"Do not try to do the great things; do the little things with love."
Mother Teresa

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 422

Estimated reading time:  2:30


Greetings from AC 8618 enroute to Winnipeg. It has been another great week with interesting work, and travel, and the adventure continues. An early meeting I was part of this week was the weekly Staff Meeting of the cathedral where I hang my clergy hat. In the mist of that meeting, the Dean, (kind of the CEO of the Cathedral), spoke up as we were exploring some of the growth issues we are working through there.


He said that there were three words he was conscious of around growth. 


  1. Homeostasis, or what we might call the “Goldilocks” effect. There will be times when the growth appears too hot, or too quick. Or there are times when growth might appear too slow or too cold.  What we’re after is “just right” growth over time, evening out the too fast or too slow, finding that balance over time.
  2. Problems, are those issues that we can solve with certain expertise and an individual or small group of people can resolve with some work and applied thinking. Fixing a leaky pipe in the kitchen or filling in when a colleague is sick are solvable problems.
  3. Dilemmas, are those more complex issues that are not solvable or fixed by an individual or a small group of experts. The fact that many of our street congregation (the people we feed every day in our Maundy Cafe) have various mental illnesses is a dilemma. Dilemmas are solved eventually by insights and dramatic shifts in thinking and assumptions by large groups of people. 


As leaders It often helps then to watch your organization or your team with these in mind. Are we growing too quickly or too slowly, or ever time, is it “just right?” It often helps to have some criteria or metrics for yourself to measure the growth over time and too determine what “just right looks like.” Then, in the midst of the growth, ask yourself are the barriers to growth problems that are easily and quickly solved, or are they dilemmas that require a dramatic mind shift to mitigate or alleviate? Appreciating that dilemmas will not be solved tomorrow, what do you need to put in place as a work around in the meantime? 



A good rule is to solve problems when they present themselves, and use work arounds on dilemmas. That will keep the growth in homeostasis, or like Goldilocks found,, “just right.”