Sunday, 31 July 2011

4 Stages of Leadership by Tony Morgan - Awesome!

Yesterday while I was at Christ Fellowship in Miami, I did a leadership talk for their staff team. At the end of my talk, we took some time for Q&A. One of the questions that was asked was about leadership growth. Having worked in churches of various sizes between 1,400 and over 10,000, they wanted to know how leaders change to grow with organizations. Here’s what I summarized with a little bit more detail. Some of this reflects my own experiences in the churches I’ve served. Some of it reflects the conversations with leaders in other churches.

Lead by example. This is the type of leadership that is required when a new ministry launches. During this season, the leader has to do most of the work themselves. That happens out of necessity because no one else is around. It also happens to establish a foundation for the future. “Leading by doing” gives the leader the opportunity to shape the mission, vision, values and strategy of the church. These folks may not necessarily be gifted as leaders but they are in a positional leadership role. They are the “leaders of tens.” Ministries with this style of leadership can grow to about 100 people.

Lead other people. During this season, the leader recruits other people to join the ministry team. Rather than doing all the work on their own, the leader begins to delegate tasks and responsibilities to other people. The leader still owns the responsibility for making things happen, they’re just including other people in the effort. These are the “leaders of fifties.” Ministries can grow to several hundred people with this style of leadership.

Lead other leaders. This is when a transition happens where leaders begin to empower other leaders. Instead of a hands-on role where they’re on top of all the tasks, they shift to a role where they’re really more concerned about leading, caring for and raising up other leaders. They don’t give up responsibility for the outcome, but they begin to release team building and decisions of execution to other people. These are the “leaders of hundreds.” Ministries can grow to several thousand people with this style of leadership.

Lead by vision. At some point, there are leaders who may continue to embrace functional leadership of specific areas of ministry, but their focus is really on the overall health of the church. Rather than a ministry-specific focus, they have a global perspective that encompasses every aspect of the organization. These folks are leading other leaders, but they also have influence that reaches beyond their direct reports. They are coming alongside the senior leader to champion the vision that God has given the church. These are the “leaders of thousands.” Ministries can grow to tens of thousands of people with this style of leadership.

First of all, do you agree with my summary of these different stages of leadership growth? What would you add or delete from my descriptions?

Secondly, where are you? Would would you need to do today to prepare for a step into a new leadership role tomorrow?

Friday, 15 July 2011

How to Read a Book for Transformation

I great article by Mac Lake.

For years I used to set a goal of reading 52 books between January 1 and December 31. And for several years I accomplished that goal. I still think that’s a good discipline for a young leader, but as I grew older something inside told me to slow down. I sensed I was at a stage where I needed to focus less on information and focus more on transformation. So I started reading fewer books. But that still wasn’t having the growth impact I was longing for.

It took a while but I finally developed a 6 Question System for reading that seemed to take me deeper into the content and impacted my thinking in a more tangible way. Today when I read a book I start by reading the table of contents and dividing it into sections. Sometimes a section is one chapter, sometimes it’s 2 or 3 chapters. But I define the specific chunks in the book I will apply these questions too. I find this more helpful than applying all six questions to every single chapter. As I read here are the six questions that force me to read that section on a deeper level. I hope you find this as helpful as I have.

  • What stood out to you the most? I don’t actually write the answer to this question. But I answer this by using a highlighter to mark every sentence that stood out to me. In a 10-page chapter this may be as many as 40-60 sentences that stood out as important or as key thoughts.
  • What challenged your thinking the most? Now that I’ve finished reading the chapter I go back and read my highlights and put a “C” by no more than three highlights. Next I write down in my journal (Evernote) the answer to what challenged me the most. Narrowing it down to just three things that challenged me and writing the answer to that question makes me process the content at a whole new depth.
  • What did you question or disagree with? It’s always tempting to skip over this question. Many times we don’t pause long enough to question the content of what we just read. So I look back over my highlights and put a “?” beside one or two things I questioned or disagreed with. Next I write in my journal what or why I disagreed. Or if I didn’t disagree with anything I write out what questions were raised in my mind. This forces me to look at the content from a different angle and process even deeper.
  • What 3-5 action steps will you take as a result of your reading? Next I write down what I’m going to do as a result of reading the content of the chapter or section. If you don’t put into practice the principles you learned those principles will never be translated into new behaviors. So force yourself to find a few action steps you will take. Remember there is no transformation without application.
  • What area did my reading reveal where I need to grow? Now to really get the subject material into your soul think though an area of Personal Growth the reading revealed for you. As I look back over my highlights I put a “-“ beside a section that reveals a needed growth area of my life. Then I write out where and how I need to grow in that area. So as you review your reading section ask yourself: Did it highlight a specific area of weakness that I need to work on? Did it reveal a poor attitude, an undeveloped skill, a bad habit, a relational roadblock that needs to be dealt with? If we really want to change we’ll take the time to identify those specific areas of growth potential in our own life.
  • What area of strength did this reading affirm about my leadership? Finally, I look for strengths that the chapter affirmed in my life or leadership. As I read back over the highlights I put a “+” beside the section that revealed what I am good at. We become better leaders when we focus on developing our strengths. So make sure you allow the content you’re reading to affirm the positive aspects of your leadership.

So grab a good book that you think will challenge you to grow as a leader. Buy a journal or open up your Evernote. And don’t forget, this method of reading requires greater patience but results in bigger payoff. Hey, give it a try and let me know what you think.