Community Development – M. Scott Peck

Main Idea: Communities develop along four predictable stages that include: pseudo-community, chaos, emptiness and then true community. True community is manifested through inclusivity, commitment, realism, contemplation, safety and consensus.

Our rugged individualist values have made community a rare thing. We should adopt a “soft” form of individualism which is less competitive and involves more of a focus on building community.
Communities are often borne out of a crisis that brings people together and are only possible when members learn essential communication skills.  Peck says that there are four stages of community development that include the following:

Stage 1: Pseudo-community: This occurs when people fake community by being polite and avoiding all disagreement and individual differences.  Conflict is avoided and everyone speaks in generalities.
Stage 2: Chaos: In the next stage, people try to deal with the individual differences of the group. Everyone tries to heal and the convert the other so chaos results. Some groups move towards a hierarchy to resolve differences and others embrace emptiness.
Stage 3: Emptiness: In this stage, individuals empty themselves of prejudices, expectations, ideology and the need to heal, control and convert others. Emptiness means emptying yourself of all non-essential beliefs and tolerating anything that doesn’t directly contradict the core beliefs of the community to which one belongs.
Stage 4: True Community:  If members successfully empty themselves then true tolerance is shown and community is born which is manifested through inclusivity, commitment, realism, contemplation, safety and consensus.

i.) Inclusivity: Communities should strive to include everyone that is not actively trying to destroy the core values of the community. Determine your non-negotiable core values and include anyone that doesn’t openly advocate violating them. Not all viewpoints are of equal value but respect and due process should be followed.
ii.) Commitment: In order for communities to endure, members must also be committed to one another otherwise the community will dissolve when troubles arise.
iii.) Realism: Communities are real in the sense that divergent viewpoints are encouraged and thus members of the community are more likely to consider all aspects of a situation and view it more realistically.
iv.) Safety: Communities are also safe places for members to disclose their honest feelings and beliefs without fear of exclusion.
v.) Self-Aware: Communities are also self-aware and reflect on themselves and how they are living out their values.
vi.) Decentralization: There is also a decentralization of authority, as decisions in community are made according to consensus whenever possible. More important than consensus is due process wherein community members feel they had opportunity to have their viewpoints considered in decision making.

The more public the community the more inclusive it should be. However, the more narrow the organizations mission the more exclusive it will be. A chess club will fail to achieve its purpose if it includes people who don’t like chess. Inclusivity must be balanced by integrity to the purpose of the community.

Source: Information adapted from M. Scott Peck-A Different Drum

Performance Management – Marcus Buckingham

Main Idea: Performance reviews are based on a fallacy that humans are reliable raters of other humans but they are not. Have people rate themselves on their own experience and lead them through frequent strengths-based check-ins.

Strengths based research focuses on studying excellence instead of focusing on the bad and doing the opposite. Studying the bad won’t make you good it will just make you “not bad.” You don’t learn about excellence from your failure. Excellence has its own pattern that you must study and know.

Leadership is about building high-functioning teams. It is about meeting the “we” and “me” needs outlined in the 8 statements endorsed by high performing teams. The “we” questions are what you stand for and the values you embrace. Leadership is about integrating the need to feel part of something bigger than yourself while making you feel special as an individual. Leading is simply taking someone’s unique gifts and finding a way to help them contribute those gifts to the world.

High performing teams agreed with the following statements and low performing teams did not.

Purpose:  I am really enthusiastic about the mission of my company. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
Excellence: In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.  I have a chance to use my strengths every day at work.
Support:  My teammates have my back. I know I will be recognized for excellent work.
Future:  I have great confidence in my company’s future. In my work, I am always challenged to grow.

The two statements “I have a chance to use my strengths every day at work” and “At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me” were the most powerful statements to predict performance.  Notice that these Questions don’t ask team members to rate each other or for supervisors to rate employees. Generally speaking research has revealed that human beings are not very good at rating each other and are not reliable raters.

Most performance reviews are built on a fallacy that humans are capable and good at rating others but they aren’t. In the biggest review of what explains performance ratings the following was concluded:

• 17% is the rater’s view of your general performance.
• 5% is the rater’s view of your dimensional performance.
• 8% is the raters perspective on you (boss, peer etc..)
• 13% is measurement error.
• 54% is idiosyncratic rater effects which refers to the unique tendencies of the rater (harsh vs soft etc…)

Thus 54% of our ratings of others reflect our own traits and not the other persons. Attempts to control for this have actually led to increasing the effect so that 61% of a performance rating reflects the rater not the ratee. We are biased in terms of the idiosyncratic pattern of our rating.

Lots of bad data together does not equal good data so combining ratings doesn’t do much to solve the problem. However, we need to invest differentially in people so we do need some kind of performance ranking. We are good at rating ourselves on our own experience so using the 8 questions of high performing teams is a good start.

Frequent Strengths-based check-ins about near-term future work is the “silver bullet” for building great teams. Every week team leaders need to touch base one on one by asking two questions:  “What are your priorities this week and how can I help?”  You should manage the number of people you can talk to about near-term future week every week.

People hate feedback as it activates the fight-or-flight response. We want coaching attention not feedback. Coaching involves helping people get better not telling them where they stand.

Buckingham then discusses three major types of performance reviews: the annual compensation decision, the quarterly or per-project performance snapshot, and the weekly check-in. Supervisors can use these four questions as a guide for annual compensation decisions to help discover who to differentially invest in:

1. Given what I know of this person’s performance, and if it were my money, I would award this person the highest possible compensation increase and bonus [measures overall performance and unique value to the organization on a five-point scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”].
2. Given what I know of this person’s performance, I would always want him or her on my team [measures ability to work well with others on the same five-point scale].
3. This person is at risk for low performance [identifies problems that might harm the customer or the team on a yes-or-no basis].
4. This person is ready for promotion today [measures potential on a yes-or-no basis].

The Quarterly/per Project Snapshot Can Utilize the 8 Statements of High-performing teams along with other objective measures.

The Weekly strengths-based check in about near-term work involves asking two questions: What are your priorities this week and how can I help?”

For more info: https://hbr.org/2015/04/reinventing-performance-management

The Strategic Pause – Juliet Funt

Main Idea: White space refers to a strategic pause taken between activities that is either recuperative or constructive. It is correlated with increased productivity.

White Space is a strategic pause taken between activities. It can be recuperative (replenish resources) or it can be constructive (drive business results) time spent on innovation, strategy, reflection. White space has no rules or goals but is a place where your mind can improvise and play and just think.  MRI scans during pauses show brain areas related to insight, introspection, creativity and memory are all active.  Jack Welch used an hour a day of “staring out the window” time. Bill Gates used 2 weeks a year of “thinking time” by himself at a cottage.

White space is not the following things:

1. White space isn’t meditation as that is a disciplinary experience for your mind.
2. It isn’t mind wandering which is just aimlessly moving from one idea to the next.
3. It isn’t mindfulness either which is just focusing in the present moment.

Funt identified four main thieves of White Space productivity that include:

1. Drive becomes overdrive when taken too far.
2. Excellence becomes perfectionism when taken too far.
3. Information becomes overload when there is too much.
4. Activity becomes frenzy when taken too far.

Funt also recommends that we avoid what she calls “The Tyranny of the Urgent.”   The Tyranny of the Urgent eliminates time for the strategic pause. You need to learn how to differentiate between true urgencies and delusional urgencies. Many people spend their time doing 100% exertion and 0% thoughtfulness.

In order to simplify your life to help find more “white space” ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is there anything I can let go of?
2. Where is good enough, good enough?
3. What do I truly need to know? What is the cost of more information?
4. What deserves my attention?

Funt also recommends developing what she called a reductive mindset which refers to habitual ways of thinking that repeatedly let go of the unnecessary. If you feel the need to invite
everyone to everything, to attend everything you are invited to, to execute on every idea then you need to learn to be reductive.

Email was never designed to be an instant response messaging system. It was meant to be accessed when convenient.  Yet because of email, we are often always too busy.   You can use this email coding system to give yourself some more White Space.

NYR: Need Your Response

NYRT: Need Your Response Today

NYRQ: Need Your Response Quick

NYR-NBD- Need Your Response Next Business Day

What are the reductive possibilities for your organization? How can you build white space into your schedule?

For more info see: www.whitespacegls.com

Pat Lencioni – Five Dysfunctions of a Team

There are Five Typical Dysfunctions that will destroy a team.  These five dysfunctions are:

1. Absence of Trust- This stems from an unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group. You have to be open with one another about mistakes and weaknesses.
2. Fear of Conflict- Teams that lack trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered and passionate debate of ideas.
3. Lack of Commitment- Without disclosing your real opinions during passionate and open debate team members can feign agreement during meetings and secretly not be committed to decisions.
4. Avoidance of Accountability- Team members need to be able to call their peers on actions and behaviors that seem counterproductive to the good of the team.
5. Inattention to Results- This occurs when team members put their individual needs (ego, career development or recognition) above the collective goals of the team.

The inverse of these dysfunctions would be the five essential characteristics of a team which would be:

1. They trust one another.
2. They engage in unfiltered conflict around ideas.
3. They commit to decisions and plans of actions.
4. They hold one another accountable for delivering against those plans.
5. They focus on the achievement of collective results.

Dysfunction I: Absence of Trust

Trust is the confidence among team members that their peers’ intentions are good and that it’s okay to be vulnerable with them.  Vulnerabilities include weaknesses, skill deficiencies, interpersonal shortcomings, mistakes and requests for help.  Most people learn to be competitive with their team but this does not make a good team.

Members of teams with an absence of trust…

• Conceal their weaknesses and mistakes from one another.
• Hesitate to offer help outside their own areas of responsibility.
• Fail to recognize and tap into one another’s skills and experiences.
• Hold Grudges
• Hesitate to ask for help or provide constructive feedback.
• Jump to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of others.
• Waste time and energy managing their behaviors for effect.
• Dread meetings and find reasons to avoid spending time together.

Members of teams who Trust…

• Admit weaknesses and mistakes.
• Accept questions and input about their areas of responsibility.
• Take risks in offering feedback and assistance.
• Offer and accept apologies without hesitation.
• Ask for help.
• Give one another the benefit of the doubt before arriving at a negative conclusion.
• Focus time and energy on important issues, not politics.
• Look forward to meetings and other opportunities to work as a group.

Lencioni suggests that there are six different ways that you can help build trust on a team:

  1. Personal Histories Exercise: Go around the table during a meeting and have team members answer a short list of questions about themselves. Questions can include: number of siblings, hometown, unique challenges of childhood, hobbies, first job, etc…
  2. Team Effectiveness Exercise: Identify the single most important contribution that each of their peers makes to the team and one area that they must either improve upon or eliminate for the good of the team. Focus on one person at a time for 60 minutes.
  3. Personality Profile: You can use personality profiles to get to know the other team members.
  4. 360 Degree Feedback: This calls for peers to make specific judgments and provide one another with constructive criticism. Make this entirely separate from compensation and formal performance evaluation. It should be used as a developmental tool to identify strengths and weaknesses without repercussions.
  5. Experiential Team Exercises: Rigorous and creative outdoor activities have lost their appeal but can be valuable if based on more fundamental processes.
  6. Role of Leader: The leader must demonstrate vulnerability first and create an environment where vulnerability isn’t punished. You can’t feign vulnerability.

Dysfunction II: Fear of Conflict
It is important to distinguish productive ideological conflict from destructive fighting and interpersonal politics.  Ideological conflict is limited to concepts and ideas and avoids personality-focused, mean-spirited attacks.  However it does involve passion, emotion and frustration which an outside observer may mistake for unproductive fighting.  Ironically, teams that avoid ideological conflict often do so in order to avoid hurting team members’ feelings, but when open debate doesn’t occur people often turn to back-channel personal attacks which are far nastier than heated argument over issues.   Conflict can be a time saver as those who avoid it have to revisit issues again and again without resolution.

Members of teams that fear conflict…

• Have boring meetings.
• Create environments where back-channel politics and personal attacks thrive.
• Ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success.
• Fail to tap into all the opinions and perspectives of team members.
• Waste time and energy with posturing and interpersonal risk management.

Members of teams who engage in conflict…

• Have lively, interesting meetings.
• Extract and exploit the ideas of all team members.
• Solve real problems quickly.
• Minimize Politics.
• Put Critical Topics on the table for discussion.

Lencioni suggests four different ways that you can help overcome a fear of conflict:

1. Conflict Mining-Extracting buried disagreements within the team.
2. Real time permission- Remind people conflict is necessary when it is occurring.
3. Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument- A specific conflict resolution tool.
4. Leader: Needs to show restraint and allow conflict to occur and resolve itself.

Dysfunction III: Lack of Commitment
Commitment is a function of two things: Clarity and Buy-in. Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with complete buy-in from every member of the team, even those who voted against the decision.  Great teams understand the danger of seeking consensus and achieve buy-in even when complete agreement is impossible. Most people just need to know their opinions were heard and considered and don’t need to always have their way. Great teams genuinely consider all points of view from team members.

Great teams can unite behind decisions and commit to clear courses of action even when there is little assurance about whether the decision is correct. A decision is better than no decision. It is better to make a decision boldly and be wrong—and then change direction with equal boldness—than it is to waffle.  Dysfunctional teams often try to hedge their bets and delay important decisions until they have enough data to feel certain they are making the right decision. This can cause paralysis and lack of confidence in the team.

A team that fails to commit…

• Creates ambiguity among the team about direction and priorities.
• Watches windows of opportunity close due to excessive analysis and unnecessary delay.
• Breeds lack of confidence and fear of failure.
• Revisits discussions and decisions again and again.
• Encourages second-guessing among teammates.

A team that commits…

• Creates clarity around direction and priorities.
• Aligns the entire team around common objectives.
• Develops an ability  to learn from mistakes.
• Takes advantage of opportunities before competitors do.
• Moves forward without  hesitation and changes direction without guilt.

Lencioni suggests that there are 5 ways that you can help a team to commit:

1.) Cascading Messaging: At the end of a meeting, a team should explicitly review the key decisions made during the meeting and agree on what needs to be communicated to employees or
other constituencies about those decisions. This allows a time to clarify and present a united front to employees.
2.) Deadlines: Honor deadlines with discipline and rigidity. Timing must be made clear.
3.) Contingency and Worst Case Scenario Analysis: briefly discuss contingency plans and how realistic a worst-case scenario is.
4.) Low Risk Exposure Therapy: Show decisiveness in low-risk situations to build tolerance.
5.) Leader: You must be willing to make a decision that ultimately turns out to be wrong. Don’t place too high a premium on certainty or consensus.

Dysfunction IV: Avoidance of Accountability
Accountability means a willingness to call peers on performance or behaviors that might hurt the team.   Not calling out a team member can cause resentment for not living up to expectations and for allowing the standards of the group to erode.

A team that avoids accountability…

• Creates resentment among team members who have different standards of performance.
• Encourages mediocrity.
• Misses deadlines and key deliverables.
• Places an undue burden on the team leader as the sole source of discipline.

A team that holds one another accountable…

Ensures that poor performers feel pressure to improve.
Identifies potential problems quickly by questioning one another’s approaches without hesitation.
Establishes respect among team members who are held to the same high standards.
Avoids excessive bureaucracy around performance management and corrective action.

Lencioni gives 4 suggestions for improving accountability:

1.) Publication of Goals and Standards: Clarify publicly exactly what the team needs to achieve, who needs to deliver what, and how everyone must behave to succeed.
2.) Simple and Regular Progress Reviews: Team members should regularly communicate with others about how they feel their teammates are doing against stated objectives and standards.
3.) Team Rewards: By shifting rewards away from individual performance to team achievement, the team can create a culture of accountability. A team is unlikely to stand by quietly and fail because a peer is not pulling weight.
4.) Leadership: Make clear that you expect accountability from all members not just you.

Dysfunction V: Inattention to Results
The ultimate dysfunction of a team is for members to care about something other than the collective goals of the group.  Team status can be a dysfunction in itself.  This occurs when merely being part of the group is enough to keep some people satisfied. This dysfunction arises when success is simply seen as being associated with an organization.  Similarly, focusing on one’s individual status at the expense of the group is another dysfunction.

A team that is not focused on results…

• Stagnates and fails to grow.
• Rarely defeats competitors.
• Loses achievement-oriented employees
• Encourages team members to focus on own careers and individual goals.
• Is easily distracted.

A team that focuses on collective results…

• Retains achievement-oriented employees.
• Minimizes individualistic behavior.
• Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely.
• Benefits from individuals who subjugate their own goals for the good of the team.
• Avoids distractions.

And finally, Lencioni gives three suggestions for overcoming this dysfunction:

1.) Public Declaration of Results: Make public proclamations about success and about specific results.
2.) Results-based Rewards: Tie rewards to achieving specific outcomes.
3.) Leadership: Set the tone for rewarding only results and not “trying hard.”

Resources

Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Pat Lencioni – The Ideal Team Player

The Ideal Team Player – Pat Lencioni

According to Pat Lencioni, people who are humble, hungry and smart are the best contributors to organizational outcomes. Each of these characteristics of team players will be examined in more detail.

1. Humility: People who are humble lack excessive ego and are not concerned about status.  They are quick to point out the contributions of others and they share credit and emphasize team success over individual success.  Leaders often don’t see the effects that the arrogance of a high performer may have on the rest of the team.  This is the most important character trait for working well on a team.

2. Hungry:  These people are always looking for more things to do, more to learn, more responsibility to take on. They are constantly thinking about the next step or opportunity.  A healthy kind of hunger is a manageable and sustainable commitment to doing a job well and going above and beyond when it is required.  People who aren’t hungry need managers to spend time motivating, punishing or dismissing them.

3. Smart: When Lencioni says smart he means having high EQ.

Lencioni creates a framework for describing combinations of these traits in the following way:

1.) Humble only: He calls these people “pawns” as they are pleasant and kind but have no motivation or ability to build relationships.
2.) Hungry only: He calls these people “bulldozers” as they are determined and motivated but focused n their own interests and have no understanding for how their actions impact others.
3.) Smart only: He calls these people “charmers” as they are likeable but have little interest in the long-term well-being of the team.
4.) Humble and hungry but not smart– He calls these people the “Accidental Mess Makers as they want to genuinely serve the team but are unaware of the effects of their actions on others. They leave emotional messes everywhere.
5.) Humble and smart but not hungry: He calls these people “the loveable slackers” as they only do as much as asked but don’t want attention and work well with colleagues. They lack passion for the work and need lots of motivation and oversight.
6.) Hungry and Smart but not humble: He calls these people: “the skillful politicians” as they are ambitious  and willing to work hard but only if it will benefit them personally. They are adept at portraying themselves as humble but are not. It is the most dangerous combination.

Lencioni then gives  some criteria for assessing individuals on these three traits:

Humble
• Does he genuinely compliment or praise teammates without hesitation?
• Does she easily admit mistakes?
• Is he willing to take on lower-level work for the good of the team?
• Does she gladly share credit for team accomplishments?
• Does he acknowledge his weaknesses?
• Does she offer and receive apologies graciously?

Hungry
• Does he do more than what is required n his own job?
• Does she have passion for the mission of the team?
• Does he feel a sense of personal responsibility for the overall success of the team?
• Is she willing to contribute to and think about work outside of office hours?
• Is he willing and eager to take on tedious and challenging tasks whenever necessary?
• Does she look for opportunities to contribute outside of her area of responsibility?

Smart
• Does he seem to know what teammates are feeling during meetings and interactions?
• Does she show empathy to others on the team?
• Does he demonstrate an interest in the lives of teammates?
• Is she an attentive listener?
Is he aware of how his words and actions impact others on the team?
• Is she good at adjusting her behavior and style to fit the nature of a conversation or relationships?

Lencioni is against peer evaluations especially on these 3 traits. He recommends peer discussions around these traits rather than evaluations.  The Five Dysfunctions of a team focus on the whole team while the ideal team player describes personal characteristics of those who will not have the dysfunctions.

Resources

Ideal Team Player

 

Pat Lencioni – Death by Meeting

Death by Meeting – Patrick Lencioni

Pat Lencioni suggests that meetings in organizations are too often boring and that they don’t need to be.  A company’s culture can actually come to reflect its meetings.  Meetings are interactive and relevant while a movie is passive and irrelevant to your life yet we sometimes think movies are more interesting.

Meetings are boring because they lack drama or conflict. Most leaders are focused on avoiding tension and ending meetings on time.

Meetings need conflict to be interesting (just like a movie). Conflict means an anxious situation that needs to be resolved. Some conflicts are between two people, others people vs. nature and others are internal conflict.  There has to be something at stake, a prize, survival, sanity, success etc….

Consensus is a horrible thing and it’s usually not achievable. You need to have a passionate, unfiltered, messy, provocative discussion that ends when the leader decides all the information has been aired. The leader breaks the tie.  However, regardless of the position everyone initially took when the decision is made everyone needs to supports it.

In order to make meetings more interesting, Lencioni suggests the following three tactics:

1.) Mining for Conflict: Leaders must look for legitimate reasons to provoke and uncover relevant, constructive ideological conflict. Avoiding issues that merit debate and disagreement guarantees the issues won’t be resolved.
2.) The Hook: The key to injecting drama into a meeting lies in setting up the plot from the outset. They need to be jolted in the first 10 minutes so they understand what is at stake. Highlight the dangers of a bad decision, highlight a competitive threat, and appeal to commitment to the larger mission and impact on clients or society.
3.) Real Time Permission: When people start to disagree give them permission to disagree with one another.

Meetings are also ineffective because they lack contextual structure. Most organizations have only one kind of regular meeting called a “staff meeting.” Either once a week or twice a month, people get together for 2-3 hours of randomly focused discussion about everything from strategy to tactics, culture and administration.  In the end, little is decided because the participants have a hard time figuring out whether they’re supposed to be debating, voting, brainstorming, weighing in or just listening.

The leader prepares an agenda, which is basically a list of five items sent to everyone asking for the reactions and additions but usually receives none.  This can also result in a “meeting stew” in which the leaders throws every type of issue that needs to be discussed into the same meeting.

We need different types of meetings to clearly distinguish between the various purposes, formats and timing of those meetings.  Lencioni suggests breaking meetings down into four different types of meetings:

Meeting Type 1: The Daily Check In:  In this meeting, team members get together for five minutes, stay standing and check in.  The purpose is to avoid confusion about how priorities are translated into action. It eliminates the need for numerous email chains.

Meeting Type 2: The Weekly Tactical:  This is a weekly meeting focused only on tactical issues of immediate concern.  There are two goals for this meeting: Resolution of issues and reinforcement of clarity.  In this meeting you can do a lightning round which is a quick round the table reporting session where everyone indicates 2-3 priorities for the week. It should take no more than a minute per person.  In this meeting a progress review is also done which is a reporting of critical information or metrics: revenue, expenses, customer satisfaction, inventory etc…This should only take 5 minutes per person.

You make the agenda after the lightning round and progress review. The Leader should have disciplined spontaneity which means avoiding the temptation to prepare an agenda ahead of time and shaping it during the meeting.   When Strategic issues are raised it is critical for the leader to take them off the table and put them on a list of topics to be discussed during the Monthly Strategic Meeting.

Meeting Type 3: The Monthly Strategic: This is where executives wrestle with, analyze, debate and decide upon critical issues (but only a few) that will affect the business in fundamental ways.  It is good to schedule at least 2 hours per topic. If a critical issues arises in a weekly tactical and it can’t wait for a month then call an Ad hoc Strategic Meeting immediately.  One problem is the failure to do research before the meeting. The quality of a strategic meeting is greatly enhanced by research ahead of time.

Meeting Type 4: The Quarterly Off-Site Review (1-2 Days): In this meeting, the executives perform a comprehensive strategy review and reassess their strategic direction.  The executive should assess themselves and their behaviors as a team.  In this meeting, personnel reviews should also be done in which key employees in the organization are discussed.  It is also helpful to review information about competitors and examine industry trends.  Don’t have too many social activities that distract from the meeting and don’t invite people who aren’t part of the team as it will change the dynamic.

Good meetings are time savers as they accelerate decision making and eliminate the need to revisit issues.  Good meetings also reduce time spent sending email, voicemail and roaming halls looking for people to resolve issues.

Horst Schulze – World Class Service

World Class Service – Horst Schulze

World Class Service involves providing defect free products in a timely manner with kindness.  When you do these things, you create loyal instead of merely satisfied customers.

All industries are engaged in service because all involve human interactions.  Service is simply caring and reflects the command to:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Your clients and customers are your neighbors.  All roles in a business are important and should be treated as such.

According to Horst Schulze, there are four core activities that a business engages in:

1. Keeping Customers:  This is the most important part of the four core activities.
2. Getting New Customers
3. Making Money (Profit is a measure of efficiency)
4. Being Efficient (Providing the same service with less resources)

Mr. Schulze also distinguishes between three types of customers:

1. Dissatisfied: “Terrorists” to your organization whose needs were not met and who speak badly about your company.
2. Satisfied: Customers who are neutral and who will be easily enticed by better offers.
3. Loyal: Customers committed to a business because their needs are met and trust in the service has developed over time.

In order to create loyal customers you need to do the following three things:

1. Your product must be defect free.
2. You must deliver your product or service in a timely manner.
3. You must deliver your product or service with kindness.

Delivering your product or service with kindness is the most important factor for developing loyal customers.  Giving kind service will include the following 4 criteria:

1. Sincere Care and Attention.
2. Personalized interactions.
3. Warm Greetings and Goodbyes. Look in the eye and welcome them.
4. Identify and respond to their needs.

Source: Global Leadership Summit

 

How to be Virtuous – Justice – Team Building & Organizational Health

Healthy Organizational Culture

Culture, Leadership and Strategy are the triumvirate that steer an organization towards excellence.  Culture is a system of values, beliefs, and behaviors that shapes how actual work gets done. Healthy workplace cultures are comprised of members with EQ values and competencies.  According to Deloitte Consulting, 82% of businesses believe culture is essential to creating a competitive advantage.  However, only 28% even know their workplace culture and only 19% believe they have the right culture.  Organizations that actively manage their cultures have 30% higher levels of innovation and 40% higher levels of retention on average.

There are at least 8 variables that affect workplace cultures:

1. Leadership: How does the leader communicate and interact with others? What is the leader’s vision for the future? What rewards and punishers are used? What common stories are told? How are decisions made? Is he trusted? What beliefs and narratives are reinforced?
2. Management: What systems, policies, procedures, hierarchies and structures form the core of the organization?
3. Workplace practices: What are the recruitment, hiring and onboarding processes? How are employees compensated, rewarded, recognized or promoted?
4. Policies and philosophies: This refers to all of the details in the policy manual including dress code and code of conduct.
5. People: What are the personalities, beliefs, values, skills and behaviors of various employees? How do they interact and what are typical communication patterns?
6. Mission, vision, and values: What is the mission and is it clear? What is your vision for the future and what are the organizations values? Are these things repeatedly emphasized?
7. Work environment: This refers to the physical setting of the workplace and how it is laid out and decorated.
8. Communications: This refers to the manner in which communication occurs, how frequently it occurs and how transparent leadership is with the employees.

Employee Engagement refers how to committed employees are to the organization and their work. It is manifested in the emotional responses to the organizations work culture.  Companies that have highly engaged work forces outperform competitors by 147% in earnings per share and employees are 87% less likely to leave.

Shared vision, shared positive moods, perceived organizational support and high EQ all predict employee engagement. Engaged workplaces don’t have employees rushing out the second that their shift ends and they take initiative themselves.

It is important to have a mission statement that communicates that what everyone does together is worthwhile.  It is important that success isn’t just measured in terms of finances but that success in other ways is emphasized.

Marcus Buckingham has researched what makes employees engaged and he summarizes his findings below. He found that engaged employees answer yes to the following questions.

1. I know what is expected of me at work.
2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my job right.
3. I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
4. In the last 7 days I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
5. My supervisors or someone at work seems to care about me as a person.
6. Someone at work cares about my development as a person.
7. At work, my opinions matter.

In one study, 26% agreed with these questions, 55% were disengaged and 19% were actively disengaged. Disengaged employees don’t quit the organization they quit their managers.  In another study,  employee engagement and enthusiasm were predicted by three variables:

1. A sense of equity: Employees need to believe they are being treated fairly by the organization, are being paid fairly and are not threatened with job insecurity.
2. A sense of achievement: Employees become engaged when they are able to do their best work and see the difference they are making in the world.
3. A sense of camaraderie: Employees need to have opportunities to work collaboratively with others on a team in pursuit of a common performance goal. Socializing isn’t as effective as working together towards something important.

In Dalton Kehoe’s studies of work engagement, he found that employees can become disengaged when they perceive management is failing to resolve conflicts between employees or to deal with employees not doing their fair share of the work. Disengagement also occurs when team members aren’t seen to work in a spirit of collaboration and honesty but instead competition. The real force behind burnout is hopelessness, people feeling things will never change.

Source: Boost your EQ

Four Qualities of a Successful Team

Sport fandom can be summarized in one word: identification. We join teams because they satisfy our innate need for belonging. Identifying with a group that shares your values and beliefs leads to more social networks, psychological support and greater mental health. Positive relationships are one of the best predictors of happiness and life satisfaction.

Social identity theory suggests that self‐concept is derived, in part, from the social groups we belong to and the value and significance we attach to those groups.  Being a part of a group boosts your well‐being in two ways:

1. Vicarious Successes: You can feel successful yourself when your groups “win” or accomplish something valuable.
2. Team Identification: Having a strong and positive connection to your group is essential for feelings of self‐worth.

Kurt Lewin said that all groups are involved in two main processes:

1. Locomotion: The activities that the group engages in that are directed toward the achievement of goals.
2. Maintenance: The activities directed toward keeping the group intact.

We join teams to satisfy our innate sense of belongingness. High functioning teams are cohesive, cooperative, have well defined role relationships and each member displays role efficacy. Team building works best when it centers around at least one of these four elements: goal setting, problem solving, interpersonal relationships, and role development.

1. Cohesion: This is a measure of how well groups remain united through adversity in continuing to achieve their goals and take care of each other. There are many different factors that influence cohesion and they can change over time in the same group. Bonding enhances cohesion and satisfies our belongingness needs. Too much cohesion can lead to time wasting and isolation for more quiet members of the group.  Cohesion predicts better performance especially among female teams. This effect is larger the more inexperienced the team is.
2. Cooperation: Cooperation occurs when an individual emphasizes the team above him/herself because he has bought into the goals and values of the team.
3. Role Relationships: Each role on the team must be clearly defined, accepted and understood by each team member. The person must understand the scope of responsibilities, how he will be evaluated and what the consequences of failing to meet these responsibilities will be.
4. Role Efficacy: This is each team members’ belief that he can perform his role competently. Prior mastery experiences are the biggest contributor to role efficacy.

Source: The Psychology of Performance 

Other Competencies

1. Providing World Class Service

2. Structuring Effective Meetings 

3. The Ideal Team Player 

4. Five Dysfunctions of a Team

5. The Strategic Pause 

6. Performance Management

7. Community Development

8. Moving from Good to Great

9. Utilizing Rookies

10. Tribal Leadership          Tribal Communities PPT

11. Eliminating Friction

12. Interaction Styles of Team Members

 

 

How to be Virtuous – Justice – Public Speaking

Leadership Communication 

Effective leaders use appreciative dialogue talk and use specific communication methods to achieve results.

Traditional Western assumptions have compared organizations to a machine.  Organizations were compared to a machine with each employee being a cog in the machine. There was a clear hierarchy of authority and managers control those under their stewardship. Managers were completely in charge of controlling the work, determining best practices and training workers to follow strict rules.

There were two purposes of communication: to deliver orders from management to employees and to deliver production information upward from employees to managers.  Employees were told to avoid two types of communication: bypassing (going above a supervisor) and horizontal talk (talking to each other about how to best do the work).  The tradition model is outdated as we now know that managers must consciously invite employees to join them as partners in the managing process.

One model of management differentiates between two types of managers: theory x and theory y managers.

1. Theory x managers: These managers assume that employees dislike work and avoid it when possible. They also see employees as lacking ambition and needing direction. They aren’t concerned with the organizations needs and only care about take home pay. These managers give direct orders and micromanage, criticize and threaten punishment. 85% of managers have low views of employee motivation and ambition.

2. Theory y managers: These managers do not make the same assumptions about all workers and communicate with rather than down to employees. Units led by theory y managers are more productive than theory x managers. These leaders set direction, secure alignment, and support employees to help them be seen as valuable, competent and influential. These managers focus on leading employees so that they can manage themselves.

Commander D. Michael Abrashoff defined his leadership style as “Grassroots leadership.” In 20 months he turned the ship he was on from one of the lowest ranked ships to the highest ever ranked ship. He used many principles to achieve this:

1. Don’t command, communicate purpose.
2. Organize around performance, not obedience.
3. The Work you do matters more than the stripes you wear.
4. Feedback: Ask individuals what they like best, least and what they would change.
5. Question yourself first: If performance is lacking ask yourself: “Did I clearly articulate the goals I was trying to achieve? Did I give people the time, resources and training to get the job done?”

Public Speaking – Aristotle, Cicero & Carnegie

One important part of leadership is the ability to communicate in front of large groups of people.  Aristotle’s three persuasion methods, Cicero’s five canons of persuasion and Carnegie’s tips are all
useful guides for crafting influential speeches.

Aristotle described three tools or techniques that speakers can use to persuade an audience: ethos, logos, and pathos.

1. Ethos refers to how the audience perceives the speaker’s character. A speaker will be more persuasive if he is viewed as trustworthy and credible. Speakers need to be viewed as intelligent (competent) and having good will (caring). You need to be sufficiently knowledgeable to address a topic and you need to be motivated by genuine concern and not self-interest.
2. Logos refers to the strength and structure of your claims and arguments. Develop a core argument that is supported by convincing evidence.
3. Pathos refers to the emotions felt by the audience during a speech. Aristotle suggested that good speakers elicit the appropriate emotions that are relevant to the argument being made. If you can inspire emotions in your listeners then they will be more likely to understand your perspective and to be persuaded to act.

Robert Kennedy’s announcement of the assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968, is considered to be among the most moving speeches in U.S. history. It is a perfect demonstration of Aristotle’s three tools.  Kennedy used Logos by arguing that Dr. King lived and died for peace and that violence would destroy his vision of a united America.  He utilize pathos by expressing grief, sadness and anger and didn’t try to hide them. He encouraged the audience to feel the same. Kennedy also established credibility by highlighting what a friend Dr. King was to him. He showed good will by acknowledging the racial tensions that existed and being honest with the crowd.

The Roman Orator Cicero joined the Roman Senate in 75 B.C. and was a skilled orator. He introduced the five canons of persuasion: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery.

1. Invention: Speakers need to prepare speeches by doing research and picking the arguments most compelling to the given audience.
2. Arrangement: Speakers need to effectively structure their arguments. Typically you establish credibility (ethos), you then make your arguments (logos) and then you elicit emotions in your audience (pathos).
3. Style: This refers to what emotions your tone will elicit in the audience. Use a tone that is appropriate for the setting and that will elicit the emotions you desire.
4. Memory: Memorizing speeches allows you to focus your attention on the audience and not your notes.
5. Delivery: Ensure you practice how you will deliver your speech. Use language that the audience understands, be clear, vivid and follow local conventions. You need to genuinely feel and display emotions you want your audience to feel.

In his classic book, Dale Carnegie outlines three fundamental principles for dealing with people that can be adapted to speech making: (1) Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. (2) Give honest and sincere appreciation. (3) Arouse in your audience an “eager want.”

Practice Your Delivery: Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry gave a famous speech during the American Revolution in which he said: “Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” –Patrick Henry, Give Me

An Eyewitnesses said of Patrick Henry: “The tendons of his neck stood out white and rigid like whipcords. His voice rose louder and louder until the walls of the building and all within them seemed to shake and rock in its tremendous vibrations. Finally his pale face and glaring eyes became terrible to look upon.”

The action of a speech has two parts: the voice and the body. The Voice includes:

i.) Volume: Volume is the easiest tool to use. Use a variety of loud and soft sounds and match them to your speech. You can make your speech a crescendo, as Patrick Henry did with the “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.
ii.) Pitch: This is how high or low your voice is. Most of the speech should given in a comfortable middle range but you should vary pitch from high to low for dramatic value. You can practice by cross-training through singing.
iii.) Tone: Tone usually refers to the emotion that is conveyed in the voice. Think about the expression “I didn’t like his tone of voice”. Tone can indicate anger, sadness, joy or fear.
iv.) Pauses (silence): How often you pause between words or ideas.
v.) Pace: How quickly you are speaking.
vi.) Accents you put on individual words: How you emphasize different parts of speech.
vii.) Inflection of a phrase: Choosing how to use pitch and tone at certain parts of the speech.

Body Language is also important and can refer to the following:

i.) Stand up straight: This suggests assurance, conviction, and pride. Be sure to make the best of your height no matter how tall you are.
ii.) Gestures: Don’t make useless movements and make sure your gestures reinforce particular words or phrases. Don’t invent unnatural poses but instead use your hands like you would in regular speech.
iii.) The Importance of Eye Contact: The eyes are the most important part of your body while speaking. One person that saw Patrick Henry give the “Liberty or Death” speech said, “He fixed the audience with a glare.” Looking into the eyes of the audience will fix their attention on your message.

The main points around using your voice and body can be summarized in the following 5 points:

1. Use your voice and body language to reinforce your message.
2. Always match your voice and movements to specific words and emotions.
3. When you first start out as a speaker, mark the tone and gestures into your text as reminders; they are as important as the words themselves.
4. Establish and maintain eye contact with your audience.
5. In cases where you are not inciting a revolution, smile.

Be Yourself: Elizabeth I to her army
When the Spanish Armada was about to attack the outnumbered English, Queen Elizabeth gave a speech to her army. The key moment in her speech is when she confesses her sense of her own weakness: “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman.” Elizabeth opened up about her weaknesses and was vulnerable with her audience. Remember to open up and reveal who you really are. There are lots of ways in which you can talk to people about yourself. It doesn’t have to be just weaknesses; it can be personal things to you that help people understand you.

Dale Carnegie similarly said: “Be yourself, and let your audience know who you are.”  Don’t talk in abstractions or in impersonal terms. Own who you are and show that to the audience.

Here are six suggestions for embracing and being yourself:

1. Explain your personal connection to the subject of your speech.
2. Share your own emotions, beliefs, and ideas, and don’t shy away from revealing your weaknesses and failures.
3. Establish a personal link with your listeners at the start of your speech.
4. Use plain, direct language, but never talk down to your audience.
5. Don’t hesitate to read your speech from a script if necessary.
6. Make sure that your audience will be able to hear you.

Find Your Humorous Voice: Will Rogers
Will Rogers was a great example of using humor to improve public speaking. Every joke that he used was used to make a point and to focus attention on the real substance of his speech.

From Will Rogers we can learn six tips for using humor in speeches:

1. Laugh at yourself before you laugh at others.
2. Comedy helps relax your audience, especially at formal occasions.
3. Use humor to focus on your theme, not to distract from it.
4. Jokes can illuminate serious points, providing new thoughts and perspectives.
5. Your humor should reflect your own personality.
6. Nothing unifies an audience quicker than laughter.

Make it a Story: Marie Curie
Marie Curie was good at taking bland scientific facts and presenting them through interesting narratives. The human brain is designed to remember and understand stories and not decontextualized facts. Learn how to make facts memorable by attaching them to an interesting narrative.  Four tips for utilizing narrative in speeches include:

1. Use stories and narratives to make your speech easy to follow and the details easy to understand and remember.
2. Clearly identify your theme at the beginning of your speech.
3. Include vivid and memorable details that bring your subject to life.
4. Anticipate your audience’s questions, and provide the answers in the body of your speech.

Use the Power of Three: Paul to his People
Winston Churchill told the British people that all he had to offer was “blood, toil, tears and sweat.” However, this phrase has been remembered as simply “Blood, sweat and tears” illustrating the point that we like to think in threes. The importance of threes is illustrated again in the advice to make your speech a story. Every story has three parts: a beginning, middle and an end. Give your speech a clear beginning, middle and ending. The end of your speech should be a climax, and not just a repetition or summary of what went before.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is a great example of using threes (faith, hope and charity): “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then I shall know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, agape, these three: but the greatest of these is agape.” (1 Corinthians 13)

Consider these three points when utilizing the power of threes in your speech:

1. Construct your speech in three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.
2. Create a rhythm with clauses, examples, and parallel sentences in groups of three.
3. Use adjectives and other short sequences of words in threes.

Paint Pictures in Words: Tecumseh
In 1811 Tecumseh gave a speech to various Indian tribes about the importance of Indian unity. Tecumseh used vivid and concrete imagery to make his points:  “Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pocanet, and other power tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and oppression of the white man, as snow before the summer sun. … Sleep no longer, O Choctaws and Chickasaws, in delusive hopes. … Will not the bones of our dead be plowed up, and their graves turned into plowed fields?”

Tecumseh commands the interest of his audience in two ways:
i.) He gives real-world examples of what is going to happen: “Will not the bones of our dead be plowed up, and their graves turned into plowed fields?”
ii.) He also uses Metaphors to paint pictures: A metaphor is a figure of speech in which you use one image to represent another. “They have vanished before the avarice and oppression of the white man, as snow before the summer sun.”

Six tips for using imagery in your speeches are:

1. Focus the attention of your listeners with words that create images in the mind.
2. Use poetic language to make your words easy to recollect and more evocative of memories, of feelings, of shared experience with your audience.
3. In logical arguments or technical explanations, use metaphors to help your listeners “see” a problem or a situation more clearly than they would with an abstract, non-metaphorical explanation.
4. Don’t mix your metaphors, and make sure your metaphors are appropriate for the particular occasion and audience.
5. Make abstract observations and principles vivid to your listeners by adding concrete, easy-to-picture examples.
6. Energize your presentation by imagining dialogue and dramatic confrontations.

Focus on your audience-Ghandi
Ghandi was able to direct his speeches at very specific audiences. From Ghandi we learn the following 3 points:

1. Ask yourself in advance, “Who is my audience?” and adapt your speech to address them particularly and directly.
2. Your tone, your language, and your examples should all be chosen with a specific audience in mind.
3. Always be courteous, respectful, sympathetic, and mindful of your audience’s comfort.

Share a Vision: Martin Luther King Jr
MLK’s “I have a dream” speech is the prototypical inspirational speech. Each speech needs a principle tone and King’s tone was “inspiring.”  MLK did not use negatives to try to create positives as in his speech he doesn’t reference the outrages and injustices that his people have suffered. He was relentlessly positive.  “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”  King then describes his own personal vision for his own family: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

From MLK we can learn 5 things about casting a vision:

1. Integrate all three kinds of appeals—logic, personal concerns, and emotions—if you want to make your most satisfying and most compelling case.
2. If you want to create the feeling of visions, repeat words and phrases.
3. Weave familiar quotations and references to well-known texts into your speech.
4. Divide a long speech into three clear-cut sections; give each section its own particular tone and its own particular take on your theme.
5. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and maintain your energy while reading quotes. Use pauses and changes in vocal tone to set the quotes apart from your text.

Call for Positive Action: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
One of the most important parts of a speech is the ending so you need to make sure that you end well. The words need to be strong and you need to deliver them strongly as Lincoln did during his
Gettysburg address. End with a positive call to action as Lincoln did: “It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

From Lincoln we learn to establish unity with the audience.  He never says “I”; he never says “you”; it’s always “we.” That’s an ideal for us all to follow as speakers; to establish a complete unity with our audience.

Source:

This post has been a summary of: The Art of Public Speaking, John Hale, The Teaching Company 

How to be Virtuous – Justice – Spiritual Leadership Lessons

Dangerous Leaders
Bill Hybels uses the word dangerous as a compliment. He means Leaders who are a menace to themselves and others around them. These leaders are dangerous to the opposition.  To be a dangerous church  leader is to make a private pact with God to live in vital union with Christ no matter what the cost. Christ helps us win the race we have been assigned to. This leads to
being filled with the love of God that fuels building the kingdom. Pay the price to live in vital union with God: The cost is submitting to God in all things. A Dangerous Leader is someone whose heart is truly Gods.

You can become a dangerous leaders through adopting the following six principles:

1. Learning to recognize and act on promptings.
2. Establish  your own performance standards rather than meet other people’s expectations. Michael Jordan practiced earlier than coach mandated. He set his own standards. Internal Quality Control Mechanism.
3. All of your work needs to be your best offering to God rather than your worst.  In Malachi 1 we are warned again robbing God by giving Him the worst of our flocks/efforts rather than the best. Either bring the prized lamb or don’t bring one at all. Give your absolute best.
4. Elevate the performance and attitudes of everyone around you. Ask yourself if you cause those around you to perform better?
5. They fight back when problems occur and don’t give up on solving them.
6. Dangerous leaders arrange their lives so they remain a threat for years to come. Live at reasonable pace, take breaks, and be stable and wise.

Bill also warns against adopting practices that will make you a less effective leader.  He outlines 5 ways this can happen:

  1. Dangerous leaders can become crowd pleasers, ear ticklers, speak words the crowds want to hear, overstate promises and understate expectations of God. Do we say what people want to hear or what God wants us to say?
    2. Dangerous leaders can become competitive with other church leaders. Motivation is no longer from God but from pride. Motivation can become to tear other leaders down.
    3. Dangerous leaders can become infected with grandiosity. EST syndrome, biggest, grandest, newest, costliest etc.…Trying to break records God didn’t want you to break. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
    4. Dangerous leaders can lose their nerve and become lukewarm. Esther, I am going to do it or not, and if I perish then I perish.
    5. Dangerous leaders can set their hearts on things other than God.

Passing the Leadership Test

Bill Hybels uses an episode from the scriptures to illustrate what he calls the 5 tests of leadership.  This episode is found in Luke 5: 1-11 which reads:

1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

From this episode, Bill extracts what he calls: The Five Tests of Leadership that will be examined below:

1. Bias towards Action Test: Jesus challenges Peter to row him out to the middle of the sea. Do you issue this test when building teams? You are testing for “make it happen” people with a bias towards solving problems. Invite prospective leaders to help them solve problems and watch them work.
2. Can you follow direction test. This is an authority and submission test. In verse 4, Jesus tells peter to go out and fish. Peter says: “Because you say so, I will.” Submit your will to Jesus and God. Will the potential leader get self-willed, independent and create division or submit to the will of the leadership team under the direction of the Spirit. We want strong discussion and debate about what to do but unanimity when the decision is made.
3. Who deserves the credit test? Peter gives Jesus the credit for catching all the fish. “Lord, depart from me I am a sinful man.” Peter knew who Jesus was. Credit hogging doesn’t contribute to helping team dynamics. You can’t take credit when God is at the helm because He deserves all the credit. Build the company for the glory of God and not for yourself. Acknowledge the work of the team instead of the individual. God gives grace to the humble.
4. The Grander Vision test. Jesus tells Peter to think grander than catching all the fish. Instead, Peter will become a fisher of men. You have to think more than about money but about people. The opportunity cost of competing in the financial arena alone is that you miss out on the things of most importance. Why would you ever give your life to a lesser cause? Destinies beat dollars and eternity is more important than the temporal.
5. Will you leave it test? In verse 11 the disciples left everything and followed Jesus. The grander vision is costly. Cast the grand vision and leave it up to them to follow or not. Sometimes the spirit does conscript but usually it’s an invitation. “I wouldn’t want this to have to cost you anything” is a bad attitude. Grander visions have price tags.
Pursuing those means other things get left behind. However, Jesus promises 100x of what we give up.

The Leader’s Pathway

In this talk, Bill Hybels outlines 7 different ways that leaders can relate to Jesus Christ.   Bill says that if we don’t give Christ the credit or reflect Christ-like attributes our business accomplishments are nothing.  Some feel ashamed because their pathway to Christ is different from others but Paul told Timothy to be more self-aware to find out his pathway to Christ.

Bill outlines 7 different Pathways to Christ that include the following:

1. Relational Pathway: Some find it hard to do things alone and need a community to  help develop spiritually. They thrive in group activities such as group scripture study, service and worship. They don’t like solitude.
2. Intellectual Pathway: Some people need to have their mind fully engaged for spiritual progress. They like data and commentaries and challenging their thinking. The mind must be convinced as well and then they are unstoppable. Paul may have had this pathway. This person can feel guilty about intellectual proclivities and too much study.
3. Serving Pathway: These people are more doers than thinkers and focus on serving others and volunteering to build the Kingdom. They aren’t happy unless they are actually doing something to serve God’s children.
4. Contemplative Pathway: These people like to be alone contemplating spiritual truths and ideas. Being around others drains them. They want to be in the presence of God and reflect in prayer and private worship. They often serve as the “conscience” of the faith community.
5. Activist Pathway: These people are very action oriented and want to go at a fast pace and aren’t happy unless they are biting off more than they can chew. They enjoy living a very busy life and are bored unless challenged to the extreme. They catalyze others into action as well.
6. Creation Pathway: These people become alive when in nature and this increases their awareness of God. They derive spiritual meaning from nature or creation. God created man and put him in a garden.
7. Worship Pathway: These people are very attuned to the spirit and worship is very emotional. They are spiritually filled through praise and worship of God through song and devotion. David may have reflected this pathway.

There are probably more pathways, the main idea is that we are all different and relate to Christ in different ways.  Resist the temptation to compare your pathway to others or having “pathway envy” (wanting others’ pathway).  Accept your pathway and embrace it but experiment with other pathways as well to become “holy” or “whole.” Start with a primary pathway and then develop the others.