New Year's Resolutions for Tech Leaders Pt. 1

Image courtesy of Mr. T in DC

Image courtesy of Mr. T in DC

Well, here we are; about two weeks into the new year. A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions, which last until about, well, today. I’m not a big fan of resolutions; however, I do like to make some goals for the year. As you probably know by now, I’m a big believer in continual growth and learning, and that is what this series is about. 

I would like to propose five things that we as technical leaders can do this year that will not only improve us individually, but also elevate our collective craft. Ready to get started? Here we go…

Work Less

Have you ever sat around with a group of other technical leaders for a few hours? At some point, the conversation always turns to how busy everyone is and how much we’re working. It often turns into a contest to see who is working the most.

“Yeah, I’ve been working 50-60 hours a week the last few months…”

“Oh I feel you. We did this big holiday thing and I worked like, 70 hours a week for weeks.”

“Yeah, I worked 80 hours last week…”

Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that pace is unsustainable. We simply can’t work 50, 60, 70 hours a week, month after month, year after year and expect to survive. Sure, those weeks come around a few times a year, but they cannot be the norm. 

I will often ask my fellow techs if that high-workload pace is really driven by leadership or if it’s self-imposed. Most of the time, people look at me funny when I ask that. But really look at that question. Is anyone really asking you to work 70 hours a week? Or are you just doing it because you think you have to? It’s a legitimate question.

A few weeks ago at our staff meeting, our Senior Pastor talked about pace. He reminded us that we have to find out the pace that we can sustain for the long term. And here’s why this is important: You don’t really accomplish much of lasting value in ministry if you can’t do it for the long-haul. Like, years. Five to ten years.

If you burn out at your church in 18 months, then jump to another church where you hope it will be better, then repeat the process, you’re not really serving the local church(es), or the Church well. 

We have to remember that this is a long game, and we’re not going to get everything done this week or next. I have projects that have been on my to-do list for 3 years. I’ll get to them someday, and the reason I will is because I’m trying to maintain a pace that will ensure I’m here long enough to get those items done. 

So my first challenge to you in the new year is to work less, and challenge fellow technical artists to do likewise. I envision a meet up that goes more like this.

“I’ve had a good few months, not really working more than about 45 hours a week lately.”

“Oh, that’s great. I’m down to about 37, myself.”

“How long have you been there?”

“Eight years.” 

“Nice!”

You see, I’d rather have eight years at a steady pace than eighteen months flat out. It’s quite a lot more productive. I know this easy to write and harder to implement. So over the next few posts, I’m going to suggest some ways to make it happen.

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