Originally posted June 17, 2013
How much time, energy and money do you spend feeding your organization’s dragons?
Whatever you lead, you could well be feeding dragons you’re not even aware of.
I’m talking about one of the biggest reasons your church or organization might be struggling to gain traction.
I define a dragon as “An institutionalized drain on resources”.
Yes, believe it or not, there may be elements right under your nose which could be devouring resources…and which have been intentionally created by you, your team, or leadership predecessors.
These elements not only fail to move things forward, they drain so many resources that they can actually prevent you from moving ahead.
Examples of these dragons include:
- The mortgage on a building that no longer suits your needs,
- The program which continues to exist despite no longer aligning with your vision,
- The staff person whose development has not kept pace with the growing demands of the ministry,
- The old way of doing things that is out of touch with your present reality.
You get the idea.
These are all dragons that must be fed.
You can either keep feeding them, or you can pay attention to these 5 reasons you need to slay your dragons.
If you don’t slay them:
1. It could be hard to recruit top leaders
Leaders can tell when a place is “top-heavy” with this kind of baggage
2. Donor fatigue could set in
Donors want to see forward motion
3. Staff could be de-motivated
Who wants to devote their time and talent to something increasingly outdated?
4. Lethargy could settle into your constituents
A “here we go again” culture can quickly develop
5. You could find yourself at risk of burnout
Burnout doesn’t come from working hard. It comes from working hard and not producing results
None of this is to say that buildings are bad or that traditions should be avoided.
But you need to ruthlessly examine the flow of resources for which you are accountable, and identify those which are moving things forward, and those which are merely dragon-feeders.
Consider placing this at the top of your agenda for your next lead team or board retreat. Ask your key leaders, “What are our dragons…and why are we feeding them?”
Because if you want to move forward, you might need to slay a few of these.
What are the dragons you might be feeding?