Leadership is needed in Alaska too

January 22, 2010 — Leave a comment

While on my trip to Alaska we often made a walk down to the local coffee house as part of the routine on nice days.

Watching my parents run a small business for 15 years taught me a lot about leadership.

For the sake of this post, watching them run a small business showed me the pros and cons of being the only person who can run the business day to day. As the business owner, if you leave and don't have a trained staff capable of working without you, you're not going to make any money or make progress while you're away.

I was reminded of this when we made our normal walk down to the local coffee shop where my parents live in Alaska. The lady who owns the coffee shop has a reputation of always being open. She's a one-woman workforce who owns and operates a drive-thru coffee service.

My parents often stop at her coffee shop to get mochas from her, not because she always has the best mochas (they are pretty good, but not the best), but they want to support her because she works so hard. Plus she always gives a treat to my parent's dog when they stop by the drive-thru.

When you're a one-person operation, they is only one problem. The problem is that you're a one-person operation. If you ever want to take a day off or go for vacation, you have to close your doors.

The good thing about being a one-person operation is that you don't have anyone to manage or keep track of. It makes the business easy to run and keeps the financials easy to keep track of too. You don't have to worry about managing anyone, don't have to worry about anyone stealing from you, don't have to worry about anyone not doing what they are supposed to do, and you don't have to worry about them flaking on you either.

With a little bit of leadership ability you could turn that one person coffee shop into a place that has one or two other people on staff part-time who help.

The value of leadership is having a staff who can carry the load and continue the good work if you need to take a lunch break, a day off, or go on vacation.

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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