Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

5 Tips to Inspire Teams

My mom sent me a great short article on inspiring people. The rules for inspiring others listed below can be used in all kinds of leadership settings.

Ron Clark taught elementary school in North Carolina. After watching a program about a New York City school that had a hard time attracting qualified teachers, he decided to head to New York with the goal of teaching in one of its toughest schools. Clark eventually landed a job doing just that—in Harlem. He asked if he could teach a class of fifth-graders who had been performing at a second-grade level. The school’s administrators wanted to give him the gifted class, but Clark insisted on the underperforming students. In one school year, Clark’s fifth-grade class outperformed the gifted class. [Read more]

Some ‘rules’ identified in the article include:
1. Raise expectations
2. Explain why before how
3. Encourage celebration and praise
4. Show genuine interest beyond business
5. Be positive and enjoy life

Categories: Leadership, Work

Kern Dinner and Tips to Avoid Moral Failures

March 26, 2008 1 comment

Had a great dinner tonight at Bethel Seminary with Stephanie and a group of students. Six years ago I was the recipient of a gracious scholarship from the Kern Foundation which covered all my seminary tuition for three years. This evening I was invited back, along with other alumni, for a time to eat and reconnect with other Kern Scholars. Besides seeing old friends, I was given the opportunity to co-keynote the event and share where God has lead me since graduating seminary.

While it was difficult to publicly share about the trials Stephanie and I have faced, it was very rewarding to be given the chance to possibly help save others from the pain we’ve gone through. The goal of my talk was to give the Kern Scholars a list of things they can do to protect themselves from sin and the failures that too many pastors end up committing. I hope to adapt the talk into an article in the near future. I’ll post it all when it is written. Until then, here is a summary of the tips….

1. Believe you are broken

Romans 7:18 – For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

2. Trust in the value of marital transparency

Genesis 2:25 – And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

3. Understand the process is painful

John 12:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

4. Consider Christian counseling

Proverbs 19:20 – Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

5. Share your struggles with someone

James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

6. Build your boundaries

Proverbs 16:17 – The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life.

7. Stay away from dangerous situations

1 Timothy 6:11 – But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

8. Cling to Christ

Psalm 63:8 – My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Categories: Leadership, Ministry

Keller on Selecting a Leader

A leadership insight from the Buzzard Blog…

Most churches make the mistake of selecting as leaders the confident, the competent, and the succesful. But what you most need in a leader is someone who has been broken by the knowledge of his or her sin, and even greater knowledge of Jesus’ costly grace. – Tim Keller from the latest issue of World, under the “Books” section, original source unknown

Categories: Keller, Leadership, Qoutes

Fire Fast!

February 14, 2008 Leave a comment

Tony Morgan gave a talk at a conference recently about 10 mistakes he’s made in leadership; Tim Stevens blogged the list and ironically (for a reason you’ll see below) the very first one was:

#1 Hiring Too Fast. Firing Too Slow.

I have scene first hand the carnage that firing too slow leaves behind. At my company all new employees get a learning period. After that learning period it is very difficult to let people go. Therefore it is extremely important that people are evaluated and decisions are made about their performance in a timely manner. And in the unfortunate times that things aren’t working out, people have to be let go. If this doesn’t happen you get stuck with people who hold others back, frustrate their leaders, accomplish little, and are detrimental to the rest of the team.

Today, for the first time, I had to bring an employee into my office and inform them that they were being terminated. It was unpleasant. I was nervous and my stomach was kind of feeling weird. But I had to do it. The person had shown, over an extended period of time, a pattern of behavior that was hurting the team and they had done nothing to change their behavior after being coached on it several times. I knew that letting them go would be tough, but in all honesty, the pain of letting someone go is much less than the problems that come when someone is kept around too long.

Categories: Leadership, Work

Leadership Lessons from Work

February 5, 2008 Leave a comment

Some things I have been learning at work (maybe they’ll apply to your life as well) …

– You have to own your own development. No one is just going to hand things to you that will magically make you grow.
– Some of the best lessons are found in trial and error, evaluation, and trying again.
– Conflict usually isn’t as bad as we think it is going to be.
– A lot of problems can be avoided with a simple conversations.
– Everyone requires recognition in a different form. Identify it and give it.
– Slowing down to think and evaluate is difficult. But it is worth the effort.
– Setting aside your feelings about a person to objectively evaluate their performance is tough.
– Most people want to be trained so they can succeed.
– It is crucial to have your ‘aces’ in the right places, at the right times.

Categories: Leadership, Work

Passive-Aggressive Leadership

January 31, 2008 1 comment

One area of my leadership (and life in general) that I am working to develop is the ability to confront issues with other people head on instead of taking out my frustration and anger in a passive-aggressive way. If you’re not familiar with the concept of being passive-aggressive let me illustrate with some examples…

  • When an employee is not performing and meeting expectations, instead of sitting down and discussing it, you simply schedule him less hours.
  • When a friendship is not going the way you anticipated it to, instead of getting together for coffee and sharing honest feelings, you simply stop calling him.
  • When you don’t think your spouse is holding up their end of the cleaning bargain, instead of talking it through, you simply leave the dirty wine glasses on the counter and silently count the days until they get washed.

As you read the example above you might be tempted to think, “How childish is that behavior?,” and you’d be right. It is childish. It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corninthians 13:11,

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

Becoming a man doesn’t happen just because we get older in years. For me personally becoming a man is about becoming a different kind of person. The kind of person who responds to frustrating situations with levelheadedness, courage and maturity not passive-aggressiveness.

How are you doing? In what areas of your life are you still behaving in childish ways? A great way to find out would be to ask your spouse or a close friend where they see childish tendencies in you. I would also recommend praying and asking Jesus to reveal to you any of the areas in your life where he wants to do a maturing act in you.

Categories: Leadership, Thoughts

Trusting God and Trudging Forward

January 23, 2008 Leave a comment

The older I get the more I realize how much fear paralyzes us and prevents us from moving forward. This week I had to face some personal challenges at work head-on and in each instance I’ve walked away kicking myself for spending emotional energy worrying about it before hand. The conversations I needed to have went smoothly and respectfully. It turns out all the drama I anticipated was in my imagination.*

In his Letter to the Philippians Paul writes that we should be ‘anxious about nothing.’ In Matthew Jesus teaches us to not ‘be anxious about tomorrow.’

So…what are you anxious about? Be strong in the face of your future. Don’t let imaginative fear paralyze you. Move forward with the confidence that Jesus loves you and desires what is best for you. Trust him and trudge on in the face of whatever it is you are facing.

* Sometimes facing conflict is physically unavoidable. Here’s some good advice from Gary Lamb on How to Handle Conflict.

Categories: Faith, Leadership