Saturday, 14 October 2017


If we aren’t careful, as time passes, leaders expect more from others and less from themselves. 

Would you hire you, if you interviewed yourself?

You expect the people you interview to answer important questions with concise clarity. Maybe it’s time to hold yourself to the same standard.

Questions to interview yourself:

1. Imagine 20 years have passed.
  1. What have you accomplished that makes you proud?
  2. What have you done to enrich the lives of others?
2. What do you wish you could do better?
Don’t humble-brag by saying silly things like, “I tend to work long hours.” Or, “I find it difficult to take time off.”
  1. How have your weaknesses held you back?
  2. How are you compensating for your weakness?
3. How forward-looking would the people you work with say you are on a scale of 1 to 10?
Suppose you believe your colleagues would give you an 8 on the forward-looking scale.
  1. Why didn’t you give yourself a 7?
  2. What would be true of you, if you were a 9 on the forward-looking scale?
4. What have you done to develop your leadership over the last 3 months?
Development requires focused attention and purposeful practice. If you aren’t working at developing your leadership, it’s not happening.
  1. How much time do you spend reflecting on your leadership practice?
  2. When are you reflecting on your leadership trajectory?
5. What leadership behaviors are essential for your future success?

6. If you don’t achieve your dreams, what will you have left undone?

7. What value do your strengths bring to the organization?
Bonus: What is your definition of leadership?
  1. How do you fulfill your own definition of leadership?
  2. How do you fall below your own definition of leadership?                                                                                                                                   One way to stay humble and connected is to give yourself a job interview.

Thursday, 21 September 2017


An Outstanding post by Dan Rockwell!

A great meeting is as rare as a white moose.  Count yourself fortunate if you ever see one.

Meetings include conversations in three directions.
  1. The leader talks to the people around the table.
  2. The people around the table talk to the leader.
  3. The people around the table talk to each other.
All three directions are relevant.

Successful leaders provide direction to meetings, but they don’t monopolize the conversation.  When one person does most of the talking, the people around the table disengage.

Yes, there are times when leaders speak to inform, provide focus, or add insight. But my experience indicates that leaders talk way too much in meetings.

Ego:  Today, as I listened to the conversation, I felt a need to be the “wise one.” My ego whispered, “You have ‘the’ answer. After all, they hired you because you’re so smart.” My ego loves me more than anyone else.

  1. Monopolizes conversations.
  2. Overshadows others.
  3. Needs the spotlight.
  4. Defends its viewpoint, rather than exploring another’s perspective.
  5. Adds too much “value” to the contributions of others.
  6. Loves to look like the smartest person at the table.
Ego in the leader sucks the life out of the talent around the table.

Leading the meeting isn’t dominating the conversation.

Talking to each other:  1) Strengthens connections  2) Generates surprising insights and options  3) Fuels energy.

Bigger conversations:  Get people talking to each other.  E.G  1) Fred, I noticed you haven’t contributed yet. What’s going through your mind?  2) Where does Wilma’s comment take our conversation.  3) Let’s generate a list of ideas that might help Barney work through his concern.

How might you lead meetings without dominating conversations?

Monday, 28 August 2017


Any bully can kick someone in the pants. It takes real leadership to inspire.  If you encouraged a team member once a week, you’d do it about 58 times a year. (taking into account holidays!)

Courage takes teams further than timidity. To encourage is to inspire courage.

Negative energy is like running with rocks in your pockets.

“The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.” Charles Schwab

12 sentence starters that inspire courage:

  1. I appreciate …
  2. I notice …
  3. You’re great at …
  4. Thank you for … (Be specific.)
  5. I’m impressed with …
  6. You help us get where we want to go when you …
  7. You’re making progress on …
  8. You encourage others when …
  9. Great effort when you …
  10. Congratulations on …
  11. You’re making a difference for …
  12. I’m encouraged when you …
Skillful leaders use encouraging language EVERYDAY!

7 sentences that inspire courage:

  1. Let’s give it a try.
  2. What’s the next imperfect step you could take?
  3. What would you like to try?
  4. What are you learning?
  5. If you weren’t nervous, what would you do next?
  6. I’ve seen you rise to challenges in the past.
  7. You’re on the right track.
Give yourself permission to encourage imperfect people. Don’t use someone’s weakness in one area as an excuse to withhold encouragement in another.

Lifting-up takes leaders further than beating-down.

Thursday, 24 August 2017


A great post by Dan Rockwell!

I can not notice people. I want to notice, but I’m easily distracted.
People can’t see your heart, when you’re lost in your head.

It doesn’t matter if you want to notice people. It only matters that you do.

Distraction blocks interaction.
I walk around distracted by a million things – what’s next, problems, opportunities, and performance, to name a few. I’m contemplating a coaching client’s concerns or the next presentation.

Remember you matter.
It’s easy to forget that people watch leaders. A frown on your face signals problems to the team. You may not mean to be a downer, but a nagging frown drags others down.

It ain’t hard, but it’s important.
People talk about simple things like smiling when they describe how leaders might improve their leadership.

You object that you’re not good at smiling. That’s so sad.
Bad is stronger than good. You need at least three smiles to overcome the negative impact of one frown. You’re in the hole baby. You better get smiling.

3 tips for frowning leaders to get their smile on.
  1. Tell yourself you like people. Think of something you like about the person in front of you. If you don’t like people, get out of leadership.
  2. Find a positive thing to believe in. What positive thing might you believe about others on the team?
  3. Admire a strength. When you walk up to someone, think about something you admire about them.
A smile that creates wrinkles around your eyes indicates that you notice positive things.
7 small things that make a positive difference.
  1. Smile.
  2. Show interest. “How are the kids?”
  3. Pat on the back.
  4. Bring coffee for the team.
  5. Celebrate progress and hard work.
  6. Sing happy birthday.
  7. Say thank you. (A smile and a little eye contact takes ‘thank you’ to a whole new level.)
What tips might you offer to frowners?

What small behaviors have big impact?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Are you a toxic leader and perhaps don't know or don't think you are? Find out by taking the TLS

 There are more toxic leaders leading today than you might think. There are three possibilities. 1) You are a toxic leader, know it, and are allowing the Holy Spirit and those you lead to facilitate change in your life and ministry, 2) You are a toxic leader and don’t know it or don’t think you are. 3) You are a healthy leader and are aware of toxic attitudes and behaviors and are prayerfully watching for it in your life. 
 Dan Rockwell will help us take a Toxic Leader Score (TLS).
Your Toxic Leader Score* (TLS) is the level of unnecessary irritation you cause others. If you occasionally irritate colleagues by arriving late, you’re a 3 on a range from 1 to 10.

If you frequently irritate colleagues, but don’t realize it, your TLS is 9. The worst leaders don’t know they’re toxic.

10 ways to elevate your Toxic Leader Score:
1.     Make everything about results. “Relationships are for babies and losers.”
2.     Minimize or ignore emotion and energy. “Just do your job!”
3.     Change course in mid-stream without preparing people or giving reasons.
4.     Complain more than affirm and compliment.
5.     Devalue progress. When someone makes progress, remind them they have far to go.
6.     Set long-term goals – ignore short-term wins.
7.     Focus on fixing weaknesses, rather than maximizing strengths.
8.     Be a know-it-all.
9.     Interrupt people.
10.   Believe it’s all about the money.

Leadership is more than vision and strategy. It’s also inspiration. Your unscientific Inspiration Score (IS) is your ability to tap the power of happiness.

10 Ways to elevate your Inspiration Score:
1.     Dedicate yourself to building positive energy environments. The most powerful thing you do is create positive environments where people love coming to work.
2.     Show respect. If you want people to act like owners, stop treating them like slaves.
3.     Be decisive with openness.
o    Seek input.
o    Explore options.
o    Explain purpose.
o    Make decisions.
o    Adapt as you go.
4.     Trust people. Meddlers and micro-managers top the Toxic Leader chart.
5.     Ask questions, gently. Questions feel like interrogations when all you care about are results.
6.     Make work about them, not you. Help people get where they want to go.
7.     Give helpful feedback.
8.     Practice open handed generosity.
9.     Pat people on the back, literally. Touch energizes. But, don’t lay your hand on people.
10.   Pursue excellence collaboratively. Set high standards and figure out how to reach them together.

What behaviors make leaders toxic?

What behaviors make leaders inspirational?

*TLS is an unscientific scale created for this post.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Ten things that can cause church conflicts to get out of hand

WOW - A must read!

Conflict is not necessarily bad, but the way it’s handled can be bad. Where there are no conflicts there probably aren’t real deep relationships either.

Chuck Lawless shares ten things that contribute to conflict in churches getting out of hand.Originally posted by Chuck Lawless

Some years ago, I was a volunteer firefighter. It was amazing to see what could happen when a tiny spark ignited a small blaze that could quickly become a roaring fire. Given the right conditions, a spark could lead to absolute destruction. 
That happens in church conflict, too. Here are 10 “right conditions” for escalating conflict in a church. 

1.  The church is made up of sinners. That’s the case, of course, and that fact won’t change. Sinful people are naturally selfish and divisive. Sanctification sometimes takes a while to correct these tendencies.

2.  Members care about something. This “condition” might seem strange, so hear my point. Some conflict in the church heats up in direct proportion to how much people care about some issue in the church. Their care may be misdirected, and their sense of ownership may be problematic – but they fight for something precisely because they care about it that much. 

3.  The church has no “up front” relational expectations. The churches I know that deal well with conflict are usually those who teach how to deal with relational conflict as early as their membership class. The church that ignores these potential issues invites problems.

4.  Nobody’s praying for unity.  Jesus prayed this way in John 17:21 – “May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.” If Jesus prayed that prayer for His followers, we, too, should be praying for this unity.

5.  Church leaders have not taught biblical principles for conflict resolution. Matthew 18:15-20 is a starting point. Putting others before self (Phil. 2:3) obviously matters. Believers who don’t know what the Bible teaches about reconciliation will follow the ways of the world – and the way of the world is often, “I want to win.” 

6.  Leaders do not address legitimate concerns.  At times, the concerns that church members raise are legitimate. When church leaders blatantly ignore those concerns, nonchalantly hear them, or superficially address them, the conflict is not resolved. Its resolution is only delayed.

7.  Conflict is not separated from emotion. I think, for example, of battles over worship styles. These preferences are so connected with emotions that it’s often difficult to separate the two. Conflict escalates because emotions heat up.

8.  People operate in secret. You know the scenarios. Anonymous complaints. Unsigned letters. Behind the scenes meetings. Opposition rallies cloaked as “prayer meetings.” It’s all secretive – and it’s often demonic.

9.  People listen to gossip. Once conflict begins, it’s often fueled by rumor and innuendo. Those who spread the rumors are acting in sin, but so are those folks who stoke the coals by listening. As long as anyone listens, the fire spreads.

10.  Nobody carries out church discipline. It would be ideal if all conflict were resolved before discipline became necessary. The Bible, though, assumes that churches will take necessary steps to deal with troublesome members. If the church doesn’t do so (or, if they do so, but in an unbiblical or uncharitable way), they prolong the conflict. 

Friday, 4 August 2017

The Ultimate Character Test Any Great Leader Passes

It was John Wooden who said, “Pay more attention to your character then to your reputation, for your character is what you really are whereas your reputation is merely what other people think you are.”

In this day of Christian leadership we pay more attention to a lot of things instead of paying attention to our character which the Lord highly values. Here Carey Nieuwhof shares his thoughts on “The Ultimate Character Test Any Great Leader Passes.”  by Dave Kraft

Originally posted by Carey Nieuwhof

The longer I lead and the more I see, the more I’m convinced that character ultimately determines a leader’s true success.

Moral failure takes out more leaders than it should. But real success is deeper than just avoiding the ditch!