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Entries by Dave Kraft (988)

Sunday
Jan152017

Top ten behaviors of insecure leaders

Insecurity is rampant in leaders and is a leadership killer. Dan Rockwell shares ten characteristics of insecure leaders. Please read with prayer and openness!

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Fear begins at the top and flows down through organizations.

Insecure teams are led by insecure leaders.

You’re forced to be inconsistent, when you’re driven by the opinions of others.

Top 10 behaviors of insecure leaders:

  1. Grudge-holding. Forgiveness requires courage.
  2. Self-blaming. Insecurity may cause leaders to blame themselves for the delinquency of others. The difference between self-blame and responsibility is corrective action.
  3. Excuse-making. Insecurity prevents them from holding others accountable to their commitments.
  4. Joking. Insecure leaders make light of serious issues.
  5. Attacking and defending. Insecure leaders attack back. Rather than defending their team, they defend themselves.
  6. Nit-picking. Nit-pickers are unhappy insecure people who never truly celebrate.
  7. Meddling and Micro-managing. Nit-pickers come in after the fact. Meddlers intrude during the fact.
  8. Image-protecting. It’s all about what others think when you’re insecure.
  9. Fear mongering. The use of fear to motivate is an insecure leader’s method of motivation. 
  10. Over-explaining. Insecurity makes leaders talk too much.

Boldness:

Bold action springs from either confidence or fear.

Strength drives confident leaders. Dread drives the insecure.

10 ways to model confidence:

Build confidence by modeling confidence.

  1. Invite alternatives when you think you know. Insecurity needs predictability. Contrary to some opinions, confidence isn’t about having all the answers.
  2. Believe in your ability to learn when you don’t know.
  3. Practice good manners.
  4. Exercise emotional steadiness. Stay calm.
  5. Listen and make decisions.
  6. Apologize.
  7. Trust people to figure things out. Stay available but make space for others to solve problems. Too much help propagates insecurity.
  8. Spend time thinking and planning for the future.
  9. Prepare for contingencies.
  10. Honor your own mistakes by sharing what you’re learning.

Confident people go further than fearful. Successful leaders inspire boldness by instilling confidence.

What are some indications of insecurity in leaders?

What are some marks of confident leaders?

 

 

Thursday
Jan122017

Are you a human “Being” or a human “Doing?”

I hadn’t seen him in a while, so asked him how things were. “What’s happening, what’s new, what have you been doing lately?”

“Not much” he responded.  

“Another boring week with Jesus, huh,” I replied, with a smile and a gentle poke at him.

A friend standing close by came to his rescue with, “He’s into being right now, not doing.”

Oh, I thought to myself, we are into some cool theology here.

Admittedly, this was not the first time I had come across the idea of pitting one biblical idea against another instead of seeing them both working together hand-in-glove. The verse that often comes to mind in these situations is Ecclesiastes 7:18, “It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes or will follow them both.”-NIV

I think I understand what he meant. His friend was focusing on his relationship with the Lord for a season and ramping down the “doing” side of things; but I still take issue with the concept of separating being and doing and focusing on one while putting the other aside; even for a time.

I am going to venture a guess that the person who says he is into doing without being will get lectured while the person who says he is into being without doing will get sympathy. I think they both need a lecture…from the Holy Spirit.

Being and doing are inseparably linked in scripture. You would have to remove huge chunks of Paul’s writings to take out the doing part of his epistles. Additionally, James 1:22-25 states that you can’t separate being and doing and Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27 makes it clear that the person in relationship with him who is not doing is building his life on sinking sand. I am into being right now without doing is sheer disobedience and an impossibility for a true disciple. We are always “being” and we are always “doing.” Philippians 2:12,13 forever links them together. We work out (doing) what God is working in (being).

We can also make the mistake of doing without being if our actions are not rooted in and motivated by my relationship with Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit instead of my own determination and will-power.

It works best biblically when I start with who I am in Jesus and then “do” out of that relationship. As Christians we never take a vacation from doing…from responding to God’s promptings/initiations. We will always get ourselves into trouble by an exclusive focus on either of them to the neglect of the other. Biblically speaking, I really can’t do without being, and I can’t be without doing. 

What do you think?

 

Wednesday
Jan112017

Five insights gained through failing

Every leader fails at different point in their leadership journey.

The leader who never fails is the leader who is probably not living by faith, nor is willing to take healthy risks.

Failure can be one of the best teachers we’ll ever have. Here is Ron Edmondson sharing five insights from failure.

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson

Five insights that I’ve gained from failures

Ideal with people who feel like failures. Everyday.

It could be because of relationships gone bad. Business setbacks. A personal life – which was private – but is not anymore, because of intentional bad decisions or circumstances out of the person’s control.

And there are so many other examples I could share – but, the person feels like a failure.

One reason people seem to identify with my teaching is I’m not perfect. I’ve made lots of mistakes. In all the areas I listed above – I’ve experienced failure. (Where do you think I got the list?) I didn’t enter the ministry until I was 38 years old and there was plenty of time to gain valuable life experiences, which can only be learned the hard way. (And, I haven’t quit making mistakes in ministry.)

Here’s what you need to understand though.

I’ve had failures – but I’m not a failure.

Because I got back up every time I failed.

(If this is your story, maybe you need to repeat that line to yourself. I’ve had failures – but I’m not a failure.)

Along the way I’ve gained some insight into failure. There are some misunderstandings about failing you don’t necessarily know during the failing process.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned about failing:

1.  Not everyone is talking about you.

This is a critical understanding, because it sometimes feels the opposite. As a result, sometimes we avoid people – even though we may need people in our life more than ever. Sometimes we refuse to get back in the game – even to attend church – because we assume we are the news on people’s mind.

Yes, some people may be talking about you – for a while – but not for long. I’m not saying you aren’t important, but there will be a bigger story out there soon. Trust me. And, yours won’t be the flavor of the month for long. And, for those who do like to talk about others – I’ve learned they are often trying to shift attention from their own failures. (You can also remind them it is a sin to gossip.)

2.  Your attachment to the failure may never fully go away.

That’s hard, but it’s true. Rahab was always known as a “harlot” in the Bible. She kept her title. Yet, she also made it into the famed “Faith Chapter” (Hebrews 11)

When triggered in someone’s mind, they may remember your failure for years. History books record great failures of people with great success. You may have consequences to face because of your failure. Grace eliminates the condemnation of failure, but not always the impact on you or others.

I’m not sure, however, if it should be our goal to completely lose any reminder of our failure. It’s actually a way we can demonstrate grace. We can be an example to others who have failed and are seeking hope. God uses our failures as a source of strength for others. But, whether or not people can label you a failure will depend on how you respond to failure – how you proceed after the failure.

Plus, and this has proved important in my life, failure keeps us humble and, if responded to correctly, can actually fuel us for future success.

3.  God loves you more than you can imagine, even when you fail.

In fact, in my experience with failure, whether it was by intentional sin or through no fault of your own, it breaks your heart at some point. My Bible says God is close to the brokenhearted. And, your failure is what makes you a great candidate for grace – something God loves to extend to those who will receive it. Nothing you do can make God love you less or more than He does right now. He made you. You are His.

4.  Forgiving yourself may be the most difficult thing.

It’s true. The hardest person to forgive for failing is almost always ourselves. We usually hold our failures against ourselves much longer than the world does. And, the enemy understands this and loves to use it against us too. Why not? It works, right?

But, forgiveness is a choice. Receiving God’s grace is a choice. Moving forward is a choice. Choosing your next steps wisely – that’s a choice too. You may need to preach the Gospel – to yourself.

Go to  Ron Edmondson for the continuation of this article.


 

Monday
Jan092017

The single most important key to success for you and me in 2017

Over the weeks leading up to the start of 2017, perhaps you have, as I have, seen lots of blog posts and articles on the keys to success in 2017.

No new years resolutions per se, but ideas, concepts coupled with the latest thinking from people we respect as to what you and I need to do in order to experience success in our family, personal life, work and ministry in this new year.

I want to share with you what I believe is the single most important key for success in 2017.

It’s not something you do, but someone you know. That someone is Jesus. The one key is one word for success across the board for you in 2017:

Jesus.

When the clever lawyer (at least he thought he was clever and insightful) asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Jesus didn’t give him a laundry list of things to do, which perhaps caught him by surprise!

Jesus, in essence, is telling him that his total and completely abandoned love relationship with God is the key to everything.

Loving God is without a doubt the key to everything. Since we believe that Jesus is God and that the way we love God is by loving Jesus with all our heart, mind and soul, this is the key to success as it was then and is now.

He’s your most important relationship…

  • Not the family you’re responsible for
  • Not the team you’re leading
  • Not the people you’re discipling
  • Not the people you are sharing the Gospel with

All of these other relationships are important, but not the most important, as Jesus reminds us in Luke 14.

“Looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12.2 (ESV).

A study I did years ago on the phrase “Looking to Jesus” led me to understand that it means looking away from one thing and intentionally and deliberately turning our attention to something else.

As Christian leaders, we need to look away from:

  • The most talked about books
  • The most listened to Pod and Vod Casts
  • The most effective programs
  • The latest and greatest ideas

None of these are wrong per se, but we should not look to any of these as the keys to success. 

Neither should we look to, or measure success by:

  • The size of our building
  • The size of our budget
  • The size of our staff
  • The size of our program offerings
  • The size of our attendance
  • The size of our volunteer force

In 2017 let’s all agree to look to Jesus! He is the Lord of the Harvest (Matthew 9:38). He is our foundation, our cornerstone, our hope, our rock! He is the one who will bear fruit through us (John 15; I Corinthians 3:5-9).

Let’s keep it simple and focused.

Quoting John Piper: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

It’s too easy for me to find my satisfaction, my value, my worth and my security in everything and anything but Jesus! The Bible calls this idolatry.

Years ago I ran across Hosea 6:3 in the (old) Living Bible and it has inspired and motivated me for over 30 years:

“Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him, and he will respond to us as surely as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring.”

 In 2017 may we all, as his leaders, press on to know HIM!

It has been 57 years since He opend my eyes and turned me from darkness to his marveous light (Acts 26:18). I love the gospel and Jesus whom the gospel is all about.

My desire is stronger now than it has ever been to:

  • Love Him
  • Stay centered on Him
  • Spend time with Him
  • Listen to Him
  • Respond to Him
  • Obey Him
  • Walk with Him
  • Serve Him

What about you? What, or who, are you looking to for success in 2017. 

Saturday
Jan072017

Amazing recap of Patrick Lencioni's latest book! 

I think most of you know I deeply appreciate Patrick Lencioni on the subject of leadership. He gave one of the key note talks at the Leadership Summit and here is Joshua Reich with some thoughts about that talk.

Originally posted by Joshua Reich

I’m at the leadership summit with the team from Revolution Church. This is by far the best leadership conference of the year. This is my 13th summit and every year, God stretches me and challenges me. So much wisdom and inspiration wrapped up into two days. I always blog my notes, so if you can’t attend or missed something, I’ve got you covered.

Patrick Lencioni talked from his new book The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues, which I think is a must read for every leader. His insights have been incredibly helpful to me.

Here are some takeaways:

The ideal team player is humble, hungry and smart.

If a person possesses these 3 virtues, they can overcome the 5 dysfunctions of a team. 

1.  Humble

  • Lacking self confidence is lacking humility.
  • Humility is not saying, “I don’t need to be heard.”
  • Humility is thinking about yourself less.

 2.  Hungry

  •  Hungry person has a strong work ethic.
  • They hate being considered a slacker.
  • They will do whatever is necessary to get it done.
  • This is the hardest to instill in someone.

 3.  Smart

  • Smart is not intellectual smarts, it is common sense around people.
  • People who are good at practicing EQ.
  • They know what they say to others and how it impacts them.
  • Hiring for intellectual smarts is not a good idea.

 4.  Humble, but not hungry or smart (The Pawn)

  •  They aren’t effective on a team.
  • They are a good neighbor, but they don’t get something done.
  • They don’t have initiative to rise up the ranks.

5.  Hungry, but not humble or smart (Bull Dozer)

  •  Lots of drive and ambition, but they can’t work with others.
  • They leave a trail of dead bodies around them.

 6.  Smart, but not humble or hungry (The Charmer)

  • They are funny, they don’t get things done.
  • They aren’t hard working and they aren’t interested in other people’s success.

7.  Humble and hungry, but not smart (The accidental mess maker)

  • They have good intentions, they want to get things done, but they aren’t smart emotionally.
  • Cared about the world and wanted to help people but said things he didn’t mean to.
  • Their intentions are good.

 8.  Humble and smart, but not hungry (Loveable slacker)

  •  These people survive in organizations a long time.
  • They mean well and people like them.
  • They just don’t want to do that much work, they do just enough work to make it hard for you to do something about it.
  • Hard workers get really frustrated by this person.

 9. Hungry and smart, but not humble (Skillful politician)

  •  They are ambitious and hard driving and know how to make themselves look humble. They convince people that they care about the team.
  • They are often charming and driven.

 10.  Application

  •  Go first as a leader.
  • Find out what your teams are like and what they are lacking.
  • You have to have the courage to let your people know where they stand and what they need to improve on and to constantly remind them (not your spouse or co-workers) when they are doing it.

 11.  How to hire the right team players

  • We overemphasize technical skills and what is measurable.
  • Know what you are looking for.
  • Don’t get caught up in what “you think you should look for.”
  • Behavior always rises to the top.
  • To interview someone, get them out of the office to get to know them.
  • Don’t overlook red flags and gut feelings.
  • Ask people the same question more than once.
  • Ask what other people would say about them on something, people are more honest when they tell you what other people would say.
  • Scare someone with sincerity, tell them what you are fanatical about as a church. Tell them if they line up, they’ll love it and if they aren’t, they will hate working here.