33 min
By: ENC Leaders

Episode 34: The Leadership Crash: Forgetting Fun and Serving the Schedule

In this episode, we continue to discuss two other warning signs of a leadership crash. Our hope is that this topic would help you grow and be more effective in the way you lead.

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00:34 Today, we have a brand new topic that we are going to discuss about some leadership pitfalls that will help us be more effective in the way we lead. One of the reasons we chose this topic is because we want every leader who is listening to recognize the symptoms of this crash and to be familiar with how we are to help others if ever they experience this kind of pitfall. We also want to encourage a strong accountability among you so that when you encounter these possible pitfalls in your leadership, there are people who will help you get equipped and be restored as a leader.

01:30 In our last episode, we talked about harboring bitterness and avoiding confrontation.

02:00    Today, we have another guest that we believe we will learn a lot from. Pastor CJ Nunag was a former campus missionary and has been in the ministry for 20 years. He is now serving as the Senior Pastor of Victory U-belt.

04:10    We will be talking about two other warning signs of a leadership crash, Forgetting Fun and Serving the Schedule.

04:21 Warning Sign: Forgetting Fun

Dean: What is fun about your role ⏤ the work that you do, the calling that you have? What gives you energy and so much passion when it comes to being a leader?

Pastor CJ: I think it’s very important for us to have a good understanding of what fun is. I would generally consider myself as a not very funny person. In fact, I would say medyo seryoso daw ako sabi ng asawa ko and the people I get to work with. But that doesn’t mean to say that this is personality-based. I believe so much that fun comes from the heart that is fully convinced and satisfied with God and His purpose… Meaning to say, your relationships are okay. Sometimes, I’d look at my children, nakikita ko lang sila and I’m already having fun because the relationships are okay. And not just that, I am fully convinced that I am in the middle of doing what God wants me to do… Every work, there is supposed to be an element of fun in it. It should be enjoyed. Sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective.

06:05 Dean: How do you embrace your call, your work, as a leader? How do you see this as something really fun?

Pastor CJ: I truly believe that when relationships are genuine, people will have fun… I would say that there are ways that fun is expressed. One, it could be very natural. There are people who are more fun-loving than others, less serious than others… But there are also people whom I would say who could be a little bit more intentional when it comes to having fun. I am a bit more on the intentional side, kaya nga on my part, I would want to make sure that we get to celebrate moments, whether that is in light of work or family.. I wanted to be deliberate in having fun because I really believe that if someone is no longer having fun with what they do or they don’t understand anymore, they are no longer satisfied in a way with what they are doing, that’s when the crash starts happening… Of course, it’s not all fun. There are definitely days where na kailangan nating magpuyat at magtrabaho… But part of that, let’s not forget to celebrate and have fun after something has been accomplished, or even before something is accomplished we could already have fun in light of being satisfied.

09:01 JV: Why do you think fun is important in our leadership?

Pastor CJ: Well, I don’t want to be part of something that is not fun to begin with. I think it’s important because for me, fun is a reflection of relationships and satisfaction. It’s not the only reflection of it or the only source of it, but it’s a good reflection. If people are having fun, then it speaks of the relationships that people are building… In Ecclesiastes 3 it says that there is a time for everything. Verse 4 would say there’s a time to weep, and a time to laugh. And if you don’t have that, in verse 9 it says that work becomes a toil if we are no longer satisfied with it or satisfied in it, in a sense, if we’re not having fun. That’s why in verse 11 it does say there that God makes things beautiful in its time.

10:47 JV: Knowing that we want to create that fun element in our leadership, how do you cultivate fun in the workplace?

Pastor CJ: Since I am more intentional, I have to make sure that it’s a part of our culture whether it’s at home or at work. At work, we have a monthly staff meeting where we celebrate birthdays in the end… In my family, it’s like that as well. Monday nights are fun nights for us… It’s more like a way to connect and gauge the relationship while having fun. But there are also people who are more gifted than this, who are more naturally fun-loving. I would talk to them and tell them to continue doing what they are doing… I would tell them that I would want us to keep this atmosphere of fun, faith, and family… We want it to be fun knowing that the job is already hard enough.

15:07 Pastor CJ: Everyone has their own sense of fun, but as a leader it’s important that you’re personally having fun, whether that’s a hobby or something. To give you an example, my sense of having fun is boring in itself. I love to run and that gives me fun. I have to do that for myself, I need to have fun myself. But also, as a leader, you are looking at what is giving fun to the rest of the team. That is something that we want to keep on doing. Again, this is just more so that relationships can be built, it’s an avenue to build relationships, it’s an avenue to see or reflect the relationships that we are having.

16:28 Dean: Was there ever a time when you feel like you are not having fun anymore with what you do? What did you do and how did you overcome that situation?

Pastor CJ: Again it’s not always fun. The recent challenges we’ve had have brought so much sorrow and in the team also. Yung fun kasi may nilulugaran din sya eh. Di naman pwede na when everyone is expressing their grief over something that has transpired, then you would crack a joke somewhere. Part of the definition that I may have regarding fun is really satisfaction in God and His purpose for your life… So it simply means that as long as I’m in the middle of what God wants me to do — help people walk through in what God wants them to do in the middle of grief and challenges. Then, naturally I would assume that fun would just return… Even in times of grief, this is where you could also evaluate the relationship.. In times of grief, if they’re there, you could be so sure that in times of fun, they would also be there for you.

20:00 Warning Sign: Serving the Schedule

JV: Schedules are important, but was there ever a time in your life that seemed like your schedule is controlling you instead of the other way around? If yes, how did this affect you and your leadership?

Pastor CJ: Yes, I remember a time, especially when I was still serving in the campus ministry and became National Director… Pinuno ko lahat ng schedule ko for the next 3 days. In the middle of it, parang I don’t want to do this anymore kasi parang na-bombard ako na yung schedule na nga yung nasusunod. Again, schedules are important, but I think what’s more important than schedule in itself is purpose. When you’re starting to be controlled by your schedule, you go back to the purpose. For some of us, we have the luxury of plotting our schedule, but for some of us, we are part of the team that determines the schedule. If you have the choice, then you can redo it. If you don’t have the choice, either you can converse with your leader or with someone else. More so, go back to the purpose.

JV: When you know the purpose of the things that you are scheduling even if it’s too much, you are content with what you do… As leaders, I believe we have the tendency na ‘pag sobrang dami, feeling mo dun yung productive… We feel like na dun napupunta yung identity natin, security natin sa ginagawa natin. Sometimes because of all these schedules, we start to lose our leadership and question our leadership.

24:05 Dean: When do you think busyness or a full schedule becomes healthy or unhealthy? How do you manage this?

Pastor CJ: Busyness is not necessarily productivity. You can be very busy doing the wrong things or you could be very busy doing the right things, but to the point that it exhausts you and you are no longer trying to build a long term plan towards what you needed to do and towards the function that you have kasi that’s also a part of it eh. I realized even in the most practical sense, at least we need to put enough margin between our schedules. I’ve heard a leadership person before who said that in a day you have 3-4 energy bursts. This is where you can put in your full attention… and more so when you come home… It could be that, putting enough margin and trying to figure out four important things to do in a day.

28:08 Dean: How do you manage your time and schedule?

Pastor CJ: First thing is I manage my own schedule. I want to be responsible for how my day is going to look like. Another thing is that I look forward to what excites me this week or what excites me tomorrow… So ibig sabihin, it’s very purposeful… I get to converse with people also — how do they manage their schedule… I also have to manage that with my wife… para nakikita rin namin yung scheduling naming dalawa. I think everything can be done by grace as well… To the leaders who are listening, from this point on, your responsibilities are only going to increase, but the number of hours won’t. What does that speak to us? It simply means that there is a time within the time that God has given. There is a time to have fun; there is a time to have meaningful work, satisfying work, and build relationships as we advance God’s kingdom together.

The ENC Leadership Podcast is hosted by Dean Pasaba and JV Puno. In this episode, Dean is joined by Ps. CJ Nunag, the Senior Pastor of Victory U-belt.

Processing Questions: 

  1. Are you still having fun in the midst of all the things that you are doing right now? What are the things that you could intentionally do to make sure that you don’t lose the fun in your leadership?
  2. How are you in terms of managing your schedule? Do you have people in your life who could help you manage your time and energy better?

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