Tag Archive - art

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Would you Rather have the Right People or the Right Structure?

It’s a simple question. If you could choose only one, would you rather have the right people on your team or have the right organizational structure to operate in? Both people and structure are two common reasons that churches become stuck. But if you could only “fix” one which one would you choose?

Structure

Your church is perfectly structured to get the results you’re currently getting. At the Unstuck Group we’ve found that it’s not uncommon to see a particular structure that has worked in the past eventually becomes a lid for growth. If you want different results then it may be time to restructure things at your church. As a church grows the need to restructure can occur multiple times in the life of a church. The way the church board operates, the way the staff operates, the polity of a church, and the way a church budgets can all become lids to growth if they don’t change over time as the church changes.

People

In church-world we’re quicker to place blame for a church being stuck at the feet of a particular person. It’s easier to see and diagnose. It’s clear that people (a leader) can become a lid to the growth of a church. It’s a rare leader who can lead a church through sustained growth over a long period of time. Few leaders are sober minded enough to build a team that compliments their gifting, continue to develop as a leader over time, or understand that the church needs something different from the leader in various seasons and sizes.

If it were up to me I’d choose the right people every time. If you get the people right everything else seems to follow suit. The right people will make the right decisions and build the right structures. After all, the Sabbath was made for man not the other way around.


Posted in Leadership

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The Most Important Leadership Question You Aren’t Asking

Volumes and volumes have been written about leadership. You can search online and purchase any number of books about how to lead effectively, how to improve as a leader, you can pick up a historical account of how the best leaders have led, and there is never any shortage of books that will help you define what a leader is and determine if you are one.

While I’ve read my share of leadership books, wading through all of that can simply be exhausting. When it comes to determining if someone is a leader or not I prefer to start with a simple question:

What kind of affect do they have on the people and the organization around them?

  • How do they make people on the team feel?
  • Do people want to be around them?
  • Do they improve the performance of the team?
  • Are people inspired by being around them?
  • Do people naturally follow them?
  • Do they produce results?
  • Can they persuade others to adopt their ideas?
  • Can they move the organization towards the objective?

Sometimes the best way to determine if someone has a leadership gift is to take a step away from all of the leadership science offered up in most books and simply observe if they’re actually leading. That’s what leaders do.


Posted in Leadership

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Top Posts of 2014 #6: “4 Indispensible Truths about the Art of Planning”

We’re almost half way there on our countdown of the Top 10 Posts from 2014! This one in particular is one I see churches struggle with frequently. And it doesn’t have to be that way!

All of us have been in planning meetings before with a team that seemed to have had a break through moment. You know, that moment when everyone says, “Yes! That’s exactly the direction we need to move, and that’s exactly how we need to get there from here!” There was energy, excitement and unity as everyone left the meeting. But the more time that passed after the meeting dismissed the more that energy that was there faded and the less movement towards actualizing the plan took place. In fact a large majority of planning meetings don’t actually provoke much real change in most churches and organizations. Here are 4 reasons why many of your plans aren’t really getting you anywhere:

1. Planning is Hard Work

Anybody who tells you any different is lying to you. Not only do you need to have the ability to get the stakeholders in the room but, there are some key questions you’ve got to wrestle to the ground. There are probably a lot of things we could do, but what must we do? What plan best fits and reinforces our culture? How will we resource the plan? How do we know if the plan is working? What staffing structure best suites our plan? Will the plan actually get us where we want to go?

2. Plans Don’t Self Execute

No matter how incredibly airtight your plan is, no plan self executes. You’ve taken the time and put in the hard work of putting a plan together and in so doing you’ve taken one of the first steps in making vision real. But now comes the really hard work. Executing the plan.

3. No Plan Survives Contact with the Enemy

I have a long and rich military heritage in my family. Maybe that’s why I love this statement so much…because that’s where it comes from. All great Generals and Military Leaders know that no matter how well conceived that plan is at Head Quarters; Officers on the field of battle are the ones who are actually leading their men to take the hill. The enemy never behaves exactly as you expect him to. Great Military Leaders understand the art of making adjustments on the fly all while keeping their eyes on and men moving towards the objective.

4. A Good Plan that can’t be Changed is a Bad Plan

If you’re inflexible you’re going to find executing a plan to be nearly impossible. No matter how much preparation you put into it there are still going to be unforeseen obstacles. You may find you have the wrong leader executing the plan. You may have underestimated the resources required to execute the plan. Or you may overestimate the pace at which the plan can be properly executed.

Is your church stuck? Need help clarifying where God is taking you? The Unstuck Group can help you clearly articulate you mission, vision, and core strategies while build alignment and movement towards your future through prioritized action initiatives! Follow this link to learn more!

Photo Credit: One Way Stock via Compfight cc


Posted in Leadership

8

4 Indispensable Truths about the Art of Planning

All of us have been in planning meetings before with a team that seemed to have had a break through moment. You know, that moment when everyone says, “Yes! That’s exactly the direction we need to move, and that’s exactly how we need to get there from here!” There was energy, excitement and unity as everyone left the meeting. But the more time that passed after the meeting dismissed the more that energy that was there faded and the less movement towards actualizing the plan took place. In fact a large majority of planning meetings don’t actually provoke much real change in most churches and organizations. Here are 4 reasons why many of your plans aren’t really getting you anywhere:

1. Planning is Hard Work

Anybody who tells you any different is lying to you. Not only do you need to have the ability to get the stakeholders in the room but, there are some key questions you’ve got to wrestle to the ground. There are probably a lot of things we could do, but what must we do? What plan best fits and reinforces our culture? How will we resource the plan? How do we know if the plan is working? What staffing structure best suites our plan? Will the plan actually get us where we want to go?

2. Plans Don’t Self Execute

No matter how incredibly airtight your plan is, no plan self executes. You’ve taken the time and put in the hard work of putting a plan together and in so doing you’ve taken one of the first steps in making vision real. But now comes the really hard work. Executing the plan.

3. No Plan Survives Contact with the Enemy

I have a long and rich military heritage in my family. Maybe that’s why I love this statement so much…because that’s where it comes from. All great Generals and Military Leaders know that no matter how well conceived that plan is at Head Quarters; Officers on the field of battle are the ones who are actually leading their men to take the hill. The enemy never behaves exactly as you expect him to. Great Military Leaders understand the art of making adjustments on the fly all while keeping their eyes on and men moving towards the objective.

4. A Good Plan that can’t be Changed is a Bad Plan

If you’re inflexible you’re going to find executing a plan to be nearly impossible. No matter how much preparation you put into it there are still going to be unforeseen obstacles. You may find you have the wrong leader executing the plan. You may have underestimated the resources required to execute the plan. Or you may overestimate the pace at which the plan can be properly executed.

Is your church stuck? Need help clarifying where God is taking you? The Unstuck Group can help you clearly articulate you mission, vision, and core strategies while build alignment and movement towards your future through prioritized action initiatives! Follow this link to learn more!


Posted in Leadership