“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings” ~ Thomas Sowell
Nobody wants to be “that guy”. You know the one I’m talking about: It doesn’t matter what the questions is, he always has the answer. He always knows a better way to do everything and makes sure everyone knows this job is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things. The problem is; he’s all talk and no action! Have you ever worked around “that guy” (or girl)? They can wear you out. Everyone else on the team is trying to get their work done and “that guy” just keeps talking. Solomon has something to say about people like this:
Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness. (Proverbs 14:23-24 NLT)
As a leader, it’s your job to establish a healthy and productive culture in your organization. You must be very intentional about doing this. In John Maxwell’s book “The Five Levels of Leadership”, he calls level two “Permission” and level three “Production”. He asks the question: Have the people you lead given you their permission to lead them? This is a huge concept! This is the level for building relationships and trust.
As the leader, it’s your responsibility to get to know every player on your team and discover what makes them tick. Through building these relationships, you will get a good feel for who your “real workers” are and who your “only talkers” are. Building these relationships is foundational to dealing with difficult situations like trying to make “that guy”, the talker, to start putting some action where his talk is.
The next leadership level is “Production”. This is where we live out that phrase in Proverbs: “Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!” Healthy relationships and some talk is essential to every organization, but let’s face it, if you don’t get productive it won’t be long until you are out of business. Solomon even says: “Wealth is a crown for the wise”.
Making your organization positive, productive and profitable is your responsibility as a leader. You can’t afford to have negative and unproductive “fools” on your team who do a lot of talking but don’t contribute to the organization. You need wise workers.
As a Christian leader, how you handle difficult situations reflects your character and faith. Always value people…even “that guy”. You have to balance what is best for your organization as well as everyone on your team. This may involve letting a team member go and replacing them with someone who is more in line with the standards of your team.
Be intentional today about leading your team in wise work and avoiding foolish talk. Team members will appreciate your leadership in this area. Wise workers want work conditions where they can be at their best and thrive.