Three Secrets to Save Your CEO from a Heart Attack!

By on July 1, 2008   /   Leave a comment

Baxter was a fun-loving visionary who attracted all kinds of sharp and gifted people to him and his ministry. He not only made them feel like they had a unique contribution to make, but also that they would forever be his best friend!

Early on, Baxter decided to draw upon his vast number of successful business friends to fund all his organization’s needs. This allowed him to recruit impressive staff and develop exciting programs until, after about ten years, he suddenly hit “the wall.” Marathoners know full well the sinking feeling of being halfway through the race when a bomb explodes inside their body, instantly robbing them of every ounce of energy or willpower to go on. Baxter’s “wall” came in the form of a heart attack.

Similarly, the leaders in your ministry have a limit on how many staff they can recruit, how many “big hitters” they can cultivate, how many fires they can put out, how many plane trips, board meetings, and speaking engagements they can handle. Something’s got to give when they try to meet everyone’s expectations (including their families!) by constantly keeping an unrealistic number of balls in the air. Here are three secrets to help your leaders stay healthy:

1. Personal Support: Be a “down and outer”
All ministries choose (or fall into) either a centralized or decentralized philosophy of funding their staff. If the leader makes the (sometimes fatal!) decision to raise all the staff salaries, he or she may want to go ahead and make reservations at the local ER! But, pushing the responsibility “down and out” by requiring each staffer to raise all of his or her own support, through personal contacts, will ultimately involve many more supporters who can provide a multitude of new funding sources.

2. Program Expenses: Get big by thinking small
Break down the organization into units or teams. Help the leaders of each of those departments or regions go beyond just raising their own support – help them also embrace the responsibility of recruiting the staff and funds they need to keep their area strong and growing. There may be resistance at first if this is a new concept, but this decentralized philosophy has a way of weeding out the weak links in an organization and attracting (and developing) stronger, more visionary staff. The whole is always a sum of its parts, and ultimately the overall ministry will thrive by having an ever-broadening network of leaders who are shouldering the financial burdens.

3. Human Resource: They deserve a break today!
If the staff has taken on the load of raising their own personal support AND their program expenses, this takes some of the pressure off your CEO. You would be doing your leader (and your ministry!) a huge favor by making sure he or she has plenty of regular opportunities to get away and pray, plan, and recharge. This not only allows them time to do long-range planning and preparation, but also contributes to a strong spiritual, emotional, and yes, even physical health.


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