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Frank-Bealer

CNLP 098: Becoming a High Capacity Leader – Deconstructing Frank Bealer’s Habits and Schedule

What are the habits and disciplines that make high capacity leaders, high capacity? I interview Elevation Church’s Frank Bealer, who became President of an Insurance Company at age 23 and has continued to be promoted into positions of high influence and responsibility at a young age. Frank shares his strategy, approach and schedule in detail with a view to helping you get better at what you do.

Welcome to Episode 98 of the Podcast.

Frank-Bealer

Guest Links: Frank Bealer

Episode 20

Lead e3

Frank Bealer on Facebook

Frank Bealer on Twitter

Frank Bealer on Instagram

Elevation Church

Elevation Church on Facebook

Elevation Church on Twitter

 

Links Mentioned

eaHelp

Reggie Joiner / The Orange Tour

Andy Stanley; Episode 1

Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

Perry Noble; Episode 78

Perry Noble Leadership Podcast

Craig Groeschel; Episode 52

Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

DialPad

 

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Frank is a high-capacity leader whose ambitions weren’t always easy to maintain. Though he was driven by his incredible work ethic, he was quick to discover that there is no such thing as “balance” when it came to leading a career and leading a family. Here’s how he learned to integrate both.

  1. Don’t over-promise. Frank was pouring himself into an industry he wanted to excel at and didn’t have the self-awareness to see how it affected his marriage. He got tired of apologizing to his wife because he really wasn’t “sorry.” He kept breaking the same promises that he’d be home by a certain time or be around for every family dinner. “Communicate and don’t over-promise.” Frank says. “I wasn’t over-promising at work. I had no reason to do it at home.”
  1. Clarify expectations. What you think is important can turn a routine sideways. Talk to your boss, talk to your spouse and set standards for what communication looks like. When you have unreasonable expectations, it sets you up to be over-whelmed, and you’ll under-deliver.
  1. Be intentional with your time. The best way to say “no” is to schedule your time strategically. Frank scheduled everything he did, from writing e-mails to running errands. It allowed him to set boundaries but also gave him the freedom to be flexible. By being intentional with his time, it was easier for Frank to manage his priorities at work and home.

Select ‘See First’ for the Starbucks Facebook Giveaway!

To celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast, I’ll be giving away a virtual Starbucks gift card that will be posted on Facebook. To ensure that you don’t miss out on the offer, go to my Facebook page right here. If you already follow me, hover over the Follow icon and select SEE FIRST. If you’re new to my page, make sure you hit the Like button, hover over the Follow icon, and select SEE FIRST.

Here’s what it looks like on mobile and desktop.

Carey_Nieuwhof_Facebook

 The Lasting Impact Team Edition

IMG_7604

The team edition is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subjects like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer changes in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!

Quotes from this Episode

 

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig

Only a small percentage of churches ever grow past 200 attenders. Enter Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig, whose podcast and blog, 200churches.com, is a resource to small church pastors everywhere. Jeff, Jonny and I discuss what small church pastors really need, and why.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 99.

people pleasing

How People-Pleasing Crushes Your Leadership Potential

Ever wonder how your leadership potential gets crushed? How you end up stalling out as a leader with your dreams stifled and your future looking far less exciting than you hoped for?

It happens more easily than you think.

And it often happens despite a leader’s best intentions.

In fact, there’s a good chance that even today, you’re wrestling with the very dynamics that ultimately thwart your leadership potential.

What kills your leadership potential more than just about anything?

I’ll walk you through a downward spiral many leaders have encountered. It starts innocently enough but ends rather tragically.

How does it happen?

You’d be surprised. Because you come by it so honestly.

shutterstock_373148281We’re All Afraid of Rejection

So let me guess, you’re almost always working hard on a new idea. You:

Sweat over it.

Pray over it.

Revise it.

Perfect it.

And you hope—really hope—that when your idea is unveiled, people will like it.

Before you dismiss that as a trivial observation, ask yourself: Have you ever unveiled an idea or project you sincerely hoped people wouldn’t like?

I didn’t think so.

The desire to have your proposal accepted is pretty universal, isn’t it?

Almost every leader is afraid of one thing: rejection.

And not just personal rejection, but the rejection of your ideas as well.

Your hopes. Your strategies. Your dreams.

So you do what you can to make people happy… to get them to buy in.

And therein lies the trap.

So This is What You Do

Because we’re all afraid of rejection, you and I revise our ideas until we think they have the greatest chance of acceptance.

And in principle, that’s a good idea. Who wants to introduce something that ultimately only 5 people on planet earth are going to find helpful?

But often, in the process of trying to get people to buy into your initiative, you take the edges off of it.

You dilute it.

You compromise.

You talk about what’s possible, not about what’s best.

And then you die a little inside.

Then This Happens

So… you introduce your slightly watered-down idea/product/change/innovation hoping people will applaud wildly.

Except they don’t. People still don’t like it.

You hear from the critics.

A few people leave.

More people threaten to leave.

You grow more scared.

So you retreat.

You revise your plan. You sand more of the edges off. You compromise more. You try to offend as few people as possible.

And then you die a little more inside.

Except now, your product becomes, literally, unremarkable.

Criticism, remember, is a remark, and a remark indicates you might have a truly remarkable idea.

Can you imagine what might have happened had you gone with your original stellar idea you were afraid to even say out loud???

Do you see what you often do when you water down your bold changes as a result of criticism? You change a remarkable initiative into an unremarkable one.

Being inoffensive ultimately makes you ineffective.

And Suddenly You’re on the Fastest Path To Irrelevance

That’s why far too many leaders end in a place where they are too afraid to be bold. Too afraid to try something new. Too afraid to even dream.

They reduce potentially great initiatives to the least offensive form they can find, hoping everyone will buy in.

Except your ability to attract new people just went out the window.

The only people who really like your new idea are a small core of the people who already liked your old idea…and any growth potential is jettisoned.

Here’s the lesson far too many leaders never learn about trying to offend as few people as possible:

If you attempt to offend no one, you will eventually become irrelevant to everyone.

Where does this land you as a leader?

With worship services that are bland enough to inspire no one, including the 40 or 400 people who are there but who strangely want to keep it that way.

Adopting mission statements so drab they could have been lifted from an HR manual.

With a vision for the future that looks far too much like the past.

It’s not that difficult to head down the path to irrelevance.

When your vision for the future looks too much like the past, you need a new vision. And that’s where you’ll end up if people-pleasing causes you to lose your courage.

Lead Boldly

So what do you do?

Four things can help a leader usher in bolder change and avoid irrelevance without becoming a brash, arrogant leader.

1. Be bold

Don’t stop dreaming. Introduce some bolder changes. The problem with incremental change is that it brings incremental results.

So be bold. Bolder change will bring bolder results.

2. Lead with humility

No one likes an arrogant person; even fewer people like an arrogant leader. Being bold is not a licence to offend.

Leading from a place of humility can help you broker change far better than leading from a place of arrogance.

3. Take the long view

A key difference between leaders who successfully navigate change and those who don’t is the ability to stick out the initial waves of criticism.

The fact that some people don’t like your change is natural. Take the long view and realize this too shall pass.

Think about it: surprisingly, your insistence on pleasing people will ultimately cause you to disappoint people.

4. Focus on who you want to reach, not who you want to keep

If you focus on the 10% of people who don’t like the change, you will lose the thousands of people you can reach by making the change.

Again, this is not an excuse to be stubborn, arrogant or bullying.

But it is permission to be courageous.

To be true to your convictions, and to lead with conviction and even some occasional daring, I share more specific strategies on how to effectively lead change here.

If your mission is as important as you say it is, it deserves your best leadership and courage.

My Guess Is…

…that you are not trying to be ineffective.

It’s just that the gravitational pull we all feel in leadership to please everybody is almost always counterproductive.

Sometimes, you even end up being nothing to nobody.

So what’s keeping you back from acting on your best strategy?

What’s keeping you back from being more daring?

Is it the desire to be liked? The fear of being rejected? The unwillingness to offend?

I understand that…but just know what’s at stake.

To be inoffensive is to be ineffective.

Sometimes, you need to push through a controversial proposal to get to the other side.

In your attempt to offend no one, you just might become irrelevant to everyone.

Want More?

I wrote about three powerful truths about likability and leadership in this post.

If you’re wondering what issues the church needs to tackle to be effective and reach people, I devoted my most recent book, Lasting Impact, to 7 pivotal issues every church leader needs to address. You can learn more about Lasting Impact here.

What do you think?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

insecure leaders

5 Things Insecure Leaders Wrongly Believe

Ever notice that so many of the challenges you face as a leader happen in your mind?

Me too.

Why is that?

Well, so much of leadership is actually not a battle with others, it’s a battle with yourself.

And a good portion of that battle arises out of insecurity.

Barnabas Piper and Todd Adkins interview me this week for their 5 Leadership Questions podcast. You can listen here. This week’s release is Episode 113 (I was also a guest previously on Episode 80).

Barnabas and Todd asked me to comment on 5 lies leaders believe (especially church leaders).

The conversation was fascinating…as it mostly goes back to insecurity. And I thought it was worth a blog post.

Here are 5 lies leaders wrongly believe.

insecure leaders

1. I must know everything about everything

This trips up so many leaders, and it was a tough one for me when I was starting out.

Most leaders who think they need to know everything feel that way because they know they don’t.

That insecurity can be paralyzing.

The funny thing is…when you fake an answer, people can tell you don’t know. Rather than gaining confidence in your leadership, your guesses, fake answers and ‘covering’ actually causes people to lose confidence in you.

One of the most glorious answers a leader can give is “I don’t know.”

Period.

You don’t need to be defensive.

Just look them in the eye, securely, and admit you don’t know. You don’t even need to go the uber-achiever route and say, “But I’ll find out.”

You might say “I don’t know, but what do you think?” Or “I don’t know, but I’m sure we have someone here who might. Let’s see.” Or you might just say “I don’t know.”

When you do that, you elevate the team. You actually build up the ability of others to contribute.

Frankly, I trust people who tell me the truth far more than people who cover their insecurity with guesses and partial knowledge.

2. I must be prominent and lead from the front

I think in the early days of leadership, most of us instinctively want to lead from the front.

Frankly, during the first decade of my leadership, I was too insecure not to.

But over the last decade, as I’ve become more comfortable with who I am and who I’m not, I’ve been able to do a better job leading more people than ever with less ‘up front’ time than ever.

In fact, in the last few years, I’ve been thinking constantly about what John the Baptist said:  “He must become greater. I must become less.” Naturally, this applies to Christ, but I think it also applies to others.

That’s why I’m fixated on handing off our ministry at Connexus to the next generation… and that my role doesn’t always have to be front and centre.

Every church planter needs to ask this question: “Is what started with me going to end with me?”

The more secure you are, the easier that becomes to answer that with a no. I’m working on it. Hard.

So…if you want to build a ministry that endures, don’t build it around someone who will die.

3. I must prove myself constantly

Ask yourself this: to whom are you trying to prove yourself? To God? To others?

If it’s God, you’re already approved. That had something to do with a cross on a hillside out of Jerusalem two thousand years ago.

And we all know leaders (even Christian leaders) who are constantly trying to prove themselves.

You know what happens?

Leaders who try to prove themselves lose themselves. You actually never discover who you are because you’re not comfortable enough to look inside and discover what’s already there.

My favourite leaders are those who have developed a quiet confidence. They know what they’re good at and what they’re not, but they’re not loud about it. They consistently and humbly play to their strengths and have no difficulty admitting their weaknesses (see point 1).

If you can’t admit you’re wrong because you’re always trying to prove yourself, remember: People admire your strengths but resonate with your weaknesses.

When you can accurately (and even quietly) lead well and admit your mistakes, people trust you.

4. My follower’s success is a threat to me

So many leaders feel threatened by the success of the people around them—even the people they lead.

Big mistake.

You shouldn’t feel threatened by the success of your followers. You should celebrate it.

A leader’s success is ultimately tied to the success of their followers.

Great leaders don’t build great platforms; they build great people.

So how do you do that?

Well, start by murdering your insecurity.

Brian Houston had one of the best answers I’ve heard on this subject. When I interviewed him on my leadership podcast (you can listen to it here), I asked Brian how he’s managed to keep so much talent around him over the years.

I loved his response. He said, “You raise the ceilings.”

Raise the ceilings, and you’ll eventually be surrounded by giants.

If you want to learn more about developing a great leadership pipeline, the team at LifeWay Leadership (where Todd and Barnabas serve) has developed a number of resources to help you begin developing a generation of new leaders at your church.

  • Free E-BookletDeveloping Your Leadership Pipeline
  • Free Leadership App – featuring blogs, podcasts, training videos, and more
  • Pipeline – A Conference for Church Leaders – October 13-14 in Nashville, TN

I’ll be delivering one of the keynotes at the Pipeline Conference in October in Nashville. Join me and 6,000 other leaders this October.

5. I emphasize mission, vision and values enough

On the podcast, I said this one is perhaps the only statement of the five lies that doesn’t arise out of insecurity.

As I’ve thought about it further, now I’m not so sure.

You know what insecure people are? They’re self-focused.

Their needs end up trumping the needs of the organization.

And here’s the truth: you will get tired of casting vision, talking about the mission and celebrating values.

So the question becomes, do you do what you feel like doing or do you do what’s best for the mission?

Great leaders never only do what they feel like doing: they do what furthers the mission of the people they lead.

An insecure leader will flit from feeling to feeling. A secure leader will wake up and do what’s best, even if she thinks she’s done it 1000 times.

Secure leaders can focus on something bigger than themselves because they’re over themselves.

What Do You Think?

I’m a huge podcast fan. I hope you listen to the 5 Leadership Podcast Questions podcast.

I also host a weekly leadership podcast you can listen to for free every week. In fact, if you subscribe for free, you’ll never miss an episode and have access to my back catalogue at your fingertips.

I interview today’s top leaders like Brian Houston, Craig Groeschel, Andy Stanley, Jenni Catron, Mark Batterson, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Kara Powell, Chris Brown, Jon Acuff, Lewis Howes and many more. You can subscribe here.

On Episode 61 of my podcast, Josh Gagnon, pastor of one of the fastest growing and largest churches in the history of New England, and I have a gut-honest conversation about how even successful leaders struggle with insecurity.

I’d love to know if there are other lies you’ve noticed that insecure leaders believe.

Just scroll down and leave a comment!

Grant-Vissers

CNLP 097: Young and Burning Out — How Grant Vissers Crashed in Year One of Ministry But Found New Life

At 25, Grant Vissers, a newlywed and fresh graduate of Princeton, started ministry at two small rural churches with his wife Konnie, and within a few months started burning out. He talks about how it happened, why it happened, and how he battled back to continue ministry in a fresh context with fresh passion (and new wisdom).

Welcome to Episode 97 of the Podcast.

 

Grant-Vissers

 

Guest Links: Grant Vissers

GrantVissers.Com

St. Paul’s Leaskdale

Grant on Twitter

Links Mentioned

eaHelp

 

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Grant speaks candidly about how burnout affected his health, his marriage and his passion for ministry. Once he recognized how an unhealthy environment was extinguishing his faith, he took steps to ignite the fire he once had to serve Christ.

  1. Seek counseling. Processing your issue with someone outside of the church gives you a different perspective to your problem. No matter how painful or challenging that step may be, when you recognize something isn’t right, you need to walk with someone who can speak into your life.
  2. Have a conversation with your team. Be bold enough to say something doesn’t feel right. Take a humble approach to recognize that something is happening on both sides, and don’t make it into a blame game. Sit down and have an honest conversation.
  3. Know you’re not alone. Ministry can be tremendously isolating. You can get lonely, but the biggest thing is to realize is that you’re not the only person going through your current experience. When you start to reach out, you’ll find solace in knowing that others have similar stories.

Select ‘See First’ for the Starbucks Facebook Giveaway!

To celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast, I’ll be giving away a virtual Starbucks gift card that will be posted on Facebook. To ensure that you don’t miss out on the offer, go to my Facebook page right here. If you already follow me, hover over the Follow icon and select SEE FIRST. If you’re new to my page, make sure you hit the Like button, hover over the Follow icon, and select SEE FIRST.

Here’s what it looks like on mobile and desktop.

Carey_Nieuwhof_Facebook

 The Lasting Impact Team Edition

IMG_7604

The team edition is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subjects like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer changes in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!

Quotes from this Episode

 

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Frank Bealer

What are the habits and disciplines that make high capacity leaders, high capacity? I interview Elevation Church’s Frank Bealer, who became President of an Insurance Company at age 23 and has continued to be promoted into positions of high influence and responsibility at a young age. Frank shares his strategy, approach and schedule in detail with a view to helping you get better at what you do.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 98.

bad leaders say

7 Things Bad Leaders Say

Nobody sets out to be a bad leader.

You didn’t. I didn’t.

Yet according to a recent Gallup study, only 18% of managers have a ‘high degree of talent’ in leading people, which includes the ability to motivate and manage the relationships they have with people around them.

So why does the world end up with so many, well, not-so-great leaders?

Often those of us who lead lack the self-awareness to know when we’re leading poorly. (Here, by the way, are four things self-aware leaders know that others don’t.)

Leadership is difficult—you have to overcome obstacles that non-leaders never tackle, AND you have to then lead other people through them.

But your first approach to a problem isn’t usually the right one.

So…has bad thinking clouded your ability to lead effectively?

Here are 7 things bad leaders say. I only know this, because, over the years, I’ve caught myself thinking or even saying some of these things.

And I’ve realized that if I’m going to lead more effectively, I need to change my approach. bad leaders say

1. If I’m going to get it done right, I have to do it myself

So we’ve all been frustrated with the work other people do. And it’s very tempting, after trying numerous times and maybe even after working with numerous people, to conclude that no one can do the job but me.

That’s fabulous thinking if you want to keep your organization tiny and never scale it beyond your own personal abilities.

It’s also fabulous thinking if you believe you are the only person God gifted in your organization.

But if you want to grow, it’s a terrible way to lead. And it’s completely demotivating for the people around you to hear you say that.

Usually, the inability to do great things through others can be tied to a lack of clarity on your part as a leader.

If others aren’t doing their jobs well, there’s a good chance it’s because you never explained what success looks like.

There’s also a very good chance the definition of success you carry is 100% in your head; you’ve never written anything down. Or what you have written down is so general or vague it’s not helpful.

You can’t hold people accountable for something you never explained to them. Yet most leaders try anyway.

Clarity is a hallmark of great leadership. If your team isn’t measuring up, there’s a very good chance you haven’t been clear.

2. My job would be perfect if it wasn’t for people

Yes, leading people IS the most challenging aspect of leadership.

Typing, for example, is far easier than leading people. Hit the “j” key and the letter j appears on your screen.

If only people were that simple.

Ask someone to type ‘j’ and they might think you said ‘k’ or ‘a’ or they wonder if that was a capital letter or small letter.  Or they might speculate why you want ‘j’ typed in the first place.

Leading people is going to tax you more than almost anything.

Leadership is difficult because leaders take people where they wouldn’t ordinarily go.

Think about that for a moment. That’s hard!

But please realize that as much as you joke that your job would be easy if it wasn’t for people, you wouldn’t have a job if there weren’t other people.

Often, if you’re really honest, when you’re mad at others, you’re really mad at yourself and your inability to lead them.

Figure out how to lead better, and you won’t be nearly as mad at people as you used to be.

3. Listen….

What do you do when you feel like you’re losing control in leadership?

You try to take control.

You say things like “Listen…I’ve been at this a long time and…”

Ever notice people who start sentences with ‘listen’ rarely listen?

And when you stop listening, you shut down everyone else in the room. They instinctively think “well, he’s not listening anymore…so it doesn’t matter what I say or ask.”

Instead of trying to take control, ask a question instead, like “Is anything unclear?” or “So what are people thinking?”

It’s far better.

4. I’m having trouble with your colleague

Every leader gets frustrated. The question is, what do you do with that frustration?

Bad leaders complain about the team to the members of the team. Big mistake.

When your team hears you speak poorly about someone else on the team, trust dissipates as quickly as a mist in the desert sun.

The team knows that if you’re talking smack about their colleague, you’re probably talking poorly to others about them as well.

Every leader needs a safe place to vent. Cultivate that. But do that intentionally.

Have a small team around you where you can solve your problems and talk honestly. Sometimes that’s a few people on the governing board or the top leaders around you. Or it might be a colleague from another town.

Two rules of thumb:

Make sure the number of people in that circle can be counted on one hand. Otherwise, it’s gossip and can quickly become unhelpful.

Focus the conversation on solutions, not problems. Otherwise, things will become destructive, not constructive.

If you don’t have a small circle of trusted people with whom you can solve problems, your frustration will leak out all over and do damage that can be difficult or impossible to repair.

Never complain about the team to the team if you want a great team.

5. At least we’re doing better than               .

If that’s your standard, get a new standard.

Please.

6. My people won’t let me….

I hear this all the time:

My people won’t let me spend money on leadership coaching.

My people won’t let me change the way we do music.

My people won’t allow us to consider that kind of ministry.

Your people won’t let you? Really?

Hey, when you were four years old, your mom wouldn’t let you do things.

But you’re not four anymore.

There’s so much wrong with the ‘my people won’t let me’ stance:

First, you just threw your entire crew under the bus.

Second, you’re the leader. So lead them. (If you can’t lead them effectively enough to change people, stop blaming them and look in the mirror.)

Third, if the change you want to bring about is unsuccessful for now, respect that. Back your people in public. Back them in private. Love them.

Love doesn’t always mean agreement. Love doesn’t always mean you feel deep affection for them in every moment.

But love and respect are linked. And you don’t throw people you love under the bus.

If you can’t love your people, stop leading them.

7. I have to…

I still catch myself saying this and I simply need to stop.

I have to preach this Sunday.

I have to go to that meeting.

I have to finish this project.

No, I don’t have to. I get to.

And no, you don’t have to. You get to.

The truth is, you don’t have to do anything. But you and I get to do a lot of things.

If you begin to think about what you get to do rather than what you have to do, you’ll cultivate a much more profound sense of gratitude.

And gratitude is one of a leader’s best attributes.

Grateful leaders are so much easier to follow than ungrateful leaders.

So be grateful. You get to do this!

Want More?

I wrote more about 12 often-overlooked practices that great leaders adopt in this post.

I also outline 7 challenges every church leader needs to navigate in my latest book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow, which is going into its 5th printing. If you haven’t picked up a copy of the new Team Edition video series, you can get it here.

What do you think?

What are some things you’ve heard bad leaders say that you could add to this list?

What have you caught yourself saying?

Scroll down and let me know in the comments!

are you actually a leader?

So Are You Actually a Leader? A Simple Way to Tell In Less Than Two Minutes

One of the most difficult aspects of leadership is to know how you’re doing as a leader.

Add a little insecurity into the mix, and it makes things even more complex.

Naturally, you’ll get feedback from your peers and probably get an occassional 360 review (both great practices).

But beyond that, how can you tell how you’re doing as a leader?

There’s a way to check that’s much simpler than you might think. By asking yourself three simple questions, you can not only get an accurate gauge of how you’re doing, but where you need to improve.

shutterstock_365846192

Why This Matters (Leadership and Self-Delusion)

I find a lot of leaders are not clear on how well they’re leading.

This falls into two categories:

Leaders who overestimate how well they’re doing.

Leaders who underestimate how well they’re doing.

Both are problematic for different reasons.

If you think you’re doing better than you are, you’re the last person to realize you need to improve.

And if you think you’re not doing as well as you actually are, then you likely have potential you have not yet tapped into.

So getting a reasonably accurate check in on the quality of your leadership is critical to help you lead with all diligence.

3 Easy Ways to Check Your Leadership Effectiveness

The following three questions form three quick shoulder checks you can do.

As with all self-assessment, there are limits on how accurate it will be. But my guess is as you work through these questions in the next few minutes you’ll know a lot more about your leadership than you might predict.

And, lastly, a quick note. This post (like almost all posts on this blog) assumes you want to lead better now and steward the leadership gift that God has given you. If you don’t, you’ll push back against these questions. I get that. But if you care about leadership, as difficult as the answers to these questions might be, you will want to answer and act.

So, to gauge your leadership, as honestly as you can, answer these three questions:

1. Is anyone following you?

One of the best ways to tell whether you’re a leader is simple this: Look over your should to see if anyone’s following.

If no one’s following (or only a few are), you’re really not leading.

It doesn’t matter how many leadership books you read, how many webinars you do or how grandiose your vision might be, a leader without followers is not actually a leader.

While we all get touchy about this in leadership, the reality is leaders lead people. (This post explains why some leaders have a higher number of followers than others.)

So whoís following you? Be honest.

2 Who’s following you?

That you have followers is one thing, but the next thing to check is the kind of person following you.

High capacity leaders will attract other high capacity people.

The caliber of the people around you points to the caliber of  leader you are.

Again, this isn’t always a fun question to answer, but it can become a spring board to progress.

If you don’t like what you find, ask yourself why higher capacity leaders don’t follow your lead.

And then take the steps you need to take to change that.

Here are a few posts that will help you better lead high capacity people.

6 Reasons You’re Losing High Capacity Leaders

7 Questions Every Volunteer Asks But Never Says Out Loud

How to Tell If You’re An Organizational Or Relational Leader

I also wrote about developing a high capacity team in my latest book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.

 

3. Who are you following?

It’s not just a question of who follows you, but also a question of who you’re following.

I’m not talking about the podcasts you listen to, the blogs or books you read or the conferences you attend. Our celebrity culture has created a mass following mentality that allows many people to follow influential leaders almost effortlessly. I’m not slamming this.

I read and listen to leading voices all the time and love going to great events. I’m in when it comes to that.

But I think it’s easy to develop a false intimacy with these influential leaders, thinking we know them when in fact we’ve never met them and in all likelihood never will. S

While you can learn from people you read or listen to, even more important are the people you actually hang out with.

On that note, ask yourself:

With whom do I spend the most time personally?

Who’s building into me, personally?

Who’s mentoring me?

Do the people I spend the most time with represent the kind of leader I want to be in 5 years?

Are the people closest to me helping me grow into the leader God has called me to be?

If the answers to these questions bother you, change the circle of people you hang out with.

Find some leaders and mentors who can help you realize your potential. Seriously, send an email today to someone who can do these things for you before you close this blog post.

Know why this is so important?

As Jim Rohn says, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

What Questions Would You Ask?

I find that by asking myself these three questions on a semi-regular basis, I get a fairly accurate assessment of where I am.

How about you? What questions would you add to this list?

Leave a comment.

larry-osborne

CNLP 096: Larry Osborne on How to Close the Back Door at Your Church and Truly Align Your Team

Few people have been in leadership as long or effectively as Sticky Church author and North Coast Senior Pastor Larry Osborne. In a wide-ranging conversation, Larry talks about why it took so long for North Coast to grow to a large church, how to close the back door at your church and how to truly align a team.

Welcome to Episode 96 of the Podcast.

larry-osborne

Guest Links:

North Coast Church

Larry Osborne

Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page

Sticky Church (Leadership Network Innovation Series)

Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith

Sticky Teams Conference

Larry Osborne on Twitter

Links Mentioned

eaHelp

Injoy Stewardship Solutions

Orange Tour

ReThink Leadership

Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

When you lead a church on the West Coast, your approach has to be innovative and unique. Larry Osborne has figured out what works and created simple principles that anyone can apply to their ministry.

  1. Shift the focus. Larry says he wants to serve people so well that they should want to bring their friends. “A restaurant or movie doesn’t have to say. ‘Bring your friends.’ … I never told people to do it.” The key is to use plan language in everything you do so that it’s understood by those who have never been to church.
  2. Place emphasis on what really matters. It’s more than mission, teaching and passion. It’s about tying people to relationship. It’s the glue that keeps people together when they start to get bored, and when they go through hard times.
  3. Find alignment among leadership. Speak the same language and build trust among one another, because even when you disagree, you have universal verbiage being used. And you can’t have a good team without high trust. Don’t start with a bias that someone can’t be trusted; start with a bias that someone can be trusted, and hold them accountable.

 The Lasting Impact Team Edition

IMG_7604

The team edition is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subjects like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer changes in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!

Quotes from this Episode

 

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Grant Vissers

At 25, Grant Vissers, a newlywed and fresh graduate of Princeton, started ministry at two small rural churches with his wife Konnie, and within a few months started burning out. He talks about how it happened, why it happened, and how he battled back to continue ministry in a fresh context with fresh passion (and new wisdom).

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 97.

mistakes churches make

5 Basic Mistakes Churches Make Over and Over Again

It’s one thing to make mistakes in leadership.

It’s another to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Any idea what your frequent mistakes might be?

And if you have mistakes that you make, why do you keep making the same ones over and over again?

One of the reasons many leaders and organizations repeatedly make the same mistakes is because our actions spring from our viewpoint, viewpoints that in fact may be wrong.

Get the viewpoint wrong and the actions follow.

As you’ll see from the list below, the mistakes I see church leaders make repeatedly spring from a view point that can best be described this way:

What we do in the church doesn’t really matter.

The reality is nothing could be further from the truth. What we do in the church matters incredibly, because the church actually is, as Bill Hybels says, the hope of the world.

If the church has the most important mission on earth, behave like it.

But so many churches don’t.

Here are 5 mistakes I see over and over again.

mistakes churches make

1. Thinking cheap

Too often in church, leaders carry a dollar store mindset. Get as much as you can for as little as you can and you win.

But do you?

What leaders miss is that cheap has a cost. In fact, in the long run, it’s actually more expensive.

First, you end up with inferior products, whether that’s furniture, technology or even ministry (Here, leader…do world class children’s ministry on $140 a year).  Cheap things break earlier and more easily, and you end up replacing them frequently. So often, you don’t even save much money.

Cheap even translates to team.

Paying church staff poorly is not only unbiblical, it’s stupid. When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Do I think you should pay outrageous salaries to church leaders? Absolutely not. But you should pay people a living wage.

If you want a radically different view on why non-profits shouldn’t be cheap on salaries, Dan Pallotta makes a powerful case for decent pay in the non-profit sector.

Why do some church leaders want to underfund the most important ministry on earth?

2. Starting late

I’ve been to numerous church services and events that regularly start late, after the published start time.

Why?

Maybe it’s just me, but that just oozes “Hey, what we’re doing doesn’t matter much…and we don’t really value your time.”

Some people got their kids up early, made breakfast, showered quickly and fought traffic to show up on time. When you start late, you dishonour all their effort.

I know some church leaders think they want to wait until ‘everyone is here.’ Well guess what? No matter what time you begin, people will always wander in late.

We had an ‘everyone shows up ten minutes late’ problem a few years ago. Rather than start late, we actually told people to arrive on time and then put some of the best, most creative elements in the first 5 minutes of the service.

When people showed up late, we told them “Man, it’s too bad you missed it.” That was it. We never apologized.

Guess what happened? We went from 30% of people being present when the service started to about 70% of people being present when the service started.

It’s amazing what happens when you provide great value on time. People show up.

The other 30%? Too bad they missed it….

3. Deciding it’s good enough

Even if you invest some money in ministry, too many church leaders behave as though a moderate effort is good enough.

As Jim Collins has famously pointed out, bad is not the enemy of great (because that’s obvious). Good is the enemy of great.

A ‘good enough’ attitude can create a false sense of satisfaction, leaving a meaningful part of both your mission and potential unfulfilled.

That’s why I love that at Connexus Church, where I serve, one of our stated values is ‘Battle Mediocrity.’

I love that phrase because first of all, ‘mediocrity’ names ‘good enough’ for what it is—massively unsatisfying mediocrity. Second, ‘battle’ is a call to arms. This is a fight, and mediocre has to die. (I teach on battling mediocrity in this talk.)

God didn’t decide his work was good enough, so why should the church? He gave his best. His all. He threw the full force of his majesty not just into creation, but into redemption.

Strangely, many people will give 100% to the marketplace, a hobby or their family, and then give 60% when they serve God. Makes no sense. At all.

4. Choosing easy over effective

Being effective as a leader is difficult. Which is why it’s so easy for leaders to settle when so much more is possible.

Being effective means you dig in when others retreat. It means you ask the 11th question when everyone else stopped at ten. It means you wake up early and sometimes stay up late trying to figure out how to do better.

It means you call out the best in people and ask them to bring their best energy, focus and skill to advancing the mission of the church.

That’s effective.

And it’s not easy. But it’s worth it.

5. Thinking that conversations like these are  unspiritual

Some leaders understand why conversations like these matter to the church. But there are always some who don’t.

In some circles, talking strategy is seen as ‘unspiritual.’ Instead, the goal is to not get too concerned with strategy and just try to keep everybody happy. Or to pray about things and maybe they’ll just get better.

The best prayer is rooted in action. Praying about forgiveness when you’re unwilling to forgive is pointless.

Praying for your church if you’re unwilling to act on it doesn’t make any sense either.

If we believe God is the author of our hearts, minds, souls, strength and gifts, then we should be willing to lend all of the above to further the mission.

What Mistakes Do You See?

I outline 7 other key issues the church needs to tackle in my latest book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.

In the meantime, I’d love to know some of the mistakes you see churches make again and again.

Scroll down and leave a comment!

Rusty-George

CNLP 095: The Challenges of Scaling a Church – An Interview with Rusty George

Rusty George didn’t plant Real Life Church, but he saw it grow from a small gathering in a movie theater to a multisite church of over 5000 attenders. Rusty talks openly and honestly about the highs and lows of growth, staffing, change and raising money to fund a vision to reach unchurched people.

Welcome to Episode 95 of the Podcast.

Rusty-George

Guest Links: Rusty George

Real Life Church

When You, Then God

Rusty on Twitter

Links Mentioned

eaHelp

Injoy Stewardship Solutions

Orange Tour

ReThink Leadership

Kyle Idleman

Shepard of the Hills

Church Development Fund

Blessing Ranch

Bethany Hamilton

Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth by Samuel Chand

Choosing to Cheat: Who Wins When Family and Work Collide by Andy Stanley

David Kinnaman; Episode 82

Hayden Shaw; Episode 69

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Rusty started in a California movie theater that held back-to-back services with strict time limitations. Because of the price of land and the high turnover rate of churches in the area, Rusty faces several challenges when establishing Real Life Church. Here’s how he handled it:

  1. Establish and maintain partnerships. The city says no to churches because land expensive, and they often saw churches come and go fast. A church couldn’t just come in and take over the local Kmart that recently closed. They build rapport with the city staff and became known as the church to give back, not the church whose mission was focused on taking. By having those relationships with the city, they positioned themselves so that they were an establishment the city would want to keep around because they were known for serving.
  1. Allow people to decrease their commitments. Rusty said that his demographic is generally skittish about churches and fundraising. (Who isn’t?) They asked for a three-year commitment and allowed them to increase or decrease commitment based on their financial circumstances from year-to-year. Because of this flexibility, the church attracted new donors.
  1. Build a team you can trust. Rusty embraced the 3 Cs developed by Bill Hybels and primarily focused on good team chemistry. “It was a huge piece. We’ve hired competent people, and six months later, it doesn’t work out because chemistry isn’t right.”

 The Lasting Impact Team Edition

IMG_7604

The team edition is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subjects like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer changes in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit LastingImpactBook.com! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!

Quotes from this Episode

 

 

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Sue Miller, Kara Powell, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Larry Osborne

Few people have been in leadership as long or effectively as Sticky Church author and North Coast Senior Pastor Larry Obsorne. In a wide-ranging conversation, Larry talks about why it took so long for North Coast to grow to a large church, how to close the back door at your church and how to truly align a team.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 96.

suck at vacation

Why Driven People Suck at Vacation (And 5 Ways To Fix It)

So summer is here and you’re trying to take some time off.

Ever notice that’s what driven leaders say all the time?

I’m going to try to take two weeks off.

I’m gonna try to unplug.

I’m trying to relax.

We A-types suck at vacation, don’t we?

It also really sucks if you’re married to us. Or we’re your parents.

How bad is it?

So bad that I included the “5 ways to fix it” subtitle to this post to get you to click on this article because you’re so driven you wouldn’t read an article on how to vacation unless it included a to-do list.

How do I know this?

Because I’m one of you. I’m actually finishing this post at an airport while everyone else talks and I’m trying to wrap it up because the flight we’re boarding has no wifi.

Yep, I’m speaking my native tongue.

Being a driven kind of person, the idea of doing nothing but resting is unsettling for me.

But I also understand how important it is.

Sabbath is God’s idea. And, as I discovered when I burned out, if you don’t take the Sabbath, the Sabbath will take you.

I know people who can take time off easily… they don’t worry, they’re never tempted to check email, they can easily shut down social media for a week, and they find a hammock to be relaxing.

That person is not me.  I think a few of you can relate.

What’s frustrating is that you hear people give advice all the time about powering down, not checking email, getting offline and just relaxing…vacation is easy for them. But not for some of us. 

So over the years I’ve developed these 5 vacation rules that, if observed, make shutting off all the devices and truly taking a break easier.

They help me, as a driven person, relax better.

suck at vacation

1. Prepare for your vacation, don’t just take it 

I used to run into my holidays full speed, and it would take me half my holidays to unwind.

Take some time before your holiday to prepare for your holiday. Use your evenings to rest up before you leave.

Pack ahead of time. Build the anticipation. When I do this, I can start day one of vacation fully rested and ready to enjoy.

Last year for the first time, I took a week off before our family left for a week together, just to unwind alone and be ready for them when they were free. It helped.

2. Equip your team, and yourself, for your break 

Leaving work behind is hard work.

I wasn’t good at this for years.  Now I spend time before leaving asking “what does my team need while I’m away so they can run optimally and so I can rest?”

If all of that is lined up, then they have what they need and I can get what I need: peace of mind, knowing everything will be okay.

The next step is even more important: let go.

I did this recently when my wife and I went to Australia. I spent almost zero time online (except TripAdvisor or Instagram for fun), fought no fires and let my team handle everything. We had two of the best weeks we’ve had together in years.

But more than that, great things happened back home. The church grew. And my podcast had the single biggest month in its almost two-year history (I lined up all the episodes before I left and gave my team the job of posting them).

You know what I learned? When you let go, things grow.

Early in my leadership, I never would have believed it. Now I do.

3.  Delegate authority and responsibility

While this is good practice all the time, make sure you leave behind real decisions, real authority and real responsibility.

My team can call the shots while I’m away. My assistant handles my email for my entire vacation.  If you don’t have an assistant, use an autoresponder and plan to spend your first or second day back sorting through email.

If you plan for it, you won’t worry about it while away.

4.  Find out what fuels you

I have friends who love to vacation at bed and breakfasts, chat with the locals and make new friends during their holiday. For me, that would be the opposite of vacation.

My ideal vacation is where I go somewhere with my family,  I don’t know anyone, and I don’t need to talk to anyone who might know me.  I suppose it’s a way to refuel for living in a world where so many people know me and I get stopped for conversation virtually everywhere I go (happens to a lot of us in ministry).

I also know it’s important for me to be in an environment that refuels me.

Camping is my nemesis. Give me a good hotel and some day-trips any day and I’m good to go.

We’ve worked it through as a family to the point where when we do the kind of vacation we’re currently doing, everyone comes back rested and recharged, ready to go.

If you don’t know what fuels you, even your vacation can drain you.

5. Pick a goal for your holidays

My drivenness can make me feel like I waste time while away. Obviously, one of my goals is to spend meaningful time with my family; I also use vacation time as time to connect with God.

But I’ve learned if I pick some goals for my holidays, it makes me feel better and enjoy my time alone and with my family more. Your goal can be as simple as reading a few books, taking some pictures, or even a fitness goal.

I feel less restless and more rested if I set a few goals.

Do you suck at vacation?

How about you?  What vacation rules do you have?

Or do you just unplug and think us A types are crazy?

Scroll down and leave a comment!