My Week: Monday

Conference weekend was AMAZING. So much to think about so why not relax, chill and think about all that God has been saying. 

Or not.

Maybe head off to a 3 day Learning Community with 49 other churches to share and learn together about how to grow church. 

I’m looking forward to gleaning some wisdom, some ideas and some inspiration. My desire as Exec Pastor had always been to do the best I can, so times like these, though tiring are really beneficial. I’ll share some thoughts as we go through. 

How to Be a ‘Get Out of the Way’ Leader

Been thinking about this recently and how difficult I find this. I don’t think I’m alone either in finding this essential aspect of leadership such a challenge. Empowering others is the only way to bring about all that we want to see but that doesn’t make it easy though.

Here are some quick thoughts ~ why we don’t ‘get out of the way’, then why and how we should…

WHY WE DON’T…

We like control. We like to be in charge, to know what’s going on.
We don’t trust others. No one can do it like we do it.
There isn’t anyone to ‘get out of the way’ for. Or at least that’s what we convince ourselves.
We are scared of change. They will do it differently to how we have done it.
We will have nothing to do. We could become outdated, unwanted, or redundant.
What if they get it wrong. It’s just not worth the risk.

What if they get it right. What we were doing might come in to question.

WHY WE SHOULD…

We wont achieve the vision. The bigger the vision the more we need others to help us. One person can only do so much.
We stifle growth. Other peoples, maybe even our own and definitely the organisations.
Be willing to challenge the process. Just because its always been done ‘that way’ doesn’t mean it should continue to be. Sometimes we need that ‘upstart’ to say ‘Why not?’
New people can bring fresh energy. This is in turn can bring life to the organisation.

They may leave if we don’t. If people cannot see that they will ever be included, then they will probably go to a place where they will be.

HOW WE SHOULD DO IT…

On purpose not haphazardly. Have a plan on how responsibility will be given. Create a programme with a clear pathway, so those who are getting involved know what to expect.
Through coaching and not just through teaching. You can’t really ‘have a go’ without being given the opportunity to ‘have a go’. Hands on experience alongside some teaching can work really well. John Maxwell would teach us ~ know the way, go the way, show the way.
Let go. The first time is the hardest but if you have invested in them well then it’s not the challenge you really fear.
Be an inspiring leader. Spend your leadership being the kind of leader that others would want to be like. Inspire with vision, with attitude, with integrity, with your work ethic, with communication, with encouragement and every facet of your leadership.

Resource them. Just keep passing on everything you know, everything you have learned. Talk all the time about the why behind what you have asked them to do.

It’s a challenge but the rewards mean all that we are building can outlast us. If we make it all about us then what we are doing may well die when we do. If we make it about others then what we are building can last for generations to come.

What would you add to this?

Mixed Day

Mondays come round fast. After a great Sunday I was ready and full of faith for the week ahead. 

Today has been full of a bunch of different things ~ PAIS team, making my laptop work properly, some finance stuff, catch up with people and then tonight XFL. 

Loved that in XFL we got some of our future leaders to think more strategically and understand more about how church works, the process of an idea and what it actually takes to make it happen. Some great ideas too from them all that can help achieve our 2020 vision. 

I love that my role is so varied and that I get to help others on their leadership journey too. 

Practice Leading

Practice your leadership.

Sounds like one of those daft things to say but to become a better leader and to develop the right characteristics, you need to practice.

THIS IS A ‘SHOWING-OFF’ WARNING: when I was younger I played a number of sports to quite a good level. I played badminton for the County. I competed in the Sussex Open Snooker Tournament. I played tennis for the local club.

I had some ability but I never broke through. I didn’t like the practice.

Practice was boring and repetitive.
Practice was not glamourous.
Practice wasn’t competitive.
Practice was time-consuming.
Practice was about coaching, being corrected, being told about every little thing that wasn’t quite right.

BUT one the flip-side….

Practice was essential.
Practice was about improving.
Practice was about messing up when it didn’t matter.
Practice was about increasing my chances for success. 
Practice was about learning new techniques and keeping up to date

I am thankful for the opportunities presented to me as a 19 year old to learn what leadership was about. To be encouraged to have a go. To be allowed to practice. What I have learned on my 25 year journey, the things I am sharing through this blog, have definitely played a major role in shaping me into the leader I am today – hopefully for the better too.

People who practice….

Perfect their leadership art
Rehearse the leadership role to get it right
Apply new techniques as they learn them
Consider all the options
Take on common, tried and tested leadership practices
Implement others ideas to improve their performance 
Check their motives at all times, as to why they are wanting to improve
Exercise their leadership muscles & stretch themselves when appropriate

What do your think to my idea of practicing leading?

What Price Success?

I watched Dave Brailsford yesterday morning on BBC news. He is the performance coach for British Cycling and they were asking him how it is that we are seeing such success? His answer was simple…

Talent + Commitment + Coaching

You can have talent but if you don’t have commitment you won’t make it.

You can have commitment but without any talent, it might not be impossible but it will much be harder work.

Add great coaches to the mix – the team that think of every little thing that could possible enhance your performance and you are creating a recipe for success. He made a great statement – ‘If we can improve lots of little things by 1% then when you bunch them altogether, it will make a massive difference’.

Finally have a plan. Where do you want to be? Where are you now? What do you need to do to get there? That’s the plan. Then we work at executing the plan.

I love these thoughts and wonder how they would be played out when it comes to building local church? Maybe the equation would look more like this…

God-given Talent + Willingness to Commit + Holy Spirit + Intentional Development

…what do you think? Can we really afford to miss one of this out if we want to see local church grow, lives changed and the Kingdom of God extended?

Are You Running To Win?

Spoke to the youth leaders tonight. Discussed a new thought with them from a verse that jumped out at me this year while I was completed my read through of the Bible. Check out 1 Cor 9:24: In a race – all the runners run – but only one gets the prize. RUN IN SUCH A WAY AS TO GET THE PRIZE.

This begs the question: are you running to win? Starting to think about this so these are just some intial thoughts…

1. It’s not the taking part that counts
– it’s not about being on the team
– it’s not about being at church every week
– it’s not about doing your bit
It’s about WINNING Winning is what matters!! Then you get the prize

So here’s the next Question: What does winning look like for you?
– if you don’t know what the prize looks like how do you know you are running the right race
– you need to be specific about what winning looks like for you so that you know you are winning

Is it to see salvations?
Is it to know that God is changing lives?
Is it about seeing people getting connected?

You can only be ready to win if you know what you are aiming for.

2. You’ve got to WANT it
If you have to want to win, otherwise what you are saying is that you don’t care. If you don’t care then when things get tough you will give up instead of digging in. That attitude is what makes a champion. You need to do everything you can to give yourself every chance of winning.

So here’s another Question: What does it take to put yourself in a winning position?

Choose your race and commit to be the best at it
Train for the race. Get yourself a coach, put your disciplines in place and stick to them.
Have the right pre-race regime. Don’t come in cold, you would lose a race like that. Pray up, come ready.
Get a Race Strategy. Know what you are aiming to achieve and work towards it.
Performance Analysis – did you win?

Anyway – its just the start of a thought at the moment but I want to make sure that I put myself in the best position to win and not run aimlessly. What do you think?

Teams Need Leaders

In my preparation for Sunday’s message I came across this. Probably won’t preach this thought but just loved the passion, the belief, the energy. Like it or not…teams need leaders. Winning teams have great leaders.

They inspire.
They instill belief.
They see potential.
They can help a team become more than they think they can be.

Do you think we should have the same passion for the local Church?

Make 2009 Your Best Year

New Year resolutions. Most people make at least one. The change of year is a great time of reflection, looking back on what the last year brought and then believing for better in the next. Problem: good intentions are not always enough. Many of them never fulfil the promise.

There are many things that could help…

1. Set some goals
Make them specific and measurable. Be realistic but with an element of stretch involved. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

2. Make a list
How do you eat an elephant? The same attitude is needed to make goals a reality. What do you need to start doing to see the goals achieved? Break them up into bite size chunks then you can tackle them, one at a time, rather than trying to swallow the whole thing at once.

3. Remember the BIG picture.
One successful day doesn’t mean you have made it. One bad day doesn’t mean the goal can never be reached. Failing is likely to be part of the process, but it doesn’t make you a failure. Edison took 1600 attempts to get the light bulb working so keep that BIG picture of the future clearly in your sight.

4. Become accountable.
You can do this in many ways. Tell someone you trust about your goal. You are not necessarily after an opinion, just support, someone to ask you how you doing, are you on target. An accountability partner can work for you, if you are truly willing to hear what they say.

5. Get a Life Coach.
This is the next level but maybe paying for some coaching will add the value to what you want to see happen, encouraging you to stay on track. Check out excelyourself for more information about how a life coach can help, plus a great offer for 2009.

6. Celebrate.
Rewards along the journey are fantastic incentives. Mile markers are great. Where do you want to be in 6 weeks time, 3 months or 12 months time? What will it look like? How will you feel? When you get there – spoil yourself, have a day off, celebrate.

For more information on how coaching can help you, your team and your business…please contact me.