Entries by Dave Kraft (1040)


"7" effective ways to get your team super motivated!

One of the primary responsibilities of a team leader is to keep the team members motivated and engaged. But how do you go about doing that on a consistent basis? Peter Economy (seems to be his real name) shares some outstanding thoughts on this.

Originally posted by Peter Economy

Check out these 7 effective ways to get your team super motivated and fully engaged in your next project!

1. Show people you work with how much you value them

Often, we forget to express how grateful we are for the work other people do. Whether we think they're putting in a little or a lot, it's important to thank them. Sometimes, it can even be the push that some members need to work harder.

2. Create a welcoming workspace

When you have a space that feels warm and welcoming, people feel more inclined to contribute to the atmosphere or add their own input. It doesn't take much effort--just a collaborative environment and an open mindset.

3. Encourage collaboration

When people are able to work with others on the team directly, rather than communicating through a leader, it makes it much easier to get more things done, at maximum satisfaction levels.

4. Don't discourage happiness

Small things, like laughter or positive thinking, are crucial to providing your workforce with stability and a sense of fulfillment. The way to engage the most amount of people is surely in creating a work environment filled with joy, so don't discourage that kind of thinking--or worse, prevent it from happening.

5. Offer encouragement in the face of failure

Rather than berating your team for doing something wrong, which will only result in discouragement and a lack of desire to keep working, offer encouragement. Show them that failure is okay, so as long as they learn from their mistakes.

6. Give space for self-management

Micro-management is one of the least effective ways to lead. Rather than hovering over everyone to make sure the smallest things get accomplished, leave people with their own sense of responsibility. Set the goal, then encourage your employees to find their own path to achieving it.

7. Don't waste people's time

Don't ask people to convene for useless reasons, like holding meetings when there's nothing to discuss. People will be irritated and less likely to work when there's actually stuff to do.











The hardest thing Leaders have to do

It was one of the most helpful leadership tips I have ever heard/received. My wife, Susan, and I were at a summer training program with The Navigators in East Lansing, Michigan.  It was an evening meeting and the speaker, Jack Mayhall, made this comment, “If you become a leader, plan on being misunderstood.”  I didn’t think much of the comment at the time, but did write it down.  Fast-forward 49 years and I have experienced being misunderstood numerous times and have learned a ton!

So what is the hardest thing leaders have to do?

I would say it is learning how to get along with many different kinds of people, starting with those who misunderstand you, often followed by criticizing you, judging you, labeling you, questioning your motives, questioning the authenticity of your walk with Jesus;  sometimes questioning everything and anything. It always hurts and is always painful on multiple levels.

For me personally, the hardest of the hard was hearing from a person on a team I led question whether I was even a Christian. That comment sent me into the woods to pray and think long and hard about my leadership style and philosophy that would elicit that kind of comment. I had some significant repentance to do.

Along the lines of getting along with all kinds of people, James 3:17 brings fresh insight to me which I seriously need.

In the ESV it reads, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

In The Message it reads, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.”

Now here is the take-away for me!  Godly wisdom is simply doing the hard work of getting along with others.  James is equating wisdom with relationships, which I have never understood before.  I always thought of wisdom as making good decisions…being able to apply information and things I understand to various aspects of my life.  I had never (until meditating on James 3:17) equated wisdom with relationships…being misunderstood, criticized, judged, etc. and still being able to relate to those people in healthy, biblical ways.

It’s hard work (as The Message says) to get along with others. It’s hard work for employees to get along with their employer. It’s hard word for parents to get along with their kids (especially when they hit the teen-age years.) It’s hard work for team members in the church and in the market place to get along with each other… learning to celebrate rather than resent each other.

Sometimes the hard work is speaking the truth in love, which Ephesians 4:15 encourages us to do.  Not so loving that I’m not truthful; but also not so truthful that I’m not loving. Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek church put it this way:

“Truth telling is more important than peacekeeping…the well-being of the other person is more important than the current comfort level in the relationship…peace at any price is a form of deception from the pit of hell. A relationship built on peacekeeping won’t last. Tough love chooses truth telling over peace keeping and trusts God for the result.”

I don’t know about you, but finding the balance between being loving and being truthful is a lot of hard work--work that some leaders (including yours truly) are reluctant to do.

So here are two conclusions I draw:

  1. Being in leadership means being misunderstood along with all the other things that flow from that
  2. Truly wise leaders are always learning how to get along with all kinds of  people as they strike a balance between truth and love

Question to ponder:

How wise are you…really?  You might be street smart or book smart, but are you people smart?


Way too many "Power-Hungry" leaders out there! Are you one of them?

 Having an outsized Ego, power-grabbing, grasping for attention, being dictatorial  are never good when discovered in a leader who should be seeking to honor our humble Lord Jesus. Unfortunately there are far too many “Power-hungry” leaders in the body of Christ today. Here are ten signs to look for that would tip you off as to being “Power-Hungry.

Originally posted by Chuck Lawless

Christian leaders are called to be servant leaders, willing to be last in order to lead (Matt 20:26). Even Christians, though, wrestle with a desire to be powerful and influential. Take a look at your own life, and be aware of these signs that you might be a “power hungry” leader:

  1. You get jealous when others have information you don’t have. Power hungry leaders want every advantage, including being “in the know” more than others are.
  2. You hire only “yes” men who support your position. That’s one way to protect your power – hire only people who depend on you and look up to you.
  3. You network only with people who can help you gain position and prestige. You know what you’re doing, too, when you make deliberate choices to hang out with the power brokers.
  4. You look for wrong and weakness in people who disagree with you. You feel more powerful, more in charge and in control, when you can tear down – in a Christian way, of course – those who oppose you. 
  5. You speak critically about leaders who hold the positions you want. It’s easy to judge those who are where you want to be. After all, you’re really more qualified for that role, anyway – right?   
  6. You remind people of your pedigree and accomplishments, even in sermons. If you find yourself seldom missing an opportunity to talk about what you’ve done, you might be trying to secure your power.
  7. You’re always thinking about the assumed greener grass in the ministry that is larger than yours. Power hungry people seldom get settled where they are since there’s almost always a ministry with greater size and stronger influence. 
  8. You use your title more than your name. In some circles, titles like “Dr.” carry weight. Power hungry people know what those circles are. 
  9. Your public life is more important to you than your private life. That is, you “shine” in the public while spending little time with God in private.
  10. You place your ministry above your family. Daily, you spend more time trying to climb ladders than hanging out with your family. That’s seeking power at much too high a cost.  

What other warning signs would you add?



What does an empowering leader look like?

There has been a lot written about "Empowering" those on your team and with whom you work.

How do you know if you are truly empowering or perhaps inadvertently disempowering poeple by your attitudes or behavior?

Here is some solid insight adapted from "Bits & Pieces." 

The more freedom you give people to do their jobs the way they’d like to do them, the more satisfaction they’ll get from their work.
Most leaders are supposed to be a little smarter than other people and, in most respects, they probably are.  But if leaders insist on doing all the thinking for their organizations, if everything has to be done THEIR way, what’s left for the people who work for them to be proud of?
How much personal satisfaction can there be in doing a job that is completely programmed, where your muscles or brain are used to perform repetitive operations already planned and dictated by someone else?
There ought to be something in every job that’s satisfying to the person who does it.  Unfulfilled people can be just as serious a problem as inefficient methods.
Creating a climate that gives people some independence, without losing control, takes a lot of leadership skill.  It also hinges on the content of a job and the judgment and ability of the person handling it.  Here are some techniques which are used by many successful leaders:
Managing by objectives - Giving especially capable people a clear idea of the results you want to achieve and leaving the methods to them.
Suggesting methods rather than dictating them, with the understanding that people are free to devise something better.
Consulting people affected by a problem or a proposed change and asking their ideas, regardless of whether you think you need them or not.
Enriching jobs by delegating decisions as far down the line as possible. If a worker is capable of being trained to make a certain decision intelligently, why have it referred to a supervisor?  If a supervisor is capable, why refer to someone above?
Guiding your people to think of constructive suggestions you may already have in mind rather than simply presenting them yourself.
Eliminating needless rules and allowing people as much freedom and mobility as possible as long as they produce excellent results and don’t interfere with others.
Leaders who successfully practice these things will enjoy excellent morale among their people.  If it can be done without abdicating responsibility--without losing control of the situation--they’ll also get excellent results.


You’re Not a Leader If You Never Say You’re Sorry

There are some things that good leaders never say or do. Here, Eric Geiger shares a few of them.

Originally posted by Eric Geiger

You’re Not a Leader If You Never Say You’re Sorry 

You are not a good leader if you never tell people you are sorry. There are a myriad of issues in the heart of a leader who never apologizes. If you never apologize, at least one of the following is also true:

1.  You reveal you think you are infallible.

If you never apologize, if you never say, “I was wrong,” you show people you actually believe you are always right. You reveal your foolishness, not your wisdom, if you never admit to being wrong. People are hesitant, as they should be, to follow someone who thinks he/she is always right. There is only One who is faultless, and it is not you.

2.  You are never having difficult conversations.

If you never need to look at someone on your team and say, “I am sorry, but…” then you are ignoring difficult conversations that would make the person and the team stronger. If you talk about people instead of to people, you are not a good leader. If you work around deficiencies instead of confronting them and providing opportunities for growth, you are shirking your responsibility.

3.  You are afraid of making mistakes.

If you take risks and try new things, you will make mistakes. And wise leaders own those mistakes and learn from them. If you hate saying you are sorry, if you hate ever being wrong, you will be much more risk adverse and unwilling to try new things to advance the mission.

4.  You are never repenting.

Most importantly, a leader who never apologizes is a leader who is not repenting. Great leaders repent. Tertullian said, “We were born for nothing but repentance.” The first of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses is “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Matthew 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” If you never admit your wrongs and ask for forgiveness, you have an elevated view of your holiness and a woefully incomplete view of His.

The post You’re Not a Leader If You Never Say You’re Sorry appeared first on Eric Geiger.