Serving from the top down

A friend recently described GoA level Service Award holders as “Middle Management”, often those who fall into that group find themselves as Deputies to Kingdom Officers, including as Regional Officers, or on Event staffs managing others beneath them. Even simply coordinating aspects of projects with a team of people who will report to/through them.

My friends analogy is not too far from the mark, and regardless of your title in the SCA, it brought something to mind that I feel is an important consideration for anyone who finds themselves at any level of management, be it for a project, an officer role or even outside of the SCA in the modern world. While it can be very important to have your team, or staff, follow your lead, it is even more important, in my honest opinion, to ensure that those who report to/through you, have access to meaningful support.

A key ingredient in any successful leader is going to be responsibility. Not only responsibility for ones own actions, but responsibility when a team member falters. If a person on your team comes to you with difficulty, it is incumbent upon you to help them overcome that hurdle. It is also important that if the job is critical and a person simply is not capable of fill the roll, that they be excused from it, but only after all efforts are exhausted to find a way for them to succeed.

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is tell someone that it’s not working out, but it is better to ensure that the job is done and done right than to have it fail because someone was not up to the their portion of the work. But we cannot simply write off a failure on a team members work to their own struggles and we cannot expect others to pick up the slack for them when things aren’t coming together. It still falls on the shoulders of our leaders to fight the hardest battles and clear the way for those we are obligated to serve first, our own teams.

Courtesy, Respect and Humility are all valuable in this work, but never put so much importance on them that you are afraid to fulfill your role as the team leader.

Leave a Reply