Last week I had the opportunity to spend some time at a satellite site taking in the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit with some of the best Team Members in the world. So I thought I’d drop a couple posts here this week with some of my notes, observations, and takeaways from spending a few days of learning with the North Metro Staff. I’ll also have a post coming for you with a “Next Steps” list of how to take all this information and actually do something with it.
#1 The job of the leader is to move people from one place to another.
Leaders move people from one place to another and in so doing they don’t just get people excited about where they’re going but create an internal dissatisfaction with where they’re at. Starting the journey and ending the journey aren’t’ the difficult moments of the journey. The difficulty comes in between. The road from one place to another isn’t necessarily a straight line, so you have to listen to the whispers of God along the way.
#2 Organizational Failure and the Five Stages of Decline
Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success
Decline begins with believing your press clippings. Bad decisions with good intentions are still bad decisions. Great Leaders know it’s not about them and never give up. Humility is what separates level 4 and level 5 leaders.
Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More
The mighty fall as a result of overreaching resulting in the loss of ability to execute with discipline. If you allow growth to exceed your ability to fill key roles to execute brilliantly you will fail. Which means sometimes you have to temper growth.
Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril
Don’t confuse faith with the facts. Confront the facts relentlessly with brutal honesty. But never give up faith.
Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation
Decline doesn’t begin to show up until this stage. There savior that can be hired from the outside and there is no silver bullet. Greatness or failure is a cumulative process it may show up in a moment but isn’t created in one.
Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death
Time to pack up shop…you’re done. Often times you’re done before you even know it, and it’s a slow painful death until reality sets in. Great companies last because they have a great reason to endure that goes far beyond the typical measures of money and success.
#3 Resisting Temptation
People in ministry are very susceptible to moral failure because 1) We are sexual creatures 2) We have a need for intimacy 3) We are sinful 4) People see church staff as giving and safe, which makes us a target 5) We give much so as a result are in a high stress situation which makes us vulnerable. When it comes to resisting temptation we need to 1) Remember who we are 2) Recognize the consequences of our actions 3) Rededicate ourselves to God 4) Reveal our struggle to a trusted friend 5) Remove ourselves from the situation.
#4 Organizational Tension
Great organizations have tensions that are never resolved, problems that are never solved, and great leaders who know how to leverage those for movement and growth.
Other compact thoughts that have great implications:
• There is a 40% work productivity differential between an inspired employee and an employee that’s not inspired.
• Organizational decline is a lot like cancer. It’s possible to look healthy on the outside but be decaying internally. The longer it goes undetected the more difficult it is to cure. But unlike a disease, organizational decline is something you do to yourself.
• Stubbornness is a virtue…if you’re right.
• Don’t mistake hours for productivity.
• The final word of the Church must be a word of grace, not condemnation.
• If you can only make T.V.’s but not T.V. shows it won’t work.
Posted in Leadership