A business is in a nosedive with product sales. A nonprofit’s donor income has dropped by half. A church’s members continue to decline. All around I’m seeing organizations struggling and dreaming about the past. When that happens, what do you do? Most panic. But if you had a choice, which scenario below would you pick (or ARE you picking now?):
How difficult is it to lead creative people? Put it this way – it’s the #1 question I’m asked at conferences and leadership events. My friend Daryl Allen, a producer at Leading the Way Ministries in Atlanta, sent me this quote that puts it all in perspective. It’s from Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation, and author of the book “Creativity, Inc.”. Ed’s quote really explains the delicate balance of leading versus micromanaging:
Have you ever worked for an organization who had a low level employee in charge? Certainly not by title, but through his or her behavior, they virtually ran the organization. Here’s one I encountered a few years ago: An employee at a large Christian ministry was responsible for scheduling outreaches, volunteers, and equipment. The employee wasn’t a department head or on the leadership team in any way. However, the employee
When it comes to brainstorming and creative teams, Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com says to keep them small. Usually, when I’m involved in creative meetings with clients, most organizations want 20-30 people in meetings and that’s just too large and unproductive a group to work. With a smaller group of key people, you don’t waste a lot of time and man hours on bad ideas. Plus, like a herd of cats, large creative teams are simply too unwieldy to manage well. Small groups move faster and are more nimble. The perfect number?
When it comes to leadership and influence, we rarely talk about trust. When we do, it’s usually in terms of honesty and integrity. Questions like: “Can I trust you to honor your word?” or “Can you be trusted with finances?” usually come to mind. Those questions are important, but the truth is, trust is a far deeper issue, and when it comes to your team, employees, congregation, or followers, trust may be the single most important connection you can build. Especially when it comes to leading the next generation, to achieve connection, here’s four principles every leader and influencer should know:
Whenever I consult with a church, ministry, or nonprofit, I always begin by looking closely at the team. The employees are the ones that make an organization work, so learning as much as we can about them is critical – and I’m often surprised at how little pastors and other leaders actually know about the personal side of their team. If you’re not taking the time to know your people well, you’re shortchanging your vision. Having studied teams over the years, here’s a starting list of issues leaders need to know about their teams:
At some point, your organization is going to work with a vendor, consultant, or other outside group. It could be about creating or updating a web or media project, hiring a builder, engaging legal advice, fundraising strategy, or a million other possibilities. Whenever that happens, there’s a critical issue that too many organizations don’t think enough about: Your contact person. Some call them a “liaison,” a “go-between,” or “point person.” Whatever you call your employee that handles it, that role is
When it comes to pastors, as well as ministry and nonprofit leaders, there are hundreds of choices on your radar. In fact, leadership in many ways is about making the right decisions at the right time: short range, long range, strategy, vision – the list goes on. However, there’s one decision that is far more important than most ministry leaders realize: