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First Who, Then What: A Philosophy of Church Staffing

First, get the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figure out where to drive it” (Jim Collins, Good to Great, p. 41).

First…                                                                                           Then…

The core of my staffing philosophy: Fill the bus with the “right” people. Collins goes on to say, “If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great” (p. 41). Build the team of all the right people and then watch to see the great things that team can do.

So, the question becomes, who are the “right” people? How do we define “right”?

The Right People: Character. Competence. Chemistry.

These three C’s (character, competence and chemistry) are adapted from Bill Hybels in Courageous Leadership and form a solid foundation for determining the “right” person.

  • Character: I want people of integrity in whom I have confidence in the person’s walk with Jesus Christ.
  • Competence: I want people who are already making huge contributions and demonstrating their gifts and abilities in big ways. More on this in the next post.
  • Chemistry: I want people who are cultural and relational fit with me and our team.

Honestly, putting this into practice is tough. It’s much easier to identify a hole and then look for someone to fill it. It’s much tougher in practice to actual go about finding the right people and then figuring out where they serve. But without a doubt, it’s worth the effort. Find the right people. Then find their seats on the bus. Then get the wrong people off the bus. And then watch your team’s productivity explode.

Interact: What’s your philosophy of staffing? What criteria do you use to determine who the “right” person is to hire?


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