Entries by Dave Kraft (1077)


More from my experience at the GLS!

Today I continue my series on: What I learned from The Global Leadership Summit (GLS)  which I attended on August 10, 11. Here is the link to the last post on this topic GLS 

Laszlo Bock (Google) was one of the speakers. He wrote a book titled  Work Rules--  a great read which I highly recommend.  There is a “Book Note” on this which you can find at

Here are three thougts from his talk.

 1.  “The biggest single mistake organizations make is not trusting their people”

In his seminal book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” Patrick Lencioni mentions absence of trust as the first team dysfunction from which actually flow the other four. It all begins with someone saying of their leader, “I don’t trust you.” When you lose trust, you can eventually lose it all.

Now I knew, before hearing this from Bock, that a lot of leaders have a difficult time trusting those they lead.  They are thus unable to grant decision-making authority to those on their team; but when he said it was the single biggest mistake which organizations make, he really got my attention. I believe that there is a clear pathway on this.

Trust leads to delegation which leads to releasing which leads to removing.

I trust someone (don’t hire or bring on a volunteer whom you don’t trust to do what you’re asking them to do) and can therefore delegate decision-making authority to them and then I release that person to use their God-given gifts, imagination and passion to do their job without micro-managing or controlling them. High trust leads to low control, whereas low trust leads to high control.

After I have trusted, delegated and released them, I remove myself from the details of that person’s work and can now focus on the things that only I can do. I believe that one of the reasons we read of burned-out leaders is that many leaders try to do too much themselves and don’t do a good job of delegating decision-making authority to others (Read Exodus chapter 18 on this as well as “Levels of Authority” by Michael Hyatt under the “Articles” tab at

2. “People need to constantly be connected to the bigger picture, the organizational mission”

People are motivated when they sense and believe that their work is meaningful and making a significant contribution. The leader does well to consistently remind people that what they do connects to, and is an integral part of, something grand and exciting. Connecting one’s work to the bigger picture (from my experience) lifts esprit de corps across the board and results in more productivity and joy, to the glory of God!

 3.  “The people actually doing the work know better how to do it than the manager. Give people more autonomy, more freedom than you are comfortable with

This is related to number 1 above, but I want to underscore the phrase, “more freedom than you are comfortable with.” I may not be 100% comfortable with letting go of some things and staying out of the details, but I need to do it anyway. It’s all part and parcel of getting out of my comfort zone and being okay with not feeling comfortable as I trust others. How about being 70% comfortable instead of waiting for 100% and trusting God for the rest? It’s about taking calculated risks, which an effective leader definitely needs to do more and more of.

What has been your experience? I’d like to see your comments below.






Learning leadership from a Chick-fil-A executive

Good advice is always great to receive, especially when it comes from your parents.

Here, Dee Ann Turner, Vice President, Enterprise Social Responsibility, for Chick-fil-A, Inc. shares some incredible advice she gave to her own children on how to start a career. I thank my friend Brian Marriott for sharing this article with me, promising him I would pass it along to all of you.

Originally posted by Dee Ann Turner

The advice I give my own children -- How to start a career

My three sons began receiving career advice from me before they even started high school. It was both the curse and the blessing of having a Mother who spent time as the Vice President of Talent and the Vice President of Human Resources at Chick-fil-A. As they matured, I tried to impress upon them the importance of character, competency and chemistry in their professional lives. These are the top tips I shared with them in advising them on starting and growing their careers.

1. Find a purpose, not just a job. A job will provide a paycheck, but a purpose will fulfill your life. Do something that matters to you.

2. Solve problems. The world needs more problem solvers. When you discover a problem, name it, own it and solve it. You add value to your organization when you solve the problem you identify.

3. Take care of you. You cannot perform at your best if you do not take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. While you are working hard to achieve professional goals, don’t forget to schedule time to take care of you.

 4. Go Above and Beyond. Distinguish yourself by doing more than asked and doing jobs no one else wants to do.

 5. See opportunities, not obstacles. There is an abundance of both. A positive and optimistic attitude will take you farther and endear you to those with whom you work.

 6. Foster the dreams of others. Show interest in helping other people achieve their dreams. It is likely that someone helped you along the way will pay it forward by helping others on their path.

 7. Treat everyone the same and with respect. Strong relationships are core to any success and begin with respect. Remember that everyone you meet is special to someone – treat everyone the way you want the special people in your life to be treated.

 8. Protect your reputation. Integrity is currency. Always do what you say you will do when you will say you will do it. Never lie about anything. Avoid anything that even has the appearance of impropriety.

 9. Give generously. Share your time, talent and treasure with others. You will give a lot, but you will receive more because of the people you meet and the places generosity will take you.

 10. Demonstrate excellence in all that you do. Close enough is never good enough. Do your best at all times.

 11. Commit fully to wherever you are. If you are at work, commit to being fully present. If you are with your family or friends, commit to being fully present with them. 

12. Set goals and measure your progress. If you don’t clearly define where you want to go and monitor your progress toward the destination, you are not likely to get where you wish to go.

13. Seek and value feedback. Be willing to hear the voice of critics and act on feedback that you receive. Find truth tellers in your life and listen to their wisdom.

14. Share the credit. Rarely does one individual accomplish anything alone. Recognize those who help you along the way and reward them as you are able.

15. Be grateful and gracious. Say thank you often and be willing to give grace to others. In a world full of egos, grateful and gracious people separate themselves. Their lessons and influence are memorable.

I have witnessed first-hand these qualities in people I worked with over the course of my more than thirty-year career at Chick-fil-A. These traits not only aid in career success, they contribute to the enduring impact of the people who possess them.

Dee Ann Turner is Vice President, Enterprise Social Responsibility, for Chick-fil-A, Inc. She is the bestselling author of Its My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture





I learned so much from the Global Leadership Summit!

My calling is to be a leader developer. My purpose statement is: “To help equip and empower the next generation of leaders in local churches by coaching, teaching and writing.” I spend most of my ministry hours in these three areas. I am always reading, thinking and assimilating all I can to personally be a better leader and to help develop more leaders who are becoming better.

With this in mind, I recently attended Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit (GLS) at a nearby church here in Orange County CA. I thought I would spend the next several original blogs sharing some of my takeaways from my experience at the GLS.

 So, here are a few to kick things off:

 1.  “Everyone wins when a leader gets better” ~Bill Hybels (Lead Pastor, Willow Creek Church, Chicago)

 My thoughts:

 Everyone should be getting better if I, the leader, am continuing to get better by  leaning into Jesus  as I am observing, learning, growing, obeying, etc. True biblical leadership is about the Kingdom and the people, not about me.

 2.  “Get people to tell you the truth” Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook)

 My thoughts:

 Sad to say, many leaders don’t want to hear the truth, but to hear what will make them feel good about themselves or affirm what they may already be thinking. Remember the line from the movie “A few Good Men”: “You can’t handle the truth.” This is so true. If I’m going to be a leader who honors Jesus I, by His grace, need to be able to handle the truth and to not be afraid of it.  I can’t allow those I lead to hide the truth from me for fear that it would upset me, that the honest truth would hurt my feelings or make me feel more insecure than I already am.

 3.  “Replace how with WOW” ~ Andy Stanley (Lead pastor, North Point Community Church, Atlanta)

 My thoughts:

When someone on your team, in your organization, or in your family has an idea that has some risk attached to it or is different than the way you’ve always done it or the way you’ve always thought about things, say “WOW” before going to questions like:

 But how will we ever afford something like that?

  • But how can we possibly do that with our limited personnel?
  • But how can we do something we have no experience with?
  • But how can we succeed on this type of idea when we have failed in the past with the same idea?

How about saying WOW, before you say how?

Wow, that's a great idea

Wow, this is certainly something to begin thinking and praying about

Wow, I appreciate your looking at things through a fresh set of eyes

Wow, let's see what we can do to make this happen

Now obviously you’re not going to go WOW-crazy over every idea, but my leadership experience has been that many leaders go too often and too quickly to HOW before going to WOW, when the idea has merit but will be a challenge. How questions can be “Stinking Thinking,” as Zig Zigler used to say.

When it’s appropriate, replace HOW with WOW and see what the Lord of the Harvest does.

 Look for a few more of my takeaways from the GLS in a few days



Are you a toxic leader and perhaps don't know or don't think you are? Find out by taking the TLS

There are more toxic leaders leading today than you might think. There are three possibilities. 1) You are a toxic leader, know it, and are allowing the Holy Spirit and those you lead to facilitate change in your life and ministry, 2) You are a toxic leader and don’t know it or don’t think you are. 3) You are a healthy leader and are aware of toxic attitudes and behaviors and are prayerfully watching for it in your life. Dan Rockwell will help us take a Toxic Leader Score (TLS).

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Your Toxic Leader Score* (TLS) is the level of unnecessary irritation you cause others. If you occasionally irritate colleagues by arriving late, you’re a 3 on a range from 1 to 10.

If you frequently irritate colleagues, but don’t realize it, your TLS is 9. The worst leaders don’t know they’re toxic.


10 ways to elevate your Toxic Leader Score:

  1. Make everything about results. “Relationships are for babies and losers.”
  2. Minimize or ignore emotion and energy. “Just do your job!”
  3. Change course in mid-stream without preparing people or giving reasons.
  4. Complain more than affirm and compliment.
  5. Devalue progress. When someone makes progress, remind them they have far to go.
  6. Set long-term goals – ignore short-term wins.
  7. Focus on fixing weaknesses, rather than maximizing strengths.
  8. Be a know-it-all.
  9. Interrupt people.
  10. Believe it’s all about the money.

Leadership is more than vision and strategy. It’s also inspiration. Your unscientific Inspiration Score (IS) is your ability to tap the power of happiness.

10 Ways to elevate your Inspiration Score:

  1. Dedicate yourself to building positive energy environments. The most powerful thing you do is create positive environments where people love coming to work.
  2. Show respect. If you want people to act like owners, stop treating them like slaves.
  3. Be decisive with openness.
    • Seek input.
    • Explore options.
    • Explain purpose.
    • Make decisions.
    • Adapt as you go.
  4. Trust people. Meddlers and micro-managers top the Toxic Leader chart.
  5. Ask questions, gently. Questions feel like interrogations when all you care about are results.
  6. Make work about them, not you. Help people get where they want to go.
  7. Give helpful feedback.
  8. Practice open handed generosity.
  9. Pat people on the back, literally. Touch energizes. But, don’t lay your hand on people.
  10. Pursue excellence collaboratively. Set high standards and figure out how to reach them together.

What behaviors make leaders toxic?

What behaviors make leaders inspirational?

*TLS is an unscientific scale created for this post.







“Relational Games Leaders Play”

 I read a quote by Colin Powell:

“Trust is the glue that holds an organization together and the lubricant that keeps it moving.”

I believe that establishing and maintaining trust in a relationship, a team or an organization is the most important thing that needs to take place. When trust is gone, it’s just a matter of time until everything else is gone. The worst thing one person can say to another is, “I don’t trust you anymore;” whether it’s a parent saying it to a child, a child to a parent, a married couple to each other, or team members saying it to their team leader. Absence of trust is the first rung on the ladder to becoming a dysfunctional team, according to best selling author Patrick Lencioni.

One of the ways you can lose trust is to play relational games with those you lead.

Let me explain what I mean.

You lose trust and credibility with people when they don’t believe what you say anymore. Over the years, I have heard leaders and worked with and for leaders who say things like:

1)   I’ll give you call next week 

2)   Let’s get together for lunch

3)   I’ll get back to you on that by Friday

4)   I’ll have this done and in your hands by Thursday

You, from your experience, can very well add to the list of things leaders have said to you that they never followed through on. In some cases, they really never meant what they said in the first place; empty promises that are not kept. Could it actually be a form of deception and lying when we say things we really don’t mean? And if we mean it and it looks like we missed following through, wouldn’t it be nice to hear:

 “I’m really sorry that I didn’t do what I said I would do.”

“What can I do to make it right?”

I am especially concerned in a conversation or meeting when things are promised but not written down or placed in a calendar or on a “Do List.” I honestly don’t have a lot of confidence in people’s memory when so many are over committed and overwhelmed.

Eugene Peterson’s Message Paraphrase 2 Corinthians 4:2 reads:

“We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.”

How about Jesus’ simple encouragement to let your yes be yes and your no be no from Matthew 5:37?

By God’s grace, I want to under promise and over deliver. I want to say what I mean, mean what I say and do what I promise, and not be inappropriately flippant with my words and commitments. If you are not saying what you really mean, over time people will loose confidence in you and in your leadership and begin to ask themselves what else is he/she not telling me/us the truth about? In honoring the one who is the Way the Truth and the Life, can we not be aboveboard and honest in our communication with those we are privileged to lead?

I’d love to hear from you on this in the comment section below. 

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