DUCKS TO MONKEYS

Reposting from Dan Rockwell on LEADERSHIP FREAK

It takes largeness of spirit to value ducks when you’re a monkey. Foolish monkeys complain about ducks. Wise monkeys maximize their potential.

Persistent disapproval de-energizes ducks.

Learn how to approve of ducks even while working to improve their quacking. But remember, a duck in a monkey mask will always waddle and quack.

Approve of those you hope will improve. Approval energizes the spirit and inspires bold quacking.

Points of celebration even with poor quackers:

  1. Celebrate any acknowledgement that quacking is below the bar. Excuses end progress. Pour into ducks if they recognize they quack poorly.
  2. Celebrate their potential for improved quacking. Untapped strength and unleveraged talent is latent potential. But don’t waste time trying to turn quacking ducks into squealing monkeys.
  3. Celebrate their passion and commitment to improve.
  4. Celebrate improved quacking.

Reassign or remove poor quackers if one of the above four qualities is missing.

Gratitude finds things to approve.

It takes skill to approve of ducks while working to improve their waddling and quacking. One key is ‘waddling with’ rather than ‘squealing aloof’.

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5 WAYS TO MINIMIZE MINISTRY SILOS

Charles Stone of Stonewell Ministries has one of the most useful leadership blogs available, especially for pastors in churches.  This blog post speaks to a great challenge for any leader seeking to get people to work from the “big picture.” – Steve

5 WAYS TO MINIMIZE MINISTRY SILOS

by Charles Stone

Patrick Lencioni brought the concept of silos into the leadership conversation with this great book, Silos, Politics, and Turf WarsSilos occur in organizations and churches when leaders act like their ministry or team is the only one that matters. A silo attitude results in that leader or team only supporting, giving, or attending functions that pertain to them. It can be kill a ministry and result in many problems. In this post I suggest ways to minimize ministry silos.

First, what problems do ministry silos cause? Here are a few.

  • Unhealthy competition
  • Jealousy
  • Hurt feelings
  • Pride
  • Lack of trust
  • Fighting over limited resources
  • Foot dragging
  • Politics

So how can a leader minimize ministry silos? Below I suggest a key foundation and then 5 pillars to build on that foundation to rid your ministry of silos.

If you want to change your culture to minimize and remove silos, build from the bottom up. Build a solid foundation on the Biblical concept of unity. Teach and train your leaders often about unity remembering that unity does not mean uniformity. God gives each of us unique gifts and abilities which creates a healthy church. Keep these and other Scriptures in front of your leaders.

  • Psa. 133.1 (NIV) How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
  • Rom. 15.5 (NIV) May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
  • Eph. 4.3 (NIV) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • 1Cor. 1.10 (NLT) I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

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LEADERS WHO CARE

BY STEVE DUNN

One of the quality leadership marks in ministry is the belief of those that are being led are being lead by a leader who cares for them.  Dan Reiland has shared a post that I want to pass along to you that handles this with clarity.

THE WINNING COMBINATION FOR ANY LEADER

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Have you experienced a teacher or professor who was brilliant in their subject, but didn’t seem to care about you as their student?

Have you encountered a doctor or nurse who seemed to be a genuinely caring person, but only average in their skills?

This is a common experience and can be true in anyone from a plumber to a therapist.

But when you find someone who is both competent and cares, that is an extremely valuable person.

The same is true for leaders.

When a leader is highly competent and clearly demonstrates that he or she sincerely cares, that is always a winning combination.

I’ve met pastors who are brilliant Bible teachers, but somewhat distant from the people. I’ve also met warm and loving pastors who are only average in their communication skills.

Here’s an intriguing question. Which do you think is more important? Competence or Caring?

The quick answer might be, “It depends.”  Perhaps you’d say: “I want the pilot of my next flight to be competent; I don’t care if he’s aloof and distant. I don’t need him to hold my hand, I need him to land the plane.” Fair enough.

But there are far more situations where I think you will say caring matters. For example, I want my dentist to be really good, and I want him to care. I don’t want some guy with a drill in his hand with zero compassion!

You don’t want the teacher of your 1st grader to be brilliant in early childhood education, and yet be cold or even harsh toward your child.

As a leader, I don’t think we have to settle for either/or, and I know the people who follow you don’t have to settle.

Candidly, people have choices. They will search until they find a leader, doctor, teacher, coach, boss etc., who is both caring and competent.

Two Truths to Help You Move Forward:

1) Caring isn’t automatic.

Not everyone cares. We agree on that.

You can’t learn to care. It’s not a skill.

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ENCOURAGEMENT IS 51% OF LEADERSHIP

­IMG_8766Years ago while attending leadership conferences in Anderson IN conducted by Injoy Ministries and John Maxwell, I was introduced to Dan Reiland.  I recently began subscribing to his blog.  Here is a recent post you will find helpful as a leader. – Steve

Encouragement provides the emotional fuel that enables people to hold longer, reach farther and dig deeper than previously believed possible. John Maxwell says that encouragement is 51% of leadership. I believe that. As a leader, your role is to give people hope, to build them up and help them believe in themselves in a greater measure than they have before. In short, to live a better life.

Do others see you as an encourager?

Encouragement isn’t something that you do from a checklist of “things to do today.” It’s a way of life for a leader. Encouragement is not a soft expression from a weak leader. The toughest of good leaders understand that it’s something core to sustained influence. Essentially, sincere encouragement comes from a deep love and belief in people, and a desire to see them experience life in a better way.

Encouragement

Encouragers naturally draw people to them.

Let me raise the bar on the definition for encouragement. As a leader in a local church, if you are an encourager, people will naturally migrate to you. When they see you, they smile and instinctively walk toward you. This is not about a charismatic personality. It doesn’t matter if five people seek you out or fifty-five people seek you out. The point is that people will literally move to you because you cause their life to be a little brighter. I’m not talking about people who want permission for something, an extension cord or keys to the storage area, but people who just want to be around you!

Let’s be honest, life is wonderful but it’s difficult. True? Do you have any financial challenges? How’s your health? Do you have kids? Life is good, but it has plenty of challenges. Life will press people down, so anyone who consistently lifts people up (sincerely) gains the ability to influence—meaning to lead!

If you are a leader in a local church and people don’t migrate to you, there is a reason. You need to discover what it is. Ask someone you trust, who loves you, and will tell the truth. For now, start encouraging others. Do it sincerely and often.

Encouragers communicate with a positive bias.

John Maxwell is the most consistently positive person I know. He has high faith in people and sees life for its potential over its problems. He’s not unrealistic. John knows that life can be difficult. He simply refuses to get stuck there. You just never hear John complain. That’s the way it is with an encouraging leader, they communicate with a positive bias.

As Christian leaders it’s important to encourage spiritually. Continue to point people toward God, challenge their faith, and help them see that their trust in God is the best way to provide true, deep and meaningful encouragement. Though as leaders we must encourage, this helps people learn to find encouragement in God.

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How to Create Dissatisfaction that Energizes

This is a great post from LEADERSHIP FREAK

Most leaders are too quick to rush to solutions.

Begin with the nightmare, not the dream. Dissatisfaction that energizes begins with an unacceptable present.

The place beyond the hill isn’t worth the climb when the valley feels fine.

one way to fix a problem is seize an opportunity.png

Dissatisfaction, not dreams, is the first step toward change. But, don’t beat people with dissatisfaction.

Insults don’t motivate:

Don’t insult the people you expect to build the future.

Leaders who blame their team for an unacceptable present are insulting the people they led to build it. Insults may energize people with big egos for the short-term, but insults over the long-term drain and demoralize.

If you must point fingers, point them at yourself. You led the team into the present situation. Own it.

Missed opportunity:

Missed opportunity is the dissatisfaction that energizes.

It’s true, you must solve problems. But, a constant diet of problems makes people sick. Successful leaders use the problem of missed opportunity to energize and guide change.

Dissatisfaction that energizes – over the long-term – is about missed opportunity, not failure. The issue is, you could be more, not you suck.

Opportunity energizes.

Definition:

Define opportunity. Definition determines outcome.

Assemble the team and create a compelling opportunity statement that addresses the problem you want to solve. Opportunity statements must:

  1. Go beyond problem-solving.
  2. Express values and touch hearts.
  3. Fulfill meaningful purpose and fuel energy.
  4. Provide compelling goals.
  5. Build on strengths.
  6. Galvanize teams.
  7. Explain short-term wins and include rewards.

Focus on opportunity more than fixing.

One way to fix a problem is seize an opportunity.

Read John Kotter’s book, “Leading Change,” if you want to go deeper.

What’s important about creating successful change within organizations?