Category Archives: leadership

3 Mistakes You Should Never Make

You’re going through the most challenging situation you’ve faced in your career. Morale is low. Revenue is missing projections. Your team, your organization is depending on you. What do you do?

It’s painful. Sometimes it’s not fair – it’s not your fault. The team has not been resourced properly. Certain team members aren’t pulling their weight. You have to do something!

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t make these 3 mistakes:

1. Share the pain

I’ve seen this disastrous mistake made over and over in business, in non-profits, in ministry, in higher education. Sharing the pain always leads to more pain.

Across the board pay cuts don’t work – because, along with cutting the pay of your low performers, you’re cutting the pay of your top performers. And what affect do you think that’s going to have on performance and your bottom line?

No long-term good will result from sharing the pain. So call it what it is – it’s either laziness or fear. Someone was either too lazy to figure out the real problem or they know what the problem is and they’re afraid to deal with it. So they cut everywhere. Everything. Everybody. And it won’t work.

If you have to cut, cut strategically. Cut what’s not working. Cut low performing products and services. Cut low performing personnel. But don’t ever give in to the temptation to share the pain!

Remember, you get what you reward. And rewarding top performers by sharing the pain of lazy, lethargic leadership won’t turn out well.

2. Anecdotal decision-making

You’ve been doing your job a long time – longer than most. You know what it takes to grow. And you know your market. So you make the recommendation to the team. In doing so, you know there’s no actual data – at least none other than your gut and your experience.

To be fair – we’ve all done it. Many times.

My dear friend – anecdotal evidence is not good enough. Not anymore. What got you here will not get you there. The world and your audience have become far too complex to shoot from the hip.

Furthermore, your people are trading substantial portions of their lives to serve your organization. Are they trading it for something that’s worthwhile? If your work is worthwhile, then make the well-founded decisions that your work and your team deserves.

Anecdotal decision-making will take you in circles. Weeks from now you’ll be right back at the table with the same people dealing with this same issue. And they’re not going to like it. So handle it fully today.

Develop a culture of making sound decisions based on market research and actionable data. If you don’t have the data, slow down long enough to collect it. Create systems and processes that support a data-guided culture. And keep it simple – great systems are simple. Just don’t give in to lazy or fearful decision-making.

3. Get in a hurry

This is a tough one if you’re task-oriented and growth-oriented – like me. Never forget, you have your entire life to do your life’s work. Your vision – your huge, daunting, compelling vision for your work, your team, your organization, your industry – is just not going to happen overnight. So accept that fact and quit reacting!

If you’re not committed to a lifetime of service with your current organization or team, then reevaluate where you are. If you have to, leave. If your team isn’t what it needs to be, make changes. Just don’t do it in a hurry.

John Wesley once said,

I am always in haste but never in a hurry; because I never attempt that which I cannot accomplish in calmness of spirit.

Be purposeful and passionate – but slow down. Enjoy the journey. Love your team!

If you want to reach the mountain peaks in your life and work, lead your team to consider these 4 disciplines:

  1. Understand how their work fits into their overall life. Leading them to create a personal life plan is a great way to get them started. Check out my post, Your Life Matters, for a link to a free eBook and tool for creating a life plan.
  2. Develop a vision for their work. For their career, for their position, for the team, for the organization. Let them decide. I’ve written an eBook, Creating Your Business Vision, which explains each of these types of vision. You can read more about it here – download it free to work through it with your team.
  3. Create specific plans for accomplishing the vision. Review and evaluate them regularly – at least quarterly. To get the results you desire, you must get very specific.
  4. Effectively manage priorities and decisions. It’s tempting to spend all your time managing priorities and decisions – scheduling meetings, responding to needs andemail, improving efficiency and effectiveness. Yet if you don’t understand how your work fits into your life, if you don’t have a business vision, if you haven’t written out specific business plans, you’ll have to deal with the same problems over and over again.
Article by Michael Nichols

@michaelenichols

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Postmortem for a Dream – Part Four

In February 2011, I wrote a series of blog posts for ChurchWorks Network about what has been by far the most acutely painful time of my ministry life. Though nearly two years have passed, I remember everything like it happened yesterday.

rowell2In the time between my announcement and the last gathering, some of the original people came back into the picture and expressed, with some degree of smug satisfaction, their disapproval of my leadership. These were people whom I’d ministered to as spouses became sick and either died or regressed irreversibly, whose bedsides I’d sat next to, weeping and praying. Their rhetoric stirred up emotions in me that I hadn’t felt in a couple years, emotions I thought were behind me.

So it became clear to me that the church had never fully moved on from what it was, because some people had never moved on. If I were to list the lessons I’ve learned, perhaps the first would be that some people will never change, and it’s better to know as much as possible ahead of time whether they will or not. In retrospect, I have to take responsibility for never asking them that question.

I’ve learned that I was irresponsible in going into a situation without having planned, as much as possible, for how I would provide for my family. Almost from the time I got here, I reacted to changing realities (in terms of the church’s ability to pay me, what kind of job I’d need, raising support, etc.), instead of proactively preparing.

I’ve learned that a dream is only as valuable as the plan for accomplishing it. And I’ve learned that the dream of healthy, deepening relationships with my God, my wife, and my children is of far greater importance.

I’ve learned that, even as the odds were stacked against me, God was shaping me and my ministry style. And I’ve learned that the end result of this chapter of my life does not invalidate who I have become and what I have come to value as a leader and pastor.

I’ve seen the grace of God, in giving a dying congregation five more years to advance His mission. I’ve watched God used a dying church to reach out to and completely, beautifully change the very life trajectory of some very special people. And I have every confidence that God will use our experiences in their lives to impact the churches they engage.

So there is pain, and there is joy. There is frustration, and there is gratitude. There is doubt, and there is faith. There is the end of one chapter, and there is the beginning of another, even as it’s fuzzy at the moment.

And above it all is God, Who gives and takes away, Who comforts and frustrates, Whose ways are not my ways.

I trust Him.

Article by Mike Rowell

@redhedrev

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Postmortem for a Dream – Part Three

In February 2011, I wrote a series of blog posts for ChurchWorks Network about what has been by far the most acutely painful time of my ministry life. Though nearly two years have passed, I remember everything like it happened yesterday.

People had been hinting at the possibility I’d made a mistake almost since I’d moved to Indy. Friends, family members, people who had my best intentions at heart, asked questions as a means of expressing misgivings about my situation. And then they voted with their wallets: when I sent out a letter asking for support from the churches I had grown up in, with leaders who had known me since I was a child, only one church responded with a one-time gift. Included on the list of churches who did not even respond to my letter was the church pastored by my father.

bible-reading-guy-912x340

And then there was my wife, who, sometimes with and sometimes without subtlety, pointed to various aspects of reality: I had to work 50 hours a week running a delivery route to support my family, I spent very little time with her or the kids, we didn’t have a facility for our gatherings, all our people were new to faith and not yet able to help shoulder the burden. Even as she expressed her concerns, she never turned on me, and eventually she just threw herself into the life, always thinking about the next Sunday night meal, the next prayer gathering, the next children’s program, even as she was mother to our four young children and just beginning the journey of home schooling.

I knew what she was pointing out was correct.

I knew she was hurting, and my kids were missing me. I knew that in juggling life as a husband, father, pastor, and employee, I wasn’t pulling off any of them particularly well. But I had this dream! This opportunity lay before me, and if I would just keep my nose to the grindstone, I’d look up several years later to see that it had all been worth it. After all, most pastors don’t stay in one place long enough to experience the fruit of their labors, I’d heard pastors preach. I demanded of God to tell me why He had given me such a blasted great dream and then allowed all this to happen. For months I went back and forth, and the vision kept me in my place, kept me thinking that if I tweaked this or that, things would change.

My dream kept bumping up against my reality. And, in the end, my reality won.

I can honestly say that I never lost sight of the dream: I just knew I couldn’t keep this up. I knew that I had started down a road and, at some point, I would not be able to turn back. My wife was experiencing health problems related to stress, and in the current reality, I couldn’t do anything about it. My wife and myself were exhausted during the times when parents build relationships with children, and with the way things were, I couldn’t change that. Eventually, my relationship with God suffered, as well, and I felt like I couldn’t change that, either, not the way things were going.

So, finally, I came to face reality: the right thing was for something to die that I had based my self-worth on keeping alive. And on December 19, I stood, sick to my stomach, in front of these beautiful stories of reconciliation that God had given us, and told them I needed to step away.

That turned out to be the easy part.

Article by Mike Rowell

@redhedrev

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Tug and Not War Part 3 – Positive Tension on a Team

This is part 3 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series. See Part 1 and Part 2.

tug-of-war3In Part 1, we looked at four words associated with tension. They are: conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  In Part 2 we discussed the word tension and how it can be defined as, “the act of stretching or straining.”  Both are action words and both create a pull in different directions; therefore, we get “tension”.  Note there is a positive side, “stretching”, and a negative side, “straining”.

Negative tension is a strain on a team, but positive tension will stretch a team.  The object is to rid a team of negative tension and foster an environment for positive tension.  How is that done?  The leader must immediately deal with the negative and never allow it to grow.  I call this process the Barney Fife model, “Nip it in the bud.”

Let me share 5 ways to develop positive tension on your team:

  1. Plan proper balance – I believe it is critical to have a diverse team as I have mentioned in Post 2.  Through Personality Assessment tools and personal coaching you can assemble a team that complements each other.  They do their part well, but are cross-trained to help their fellow team member when needed. The balance keeps the boat from turning over.
  2. Promote creativity – Each team member should be qualified and passionate about their area or they shouldn’t be on the team.  If that is the case, allow them to share their passions and goals.  When positive tension is taking place, the entire team will take their ideas and grow them together.
  3. Demand accountability – Once the team is in place and the road toward success has been defined, get ready, negative tension will surface.  It’s not a question of “if”, but of “when” and “how”.  The leader of the team MUST set up a plan of accountability.  A checks and balance system keeps things from going down a wrong road too far.  Don’t be shy as the leader to deal with something quickly and severely.  It may hurt for a moment, but will feel much better in the long run.  It will also set the boundaries for the team.
  4. Allow for personal growth – Every organization should have systems in place that allows everyone to know the rules, objectives, and what a win looks like.  When they are in place the leader begins to lead his leaders.  In turn each leader begins to train a third layer of leadership.  Give each team member opportunity to grow as an individual and the team will grow.
  5. Focus on a goal – When people get their eyes off of a common goal they will soon define their own individual goal and go in separate directions.  Work hard to achieve a team goal then celebrate when it is achieved.  When a goal is defined everyone will walk in the same direction. That way when the destination is reached, the entire team will be there.  You do not want to leave people behind.

Negative tension will kill you, but positive tension will energize you.

Do you have comments about positive tension?

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

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Postmortem for a Dream – Part Two

In February 2011, I wrote a series of blog posts for ChurchWorks Network about what has been by far the most acutely painful time of my ministry life. Though nearly two years have passed, I remember everything like it happened yesterday.   See Part 1.

praying-in-church-300x168A few months in, it became clear what I had: a decaying facility, and ten older white people who didn’t want to change. The battle on both fronts punished me and my family for the first three years.

When I think about that building, I laugh just to keep from crying. The boarded window spaces were only accentuated by the peeling paint on the outside, and mold was growing on the walls of the nursery inside. I distinctly remember arriving one Sunday morning to find that a raccoon urine had soaked through the dropped ceiling and formed a puddle directly on top of my hymnal. We spent thousands of dollars just dealing with issues, then we put the property on the market almost on the day that the real estate bubble burst, leading to three years of tire-kicking and paying for insurance on a building we couldn’t use.

When I think about the people, I mostly just cry. Nine months into my pastorate, a group had formed, discussed my leadership style and direction, boiled down their concerns into six bullet points, and appointed a spokesman to ask me for a meeting. At that meeting, deacons’ wives made it clear that they couldn’t ask their husbands about church issues (despite the instructions of Scripture) because their husbands were too dumb to answer their questions. They made this statement with no irony, as they sat on the other side of the room from the aforementioned husbands. One gentleman interrupted my speaking at a random point to yell “We’ll never change!” five times in a row.

So I fought these battles for about three years. At the end of that period, the people had mostly moved on to other churches, having stopped giving to the church for six months prior: and, after a year of Sunday mornings in a veterans support meeting space, we found ourselves meeting in our home, three times a week.

And during this whole time, God’s mission continued to move forward.

We saw people come to Jesus from a long ways away, and the relational style of ministry that God had put in my heart was bearing some beautiful fruit. We changed the name of our church as a means of embracing a new identity and identifying with the community we were placed in. Meeting in our home meant that we were less formal almost by default, and this gave people the space to engage a gospel lifestyle at the point where they actually were. Teens and young adults learned that children aren’t nuisances by being forced into close proximity with my children and others. Sunday nights were beautiful expressions of Christian community, as we prepared and shared meals together, laughed and cried together, and wrestled with what it looked like for us to follow Jesus.

I’d been forced into something beautiful, even as I now realize it wasn’t sustainable.

Article by Mike Rowell

@redhedrev

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Tug and Not War Part 2 – Negative Tension on a Team

tug-of-war2This is part 2 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series. See Part 1

In Part 1, we looked at four words associated with tension. They are: conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  Tension on a team can be fatal.  Teams are made of team members who are diverse to say the least.  They all have different temperaments and personalities.  Using the certain personal assessment tools overview of the diversity a team can have.  Personal Coaching and team development allows you to go to deeper levels. You learn your strengths, stresses, and passions.

The word tension can defined as, “the act of stretching or straining.”  Both are action words and both create a pull in different directions.  Both are action words and both create a pull in different directions; therefore, we get “tension”.  Note there is a positive side, “stretching”, and a negative side, “straining”.

Leaders realize that a diverse team is a good thing.  The worst thing a leader can have is a team of clones. The way I look at, I can do what I can do.  I need people around me that are good at doing things I am not good at doing.  The problem is that diversity of personalities can create negative tension.

Let me give you a list of some of the effects of negative tension:

  1. Unhealthy Competition – The right kind of “free market” competition is good, the wrong kind can kill you.  The team will begin to try to undercut their peers because they will see them as competition.
  2. Personalities – Negative tension always brings out the worst in people.  We all know the potential is there, we just suppress it.  When you get dominate, passionate people working against each other, they will butt heads more often than not.
  3. Unmet Expectations – No doubt your team has the desire to succeed or they would not be on your team.  When one fails, the team begins to fail.  The bar of success gets lowered for the team, and each person lowers their own personal goals for success.  The person who is still passionate will feel frustrated.
  4. A Martyr Mentality – They will say or feel things like, “I am the only one doing my job.  I am doing my job and their job.  It’s just not fair, etc.”  I think you get the gist.  They come across as being the ‘savior’ of the team.
  5. Disloyalty – After the other things begin to form, disloyalty will set it. First, the team members will become disloyal to each other.  Second, they will become disloyal to the leader.  Last, they will become disloyal to the cause.
  6. A Spreading Disease – When the steps of disloyalty start it will soon spread beyond the team.  Their family and friends will begin to get involved.  The people that are following the team will get a bad attitude about the team members, the leader, and the cause.
  7. Implosion – All that is left is the eulogy.  The gusto and drive is gone.  The heart of the team and the cause has been gutted.  When the vision is lost, it’s over.  Later people will look back at the team and the cause and wonder what happened.  They will think it was a faulty vision, or a lack opportunity and resources, but the real problem would be “negative tension.”

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

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Stuck?

I recently had the opportunity to attend a 1-day conference in Middle Tennessee at GVBC called ‘Stuck.’  This was not their first rodeo and you could tell.  They knew how to encourage pastors and church ministry leaders.  It was well-worth the 400 miles!  Kudos to Pastor Locke, the staff, worship team, and the church ladies who took care of the eats!  I feel compelled to pass on what I got out of the keynote session called

Top Reasons Churches Get
-[& Stay]- STUCK:

1. The lead pastor is not growing.  He is a catalyst for growth.  Everything rises and falls on -you guessed it- leadership! (-Lee Roberson)

“I’m not dying without trying.” (-GL)

2. No clearly-defined DNA.  If you can’t write down your church’s mission / vision on your palm – it’s too bulky and people will never remember it.  Not even your best people!  The church needs to know who you are and why you exist.

3. An aversion to technology and cultural advancement.  The website is the new front door of your church (more).  The hot-word today is contextualization.  Preach like they did in the past – but apply it to the days of the present!

4. An unwillingness to ask people to leave.  Some people are not part of the team.  They are not on board with your DNA and never will be.  Trying to keep them involved only deepens the problem (and your discouragement as a leader).  It’s not worth it!

New converts are never the ones who complain about the paint, the drum, etc.  It’s always the ‘transfers’ who are the most petty!

5. It’s structured for control rather than growth.  BR Lakin said: Beware of the church with two last names.  Some churches are run by a select few (a key family, the deacon board) and will never grow beyond those who dictate it.  It’s possible to have too many voices speaking into the vision of the church.  If you can’t trust your leadership, then you’ve got the wrong team!

6. Operating totally out of context.  Know your demographic.  You have an era – serve your “generation.”  You have an area – serve your “nation.”  Has your ‘target‘ audience been identified?  Do you really mean it when you say: Everyone Welcome!?  Really?  What about addicts, the homeless, hookers, the deaf, the bi-polar?  Are you ready to help them?

People want to hear your heart, but they are tired of hearing your head.

7. A lack of faith to operate out of the box – but by the book.  Zeal is the forgotten virtue, replaced by knowledge.  Look at the Old Testament prophets (Jeremiah, Hosea, etc.).  They totally destroyed the box of ‘How-to-Do-Ministry.’

8. An understanding of the gospel is merely assumed (especially in the Bible-belt / South).  Lost people are filling churches and, with their votes, controlling them.  Jesus gave no concessions for people claiming Christ who are not involved in church.

In Addition, Pastor Locke Gave 5 Pieces of Advice of Getting Unstuck…

1. Don’t pastor from a bitter heart or with a point to prove (spite and anger are terrible motivators).
2. Don’t allow the church to become to dependent on your personality as pastor – build a team of leaders.
3. Don’t build the church your critics want – build the church your community needs!
4. Don’t allow angry church people to make you an angry family man (leave that junk in the office).
5. Don’t read the Bible for material – develop the discipline of personal, private meditation for your own soul.

Article by Patrick Nix

@patchnix

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Postmortem for a Dream

In February 2011, I wrote a series of blog posts for ChurchWorks Network about what has been by far the most acutely painful time of my ministry life. Though nearly two years have passed, I remember everything like it happened yesterday.

I must begin by telling you how things currently stand:

On January 23, 2011, Village Baptist Church, the church I served as pastor for five years, held its last public gathering. About twelve of us gathered in my living room, celebrated Communion, remembered how Jesus has changed our lives together, cried, and hugged each other. And then it was over.

I made the excruciating decision to step away from the church in late December. After that, the membership decided it was best to dissolve. And so I went about the work of conducting final business meetings, transferring real estate, sending off final support checks to missionaries, clearing out chairs and flannel-graphs and plastic communion cups. Every otherwise mundane task reminds me that a church has died – on my watch.

At times, I vacillate between being frustrated at God and being angry with myself. I feel relief, and then I feel guilt for feeling relief. At the last Sunday evening gathering, as everyone enjoyed food and games and being together, I ran upstairs, locked myself in my bathroom, and sobbed for twenty minutes. Already my relationships with my wife and children are better off for my decision, but that just means I was messing it up before, I tell myself.

That’s now, this moment. Five years ago, it was different.

– – –

In 2006, I was thirty years old, and I was hungry. I’d served in my father’s church for eight years, doing everything he asked, including leading the youth group. Through Gospel relationships with formerly unchurched teenagers, God had led me on a thought process about possibilities in expressions of church, and I was anxious to put them to work in a whole-church leadership context.

So I resigned my position at my father’s church, fully confident that I was mere weeks away from landing a pastorate. Then almost twelve months passed, as did some bizarre pulpit committee interviews. I got a call from a church to which I’d submitted my name three months earlier. The three guys ahead of me on the list hadn’t worked out – would I be willing to come candidate?

The whole three-guys-ahead-of-me thing was the first of what I now recognize as red flags. The second came when we pulled into the parking lot of the church facility, and my wife said, without a trace of irony, “This looks like a cult.” Having dry-walled over the windows on the inside, someone had dealt with the openings in the stone exterior wall by boarding them over with plywood, eliciting my wife’s comparison.

The pastor was retiring after almost thirty years serving this congregation. He would mention to others in later conversations that the church had been dying for at least seven years, though he never told this to me. When the time came for the members to ask me questions, there were two: would I be willing to lead the church to sell the property (yes!), and would I make the women wear dresses during the winter (what? who are you again?). I was promised a weekly salary without being shown the church’s financials, and I didn’t know to ask.

But a strange thing happened: I fell in love with the northeast side of Indianapolis. 400,000 people live within a ten-minute drive of this location. We found a house in a development of more than 3,000 homes that hadn’t existed ten years before. Five of our closest neighbors are African-American families, and that diversity holds true through this area. The recent closing of Fort Benjamin Harrison had created a vacuum at the geographic center of the area, and a community was being reshaped before my very eyes. If ever there were a prime place for an expression of the kingdom of God to take shape, this was it.

I had a dream. And that dream made me say yes to a leadership challenge unlike any I had faced in my young life.

Article by Mike Rowell

@redhedrev

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Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team

This is part 1 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series.

When you see the word tension, you usually think about things like conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  No leader wants these things for his team.  These things will cause a team to self-destruct.  It will implode and destroy anything connected to it.

Leaders spend a great deal of time working on relieving tension from the team.  By the time a leader realizes that tension is present on his team, it is probably already causing trouble.  The results of tension are simply acknowledging the deeper problems that have been missed or left unchecked.

In this opening post dealing with tension, let’s take a closer look at the four words already given that are usually linked to it:

  1. CONFLICT keeps a team from working smoothly and orderly.  It pits people against each other and breeds the wrong kind of competition.  Conflict creates a “look out for #1” mentality.  Instead of working like a team, they will work like individual enemies.
  2. STRESS causes nerves and tempers to flare.  When people are operating under stress they will not act rationally.  Decisions will be made more out of desperation and revenge than logic.  They will operate more in reaction mode than action mode.
  3. STRAIN makes for an unhappy environment.  Creativity is stifled because no one wants to be there.  Team members stop conversing on a personal level.  They begin to highlight only the negative issues they see, and that is all they WILL see.  When strained, teams do not have each other’s back, and will soon start to undercut the others on the team.
  4. PRESSURE is a sign of deeper problems.  Just like a fever is the indicator of an infection or something more serious, pressure affects a team the same way. It reveals that there are problems on the team.  Ask questions like: Who is it affecting? What is causing it? When is it most prevalent? Why has it not been alleviated? How can we solve it and keep the team intact?

In the next posts, I will be dealing with negative and positive tension on a team.  It will require you to be honest with the results you find and willing to do something about it.

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

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Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make

I just found my notes from Hans Finzel’s book – a must-read for any pastor / church leader.  Just in case you’re like me and already have 3-4 books going at this moment and don’t really have time or energy to add another book to the list – here are the ‘cliff-notes’ version:  (Don’t miss #9 – it’s my favorite!)

1. Top-down Attitude
This is the “mother of all leadership hang-ups.”  Based on the military model, this autocratic model is set to be abused.  It promotes talking instead of listening and often neglects the art of delegation.

2. Putting Paperwork before People-work
People are opportunities – not interruptions.  Need-meeting is at the core of leadership and ministry.

3. The Absence of Affirmation
People thrive on sincere praise and appreciation.  Don’t underestimate the power of a ‘thank-you note.’ Do your best to catch people doing good and be generous with your compliments.  The ratio of positive to negative should be no less than 6:1.

4. Beware of not Making Room for Mavericks
People with different ideas are often pushed to the side by their leaders.  Make room for independent thinkers by creating an atmosphere of innovation.  Creativity has been terribly stifled in today’s churches.

5.  Dictatorship in Decision-making
You can’t delegate philosophy – only procedure.  Don’t think you are the only one who can do it. The one who does the job usually knows best how it’s done and how it might be improved.  The best ideas usually bubble up from the bottom – not from the bureaucrats!

6. Dirty Delegation
One of the most frustrating things to an employee or a volunteer is to be assigned something with no authority to do it.  Sometimes the job given has so many strings attached to it, that the worker is afraid to make a move.  Don’t be afraid of losing your authority – and don’t give into your tendency to micro-manage.  There is nothing that crushes morale and causes resentment quicker than this!

7. Communication Chaos
Never assume – NEVER.  Communicate your vision and repeat your dream.  Do more listening than talking.  The larger the group, the more formal the communication needs to be, and the more methods of communication needed to interact.

8. Missing the Clues of Corporate Culture
Corporate culture is defined as: the way insiders behave based on the values and traditions they hold.  Theologians call this ‘contextualization.’  Part of establishing credibility is learning to identify with the specifics of your team.  Know them.  Be sensitive to what people think.

9. Success without Successors
Instill your convictions and philosophies deep within your followers.  Pride tightens the grip, humility relaxes and lets go.  A good mentor:

  • sees potential in others
  • tolerates failure and weakness
  • is flexible
  • must have patience
  • looks down the road
  • prays for discernment
  • gives timely advice
  • has the capacity to encourage
  • gives freedom to allow leadership to emerge
  • is willing to risk his own reputation

10. Failure to Focus on the Future
Be pre-occupied by planning.  Don’t settle for long-term dreams — set short-term goals.  Then evaluate your progress.

Article by Patrick Nix

@patchnix

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