Monday, 22 August 2016

Sincere Vs. Spectacular

A challenging post by Dave Kraft!  Think it through for yourself and be ruthlessly honest about your own ambition!  
"Are we trying to pat ourselves on the back? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart before God."2 Corinthians 5:12 NLT
Jesus, Wow! Having a sincere heart as opposed to having a spectacular ministry.
It's nice to be fruitful and see You do awesome things, but not at the expense of being sincere (without wax) before You. It really comes down to being all about You…me being all about You…everything being all about You. 
I am okay with the ministry You are accomplishing through me to look like whatever You want it to look like and not trying to impress others or prove anything. Oh, the harm done by trying to look important, be important, feel important!
Jesus, Help me to be biblically content with: Who I am, where I am, what I’m doing and what You choose to do, and to make sure You get all the praise for what happens.
I have written previously about the word sincere, Simplicity and Sincerity, so you can check that out.
My simple observation after 48 years of vocational ministry with 15 different churches is that there is too much spectacular ministry (at least trying to be spectacular) and too little sincere heart behind it.
I fear that Christianity in the U.S is becoming a celebrity-seeking culture where we bow before the writings, teaching and books of well-known, famous and perceived successful Christian pastors and are invited to visit their churches so we can learn how they did it and replicate it in our own context!
May I humbly suggest a sincere heart that leads to a Spirit empowered ministry (not spectacular to impress people, but Spirit-empowered to honor Him) that is all about Jesus and not the leader? Nothing is more dangerous to the body of Christ than leaders who want to feel important, look important and be important at the expense of sincerity, integrity and humility!
As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way?"-1 Corinthians 3:3, The Message

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Eight indispensable friends a leader needs

 I once hear Gordon Macdonald talk about the importance of intentionally building key relationships into your life that I found very challenging.
He talked about eight indispensable friends that every leader requires.
·         A coach to help you grow?
·         Someone who stretches your mind?
·         A person to listen to your dreams?
·         Someone who laughs with you?
·         A person who cries with you?
·         Someone who rebukes you?
·         A person who plays with you?
·         Someone who seeks faith with you?
      1.  Place a tick against those for which you believe you do have such a friend. 

      2.  If any are left blank, consider who might be such a friend to fulfil that particular role currently missing in your life.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Seven of the Hardest People to Lead

A Great post by Ron Edmonson 

Someone once asked me, “Who has been the most difficult person you’ve had to lead?” It’s a great reflection question. You learn a lot about yourself answering it. As a leader for over 30 years (wow, sounds old), I’ve experienced just about everything you can imagine in leading people.
I once had an employee call in sick because her snake was peeling. And the snake got depressed when he shed. She needed to be home to comfort the snake. That was a new one – and a story for another time – but I’ve learned not to be surprised at what people you are trying to lead may say or do.
I’ve also learned some people are easier to lead than others. Often personalities, experiences and preferences negatively impact a person’s ability to be led effectively.
But, I thought through the years and made a list.

Here are 7 of the hardest people to lead:

Know it all
It’s difficult to lead someone who won’t listen, because they don’t think they have a need for what you have to say. They think they know more than you – and everyone else. They may or may not, but it makes them very hard to lead.
Gifted leader
Don’t misunderstand this one. I don’t mean they try to be difficult. They just bring higher expectations for those who try to lead them. I have had some very successful retired pastors in my churches and on our staff. Our staff is full of seasoned ministers with more experience in ministry than me. I love having them, but they keep me on my toes! (And, this is a good thing.)
When someone is always negative it becomes difficult to lead them, mostly because they zap the motivation from you to do so. They never have anything positive to add to the team, the glass is always have empty, and the sky is always about to fall. Draining.
Wounded people are more resistant to being led to something new until they heal. I’ve had a number staff members who came to our church injured. I actually love this as a Kingdom ministry. I knew before I could effectively lead them I had to help them heal from their past.
Those who lack self-confidence are harder to lead, because they are hesitant to take a risk. The best leadership involves delegation. It’s people who assume responsibility for a task. Insecure people will usually only move when they are given specific tasks to complete. And, while good leaders encourage followers, insecure people need constant feedback and assurance, which can be exceptionally time demanding for leaders.
Change Resistant
Leadership always involve change. Always. Without change there is no need for leadership. So, those who cling so tightly to the past are harder to lead to something new. There is nothing wrong with tradition or with enjoying the memories of the past. It’s when someone’s love of our history prevents them from embracing their future it becomes difficult leading them.
The hardest person to lead is almost always the leaders. If leaders could always perform as we’d have others perform, we’d be better leaders. In fact, most of us would be excellent leaders.
I’m sure I missed some. The fact is everyone can be difficult to lead at times and during seasons. It’s what makes leadership fun, right? Seriously, all of these scenarios and types of people serve a role. Whether or not they prove to be a good fit for your team, they sharpen our skills of leadership.
What type person have you found hardest for you to lead?

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Four key behaviours in Leadership

A Great post by Dan Rockwell  

Top 20 Leadership Behaviors:

  1. Be supportive.
  2. Champion desired change.
  3. Clarify objectives, rewards, and consequences.
  4. Communicate prolifically and enthusiastically.
  5. Develop others.
  6. Develop and share a collective mission.
  7. Differentiate among followers.
  8. Facilitate group collaboration.
  9. Foster mutual respect.
  10. Give praise.
  11. Keep groups organized and on task.
  12. Make quality decisions.
  13. Motivate and bring out the best in others.
  14. Offer a critical perspective.
  15. Operate with a strong results orientation.
  16. Recover positively from failure.
  17. Remain composed and confident in uncertainty.
  18. Role model organizational values.
  19. Seek different perspectives.
  20. Solve problems effectively.
Successful leaders engage in all 20 leadership behaviors, but four make the biggest difference in effectiveness. 

4 Behaviors account for 89% of Leadership Effectiveness:

1. Be supportive
  1. Show authentic interest.
  2. Build trust.
  3. Help team members overcome challenges.
2. Seek different perspectives
  1. Monitor trends and patterns.
  2. Invite ideas that could improve performance.
  3. Differentiate between important and unimportant issues.
3. Operate with strong results orientation.
  1. Follow through.
  2. Emphasize efficiency.
  3. Prioritize work that matters most.
4. Solve problems effectively.
  1. Gather and analyze information.
  2. Make decisions.
  3. Handle disputes.
You can’t neglect any of the 20 leadership behaviors listed above. However, McKinsey’s research suggests that you would serve your organizations well if you get really good at the four that account for 89% of leadership effectiveness.

Which of the top four do you find most challenging? Why?

How might leaders demonstrate competence in the four behaviors listed above?

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Leadership is primarily about moving forward!

Leadership is primarily about moving forward. Sure, there are times you need to review history, but you can’t let yourself get stuck there. It’s far easier and more comfortable to stay in the past. A leader’s job is to lead the team to a better future.

5 ways to create the future:

  • Focus the team on tomorrow’s solutions, not today’s problems
  • Reduce distractions, naysayers, and complainers from slowing progress
  • Invite all participants to freely speak their minds and welcome all ideas
  • Use positive momentum to keep the team moving
  • Reinforce behaviors that point the way ahead
It’s always easier to stay where we are comfortable. But don’t become an expert on the problem; become known as someone who drives to a better future. That’s the essence of leadership.