I find myself saying this phrase often. I think one of the most challenging things about leadership is that most times things are not clearly black and white… answers are not always obvious… making decisions is not easy. If they were, leadership would be easy and, dare I say, perhaps not even necessary.
Leadership is grey… sometimes many shades of grey.
As a leader at a very fast growing church I have experienced some very grey seasons. I don’t mean grey as in gloomy, dreary or sad. I mean grey as in complex, unclear, layered, not black and white. I’ve spent the last year trying to help our team turn the corner from being a church with another campus to truly being a multi-campus church. This has required a significant shift in our mindset, our structure, our communication, our strategy and more. Many times of late, one of our ministry leaders will come to me with a question about how to handle a decision that affects all of our campuses and it will cause me to pause and sort through the layers of grey. Some of these decisions are immediately clear. Most times they are complicated and require the work of leading through the layers of grey.
All of this greyness has caused me to ponder this element of leadership that I refer to as “leading in shades of grey”.
Good leaders lead through the grey. They don’t get lost in it. They don’t get bogged down by it. They push through it to find clarity.
Good leaders give hope to a grey existence. They offer hope through grey circumstances. They are aware of how unsettling greyness is to the team and they continue to motivate and encourage them through the process.
Deciphering the grey is not an exact science. It’s as easy to get wrong as it is to get right… and you’re not always going to get it right. It takes guts, courage, intuition, discernment, and prayer. It takes energy, patience, hope and determination. Leaders step up to help make decisions and to guide the way, especially when things are messy…
Are you facing some grey areas in your leadership? What can you do to push through the grey?
Jenni Catron serves as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN where she leads a staff of 30 at three campuses. She loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis and hanging out with her husband and border collie. She’s passionate about leadership and equipping others to lead well.
Cross Point Church