The Value of Volunteers: A Leadership Lesson from a Broken Phone

Don’t you hate it when your phone breaks?  Yeah, I do…especially when your contract isn’t up yet.  Sure, I could submit an insurance claim on it but honestly, the only thing that broke is the battery cover on the back.  So, the insurance company doesn’t want to help me but it’s driving me nuts.  Even though the phone has honestly been great, now that the battery cover is being annoying and not meeting my expectations and standards, I am willing to throw my old phone away, pay quite a bit of money to get a new phone, take an early upgrade and re-sign a 2 year contract all because the battery cover of my phone is messed up.

Crazy right?

Or do we do that in church ministry as well?  As technical directors working using technology as a tool every day, have we blurred the lines between the people who are serving and the tools they are operating?  We all have pressure on us to do the very best we are capable of doing.  Sometimes, that pressure comes even more from ourselves then the leadership above us!

It’s easy to become frustrated when something fails regardless of whether it’s a gear failure or human error.  But, what do we do with that?  It’s extremely easy to take it out on the volunteer who is running the gear even if it’s not really their fault.

I think a lot of times our first reaction is to just want to do it ourselves because we have the experience and the confidence to get it done.  But, that’s not what its really about.  Being possessive and controlling is never a good quality to have in a team situation.  It’s our job as technical directors and production leaders to instruct, guide, teach and challenge our teams.  If we’re not approaching it in that way, then we’re not leading our team right.

What can you do to lead and instruct your team better?  Have you blurred the lines between technology and the people who operate it?  What can you do to make the distinction between the two clearer?

2 Responses to “The Value of Volunteers: A Leadership Lesson from a Broken Phone”

  1. Meg Biallas November 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    “…our first reaction is to just want to do it ourselves because we have the experience and the confidence to get it done. But, that’s not what its really about.”

    Wow! This part really hit home for me, Jason. One of the aspects of my job is managing our intern program. There are times when I feel like it is so much easier for me to do it myself. But that doesn’t make for a good leader or teacher — it’s more valuable to coach and lead by example. I know I’m thankful for my former intern supervisors who took the time to guide me and help me build my professional skills.

    Great, reflective post. Thanks for sharing it.

    • jasoncastellente November 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

      First and foremost, I’m always blown away when people comment on my articles because that means someone took enough time to read it and think about it. It’s super encouraging and humbling to me.

      I’m so glad it applies to you and what you do. I agree- it’s frustrating to not be able to just fix it but instead, to instruct someone else in the process that you would use to make it work yourself. But, it’s also humbling at the same time and rewarding in the long run.

      Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading it :-)

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