cropped-laurie-kennedy1.jpgDuring Coaching sessions, I ask leaders to tell me stories about their church or place of business.  Since people love talking about themselves. I listen for themes.

Stories tell me more about an organization than hours of interviews and pouring over Annual Reports. In one of my career moves, I was the Director of Staff Development for a major hospital setting. It became obvious that staff and community attitudes to the organization were extremely poor. My staff began to listen and to categorize stories. What were our 1,300 staff really saying about our patient care, systems and management?

A healthy church will tell you what they believe in, about the successes, what God is doing in their midst today and where they are headed in the future. Unhealthy churches will tell you stories about the past preferring to tell you what they don’t believe in.

One church I worked with celebrated in their story, a tragedy that had happened 20 years previously. The church hadn’t moved beyond the tragedy and that was a focal point by which everything else was measured.

A healthy business will talk about a recent success, a positive quarterly report, a new project or a new method to meet customer needs.  Whereas the unhealthy business will tell you about product failure, late deliveries and the multitude of things that go wrong. Many churches and business organizations try to drive forward with their eyes clearly focused on the rear view mirror.

Note Paul’s comments, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 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)

Leadership is listening, sharing the positives and building on the successes. The Healthy leader listens, tells the positives and looks ahead.

How do you answer questions and what stories do you tell most often about your church?

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group