Browsing: Change

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 Growing Your Church with Dynamic Teams #283

Effective leaders design and lead dynamic teams. These awesome teams build great churches by prioritizing Scriptural principles, people development and then program and organizational change. As the Leaders grow the people will follow.

Your dynamic teams will inspire each of their people to pray, seek God’s face and grow their church. The 80/20 rule (Pareto’s principle) suggests we get 80% of our results from 20% of our activities. Put it another way, 20% of your activities are responsible for producing a full 80% of your results. The beauty and challenge of this little formula is to concentrate on the work that really has an impact on your goals, then, reduce activities that don’t produce the results.

Church change and growth strategies have less to do with the latest dynamic program and more to do with prayer and relationships. As our Teams, Life Groups and Ministries work together, lives of character influence our family, friends and community.

“Most church growth occurs because a church effectively ministers to people’s needs. Its focus is on people”. (Ray Bowman and Eddy Hall, When Not to Build) The point is not to downplay programs. We need our programs. Yet, we have a responsibility to work with and build up our skills to ensure our programs are more effective.

Scripture tells us, For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4-5 NIV)

“Google commissioned their internal human resources team to identify and rate the attributes of their best leaders. They were surprised to find that technical knowledge rated dead last.  Instead, attributes like listening well and letting employees make relevant decisions attracted and kept the best people.” (Joe Manby in Love Works)

“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow. So that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT)

Leadership is listening to and building up people.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Living The Diagnosis # 227

Laurie KennedyLeaders, imagine the scene. I’m thrilled with my university studies expectantly looking forward to a career full of opportunity challenge and success. Only the young understand the dreams, hopes and aspirations knowing the world is a stage and I’m ready to lead. The scene changes dramatically as I write my final exams in the hospital and the Neurologist’s words etch permanently on me.

“We’ve completed our tests. Your disease is incurable. We cannot predict the time and spread of the disease. You will most likely be in a wheelchair in two years. You probably won’t be able to have kids and likely not be able to support a family. The disease attacks your central nervous system short-circuiting messages sent to and from your brain. It is characterized by periods of attack and recession.”

That was my personal introduction to multiple sclerosis over 40 years ago. The challenges and opportunities have been numerous. But, I hold unto the fact that God has a plan for my life and he orchestrates the outcome.

We all have strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and limits. We also have God’s plan and Spiritual Gifts. None of us have any guarantees. I don’t know what tomorrow will hold and neither do you. What we do know is that we have today and what we prayerfully do today defines our future.

I believe in miracles. I also believe God has a plan. My life verse in the early years was.  “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matthew 6:30-33 MSG)

Leadership is … a crisis, problem or handicap is only a negative when you allow it to be.

Yours in Service,

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

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Leadership Is Our Greatest Challenge # 225

Laurie KennedyOur greatest leadership challenge is here. Our local community is changing. Our country and our world is changing. Economic unrest is not limited to the other side of the globe. Global change is impacting us all.

Economics, business and spiritual priorities are going through a time of uncertainty. The trends and traditions we found comfortable and worked for us in the past are being questioned and are adrift. Many say we have lost confidence. Confidence in our leaders, confidence in our products and confidence in our major corporations. However, maybe the most tragic is we are losing confidence in ourselves, our spiritual leaders and our churches.

The winds of change are blowing. What we don’t know is the ultimate impact of the changes. As a Pastor or Leader, these winds of change could lead to one or a combination of three things. The winds of change can catch you off guard and you lose. Another alternative, the changing winds are temporary, will rock your boat and test your strength and endurance. Finally, the changing winds provide an opportunity to fill your sails, stretch your limits and set a new course. The challenge is relying on God’s word by faith and orienting yourself to the direction, accepting its benefits and implementing new solutions.

What is abundantly clear is that we cannot blame the guy next door, the neighboring town or a foreign land. Our job, yours and mine, is to do our part, and excel in demonstrating God’s love to our world.

This week, whatever you do, do it a little better than last week. By working together we all do better. Our local community, city and world is made up of individuals. Each of us must do our part and do it better.

Leadership is … monitoring your church, Bible Studies and community involvement, continually preparing new opportunities for service.

Yours in Service,

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

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Leadership Is Changing

Laurie Kennedy“The church was established on the promise of change. Hearts would be changed, families would be changed, marriages would be changed, communities would be changed, cities would be changed, and, yes, even the entire history of humanity and the earth itself would be changed by those swept up in this movement of God.” (An Unstoppable Force, Erwin McManus)

Coaching Ministry Leaders world-wide is fascinating. We all believe God has a plan. We know that God’s plan for us as individuals and churches is achievable and desirable. Yet our research and experience suggests that 70% of churches consider themselves unhealthy. The contradiction is obvious. We believe in God’s plan, yet we implement our own.

Look at Scriptural leaders. Moses preference was to avoid leadership (Exodus 3:11) yet his impact on his people is beyond imagination. Caleb and Joshua introduced the incredible opportunities in the Promised Land but the people refused (Numbers 13-14). Paul met God on the Damascus road, he accepted God’s plan and we are still influenced by him. (Acts 9:3-18 NIV)

Scripture challenges us, “… humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will … heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV). “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV) Haggai encourages us to consider our ways (plans systems, activities) to see if they are working, “the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet, saying, “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:3 NIV)

Paul tells us, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

My premise today is not to change your theology or doctrine but to seriously challenge your methods to accomplish God’s plan for your community.

Leadership is … changing our future by doing something different today.

Yours in Service,

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

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Leadership Is Change

Laurie KennedyLeaders create the future every day.

“Now therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5 KJV)

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.” (Luke 5:37-38 NIV) This illustration is so obvious. Yet, many leaders today pray for spiritual and organizational growth in our church and mission organizations while we refusing to change anything. Your next change strategy (new wine skins) can be effective when leaders keep these six points in mind.

  1. Your change strategy must be totally supported and led by spiritually healthy Pastors, Leaders and Board members. These individuals must lead with integrity and demonstrate God’s love in all their dealings.
  2. Prayer is essential. Any organizational change must be God directed and owned.  Without God, we are just ‘re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic’.
  3. Your people will be supportive of the change strategy when they are involved and feel ownership in the process.
  4. The change must be consistent with the long term Vision, Mission, Values and your people must understand the benefits.
  5. Stress the ‘why’ of the transition. What and how are important but the rational, the necessity and the long term implications are most important.
  6. Define the implications of the current situation, build a plan with priorities, communicate and celebrate the small successes at every step in the process.

 

Paul tells us, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV).  

Leadership is prayerfully dealing with old wineskins that are holding you back.

Yours in Service,

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

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Leadership Is Love

Laurie Kennedy“If you want to change how your company (church) works, then change how your people think. The most powerful force in business isn’t greed, fear, or even the raw energy of unbridled competition. The most powerful force in business “is love” (Fast Company). Love is Biblically based and recommended within the dot com companies. As this is true for the dot com industry, then because it is Biblically based, it is certainly relevant for our churches today.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. The greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 & 13 NIV). Christ commanded us to “love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12 NIV). Further, as Christ “loved his own” (John 13:1 NIV) the Christian Servant Leader “must not quarrel, instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful…gently instruct” (11 Timothy 2:24-25 NIV), to lead with characteristics of “above approach…temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach…not violent but gentle…not a lover of money (1 Timothy 3:1-3 NIV).

As a leader, what can you do to demonstrate God’s love? Angie Mays in her book the Courteous Rebel suggests, “Servant Leadership is being a servant first. The essence of servant leadership is leading by example.” Further, in reference to the shepherd, (Ezekiel 34:2 NIV), “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not the shepherd take care of the flock?” As Christian leaders, we are not here to serve “your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 NIV).

Leadership is, demonstrating God’s love by Loving and caring for those you serve. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (John 13:35 NIV).

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethrogroup
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership is Change

Laurie KennedyPastors and Christian leaders want to lead their churches to improved health. They dream and pray. The growth to church health is a positive experience. Improved health is reasonable, valid and can be achieved. It doesn’t have to hurt.

The change process distinguishes leaders from dreamers. In my coaching experience I pray with leaders and confirm that ‘the future will be the same as the past unless something changes’.  Hence, if we want our church to be healthier, then we need to make some changes. At this point the dreamers give up and the leaders get active.

Here are nine statements to keep in mind for any change process in your church.

  1. Pray consistently.
  2. Define a clear vision so people can see the end result.
  3. Set realistic priorities and time frames so people can focus their energy.
  4. Communicate and over communicate. Share the wins, your people will be more enthusiastic if they can watch and feel the progress.
  5. Celebrate small wins regularly and often.
  6. Care for your people. Nothing will happen without a relationship. Anything is possible with a positive relationship.
  7. Send ‘thank you emails’. Do anything you can to encourage your people.
  8. Celebrate and recognize the accomplishments, not the negatives, of former leaders.
  9. Get out of the way, let your people take the actions that lead to results. Then, be sure your people get the credit.

Here is the challenge. As a Pastor or Christian leader, you need to be willing to make personal and corporate changes as necessary.

Leadership is a chain reaction, a momentum. Choose wisely where you start. You can’t fix it all, but aim for a small yet significant change then build from there.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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Leadership Is Change

cropped-laurie-kennedy1.jpgChange isn’t as difficult as perceived. However, tradition is comfortable.  Old running shoes just seem to fit better. The old sweater is preferred even if it should be thrown out. Leading an organization through change has similar struggles. Haggai encourages us to consider our ways (plans systems, activities) to see if they are working.

“the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “… Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:3)

Note the obvious:

-Everything will stay the same unless you change something.

-You cannot be the person you want to be by being the person you have always been.

-Your business, family or church will not achieve God’s vision by repeating the past.

-The future will be the same as the past, unless something changes.

Albert Einstein is quoted. “You cannot achieve a new goal by applying the same level of thinking that got you where you are today.” Note, James C. Hunter’s book The World’s most powerful Leadership Principle.

Paul said, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal.” (Philippians 3:13-14).  Polly LaBarre in Fast Company confirms that “Change is a chain reaction, but you have to be deliberate about where you start.  YOU can’t fix everything at once.  The trick is to find the minimum number of leverage points that can make a dramatic impact.”

So how do we effect personal and organizational change?  I encourage leaders to start simple. Review your To Do List looking for activities that do not contribute to your Vision.  Then, replace these activities with value added work. You always want to do work that leads to your goal. Be creative, innovative and design a plan that you can implement easily. Set priorities that support your values, then monitor to ensure you stay on track.  Don’t try to change everything.  Small consistent steps toward your goal are always more effective.

Leadership is changing the future by doing something different today!

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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