Chaotic much? Let's look at your values

Chaotic much? Let's look at your values

From chaotic schedules to needing to swoop in to “save the day” to rogue goals and strategies, one culprit is behind them all: values.  Whether working solo or leading a non-profit or Fortune 500, when the values in use are not clear, neither is anything else.

Question whether or not you’re a leader? If you have influence over the direction of a group of people, you are a leader.  That does not mean you a good leader, but it does mean that people are looking at you to help them achieve a common goal, and therefore makes you a leader (even if momentarily).  If you work ‘alone,’ but have customers (find me someone who works but has no customers…that would be a hobby, right?) or a graphic designer or a web designer or a printer, you function in a leadership capacity to a degree.

And those people you lead crave one major thing: clarity.

Feedback, should we use it?

Feedback, should we use it?

Our dreams for our organizations, products, and services go long into the future.  Whether or not we get there depends in large part on what we do with feedback.  Being around for the long haul means we must, as my dad would say, continually meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.  The last thing we want to do is over-promise and under-deliver.  Nothing is more aggravating to customers than feeling like they were not told the whole truth (be it about costs, timelines, quality, etc.).

The reality is that with the expansion of globalization and development of technology, today’s environment has become increasingly volatile, ambiguous, changing and uncertain (VACU) as George Ritzer and Paul Dean put it in their book, Globalization.  This means that innovation becomes critical for anyone seeking to meet or exceed their customers’ expectations into the future.  Why?

Culture Changes Save Churches

Culture Changes Save Churches

Today’s Star Tribune article highlighting the trend of church doors closing and mainline denominations declining is sadly not surprising to a leadership consultant to churches. While there are a number of great things still happening in these aging congregations from soup kitchens to care for widows and the elderly, a glaring reality is that the congregations are in fact aging. The average member has been a supporter for over a decade. New people don’t stick out like a sore thumb for they haven’t walked in the doors in years. With an inability to reach new people with the Good News of Jesus, the doors will inevitably close as members lives come to an end this side of heaven. But it doesn’t have to end this way for mature churches if a few cultural changes are heeded.

when is building influence necessary for leaders?

when is building influence necessary for leaders?

I was standing in front of a group of parents whom I didn't know too well, leading an informational meeting for high schoolers who were interested in going on a week-long canoe trip in the BWCA.  After I shared an enthusiastic and detailed vision for everything the week would entail, I confidently asked if there were any questions.  I couldn’t fathom there would be any as I had laid out all the details, now it was just time for the kids to sign up!

Well, the questions came and it became more and more obvious that the parents didn’t trust me.  I was dumbfounded.  To my knowledge, I had never been mistrusted in my life. 

visionary leader meet experience

Without leadership development, visionaries can bulldoze the very people they have a heart for, as seen by the early lives of Joseph and Moses.  Joseph is an excellent example of the visionary leader Baldoni writes about in his book Great Communications Secrets of Great Leaders. In their research,  Taylor et al. found that with their ability to create and communicate their visions, visionary leaders can energize their organizations by "providing meaning and purpose to the work."

Interestingly throughout the Scriptures, we see examples of visionaries like Joseph and Moses who know their purpose and calling, have a strong vision in their hearts, and yet when they try and live out their visions before the right time it seems as if their whole world falls apart.