Hello, my name is Brian and I play Candy Crush. There, I said it. I’m not quite this guy but I do play it a few times a week. I’m not entirely proud of it and I’m fairly sure that I lose man points for doing so, but it’s true.
In an effort to feel better about being a grown man playing a game that looks a lot like Candy Land, there are two things that playing Candy Crush reminds me about leadership.
Knowing the goal is crucial.
In the game, the basic move is to line up three or more like-colored candy pieces, causing them to disappear. Then, each level has a different goal. It’s possible to play the game by just trying to line up pieces to make them disappear with no thought to the goal at hand (It’s been done.). However, this method is not productive, as it doesn’t matter how many points I have If my goal is to clear all the jellies.
Sometimes as a leader, I find myself doing the things I am supposed to do, but I don’t connect them to the goal I need to accomplish at the time. So, I become spread too thin and ineffective. Knowing the goal helps guide how I spend my time, energy and finances.
This becomes all the more important when leading a team. A team needs a clearly communicated, corporately owned goal that guides how the moves are made. Without this, the team might be doing all the right things for the wrong reasons or at the wrong time. Nothing of value is accomplished.
Making moves count is critical.
Several levels of Candy Crush have a limited number of moves to accomplish the goal. Early in my experience with the game, I found myself clearing pieces without realizing that my resources were limited. You can purchase more moves for the game, but that’s spending a limited resource as well. So, if I’m to reach my goal of not spending money and the goal of the level of the game, I’ve got to make sure each move counts.
As I leader, I try to be mindful of the reality of limited resources. Everything is a resource: money, time, energy, people, emotion. Everything is finite and limited. If I am to be a faithful steward of the resources entrusted to me, I need to make sure that the moves I make count for something.
As a pastor, this means that we try to make sure that we plan our church calendar in a way that maximizes effectiveness and minimizes time invested. We plan our budget so that we can reach our goal of making disciples and planting churches. Everything we do and every role we ask a leader to fill need to be seen as moves that are crucial expenses of finite resources. We have a limited number of moves. So they have to count.
I hope that these reminders from an unlikely source are helpful and that you and your team find yourself making moves that count to achieve your common goal.
Some questions to consider:
- Is there a common goal for your team?
- Has it been clearly communicated?
- Has it been corporately embraced?
- Is success clearly defined? Does everyone know when you’ve completed the level?
- Are you making moves that are crucial to the common goal?
- What are your resources? How are you spending them?
- When was the last time you didn’t make a move because it didn’t move you closer to the goal?