Monday, 17 April 2017

Ten things you can do to re-energize demoralized teams:

1. Complain a little and move on. 

“We’ve talked about this the last three times we met. How might we move on?”

2. Become an artist. Paint a picture of a vibrant environment.
  • How might we treat each other the way we want to be treated by our leaders?
  • What have your colleagues done to encourage you in the past? How might we do that for each other now?
  • If we had a energizing culture, what would we be doing for each other? Do it!
3. Get amnesia! 
Forget about things you can’t control. It’s frustrating and draining when we try to control things out of your control.

4. Put on an apron and serve. 
Turn outward and go and serve someone or some project.

5.  When storms blow in, remember purpose fuels resolve. 
talk about Why you got into this work in the first place?  Why you do what you do, be honest!

6. Walk around
  • Notice virtues like diligence, compassion, consistency, and drive.
  • Greet people in the morning.
  • Reward achievement
  • Appreciate others.  Say, “Thank you,” before people go home.
Even though things might be bad, you can still care about the person sitting next to you!
7. Fuel up the people who believe in the cause 
Don't focus on critics and complainers encourage the people around you who are achieving good results and who are committed to the cause.

8. Communicate as much as you can  
Tough times are worse when information is scarce. Tell everyone everything you can. A series of brief conversations have more impact than one long talk.

9. Deal with negativity in private 
Don’t correct the whole team when the darkness centers on a few.

10. Look in the mirror 
Tell your team how you want to show up. Ask them to hold you to it.

Sunday, 9 April 2017


I had to re-post this great post by Dan Rockwell, it brought a smile to my face today!  It is loaded with great advice.

Organizations need more doers than dreamers.
A team of dreamers will start a thousand things and finish none. (Yes, that’s an exaggeration. Everything in this post is a bit exaggerated.)
doers fix the train wreck dreamers create.

Dreamers start things. Doers finish things.

Doers think dreamers:

  1. Start too many things.
  2. Get distracted by shiny objects.
  3. Don’t finish what they start.
  4. Don’t understand how much work it takes to finish.

Dreamers think doers:

  1. Begin with, “No.”
  2. Drag their feet.
  3. Spend too much time planning.
It’s easy to dream if you haven’t finished anything.

Dreamers cp. Doers

  • Dreamers thrive on progress.
  • Doers thrive on finishing things.
  • Dreamers think people will figure things out.
  • Doers think no one knows what’s going on.
  • Dreamers figure things out as they go.
  • Doers figure things out before they go.
  • Dreamers enjoy freedom and flexibility.
  • Doers enjoy processes and systems.
  • Dreamers start with ‘yes.’ “Let’s get going.”
  • Doers start with ‘no.’ They don’t begin things they can’t finish.
  • Dreamers get in over their heads.
  • Doers save the day when lack of planning creates a crisis. 
Doers fix the train wreck dreamers create. 

7 tips for leaders:

  1. Convince a doer they can succeed and they’ll go through hell to finish.
  2. Listen to a doers ‘no.’ Answering their reluctance is creating a workable plan.
  3. Dreamers are flashier than doers.
  4. Honor hard work more than big talk.
  5. Ask doers, “What do we need to do?”
  6. Ask dreamers, “Where do we need to go?”
  7. Beware of resentment between dreamers and doers. They rub each other the wrong way.
Everyone is both a dreamer and a doer. But all of us are more one than the other. The more of one you are, the more frustrating the other becomes.
Skillful leaders notice and navigate tensions between doers and dreamers.

Monday, 3 April 2017

7 Signs What’s Driving You Is Beginning To Destroy You

An Excellent post!

There are a thousand fine lines in leadership. Perhaps the most subtle and dangerous line is the fine line between what drives you and what destroys you.

Being driven is not an inherently bad thing. In fact, leveraged well, it’s a huge leadership asset. You get things done, mobilize people around great causes and make things happen.

Driven leaders are often the ones who create something out of nothing, who make things better and who move the mission forward.

So what drives driven leaders?  Well, hang out with driven leaders long enough and you’ll discover this common thread: discontent with the status quo.  Discontent is actually a good thing. It makes you a change agent in a world where most people avoid change. But the discontent that drives leaders is a double edged sword.

No one I know of has talked about the good side of discontent better than Bill Hybels did in his Holy Discontent talk (which is also a book). That talk is one of the most memorable leadership talks I’ve ever heard.  Holy discontent is from God.
It drives you to: 
Push on relentlessly toward progress Work tirelessly for a better day
Trust beyond yourself
Resist injustice
Demand better
Lead people to a preferred vision of a better future
Not quit
And if you’re like me, you’ve alway got some level of discontent burning under the surface.  It’s hard to sit still. Even when you’re off, your brain is still on. 

But discontent has a shadow side.It can move from a good force that’s driving you to place where it starts to destroy you, and if you’re not careful, the others around you.There’s one thing every driven leader has to watch, and it’s this: don’t let the discontent that drives you become the discontent that destroys you.

So what are the signs that’s what driving you is beginning to destroy you? Well, here are 7. Discontent become destructive when it:

1. Stops you from celebrating

Any driven leader knows how hard it is to celebrate. When you cross the line from and your drive begins to destroy you, it feels like this: you think it was amazing, but you can’t stop wondering what would have made it more amazing.
You can’t mark the progress you’ve made because you only see the progress you haven’t made.
And that kills your team.
To make it worse, you even stop celebrating God’s faithfulness and instead substitute the celebration of your progress.
Don’t miss the progress you’ve made because you can only see the progress you haven’t made.

2. Kills your gratitude

You begin to only think about what could be better. Gratitude decreases as discontent increases.
Not only will ingratitude make you miserable; it’s ultimately demotivating to the people around you.
If you want to defeat your team, be ungrateful.

3. Invades too many aspects of your life

I can try to improve everything and everyone, including my wife and other people I meet
This is not good for anyone. (Enough said.)
If discontent takes over your life, you won’t have much of a life.

4. Makes you the negative voice at the table

I have to catch myself during evaluation sessions (we do weekly evaluations on our services) because I will find the 1.2 things that went wrong and miss the 98.8 things that went right.
You shouldn’t miss the 1.2 things. But you shouldn’t dwell on them either.
When you only see what’s wrong and rarely see what’s right, you deflate the people around you.

5. Gets you off a project you should still be on

When discontent becomes too pervasive, it can stop you from finishing projects you started because you become discontent with…well even the solution you should still be working on.
Serial discontent will make you start things you never finish. And that’s a problem for everyone.

6. Makes you arrogant

If I let discontent get too much real estate in my life, it shows up as arrogance.
Nothing’s ever good enough.
I’m always right.
We need to do more….now.
Arrogance is only attractive to the arrogant.

7. Disables hope

We leaders are dealers in hope. Hope is such a rare commodity.
When discontent becomes toxic, your future becomes about what’s wrong, not about what’s right. Unhealthy discontent disables hope, and hope is the greatest motivator your team has.

What Do You See?

When any of these things starts to happen, I consider it a warning sign that my discontent is moving from a place where it drives me to a place where it might harm me or others.

What other warning signs do you see that the discontent that drives you is starting to destroy you?

How have you seen discontent hurt you or people you care about?

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Pastors don’t always make good bosses - OUCH!

If you are secure enough in Jesus to have your boat rocked a bit, then read this carefully and prayerfully with your seat belt fastened. Originally posted by Thom Rainer

I’ve been working with pastors and those they serve for over three decades.
That means two things: I have a lot of experience and I am old.

In the course of three decades, I have seen some pastors thrive and some pastors fail. And I have seen two common reasons for pastors failing. They lack leadership skills and they lack relational skills.

Most pastors have no formal training in either. Yet they are expected to lead and relate the first day they begin serving a church. Indeed, many pastors are expected to be bosses of full-time or part-time personnel even though they may have never led anyone.

So what is the difference between a good pastor boss and a bad pastor boss? We will address the good pastor bosses later. For now, I will share with you our conversations with those who served under bad pastor bosses. 

Here are the top ten complaints we heard:
1.  Micromanagement. “I can’t do anything without the pastor getting involved and showing me a better way, or even taking over. He drives me crazy!”

2.  Avoiding conflict. “We have tons of unresolved conflict in our church because our pastor won’t address the issues. He tries to please everyone, and so he pleases no one.”

3.  Avoiding making decisions. “Our church seems like we are stuck in molasses because the pastor just can’t make a decision. He seems to live in fear of making the wrong move.”

4.  Stealing credit. “My pastor can’t stand for anyone else to have a good idea. It has to be his own. So if we have a good idea, he ridicules it. But a few months later he ‘discovers’ the same idea and takes full credit for it.”

5.  Shifting blame. “If you listened to our pastor, you would think he is blameless. If something does go wrong, he is quick to blame someone else for the problem. Two words I’ve never heard from him are ‘I’m sorry.’”

6.  Hoarding information. “I don’t get it. He keeps all information close to his vest. He seems to think it gives him some kind of authority or control. We on staff really don’t know what’s going on.”

7.  Failing to listen. “We’ve learned not to express any opinions to the pastor. We know he is only thinking about his next sentence instead of listening to us.”

8.  Setting a poor example. “Our church doesn’t reach anyone for Christ. And guess who never mentions evangelism, much less does evangelism? Our pastor.”

9.  Having a poor work ethic. “He probably works about four hours a day, but he gets furious when he thinks we aren’t doing our job. Total slackard!”

10.  Not developing staff. “He doesn’t train us, work with us, develop us, or point us to good resources. In fact, he rarely spends any time with us. I can’t call him a leader because he’s not leading us.”

Friday, 24 February 2017

Intimidation drains power.

The result of intimidation is dependence. Think about that!

Pressuring timid people increases apprehension – apprehension creates dependence. 

5 reasons you intimidate, but don’t know it:
  1. You think you’re smiling, but you’re frowning.
  2. Your quick mind makes others play catch-up.
  3. You always think about problems.
  4. You talk loud and violate people’s space.
  5. You hoard knowledge and keep others in the dark.
Point to ponder:  It feels safer to do the wrong thing than to get clarity from a scary boss.  Think about the people you lead and be honest about ow you make others feel?  Do they trust you or fear you?
4 ways to soften intimidation:
  1. Show up when things are going right.
  2. Share things you learned from failure.
  3. Tell your face you’re happy!
  4. When people fail, ask, 'What did you learn?  What will you do differently next time?

Friday, 3 February 2017


A great post by Dan Rockwell.  Put this in a prominent place and use it YOURSELF!
Self-importance blocks leadership. The difference between self-importance and knowing you matter is ego.

Humble leaders know that others make their leadership.
Humility enables confidence. Self-importance reflects ego.

7 indications you might be egotistical:

  1. Egotistical leaders seek status over service.
  2. Egotistical leaders walk into meetings focused exclusively on what they want from others.
  3. Egotistical leaders need others to make them feel important. You’re egotistical if you often feel slighted.
  4. Egotistical leaders compete with others, rather than themselves. You’re egotistical if the aspirations and success of others offends you.
  5. Egotistical leaders hover around the most important people in the room.
  6. Egotistical leaders look for the seat of prominence at the table.
  7. Egotistical leaders feel no one else is quite good enough.

10 questions humble leaders ask themselves:

  1. How might I acknowledge the importance of others?
  2. How might I invite constructive dissent?
  3. Who holds alternative perspectives?
  4. How can I open channels that enable others to offer challenging feedback?
  5. What might I say or do that expresses confidence in others?
  6. How might I connect with people with less status?
  7. What is my greatest contribution? How might I bring it?
  8. Who can I brag about?
  9. How might I help others get what they want, while they serve our vision and mission?
  10. How might I stretch myself? Playing it safe is self-protection.


Reflect on humble leaders. How might you model their behaviors?  If you have an ego problem, find a humble leader and ask them to be your mentor. Seek a coach who will challenge you to make your greatest contribution.

The trigger:

Egotistical leaders, who aspire to humility, hold the key to success within themselves. Use the desires you have for yourself as triggers to turn toward others.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Improvement is a process, not a destination.

Some great advice, that I intend to work with in 2017.

'Work to improve one aspect of your leadership and make a few obvious improvements. Then turn your attention to something else, don't get stuck in one place tweaking the same thing!'

10 steps on the journey to improvement:

  1. Identify and maximize high impact activities. Make a list of everything you’re doing. Rank each item on the list by the impact it has on desired results. Use a scale of one to ten.
  2. Choose one high impact activity to improve this month or quarter. You might improve your one-on-ones or strengthen relationships on your teams. You might decide to address a pain point, seize an opportunity, or maximize someone’s strengths.
  3. Determine an outcome.
  4. Identify behaviors that might achieve desired results.
  5. What behaviors might hinder desired results? (What do you need to stop?)
  6. Choose a time-frame that provides a sense of urgency, a month or quarter.
  7. Evaluate at the end of the time-frame.
    • What did you try?
    • How did it work?
    • Celebrate progress. Reject the need for perfection.
  8. Stabilize and systematize.
  9. Focus on improving something else. Return to improve the same area in six months.
  10. Identify and minimize low impact activities on your list. Yes, you still have to fill out reports.