Two weeks ago I had the privilege to make the trip from sunny California, where God is, to spend a few days in Dallas, where He is obviously…not. While there, I was at the Monday Night Football game when the Cowboys narrowly defeated their divisional rivals The Redskins. Now let me preface this with what may already be obvious: I am not a football player.
But I do know a few things:
1. The quarterback is the backbone of the offense, maybe the whole team.
2. The quarterback’s relationship with his Center is critical to the win.
Throughout the game, The Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo, continuously dropped the ball once snapped to him by the center. Now being ignorant of football, and a bit of a Tony Romo hater, I just blamed him. And believe me, so did the 99,000 other people in Dallas Stadium. What I, and apparently many others, did not see was the fact that it was not Romo at all. It was a new center who was botching the snap.
Unknowingly I was being reminded a principle of critical importance about leadership. The center cannot “make the play work” but he can definitely kill the play early. It got me thinking about the team that I lead and how THEY are all being supported by their Centers. I asked myself a few questions that might be helpful for you as well…
- Who are the Centers on our team?
it’s easy to know who your quarterbacks are, we have a Worship Director, a Children’s Ministry Director, a Student Ministries Pastor, a Small Groups Pastor, and on. I work hard to care for them. I try to strategically set them up to win. But who are THEIR centers? Who is snapping the ball to those key leaders and setting THEM up to succeed?
- What is my role in caring for the Centers?
Am I recognizing centers regularly and appreciating the important roles they play? Have I trained, challenged and resourced all of our point leaders so they can care for their “right hands”? Do we have the right people, effective training and communication in place to support all of our Quarterbacks effectively, or is it time for a change so the team can go to the next level?
In the process of setting up our key leaders for success we should never neglect the importance of the people AROUND our key leaders and being sure they are also well equipped. It’s easy as leaders to think OUR encouragement of those around us is all they need to succeed, when in reality there is more to their success, being sure they are “strong under center” is a key piece in that ever-changing puzzle.
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