Have you every been in a circumstance and see no good option. Leaders often find themselves in situations where they lack the ability to see a situation clearly. What we see, is called perception.
There are several things I have learned from relying only on my perception:
1) I can rarely see the whole picture.
Often times while leading a ministry or organization my perspective is limited. I can not or sometimes choose not to see the entire picture. When we take the time to orient our perception around the whole picture, decisions that are made are great. When we choose to make decisions only on what we see, the decisions can be good but not great.
2) I can read my past into the situation.
Our perceptions are often guided by our past. We read our story into the present circumstances. When we begin to perceive the situation in light of past circumstances, we limit our ability to produce creative solutions. When we make decisions based on our past, we frustrate those whose perception is different.3) I can become problem driven
As a leader, we must be solution oriented. When we live by our perceptions, we can tend only see the problems rather than solutions. When we begin to put the perceptions of all, we can also use the creativity of all to solve the issues that we are facing.
I would encourage you to find a way to expand your perception. When we choose to expand our perceptions, issues we face become solvable.
If you or your organization needs help finding solutions to your perceived hurdles, contact me here.
What ways do you struggling with your perceptions? and how do you overcome them?
I have just had the privilege of facilitating a coaching clinic. I have learned that coaching can help you move farther, faster and with greater purpose. If you are wondering if a coach would be beneficial for you, your church or your organization, contact me at email@example.com.
The below post was written by ICF Global staff.
In recent years, professional coaching has shown a significant return on investment for companies. Wondering how it can help your organization? Read on for ten ways.
- Coaching can assist organizations with key business goals. Within the coaching partnership, the coach will work with your employees to identify and create clarity around key business goals and establish effective management strategies to ensure goals are met.
- Coaching can bolster creativity. A coach will support your employees in confidently pursuing new ideas and alternative solutions with greater resilience and resourcefulness. A coach will encourage fresh perspectives and provide inspiration through the questions they ask during sessions and the actionable goals they co-create with your employees.
- Coaching can manage the change that accompanies growth within your organization. Professional coaching is an important modality for managing change—including growth. A coach will help your employees assess current needs, opportunities, and challenges, all while maximizing the potential they already possess.
- Coaching can boost productivity and effectiveness. This is especially important if you have employees taking on new or leadership level roles. Coaches are trained to work with clients to inspire them to their personal and professional potential, thus increasing productivity and effectiveness. Within the coach-client relationship, a focus will be placed on learning and clarity for forward action. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study 70% of clients reported a positive improvement in work performance.
- Coaching can develop communication skills. The ICF Global Coaching Client Study revealed that 72 percent of those being coached noticed an improvement in communication skills. Furthermore, individuals who have engaged in a professional coaching partnership have walked away with fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out chosen work and life roles.
- Coaching can help your organization attract and retain talented employees. If you have trouble finding great employees (or getting them to stick around), your organization needs to commit to investing in employee development. Coaching is an ideal way to develop your employees and show your employees you value their development.
- Coaching can bring work-life balance into the lives of your employees. An employee experiencing the benefits of a balanced life is a happier employee. And a happier employee is a more productive employee. A coach can work with your employees to discover, clarify, and align with what your employees hope to achieve, including a stable work-life balance. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study 67% of coaches saw an improvement in balancing work and life.
- Coaching can help your employees thrive. Virtually all companies who hire a coach are satisfied with the outcomes. The ICF Global Coaching Client Study found that 99 percent of coaching clients were “somewhat” or “very satisfied” with their overall coaching experience. And 96 percent of them would repeat the process.
- Coaching can help your company flourish despite uncertain economic times.Coaching is a very powerful tool in the face of uncertainty—organizations of all types and sizes have experienced the value professional coaching brings including: increased business performance, improved product quality, higher employee retention and morale, greater employee commitment, leadership development, conflict reduction, team building skills and more.
- Coaching can restore self-confidence to organizations hit hard by the recession. Organizations that have experienced workforce reductions through downsizing, restructuring, or a merger place extremely high expectations on the remaining workforce. Restoring self-confidence to face the impending challenges is critical to meet organizational demands. The ICF Global Coaching Client Studyshows 80% of those being coaching saw an improvement in their self-confidence.
You’ve seen what coaching can do for your organization. Now we’ll show you the bottom-line. Coaching offers a significant return on investment (ROI) for companies. The ICF Global Coaching Client Study
found that 86 percent of companies made back at least their investment. Of those, 28 percent saw an ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment and 19 percent saw an ROI of 50 times their investment.
I have had the privilege to work and observe some amazing teams. Teams that have made impacts in those they serve. Teams are something that have intrigued me, I have given a significant amount of time and energy studying, coaching and helping teams become all that they can be. I have learned that exceptional teams do not just happen by chance, there are key components that help them become great. Here are four values that I see:
-Everyone valuing each other
Valuing each other is the key to team success. This does not have to do with the work produced. This is the idea that they care about each other as a person. The team knows the strengths, weaknesses, hurts and struggles of each other. These teams do not focus just on work productivity, they focus on personal development as well. They care for the individual as much as the work that is produced.
-Everyone working with each other
In business, churches and non-profits, working together is the key to effective teams. Each person understanding their role and working toward a common goal. Great teams clarify the “win”, define the role and work together to achieve it. There are not ego battles. The key is defining how we will “win”, together.
Human tendency is to become jealous and upset when someone else get’s the praise and glory for something we have helped to create. As I have been a part and watched top level teams, they celebrated when others were rewarded or praised. They were not concerned with top level leadership advancing or moving to positions of greater influence. These exceptional teams were genuinely excited for the individual and for the accomplishment of the goal.
- Everyone celebrating each other
While many teams challenge each other to excel toward the goal, few teams challenged each other without hidden agendas or motives. Teams that were extremely successful challenged each member in a way that brought value, support and encouragement. They helped each other succeed.
- Everyone challenging each other
If you are looking to bring a successful team dynamic to your church or organization, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help your team or organization.
What would you add to this list? What makes teams you are a part of successful?
Not too long ago, I was asked how I make difficult decisions that could change the course of my life. Everyone makes decisions in life. We decide where to live, what job or ministry to pursue, what car to buy and the list could go on. Some decisions we make seem to have a greater weight than others. Leaders seem to know what decision to make at the right time. Let me share with you the grids I run my decisions through:
Everyone in life has a set of values, whether stated or unstated. My values come through the Bible. I understand your values may come from a different source, but the grid still applies. These values are what give us the boundaries for making decisions. It seems great leaders have set these values and the decisions they make do not violate them. If you have a value of honesty, you will not make decisions that will lead you to dishonesty. For me one of my greatest values is that I want a life that makes a difference. When big decisions come, the questions I ask is “will this opportunity provide me a greater avenue for making a difference.” If the answer is no, then nothing you do or offer will cause me to take that opportunity. If you have a big decision in the near future, I would encourage you to write down or explore your grid of values.
I believe everyone on earth has a purpose to fulfill. I found my purpose when I truly gave my life to Christ. I have friends whose purpose is to care for those in need, plant as many churches as possible before they die, create business that offer jobs to people, help individuals create financial stability, and mine, helping churches and organizations to function effectively. When a decision has to be made, the grid of purpose helps narrow the choice. This allows us to determine if the choice will help fulfill our purpose in life. If you have a big decision to make, determine what is your purpose in life. If you need help, seek out a life or leadership coach to help you walk through this process.
This grid is never the same for any two people. The grid of life stage is unique to your context. The big decisions I make now are seen through a different lens because I am at a different stage of life. When I had the college decision, I didn’t have a wife, The decision was based on what was best for me. When I got married, job and housing decisions had to be made with my wife and the need to provide for her as well. As we had our three wonderful children, decisions became more complicated because of their needs and life stage. The grid of life stage often helps us determine if this is the right time.
As leaders, difficult decisions come to us daily. What process to do you have to work through these decisions? What additional grids would you add?
If you or your organization is in the process of making difficult decisions and need help determining which path to take, contact me for a free coaching call.
One of the things I have taught our kids from an early age is that life is not fair. If they learn this early in life, it could save them a lot of emotional baggage later on. The truth is that when someone else does something wrong it affects more people than just the offender. In leadership, I have learned that when someone else fails, it effects me. The question then becomes how do I deal with someone who has failed. When I face these situations, I try to remember these things:
-Every failure is not ultimate failure
Early in their leadership development process, every leader fails. Some of these failures may be relational, in thinking or in behavior. Failure comes in all shapes and sizes. The thing I remember is not all failure is final. All to often we as leaders forget that we once failed. When young leaders fail, the easiest thing to do is distance ourselves from them. We are more concerned with our own image than the development of the future leader. When someone you lead fails, take some time, breathe and evaluate whether the failure can be worked through. A large percentage of failure can be worked through.
-Leadership development means teaching how to deal with failure
Part of the leadership development process is learning to work through personal failure. When an up and coming leader has someone who can help them work through the issues that arise, he is well ahead of the leadership curve. We must help them learn how to repair relationships, how to right a ship and how to rebuild their integrity. When we distance ourself from them or even terminate them, I believe we short circuit their leadership development. If we are truly committed to leadership development, we must teach them how to deal with failure.
Over the years, I have learned that those who fail well are priceless. I am not talking about those who fail and fail and fail again. I am talking about those who have had failure in their life, handled it well and the failure did not define them. These individuals have built a level of integrity that is greater than the failure. I am confident that if they fail again, they will handle it the same way.
- Those who deal with failure well are worth a million
I realize that the consequences for some failure are great and that they will not be able to be restored to their “position”. It is still our responsibility to help them develop the ability to thrive through failure.
Is your organization committed to helping leaders fail well? If you would like to develop a leadership development culture, contact me here. I would love to assist you in developing this type of culture.
Dealing with Failure: Personal Today I am starting a two part blog on dealing with failure. We will discuss how to handle personal failure and in part 2, how to handle failure in others. Failure in life and ministry is one of those difficult things. All of us fail at some point, we may fail in a relationship or we may fail organizationally.
We like to categorize our failures as small or big. The reality is that personal failure is the result of not living up to or doing what we desire. It may be financial, spousal, with our children, coworker or a myriad of other scenarios.
When we fail we are tempted to handle it in destructive ways. We may try to hide it, ignore it, blame others or minimize it. Each of these ways of handling failure produce even more hurt and chaos in the lives that are effected. I want to share with you three ways you can begin to heal through failure:
All people at some point fail in life. Some failure may be more significant than others but the reality is that we all fail. When failure occurs, be 100% open with those you have failed. We tend to try to hide or minimize the effect of our failure. When we do this, we continue to damage our credibility. As a leader you must handle failure with integrity.
- Be open about the failure
When we are not open with our failure, we also delay the process of moving forward. Leaders must always be moving forward. When relationships or organizations stall, they begin the death process. Be open, this allows the failure to be dealt with, resolved and then forward movement can be regained.
Our natural tendency is to hide the failure. Failure is never final, how we choose to deal with failure can be. Instead of hiding or minimizing the failure, confess it. Only when we admit can we grow past it. I have learned that unless we are open about our personal failures, we cannot grow past them. Leaders must constantly learn, even from their own failures.
- Be truthful about the failure
When we fail, others are effected. We are ready to move on before they are. Our desire to help them and ourselves move on, can damage the relationship. If we are not careful, those effected can become angry because they feel we are not taking them seriously. When we fail, we must avoid telling others how to feel or respond. We must give them the time to work through the process on their own. Often someone from the outside can help with the reconciliation process.
If you or your organization is going through a tough time. Feel free to contact me here. I would love to help you navigate this difficult journey.
Transitions occur in every domain of life. We have transitions in our family: getting married, children, children leaving the home, moving, just to name a few. Churches go through transitions of various types frequently: changing economy, pastoral change, new converts and community change. Business transitions as well: changing demographic market, changing economic climate, leadership change.
Life is full of transition. The question is, how do we help people and organization through the turbulent transitional times? Below are some keys to help you or your organization through transitions.
Often when we are going through times of transition we forget that they are a normal part of life. Transitions occur in both the life and death process of people and organizations. The key is to determine what transitions will be life giving. Once this is determined pour your time, resources and energy into the transition process.
- Transition is a normal part of life
People generally fall on two sides of the transition. Those who love the transition. These individuals see the positive benefits of moving towards the future. They are ready to invest their time and energy to make it happen. In the process we must remind these individuals that they must at times, temper there enthusiasm to help those on the other side of the transitions.
- Transition is viewed differently by peoples perspectives
Those individuals who are adverse to the transition often are not against you or your organization but the change itself. You must help these individuals see that the prospect of staying the same is less desirable than the uncertainty of transition.
Transition that we pour time and energy into must lead to a better future. Help all of your people see the benefit of the transition. Help them see that transition is for a time and that the preferred future is better than the current situation. We must remind and encourage them that we cannot live or bring back the past but must press on for the future.
- Transition can lead to a better future
If you or your organization are in the midst of transition and would like a coach to help you navigate this journey, contact me here. I look forward to helping you move into your preferred future.
The desire to make a difference is the heartbeat of most great leaders. These individuals understand that risk is inevitable. The problem with risk is that it makes some people uncomfortable. Risk causes us to hesitate, second guess decisions or even stop all together. When someone refuses to take risk or is slow because risk is present, they make change difficult.
Others don’t account for risk. Not acknowledging risk can be equally as dangerous when trying to make a big difference. When risk is not recognized, resources can be wasted, relationships harmed and momentum halted.
Great leaders have learned how to reduce risk while still taking acceptable risk. Managing risk enables forward movement through difficult times by minimizing the amount of risk you are taking. When I have a “risky” decision or course of action to take, I try to ask myself the following questions:
-- Do I have the right mix of gifts and abilities?
All risk involves change and navigating through the change. When an individuals gifting, abilities and personality are designed to handle the situation at hand, the risk is reduced. When a persons gift and abilities do not match the task at hand, we are asking for failure.
-- Do I have enough capital?
Risk often involves capital. In some instances in requires financial capital, other times it requires relational capital. When we enter into a risky situation we must spend that capital. People who may be prone to avoid risk may follow us based on relational capital we have built. If we have no capital built with people, they will challenge and not follow the path of risk. Ask yourself if you have enough capital? If the risk fails will you have enough capital to continue?
-- Do I have others support and do they own it?
When someone leads who likes risk and does not calculate risk into situations, they can lead alone. Often risk can be managed by getting the right people on board. I have learned that people who get on board must not just agree, but they must own it. They must be willing to use their capital and influence to move forward. When this occurs, risk is minimized.
-- If this fails, will it lead to ultimate failure?
Sometimes risk is too great. When it will cause a failure that will not allow us to move forward or continue, we need to rethink engaging in the risk.
These questions have helped me minimize and assess risk before I begin.
What questions do you ask to evaluate the risk/reward factor?
May 16-17, 2013 I will be facilitating an Introduction to Coaching clinic in the Harrisburg area. It is two days filled with practical training that will help you develop quality coaching skills that will be transferable to your context. I would encourage you to plan now on attending. The cost is $300.00. If you are a part of the ERC Conference (Sponsoring Agency) there are scholarships available. If you would like more information you may click here or feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Registration is available here.
Over the past few weeks, I have been working and observing several groups of leaders. These leaders, high level leaders, have agreed to move ahead only when consensus occurs. The groups did not have to have everyone in 100% agreement but they did require 100% agreement that they were moving ahead with the best possible plan.
As I watched these groups function and move to consensus there were some key principles I learned.
1)They valued each person as an individual.
These leadership teams saw each person as a valuable individual. Each was seen as intrinsically valuable. The value was not just in what they brought to the team but for who they are and what they were created to be.
2) They valued diversity.
Different ideas, strategies, personalities and ways of looking at situations where not seen as hindrances. In fact, with these groups of leaders, they valued the diversity. They understand that the diversity helps bring about better solution and better action steps than any individuals plan. 3) Diversity didn’t divide.
Diversity if not valued can divide. These divisions can occur when we do not see the diversity as valuable. When the meetings concluded, they walked out as friends, Even though there was varied concepts, ideas and solutions, this did not become personal. These issues become personal when we are only interested in our own personal agenda being met.
4) Each individual committed to walk out saying the same thing.
This concept is imperative to the success of team that values consensus. When you value the diversity, the solution is what is protected rather than one’s own idea and concept. As they left the meeting, they were all committed to saying and protecting the decisions that were made, the decision was owned by all involved.
How does you team function?
Are there areas your team, family, leadership function needs to change in regards to consensus?
If your team needs help developing a leadership culture of value and true consensus, contact me here.