Haverim – Paul Clayton Gibbs
I read this one on recommendation and came away encouraged but not blown away. This book is a great place to start if you are new to leading a small group bible study and will give plenty to get your teeth into, practically as well as for thinking. It lays out good practice, handy tips and a philosophy of learning that would be good for more people to adopt. 7/10
Canoeing the Mountains – Tod Bolsinger
A book on leadership that bounces off the story of explorers, Lewis and Clark, and utilises the experiences of the author in dealing with new and unexpected challenges. There are the usual aspects of leadership theory, good practical helps and a solid framework on which it all hangs. A well written book that will provide good resonance for leaders who need a level of creativity. 8/10
What are your values? Not your stated values but those you truly live by? It is important to know the difference because it will determine your effectiveness as a leader and impact the culture you are creating in your organisation.
This week we have seen a major upheaval within the political landscape of the United Kingdom and the values of our political leaders have been seriously tested. A number have resigned. All politicians state that they are representatives of their people and will uphold democratic process. However, it appears that some may have forgotten this. It is easy to knock public figures, what about our organisations?
So often, we have values that we state, mention and uphold publicly. Yet, they are aspirations rather than heartfelt passions, so that when troubles come…..they can be forgotten. Our values have become a management tool rather than a code we live by. People notice, recognise it and respond in kind. If you don’t truly live by your values, there will come a point when it is tested and you will pay a heavy price.
What are your values? What are your real values?
If you have worked in a team, you will know the score. There will be someone who doesn’t pull their weight, who holds people back or causes trouble for the rest of the team. If the leader delays or fails to deal with it, it may not only destroy the team but it can damage the leaders authority.
These issues need to be dealt with immediately and openly. It will benefit the whole team. The danger of ignoring the problems will include:
- Loss of respect – because you allow things to continue unchecked
- Loss of authority – people will begin to doubt your leadership
- Loss of staff – good staff members will become frustrated and may even leave
- Loss of performance – why should anyone on the team perform higher than the lowest common denominator?
If there is a problem, deal with it quickly and decisively
“Can I just interrupt for a moment?”
Words spoken as a meeting finishes and two of the participants pick up on a conversation. Someone wants to interrupt….what does this say? It can say;
1)my time is more precious than yours
2)my conversation is more important than yours
3)I have a right to disturb you
A lot can be gleaned from this type of interjection and it is usually negative. Patience will earn more friends, develop trust and show character. Persevere in doing right and honouring others, it will pay dividends.
So often, Christian leaders are looking for the team to have total agreement. Whilst we need unity in decision making, we must place greater value in those that challenge the status quo. Dissenting voices may not be right but they help to sharpen us. There are times they are right and we need to change. Whichever, we need to take them seriously as an ally and not as a threat.
Do not despise the dissenting voice, heed the words, reflect and then decide. You will be stronger for it.
Found this little nugget in my notebook but have lost the reference to who wrote it…..big apologies…..but felt it was still worth sharing.
“My advice to leaders: Don’t cling to every aspect of the way your business works as you scale up. Stick to your core values, but recognize that you need to lead (or at least be ok with) the evolution of your culture, just as you would lead (or be ok with) the evolution of your product. But be sure you’re sticking to your values, and not compromising them just because the organization scales and work patterns need to change. A leader’s job is to embody the values. That impacts/produces/guides culture. But only the foolhardy leaders think they can control culture.”
Found the writer…..it was Matt Blumberg….thank you Matt
We have all been in meetings when we have been encouraged to think ‘outside the box’, ‘use a blank sheet of paper’ and ‘blue sky dream’. They are nothing new. However, the success of these meetings is dependent upon the attendees, the preparation and the ability to listen. Blue sky thinking quickly deteriorates into a rainy day when the managers begin to see the problems too soon and the potential for new things is swamped by the clouds of past failings. Setting up these meetings well is so important.
Here are a few steps that may help;
- Determine who will attend – these meetings need more creatives than managers. You want ideas to flow without restraint, in the initial stages, and therefore require the big thinkers.
- Guard the ‘rules of the meeting’ – the chair of the meeting needs to ensure that all voices are heard. However, this is not enough, the chair of the meeting must also ensure that clouds are not allowed to form – stay strong in this.
- Every new idea matters – there is nothing in blue sky thinking that should be out of bounds, the limitations come in the next stages of discussion.
- Positive energy – the meeting should be positive thinking, leave the negative views at the door.
- Reward the thinkers – rewards take all shapes and forms but we need to credit those who come up with new ideas, they are the lifeblood of any organisation and prevent stagnation. If we value these people, they will continue to contribute to the benefit of everyone. They are often taking a big personal risk in sharing their ideas.
- Listen well – attendees must listen to absorb what is said. Then ideas can flourish – we often listen to argue with what is said, this is not listening, it is combat!
There are many more that could be added to the list, these are just for starters…..keep dreaming!