Articles 2017-08-28T16:47:41-07:00

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Learn from Leadership Team Success Case Study

Check out this video and article where Mark Johnston explains what makes his church's leadership team work with excellence.

Podcast Interview: How Great Leadership Teams Communicate

Recently William Vanderbloemen of the preeminent Vanderbloemen Search Group interviewed me for the Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast. Check it out via the soundcloud

Interview with Paul Sohn: Quarter-Life Calling

Check out this interview with Paul Sohn, an award-winning leadership blogger, in his new book Quarter-Life Calling: How to Find Your Sweet Spot In Your Twenties.

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Can You Find Meaning in Work?

Ryan Hartwig's TEDx talk "The Myth of Meaningful Work"

Cheers! It’s Been One Month …

Wow! Can you believe it’s been a month since the launch of Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church

Word is Getting Out About Teams That Thrive

If you haven't yet heard, Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership released this week.  I wrote the

Need More Creativity?

We can learn a ton from successful innovators. When we watch real life innovation, we learn that much of what we've been taught about creativity is based on well-trodden myths that sound true but don't stand up to scrutiny.

Volley, Don’t Pitch: Facilitating Great Discussion

Keeping the conversation flowing is just as important as pitching the perfect question. As the conversation deepens and grows, the whole group grows more poised to pose the break-through question or comment. More often than not, maintaining conversational flow is a prerequisite for life-changing dialogue.

Do for One What You Wish You Could Do for Everyone.

I don’t know about you, but I need to think less about how I can expand my influence and focus more on being faithful in what God has placed in front of me today. Of course, that runs counter to all the overwhelming talk of building platforms and expanding the influence of our time, programs, buildings, and so on.

Born to Follow

The importance of being a leader has been ingrained in our society. Numerous seminars, honor societies, and conferences promote good leadership skills. Church ministries hold training days to equip their members to be effective leaders. But in our quest to become “the ultimate leaders,” are we missing out on what we have been uniquely created and called to do?

3 Effortless Ways to Successfully Lead a Discipleship Group

Jesus called us to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19), but how do we do that? Today’s church has responded to this question by establishing discipleship groups. Here are three ways to equip you with the tools to successfully lead a small discipleship group.

7 Steps to Analyze a Problem – The Devil’s Advocacy Technique

Teams often struggle to make good decisions, dragging down their team's performance. In fact, one of the key predictors of team performance is the decision-making process employed by the team.

5 Strategies to Collaboratively Develop Leaders

The best way to develop leaders is NOT alone. Truly, the team outperforms the individual when it comes to developing leaders.

7 Biblical Principles for Work

I thought I'd share my slide deck - Why We Work - with you, as these principles might encourage and challenge you in your work!

Soak in these truths…

This statement is the bedrock of my philosophy of leadership: "The measure of you as a leader is not what you do, but what others do because of what you do."

9 Strategies to Avoid Groupthink

Many of us suffer from groupthink because we think avoiding conflict is wise. Preventing disagreement is right way to go, we say. But we do that to our own detriment.

Making Collaboration Work – Eight Steps to Hiring a Staff Member

Multiple perspectives lend better insight about the needs for the position and who can best fulfill them. One person notices what another misses, potentially saving the church or organization a disastrous mess.

“Tithe” to Collaboration

Even when we value collaboration, it is hard to act collaboratively in traditional, hierarchical organizations. Working with others takes time, time we often simply don’t have. Collaboration requires conflict, and many of us can’t stand any more fighting in our teams.

Humility –> Better Decisions

Teams full of humble members make better decisions because each person recognizes her own limitations, opens herself to others, and draws from others' strengths.

Make your Meetings Great

With great responsibility…comes a greater amount of meetings. Often they are a total waste of time, but they don’t have to be. How can we make meetings efficient and meaningful?

How’s Your Senior Leadership Team Doing?

Exciting news today ... we're offering churches across the US and around the world one more opportunity to assess their senior leadership teams for FREE.

8 New Year’s Team Resolutions

Nothing shocking. No gimmicks. No silver bullets. Just time-tested principles that yield great success when we discipline ourselves to practice what we already know to do!

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Top Posts of 2012

If you've been reading for awhile, I encourage you to peruse these posts to remind yourself of something that piqued your interest the first time, and then commit to doing something about what you've read.

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Senior Leadership Team Report Available

Nearly 600 people representing leadership teams at 145 churches took us up on the offer – and the results provided some surprising insights. In this FREE report, we listed the top ten findings so far, wanting to help senior leadership teams see how they compare to teams at other churches.

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Discovering Eureka

Have you ever been in a meeting and thought, “What if we did things this way?” We’ve all been there. We’ve all thought about new and innovative ways of doing things that would improve our group’s life and performance. Well, what is holding you back from sharing your creative ideas?

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4 Simple Strategies To Capture Meeting Notes

WARNING: Today's post offers some simple strategies to make your meeting life better. These tips aren't going to blow your mind, but I know some folks are asking these questions, so I'm going to offer some answers ...

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Are You Listening?

Oftentimes we get frustrated in committee meetings and group settings. The entire process is chaotic: people are speaking, but nothing is being said.

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Collaboration –> Remarkable

Those collaborative moments required great coordination, demonstrated remarkable creativity, and showcased individual talent amidst the whole group. The result was incredible.

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3 Sure-Fire Ways to Break the Ice

Have you ever participated in a purposeless icebreaker at the beginning of a small group Bible study? You know the kind—the question games that merely focus on finding out each others' favorite ice-cream flavor or best Halloween costumes. How are these helpful in developing a quality Bible study experience?

6 Ways to Develop Small Group Leaders

While I was talking to small group pastors there, these strategies could be adopted by anyone who wants to further leadership development. Take a look at the slide deck from that talk.

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6 Strategies to Stir Positive Conflict

Nothing affects team production like the quality of the team’s communication. One essential characteristic of great team communication is open, honest communication. That kind of talk always creates conflict as people express divergent views, ideas, and strategies.

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13 Steps for Strategic Planning

I've used (elements of) this basic process for all different shapes and sizes of organizations and groups, from discipleship groups, to mission teams, to university departments, to churches, to start-up businesses, etc.You can use this to plan for just about any size or shape of organization, business, department, or personal project.

6 Steps to Clarify Your Team’s Purpose

We believe that what we are doing - even though it may be largely esoteric and amorphous - is really important. It is consequential. But we don't have a clear sense of what specifically we are doing, nor does it seem to be that challenging to accomplish. But great teams possess a clear, challenging, and consequential team purpose.

Quality and Quantity Time: Groups Need Both

Quantity time doesn’t equal quality time. You must be intentional to enjoy quality time. However, in our increasingly fast-paced society, we’ve come to believe that quality time doesn’t require quantity time. But here’s the rub: quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time – not for families, not for small groups, not for teams, not for anyone.

New ebook on Church Senior Leadership Teams

Here's a resource to help you Think Deeply, Act Wisely, and Work Better Together. Tony Morgan just released a new ebook

An Exciting Year Ahead…

Summer is over. After my family traveled with 6 students from Azusa Pacific University to Vietnam for a month-long mission trip during July and August, I've been catching up, getting classes going, and wrapping up some important research reports and projects.I'm excited for the fall, and hope that I can help you to Think Deeply, Act Wisely, and Work Better Together in your churches, business, and ministry organizations.

Great leaders DO! (Post #4 in Team Leadership Series)

In this short series on team leadership, I’ve argued that teams in the church need good leadership more than they need to identify set leaders, thus we should focus less on formal, positional leadership and more on what leaders actually do. So, here are 10 things great team “leaders/influencers/impact players” (choose your favorite term) do...

5 Problems With Focusing Too Much on Formal Leaders

The truth is that we usually celebrate leaders for team success and blame leaders for team failure. Just look at the evening news, or the organizations around you. When there is a problem, “leaders” are replaced. We think it’s their fault. When there is success, we usually say something like: “Way to go, Mary, and her team.”

Leadership: much more than just influence!

As I mentioned in a recent post, if you think leadership is mostly about position, you’ll seek leadership positions. If you think about leadership as actually leading, you’ll focus on actually leading. You see, the way you think about leadership affects how you practice leadership.

Teams need leadership (not just a “leader”)!

Last week Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church released a Leadership Training video titled “Does God Really Want a Team to Have a Senior Leader?” Of course, I checked it out. As I listened, my thoughts were mixed. I’ve wanted to write about team leadership for a while, so Mark’s training video provided a good kick-in-the-pants to actually do it.

Strengthen Your Senior Leadership Team

Warren Bird and I contributed an article about Senior Leadership Team Effectiveness and Assessment to TonyMorganLive.com. Much thanks to Tony for sharing information about the Senior Leadership Team Assessment that's available now.The post also shares five essential features for senior leadership team success.

Who’s On Your Personal Support Team?

Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about some leader’s fall from grace. No one, no matter their position in any organization, is above the allure of power, prestige, position, and privilege.

Duh? Communication is the Key Factor for Team Performance?

Furthermore, they found that these communication patterns were as significant as ALL of the other factors – such as individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions – combined.

Top 7 Posts

In case you missed some of my most popular posts, I'm going to link to them here. I don't want you to miss any great content! 🙂

What’s Really Going On in Your Meetings?

Are you really solving problems and making decisions, or does it just appear that you are doing that, when in reality your group members are jockeying for power, building or struggling through relationships, fighting among each other for limited resources, and/or enacting your organization’s culture?

The Promise and Pitfalls of Structure

For many managers, a well-designed organizational structure is the elusive silver bullet: hard to find, but once you do, sufficient to solve all your communication, authority, and decision-making problems.

How To Identify Great (Team) Leaders

Recently a pastor responsible for discipleship and small groups asked me to offer some insight regarding assessing and identifying people for leadership roles in his church. I thought this topic would be relevant to many, if not all, of you, so I’ll share with you what I told him.

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**Church Leadership Team Assessment – Still Available for a Limited Time**

Today’s era is full of personal coaches and personal development plans. Why couldn’t similar coaching resources be applied not only to the individuals on the team, but to the team in how it functions as a group?

What’s a Plumb-line?

In my workshop, one thing (on a pretty big list) we talked about was the importance of possessing team norms (or plumb-lines) – shared expectations for member behavior – and then holding team members accountable to them.

Make Your Senior Leadership Team Great

As always, if I can be of any help to you or your church or ministry as you deploy, grow, build, and lead teams, please let me know through the contact form below! It’s my pleasure to serve those doing the good work of advancing God’s Kingdom!