Your physical environment, your home, your church, your office can have a dramatic impact on the people you serve. The frightening reality is that your building can contradict your message.

I was invited to a week long leadership retreat in a beautiful mountain setting. We finished our afternoon session and I was heading to my room to get my notes together before supper and the evening workshop. The large windows framed the snow capped mountains in this beautiful mountain resort. Heading to the elevator, I crossed a large room with comfortable couches, beautiful chandeliers and a very large rug. It was beautiful. The circular carpet was large, colorful and sat in front of a large wood burning fireplace. The carpet, had long circular strings from too many years of use. I politely asked a staff if these long strings might be a hazard. He looked at the carpet. Apologized and said he walked through that room a hundred times and had never noticed them.

Andy Stanley, in his book Deep & Wide, illustrates when people have met in a particular location for a long time, “they don’t see it anymore. It’s not that they enjoy clutter. They (just) don’t see it. But a newcomer would notice it immediately”. Further he states, “the moral of the story: Environment matters. Time in erodes awareness of. The longer you serve in a particular ministry environment the less aware of it you become.”

As an indication of the servant leadership taught by the hotel, the carpet was fixed the next morning.

Leadership is building your environment to support and encourage your message and vision.

Here’s your challenge. Invite some trusted friends to tour your building and ask them to point out anything in your environment that could and should be improved. The improvements are obvious to the visitor but invisible to you.

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach