Have you ever noticed in basketball games that when a timeout is called you often see the head coach first meeting with his assistants? Coaches have learned that it is good to get different perspectives. Obviously the final decisions still lie with the head coach, but he is wise if he surrounds himself with good eyes and ears.
I think about my first years coaching in North Carolina. I was fortunate to have assistant coaches that knew more about the game than I do. What a great benefit to be able to get sound advice (or even just turn a huddle over to them.) [Thanks Rick and Mark!]
I would not have been very wise to ignore them every time they had a different opinion than I do. Still there were times I made decisions that were not what they would have done. The great thing was that we understood our roles, did not feel threatened, and were able to work together for the good of the team.
I am regularly faced with questions / situations where these principles come into play. I see leaders that only want “yes-men” around them. I see leaders that are unwilling to make firm decisions. I see leaders that are threatened by any negative response. I see dictators. I see lame ducks. I see leaders in Christian circles that are unbiblical in their leadership.
There is safety / accountability in numbers. Yet these numbers can not be just figure-heads but must truly be sharpening tools. (This is true for any of us, whether in leadership roles or not. See Proverbs 27:17)
Here is a great verse for the Biblical leadership model:
Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel, plans go awry,
But in the multitude of counselors they are established.
We all need solid “assistant coaches” in our lives!