I remember that when we were beginning to put together our concept for An Unexpected Journal, I was wondering how we were going to get all of these done. I was thinking about all of the different things that have to come together for the website to be successful, and I found a lot of skills I don’t have. I can do some things reasonably well, but there are the things I just don’t have a clue about.
That’s the beauty of having a team. Luckily, we don’t need me to do everything because we have so many great people working on this project.
That makes me think about another quote on leadership from John Buchan:
The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
I think that this is something we all intuitively know, but it has become even more clear to me as we were working through this project. As a very clear example, we definitely needed a graphic designer. As you can tell on my website, graphic design is not my strong point. I try to make things that look okay, but it is not really my strong suit, and I certainly do not know anything about programming or CSS. We have people on our team who do know about these things though.
I am not necessarily the most talented promoter or marketer, but we have some people who are very good at promoting, getting the word out and letting people know about amazing projects like this one.
Another thing I am definitely not very good at is proofreading. You know that from this website, and you bear with me. I certainly appreciate that. For a publication that is seeking to be much more professional and academic than my thoughts on this website, it is really important for everything to come across cleanly. We have people who do that.
The fact of the matter is that really none of this had to be put into any one of us in the Journal. Our combination of talents and gifts has been highly compatible with one another, and we were able to come together because we are good at different things.
I don’t know that I can see that this was anything else beyond the evidence of divine design. There are plenty of ways that this could have worked out differently. We could have been lacking in any one of several very important areas, and if that had been the case, this project would not have come together in the way that it did. It may not have come together at all.
The leadership lesson I learned however is that it is really important to take advantage of the talent each individual possesses. There is no reason not to utilize what people do well and bring together to form something really great. It is amazing to see how well it can work.