Browsing: Staffing

Leadership Is… Influence #294

Leadership is an influence process, guiding others to follow a God directed Vision.

“Sometimes even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog, waiting to see where the dog wants to go so that he can take him there.”

Lee Iacocca, Christianity Today

Effective leaders create positive change. Ineffective leaders work to maintain the former outdated direction and can’t change it.  The difference is the influence of a respected and trusted leader.

Many volunteer leaders strive for a position to become a leader. The challenge is, people don’t follow a position they only follow a leader they trust.

Volunteers in church can’t be forced or disciplined to be more Christ like. They can only be encouraged and influenced to model themselves after a Christ like leader.

Extraordinary leadership is found in leaders (who have searched to discover his or her authentic self) who influence others to accomplish great dreams through intentional relationships, spiritual awareness, wise counsel and relentless vision.

“The task of future leaders is not to make a little contribution to the solution of the pains and tribulations of their time, but to identify and announce the ways in which Jesus is leading God’s people out of slavery, through the desert to a new land of freedom.  Christian leaders have the arduous task of responding to personal struggles, family conflicts, national calamities, and international tensions (not to mention business crises) with an articulate faith in God’s real presence.”

Crane and Hamel, Executive Influence

Influence has nothing to do with position or organizational power. It has everything to do with the person. The factors that most powerfully impact your influence is your personal integrity, character and strategic excellence.

Healthy Leaders, influence our world one step at a time.

Leadership is … faith in God’s real presence.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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Leadership Is A Thriving Pastor #259

Laurie Kennedy“Protestant clergy have the highest overall work-related stress and are next to the lowest in having personal resources to cope with the occupational strain.” (Journal of Clinical Psychology, Resilient Ministry by Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman and Donald C. Guthrie)

The Jethro Group, under our Vision of “Healthy Leaders: Leading, Serving and Caring with Integrity”, focuses on Pastors every October. Your Pastor is one of those very unique individuals who leads and cares. With the right support, Pastors have the potential to achieve phenomenal change in our families, our churches and communities for God’s glory.

It is a privilege to laugh, pray and cry with Pastors. My work includes everything from recruiting, training, encouraging, caring, advising through difficulties, discipline and counselling out.

As a leader, ask yourself how often you:

  • Listen, really listen for your Pastor’s heart.
  • Pray consistently for your Pastor.
  • Defend your Pastor when others criticize.
  • Talk to your kids about what you learned from your Pastor.
  • Give your Pastor a gift card.
  • Tell your Pastor what you learned from Scripture this week.
  • Talk with your Pastor about demonstrating God’s love at your work.
  • Encourage your Pastor for their involvement in the community that you both live in.
  • Remember that your Pastor is human and has good days and challenging ones.
  • Ask your Pastor about their Spiritual Gifts and their dreams for your church.
  • Remember that your Pastor hears, deals with and carries the challenges of many people.
  • Ask your Pastors what keeps them awake at night, then agree to pray for and with them.
  • Ask your Pastor to pray with you for the individual that you are mentoring.

“Give a bonus to leaders who do a good job, especially the ones who work hard at preaching and teaching.” Scripture tells us, “Don’t muzzle a working ox” and “A worker deserves his pay.” (1 Timothy 5:17-18 MSG)

Leadership is supporting your Ministry staff to accomplish God’s Vision.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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Leadership Is Prayerful Group Decisions #258

Laurie Kennedy“…Forgetting what is behind, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

It is Annual Report time for many churches. Your Treasurer and finance people will prepare a financial update. Your department leaders will prepare a short summary of Annual activities. Your Pastor will prayerfully review the year. All will be combined into a booklet called the Annual Report. Most members in your church will review it and put it on the shelf along with last years’ report. The fascinating and frightening reality is that most Annual Reports, year after year, look and read identically. Then, in the New Year we do the same activities as in previous years. Repeating the same successes and challenges of the previous years.

Pastors, Leaders let’s try something different this year. Ask your Ministry staff and volunteer leaders to respond to these 8 questions when preparing their reports. The first point is a given and obvious.

  1. Did we consistently stand firm on our Bible based understanding of God’s word?
  2. What successes were achieved in your area of responsibility?
  3. What didn’t work?
  4. What did we learn from the challenges faced in your department?
  5. What led to the successes and disappointments?
  6. What can we do differently next year to achieve more success and less challenge?
  7. Did all our activities lead to the Vision, Mission and Values that our church stands for?
  8. Where can we share and cooperate to achieve more of God’s plan for next year.

My prayer for the church and mission leaders that I work with is that Annual Reports become decision making documents. Your Annual Report should be a prayerful formal review that leads to definitive decision making to honestly improve the overall health of your Ministry.

Leadership is … prayerfully improving the health of our churches each and every year.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach

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Leadership Is Motivating #248

Laurie KennedyA Leader asks. I’m a volunteer leader in my church. I don’t have a budget to encourage the many volunteers who work with me. How do I motivate them to keep on keeping on?

Encouraging and motivating staff is like catching butterflies. If you go in like a bulldozer, running, shouting and demanding, the butterflies will be gone long before you arrive. The same with people. You cannot demand, force, or coerce staff to be motivated. Remember the old cliché, ‘Terminations will continue until motivation improves’?

Volunteers will develop and flourish in an atmosphere of security and trust. Encourage employees to innovate, and be creative without fear of failure. Ask staff and volunteers for their ideas. Praise staff when they perform well. Set realistic and accomplish-able goals. Then, follow through on suggestions and build on the positive aspects of the work.

Motivation can only be built and encouraged in an environment free of threats, put-downs and accusations. Staff need to freely express ideas and concerns without fear. Do you encourage new ideas? Look at your rules or policies. Do they unduly restrict and inhibit? No one is going to be enthused, excited or motivated to work within an organization full of criticism and put downs.

Your most important step is to pray for your staff daily and be available to listen. Say, thank you each and every time your volunteers, customers or future customers give you an idea, suggestion or concern.

The very key factor in motivating staff is you the supervisor. You must live the example. Be the best leader you can be and your staff will follow your lead willingly.

“To increase motivation in your organization, create an environment for passion. People will work hard and achieve great results when they have passion for the task.” (Dr. John Townsend Leadership Beyond Reason)

Leadership is … living positive character values daily.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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Leadership Is Building your Staff Team

Laurie KennedyPastor, the quality of your ministry and church is dependent on you maintaining a quality staff and volunteer team. Check out these eleven low cost ideas to encourage your staff.  These quotes are taken directly from the most fascinating book, The Daily Carrot Principle by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.

  • “Take ninety seconds today to write a specific note of appreciation to someone who has helped you.”
  • “Someone in your group of colleagues is probably feeling isolated right now. Find a way today to make that person feel like a valued member of your work community by publicly recognizing one of his strengths.”
  • “Identify the stars around you and take time today to let them know how much you value them.”
  • “If you had to name three people in your organization that ‘infect’ you in a positive way, who would they be and why? Tell them that you appreciate their energy.”
  • “Commit a secret good deed today. The only person that needs to know about your actions is you.”
  • “Enter the birthdays of your co-workers in a calendar and never let one of the dates pass without a card or other expression.”
  • “Think of the last time you extended recognition to someone. Now go and do it again.”
  • “Find a charity that is worthy of your support and get your team involved. Start looking today.”
  • “Ask yourself: Do I spend my time thinking about my teammates/spouse/friends and their needs, or just my own?”
  • “Every week take at least an hour or two and find a quiet place to reflect on what your intuitions may be telling you. Behind your desk with your eyes closed may not be ideal, but a long walk at lunch might be.”
  • “Let the new guy know that you’re available if he has questions or needs any help, and mean it. The relationships you forge as a mentor will benefit you for years, not only with that employee but with other co-workers and management.”

I use this book and The Orange Revolution by the same authors with my teams.

Leadership is … encouraging someone in your team today and every day.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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Leadership Is Cheerleading for your Staff and Volunteers

Laurie KennedyCorporate research suggests it takes up to $100,000 to recruit and train the best staff. Quality Pastors from healthy churches tell me it takes up to three years for them to be fully integrated, respected and loved by their people. Hence, those numbers may be realistic for churches as well.

We also know, “A Gallup study found that when people leave their companies (churches), 65% of them are actually leaving their Managers (Pastors or leaders).” It’s your Ship: Management Techniques from the best ship in the Navy by Michael Abrashoff.

How much do you know about each of your volunteers? “He knew each of the eighty men aboard by name. He asked them about their wives and families; which baseball team they liked best or where they went to school.” Portraits of Integrity; Real People who demonstrated Godly Character by Marilyn Boyer and Grace Tumas.

Do your volunteers know how much you appreciate their dedication? “As a manager (Pastor, Board Chair), the one signal you need to steadily send to your people is how important they are to you. In fact, nothing is more important to you. Realize your influence, and use it wisely. Be there for your people. Find out who they are. Recognize the effects you have on them and how you can make them grow taller.” It’s your Ship: Management Techniques from the best ship in the Navy by Michael Abrashoff

Do each of your staff and volunteers know and accept their role as critical to the long term health of your church? “I tried to establish a personal relationship with each crew member. I wanted to link our goals, so that they would see my priority of improving Benfold as an opportunity for them to apply their talents and give their jobs real purpose.” It’s your Ship: Management Techniques from the best ship in the Navy by Michael Abrashoff.

In the corporate world, I had 1000 people looking to my office for leadership. In order to get the job done, I had a staff of 17. I knew all their names. But, I didn’t know their birthdays, anniversaries or families. Hmm! I should have been a more encouraging CEO.

Leadership is … a dedicated staff of volunteers who are fully dedicated to the health of their church because you are their biggest cheerleader.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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Leadership Is Motivating and Encouraging Your Staff

Laurie KennedyWe arrived at dock side beside a strikingly beautiful Cruise ship. During embarkation 2,300 of us laughed talked and shared dreams of our cruise. The ship was ready, the 1000 plus crew were ready, the ship was sparkling clean. The ten restaurants, lounges, fitness centre, spa, casino and library were ready for us. We were directed to our stateroom complete with balcony overlooking the ocean in preparation for a wonderful holiday.

This ship had a practice common to other cruise lines. Our safety was to be first and foremost. Hence, every day the crew had a practice drill. I was thrilled. The inconvenience was irrelevant as the staff practiced lifeboat drill, automatic door closure and abandon ship to name a few.

However, something from a leadership perspective concerned me. We already know that poor bosses typically focus on problems, not solutions. Ineffective bosses will discipline a staff member anytime, anywhere, even in public. On the converse, we know that effective bosses work to make staff feel important. Employees want to follow a leader who cares. Joel Manby in Love Works tells us, “the definition of CEO needs to be expanded. It also stands for ‘Chief Encouragement officer”. He also confirms, “I determined never to publicly admonish people in a way that would diminish their dignity”.

Back to our cruise ship and the daily safety exercise. At the conclusion of each exercise the respective Manager would call a staff member with a particular number to the office. It didn’t take long for me to notice that staff member #341 was not performing to the optimum. This staff member was routinely called to report after the safety exercises.

It was a fascinating coincidence that during our cruise, I was reading, It’s Your Ship by Michael Abrashoff.  Note his comments, “Show me a manager who ignores the power of praise, and I will show you a lousy Manager.” Or, from Joel Manby and Love Works, “a reprimand should be given in private, and it should be given in a way that maintains a person’s dignity.”

Leadership is …ensuring the people who work for you feel needed and highly valued.

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group

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