The ELP Rep is the key to the ELP on the local campus – they are a crucial element to the success and effectiveness of the program. This role is critical to raise up sons and daughters who are called long-term to Teen Challenge. Oftentimes it is overlooked so this month we want to take the time to celebrate the Rep’s on our campuses. Spend time to find out what fills their tank and make them feel appreciated. Here are a few ideas of how you can bless the Rep’s on your campus:
Celebrate their achievements – talk about all the ways they have added value to the center both in front of them and when they are not around
Spend quality time – take them out to coffee or lunch and talk about them and what’s happening in their life
Give them a “just because” gift – gift cards are great but something handmade, personal and creative says more
Invest in their leadership – connect them with a mentor/coach or take them along with you to a meeting
Acts of Service – offer to conduct one of their weekly meetings
Sometimes we get so caught up in the mundane activities we forget to step away from our desk and meet people where they are at. Recently I was at a conference where Simon Sinek talked about “eye ball” leadership – getting up from your desk and going where people are at and look them in the eyes. Really what he was saying is – build relationship with your team. You can’t expect people to work hard for you if they don’t know you. Notice I said work hard – they’ll work for you but they won’t work “hard.” Years ago while working in the airline industry, we did a training on customer service. We only had about 30 seconds to a minute to check in a passenger but during that time we had to get to know them and make the process as personal as possible so they would fly with us again. If we go through such lengths to build relationship with the people who spend their monies with us, how much more we should put into knowing the people who are working with us for decades and some, a lifetime. People want to feel they are accepted, they are loved and they are making a difference. The single most important factor to the success of your team and the overall organization is having authentic relationship with the people you work with.
Simon says “If we set the environment right, trust and cooperation is an automatic response.” ” Leadership is a choice to be responsible for ourselves and the people around us; reinforce the relationship between you and your team members” (Sinek). Leadership requires our two greatest commodity – time and energy. It will take energy to get away from the task at hand to roam the halls to find out how people are doing and to bless them – to offer a word of encouragement or simply to say “thank you.” The best decision you can make every day as a leader is to add value to people. Let them know that you care, you believe in them and you believe they can succeed. Organizational health is more felt than telt.