Leading Clever People was the title of a recent Harvard Business Ideacast, an interview with Gareth Jones, coauthor of Clever: Leading Your Smartest, Most Creative People. Any Pastor listening to this interview could not but instinctively change the title to Pastoring Clever People. The parallels and overlaps were so obvious, especially when the author compared leading clever people to herding cats! Which Pastor has not been utterly frustrated at how difficult it can be to harness the talents and skills of the most gifted Christians in their congregation. How do you lead people who don’t want to lead and yet don’t want to be led? How do you get your most valuable assets to add value? Jones bulleted his advice:
- Do explain things and persuade them but don’t tell them what to do — smart people don’t take a leader’s word at face value; they need to understand why they’re being asked to do something.
- Do use your expertise but don’t use your hierarchy — smart people aren’t impressed with titles.
- Do tell them what to do but don’t tell them how to do it — smart people enjoy figuring out how to do things and will almost always rise to the challenge.