This is part two of a conversation between Kelvin Co and Hunter Wilson from The Oaks Fellowship. To read part one, click here.
How differently do you lead people?
Kelvin: When it comes to leading people, my natural tendency is to create procedures and rules to cover all the bases. Before someone gets started on a new assignment or role, I want to make sure they not only know how to do something, but also know what to do in different scenarios that may arise.
Hunter: I like keeping things simple and easy for people to get started. It is easier for people to be motivated and get excited when they get to be involved right away. And I like to work alongside people and help them learn and figure things out as they do it. It is so great seeing someone you lead brainstorm a way to make things better. They have a deeper sense of ownership.
Kelvin: I’ve learned from Hunter’s generation that most of the procedures and documents I spent so much time creating are collecting dust or electronic spider webs in a hard drive somewhere. I’ve learned that I need to keep things simple and make it easy for people to get started. People will gravitate toward what is easy and makes sense, regardless of how many instructions you provide. And usually, leaders will rise up and make things better/move things forward making the procedures I designed obsolete fairly quickly. I’ve learned through Hunter that, more than my instructions, the relational aspect of leading people is vital.
How do each of you regard authority?
Kelvin: In any team setting I naturally look for who is in charge. I am loyal to authority.
Hunter: I am more about the vibe and who is part of the team. I honor and am submitted to leadership, but I am more loyal to peers.
What has been the hardest thing for you in working with each other?
Hunter: There are two things that have been hard for me when working with Kelvin: First, it’s the delayed action and gratification of moving forward with solutions. The other thing is navigating through our differences in artistic style. He is open to my taste, which I am grateful for. But because we come from very different generations, sometimes it takes a while for us to land on a creative direction and concept.
Kelvin: I know that I am out of touch with this generation. It is imperative that I equip, empower, and entrust more of them to take on leadership in our creative process and product. Letting go has been the hardest challenge.
With all the differences between your generations, how have you been able to make this work?
Hunter: Kelvin and I are committed to the same mission for our department: to support the pastor in accomplishing the vision for our church. We are both very clear on that. And I believe that we have been able to overcome our differences because of our relationship. We hang out. I know that he cares about me. That means a lot to me and makes it easy for me to trust him and work with him. I love that we are both teachable and committed to learning from each other.
Kelvin: Yes. We are both committed to the same purpose. I have a clear, God-given vision to lead our team. And it was imperative that I cast that vision clearly and compellingly. What was critical after that was to embrace Hunter as someone God gave me to disciple. This involved building a relationship with him by listening and learning from and about him. Eventually, we gained mutual trust and respect so I could speak into his life and receive his ideas. As his senior and superior, I maintain the posture that I have wisdom I have gained over years of experience that I can share with him. I have success that I can lend as his floor to stand on.
What is one thing you would tell your generation to motivate them about working with a different generation?
Hunter: We care so much about making things better. Instead of being frustrated when solutions aren’t happening fast enough, let’s not focus so much on the problems but instead celebrate the progress being made.
Kelvin: As the generation in authority, we will not know everything. We cannot always have the right answer. Choose relationship over being right by listening to and spending time with younger people. Build their trust. In turn, trust them and let them drive. Then guide them while allowing room to discover together how they can lead the generation after them.