How do we get from here, to there? From where we are, to where we want to be? And how do we get people to go with us? The best process is always a one step process. As a result of that compact truth, companies and churches have been intent on pursuing the elegance of simplicity. Unfortunately what many well-meaning leaders have designed to be clear steps and bridges to move people and the organizations they lead towards a preferred destination have become roadblocks to movement and growth. Here are 5 reasons why your bridge event is leading people nowhere:
1. The destination isn’t defined
More often than not the bridge may be well constructed and effectively engineered but just built in the wrong direction. This is usually true of ready, fire, aim leaders who are so anxious to get “there,” that they haven’t clearly defined where “there” is.
2. The destination is bad
Simply put, sometimes people aren’t moving “there” because “there” doesn’t look any better than “here.” If the bridge is going to move people where you want to go then the leader must create discontent with staying “here.”
3. People are more excited about the bridge than the destination
Sometimes we spend so much time architecting the perfect bridge and selling the bridge that people get more enamored with the bridge than they do the destination. As a result people are more than willing to get on the bridge, but not off. Be careful of falling more in love with the bridge than the destination.
4. There is no road map to get across the bridge
You would think that a bridge would be easy to navigate. Maybe it has a couple of lanes but it basically goes from one place to another; unless it’s a super bridge with on-ramps and off-ramps, multiple layers, and street signs. If your bridge needs a map to navigate you need to blow it up and build a more simple bridge.
5. The bridge doesn’t lead to the destination
Nothing is worse than spending the energy to build a bridge, get people on it, and move people across it only to realize that it’s led you to the wrong place. Not only do you need to begin with the end in mind but keep in mind that an effective bridge easily and naturally moves people in the direction you want them to go.
By the way, when people stay on the bridge too long one of two things happen, and neither one of them are good. They turn into trolls or they jump. In other words they check out and leave because the bridge isn’t leading them anywhere, or they become a Pharisee and make it difficult for others to get to the destination.
Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation