438354 300x200 3 Ways To The Other Side of UncertaintyHave you found yourself in the midst of uncertainty? If so, chances are you are a leader. There’s no need for leadership in the midst of certainty. And while every season has its feeling of uncertainty, there are seasons when the feeling of uncertainty is heightened.

I find myself at the beginning of a breakthrough after a couple weeks of feeling stuck and these are the 3 steps that got me there:

Think Back

This is the easiest and perhaps the most neglected. Remember times of uncertainty that you have walked through before. You can do this in five minutes or you can take a whole day for this. Chances are you will be reminded of the many times, even recently, that God walked with you through uncertainty. And hear you stand, stronger than ever.

Dream Forward

God doesn’t sketch up a completed blueprint. Instead, He marks up and completes ours. Dream with God about the other side of your uncertainty. Put it on a napkin or on your whiteboard. Write Here on the left side and There on the right side. In the middle write what you have, what you don’t have, what you need to start doing and what you need to stop doing.

Act Now

Here’s the real act of faith: starting doing stuff. Believe that God will actually stop you in your tracks if you’re headed in the wrong direction. Believe that He will redirect you. Hebrews 11:1 says: Now faith is confidence in what we hope(dream) for and assurance(certainty) about what we do not see.

Are you in a season of uncertainty? Which of the 3 steps do you most need to take today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

wrigley 300x199 5 Ways To Remove Immeasurement

All human beings have a need in their jobs to be able to assess for themselves whether or not they are doing a good job.

-Patrick Lencioni

If you’re the boss/leader/manager, how does your team know they are winning? Do they base it on the mood you are in on any given day? Regardless of your mood, is it based on your words?

You need to remove yourself from the equation.

People need to know intrinsically that they are winning in their work.

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How do we do this?

1. Make a scoreboard. And make it central and visible.

2. Be SMART – Use Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound metrics.

3. Control – A team member must answer “yes” to the question “Do I control this?”

4. Personal – Life choices can promote better work. Don’t be afraid to add personal or outside-of-the-office metrics to the board.

5. Review Often. Begin and end your work week reviewing how everyone is doing.

If leadership is about empowering others, why not empower others to know for themselves if they are winning?

I’m probably missing something here. What would you add to the topic of removing immeasurement?

We’re starting to get this right on our team at Mission. If you’re feeling stuck in this area, I totally get it. I’ll follow-up in a post about how we are starting to get better at this.

2154549 superman logo on chest 300x194 Jesus and our Superman MythJesus cheated, right? I mean, He was God. Like Clark Kent and Superman. When the middle buttons on his shirt are unbuttoned and the shirt is pulled open, what do we see? A huge yellow S, right? This is how we see the person of Jesus. When He walks on water, turns water into wine, feeds the 5,000, raises Lazurus from the dead – He cheated, right? Wrong!

Philippians 2:6-7 reminds us:

6 Who, being in very nature of God did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

The gospel of Luke gives us the most detailed account of the life of Jesus. Luke points out that Jesus was conceived by the Spirit, was led by the Spirit, was directed by the Spirit, yet we move on to Acts, Luke’s second book, to investigate the Spirit-filled life.

Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit is an invitation to stop admiring His life so you can start experiencing His life. Jesus says to us:

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Yes, Jesus came full of grace, sent to live the perfect life. But He didn’t cheat. He did so through the same power that we are given access to, the Holy Spirit. Get over your Superman myth. Stop admiring the life of Jesus and start experiencing the life of Jesus.

cross silhouette1 300x240 3 Ways To Lead Through Easter

1. Prepare For Attacks

Our enemy wants nothing more than to stop you, your team and your church in your tracks during this week. He wants to leave you drained, confused and doubtful. Why waste the time being surprised? Why waste energy being blindsided? Instead, be ready and stand firm. We serve a mighty warrior and a strong deliverer. Prepare for these attacks. (Also, read this letter to church leaders from Mark Driscoll to your team.)

2. Take A Risk

The church invite has received a bad rap the past decade. And while I value relational intelligence, there is no greater season to take a relational risk and give out an old fashioned church invite to a friend. At Mission, we call this week #RiskWeek. Maybe it’s at your Starbucks or favorite breakfast spot. Perhaps it’s just a walk across the street. Take a risk.

3. Plan For Rest

The temptation will be to report back to the office and ride the wave of momentum from Easter. And I’m telling you that you will be fried. You need a sabbath day of rest. You need a day to rest the parts of you that you are called to love God with; our heart, soul, mind and strength. Too often we miss our moments of reflection which lead us to acknowledge the presence of God in our lives. Our intimacy with God, as leaders, cannot afford to miss these moments. Plan for rest.

 

Crucial Confrontations Book 200x300 3 Steps of Crucial ConfrontationsI had the opportunity to attend Taste of the Summit Live at Willow Creek Community Church. It featured Joseph Grenny who spoke at last year’s Summit (here are my notes). Once again, Grenny was fantastic. He started with this:

The health of a relationship, team or organization is a function of the average time lag between identifying and discussing problems.

In all relationships, both work and personal, there are moments of poor behavior, unmet expectations and disappointment. These are your moments of disproportionate influence. These are the moment when you are best setup to lead change in an individual or an organization. Here’s how:

1. Suspend Judgement

Most of our upset moments come not from the actions of others but from our own shame. These moments trigger our insecurities and the best way to find comfort is to cast judgement. These moments aren’t about us or for us. These are opportunities to lead others.

2. Describe the Gap (facts first)

For instance: A team member is late to a meeting. Perhaps this isn’t the first time. Simply state the facts. “I’ve noticed you’ve been arriving late to our meetings lately.” vs. “Why are you always late to meetings?”. Option one is free of judgement, keeps the focus on them, and gives them an opportunity for awareness. Option two is about you and your feelings. It’s aims at getting your point across. If people are “stupid or evil”, as Grenny described, the facts will lead them to the appropriate resolution.

3. Get Curious

Now that the facts have been laid out and learning has begun to happen there are two options ahead of us. We can still make this about us and how it makes us feel or we can ask truly curious questions. “You started arriving late to meetings about a month ago. Tell me what changed?” The hope is that their answers warrant even deeper questions of curiosity on your part.

This is how we seize our greatest moments of disproportionate influence. Remember, for these steps to be effective we must eliminate the lag time between identifying and discussing problems.

blinker 300x225 Dispassion   Part 2In my last post I wrote about what former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has to say about dispassion when it comes to making tough choices. And it turns out that dispassion needs to play out in other ways as well.

 

Here’s the reality:

  • Every organization should be moving in some sort of direction.
  • Every organization should have teams that move things forward within certain lanes.
  • Every team has people that are talented enough to operate in multiple lanes.

Here’s the problem:

Every team member must stay in the lane of their greatest contribution. Every conversation, brainstorm, project and meeting outside of an individual’s lane of greatest contribution is removing them from making their most important contribution.

Here’s the solution:

1. Become Dispassionate.

A talented team member who can make great and consistent contributions to multiple lanes in an organization must become dispassionate about the areas of the organization that are outside of their lane of greatest contribution. Passion tends to draw us deep into things. You can’t be drawn deep into multiple things just because you are talented in multiple things. It will render you ineffective.

2. Become a Consultant.

At Mission, we use the language “I’m putting on my blinker” to signify when we are temporarily moving out of our lane and into another to contribute. The key here is that you aren’t ultimately responsible and it’s temporary. You are moving in to be a consultant and you are returning to your lane of greatest contribution.

Final warning:

You can’t become a consultant without becoming dispassionate. You have to identify your lane of greatest contribution and focus your passion there.

Dispassion – Part 1

February 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

CarlyFiorinaLookingMiffed 300x248 Dispassion   Part 1

Jon Peacock, my friend and pastor at Mission Church, reminded me of something that Carly Fiorina once said at a Global Leadership Summit:

“One of the interesting things that comes to mind when I think about leadership are these balance points: empathy and dispassion.”

As leaders, we thrive on passion. It’s what gets us out of bed every morning. We have a vision for some kind of change and we are willing to suffer for it.

Here is the unfortunate truth: passion can be strong enough to distort reality. It can distort the reality of people and circumstances. Dispassion will help you to see things more objectively. You’ll see people for who they are and circumstances for what they are.

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If you’re an effective leader then one of your greatest passions is people. You must balance empathy with dispassion. You must learn to balance what you feel and what you know. You must be able to feel what helps you love and know what helps you lead.  

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Lean too heavily in one direction and you will become a people pleaser or a tyrant. Both will limit your impact as a leader.

In Part 2 I’ll cover ways to act with dispassion.

Adding Names To Numbers

February 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

numbers 300x225 Adding Names To NumbersThere is no denying it – numbers summarize the story of a church or any organization. And if you’re like me, an introverted and systems leader, you are not only content but you are compelled by these numbers.

I’m going to be the bearer of bad news: not everyone is like you. Therefore you must be intentional about adding names to your numbers.

When you give a report on a number that tells the next chapter in the story of your church or organization’s vision be sure to communicate at least one name that represents the next chapter in a person’s individual story that tends to get buried in the larger number.

Leading consists of the direction of the whole and the formation of the parts. Don’t just tell the whole story. Tell the parts story as well.

Plumber Then Poet

February 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

I stumbled upon James March of Stanford University’s idea of being a plumber and then a poet when it comes to leading people. It’s simple and really helpful.

A plumber focuses on the small, gritty, mundane details of eliminating the things that hold an organization back.

A poet focuses on the pronouncement of the vision of what is ahead of us.

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