Tag: tradition

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… 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
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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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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