Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bottleneck Leaders

Leaders should aim not to be a bottleneck in the process of building a healthy and growing organization. In manufacturing a bottleneck can be defined as a point of congestion in a system that occurs when workloads arrive at a given point more quickly than that point can handle them.
 In an organization, the bottleneck can be the leader. When this happens, progress stalls and growth is limited.
Here are 7 characteristics of the bottleneck leader:
  • Every decision ultimately goes through the leader…
  • Dreaming is limited to the pre-determined boundaries of the leader…
  • Waiting for the leader to make a decision becomes awkward and wastes time…
  • There is no clear vision or direction for the organization…
  • The leader never delegates…
  • Potential leaders aren’t recruited…they are controlled…
  • Everyone waits on the leader to make the first move…
Leaders, ask yourself this question: Are you a bottleneck in your organization?
If you aren’t certain, perhaps you should ask your team.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Celebrate the positives

Short-sighted leaders are stingy with positives and free with negatives. Their talk is constantly dark. They focus on:
  1. What’s not working.
  2. What you need to improve.
  3. What didn’t reach the mark.
  4. What could be better.
Words are like fertilizer. They are the reason behaviors take root. Negative questions build negative environments.

Leaders who don’t celebrate are negative.

Your biggest opportunity to build positive culture is day-to-day. Thoughtless leaders  only celebrations “important stuff.” Their strategy tells everyone that day-to-day doesn’t matter. But, organizational life is filled with day-to-day.

Celebrate frequently; celebrate unimportant stuff, celebrate small.

Leaders who don’t define, create, and celebrate wins, lose.

Ask positive questions.
  1. What’s working?
  2. What do you respect in those around you?
  3. What do you love about your organisation?
The thought of asking positive questions terrifies leaders who fear slipping into apathy. Negatives are easy for people who aren’t there yet. But, positives provide energy for the journey.
“Great job,” helps people do a great job as long as there are new goals ahead.
Celebrate small:
  1. Say, “You’re great with upset customers.” Don’t add, “I wish I was.”
  2. Share stories of wins.
  3. Transform criticism into celebration. “Thanks for caring for my success. What’s the next step?”
  4. A past failure is all the more reason to celebrate a present win. Don’t keep reminding people they screwed up.
  5. Future uncertainty is all the more reason to celebrate today’s win.
How do people feel when you’re around? The way they feel is the culture you’re building. Truth is, the way people feel around you indicates the life you’re building.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

When you pray say.. 'Hallowed be your name'

The name of God is the revelation of who HE is.  

"Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven." Psa 148:13

God’s name is rvealed in the Old Testament
·  El Shaddai (All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty)           
·  El Elyon (The Most High God)
·  Adonai (Lord, Master)                                          
·  Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah – related to his omnipotence)
·  Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner; Our Refuge)      
·  Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
·  Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)                          
·  Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
·  Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)         
·  Elohim (God; Creator and Judge)
·  Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You; who makes you Holy)
·  El Olam (The Everlasting God; The ancient of Days, the creator of the universe, the God of 
·  Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)                         
·  Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)  
·  Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)

The Bible reveals that God is: All-knowing, All-powerful, Present everywhere, Never changes, Eternal

In Character He is:  Love, He is Just, He is Holy, He is true, He is wise, He is good, he is patient, he is merciful, he is gracious!

God is revealed in the New Testament in Jesus the Christ:
 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’  Isaiah 9:6  This prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus, God’s plan.   

Jesus is Emmanuel God with us.  He is our prophet, our priest and our King.  He is our Saviour, He was is lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  He is our redeemer, He is merciful, He is our peace, He is our joy, He is full of Grace and truth.  He is our peace, He is the reason for our forgiveness, He is our justifier, He is our sanctifier, He is the giver of all our gifts, He is giver of his Spirit, He is our great shepherd. He is our burden bearer.  He is the way the truth and the life. He is the only way to heaven.  He is our hope of eternal live, he has conquered sin and death, He defeated the devil, He is the king of Kings, He is the Lord of Lords, He reigns supreme and he is our returning king. When we focus his name and focus on who he is, we are reminded that our Father is Almighty and is indeed above all.  And we could go on and on....

God is to be worshiped!   The mystery - That God is almighty and Holy yet Jesus instructs us that we can call him 'Father'.   'Abba' meaning daddy!  I get to call the creator of the universe ' daddy' -  This is HUGE!  What a joy to pray!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Generosity: The Poverty of A Rich King

The Macedonian church was radically generous in response to the gospel gaining traction in their lives. They understood that they were redeemed in order to serve the rich King who became poor for their sake, so that they might become rich; and thereby bless others through their abundance of wealth and joy in the midst of extreme poverty. God provided for them so that they could provide for the needs of others (cf. Gen. 12:1-3), despite the fact that they were among the poorest churches in the first century (AD). May our hearts reflect their radical generosity…
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

The Radical Generosity of John Wesley
“[Wesley] had just finished buying some pictures for his room when one of the chambermaids came to his door. It was a winter day and he noticed that she had only a thin linen gown to wear for protection against the cold. He reached into his pocket to give her some money for a coat, and found he had little left. It struck him that the Lord was not pleased with how he had spent his money. He asked himself: ‘Will thy Master say, “Well done, good and faithful steward?” Thou has adorned thy walls with the money that might have screened this poor creature from the cold! O justice! O mercy! Are not these pictures the blood of this poor maid?’
“Perhaps as a result of this incident, in 1731 Wesley began to limit his expenses so he would have more money to give to the poor. He records that one year his income was £30, and his living expenses £28, so he had £2 to give away. The next year, his income doubled, but he still lived on £28 and gave £32 away. In the third year, his income jumped to £90; again he lived on £28, and gave £62 to the poor.
“Wesley preached that Christian should not merely tithe, but give away all extra income once the family and creditors were taken care of. He believed that with increasing income, the Christian’s standard of giving should increase, not his standard of living. He began this practice at Oxford and continued it throughout his life. Even when his income rose into the thousands of pounds, he lived simply and quickly gave up treasures on earth, so the money went out in charity as quickly as it came in. He reports that he never had as much as £100 at one time.
“When he died in 1791, the only money mentioned in his will was the miscellaneous coins to be found in his pockets and dresser drawers. Most of the £30,000 he had earned in his life-time he had given away. As Wesley said, ‘I cannot help leaving my books behind me whenever God calls me hence; but, in every other respect, my own hands will be my executors.’”
Randy Alcorn points out that Wesley’s income in today’s dollars would be $160,000 annually. Yet, he lived on only $20,000 of it.[1]
While we may not be able to live as radically generous as John Wesley (just as few of us can live out the uncommon faith of George Muller) ,we can certainly strive to imitate the faith and generosity of our King and those who have been given the grace to reflect Him. After all, it is the Spirit of God who empowers such things! May we cultivate the grace of generosity and find God’s provision sufficient to sustain our radical self-denial and increasing ministry to the least of these–both physically and spiritually. May we put God to the test and find His grace sufficient for producing in us an abundance of joy and poverty that results in nothing short of a wealth of generosity (Mal. 3:10; 2Cor. 8).

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

How to Rise Above “I’ll do it Myself”

This is an exceptional post by Dan Rockwell.
Individual contributors have impact by getting things done. Leaders have exponential impact by getting things done through others.  But, it often feels easier to do it yourself.
Five reasons it’s easier to do it yourself:
  1. Control.
  2. Quality. It’s done the way you want it to be done.
  3. Scheduling.
  4. No relational component.
  5. No communication confusion.
Three real reasons to do it yourself:
  1. You plan to keep doing it.
  2. It’s once and done. It really is quicker.
  3. You have unique technical skills. No one else is equipped.
When others should but can’t:  The work of leaders is the work of others. The first work of leaders is developing the team. It may be easier to do it yourself, but in the end you short-circuit exponential impact.
Develop the team or you’ll do it yourself.
The door to developing others swings on modelling. Humbly live it yourself or shut up and go home.
Don’t neglect the behaviours you expect from others. Arrogant self-exemption closes hearts and minds, but, modelling enhances influence.
After modelling, teach others to combine strengths with contrasting qualities.
Navigate tension between:
  1. Decisiveness and listening.
  2. Focus and flexibility.
  3. Tenacity and kindness.
  4. Vision and openness.
  5. Kindness and candor.
  6. Passion and quietness.
  7. Analysis and initiative.
  8. Planning and people.
  9. Solitude and relationships.
  10. High expectations and helpfulness.
An example:
Listening frustrates decisive leaders. What’s the point of talking when decisions have been made. Teach decisive leaders to slow down and ask questions that explore purpose, align people, and weigh options.
The more important the decision, the more necessary inclusive listening becomes. But, weighty decisions often drive decisive leaders to make choices in isolation.
Listening is the pursuit of excellence not leading by consensus.
Last word:  Leaders who don’t develop the team end up doing it themselves.                                                
How do you help others deal with tensions between corresponding qualities?                                                What others tensions can you add?