All posts tagged: leadership

I found this quote:

“The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become.” – Harold Taylor

Sometimes you find yourself frustrated with not being able to bring change, introduce ideas, or implement strategies in your position. Maybe it’s because you don’t have the influence you think you need. Maybe because your organization doesn’t have a good structure to hear ideas. Maybe it’s because you have a control freak as a leader or supervisor. Maybe you’re too scared to say something, try something, or to share your heart.

You have a few choices:

  • Leave
  • Stay and become apathetic or worse, bitter
  • Do your best

I’m a big fan of doing your best.


These are my notes and thoughts from a recent mini-conference on “TransforMissional Coaching” (new buzzword, better than post-modern or missional or attractional or ermerging, doesn’t matter, me likey). The conference, actually, I don’t know what I’d call this – more like a workshop – anyway, the workshop took place at Chorus Church’sVenue” out in French Valley and was (from my knowledge) was sponsored by Southwest Church Planting and the Christian & Missionary Alliance; both great organizations that I’ve kept connections with over the past five or so years.

All this stuff comes from Dr. Steven L. Ogne, who was the keynote speaker (My notes are in italics)

Seven Habits of Great Coaches

  1. Great Coaches Listen – “He who answers before listening… that is to his folly and shame” – Proverbs 18:13. Listen for facts, feelings and focus. When we listen, we should not be trying to find a/the solution, just listen.
  2. Great Coaches Care – personally, prayerfully, appropriately. Try and get past the superficial conversation and niceties of life, into what people are really feeling or experiencing. Spend time in prayer, before to prepare and during with others. Model authentic care and concern, just as Christ did.
  3. Great Coaches Celebrate – ministry progress, personal growth, our great God! Always look for something to celebrate and do celebrate. Look for opportunities to celebrate with people, build them up personally, in front of their team, their spouse, etc.
    [Use appropriate touch for Care and Celebrate; a hand on the shoulder, a high-five, slap on the back, to make a physical connection, obviously when appropriate]
  4. Great Coaches Strategize – overcome roadblocks, optimize resources, “order” priorities, orchestrate plans sequentially. Ask the right questions to come up with solutions.
  5. Great Coaches Train – demonstrate skills, diverse resources, debrief activities.
  6. Great Coaches Develop – character growth, personal guidance and balance. Talk spiritual things, for example, ask: “Where is God inviting you to grow or change?”
  7. Great Coaches Challenge – clarify goals, confront when needed, confidence to excel, confirm “next steps”. Put a “cap” on the time together, focus on progress. Be honest, it doesn’t do anyone any good if you’re not being honest about weak areas. Don’t have the same meeting/coaching session over and over – it will tire both you (the coach) and the person you are coaching.

1-3 focus on building relationship. 4-6 focus on growth. 7 is how to move it all forward – accountability.

There’s no way you can successfully cover all seven points in one meeting/session – don’t try.

I wasn’t able to attend the whole day (long story), but I was there for the first part (above) and the closing. My biggest take-a-ways from the time I was able to attend now that I’ve let this stuff kind of sit for a few days are:

  • I need to really focus more on how I coach my team.
  • One exercise we had to to was talk about where we thought we were weak and strong on the above list. I felt stronger on 1-3 and weakest on 7 & 8, basically starting strong on the relational end and finishing weak on the challenge end.
  • I want to remain a lifelong learner, so I was really stoked to be challenged on coaching.

And I can’t do a post on coaching with out some John Wooden quotes:

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

Never mistake activity for achievement.

That’s all, lot’s to work on. If you’re interested in attending workshops like this and monthly church planter’s forums visit Southwest Church Planting. Till next time!


Today Leadership Network put on an online conference called “Staff Infection“. I won’t waste time describing much other than church leaders from all over the US gave short talks on leadership, staff relations, etc. If you missed it, I highly recommend going and getting the download. Here’s some of my favorite quotes (my version of quotes, from Twitter):

pull the lids off of your teams! #staffinfection

We are so comfortable ‘satus quo’. We don’t really want to change. We like to be ‘nice’. We neuter our teams. #staffinfection

does our staff seem like a red light, yellow light, or green light? #staffinfection

personality trumps skill #staffinfection

RUN your team so that the best people LOVE it #staffinfection

leadership development is like a crockpot #staffinfection

invest 2x’s as much into your staff as you expect to get out of them #staffinfection

#leadership: it beats working for a living #staffinfection (note the sarcasm)

be a leader of high influence and low control #staffinfection

RT @action_djackson: Trust can’t be given: it is the by-product of a process. #staffinfection

TRUST: No surprises. Respect for one another. Honesty.

RT @josephhoran: “Your connection to God is the biggest factor in how effective you’re leadership will be.” @tammymelchien#staffinfection

RT @joshy79: RT @jpnbren: You can teach people all you know, but you are going to reproduce who you are! #staffinfection

If you’re not a twitterer, all those links are going to look like jibberish. A quick intro to Twitter: the “@” symbol means that’s a person’s Twitter name or handle. The “RT” is a “retweet”, which simply means, I “retweeted” or repeated what another person tweeted. The “#”, or “hashtag” is a way of creating a searchable category within the Twitter stream. So… if you click on any of those #staffinfection links, you’ll not only see my tweets, but you’ll see EVERYONE’S tweets who used that hashtag. Pretty cool.

Anyway, lot’s to chew on up there & probably some posts coming up. Did you attend? Any of those quotes hit you?


Onward by Howard Shultz

Onward by Howard Shultz

I’m slowly making my way thru “Onward” by Howard Shultz, ceo of Starbucks. So far, pretty incredible story and incredible insights into leadership nuggets. I thought I’d share some of my favorites (there’s a lot):

No business can do well for it’s shareholders without first doing well by all the people its business touches. For us that means doing our best to treat everyone with respect and dignity, from coffee farmers and baristas to customers and neighbors.

By 2007 Starbucks had begun to fail itself. Obsessed with growth, we took our eye off operations and became distracted from the core of our business.

[Starbucks delivers] a superior product and experience. (my emphasis on and).

[Merchants] take the ordinary – a shoe, a knife – and give it new life, believing that what we create has the potential to touch other’s lives because it touched ours.

Starbucks has always been about so much more than coffee. But without great coffee, we have no reason to exist.

How could it be wrong to invest in our people? (after Starbucks closed its doors for a day to retrain baristas, losing approximately 6 million dollars).

There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise council of people we trust. Be we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing is the right and best thing to do. We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.

We take something ordinary and infuse it with emotion and meaning, and then we tell its story over and over and over again, often without saying a word.

Our intent to create a unique community inside the company as well as in our stores has, I think, separated us from most other retailers. Starbucks has always cared about what the customer can and cannot see.

If home is the primary or “first” place where a person connects with others, and if work is a person’s “second place”, then a public space such as a coffeehouse – such as Starbucks – is what I have always referred to as the “third place”.

Work should be personal. For all of us. Not just the artist and the entrepreneur. Work should have meaning for the accountant, the construction worker, the technologist, the manager, and the clerk.

Infusing work with purpose and meaning, however, is a two-way street. Yes, love what you do, but your company should love you back.

…like crafting the perfect cup of coffee, creating an engaging, respectful, trusting workplace culture is not the result of any one thing. It’s a combination of intent, process, and heart, a trio that must constantly be fine-tuned.

…at the end of the day I want each person to go home feeling that he or she made a difference.

Going about our business in ways that were good for people as well as good for the planet is something Starbucks has always strived to do.

A well-built brand is the culmination of intangibles that do not directly flow to the revenue or profitability of a company, but contribute to its texture. Forsaking them can take a subtle, collective toll.

The merchant’s success depends on his or her ability to tell a story.

Our strategy was to do more of what had worked in the past. But we were not pushing ourselves to do things better or differently. We were not innovating in lasting ways.

If not checked, success has a way of covering up small failures.

Enthusiasm morphed into a sense of entitlement. Confidence became arrogance.

This is why, I think so many companies fail. Not because of challenges in the marketplace, but because of challenges on the inside.

It is very unusual for a founder to be able to manage his or her company through all phases of its evolution, especially in a turnaround situation.

Well, “onwards” to Chapter 7…


Imagine a car where you’re stepping on the gas but going nowhere. What’s missing? If the engine is running but the transmission is not engaged, you’re not going anywhere…

I had an epiphany the other day as a few emails hit my inbox. They were from members of our Worship Arts Team, which I lead at Rancho Community Church. One email had some ideas for stage design, another had examples of another church’s volunteer training, another was one of our worship leaders looking out a few weeks with suggestions, another one contained info on an online worship training webinar, another was one of our leaders sending her plans for assimilating new team members.

The epiphany I had was that as a leader, this kind of engagement is what I long for. I don’t want to give people a list of tasks to accomplish – I could save everyone some time and just do the tasks myself (in most cases). I want people on my team to be engaged. I want them to notice problems and find solutions. I want them to dream about how things could and should be. I want them to look for answers in places that we don’t normally find them. I want them try things, things that could possibly fail.

There’s a few different definitions of the word “engage”, the first:

to take part; participate

And the second:

to undergo or cause to undergo interlocking, as ofthe components of a driving mechanism,
such as a gear train

In order to engage as a team, we must willingly and enthusiastically participate. The result is that we interlock, as one, and move forward. It’s like putting the car in gear, all of the sudden the power of all the engine is transferred thru the transmission to the wheels and suddenly you begin to thrust forward, going places you never thought possible.

I think there’s a lesson here for leaders and teams.

Leaders, what are you doing to get your team to engage? Asking the right questions? Finding out what their passions and gifts are? Giving them opportunities to learn, teach, achieve, and even fail?

And for those being led. What are you doing to engage with your team? Are you just pulling off an event? Checking a box? Or are you passionate about your role? Do you desire to grow, to learn, to teach and train others? Do you dream? Do you give your input, ideas, and feedback?

I’m learning a lot as each week goes by. After realizing how important “engagement” is, I’m going to be working more on fostering that kind of environment on my teams.