There is a story I heard several years ago in a leadership round table about the famed Peter Drucker. Peter Drucker is described as “the founder of modern management.” And I would dare say much of what we learn today about leadership and read in various books form various authors stems from many of his ideas. The story goes that in his old age, Mr. Drucker was before a crowd of young leaders eager to absorb any morsel of knowledge that dripped from the old codgers mouth.
One studious young man stood up and asked this simple question, “Mr. Drucker, what is the most important decision a leader can make?”
The old man, slouched over in old age, thought for a moment. And as if it took every morsel of his energy, breathed in a deep breath (as if it were his last), sat straight, and exhaled, “who….. does….. what.” With that burst of wisdom, he slouched back over and continued taking questions.
What a simple truth but so profound. I got to see this in action this past week in Israel. Bethany Ufema, Lifepoint’s Creative Director did an amazing job leading the filming of our 2015 Easter project. And in part, she did such an amazing job because she got the right people around the table… er… behind the cameras. We joked with her that she formed a dream team. One has his own production company (You da man John). One has worked on audio in major motion pictures (Jonah has golden ears). One understands the culture of Lifepoint so well he knows what Bethany is going to ask before she asks it (Wes is a beast). One has such a heart of serving and caring that it made a grueling trip so much easier (Paul is my long lost brother).
Wouldn’t leadership be so much easier if we had the right people around the table. Who. Only when we have the right ‘Who’ can we determine ‘What.’ We too often slide into the mistake of answering that question in reverse. ‘What’ motivates us because it gets things done. ‘What’ keeps us awake at night, because, let’s face it, if ‘what’ doesn’t get done, we’re toast. But that is such shallow thinking. If we focus on the ‘Who’ first, we’ll see such better results. And besides, isn’t the ‘Who’ the most fun anyway? ‘What’ is boring. ‘Who’ is what life is built of – relationships. Focusing on the ‘Who’ makes the fruit of ‘What’ so much easier.
Jesus knew that. He got the correct group of ‘Who.’ They may not have looked like it at first. But He knew what He was trying to accomplish and hand-picked a group of misfits that changed the world.
“Who does what.” Allow that to sink in. God has the right ‘Who’s’ in mind. Get your head out of the weeds long enough to see them.