Law of the Lid

I’m really stuck on Maxwell’s “Law of the Lid” right now. Basically, it says that leaders are the lid that their teams (followers) can’t surpass. If you’re a 7, those who follow you will be 6s or below. If they’re 8s, they’ll become the leader or find a 9 to follow.

I’m big on bringing your A-game every service, every week. When I arrive at the church I want to be completely empty, I want to be filled up for every service, and at the end of the services, I want to have left everything on the stage – nothing left. Sometimes when we’re the ones serving all morning, we hold back in our earlier or “less attended” services, but here’s what you’ve got to know – those people who showed up didn’t expect a “B” experience because it was earlier – it may be the only Jesus they get all week – you’d better bring it.

I’m all about being authentic on stage, but sometimes you’ve got to press your way through the personal crap and remember that you’re the lid – you set the tone, you set the bar, you ARE the leader. If the energy you bring on the stage is a 3, don’t look for the people to respond with a 6 – it’s simply the law of the lid. If your heart is engaged in worship at a 7, don’t be surprised when folks in the room only engage at a 3 – it’s simply the law of the lid.

mjd

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The Dreaded “DTR” – Volunteers

Whether you’re volunteering for a professional society like ASTD or a church, you’ve got to know ahead of time what you’re committing to, you’ve got to have a DTR (define the relationship) talk. Are you going steady (are you completely dedicated and volunteering for one organization), or do you have to split your time between projects? How much time per day/week/month are you able to give? What meetings/rehearsals are you expected to attend? What happens if you can’t meet the deadlines you’re given?

As I’ve said before, we’re in the middle of transition, we’re picking up responsbilities in multiple areas at our church, in addition to the opportunity to serve on the local board of an ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) Chapter and Co-Chair the Technology committe for a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conference.

With each committment, we’ve asked about the time required, the resources available, and the vision behind what we’re doing? Are you good at asking DTR questions, or do you get run over when you volunteer?

Leading Relationally

I think it’s Maxwell who has a classification for leaders… regardless, someone has one and they are relational leaders. I’m definitely one of those. Honestly, I don’t understand how leadership works without being relational. I believe that out my belly are to come streams of living water – and I’m supposed to give that away to every person I spend time with.

As we’re getting ready to launch our Murfreesboro campus, I’m challenging the leaders who serve with us to up their game! When I say that, I don’t mean be better at administration or more authoritative… I mean intentionally invest more in their relationships – to lead by pouring into the people they serve with. Practically, that means sending text messages to check on people who serve with you who you don’t see regularly. It means sending thank you cards on a regular basis to the people who serve with you. It means recognizing the people, more than you recognize what they can give to you.

I’m challenging every leader to pick one person/couple and begin to invest in them. Ask them to serve along side you, replicate yourself. Let them watch how you greet, how you talk to people, how you love people… Our ability to take care of the harvest is our capacity to do what we’re called to do… We’re focusing these days on increasing our capacity to give relationally, so we can increase our capacity to receive the harvest.

Professional Societies (Pt. 2)

So why should this matter to church folks? The walls of denominations kept us apart for many years. I don’t know about your location, but the area we grew up in, the pastors didn’t speak to each other except for the annual community-wide church service and some of the denominations would smile to each other internally while bashing each other behind closed doors. I remember the story of our youth pastor being called into a meeting with two other youth pastors in the community (from the same denomination) – they bashed him verbally with a smile on their faces.

I think that the internet, and even more so social, media broke down a lot of those walls.

People began to network with other church leaders in other cities first, only to discover those church leaders networking with others within their own community. I’d love to see some actual studies and facts to back my opinion up here, but I think that social media has allowed the development of professional societies where people are constantly exposed to resources for professional/spiritual development for the church culture. I love how I see pastors encouraging others and learning from each other. I feel that with initiatives like Awake21.org and One Prayer, the church is becoming more and more focused on the Kingdom and less focus on our own kingdoms.

Now my challenge is to integrate the technology that the church uses for networking into the professional society I belong to. In my company, I have 2 of the top 20 training industry experts, and if they blogged or used twitter, I would have crazy access to their knowledge set that would benefit me and our organization as a whole like crazy! I can’t wait to see how this “knowledge capture” will transfer to ASTD.

mjd

Winds of Change

I’m/We’re in the middle of some major transitions that will dramatically increase the number of posts to the blog:

1. With the beginning of 2009, I’m taking up a brand new position on the board of the local chapter of the American Society of Training and Development. For some of my readers from church, I’m going to post more soon about what a professional society is and what its purpose. It’s a completely volunteer position, but as Director of Technology, it’s my job to research new technologies for communications for the local chapter and roll them out.

2. Today is officially my last day in Business Unit 129 (Oil & Gas Services) and I transition to Business Unit 108 (E-Learning). My role is switching from the Training Developer to the Lead Developer. The title change is small, but the responsibilities are drastic – a major reduction in travel and actual development of training materials, to a majority of my day spent in teleconferences directing small project and teams of training developers.

3. Changes at the Oasis. Not enough time or clarity to go into details yet, but the church is in the middle of transition. Great transition! Exciting transition! The church has literally doubled in size over the last 12 months. This weekend we are getting ready to launch more leaders into the greeter and parking ministries as we begin transition leadership of this ministry to other more capable and more focused hands. We launch the Murfreesboro campus this spring and exciting things are ahead…

Dealing with Confrontation in the Workplace

Had an interesting lunch with some friends today who have some issues they want to address in their workplace. Here was my simple advice to them that I thought was worth capturing for the next time I’m upset about something and need to remind myself:

1. Ask questions – Don’t tell your boss or co-worker what their motivation or problem is. If you ask, they’re likely to tell you their reasoning or at least discuss their issues in a nice manner. Typically, you don’t want those questions to start with “why.” Why questions are usually blame-placing. Ask questions like, “Can you help me understand the reasoning behind….” I know it’s much more wordy, but you’re starting with the problem being your fault (you don’t understand) rather than their fault (they’re jackin’ your life up).

2. Discuss your problem. After you’ve listened (and you do have to listen, not work through your defense while they’re talking), you can better discuss your issues. Check your emotions! If it’s a hot-topic for you, be careful that you don’t let your emotions get too closely tied in. Although men and women are both full of emotions, men in the workplace often assume their female counterparts to emotionalize everything. It’s not fair, but often true. 2ndly, when you discuss your problem, discuss YOUR problem, not everyone else’s. If a co-worker has the same problem, don’t bring their name up. It’s a sure sign of insecurity if you feel you need to justify your opinion with everyone else’s opinion. If you’re not strong enough to voice your concern as your concern – don’t voice it at all.

3. Offer solutions. Don’t just bring the problem. They may already know there’s a problem. Bring them into your solutions. Involve them! What sacrifice can you make? How will this benefit everyone? What are some different ways to approach the same situation. Take the time to use active listening techniques – focus your attention on their comments, evaluate, restate them in a different way, and offer feedback.

5. Summarize. Take the time to clarify what will/will not change as a result of your conversation. Do this before leaving. Also leave room for what issues will need time for thought or research. Everything won’t be resolved right in that moment!

Hope that helps someone today!

mjd

Question Behind the Question

Had a chance to listen to a book on CD on my way home from Arkansas. It’s a book by John Miller about Personal Accountability.

Basic Concepts:
*People place blame on everyone else for their problems – it’s part of our culture.
*People place blame with the questions they ask.

-Why did you (he, she, they) do that?
-When will you (he, she, they) get to that?
*Rephrase your questions to address what you can do, not what you can’t or won’t:
-Start with the word “What” or “How”
-Use only personal pronouns “I” or “me” not “You, we, they, he, she, or they”
-Follow it with an action (Help, fix, DO)

I think these concepts are important – especially regarding customer service. As someone who acts in a consulting manner – it’s not always about what I can do, it’s more often about helping others realize what they can do to address it. I think that personal accountability is a concept that we could all stand to hear about – (haha) – especially me.

mjd

Titles

Thanks Fred, for your comment on my last post – it raised another thought inside of me.

I started on staff at a church when I was 19, and make no mistake – I wanted to be called “Pastor.” I think I lusted for titles more than anything else in the world. If I could have managed a way to do it with false humility, I probably would have worn a shirt every day with the word “PASTOR” plastered across the front. A couple of months into my position, I heard a teaching at a Bethany WPC conference by Claudia DeFejardo – it rocked my world. I got crazy-infatuated with loving people and not so worried with what they called me.

The funny thing is, that’s never who my dad was – he was always my example in ministry – but everyone called him BK. He never introduced himself as Bro. Kenny – he was just always Kenny to whomever he met.

One day at FC (about 3 years later), one of the church secretaries was trying to complete a list of phone numbers and she was worried about giving anyone the wrong title, so she asked my dad what my title was – he said he didn’t know. She asked what his title was and he said he didn’t know. I think we agreed that our titles didn’t matter – just call us “Bob” for all we cared.

Titles are a seductive thing at moments – but they contain little value. They may get you in the door, but I promise, they won’t keep you there. Christine Caine’s quote “What is ON you, will DESTROY you, if what is IN you, can’t SUSTAIN you.” In time, no matter what you call yourself or ask others to call you, your true colors will shine through :).

Today I’m a lot more concerned with BEING than I am in what I’m labeled. Titles are good for business cards, but you’ll know whether or not your pastoring by the late night phone calls, the tough situations where you have to deliver truth, the times of shepherding that take you to the limits of your own knowledge and wisdom, and the hurt that comes with all of it.

Thanks, Dad!

mjd

Personal Mission

I’m working to really define on paper what my goals are and what my mission is. Where there is no vision, the people will perish. I always want to see churches and people find their purpose, but I would never write down my own. As I’ve been working to form this over the past two months, it’s already begun to rearrange my priorities – refocusing on becoming who I need to be – more time in the Word, more time with Chel, more time reading and listening to CDs/podcasts, and engaging in networking. If I could sum it all up, it would cross into all areas of my life with this statement:

To help people and organizations become intentional and productive through personal development and process improvement.

Position for Promotion

As time passes, it seems like our purpose for being at Oasis in this season becomes more clear. Pastor Danny has asked us to take on some things we’re absolutely passionate about. I’m not sure what it will look like in 6 months – but I know it’s all about one thing – Passion for God, Compassion for People, Serving the World. Pastor Danny spoke a couple of weeks ago about the vision and how the leadership of Oasis believes we can accomplish it. It involves launching multiple campuses, expanded media, and building updates. I think we’re here to serve the church and get it positioned for promotion. I’ve heard that phrase over and over when praying for Oasis in recent weeks.

Pastor Danny believes that God has a bucket of blessings he wants to dump on Oasis, but our buckets to receive is just too small. We’re here to help that bucket become bigger. One of the tough things we learned towards the end of our role at UC was that we didn’t come to Nashville to change UpRising or its vision, we were sent to be changed. We’re really trying to take that into Oasis. We love our church! This is our way of showing our church just how much we love – finding the weak spots and help make them strong.

It’s crazy to do all of this from the back end. As much as we’ve never cared much about titles, it sure is easier when you have one. I actually love where we are – it challenges me. We’ve not been pulled on the stage and recognized as pastors – no one’s passed a mantle of spiritual authority to us here. We’re really trying to practice the principles of a 360 Leader. I even ordered an audio book today that I saw on Dave Ramsey’s site called the Question Behind the Question. I’m hoping we’ll learn tips to be even more influential within the church to help strengthen the body!

Good times…enjoying the journey…

mjd