parties. Even more frustrating, you only hear about some of these concerns during a review of your leadership before the board and your direct supervisor.
In the world of organizational performance, the Church stands apart in a significant way from all other organizations. At the same time, the Church continues to incorporate organizational skills used by secular organizations, many of which have been helpful in assisting the Church to do great things in spreading the good news of the Gospel.
Many larger Churches have taken on the management structure of corporations with the lead pastor and numerous supporting staff mirroring corporate CEOs and managers or vice presidents. Organizational structures which help Churches operate effectively reflect good stewardship of resources.
Where do you go to be completely honest with what you are feeling, thinking and going through without being judged? Who hears your heart with all its fears, joys and concerns? Who do you have to be straight up, in your face honest with you, to let you hear the hard truth even when you do not want to hear it? Many of us, especially leaders, do not have such honesty and accountability in our lives. And for many, the consequences have been tragic.
Have you ever experienced being in a team meeting and feeling the need to speak up but deciding against it because you felt you would appear unsupportive of the leader or the team? So, with your desire of maintaining harmony and avoiding conflict, you hold your tongue. That my friend is your run-in with groupthink.
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.
We live in such a busy culture that slowing down to regain perspective is often seen as getting in the way of the goals we have set. Unfortunately, it often takes loss of perspective, a crisis and a forced break to enable us to see that slowing down was not a hindrance to the goal. Instead, we now see that slowing down should be something we do on a regular basis. We all can point to a friend, acquaintance, family member or even our own lives as examples of the casualty of living too fast without giving time to assess how we are living.
What are some of the consequences of the fast-paced living of our day?