The Top 10 Secrets for Successfully Failing Up

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Nearly everyone knows someone who’s “failed up.” In other words, no matter how many times they’ve failed, been fired, hurt co-workers, or created a catastrophe, they still seem to move up the career ladder. It’s frustrating to watch, and if you’ve ever wondered how they do it, here are the real secrets of “failing up:”

5 Things I Learned from the Bomb Squad Conference

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Last week I had the incredible opportunity to speak into the lives of forty top Salvation Army leaders from their Eastern Territory. We talked about engaging culture in today’s digital age, developing great teams, and becoming more effective influencers. It was a terrific time. But during our sessions, we were next door to a law enforcement conference focused on men and women from bomb squads across the country. During the breaks, I had the chance to talk to a few, and learned some ideas that all of us could use in our own leadership:

The Secrets of Confronting Without Offending

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At some point, all leaders will be required to confront someone on their team. It may be about performance, personal behavior, mismanagement, or a host of other possibilities, but confrontation is critical – and inevitable – in all organizations. However, as Deborah Smith Pegues points out in her excellent book “Confronting Without Offending,” the key is to use confrontation to make better employees, not drive them away. Here’s a few of her tips for making that happen:

Leaders: 5 Warning Signs That You’ve Lost Your Influence

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Leadership is about influence.  After all, if you can’t inspire and influence your team to accomplish your organization’s purpose, then you won’t get very far. But over the years, I’ve seen plenty of leaders lose that influence – and yet don’t recognize when it starts slipping away. For a number of reasons, they’re unable to see the warning signs that indicate they’ve lost authority and influence. Ex-leaders are everywhere, so don’t become one. To help, here’s 5 warning signs that you’re losing influence with your team:

Leadership Lessons From A Super Bowl Coach

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He took a lot of crazy heat over “Deflategate,” but New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has left his mark. After six Super Bowls, he’s doing something right. And if you take the time to study his coaching techniques, you’ll find a significant number of areas that would easily transfer to leadership in any organization. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week, Christopher Caldwell pointed out some key areas that make him a great leader:

The Problem With Chronically Late Leaders

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From time to time everyone is late. We live in a world of distractions, and everything from traffic, last minute phone calls, to all kinds of emergencies make us late from time to time. The key phrase here is “from time to time.” But what happens when leaders (particularly pastors) are chronically late? Let me tell you something I hear from office, team, and church staff members all the time:

When Leaders Don’t Enjoy Spending Time With Their Team

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In my consulting work over the last 30 years, one of the most common complaints I get – particularly at churches and nonprofit organizations – is that leaders don’t spend much time with their team.  Understand it’s not just about being busy. In most situations it’s pastors, executives, COO’s and other leaders who simply don’t enjoy spending time with their team. In case that’s happening at your organization, and since I’ve heard it from both sides, when it happens, here’s my advice for both parties:

Leaders: The Problem With Valuing Everyone Equally

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The Bible is clear – everyone has intrinsic value and worth.  God loves us all and there are no favorites in His kingdom. As leaders, we try to live that out every day. The problem is, we get into trouble when we use that principle when evaluating our team. Every church, ministry, nonprofit, or business has employees or volunteers, and while we should appreciate them all equally, some of those employees bring greater value to the table. Throughout the Bible, God chose different people for

People are More Valuable Than Technology

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I was reading in 2 Kings 12:13-15: “The money brought into the temple was not spent for making silver basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, trumpets or any other articles of gold or silver for the temple of the Lord; it was paid to the workmen, who used it to repair the temple. They did not require an accounting from those to whom they gave the money to pay the workers, because they acted with complete honesty.” It’s interesting that the writer actually

When To Intervene When Things Go Wrong

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My father, Dr. Bill Cooke (left) was a mainline denominational pastor, and during the late 60’s and early 70’s he started exploring the Charismatic renewal. As a result, he began teaching on the Holy Spirit, and our church really started growing. There was an explosion of interest in that subject at the time and people started coming from everywhere. But there was one problem: