It starts at the top

By Mike Klockenbrink

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are completely overwhelmed with work? I don’t want to assume anything here, but if you said no I have to think THAT you’re not working to your potential.

If you said yes; what do you do with that? I remember working back in the corporate world and I had to have my defense shield up all the time. Any kinks in the armor showed weakness. If I can’t do it, I’ll give it to someone else. It’s a tough environment to work in. So does working for a church make it any different? Am I on guard, do I keep my defenses up? While many churches today operate just as the corporate world, we need to separate ourselves and should be an example of how the corporate world should be run.

So how do we do this?

It starts with trust and communication at the top. Do you feel comfortable talking to your boss and letting them know you’re buried? Or, do you say nothing in fear of what might happen?
So what are some action steps you can take to help you through this process?

Reprioritize your work load and see if there is something you can postpone or hand off to someone else to handle.

Talk to a colleague and ask for their input or advice. Sometimes we get ourselves all worked up, but just need another perspective.

Make an appointment to talk to your boss. The sooner the better, don’t wait until your project is due tomorrow. Don’t go into this meeting and just tell them you’re buried or overwhelmed, ask for their help. Be well prepared. You may need them to help you prioritize things or take something off your plate. They may just need to give you a pep talk and a few words of encouragement. Having them know your situation and support you during that time may be all you need.

A scuba buddy once told me “fear will kill you, knowledge will save you.” So don’t fear. Through humility present your position to your supervisor and seek their support. In the same way, ask your direct reports how they’re doing and provide a platform of humility for them without fear. It starts at the top, don’t make it difficult.

Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church, Folsom, CA.


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