Archive - April, 2013

God In The Mirror #GodInTheMirror

god in the mirrorMy friend Pastor Miles McPherson has released a great new book called “God In The Mirror.” If you don’t know anything about Miles, he’s a former defensive back for the San Diego Chargers – turned your youth evangelist – turned Senior Pastor of The Rock Church in San Diego. He has some very unique stories and life experiences, all of which have shaped his life and have helped him to truly understand that God created him in His image.

Miles illustrates that God created image this way, “We’re designed to actively pursue and reflect the glory of God through our lives. Like diamonds, we can only reflect the light that shines onto us; we have no twinkle of our own. The only light shining onto our image, our spiritual diamond, is the light of God’s glory, which is projected onto us each and every day.”  

Below is an acrostic featured in God In The Mirror Book to help walk you through your personal IMAGE Journey. This provides an outline for your journey through the book.

The IMAGE Journey

I = Individually Unique
You’re unique, one of a kind. No one can take your
place in God’s universal design.
M = Moral Mirror
You’re created to reflect God’s moral character, His
heart, mind, and holiness.
A = Authority to Rule
You’ve been empowered with the authority over your
physical and spiritual environment, not people.
G = God’s Friend
You’ve been created to have, as a friend of God, an
intimate, loving relationship with Him.
E = Eternal
You’ve been designed to live forever with God.

Do you find yourself finding your identity in what other people think? Do you look in the mirror and not like what you see? Is there a gap between what the Bible says you are and who you think you are? Do you want to look in the mirror and be pleased by what you see? Do you want to look in the mirror and know that what you see is pleasing to God? You should read God In the Mirror. This book is a great reminder and tool to truly understand our purpose and reach our God-ordained potential.

“Your purpose is important, intentional, and God ordained. Consequently, God has made very specific promises and commitments just to you. He’s designed you to fulfill your unique purpose in life. He created you to stand out as one of a kind—unlike anyone on earth—so please stop trying to fit in and be like everyone else. You’re not like everyone else. God is equipping and preparing you to live an individual and unique life, re-flecting the aspects of God that you were ordained to reflect.” ~Miles McPherson

It’s time for you to really embrace and discover the You that God created You to be, pick up your copy of God In The Mirror today.

If you want more information about God In The Mirror, obtain freebies and small group curriculum click here, you can also follow Pastor Miles on twitter @milesmcpherson.

Great Leaders Ask Great Questions

A key to great leadership is asking great questions. Great leaders ask great questions of the following people:

  • Their Leaders – Great leaders are willing to lead up and ask their bosses and leaders tough questions. If a leader is unwilling to ask good, great and tough questions of their leaders, they will never truly reach leadership greatness.
  • Their Team – Asking the right questions of team members is equally as important as casting great vision. Great questions illicit great responses, great questions also helps to ensure that team members are pointed in the right direction and focused on the right things.
  • Their Customers – If you don’t ask your customers and constituents the right questions, there is a good chance that your competitors will. Asking the right questions of your customers will help you to determine if you are meeting their needs and it’s the beginning of converting those simple customers into raving fans.
  • Themselves – This is the most important of the question asking process. Great leaders are able to look in the mirror and ask themselves the critical questions about their own leadership. This critical aspect of the question asking process will also lead to an ability to receive appropriate feedback.

You can’t have great answers without having great questions.

The Source Of True Joy

Nice 2 minute clip from Pastor Steven Furtick’s message, “The Source Of True Joy!”

The Best Way To Measure Leadership Success

Leadership can sometimes be tricky; and by tricky I mean difficult to evaluate the true impact of one’s leadership. Some leaders push people really hard, create an environment where individuals can’t ask questions or challenge the king and results are more important than anything else.

These leaders and leadership environments may produce results for a season, but in the long-run, morale will be negatively affected. Those employees will do just enough to meet the performance expectations and they will begin to plan their exit from that environment when the 1st lateral or better opportunity comes available.

Don’t confuse great performance with great leadership. There are plenty of organizations, environments and teams that have great performance, while the implications of the leadership is devastating to the employees. These teams are generally over-worked, under-valued, under-appreciated, stressed out, carry their work problems home and are flat out unhealthy. Great leadership produces healthy teams.

The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of leadership is to get true and honest feedback from the team. If this feedback is filtered through an independent 3-party it’s even better.

Don’t measure success from performance alone… The best way to measure leadership success is to dig a little deeper and answer this question: “Are my team members happy, healthy, satisfied and excited to come to work everyday?”

Healthy teams are comprised of healthy people and teams of healthy people generally produce great results. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the leader to create an environment that fosters the type of health necessary for success.

The Silent Organization Killer

It’s never easy and never fun to watch a business, team or organization die. It’s even harder when they die a slow, painful and what appears to be silent death.

The reality is businesses never die a silent death, there are always signs, symptoms and indicators of trouble. The Silent Organization Killer is actually the silence of the individuals within the organization that see the problems but are unwilling or unable to voice their concerns.

Organizations may have drastic turnover and the organizational leader’s response is to simply write the turnover off with comments such as, “We are a fast-paced culture… they couldn’t hang.” People within the organization actually see the real problems and the root of the problems; however their unwillingness to voice those concerns upwards contributes to the death of the organization.

On the flip side, when employees share their concerns, observations and thoughts about issues, organizational leaders must listen. If those concerns fall on deaf ears now you have two silent organizational killers: 1.) The employees that are unwilling to share and 2.) The employer that is unwilling to listen.

Practical Closing Tip: Share concerns, be sensitive to what’s being shared, look in the mirror and make tough decisions.

The Future Of The Automobile

I think it’s cool. What are your thoughts?

The Future of Success

If you want to understand your place in the future economy, watch and listen to this video.

The Easiest Way To Success

The easiest way to success is to come to the realization that there is no easy way to success. Success doesn’t come by accident and it’s not easy. Success is a combination of determination, perspiration, preparation and a relentless focus on the proper destination.

If you want to be successful you have to get up and begin walking, jogging and sprinting down the road of success. Opportunities are all around us, God has dropped enough worms of success for every bird. Those worms are not dropped in the nest, you have to get out of the nest, get on the ground and get the worms.

If you want to be successful, get up, get out, go after, take some risks, fail, re-calibrate and repeat.

“The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”
~Dale Carnegie

The Easiest Way To Succeed is to realize that “easy” and “success” don’t even know one another.

Cutting Down Ministry Trees With Dull Axes

I have worked with and talked with countless ministries, Senior Pastors and staff teams from around the world. Every one of these groups have a desire to grow, a desire to be efficient and a desire to be productive. Every ministry tries different strategies to foster growth, efficiency and productivity. The most over-looked strategy to propel growth, efficiency and productivity is “time off and rest.”

In all seriousness, Sr. Pastors should try to find themselves in the sweet spot of preaching between 35-40 weekends per year (no more.) If they are preaching more than that, they probably aren’t raising up any other leaders/teachers, they probably don’t have adequate relationships with other Sr. Pastors, they are probably stifling the organizational growth culture and they are setting themselves up for burnout and failure. In addition to time off, an appropriate sabbatical policy should also be in the mix as well.

When it comes to the staff, some cultures only allow staff to take off 2 ministry weekends a year. Seriously, that is absolutely ludicrous if the ministry truly desires to grow, while increasing efficiency and productivity. The staff need to rest and there is not a staff member on the planet that is so important that they can’t take more than two weekends off. If they are perceived to be that important, they probably aren’t leading because they should be able to raise other leaders up to keep the ship going in their absence. Staff should take off no less than 4-6 weekends a year and ideally 2 of those weekends should be back to back. You must know your culture and know your rhythms.

The same thing is true for high capacity volunteers, especially those that volunteer multiple services and in multiple ministries. These individuals generally have demanding full-time jobs and need to rest, rejuvenate and recuperate, in order to increase their productivity. It’s up to the staff and ministry leaders to know the various rhythms and be in tune with when to encourage and sometimes demand volunteers take some time-off.

If you want to grow, be productive and efficient, you must schedule time to rest, time to refresh, time to energize and time to do absolutely nothing. Stephen Covey refers to this as sharpening your axe. He tells the story of someone so busy cutting down trees that they don’t take time to stop and sharpen their axe. The person who takes the time to sharpen their axe will cut down more trees. Some ministry staff, Sr. Pastors and volunteers are cutting down ministry trees with dull axes.

Sometimes the most important times to take off and rest is when it’s the craziest and the furious ministry storms are coming at you 100 mph.

23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:24-27

What kind of man is this? He is “Jesus” the kind of man that took time to rest. Just as Jesus said to his disciples, I will say to ministry leaders “The reason you and your staff are not taking time off is because you are of little faith, you have so little faith that you don’t think the ship can float with out you or your team guiding the ship.” Get some rest, have some faith and watch how smooth your ministry ship will sail. Sailing to the shores of efficiency, productivity, growth and a bonus island called “health.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences. 

Vision Is Not Enough

Vision, Vision, Vision… How many times do we hear leaders and organizations talk about vision. “You have to cast vision, money follows vision, people follow vision, where there is no vision the people perish…” and on and on. All of those statements are true to a degree; however vision is not enough.

Vision is a big key to start the engine of the car of success; however the key won’t propel the car down the road. Vision says we are going to be awesome at this, we won’t settle for that, we want to drive down this street, we want you to join us. Those are all great aspirations; okay, I’ll join you… Now What?

Now What? is an important question because it helps get to the real success solutions, the solutions the will propel the car of success down the road for years to come. The real solutions include strategy and culture. In my line of work as a Strategist and Cultural Architect, I see the results of this lived out on a daily basis. Culture will beat vision like a drum and strategy will help you to ask the right questions and understand the right answers. Answering the real “How, What, Why and In Ever Changing Market” questions are critical.

Throw your vision out there; however be sure to support it with some real strategy and make sure your culture is healthy enough maintain.

Vision = Good

Vision + Strategy = Great

Vision + Strategy + Culture = The Greatest (Guaranteed Success – Just take a look at Southwest Airlines and Google)

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences.

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