Tag Archive - 1.0 leadership

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Top Posts of 2017 #4 “Stop Hiring People to Work at your Church”

I just wrote this post back in October and it jumped up the Top-10 chart quickly! It addresses one of the most significant and common lids to growth that churches experience.

Churches love to hire people. I mean they really love to hire people. Often times when churches are just starting off, staff members will raise their own salary until the church has the capacity to pay them. Then as they grow I’ve seen churches long for the day where the budget grows just a little bit more so they can make that next hire. They put so much hope into staffing. Many think that if they could just add one more special staff position to the team, the church would grow.

Now before we get too far into this conversation, let me just say that I’m not against churches hiring staff members. I’m just against churches hiring as many staff members as they do.

You see the average church in America has somewhere around a 1:75 staffing ratio. That means for every 75 people they have attending the church there is 1 full-time equivalent staff member being paid to work at the church. A full-time equivalent may be made up of 2 – 20 hour a week employees, 4 – 10 hour a week employees, or any combination you can think of. At the Unstuck Group when we help churches build a Staffing and Structure plan for the future, we encourage churches to staff at 1:100. By the way, do you know where you church measures up on that ratio?

Why Staff Lean?

One of the many reasons why we encourage churches to staff with this approach is because the churches across America that are reaching the most amount of people with the Gospel and are seeing the most amount of life change are leaner with their approach to staffing. They’re putting resources into reaching people, ministry, and developing people instead of into salaries. They pay fewer people more so they can attract and keep great people.

The More Staff the Less Life-Change

When churches staff at a lower ratio they unintentionally keep people from following Jesus. When people are hired that means what was previously being done by volunteers is now being professionalized. This takes the ministry out of the hands of volunteers and actually often times discourages volunteerism. Volunteering is discipleship. You can’t follow Jesus and not serve others.

More Staff is an indicator of Over Programming

A low attender to staff ratio is also an indicator that a church is probably over-programmed. The staff are busy running a lot of programs to minister to people who are already a part of the church and already know Jesus. 

It’s Easier to Hire than Develop

It’s faster and requires less effort to hire people to do ministry than to recruit, train, and develop volunteers to do ministry.

It’s more Convenient to be Served than to Serve

It’s easier for church members to pay to hire people to serve them than to invest the time into stepping up and serving others.

I could go on and on, but I bet you get the point. Hiring isn’t always the wrong move to make at a church. But if you do hire, hire for two big results:

  1. Hire people who can build teams and develop people
  2. Hire specialists because of a needed skill

Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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Why Good Leaders Shoot Down New Ideas

Ever had an idea that your boss shot down? Sure you have, I have too.

Remember when you were a young leader full of fresh new ideas and you were pretty sure that your idea was the best idea in the room? Remember how frustrated you were with your boss when they shot down that great idea? You were so sure that they just didn’t get it and they were passing on the next big thing.

There are countless examples of organizations and churches that fall in love with past success, become risk adverse over time, and refuse to change. But did you know that the most successful organizations and churches on the planet are just as adept at shooting down new ideas? Here’s why…

1. You Innovate for Impact

Many young leaders get enamored with new ideas. They want to challenge the status quo and do new things for the sake of doing new things; often times without fully understanding why current things are being done the way they are. What many young leaders miss out on is the goal of innovation. The goal of innovation is impact.

2. Is the Innovation a Significant Upgrade?

It’s not enough for the innovation to simply be better. The idea must lead to a significant upgrade, not just a tweak or subtle improvement. If a church or organization is going to invest the leadership capital, human capital, emotional energy, time, money, and so on it needs to be worth it. The return must significantly outweigh the investment.

3. Standardization is Innovations Best Friend

It may sound counter-intuitive but without standardization you can’t have impact. One little innovation in isolation can’t have much impact. But when there are standardized systems and process in place to preserve the culture, one innovation has the potential to be delivered throughout the entire organization or church and carry with it significant impact.


Posted in Leadership

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what every team wants from their leader

Do you know what your team wants from you? Do you know what they need from you? In this 4-part series of articles below we’ll unpack the concepts and principles behind what every team is looking for from their leader. Want to be successful as a leader, then give your team what they’re asking for.

Part 1 1.0 Leadership vs. 2.0 Leadership

Peter Drucker once said that, “The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask.” While there is a time and a place for an autocratic style of leadership, a younger generation entering the workforce is longing for more than just direction and dictatorship from their employer. This new generation entering the workplace is demanding 2.0 Leadership.

Part 2 Building a Culture

“I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—it is the game.” Lou Gerstner, former President & CEO of IBM. If it’s true that the culture of the church over time reflects the personality of the Senior Leader, than focusing on that first level of cultural transference from yourself to your Staff must be intentional and strategic.

Part 3 What is my Team asking of Me?

Through my experience of being on both sides of the desk, hiring, exiting, and leading a staff; there are 5 simple yet at the same time monumental questions that have continued to come up that are placed squarely on the shoulders of leadership to answer for the team.

Part 4 How to Train-Wreck your Team

Generally speaking people want to do a good job. Particularly when it comes to church world, your staff has submitted not only their soul to the Lord but their career as well. They are literally spending their lives for the sake of the Gospel. But your Staff is guaranteed to fail if as the Senior Leader you don’t provide them with the following…


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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“1.0 Leadership vs 2.0 Leadership” What every Staff member wants from their senior leader Part – 1

Peter Drucker once said that, “The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask.” If he had the opportunity to express this concept in today’s language he may have chosen to phrase it like this, “There is a shift in leadership that is taking place from 1.0 Leadership to 2.0 Leadership.”

1.0 Leadership

Autocratic Leadership has been the commonly exercised style of leadership used by most businesses and even churches of the past. The Autocratic Leader is typically only interested in results, or the right answers that get them to the desired bottom line. They bark out orders and directions to their employees with the goal of maximizing the return on investment. Their interest in their employees has more to do with their productivity and what they can contribute to the organization than it has to do with the employee themselves.

2.0 Leadership

Collaborative Leadership by its very nature is an invitation to ownership and the development of the people in the organization. The Collaborative Leader is more interested in asking the right questions that drive the right conversations. They are skillful at bringing people along with them through engaging conversations and allowing them to come to the right answers. This leader is after buy-in, ownership, and the heart of their team. Collaborative Leaders invite their team to the table and are genuinely interested in relationships, developing and investing in their people, and engaging in dialogue that is not merely about getting greater productivity out of the work that is being accomplished, but also about the work itself.

While there is a time and a place for an autocratic style of leadership, a younger generation entering the workforce is longing for more than just direction and dictatorship from their employer. This new generation entering the workplace is demanding 2.0 Leadership. And while it’s true that each leader does have a style that comes most natural to them, the best leaders have the ability to assess the needs of the organization and its employees and then adapt by setting aside what may come natural to them. In essence setting aside their own preferences and natural inclinations for what is best for the needs of the organization and the team.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing