Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Second Day - continued

The third thing Bill Hybels and his team are learning from these tough economic times is Relationally.

Habakkuk 3:2 says "... I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; ..." We read and hear about the amazing things God has done in the past. But, what about now? What about in our time? According to Bill, God's great work comes through his people who are fully devoted to Him. Questions to ask include:

  • Are we attracting fully devoted people?
  • Are we growing them?
  • Are we feeding [training] and mentoring them?

What if you are not a church? What if you are a business organization? Are your people devoted to the work your organization does? Are you growing them? Feeding [training] them? Mentoring them? Here's an exercise for you and your team:

  • How many key seats are there in the organization?
  • What percentage of those key seats are filled with the right [devoted] people?
  • What is our plan to get and/or grow the right people?
  • Are we developing backup people for each key seat?
Personal. Romans 8:6 says "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Many of us are at our best when we are rested, surrounded by talented and motivated people and doing work we love. We are at peace. But, what happens when that's not the case - when we're not at peace? As a leader, it is imperative to know yourself and monitor your "tank". Drops in your reserves require self leadership. Yes, that's right you have to lead yourself. Be diligent about figuring out what fills your bucket and do what it takes. And here's a thought - maybe you need to spend more time with God.

If you are interested in learning more about Bill Hybels or his presentation on 'Leading in a New Reality', check out
Summit Next Steps [catchy title] and scroll down to 'Speaker Links and More.'

Here's to learning and growing! J

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Second Day ...

Though the title is slightly misleading, the first day of the WCA Leadership Summit (08/06/09) was nothing short of amazing! Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church kicked the summit off with Leading in a New Reality. Romans 12:6 says "We have different gifts ..." Romans 12:8 "... if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; ..." The very toughest economic times, like a rogue wave [like we are in now], forces all of us to investigate and use new ways, new creativity, new leadership. God has given all of us the gifts we have "for such a time as this." Bill went on to describe four things that he and his team are learning.

Philisophical. Be the church, no matter what. Love one another, help one another. If you are hurting/struggling, seek help. If you are not hurting or have opportunities to reach out, step it up - step up your serving, sowing, etc. For everyone, use these times to stretch intellectually.

Kingdom Economics. Cash is king [really, Christ is King, but you get the idea]. You must have healthy cash reserves [which buys time]. Saving is key. Have six months in reserve. For many of us, nothing new here. But, while you're saving, pay attention to the costs.

Part of remaining relevant in challenging economic times is to stay laser focused on what it is you are "tasked" with doing. One way to do this [with your team as a group exercise] is to group activities, tasks, expenditures, etc. into three categories: A - you will NEVER stop doing; B - if revenues drop 50%, it has to go; and C - if revenues drop 75%, it has to go. Do this exercise periodically to make sure you stay on track.

For those who utilize volunteers in getting things done, here's another exercise. Break your expenditures down into five categories: Staff/benefits, donations (give it away), ministry budgets, overhead/facilities, and "whims" of the spirit - those things you just get a sense about. Most of us don't have a "whims" of the spirit budget. You may not even have a "give it away" budget. What this will force you to do is look for opportunities to identify, equip, and mobilize volunteers in your organization.

But 'what if' your organization [business] doesn't have the option of volunteers? How could you incorporate these two ideas into your organization. Staying laser focused is a skill we all can use and improve on. What about trimming the budget and creating room for donations and/or "whims" of the spirit. What would that look like for your organization? Just some thoughts.

Stay tuned for the final two take aways for Leading in a New Reality.

Here's to learning and growing. J

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

For the past six years, I've attended the Willow Creek Association (WCA) Leadership Summit. This is two days (formerly 2 1/2 days) that I get to sit and hear some of the greatest minds in church, business, NGO, politics, etc. talk about and educate on leadership. These two days feed my soul and the very fiber of my being. But, there's a problem. I'm always at a loss for what to "do" with all this information (fyi, I'm a doer struggling to be a human being). Of course I incorporate some of what I learn into my personal and professional life, I share my notes with friends and those who are interested, but I've never "strategically" utilized the information - until now.

Compiled in the posts that will follow are my notes, available information, insights, questions, etc. My hope is that in doing this, I'll become a better professional and a better person. My prayer is that you will find this information helpful and that we can share ideas and thoughts as we live this thing called life - together.

Here's to learning and growing! J