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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Right Seat On The Bus.

In any small business, the mode of operation is often all hands on deck. This means that as you grow, your employees job description will often move them into areas that are beyond their strengths. Too often members of your team can be promoted into incompetence in their job description. So when you realize that members of your team are operating outside of their real strengths, how do you begin the process of helping them refocus what they are doing and shine?

There are two different approaches to helping your team members operate at their full potential. The first approach is to sit down with them and help them acknowledge the areas that are not in their wheel house of strength. Offer to help them grow in these area if they are willing.  The second approach is to help them identify their strong areas and give them the option to double down on these by removing other areas from their plate and reassigning them to another team member. Understanding how to communicate with your employees what their strengths and weaknesses are and how to address them will build stronger relationships and a clearer direction for the whole company.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Strength vs Weakness - Enemies or Partners?


We must be equally aware of our gifts and our flaws. 

We must seek to understand both, for we are always carrying both into every situation. Our greatest strengths are not our greatest weaknesses as we have been told. Our strengths, however, are our greatest liabilities. A liability must be well managed as it has equal power to lift us up as it does to tear us down. Our weaknesses, when kept at arm's length and unknown will be our constant enemy. But when they are brought into the light, and understood, can serve as a warning bell to us.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

“I think a large part of my success is the fact that I’m a huge believer in hiring the right people and giving them unbelievable amounts of power and autonomy.”

– Blake Mycoskie, Founder, TOMS Shoes

Creating a successful team is more than just getting the right people on the bus. It’s also about making sure that they are in the right seat on the bus. 

You have to lead people by their behaviors, actions, and strengths, not based on your desired outcome. 
Lead your team based on the things they have control over. When you club them over the head with things out of their control, they get frustrated. What do top performers do when they get frustrated? They go find somewhere else to work where its easier to perform well and at their peak ability. 

When you discover that a team members plate has things on it that are keeping them from performing at 100% you either have to double down on helping them grow in areas of weakness or help them double down on their areas of strength. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Culture. Message. Experience.

Culture is the collective identity and worldview of a group.
Identity informs everything about us.
Everything we do or say is because of the identity we believe defines us. Your organization's culture is not your mission statement or what you say in your advertising message, your culture is what your team believes about the organization, that informs their actions.

So as an organization, church, small business, or non-profit, have you taken a close look at what your culture is? Have you invested in creating the culture you want?
Your culture should inform your actions within the organization and the message to those outside of it.
If the actions, message, and experience don’t truly match your culture then you lose trust. You may be getting attention, but attention without trust is irrelevant.

When people see that your culture is consistent with behavior, decisions, message, and experience, they will believe what you say. They will trust that you really are what you claim to be. This is how you begin to develop a tribe, not just customers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Musings on a Tuesday...

Just a few simple thoughts:

If you avoid failure, you will never find success. If you’re frightened by what you can't explain, you will never change the world. 
A process will make you very good. 
The willingness to risk failure will make you a world changer.

Focus on the technique, rather than just on the recipe. The technique is really the most important part of any recipe. Whether you are talking about food, music, leadership, business or anything else. All the right ingredients and a perfect recipe are only as good as your technique to implement them well.

A difficult but necessary part of growth is to let go of patterns and paradigms when it becomes apparent that they no longer work. And most likely, never really did.

A rabbi friend once told me this story: 
Three blind men came upon an elephant one day. 
The first man came to the trunk and proclaimed, 
"Ahh I see this animal is long and slender and flexible with a snout that is wet"
The second man came to the tail and proclaimed, 
"Nonsense obviously this animal is thin and wispy with coarse bristles at the end!"
The third blind man came to one of the feet, and proclaimed, 
"you are both wrong this animal is round and rigid like a tree!"
And all three blind men argued and argued becoming more convinced 
That their piece of the puzzle was the whole picture, 
instead of realizing that they had come upon the same creature 

but from different perspectives.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The 3 Assassins

The 3 assassins:

There are three huge stumbling blocks or hindrances to growth, which will stagnate and eventually kill any church or organization.

1)   Status quote- “this is just how we do it here.”
2)   Sacred cows- “We have always done it that way.”
3)   Comfort zone- “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.”   

These three things keep the members of the organization from truly seeking the problems. They will blame the economy, finances, culture, and markets, anything but the real problems with the organization because they are unwilling to tackle these three things.

1) Status quote- “this is just how we do it here.” Or “If it worked for those guys it will work for us.”
It is much more comfortable to follow than to lead. To take our cues from those that we perceive are doing well at the same game we are playing. We establish heroes and idols that we strive to emulate thinking that if it worked for them it will work for everybody. This could not be further from the truth.
This can kill growth, ideas, teams and moral faster than almost anything. In order to grow, an organization must be willing to put every system and practice and program on the chopping block of the whiteboard, and evaluate if it is really working or necessary. Evaluate not just if it works, but does it work for us?

2) Sacred cows- “We have always done it that way.”
A sacred cow is any system, idea, practice, persona, image, methodology, or hierarchy, that is simply off limits to change or discussion simply because it is the way that it has always been or currently the way an organization operates. 
“If we canceled that program or changed that system it would just confuse everybody, even though it’s losing money we would have some really mad customers who are used to it that way.” Sacred cows kill growth.
-They create walls to creativity.
-They create Glass ceilings.
-They create unfair bias.
-They create unreal expectations of productivity and results.
They will create Invisible boundaries that your organization will bang its head against and wonder why they are not growing in that direction.
Organizations may or may not be aware of the sacred cows. They may be intentionally established thru bias and preference, or simply have been established thru handed down systems that once may have served a purpose, but no longer work.
Either way, they are the walls that must be toppled, to conquer the city.        

3) Comfort zone- “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.”  
Do you have a junk closet? You know that closet that is piled high with all of the projects, old papers,  hastily taken down Christmas décor, things you meant to return but forgot, and stuff you plan to sell someday?  Everyone has one. We know it’s there, just waiting to be tackled. And we know how great it would be to have that closet space back… but it would take a lot of work. We would have to cancel a few plans, put on some gloves, and maybe buy some extra garbage bags, it's just Inconvenient.
Also, it is unpredictable. There’s no telling what we may find in the closet. Spiders. Expired gift cards to our favorite store. Pictures of old loves that would be too painful to remember. It almost becomes a comfort knowing the closet is full and will remain that way until you decide to change it. You have the power, you have the key, and are exercising that power by deciding to do nothing, and not open the door.
At its root, it is really based on fear.
Fear of change, the unpredictable, and unintended consequences both good and difficult keep the closet door closed.

This is one of the hardest to deal with and often must be the first, to be a catalyst of change before addressing the other two. Humans like predictability, and hate change by nature. We like knowing what to expect. We like having everything neatly penciled on our weekly calendar and nothing ever rocks the boat.

However, we can get so locked into our comfort zone that we may go down with a sinking ship simply because it was too uncomfortable to acknowledge we hit an iceberg, standup, and put on a life jacket.

The Right Seat On The Bus.

In any small business, the mode of operation is often all hands on deck. This means that as you grow, your employees job descri...