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A Healthy Church Staff

healthyChurch Teams and Church Staff should be healthy. The End! Actually that is the end; however it’s only the beginning of this post. You will often hear horror stories of companies and organization who have staff that are over-worked, under-payed and flat out unhealthy. Those descriptors should not be true of any staff and especially not the staff of the Bride of Christ. Unfortunately, those descriptors are becoming as prevalent in church teams as they are in John Q Corporation teams. Everything rises and falls with the leader and organizational health happens to fall into that category of everything.

“The single biggest factor determining whether an organization is going to get healthier—or not—is the genuine commitment and active involvement of the person in charge.” ~Patrick Lencioni

What Lencioni is saying is, “Mr. or Mrs. Leader… It’s Up To You!”

The church should grow. Yes

The church should adapt business models. Yes

The church should strive for excellence. Yes

The church should be an example of how to do things the right way. Yes

If you want a healthy church, start by having a healthy team.

Church Teams and Church Staff should be healthy. The End!

The Greatest Challenge Facing Leaders Today

leadership challengeThere are countless books, blogs, videos, conferences, classes, tweets, posts and seminars about leadership. There are lots of people talking, teaching, and sharing information about leadership. The greatest challenge facing leaders today has little to do with the lack of leadership information, its more about the lack of leadership implementation.

The Greatest Challenge Facing Leaders Today is a group of followers, team members and co-workers that are unwilling to speak up about what’s wrong, what’s ugly, what’s crazy, what’s ridiculous and what needs to be changed. The Greatest Challenge Facing Leaders Today is having a group of people around them that will only tell them what’s good, what makes sense and what’s right.

Leaders must be genuinely committed to creating an environment where they truly solicit the good, the bad and the ugly. If you find yourself in an organization where you can only share the good, you’re in an organization that is destined for mediocrity. If you find yourself in an organization where the good, the bad and the ugly is shared freely, you are in an organization that is destined for greater things.

“The leader who truly wants to know is the leader that is destined to grow.”

It’s up to the leader to create these environments and it’s up to the team to take advantage of them.

Create and Take Advantage.

Why @SouthwestAir Is Winning #NapkinThoughts

southwest napkin

I am going to start sharing random  thoughts that I write on napkins. We will call these a #NapkinThought. Todays #NapkinThought is Why @Southwestair is winning.

A Day In The Life Of The Internet

internet-day

 

Do any of these stats stand out to you?

7 Leadership Lessons From The Oklahoma City Thunder

thunder tshirtThose of you who have followed me for awhile, know that I’m a fan of 2 sports teams: OU Sooners and OKC Thunder. Additionally, I’m also a fan of great leadership, leadership lessons and seeing people realize their leadership potential. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a young franchise filled with young players. Fortunately for Thunder fans like myself, neither of those two factors has limited their success. The Thunder have been very successful and I’m a true believer that everything rises and falls with leadership, in this case the Thunder have risen because of great leadership and having great players is a part of great leadership.

I thought I would share 7 Leadership Lessons From The Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • 1. Size Doesn’t Matter – Although Oklahoma City is a small market team, that has not prohibited them from being successful in comparison to the Big Boys. Not only did the Thunder make it to the NBA Finals last year, they are consistently outranking NBA franchises in all areas from much larger markets. They have been voted by ESPN The Magazine as best franchise in sports, Kevin Durant ranks #3 in Jersey Sales, #12 in NBA Franchise Values…
  • 2. Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number – The Thunder were the youngest team in the NBA last season and are still at the top of the youthfulness meter this year. The Thunder get it done with a young franchise, young GM, a young coach, young players and a veteran named Derek Fisher who is obviously young at heart.
  • 3. Release and Reload – In just a few years the Oklahoma City Thunder have released more players to greatness than some teams will ever see. Some notable players they have released in the last year or so include some of this seasons NBA Stars, all of who played or are still playing in the playoffs: James Harden, Nate Robinson, Jeff Green, Eric Maynor, Daequan Cook… The bottom line is the Thunder has a strong enough leadership culture/supporting cast that they can truly release and reload, while staying lean with salaries.
  • 4. Hungry Hungry Hippo – The Thunder remain hungry and have a hungry swagger about them. When Kendrick Perkins showed up from the Celtics, the Thunder didn’t just have a sense of hunger, they developed a sense of toughness that was needed to compliment the hunger. To top that off, Russell Westbrook’s me against the world swagger is just the right seasoning for the team leader and currently injured point-guard extraordinaire to keep the team pressing full steam ahead. It’s contagious!
  • 5. Development Is The Lifeblood- Development is crucial when it comes to leadership. Many thought Russell Westbrook was drafted too high and couldn’t play point-guard in the NBA. Obviously the 2-Time All-Star has crushed those thoughts, as he has developed into being one of the best point-guards in the NBA. (He may not be be a “traditional” point guard, who needs traditional when you are great?) Hasheem Thabeat was drafted high and could never seem to get on the floor when he was with the Memphis Grizzlies; however since he arrived in Oklahoma City, he has put up career highs in almost every category and has been a key ingredient off the the bench all season. The Thunder have been praised by their use of the d-league system. Their d-league team is just an hour and a half away in Tulsa and players have been known to play in the d-league and get some playing time for the Thunder all in the same week. Derek Fisher was brought in not only for his contributions that we have seen in the playoffs, but to help develop both Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson (it’s hard to argue with 5 rings and more playoff games than every NBA player besides a few.
  • 6. Look Into The Future – The Thunder Leadership have tremendous foresight. Whether it’s seeing the unreached potential of a rising Serge Ibaka and signing him to a max deal, the realization that it would be almost impossible to keep James Harden around, to re-signing Derek Fisher this year which proved to be one of the more Big Time decisions ever, with the loss of Russell Westbrook.
  • 7. Culture Trumps Everything – The thunder has a unique culture, a culture that aligns with the culture and values of the city and the fans. At the end of the day “We are about team, we are about community.” It was nice to see the free Thunder t-shirt represented by every fan during Game 1 with the Grizzlies, simply said “Community” across the chest. Other free playoff t-shirts in the past have said “We Are One” “Thunder Is Community” “Rise Together” you get the picture. Culture is so critical, a great culture will bring out greatness in everyone. Money + Great Players + Big Cities ≠ greatness. If you add the 7 things on this list, you are destined for greatness.

The Thunder may have a little ways to go before they can take out the already crowned repeated NBA Champions Miami Heat. They are definitely close and are clawing at their heals. Greatness takes time to achieve and leadership is the only road to greatness. Don’t worry about size, age, losing key pieces to the puzzle, simply stay hungry, develop what you have, have some foresight and remember culture is crucial. For the record, this Thunder fan isn’t crowning the Heat. The easiest way to fall is to think that you have already arrived.

Do any of these resonate with you and your organization? Share your thoughts? 

11 Signs They Are Not A Good Leader

poor leadershipMost of us have worked for leaders that are for all intents and purposes are not very good. I actually learned a lot in my early days of leadership from some really bad leaders. Not only were they bad leaders, they were oblivious to the negative affects of their poor leadership.  There are many signs that a leader is not a good leader and I have identified 11 Signs below.

The reason I attribute these signs to not being a “Good Leader” is because a leader has to at least reach the mantle of being a “Good Leader” before they can be a “Great Leader”  Here are 11 Signs They Are Not A Good Leader… Remember “They”could be you!

  • 1. they are not willing to fail.
  • 2. they only talk and never listen.
  • 3. they don’t develop and produce other leaders.
  • 4. they micro-manage; that’s management not leadership.
  • 5. they are insecure or threatened by someone that they lead.
  • 6. they are not willing to follow and learn from those that they lead.
  • 7. they are focused on pleasing people and what people think.  Consumed with whether or not they look good to their superiors.
  • 8. they don’t genuinely care about the people they lead and have difficulty getting people to follow.
  • 9. they are willing to make the wrong decision, because of the fear of  fall-out from making the right decision.
  • 10. they only dream about being like so and so, instead of being the best they can be.
  • 11. they don’t embrace the reality that the culture they create trumps all of the little vision talks and rah-rah cheers. Culture eats vision for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

They either “don’t do” or “are not working towards” the 5 Things Next-Level Leaders Alaways Do!

Share your thoughts on any of these “11 Signs” and add to the list!

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 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 Success

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

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