Browsing: Integrity

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

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Leadership Is… Demonstrated by Christ #301

Jesus showed his disciples the full extent of his love.

In Christ’s day walking was the mode of transportation. Think about it. Sandals, sand and dirt under the hot sun would be very uncomfortable. A long day of walking, talking and teaching would leave your feet sore, dirty, sweaty and probably smelly. According to the culture of the day, when guests came to visit, especially if a meal was involved, the host was expected to provide a servant or slave to wash your feet. The service was expected and appreciated by the guest. However, from the servant’s perspective, kneeling in silence and washing feet was considered to be the lowliest of the lowly tasks.

Christ the master, the teacher, knowing his crucifixion was eminent took the role of the servant. Christ also knew he would be denied by Peter and betrayed by Judas. Yet, as an act of service, “Having loved His own who were in the world, he loved them to the end”. (John 13:1 NIV) Christ challenged the tradition and culture of the day. Christ, the teacher, God’s beloved Son, took on the role of the servant and washed His disciples’ feet.

We have traditions in our culture as well. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘that’s not the way we do it around here’. In our day, at work or church we have habits and unwritten rules. For some it is the style of music, for others it is the arrangement of the furniture in the sanctuary. Others have a command and control leadership style borrowed from a failing secular model. Some feel a particular style of dress is required to worship in the church while others argue and debate whether a church should provide a service to a neighboring community.

These are traditions and habits. Christ challenged the traditions of the day by showing a caring and humble attitude demonstrating his love to His disciples.

Christ demonstrated His love for His followers, by washing their feet. I’m not recommending you follow suit. However, it only makes sense that the church leader, Pastor, or corporate CEO would use Christ’s example to challenge traditional habits to demonstrate his love for his people.

Leadership is … showing the people you lead, the full extent of your love for Christ.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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Leadership Is Ethical Choices # 253

Laurie KennedyAs a Christian Leader, what would you do?

“Most of the top executives were tried for fraud after it was revealed in November 2001 that Enron’s earnings had been overstated by several hundred million dollars. Enron paid the top 140 executives $680 million in 2001.” (CNN April 2016)

“The irony, he adds, is that ‘integrity’ was listed as one of Enron’s four core beliefs. A select group of Enron executives embraced a philosophy so far from traditional ethics that they ended up adopting a lifestyle completely contrary to their company’s stated beliefs on integrity,” (Mark Wingfield, Baptist Standard)

The Police stopped a Christian for rolling through a stop sign. She complained on Social Media that she considers this harassment and is considering fighting the ticket.

A Christian technician tells his associate, they could finish the job in 10 minutes.  Or, if they finish it in 20 minutes, they could claim an hour of overtime pay.

Police stop a car speeding to church on Sunday morning. The Christian driver considers fighting the ticket due to religious persecution because of the number of churches on that road.

A Christian Consultant, during new staff orientation, tells new Christian Employee to put his conscience on hold and claim everything he can get away with on his Expense Account.

Not expecting snow and cold, a friend visits her family in another province. She is encouraged to go buy a coat, wear it for the few days while visiting, then return it stating it didn’t fit.

“There was just such a radical gap between what we heard Christians professing they believed and the values and the lifestyle that grew out of the values.” (George Barna, Christianity Today)

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 NIV)

What would you do?

Leadership is … going beyond the expected, tradition and ‘what’s best for me’ to a consistent value of what is right.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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Leadership Is Achievable By You #237

Laurie KennedyEver wondered about the ideal leader? What skills, character qualities, behaviors and attitudes are shared by those you aspire to be? I’ve asked hundreds of employees in leadership seminars and personal interviews what skills and attributes are expected, appreciated and what they want most in a leader.

The most consistent response is that employees want their leaders to be honest. Good news or bad, employees and followers expect the effective leader to tell the truth. The leader always sets the standard for integrity. Followers then follow the example.

The ideal leader is consistent. Good and challenging days are a reality. Yet, the ideal leader remains stable, predictable and upbeat without favoritism or discouragement.

The ideal leader works with a defined set of values. These values guide their decisions, goals, plans and work strategies. Every decision is focused and secured to a basic value. These values shape individual decisions and define the organization.

“Blameless”, (1 Timothy 3:2, 10, Titus 1:6-7 NKJV) is a key word for Christian Leaders. It is as relevant today as it was in Paul’s day. To be effective at church and at work, we need to be free of any hint of scandal.  Integrity is critical.

“Credibility (integrity) is one of the hardest attributes to earn. And it’s the most fragile of human qualities. It’s earned minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, month-by-month, year-by–year. But, it can be lost in very short order if not attended to. We’re willing to forgive a few minor transgressions, a slip of the tongue, a misspoken word, a careless act. But there comes a time when enough is enough. And when leaders have used up all of their credibility, it’s nearly impossible to earn it back.”  (Designed to Lead by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck)

The ideal leader who is honest, consistent, blameless and credible could be you.

Leadership is … striving to glorify God in everything you do.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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Leadership is Wisdom

You supervise thirteen employees within a corporation with several thousand staff. Your unit is responsible to consult with staff within your company and other related industries.

As part of the annual budget cycle you identify various pieces of audio visual equipment, computers and laptops that are surplus. The process in your company requires you to send the surplus equipment to an auction with the funds being returned to head office.  The systems are somewhat loose with no central listing of assets. As a Supervisor you are entrusted to make decisions in the best interest of the company.

Your Boss, in his volunteer role on weekends, is the president of a recreational ski club.  He tells you the club survives by dues and donations. He further illustrates that his ski club has had a tough year and is really short of audio visual equipment. He tells you that the ski club could really use the surplus equipment. He states that the corporation is big, growing, turning a profit and declaring it surplus is just giving it away.

Your Boss also reminds you that he’ll be doing your performance appraisal in a couple of months and it would be to your and his personal advantage if the surplus equipment were to be left in the hallway for him to take to his ski club instead of to surplus auction.

King Nebuchadnezzar describes Daniel and his three friends as, “…in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.” (Daniel 1:20)

Leadership is defining wise choices in the face of conflicting options.

Would your staff confirm that you choose wisely in difficult circumstances?

Yours in Service
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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Leadership is… Honest Use of Company Resources

An employee is responsible to visit clients in a large rural area. He visits individual homes each week, checks in daily, submits his reports electronically and arrives in the office for Team meetings every other Tuesday. His work is positive, reports accurately and is well respected by his clients. He lives on an acreage outside a small town a short distance from the city where his head office is located.

His employment package, confirms he gets a company vehicle for all his work related travelling. He has a company credit card for gas, maintenance and repairs. It just didn’t seem reasonable to expect the employee to allocate an hour every day to come into the office to pick up and return the company vehicle. So, he is allowed to keep the vehicle at home.  However, he cannot use it for personal business.

The challenge arrives when the employee is discovered, using the company vehicle to drive his daughter to specialty music lessons to a neighbouring town. This hour long trip has used the company gas and vehicle every weekend for the previous three years.

This example may seem too obvious. Is it? The point is, how is your record for honest use of company resources? You may not be borrowing/stealing the company car, gas, wear and tear. However, do you arrive late and leave early? Are your lunch and coffee breaks getting longer? Do company pens, pads of paper, computers and laptops find their way to your home and personal life? Speaking of personal life, are you representing your employer in a positive manner on your off hours? How much time do you spend on personal phone calls, email and internet use?

Check Romans 12:11 in the Living Bible, “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.”

In Executive Influence, Crane and Hamel confirm that, “Christians are held to a different standard, no matter what their titles.”

Leadership is living a life that is beyond question setting an exemplary standard.

Are you are being totally honest in all your decisions related to company resources?

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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