In a previous blog post, I shared the Attitudes of a Rock Star Staffer.
In this follow-up blog, I wanted to dive into some practical habits of a Rock Star Staffer.
These are given in no specific order and vary in levels of importance.
A mantra that was oft-repeated by a former Rock Star Staffer was:
Early is on time. On time is late and late is unacceptable.
Nothing tells other staffers how you value their time more than being on time.
“God…shows up on time…” (Psalm 59:10, The Message)
For our team to achieve greatness we need everyone’s input.
Rock Star Staffers speak up in meetings, provide constructive feedback and keep their supervisor and peers in the loop.
“An unreliable messenger can cause a lot of trouble. Reliable communication permits progress.” (Proverbs 13:17, The Living Bible)
What this also means is that Rock Star Staffers show respect to their peers by giving them their full attention in meetings. They’re not on their phone/computer or in the new Zoom world, they don’t turn their camera off unnecessarily.
“We must give our full attention to what we were told so that we won’t drift away.” (Hebrews 2:1, CEV)
“Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.” (Philippians 2:3b, The Message)
We desire to be successful. They care more about where “we go” than their ego.
They recognize that senior team members have valuable wisdom to share and they honor those staff by seeking out that wisdom.
“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)
Rock Star Staffers do the hard work of building camaraderie. They make a concerted effort to get to know other staffers personally.
Our goal is that we would develop such love that we will fight for instead of against one another.
One mantra that describes our staff relational goals is:
Love the staff above yourself;
Love the church above the staff;
Love Jesus above all!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34–35, NIV)
Rock Star Staffers can be counted on. They meet deadlines without needing reminders or check-ups.
They’re like Horton the Elephant, “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!”
“Depending on an unreliable person in a crisis is like trying to chew with a loose tooth or walk with a crippled foot.” (Proverbs 25:19, GNB)
5. Corrects their peers.
Rock Star Staffers care so deeply about the health of the team and the mission that they “chase the funk!” In other words, they don’t ignore issues or allow toxicity. They don’t just hope that the boss will fix this or someone else will chase it. They take responsibility to call out their peers when their behavior or attitude is hurting the team.
“If a believer does something wrong, go confront him when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have won back that believer.” (Matthew 18:15, GW)
On the flip side, Rock Star Staffers own their mistakes. They don’t make excuses or shift the blame. They apologize for and learn from the mistakes.
“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” (Proverbs 28:13, The Living Bible)
6. Thinks like an owner.
Rock Star Staffers view themselves as an owner and not an employee.
- Employees look at the budget. Owners look at cash flow.
- Employees want to get their job done. Owners want to accomplish the mission.
- Employees want to know what their benefits are. Owners want to make sure they are benefiting others.
- Employees see other staff as competition. Owners want everyone to win.
- Employees want to protect “their” resources. Owners know we’re all in this together.
- Employees are thinking when am I done?
- Employees play the “It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” card. Owners consider how each decision affects the entire organization.
Owners are listening for the Master to say, “Well done!”
“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Matthew 25:21, NLT)
7. Works hard.
Rock Star Staffers have a strong work ethic. They don’t just do the minimum required or just enough not to be fired.
They go the extra mile! They work like the Master’s watching.
“Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters,” (Colossians 3:23, The Living Bible)
Rock Star Staffers are not clock-punchers. They’re invested in the mission of the church and realize that there will be times when they are called on to do things “off hours” or need to be reached when they are not officially on the clock.
8. Understands the “Good enough” principle.
Since the 90s churches have learned to up their game in the weekend services. We added lights, haze and video. The move towards excellence improved the services in many ways, however, the drive to improve can become self-defeating.
Staffers who fall into the trap of perfectionism can make two crucial mistakes:
1) They tweak “the product” so long they actually miss critical deadlines. Frankly, an imperfect product delivered on time beats a masterpiece never delivered.
“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4, NLT)
2) They confuse the goal of improving products instead of people. The calling of the church is to use products to improve people, not the other way around.
Rock Star Staffers want their ministries to produce great programs and materials but resist the temptation to put the cart before the horse.
9. Understands how to prioritize.
Rock Star Staffers don’t say yes to everything. They have such clarity on their job description and task priorities that they know how to set appropriate boundaries when others have something they’d like to put on their plate.
Jesus had such clarity of purpose and time that He knew how to say no to conflicting agendas.
“He left the next day for open country. But the crowds went looking and, when they found him, clung to him so he couldn’t go on. He told them, “Don’t you realize that there are yet other villages where I have to tell the Message of God’s kingdom, that this is the work God sent me to do?”” (Luke 4:42–43, The Message)
10. Careful not to cross the line between personal/professional.
This particular skill is hard to define and frankly, even saying it sounds a bit callous.
Any great work environment needs to foster enough emotional safety that an employee can share what’s happening in their private life. In fact, you can’t really build a team without this kind of openness.
However, there’s a mysterious line somewhere that can be crossed when a staffer overshares or seems to always have some drama going on in their life that is affecting their work and their peers.
Churches especially seem to foster this behavior because, after all, aren’t churches supposed to be compassionate?
And yet there can be a point in which compassion can become enablement.
I had an admin once that viewed her job as a golden opportunity to receive hours of unscheduled pastoral counseling that was seriously inhibiting the office from getting work done.
Rock Star Staffers know how to balance vulnerability with responsibility.
“Also, make it your goal to live quietly, do your work, and earn your own living…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11, GW)
Well, there’s my random list of Rock Star skills. What would you add?