More short book reviews

41msZhS8f1L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ 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

 

Image 10-04-2018 at 09.29Canoeing 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

 

Leadership Values

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?

Decision Making or Strategic Response?

In our drive to be bigger, better and more recognised, we have relegated some words from their lofty heights to a level of ‘normal’. The words ‘strategy’ or ‘strategic’ are in this realm. Often when people make a single decision, someone congratulates them on being ‘strategic’…..errrr…hello? They made a decision, this does not necessarily mean that they are being strategic.

Strategy comes from a number of decisions that help you achieve your goal, it is rather like a game of chess. You have to make a whole host of decisions and you must respond continually to your opponents moves, just one wrong decision may cost you the game but the the strategy comes in the twists and turns of the game.

Making decisions does not make you a strategist but every strategist will make decisions.

Apology or conflict avoidance?

Avoiding conflict is not always a bad thing but there is always a battle between ‘making life easy’ and having those conversations that are necessary for an individual’s growth. 

If 2 people fall out, rather than seek to put right behaviour, we will seek to cover over the problem with a well worded apology that carries little meaning. We become satisfied with 2nd best and miss an opportunity for growth. 

If we avoid the behaviour change, we will just store up the problem for a later date. Getting it sorted early is more beneficial for everyone. It may involve an apology but any apology must be one from the heart that carries behaviour change and must never be used to prevent a deeper work of correction and improvement. 

Church Planting

“Church planters must seek to understand what is the irreducible ecclesiological minimum, or the basic essence of the church, for the church to be a church among any people. It is this irreducible minimum that the church planters must seek to translate to their target group. Anything less than this minimum fails to teach the new believers the doctrine of the church; and anything in addition to this minimum, though not necessarily wrong, possibly hinders the multiplication of indigenous churches.” J.D.Payne

Deal with the Problem Decisively

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