Archives For management

Being a Good Follower

June 30, 2015

Most leadership books and teaching centers on being the top guy; the number one in the organization.

I recently read a refreshingly different perspective. Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness centers on influence, while not being the top guy.

Jimmy Collins retired as the President of Chick-fil-A restaurants. He was a great leader to many. But, he knew his role was to serve the founder and chief visionary leader, Truett Cathy. Together they built a successful organization which is seen as a model for business around the world, in both style and substance.

His philosophy on leadership is different than most. Rather than considering how to be the best number one and always looking to climb the ranks, he knew he could succeed by being a successful follower.

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He gives a few principles which are equally powerful for both leaders or followers.

Misunderstood Unity

February 23, 2014

I work in an organization which sends many short-term teams as well as develops working groups around projects.

I hear a repeated statement coming out of their meeting times.

“Give us unity….”

I prayed this with my teams for many, many years….until I realized what it meant.

Now, when I hear teams pray this, I cringe.

You have no idea what you are asking for.

Misunderstood unity believes the following:

“If we are unified, we will never fight.”
“Unity means we will agree and have similar views on the decision we face.”
“Unity is standing in a circle holding hands singing “Bind us Together.”

Wrong.

That view of commonality is not unity, it is cultic.

Group think is dangerous.

In Scripture, the most common analogy given for unity is the body, with many members working together. The members and their talents they bring are not the same, but the goal is.

Inviting Feedback

January 9, 2014

One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. These are short, powerful talks which I apply to my leadership often

Recently they did a two-part series of the “Art of Inviting Feedback”. Andy interviewed Clay Scroggins, who is the constantly doing this in the North Point organization.

The question which was posed for leaders to consider asking their followers is, “If you were me, what would you do differently?”

This is based on the premise that everyone has an opinion about everything we do as leaders. If we don’t invite this into the process, we are unable to benefit from all these opinions.

I did this.

I’ve recently handed over leadership of my team, so I asked all my people what they would have done differently.

I received some great feedback I would not have gotten without asking. It really provided me some insight into where people were at as well.

Transition

September 3, 2012

Transition.

Change.

We love it when the seasons change or when something bad turns into good.

It’s something we dream of as well as stress over simultaneously. We long for moving to the next thing, but it can keep us up at night when it happens to a team we are in charge of.

Change brings insecurity in people.

Yet it is inevitable.

I suppose we could say death, taxes, and transition are all givens in life.

Be it in our jobs, marriages, or in parenting, just when we think we have things wired, life goes and throws us a curve ball.

It keeps us trusting and depending on a God who is bigger than us.

Today, I am guest posting at Dan Black on Leadership, which is a great site on leadership and personal development.

Half of American workers hate their jobs! That is shocking!

I believe we can improve the enjoyment of our teams by promoting balanced lives coupled with creating a team environment and being concerned with their growth.

Too often workers dislike their jobs because the road to success come through overworking. Workers need to be challenged and pushed, but not run over.

In her book, The Overworked American, Juliet Schor estimates we have 1/3 less leisure time, sleep 90 minutes less per night than needed, and find less time for raising our kids and our marriages.

We saw this in action when some of our Bible school staff walked around like zombies. No student wanted to join staff, living a life similar to what they saw modeled. Your current workers enjoyment communicates a lot to future employees.

While never enjoying every element of our jobs, we should have a basic satisfaction.