Now, you may not yet have the mindset for leading missions that we're talking about in this post. But, you will be amazed at how this single action will radically increase your effectiveness and your intentionally.
Here’s the concept...always be working to “exit the scene” of any missions project.
Does this sound negative to you? It shouldn't. Let me explain. What I mean by "exit strategy" is to be thinking in terms of sustainability, empowering nationals, and trying to avoid building dependencies.
Here’s what this is going to do to your mindset:
#1 You’re going to think more strategically.
Working toward an exit strategy helps make us all more strategic. What if we can’t sustain engagement in a certain area forever? What if we were working to make them more self-sustaining? You will find the strategic questions you ask about purpose and value shift when this takes root.
#2 You’re going to allocate resources more intentionally.
You are already working to be a good steward of your resources. Adopting and working toward an exit strategy will help you make even better decisions in how you allocate resources, budget, train, and more.
#3 You’re going to send short-term teams with more purpose.
This is a rich opportunity to equip and train short-term workers with a mindset that your overall strategy is to see each field healthy and self-sustaining in the big picture, not just the short-term trip. Many short term trip participants come home asking the questions about the purpose of such a short visit. This helps give that question context and helps them see short term work can be significant for long term impact.
#4 You’re going to ask different questions.
Inevitably you are going to ask different questions as you select partners, as you evaluate projects, as you choose short term trip locations, as you select team leaders, and more. This provides a different framework for each step of the process.
#5 You’re going to evaluate your trips with a new lens.
You will take such joy in how you evaluate your short-term trips and see them now with a greater purpose for a longer impact far after the short term trips or your organizations ability to be involved.
#6 You’re going to reach more geographical areas.
It may seem strange, but this will open new opportunities to engage more geographical opportunities...not to mention new types of projects.
#7 You’re going to build more long-term relationships.
You will find yourself being a better partner with field teams and organizations as you are working to truly help them for the future and in so doing building lasting relationships with them that make them part of your family.
#8 You’re going to honor people well.
Perhaps most convicting is asking “how would I want this done to me?” if someone were to come and “do missions” to you right here at home. This mindset helps you honor people well, just like you would want to be treated.
#9 You’re going to do more.
Yes, and you are going to do more! You will be amazed at just how much more you will be asked to do and will be able to do when you work toward not being the lynch pin of each project. You might be invested longer in each field, but the overall scope of your involvement will increase.
This is a mind shift for most of us, but this is such an important question and philosophy to adopt. In our opinion, this only makes the case for short term trips stronger. We desperately need short term teams who can go and leave a lasting impact. Properly adopted exit strategies allow you the opportunity to greatly increase your impact and effort.
Action: Evaluate how you could be working toward an overall exit strategy. Discuss how you could be training your team leaders toward this end. Read When Helping Hurts by Steven Corbett and Brian Fikkert.
This is just one strategy of five (5) we have for doubling your impact. Download all five (5) strategies you can implement immediately that will double your missions impact.
This post is written by Will Rogers. Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of ServiceReef.