Navigation
Subscribe
Wednesday
Dec132017

Seven things that healthy teams check at the door!

Part of being a healthy team is knowing what to check at the door. Ron Edmondson shares seven of them with us.

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

I think healthy teams are intentionally created, so wherever I serve I’m consistently trying to make our environment better.

Over the years, I’ve learned some things will not develop healthy teams. Many times it’s as much about what we don’t have on our team as what we do have. 

The team I now serve with works well together – most of the time. We get along well with each other. My theory is it may have to do as much with what we don’t bring to the time we spend together as it does what we bring to the that time.

Let me explain. 

Here are 7 things healthy teams check at the door:


Egos

There is no place for them. A team requires everyone pulling equal weight. That means everyone should get equal recognition. No one thinks they are “better” or more important to the team. 

Closed minds 

Healthy teams need every opinion on the team. The synergy of differences makes the team better. No idea is too crazy or wild to at least talk about together — maybe even experiment. 

Domination

No one is in “control” on a healthy team. There are times when all team members are in “charge” because of their responsibilities.

Selfishness. 

Teams can’t be healthy when everyone is looking out for themselves. Healthy teams work together and support one another. They share time and resources. 

Negativity

No one benefits from a poor attitude. Encouragement fuels health and production. Healthy teams encourage one another. 

Personal criticism

Healthy teams support one another personally. They become like family — loving each other. They build each other up — not tear each other down. There may be teasing in fun, but a healthy team learns when even teasing goes too far. (I’ve personally had to go back and apologize for teasing.) 

Stubbornness. 

When any team member holds out for “their” way — including the leader — it keeps the organization from achieving health.

Sunday
Dec102017

Eight of the hardest kinds of people to lead!

Now every person on planet earth has a little of one or more of these, but I’m talking about those who have it in spades. It dominates/colors everything they do and say to the extent that it significantly harms them and others. Here are eight that I can think of:

1. The Overly Ambitious

His/her ego is writing checks the team can’t cash. They have an idea a minute and are upset when people fail to get excited about every idea they have.

2. The Unambitious

Flat out lazy with no God-sized dreams and goals. Would rather settle for mediocrity.

3. The Super Brilliant

They’re too smart for their own good. Brilliant when it come to talent, dismal when it comes to relationships and teamwork. They tend to be know-it-alls and have opinions on everything. I love what John Wooden says, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

4. The Super Fast

They can run circles around most people and gets lots done in a short period of time, but nobody likes them, wants to work with them, or be around them. They are more interested in quantity than quality.

5. The Independent Operator

It’s their way or the highway. Can’t seem to be able to negotiate or compromise when it is called for. Always prefers to work alone rather than with others. Don't seem to even like other people.

6. The Complainer

A nick-picker of sorts with whom nothing is ever good or right enough. They always go straight to all the problems with ideas and people, but seldom offer solutions; Mr./Ms. Negativity.

7. The Hurting

Those with significant dysfunction who don’t seem to really want to get better, but just want to use the team and their supervisor as therapists. Now we all have problems and issues just because we are alive; but I am thinking of those who don’t/won’t lean into the Gospel or take responsibility for their lives and their future. It’s always somebody else’s fault. They perhaps really don’t want help but pity.

8. The Traditionalist

Takes conventionality to a new level. Never interested in trying new things or new ways of doing old things. The champion of “This is the way we’ve always done it, and 'if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it'.” They view change as a threat rather than an opportunity,.

What would you add to the list? Whom have you found it difficult to lead, work with, or for?

Thursday
Dec072017

Attributes of a maturing leader

Leaders worth their salt have a strong desire to continue to grow and mature. Satus Quo won't do. What does increasing maturity look like for a leader? Ron Edmondson shares seven attributes.

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

I frequently say to our church I’m less interested in where a person has been and more interested in where they are going. I would make that statement about leadership also.

The best leaders I know don’t have all the answers. They haven’t got everything figured out yet. Most wouldn’t even consider themselves “experts” in the field of leadership. (I certainly don’t consider myself to be one.) They are humbled why people would ask for their input. They realize they have much to learn.

What they have done and are doing is to continue maturing as a leader. The best leaders I know are consistently getting better.

In fact, you can often spot a maturing leader. They share common attributes.

Here are 7 attributes of a maturing leader:


1. Able to think strategically in the moment.

They don’t just spout off the first thing that comes to their mind and worry about cleaning it up later.All of us have done that at times, but maturing leaders have learned their words carry great weight and so they choose them carefully. (I wrote a post about that HERE.) They are encouraging and guard their tongue from reckless and hurtful words. It’s not a matter of being politically correct — it’s caring for people. It’s valuing others. It’s being intentional to use the power of words to bless others rather than tear them down.

2. Recognizes the contributions of others and willingly cheers other’s success.

It’s natural, especially early in a person’s leadership to seek to “build a resume”, but a maturing leader doesn’t have to get all the glory. In fact, they may get none, because the attention is shifted to the team — often to those who did the real work. This leader has learned when others succeed the leader succeeds.

3. Doesn’t act in anger.

They carefully plans a response. They take time to “cool down” before addressing a heated issue. Possibly they have been burned by their own quickness to react and so now they are becoming more careful and methodical in their approach.

4. Releases more control.

Maturing leaders place trust in others. They empower people to do work and take ownership. They know, often by painful experience, the more they control the less things can grow and be healthy.

5. Thinks beyond today.

Personally and for the organization, the maturing leader is guiding a path towards a better reality. They strive to see what’s coming and prepare for it. They likely experienced not being prepared and want to protect the vision for the long-term.

6. Concerned about, but doesn’t stress over small things.

Some things just don’t matter as much in the grand scheme of things. Leaders should be concerned about the details — even the smallest things can make a huge difference, but maturing leaders look to the big picture and dismiss issues which have little impact on the overall vision. A maturing leader has learned they cannot make everything matter or nothing really will.

7. Receives correction without becoming defensive.

This is huge. Maturing leaders don’t hold a grudge. They forgive easily. They see feedback — even that which is hard to hear — as valuable information which can make them better. Leadership can be painful, so it takes time for a leader to get here, but maturing leaders have learned life is too short and there is no value in lingering in the past.

You may not have all of these as attributes yet, but my encouragement is to keep improving.

Brag on yourself: Which of these are you doing well?

Be honest: Upon which of these attributes do you most need to improve?

Sunday
Dec032017

Fatal Flaws of a Leader

Winston Churchill:  “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” I usually don’t take issue with a well-known leader, but…

There are examples of successful leaders falling because of serious flaws in their lives. President Richard Nixon comes to mind. 

Are there certain kinds of flaws that Christian leaders may develop which could spell the end of their leadership effectiveness, their leadership altogether or, worse yet, the downward spiral of their walk with  Jesus? I believe there are. Here are three to consider:

1.  NOT BEING A PERSON OF INTEGRITY

Integrity has been at the top of my “Essential Leadership Qualities” list for a number of years. Integrity leads to credibility which leads to trust which leads to influence. No influence, no leadership. People should be able to trust me without wondering if I will do what I promised and deliver it when I promised. I can think of few things worse that having someone say, “I don’t trust you!” I am increasingly careful about what I say and how much I promise, because I’m committed to integrity in all I do. Recently I sat with a pastor who had sent out an e-mail with information about me that was flattering but not accurate.

Because integrity is a high value, I set the record straight. Charles Colson was once asked what he considered to be the top three qualities of a leader. “Well, the first one would be integrity—and the second would be integrity. And the third one would be (you guessed it) integrity.” Did his experience in the inner circle with the Nixon administration have any bearing on his response?

2.  NOT CONTINUING TO GROW

I don’t think I can lead if I don’t grow; especially considering the warp speed at which everything is traveling and the number of major changes coming my way on a daily basis. I want to continue to develop and grow myself (especially spiritually), to stay vibrant and relevant in my living, thinking and practices.

Very much related to growing is being teachable. I’m reminded of the person who said he wanted to learn but didn’t want to be taught! No can do! Learning is synonymous with being taught. I’m a committed life-long learner, ready to learn from any source, any person, any time. At times, I’m humbled regarding the sources from which I receive needed insight and instruction. I once had a non-Christian make significant suggestions on how to change my presentation of the Gospel (that was hard to take.) Listening well is a good way to continue to grow oneself.

A few years ago, I was talking with Catherine (extremely gifted and very articulate) who is responsible for the women’s ministry at a mega church. She shared with me that the most important thing she was learning was being a better listener by asking lots of questions rather than doing most of the talking.

I’m learning that as well. I don’t feel I have arrived in any area of my life, even though I have been a Christian for 57 years, been married 49 years, been in vocational Christian ministry 49 years and have four adult children. & seven grand children I’m still eager to learn even more about ministry, marriage, caring for kids and grandkids and cultivating my intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:6 in The Message says, “From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of what God is doing, you’ve been hungry for more.” That’s me—hungry for more. More of God and all He has for me. Yesterday’s home runs won’t win today’s ball games!

3.  NOT STAYING SEXUALLY PURE

I was talking with a counselor who told me that sexual addiction is the number one problem among men with whom he counsels. This scares me to death. We live in a cesspool of explicit pornography and graphically displayed sex, which is hard to escape or avoid. I have been faithful to my wife for 49 years and, with God’s help and grace, intend to keep it that way. It is an increasing challenge. II Timothy 2:22 in the Living Bible: “Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have.” Although I am not young any longer, the advice still stands. I need to run away from movies, books, magazines, music, web sites--whatever displeases the Lord and can cause me to go down a road from which retreat is difficult. 

The song “A Pure Heart” by Rusty Nelson speaks volumes to me.

 “A pure heart, that’s what I long for; a heart that follows hard after Thee. A heart that hides Your word so that sin will not come in; a heart that’s undivided but one You rule and reign; a heart that beats compassion, that pleases You my Lord, a sweet aroma of worship that rises to Your throne.”

I’m reminded of Paul’s warning in I Corinthians 9:27: “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” The Living Bible adds: “…and be asked to step aside.” What a horrible thought…to be taken out of the game…sidelined…watching the action from a distance…to be “unblessable.” I’m not talking about my salvation, but being unable to bear fruit for God.

Is failure fatal? 

In some cases it may well be. I have seen it and, perhaps, so have you. Do you need to make some changes? How close to the edge are you skating?

Wednesday
Nov292017

One key ingredient in a team worth working for!

Here is a good word from prolific blogger and author, Michael Hyatt. I could not agree more with his assessment and conclusion.

Originally posted by Michael Hyatt

One Key Ingredient in a Team Worth Working For

And Here’s a Hint: It’s Not Talent, Skill, or Expertise

Is there anything more frustrating than trying to accomplish a big goal with someone who’s negative, unimaginative, and defensive?

Thankfully, it’s been a while since I’ve tried. But I’ve had my share in the past, and I can tell you that nothing will kill an organization’s productivity and vision like a can’t-do person.

But if this kind of cynicism brings a team down, what can lift it up?

Several weeks ago my team and I met to review our business and make plans for the coming year. The whole process was exhilarating, but one part that stands out for me was when we discussed our values.

We identified what matters most to us about the way we work and collaborate. It was important for us to identify not what we wanted to be, but who we really are.

People began throwing different qualities on the board, and we built out a good list. But it didn’t feel complete. Something was missing. Finally someone mentioned the infectious enthusiasm of a fellow teammate.

Bam! That was it. Infectious Enthusiasm.

Everyone on our team has this quality, but sometimes the fish don’t notice the water they’re swimming in. We needed to identify it, highlight it, underscore it, and put it in BIG LETTERS.

Infectious enthusiasm is a key ingredient in a team worth working for. Talent, skill, expertise are only part of the picture. If you’re not bringing energy, optimism, and creativity to the party, it won’t be much fun. Why?

1.  Motivation. Enthusiastic people bring their own battery pack. You never have to worry about motivating them because they’re already plugged into the business and fully engaged.

2.  Solutions. Problems and obstacles are part of business. A former colleague of mine used to say that if work was easy, they wouldn’t pay us. But enthusiasm unlocks innovative thinking. Instead of seeing the roadblock and turning around, enthusiastic people find workarounds. They’ll go over, under, around—or just build a new road.

3.  Ownership. Can-do people own whatever part of the process and outcome they’re responsible for—and they’re usually willing to assist on the rest. That means they don’t need heavy management. They just get going and get things done.

4.  Achievement. Achievement takes energy. If you have motivated team members who are eager to find solutions and own the outcome, guess what happens? You start accomplishing goals.

5.  Culture. Whether good or bad, attitudes are communicable. Enthusiastic people are fun to work with, which means they can bring up the mood of the whole team. It’s infectious. The net result is a positive team culture. And here’s the great thing. It’s practically self-perpetuating.

Some people might object and say this is really a question of personality. What they mean is that people can’t help it. They’re either positive or not. But that’s not true.

Enthusiasm is a choice. the attitude we bring to our circumstances is entirely within our own control.MICHAEL HYATT