Welcome back to Tech Talk with Bill! So there have been lots of questions about tech crew advice and leadership, let’s lay out a few good points to follow. Even if you’re the only member on your particular team, it’s still inappropriate for you to try to shoulder the entire responsibility of every special event tech task. If you feel like you’re “the only person who can possibly do this”, then you need to find someone to assist you and delegate a few things. Trust me, there’s someone who can help, just ask.
It’s all too common for tech team leaders to carry around the burden of getting it all done themselves. For those of us who tend to be micro-managers and perfectionists, that mentality quickly leads to frustration, burnout, and the alienation of fellow team members.
Take a moment to define the areas of critical focus for you, and try to delegate everything else to competent individuals. Also, definitely don’t forget to properly prepare your tech team so they can be productive.
Learn To Let Go
Part of the leadership process is to grow, equip, and nurture your team. You can’t be very effective with any of that if you don’t give your team members space to learn, practice, fail, and succeed. It can be hard to let a new person take responsibility for something you’ve always done in the past. But remember to be patient with them, and prepare your team with the proper training or instruction so that when things get hectic and the “volume gets turned up”, you’ll be efficient and productive.
Here’s another pitfall of getting too busy: we forget to listen. Take the time to listen to your team and other team leaders. What are their concerns? How can you assist them? How can they assist you? Make sure your conversations are bi-directional – give and receive. This will help your team grow together and bond in ways that just aren’t possible when we’re all talking at each other instead of with each other.
Special events are also a great time to work with other technical ministry teams (sound, video, lighting, etc.) and see where there are areas of overlap. It’s common in a technical production environment for various team members to have competent skills in other technical ministry areas. See if you can leverage that cross-training potential so that all of the technical components can run smoothly for each special event production team.
Don’t React – Respond
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of leading a tech team during a special event season is that we can easily fall into the habit of reacting – to everything! This is a recipe for disaster and even emotional damage. Take the time to prepare and plan. This will help you and your team to be focused and effectively respond to unpredictable moments instead of wildly reacting without a plan. Preparation and Communication are the two critical components that will allow you to respond with grace and poise in the challenging moments that can happen during any live production event. Ensure that your team practices good communication habits. And if you’re the team leader, lead by example.
Remember the Reason
It’s ironic really, but all of the planning and schedules and events can completely distract us from the fundamental reason we are doing all of this in the first place. This is about God, right? Make sure you and your team take time to reflect on the bigger WHY of what you’re doing. You’ve been called to serve. And, yes, there are a lot of technical demands and details. But recalibrating your focus on why you are serving and celebrating will keep your mind and heart in the right place. Remember your faith. Remember the Humility of our Lord. Remember the Grace of God. Want to experience a focused celebration instead of a chaotic distraction? Apply the three attributes of Love, Humility, and Grace when serving your congregation and tech team this month.