I’ve written before that policies are anti-leadership statements. Most people think that due to my role as an Executive Pastor at a large church I would be the guy who embraces and loves policies. Not so much. I’m actually policy adverse. And I’m policy adverse because policies naturally undermine leadership growth.
1. Policies Abdicate Responsibility
It’s never your fault if you’re implementing what a policy tells you to do. It’s safe. It’s safe because the policy is to blame, not you. Leaders take responsibility they don’t abdicate responsibility. By the way leaders don’t play it safe either.
2. Policies Drain Courage
It takes no courage to implement a policy (unless it’s an unpopular or stupid policy). Learning to win as a leader by leading through difficult circumstances builds healthy confidence and courage as a leader. Implementing policies not only robs you of the opportunity to build healthy courage as a leader but it actually drains you of courage at the same time; because you train yourself to rely on policy instead of developing your leadership instinct.
3. Policies Teach your Staff not to Think
Telling people what to do actually makes them stupid. When team members are taught to look in a manual for a policy to direct them how to act instead of learning how to think and act, they miss the opportunity to grow. Difficult moments in leadership are the proving grounds for young leaders to learn how to lead. You don’t become a great leader from executing policies. You become a great leader by leading.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying. There are moments when everyone in the organization needs to know what to do and a policy needs to be put in place. Policies can be useful when they reflect and build the culture you’re trying to build and get you closer to your vision. If your policies don’t help you get pass that test then why do you have them?