Tag Archive - success


Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else

I recently finished reading The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Leniconi. I can already tell you that this is going to be on my top 5 reads from 2013. I deeply resonated with the concepts in this book. You see in many ways this book describes why I do what I do. I love to see all the facets of the Church work together to build an aligned and integrated culture that actually makes vision real!

There is no way for me to share everything I underlined, highlighted and the personal notes I wrote in the margins. So I shared with you my top 20 favorite quotes and ideas from the book that stuck with me.

1. The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to anyone who wants it.

2. An organization has integrity – is healthy – when it is whole, consistent, and complete, that is, when it’s management, operations, strategy, and culture fit together and make sense.

3. If an organization is led by a team that is not behaviorally unified, there is no chance that it will become healthy.

4. Contrary to popular wisdom and behavior, conflict is not a bad thing for a team. In fact, the fear of conflict is almost always a sign of problems.

5. When there is trust, conflict becomes nothing but the pursuit of truth, an attempt to find the best possible answer.

6. Nowhere does this tendency towards artificial harmony show itself more than in mission-driven nonprofit organizations, most notably churches. People who work in those organizations tend to have a misguided idea that they cannot be frustrated or disagreeable with one another.

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Posted in Leadership


You Just Made a Great Hire…Now What?

So you’ve just made what you believe is a great hire. The new Staff Member is talented, experienced, and they fit the culture of your church. They’re really going to help you get where you believe God wants you to go. They’re hired! What’s next?

Churches are notorious for racing to the finish line of a hiring process, getting the newly hired candidate in the room and breathing a collective sigh of relief. The typical church basically says, “Congratulations, you’re hired! Here are your keys. Now go figure it out.” Once the new hire is made you’re not done. If you don’t intentionally think through the first days of their employment it can leave a sour taste for the remainder of their employment relationship with you. While they may love working at your church in 5 years, they’ll always remember their first impression as being negative. Below are 5 steps you can take to set your new hire up for success!

1. The First Day in the Office

The dating is over. Now you’re married. But just like marriages fall apart due to a lack of dating, employment relationships go south when employers stop pursuing their employees. Intentionally think through what you want their first experience and day in the office to be like. There is definitely standard first day orientation stuff like keys, security codes, computer, introductions, etc. A welcome basket, lunch with the team, Starbucks, and a personal card are all simple things that anyone can do. What can you do to make it positive and memorable? If you don’t plan for it to go well, then it won’t. You want them going home saying, “This is going to be a great place to work. I’m so glad I took this job!”

2. Public Communication Plan

How are you going to communicate the hire, when are you going to communicate it, and whom are you going to communicate it to? Does your church announce each new hire from the stage? Is it a simple verbal announcement, a printed piece, does it go on the website or social media, do you do a video? If you’re trying to figure out how to communicate the hire, a general rule of thumb to go by is, “The more public the role, the more public the communication.”

3. Manage Expectations

There are always expectations associated with a new hire; in a Church setting some of those expectations are realistic, many are not. Unfortunately most are unspoken, and usually have to do with growth and an extraordinary move of God. Having a clear conversation about realistic expectations over the first 90 days and the first year is critical for long-term success. By the way getting their family settled and acculturated to the church and the community should be at the top of the list if you want them on the team for the long run.

4. Opportunities for Wins

Identifying opportunities for wins is essential during the first 12 months of employment. Although your new staff member is incredible (that’s why you hired them), they don’t know what you know about your people and your context. So while they have “fresh eyes” that you need to leverage you also have knowledge that you need to use to set them up for success. To have your new team member experiencing wins in their first 12 months puts credit in their pocket and makes you look like you made a great hire. Which you did!

5. Build Leadership and Relational Equity

For the typical new church staff member there are 3 circles of influence that they need to build leadership and relational equity with. The church staff, their volunteer team, and the audience their particular ministry affects. Your job is to help them by putting them in the right situation with the right people to set them up for long-term success.

I’d love to hear about some other things you’ve done or have seen employers do to set new hires up for success over the first 90 days and first 12 months! Leave a comment!

Posted in Staffing


How to Handle Success

Ever wonder what the dog would do if he actually caught the car he was chasing? What then? What do you do when you actually reach your goals? What do you do when you actually experience success? What happens after you win? What then?

“Success is a lousy teacher. It reduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Bill Gates

1. Don’t Believe Your Press Clippings

When you win people will notice, period. But the goal is not to bring attention to you. I’m not prescribing a false humility; rather, leveraging the platform that success has brought you to bring more attention to Christ and advance the mission of the Church.

2. Build the Right Team

When you’re winning other people are going to want to be a part of it. In fact winning can provide you with the opportunity to attract team members that could really help make the vision become reality!

3. Stay Disciplined

Keep doing what you’ve been doing that got you here and if you don’t know why you’ve been successful your first priority is to find out, and I mean quick. Stay focused on the mission and screening every decision through the filter of where you’re going. Avoid the temptation to overreach. Remain relentless in your pursuit of the mission.

4. Invest in Others

The most successful leaders, leaders that last, are those who are personally secure enough to share success with others. Use the opportunity that winning has brought to develop and invest in those around you. One of the most effective methods to keep highly talented leaders on your team is to share success, share leadership opportunities, and invest in them.

5. Stay Consistent

Just because you won once, doesn’t mean the pressure is off. If anything it means the pressure is on. Now people are going to want to see if you’re a one hit wonder or if you’ve got what it takes to build a consistent winning record.

6. Be Content

Winning can be addicting. It can make people do crazy things. If you can’t be happy with a little, you’re not going to be happy with a lot. Winning just puts the spotlight on you and accentuates everything that’s good or bad about you. If you don’t have the character to handle things as they are, chances are you’re not going to be able to handle the spotlight that comes with winning.

Posted in Leadership


Measure what Matters

I can remember as I was growing up my dad got this idea to build a barn (big enough to park a boat in). He drew the plans up himself and had in his mind that this was going to be one of those father-son bonding moments, a rite of passage into manhood so to speak. While some of us in the family look back at the moment more fondly than others (the barn was built and I don’t think a hurricane could take it out), I did take a valuable lesson out of the experience. “Measure twice, cut once.” Apparently accurate measurements can lead to a successful project, and a failure to measure accurately meant more time on the project, more money to buy more supplies, and a goofy looking barn that would probably come down in the first rainstorm.

As churches are in the middle of evaluating 2012 and planning for 2013 there are a couple of critical principles about measurement that we need to keep in mind…

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Posted in Leadership
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