The Art of Delegating And Leading Your Team Well

This post has been adapted from episode 9 of our podcast. You can listen to the full podcast here, watch the video below, or keep reading.

Kevin Fontenot:  Hey there. I’m Kevin Fontenot, and I’m here with Scott Magdalein. We’re your hosts of the Thriving Ministry Team’s podcast, where we’re talking about everything related to church leadership, development, and discipleship. And on today’s episode, we’re going to do kind of a followup of last week’s episode. Last week, we talked about burnout, how to identify it, how to avoid it in ministry leaders. So if you haven’t checked out that episode, make sure to go back to last week, either before you keep listening, or after you’ve listened to this podcast. And this week, one of the things that we had talked about is, we want to go further into one of the areas that we had touched on, which is delegation and how that relates to ministry, how it can help us to avoid burnout, how it can just help us be more effective ministry leaders, and just lead you are team well. So Scott, I’d love for you to just kind of walk us through what delegation is, why it’s important, and why we’re even talking about it today.

Scott Magdalein:  Yeah. Delegation is a topic near and dear to my heart. We talked last week about burnout, and one of the big areas of burnout, or one of the big causes of burnout is taking too much load or having too much pressure on yourself as a leader. And it’s also why you talk about burnout in the context of leaders because leaders burn out and employees, you don’t talk about employees burning out. Right? You talk about leaders burning out because they carry too much load. There’s too much pressure. Last week talked about ways to reduce that pressure or to avoid burnout. And one of those things that I like to talk about is the pressure release valve. And I named a few different kind of things that are pressure release valves. And one of those things that I feel like is a big preventer of burnout, not like a response to burnout, but a preventer of it, like you never get to the point where you’re burned out, is knowing how to delegate really well.

Scott Magdalein:  And so when you and I were talking about: What are we going to talk about this week? I really felt like I wanted to do a deep dive on delegation because it’s so important for not just burnout. So it is a great thing for avoiding burnout. That’s good. That’s a really good thing. But it also is good because it makes you a better leader. And so as leaders, if you can’t delegate, then you’re not really leading much. You’re really just doing at the top level and everyone else is doing their own jobs or whatever. So I’m a big believer in burnout, sorry, and delegation because it’s got a lot of upsides to it.

Scott Magdalein:  Anyway, so delegation, a lot of people think about delegation in terms of assigning tasks to people under them, below them in the org chart. And I guess that’s somewhat accurate, but it’s not really a healthy view or healthy understanding of delegation in my opinion. When I think about delegation, I think about delegation as sharing the load and getting the right jobs into the right hands on your team. And so to me, delegation isn’t a top down thing. Delegation is making sure that everyone your team has the right jobs to do that are good for them. So that means sometimes delegation can go up the org chart, if you will. I guess I mentioned that a little bit last week. But delegation doesn’t have to only go down the org chart. And also, delegation isn’t just assigning tasks to other people. We can get into this, the nuances of different types of delegation in a minute. But delegation is more than just offloading my plate so that I can not have to do it, and let somebody else do it. At least that’s what I think of as delegation.

Kevin Fontenot: That’s really good. I think just making that distinction that it’s not necessarily just giving away the tasks that are already on your plate to someone below you because I think that’s a common way that we think of delegation. And it’s definitely been something that I’ve thought about a lot, especially since coming on board at TrainedUp, with the difference of being able to delegate things to you, where there’s something that I need to take off my plate in order to do other things that I know I can do really well. And so that’s definitely been an experience and kind of something that I’ve had to change a lot just in my own perspective. And so I thank you for that perspective change for me and especially for a bunch of other people listening as well.

Scott Magdalein:  Yeah. One of my first experiences at a job where I was a staff member on a team and not just a sandwich maker. So my first job was making sandwiches at Quiznos. My next job was driving a forklift. My next job was delivering lumber for a building company. So I did a lot of jobs where I just had a job. Here’s your thing to do. You come in, do that thing, and then go home kind of thing. But my first job on a team, where things were more fluid, where I had a responsibility for an area, and I had some kind of freedom within that area to make some decisions, was on a church staff, which is a lot of our listeners. And that first shift from having a job where I do a thing and then go home, to being on a team where I have some responsibility, some freedom, was a big shift.

Scott Magdalein:  But that first job in that role was really tough. It was kind of like a trial by fire, and honestly it kind of set me in a bad direction because my leader at the time wasn’t great at delegating. He was kind of one of those people who were, you might call them a micromanager, where he would assign a task, and then assign specifically how to do that task, and then assign a specific outcome for that task. And usually, it was just a task. It wasn’t like a project to manage or project to be responsible for. It wasn’t like an area of responsibility. It was something like organize all of our music. I was a music minister. I organized all of our music, past music, and make sure it’s in this file formal. Make sure it’s in this order, and make sure that it’s accessible in this way kind of thing.

Scott Magdalein:  And so it kind of put me in this direction that leading was dictating tasks and how those tasks had to be done. And so when I moved on from there into my next team role, where I was in a little bit more of a leadership position, I wasn’t completely like a boss or anything like that, but I had some people that I was working with and I was able to delegate too. I was horrible at it because the only context I had for delegation was, give somebody a task, tell them how to do it, and tell them what the outcome should be. And then of course, at the end of it, look and see what they did. So I sucked at delegation when I first started, and I had to relearn how to lead a team and forget or kind of unlearn all the things I had learned that were bad when I first started team leadership.

Kevin Fontenot:  Got you. Now can you walk through some of those? So you definitely had those experiences early on where you kind of sucked at delegation, and it wasn’t your strong suit based on kind of what you had been taught and the ways that you had learned how to delegate. Can you walk through kind of how that’s changed, what that shift has been like for you in some of your other roles? Because I know you’ve had a lot of experience in leadership roles, both inside the church and outside the church.

Scott Magdalein:  Yeah. What had changed is I learned, and a big portion of my learning experience was in my mid 20’s, my mid to late 20’s when I was at YouVersion, or at Life Church working on YouVersion and Church Online and that sort of stuff. My boss was Terry Storch and Bobby Gruenewald, and they … I interacted much more closely with Terry Storch. And I learned a ton about leadership from Terry. And one of the specific things I learned about from Terry was how to delegate. And it seems like such a simple thing, but again, I had to unlearn a bunch of stuff.

Scott Magdalein:  What I learned from Terry was a couple of things. We had a mantra at Life Church. I think they still kind of use this phrase a lot, that you don’t delegate tasks. You delegate responsibilities. And that was a big kind of mind shift for me to where I could, with my own team, have a conversation with a team member, talk about what we want something to look like, what we want the outcome to look like, and then hand over the project to them. And as long as they have enough information in the beginning of what the expectations are, then it’s my responsibility to trust them to have the responsibility with that thing.

Scott Magdalein:  Now as a leader, I’m still responsible for the outcomes, so in the org chart if the person who I delegated to doesn’t do a great job with something, I’m still, the buck stops with me as the leader. So I don’t say, “Well, I delegated responsibility to Susan, and Susan dropped the ball.” That’s not leadership either, so delegating doesn’t mean shifting responsibility where I’m not responsible for it anymore. But delegating responsibility means giving that person freedom to make choices within the context of that project, or that task, or whatever it is. So the shift for me was moving from micromanagement to shifting and delegating responsibility and letting them and trusting my team and their talent and the way that God designed them to do a good job with it, and trusting them to run with it, which honestly, it was fundamental to how I changed how I lead.

Kevin Fontenot:  That’s really good. For me, I’ve done a lot of stuff by myself. And I’m very much that person that wants to micromanage everything, that has a very specific way about doing things. And so that’s something that I’ve had to really struggle with, really wrestle through. It’s something I’m definitely getting better at. But it’s a daily struggle for me to make sure that I can hand off things and hand them off well, because it’s easy to hand off tasks, I think, kind of what you’re talking about. It’s easy to be able to give a certain thing to someone. But being able to empower them to actually do the entire process and do it their way to figure out how to do it, the best way to do it, to provide input.

Kevin Fontenot:  I think that’s where I struggle a lot with just because in my mind, my personality type is I want perfection in everything. So I’ll go to Arby’s, and as soon as I walk in the door at Arby’s, I’ll find three things that people aren’t doing right automatically as soon as I walk in. And my wife has to just kind of stop me every time. It’s like, Kevin, it doesn’t matter. You’re not in control here. They’re going to keep doing it the way they’re going to do it. It’s not worth you getting upset or frustrated about it. And that’s my natural instinct to go towards that. And so I think that’s why I have a big struggle with delegation a lot of times.

Scott Magdalein:  That’s a really good point because to be able to delegate responsibility, you also have to release control. And so it is a control factor. And so as a perfectionist, I know you’re a perfection. You do things really well. We were just chatting on Slack this morning about Kevin had written some copy for some emails that were going out. And I was like, “I don’t know what to change about this stuff.” I mean, it’s really well written. There were no grammatical errors and it’s really well done. But that’s the kind of person that Kevin is, which also can translate, like you’re talking about, into making it difficult to delegate because you have a specific view, specific vision for how something gets done. And so that for me also was a shift to make, was being okay with the thing getting done in a different way, as long as the quality of the end result was where we want it to be.

Scott Magdalein:  And honestly, not always is the outcome going to look exactly the way that I have envisioned it. So even there’s releasing of what that particular vision on the outcome looks like. Now you still don’t want to get away from high quality, excellence, and setting goals for where we want to be goal wise, but getting to that goal doesn’t always have to look like the way that I wanted it to look like, which is a big part of being able to delegate responsibility instead of just delegating tasks and becoming that micromanager.

Kevin Fontenot:  Absolutely. And one of the things that I kind of wanted to talk on is, I’ve been in a lot of positions where I haven’t been in charge, and kind of working with my personality, it’s a benefit to me in a lot of times, and it’s also a struggle as well. So as a leader, I struggle with giving up control. But as an employee, I do a really great job of being able to own the different tasks and various tasks and always providing input. And so one of the things that I wanted to talk about a little bit is just kind of what that looks like from the non leader perspective, and what it means to be the delegate-ee and how to be a great delegate-ee. I don’t think that’s a word, and I just made it up, but copyright Kevin Fontenot 2018. We’ll keep that one for myself.

Kevin Fontenot:  But being a great delegate-ee is really about one, understanding the specific goals that your leader’s trying to get towards. And always asking questions is what I see as someone who’s great at doing their job and someone who isn’t that great at doing their job, and just there to get a paycheck or just there to check a box off, is whether they just take a task and do the bare minimum, or they ask questions to figure out why that task is being assigned to them or why that process is being assigned to them. Why is it important to the leader at the top? Why are they coming to me with this problem? Why are they looking for my help? And just kind of making sure that you go in and ask some of those questions is a great way where you can begin to lead when you’re not in charge, when you’re that person that’s in second or third command down underneath someone who’s coming to you with some specific things they want you to do is asking questions. Because there may be different perspectives that you can provide, or different ways of doing things that you can bring up that you wouldn’t be able to suggest if you weren’t asking those questions upfront.

Kevin Fontenot:  And so being able to make sure that you can go to your boss, be like, “Hey, why are you asking me these things?” Don’t go up to your boss in a way that’s like, “Hey, I don’t understand why you’re doing this at all. It makes no sense to me whatsoever.” That’s something I had to learn early on because, like I said, I think through things and think very specific ways to do stuff, so it’s hard for me to do things that I don’t agree with at times. But just making sure that you’re doing it in a way that’s really loving, that’s a way that you’re going to go through with whatever’s asked of you at the end. But ask some of those questions to really get a better understanding of the desired outcome, not the desired task. But what’s the desired outcome behind it? And that’s the most important, I think, thing of being a great delegate-ee.

Scott Magdalein:  Yeah. Absolutely. Also, being a great delegate-ee, as you say, has a lot to do with assumptions, so if you’re being assigned things, or if you’re being handed off responsibility, we all make assumptions about things. It’s difficult to get through life having to clarify every individual little detail about things. So we make some assumptions. But we don’t want to assume. One of the rules around this kind of stuff is, and this is really a leadership rule in general, is believing the best or assuming the best in someone. So as a delegate-ee, you want to assume that the thing that’s being handed to you, or the reason it’s being handed to you is because you are capable of doing it. And so your leader trusts you with it because you’re capable. Not, your leader trusts you with it for some negative reason, like they’re lazy or they trust you with it because your other colleague can’t get it done, so you have to do it. Or they want to trust you with it because they think that you don’t have enough on your plate, and so they want to put more on your plate or whatever.

Scott Magdalein:  So assuming negative things is never going to help you in your job and never going to help you when you’re working in any kind of team. Assuming the best is things like assuming that he wants me to do it because I’m capable. Or my boss, she wants me to do it because she assumes that I have the time and I’m going to do a good job with it. So assuming the best as a delegate-ee is really important. But also as a delegator, it’s important to assume the best about your team. So the reason you would delegate to somebody is because you assume that they have the capability to do it. That’s why I delegate things and why I delegate some things to some people and other things to other people. I use my powers of intuition, like the understanding of my people on my team and what they’re good at. I’m seeing what they’ve done well in the past. As a good example for right now, I know that Kevin is an excellent copywriter, so Kevin writes copy for us. He writes a ton of copy, but that’s also because he’s good at it. I don’t know if he loves it or not. I think he might enjoy it, but he’s good at and so he writes copy.

Scott Magdalein:  And also, it’s one of those things where I can trust him with it. And I still do a review after he’s written copy. But just like this morning, I was like, I’m reviewing this and reading it, but there’s not much feedback because it’s really good stuff. We have someone else on our team named Laura. She does a great job with doing research, with interacting with people on social, so she has a lot of freedom in those areas because I trust her that she’s highly capable in those areas. So assuming that person you’re delegating responsibility to has the capability to do it is a big part of being able to delegate with confidence, and not delegate and then micromanage that person. Because honestly, when you’re micromanaging them, that means you’re assuming that they can’t do it and that you kind of have to hold their hand through the whole process.

Scott Magdalein:  The other thing is, when you’re delegating, not to assume that the person you’re delegating to, your delegate-ee, has all of the information that they need. And so what I try to do, I’m sure I don’t do this 100% of the time well, what I try to do is have sort of a kick off meeting when I’m delegating something new to somebody. And so that kickoff meeting usually consists of talking through what we want our outcomes to be at, know your company clear, know your company talks about delegating outcomes, not just delegating tasks. So we want to talk about what we want the outcome to be. And I like to talk in terms, really general terms, when it comes about outcomes because I don’t want it to be so specific that it also kind of dictates how the project is done.

Scott Magdalein:   So for example, again with this copy-writing. The copy-writing that Kevin has been doing recently is to increase engagement with ministry leaders who have engaged with a demo of our product. So we have this training product and people do a self led demo or an automated demo. And part of that is emails that go out to them to help them walk through that demo process. Now the outcome is that they would engage with the demo and that they would be able to discover for themselves whether TrainedUp going to be useful for them or not going to be useful for them. And so that’s the outcome that we want. If I said I want to demo emails to specifically force, get everyone to make a decision to sign up, that would really specifically dictate how Kevin writes the emails. And honestly, we don’t want-

Kevin Fontenot:  Coupon codes for everyone.

Scott Magdalein:  What’s that?

Kevin Fontenot:   I said, free lifetime subscriptions for everyone.

Scott Magdalein:  Exactly. Exactly. That changes everything about how Kevin goes about his project or his responsibility of writing these emails. Of course, we’ve had this conversation a long time ago. This isn’t something that we have this conversation every time he goes back in through a project. This is a conversation, probably several conversations over the course of months in the past. But I don’t want to assume that Kevin knows what the outcome is. And I also don’t want to be so specific about the outcome that it also dictates how he does the project, because that’s a form of micromanagement in my opinion.

Kevin Fontenot:  That’s really good, and I think that’s a good shift for us to kind of take. As we talk about delegation a lot, I think equally important is empowering your team to lead well. And you kind of mentioned on it there, but I’d love for you to kind of go in a little more specifically and talk about some other ways that you’ve empowered your team in the past, things that’ve worked, maybe some things that haven’t worked as well.

Scott Magdalein:  Yeah. Okay. I’m glad you asked about this because there’s this one thing that I do, that I like to do, that to me is the biggest way of empowering. So it starts with assuming that my team is smart. So I want to assume that everyone on my team that I’ve done … My job was to hire somebody super smart and then trust them to do their job. So I’m going to assume that I did my job well, and the person is smart. Or at the very least, they’re capable. They’re competent. They don’t have to be a genius, but they’re competent at the thing that they’re doing. So with that assumption, I can lead without having to dictate to them what to do. So my leadership flow tends to be around helping that person discover their, or find, or pull out, the best in that person, instead of dictating to them how to do something.

Scott Magdalein:  So in the process of helping them to discover what they’re good at, discover that they are good at something. Because a lot of times, people don’t do a great job because they don’t think that they’re very good at something, when in fact, they are fully capable of it. And it’s just a lie that they’re telling themselves that they’re not good at something. So what I like to do is, I like to ask questions. Kevin, you had mentioned questions earlier. Questions, leading questions specifically, are really a big tool that I use to lead my team. A lot of times, my team, people that you delegate to, they have the answer. They’re just not confident of the answer. And so instead of telling the answer to my team, or if somebody’s having a difficult time working through something I’ve delegated to them, or even if it’s not something I’ve delegated to them, but they’re just working on a project and they’re having a difficult time, instead of kind of saying my opinion and just kind of giving the answer from my perspective, which is, honestly, let’s be honest. My perspective is limited.

Scott Magdalein:  I don’t have all the information that somebody else on the team has, or just generally all the information, period, especially not as much as somebody who’s already actively working on the project. So what I’d like to do is, I ask questions to help them kind of pull out their own answer, to build their own confidence, and to help them understand that the next time that they have a question, they don’t have to ask a question from a position, or from an area of insecurity. They can ask a question from an area of, I have an idea about how this should go. What do you think? They can get my feedback on it, maybe, or my input, rather than just, I don’t know what to do.

Scott Magdalein:  So over time, and this is kind of the great thing I love about leadership and developing the other leaders in an organization, is that over time those people … You can see. It’s a clear shift that they move from being a doer, somebody who can get a job done and ask how to do it, and then get the job done. Ask how to do it and get the job done. To somebody who can take on a responsibility for entire projects. They know how to communicate up the org chart to make sure that their boss or their leader is in the loop on how things are going. Ask questions that are helpful questions. Get feedback on those questions, but not necessarily ask how to do those things. And over time, that person becomes a responsible, independent, self sufficient leader on their own.

Kevin Fontenot:  That’s really good. I have some tips that I kind of jotted down because if I didn’t jot them down, I definitely wasn’t going to remember them. And these are things that I’m all working through in my capacity at TrainedUp, in my capacity in my local church helping through lead things through small groups and things like that. And Scott kind of mentioned some of these. But number one on my list is giving someone the freedom to suggest different ways and different perspectives. And I think that’s one of the best ways that you can empower your team to really succeed and to lead well, is when you give them a little bit of freedom to suggest new ideas, new ways of doing things, different perspectives that you haven’t thought of, that they shouldn’t feel like they can’t share what’s on their mind, or they shouldn’t feel that they can’t share a different way of doing things that you may not have thought of. And so really having, as a top leader who’s giving out and empowering your team well, you have to have a spirit of being able to receive different feedback, different criticism.

Kevin Fontenot:  And something that goes along with freedom to suggest ideas is, one giving someone ownership to go out and try that new idea that they’re talking about. But also, giving them the license and freedom to fail. A lot of times, people won’t take responsibility and they won’t take initiative on things because they’re scared of failing and scared what will happen if something doesn’t turn out right. And in marketing, it’s all about experiments. We run experiments all the time at TrainedUp. There have been things that’ve worked really well for us. And there have been things that’ve failed completely. And I’m glad that Scott’s at the top empowering me to be able to have those failing moments. Definitely don’t get to fail all the time because then we’d be having some difficult conversations quite often, especially about things like ad spend and things like that. But we’ve definitely spent money on things, and they’ve completely flopped. And we’ve spent money on other things that’ve done a lot better than we expected them to do. And so it’s all about empowering your team to know that, hey, it’s okay if this thing doesn’t turn out the way that you want it to turn out, or the way that I want it to turn out.

Kevin Fontenot:   And with that, one of the things that you can empower your team to do well is sharing the key metric, sharing the underlying goals with them, and then regularly walking through them and talking about those goals. Where are we at in relation to that goal? How is this specific task or this specific project related to those overarching goals that we’re trying to hit? And then regularly reviewing the data with them and empowering them to see the results for themselves because it’s one thing for them to go through and blindly do something. It’s another thing for people on your team to have the data themselves to know how it’s pushing the needle or moving the needle inside of your organization based on the things that they’re doing.

Kevin Fontenot:  And so some of those things are a really great way for you to be able to empower your team. They’re really simple. They’re really easy. But at the same time, they take a lot of effort to consciously think through them, to consciously give that ability to someone else. But I think they’re a really important part of empowering your team.

Scott Magdalein:   Yeah. Absolutely. This is perfect. Those few things you mentioned are awesome. What I kept thinking of as you were talking is, these things lead to a lot of discomfort or un-comfort. Right? I mean, it’s not comfortable to suggest ideas because it also makes you vulnerable to being shot down. And so you see, especially in meetings when there’s lots of people in a room and they’re trying to kind of ideate a little bit, that there tends to be some people that are just quiet. They don’t talk because they’re afraid. I guarantee you they have ideas. But they may feel like if they speak up, that their idea will get shot down. Or if they’ve gotten shot down a couple of times already, they may be gun shy. So the freedom and the safety to be able to suggest ideas without being completely slaughtered or cut off at the knees is really important.

Scott Magdalein:  That’s also an uncomfortable kind of thing to do, being given ownership over something, which means that I’m going to be responsible for the outcome of this thing, an uncomfortable thing. That puts me at risk. I’m vulnerable for it. And also, as a person who wants to keep my job, if it doesn’t work out well, then what happens to my job? So being able to give somebody ownership over an area, but it also at the same time gives them a sense of security that the outcome of this particular project isn’t what your job hinges on, and doesn’t change the way that I think about how you are as an employee or as a team member. That’s important. So it’s uncomfortable, but you also have to put some safety reassurances there as well.

Scott Magdalein:  Same thing with freedom to fail. So if you’re talking about having a sense of freedom to fail, you’ve got to also have that sense of security that if I fail, my job doesn’t depend on it. And that is one of those things where you’ve got to be able to, as a leader, when a project starts or when an initiative starts, reassure them that if this thing doesn’t turn out, it’s okay. This is an experiment. So I think part of that is just having a culture of experimentation, a culture of trying something because the worst option is to not try anything. And so Kevin does a great job at failing. He’s a great failure because he does [inaudible 00:26:26].

Scott Magdalein:  The reason I say that is because he learns a lot from every failure. And every failure is one step back, but prepares us for two steps forward. So being able to have that freedom to fail in a safe environment is really important as well. And then of course, feeling okay and being safe with being honest about the outcomes of your projects. Kevin talked about being able to share metrics and use data. But being honest about the outcome of projects, especially when they’re not good, is really important to that failing and learning from failure process. But also, not over exaggerating the success of projects. So if you over exaggerate the success of projects, you tend to double down on those projects, and then you’ll see either diminishing returns over time or just you’ll realize after a couple of times of reiterating that project, or maybe doing the same event multiple times a year, you realize, oh, maybe it wasn’t as good as we thought. We were just kind of giving ourselves a pat on the back.

Scott Magdalein:  So a big part of this whole thing is honesty with your team, setting up systems for trust and safety, feeling safe and doing their job and being able to take responsibility without risking, putting a lot on the table and risking their job or whatever. And then following up with making sure that those outcomes are looked at in an honest light, both failures and successes, in my opinion.

Kevin Fontenot:  That’s really good. And the last thing that I want to add there is, talking about the outcomes and making sure that we’re doing an honest evaluation. One of the things that I really enjoy doing, and something that as both the delegate-ee and the delegator and the person leading or the person being led, is being involved in discussions of why I think certain things happen and really empowering your team to give feedback, basically doing a postmortem once something has finished up, the project wraps up, or the task is wrapped up. Going to them and asking them why they think certain outcomes were hit, why they were missed, and really getting their perspective on it because they’re going to be the people that are actually in the trenches doing the tasks, going to be actually there trying to make all the project happen or all the tasks happen. And so they’re going to have definitely a different perspective than you’re going to have on it.

Kevin Fontenot:  And so they may be able to share a little bit of wisdom that they were able to see throughout the project that you had no clue about. And likewise, if they’re not empowered to tell you those things, you may think that whole process is completely terrible and you should never do it again. Or you may come out of that meeting thinking, “Oh well, we could probably try this again in the future. We just need to tweak these few things to make sure that we don’t have the same result over and over again.”

Scott Magdalein:  Yeah. You’re exactly right. [inaudible 00:29:02] honestly look at outcomes and not just like looking at those outcomes in [inaudible 00:29:09]. I just talked about that. But being able to get feedback from the person who’s actually working on the project, asking questions about how we got to this outcome, whether it was good or bad. What brought us to this outcome that we can duplicate, or that we need to drop from the next project? Because a lot of times, we’ll look at a project and say, “Well, that project was a failure.” So let’s say we had a pre-Easter event, and the event was a failure. But it probably wasn’t the entire event. There were probably a couple of pieces to it that made it not go well. Or vice versa, let’s say that event was a great event and it was really successful. It wasn’t just because we decided to do the event. There was probably a few pieces of the event, the way that you ran the event, or the way you scheduled or communicated about it, that made it a success.

Scott Magdalein:  And so looking at: What are the pieces that made it a success? Or what are the pieces that made it a failure? And asking for that information from the person who managed the project because they were close to it, is the best way where you not just to be able to make the decision, well, we’re going to do this Easter event again next year because it was successful. But how can we take pieces from this Easter event and put that into our back to school event next year, or to our Halloween event next year, or how we communicate our Christmas services? So there are pieces that you can pull from successes and from failures that only the person who led the project knows about. And as a leader, being in a position of learning, listening to how the project leader handled it and what their insight is into it is really important.

Kevin Fontenot:  That’s awesome. And so that’s going to do it for today’s episode of The Thriving Ministry Team’s Podcast. And like always, if you have questions about any of this, you want to talk back and forth with Scott or myself, just head over to We have live chat on our website. We love engaging with ministry leaders, and it really is us behind the scenes. We don’t have any sort of robots that are typing out responses. Occasionally, we’ll mistype something just to make sure that you know it’s a real person.

Scott Magdalein:  I saw that, by the way. I totally saw that this morning when somebody said, “Hey, I’m Clint,” and you typed their name wrong. He thought it was a robot. That’s pretty awesome.

Kevin Fontenot:  Yeah. So we definitely make sure to throw in some errors in there so that you know it’s a real person. Any time I have a failure in copy-writing, I just tell Scott that I just wanted to make sure that they know it’s a real person on the other end. If you do have any questions, get in touch with us. And maybe you want a way to kind of delegate some of the training that’s on your shoulders. And if so, we’ve developed a great system, a great tool, to help you do that, to be able to move some of that training high level stuff off of your shoulders, and in a way that’s repeatable, that can save you some time. So head over to Check that out. If you want to give it a try, use the coupon code thriving, you’ll get 50% off your first month. And even then, if it doesn’t work out, just let us know and we’ll issue a refund within that first month, no questions asked. We’d love to be able to help you out that way. And if you have any questions, just let us know. And we’ll see you guys next week.

Scott Magdalein

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