Browsing: Organization Development

Leadership Is… Change #306

As a leader, you are responsible to guide your team through our changing world. You know the vision that you and your team have developed and own.  However, to accomplish your God directed vision you will need to make changes, motivate and encourage your followers.

Change is often perceived as a difficult challenge. The routine is comfortable and feels secure. A change impacts the working environment. The change to the balance may be uncomfortable until stabilized. Your role in orchestrating change is crucial to the degree of acceptance. During times of stress team members look to you, their leader for support, encouragement and security. You can reduce staff anxiety and increase staff comfort by following a few points.

Be honest in stating the reason for the changes. State why the change is required, how it will affect the individual staff and the organization as a whole.

Emphasize the benefits of the change. Staff are concerned about the organization, but are more concerned about their working environment, career plans and individual security.

Detail the positive and potential challenging aspects of the change. Staff will find the negatives if you don’t. By identifying all sides of the issue, you are being honest and this will increase staff’s level of confidence. Spend time with your staff.

Define a realistic plan for implementation. Here’s a good opportunity to win staff support by asking for their input in designing the plan. Staff are always more committed to a project they have had input into. Honestly ask for staff feedback and use it. We can all benefit from the advice and input from staff experience.

Finally, and possibly most important, look at your own track record. When you have a reputation for positive changes, staff will trust your work and will be positive. However, past failures will be projected into the future, feared, resented and derailed by staff.

Change is difficult. Be honest, represent all the issues well and your staff will learn to trust your judgment and leadership.

Leadership is … knowing that change can and should be positive.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… A Servant Led Church #302

Paul uses a practical construction analogy, “In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord”. (Ephesians 2:21 NIV) You wouldn’t want to live and work within a building that is poorly constructed. The risks are obvious. Yet, many of us work in organizational environments that are ineffective.

The corporate world has been shaken with CEO’s and CFO’s who re-arrange budget and resources for their own benefit. “People value honesty and integrity in a leader more than anything else. Virtually every person they talked with placed integrity at the top of the leadership wish list.”  (James Kouzes and Barry Posner, quoted by Perkins in Awaken the Leader Within) The Servant led church integrates a service philosophy with integrity. Every member is encouraged to live a life of honesty, truthfulness and integrity. This is a church the world will notice.

The Servant led church is a learning and growing organism. It is characterized by a collective unity and interdependence of each individual and team. The teams define their goals, are delegated a budget and resources, and are accountable to each other and the overall Vision. Leadership, decision making, planning and goal setting are shared, not held by the faithful few. The Servant led church knows its own strengths, weaknesses and the gifts of its people. It also knows the power of people working tougher effectively, “Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 TLB)

The Servant led church reduces the emphasis on the power hierarchy while encouraging team work and a service role for each leader. Each leader would interact within a team. The teams would be composed of divergent thinking people, different ages, different occupations, and ideally different cultures. Each would be committed to the Vision, working independently, yet supporting each other. Although the teams may appear leaderless, the leader is the Vision and the team works the mission as a group of equals.

Is your church a Servant led church?

Leadership is … serving individually and collectively. 

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Knowing Who You Serve #289

Servant Leadership is alive and healthy in many churches. These focused and value driven churches recognize and utilize the individual spiritual gifts of their people. The service they provide is a priority and foremost in their thinking. Their Vision, Values and procedures are infused with service. They live, breathe and duplicate themselves through loving and caring service. These churches are growing, winning their communities to Christ and making a difference in our world.

As Christian leaders we have an awesome calling. We are all uniquely gifted and dedicated providing a mosaic of skills to accomplish God’s purpose. Winning others to Christ, sharing God’s love at home, work and church, while sharing Biblical principles. Servant Leadership is always God honoring.

Character and values are critical to the Servant Leader. “No man can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24 NIV) Your Biblical application shows every day at work. Scripture will be integrated and each word covered in prayer.

As Christian Leaders we are at decision point. We cannot lead by tradition, and ‘the way we’ve always done it’. It isn’t working.

In our churches we need Biblically based Servant Leaders that lead effectively. Christ said, “Every kingdom (Church) divided against itself will be ruined”. (Matthew 12:25 NIV) “It is the Lord Christ you are serving”. (Colossians 3:24 NIV) “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people”. (Ephesians 6:7 NIV)

We are either in this world to win others to Christ or we are not. The most significant transformation is available to our leaders who take the initiative to learn, grow and begin the journey to be a Christian Servant leader.

Our world is waiting for us to make the change.

Leadership is learning to serve with a Christ like attitude.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Taking Prescriptions #285

Here’s a frightening reality of our attitude to personal and church health.

Let me illustrate. You don’t feel well. You feel unhealthy, lethargic and know that something isn’t right. Something hurts or maybe a bone is broken. Maybe we need surgery. The next logical step is to visit a trained professional for advice, recommendation or solution. You visit your Doctor, Health Clinic or Hospital. We receive the prescription, exercise routine, referral or plan for surgery. What happens next?

Here’s the reality. Thirty percent of us don’t follow through on the advice and don’t bother going to the Pharmacy to pick up the prescription. A further thirty percent of us run to the Pharmacy to pick up the prescription but don’t take it correctly or consistently.  Another thirty percent buy the prescription but leave it on the shelf. That leaves ten percent of us that follow through and implement the advice.

Let’s consider the typical church. Internal surveys indicate that 70% of churches do not consider themselves to be healthy. The power of an internal culture (the way we do it around here) can be so strong that the church is unaware or unwilling to implement a solution or change strategy.

Denominational Executives concur that typically only 30% to 40% of churches are healthy. Denominations assess the health of a church or a region of churches with a variety of methods. Some look at financial standing, others count attendance, percentage of volunteers or staff turnover. One of the most fascinating stats is to look at the percentage of the annual budget that goes to missions and outreach activities compared to what is spent internally. The most biblical way to assess the Spiritual health of a church is to count salvation decisions.

Leaders have a lot of dedication, and enthusiasm. However, just like people taking a medication or professional advice, we sometimes lose our enthusiasm, dedication and follow through.

At your next Leadership meeting, ask yourself and your associates to prayerfully consider what you and your team could do to improve the health of your church.

Leadership is praying and implementing God’s plan.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership is a Healthy Church #266

Laurie KennedyIs your church a luxury cruise liner? Is it an aircraft carrier ready for battle? Or, could your church be compared to a hospital ship striving to meet the health and surgical needs of people worldwide? Ocean going ships, (just like churches) are not designed to float looking pretty in a harbor.

Similarly, God didn’t design our Pastors and Leaders to sit comfortably in the safe harbor of meeting with friends each week. God didn’t design our Sunday School and weekly Bible studies to resemble people sitting, eating and chatting on the luxury liner deck safely in the harbor.

The presumed safety and comfort of our weekend services is not what our Leaders are striving for. Our committed leaders seek the high seas and the miracles of a Vision demonstrating God’s love to our world.  Should we sometimes go to battle like the aircraft carrier? Yes! Should we be compared to the hospital ship seeking the hurt, providing loving and caring service? Yes!

We love our churches, the body of believers, the very bride of Christ is precious. Certainly we want to present Christ and His Bride as a healthy, vibrant expression of what He called us to be and do.

The most dangerous place for a ship during a storm is anchored in the harbor. There is risk that the ship will be damaged or destroyed. During the storm our ship needs to lift anchor and launch. The harbor is the last place we need to be.

To be healthy, our churches need to seek the high seas of our world, sharing our God given Spiritual Gifts, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 28:19 NIV)

Leadership is … praying our church out of the perceived safe harbor into the high seas of God’s calling.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Spiritual and Organizational Health #264

Laurie KennedyThere are over 14,000 moving parts in my car.

I love it when they all work together.

A symphony orchestra includes 90 musicians playing 82 different instruments together, solos or in small groups.

The sound of a full orchestra working together is awesome.

Our bodies have and require thousands of parts to function effectively. We each have 206 bones, our hearts beat about 35 million times a year. We have 5.6 litres of blood circulating three times a minute over 19,000 km per day. If all arteries, veins, and capillaries of the human circulatory system were laid end to end, the total length would be 100,000 km. The fastest nerve cells carry messages along their axons at an amazing 431 kph. There are about 700 muscles in the human body.

We all love it when our bodies work together in health.

Paul confirms the fascinating reality that the physical, spiritual and organizational health can and must work together. “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16 NIV)

Is your church spiritually and organizationally healthy, “fitly framed together” (Ephesians 2:21 KJV) to accomplish God’s vision? If it isn’t, Jesus tells us, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25 NIV)

My prayer for my church and yours is that each and every component of our ministries work together to accomplish God’s vision. We need to not only demonstrate God’s love but to do it collectively and cooperatively so that God is glorified in your community.

“In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvellously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” (Romans 12:4-6 MSG)

Leadership is demonstrating God’s love by working together.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Re-Thinking Your Ways #249

Laurie KennedyAn old goat was thirsty and sensed water. Old Billy wandered through grassy lands, forest and around hills until he found water. Satisfied, he returned around hills, through forest and grasses to his original resting place. On another hot and thirsty day he followed his same path. Unknown to Billy, a family of rabbits, a couple of deer and a moose used his trail. The fascinating conclusion of this tale is the reality that Billy’s trail was used by generations of animals. Decades later, explorers also used Billy’s now widened trail to map the new land for settlers. As the future unfolds we find roads, highways, towns and cities have grown up around Billy’s trail. We owe a portion of our history to an old long gone goat.

Old Billy has also influenced some of our church traditions. I found a Sunday Bulletin used in our church 48 years ago. It has some historical interest for us. But, what shocked me was its similarity and almost identical features to many of the church bulletins we see in our travels today.

“Habits become ingrained (good and bad ones). And then everyone gets too over-busy to think about how there might be a better way to do something.” (Patty Azzarello, Fast Company)

Leaders, my challenge to you today is to initiate an annual review of everything you do. Look at your ushers, your flow of service, singing, offering, visitors and volunteers. Stand firm on your scriptural principles but review and update everything else to be sure you are representing God’s love today. Don’t let tradition and ‘the way we have always done it’ reduce your ability to influence your community for Christ.

“Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” (Haggai 1:5-7 NIV)

Leadership is … ensuring everything we do is pleasing to God.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Asking Challenging Questions #230

Laurie KennedyGood morning Christ focused leaders. It is Monday morning, the start of a new week and the first day of your future.

Some of you lead in secular organizations. Others lead in church and Mission organizations. Some leaders work with a few employees and volunteers, others lead leaders who are responsible for hundreds of employees and volunteers. The size or type of your organizations is not significant.

Here is a question that I’d love each of you to think about.

What programs and activities in your church or mission organization are working effectively, supporting the Vision, Mission and Values of your organization?

Also consider the opposite. What programs are using up valuable resources but are not supporting the Vision, Mission and Values?

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.” (Luke 13:6-8 NIV)

Now, take time to seriously evaluate what fruit you are producing?

I’m always shocked that some churches continue to run programs and activities without knowing their Kingdom impact. When churches don’t differentiate the positive, growing and spiritually impacting programs from the others, the church is failing.

Once you have evaluated, prayerfully work to encourage and build those programs and activities that are leading to positive results and prayerfully phase out those that do not.

Leadership is … eliminating the mediocre and reinforcing positive spiritual growth.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is A Daily Focus

Laurie Kennedy“In Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, on Domino Day, November 13, 2009, Weijers Domino Productions coordinated the world record domino fall by lining up more than 4,491,863 dominoes in a dazzling display. In this instance, a single domino set in motion a domino fall that cumulatively unleashed more than 94,000 joules of energy.” (The One Thing by Gary Keller)

We’ve completed another year. We have all experienced good and challenging days. We are each another year older and a little more experienced. We have also laughed, prayed and cried with friends.

Remember the popular quote? “When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another.” (Edward Lorenz) What an absurd concept. Or is it? Bill Gaither puts it this way, “There is a change a comin let it start in me.” You and I are a significant part of the solution.

Here is my New Year’s challenge for myself, my family, those I coach and the church Boards I’ll consult with this year. Just like the power of the domino, you and I influence and are influenced daily. In the domino example, it only took one domino to start the process. Then, each additional domino got on board and a million others followed. As a leader, look at your life and realize the influence you have on your family, your associates and your church. Then, consider the compound impact we all have. You are significant and a critical factor in our future.

Here’s my New Year’s prayer for 2018. I’ll pray that God will provide a daily opportunity for me to demonstrate God’s love and influence someone for Christ.

Happy New Year, each of you.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Transforming Your Mission

Laurie Kennedy“I want to be part of the transformation. I want to make it happen” (Nik Wallenda in Balance).

Transformation is the metamorphosis of a tadpole into a frog or the caterpillar into a butterfly. The new creature doesn’t remember, resemble or have any desire or ability to return to the lowly crawling creature of its former life.

Many leaders in ministry or the secular workplace have adopted leadership styles without a biblical standard. They manage in neutral. They follow the latest guru or fad of the month club. They don’t lead by serving.

Our challenge is ineffective leaders, “blind leaders of the blind” (Matthew 15:14). Fortune Magazine makes a similar statement, “Good leaders can make a small difference; bad leaders can make a huge negative difference.” Bill Bright emphasized it dramatically in his book, The Coming Revival America’s Call to Fast, Pray and “Seek God’s Face”, “Much of the church is spiritually impotent-void of a vital, personal, and intimate walk with God. Having fallen into the cult of the comfortable, the church, for the most part, is no longer a power to be reckoned with. It has largely lost the respect of the masses; it is often the object of ridicule. Tragically, it has become the last place our nation would turn for help.”

As Christian leaders, we want to impact our world. I’m not recommending we change our theology. I’m suggesting as Christian leaders, we need to follow Christ’s example and exude Servant Leadership. Like Paul, we need to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2 NKJ).

Examine your leadership style and the spiritual condition of those who follow you. Are you following a Biblical Servant Leadership style? Are your followers growing in their relationship to their Heavenly Father?

Leadership is influencing your followers to a Godly lifestyle.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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