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10 Ways to Spot Your Own Arrogance

Use these potential markers of arrogance to avoid such a fall.

Use these potential markers of arrogance to avoid such a fall.

I’m writing this post for me as much as for anyone. In the past months, I’ve re-read Jim Collins’ How the Mighty Fall and Tim Irwin’s Derailed. Both of these gripping studies review the process of decline in leaders and organizations, especially in leaders who perhaps once thought themselves invincible.

These studies challenge me because I know I’m prideful. I also know that “pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18, HCSB).

With me, use these potential markers of arrogance to avoid such a fall.

Marker #1: You believe few people are as smart as you are.

Not many people actually say these words, but honest leaders must admit they sometimes think this way.

Some reveal this thinking by their ridicule of anybody else “not quite up to my level.” Others assume they should be part of almost every discussion, regardless of the topic.

If you assume few people can teach you anything, that assumption should cause you to evaluate your heart.

Marker #2: Your first reaction to negative is to be defensive or to cast blame on others.

If anything adverse (e.g., a lack of growth in the organization, a divided leadership team, a failed program) is always somebody else’s fault, you might see yourself as above such declines.

In Jim Collins’ words, you may join falling leaders who explain away negative data and “blame external factors for setbacks rather than accept responsibility.”[i] 

Marker #3: Titles matter to you.

Check your signature line on your email. Look at your company’s letterhead and website. Read the bio you send to others who have invited you to speak.

Consider your reaction when someone introduces you without noting your title. Think about how you introduce yourself. If your title has become your first name, you’ve crossed the line.

Marker #4: You assume your organization cannot fail.

The bottom line for you is this: Your organization cannot fail because you don’t fail. You are intelligent enough to figure out the solutions.

Your track record is so filled with successes that failure is unimaginable. And, even if your organization struggles, you can simply replace your co-workers; after all, you are convinced that finding people who want to work for you will not be difficult.

Marker #5: Not knowing “insider information” bothers you.

Arrogance is characterized not only by a belief that we know almost everything, but also by a desire to know the “scoop” before others do. The most important people, we think, deserve to have the details first.

If you get frustrated when you’re not in the information’s inner circle, you may well be dealing with arrogance.

Marker #6: You are disconnected from your team members.

Developing genuine relationships with employees is difficult as an organization grows.

If, however, you see your team members more as cogs in a system than as valuable partners—or worse yet, if they perceive that you view them that way—you may be haughtily operating as “a steam engine attempting to pull the rest of the train without being attached to it.”[ii] 

Marker #7: Spiritual disciplines are secondary, if not nonexistent, in your life.

Disciplines like Bible study, prayer and fasting are more than simple Christian practices; they are obedient actions of persons who recognize their need for a strong relationship with God.

If you are leading externally without spending time with God privately, you are leading in your own strength.

That’s sin.

Marker #8: No one has permission to speak truth into your life.

Leaders who fall are often not accountable to anyone. Few of us are fully self-aware, and all of us deal with a heart that is “more deceitful than anything else” (Jer. 17:9).

Feedback is critical, particularly from those who can test whether we exhibit the fruit of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-26). If no one plays this role in your life, your lack of accountability is likely evidence of pride.

Marker #9: Other people see you as arrogant.

Take a risk—ask others what they really think about you. Talk to the people who report to you. Interview those who formerly worked with you but then took other positions.

Be specific in asking, “Do I ever come across as arrogant?” Even the most emotional (and perhaps exaggerated) responses likely reveal some level of truth. Hear it.

Marker #10: This post bothers you … or doesn’t bother you.  

If these words bother you, you may be coming face-to-face with reality in your life.

If they don’t bother you, you may be failing to see the arrogance that characterizes all of us.

My own arrogance haunts me as I write these words. Please pray for me.

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.
 
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Publicado por em 30/04/2015 em POIMENIA

 

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10 Ways Pastors Fail Their People

Laura Lezza/14.01.2012/Getty Images

The God who called us into His service and sent us into the pastoral ministry has a vested interest in seeing that we do it right and well. The fact that we are all over the map–as opposed to the strait and narrow–and disorganized in our approach–as opposed to a sharp focus–lies at our doorstep and not His.

That God would want to use flawed and faltering creatures like us says volumes about His grace and mercy.

We are burdened for the younger generation of pastors coming along who are still trying to find their proper role, still trying to nail down their identity as pastors, and still trying to fine-tune the focus of their life-work.

This list of “10 ways pastors fail their people” is all about how my generation got it wrong. Not entirely, of course. But way too much.

In no particular order, they are:

1. We have led our people to believe that when they are happy with our ministry, all is well in the church.

The problem is our myopia. We see so little of the grand work of God, often only our tiny little speck of it. And if it is troubled with dissension and division, we know all is not well. So, when people are satisfied and compliments are flowing in, it’s natural to assume we must be doing well.

Consequently, we have churches filled with worshipers who believe that when they issue the pastor a passing grade on his Sunday sermon or feel good about the state of the church, they have done their job. We have raised a generation of pastor critics.

2. We have taught our people that giving to missions is more important than praying for missions.

The problem is our results-orientation. We can measure money, but who can measure prayer? We can announce we have met our goal for this offering, but we have no discernable way of detecting whether sufficient prayer has been offered for the work in Borneo or Malawi. So, we emphasize one and neglect the other.

We have raised a generation that does everything about missions except to pray.

3. We have allowed the congregation to delegate their mission to us the professionals.

The problem is laziness–theirs and ours.

The great commission–Matthew 28:18-20’s word to “go therefore and make disciples”–was given, not to the preachers, but to every disciple of the Lord Jesus. And yet, as far as the congregation is concerned, that’s the job of the ministry team, the evangelists, and the missionaries. They’ll even kick in money to pay salaries for these specially-called soldiers of the cross to do the work. Anything to keep from their having to obey the Lord.

And because we the ministers are lazy, we prefer not to resist the congregation in this and simply take the path of least resistance: we hire another staffer and tell him to reach the lost and unchurched.

We have raised a generation of pew potatoes–groan, sorry!–who do little and would be surprised to learn this is not the original plan.

4. The congregation has adopted the football coach pattern of leadership–if things aren’t going well, fire the old guy and bring in a new one–while we have stood by and cooperated with it.

The problem is our worldly template for greatness.

It happens just often enough to encourage the stereotype. A church gets rid of the old pastor and brings in a new one, and within a year, it’s bursting at the seams and making plans for new facilities. Other churches see this happening and grow antsy at their lack of growth, and so begin to pressure the preacher. Soon, they are firing him and looking for the next “star” on the ministerial horizon.

We have raised a generation of church members to sit as boards of directors in the Kingdom, not as laborers in the vineyard.

5. We have told our people to pray and then not shown them how or kept it before them.

The problem is we cannot say “this one thing I do” (Philippians 3:13). We try to do it all. So, we bring a sermon one Sunday on prayer, the next Sunday on stewardship, then on world missions, Bible study, racial justice, and so forth. No one area gets sufficient treatment. Our coverage is a mile wide and an inch deep.

The problem, I expect, is also prayerless preachers. If I’m not doing it, I’m sure not going to be able to encourage you in it.

We have raised a generation of prayerless, powerless warriors.

6. We have catered to their prejudices and ignored their idolatries.

The problem is our provincialism. In one area, high school football is ‘god,’ and everyone (including the churches) must organize their schedules around it. In another area, it’s community festivals or civic pageants or pro sports or the social calendar. One dares not speak out from the pulpit against the excesses and abuses of these idolatries, not if he wants to remain popular in the community or even keep his job.

Some areas of the country are still diseased with racism. Others have compromised their integrity by a marriage of the church with politics.

I pastored in the Mississippi Delta in the late 1960s–at the very place where the White Citizens Councils were formed and at the very time Martin Luther King was assassinated–and found out all too quickly that church leaders grow most uncomfortable when the pastor takes a stand on racial issues. I did it anyway, you might be interested to know. My only regret is not doing it even more forcefully than I did.

We have raised a generation who expect and even demand that the pastor respect the sensibilities of the locals and tailor the gospel to fit the situation.

7. We have smiled at their ignorance of the Word and done little to remedy it.

The problem is sin. Even though the Holy Spirit within us reaches out for the Word and our spirit feeds upon it, our “old man” resists picking up the Bible during the week and making a serious study of it. So, the typical church member ignores his Bible all week, then searches it out on Sunday morning in time to take it along to church.

We have placed Bibles in the pews since fewer and fewer of our people bring them to church.

Preaching from the Bible is easy enough. But preaching and teaching so as to make faithful Bible students of our people is another matter altogether.

We have raised a generation of flabby believers who “befriend” Jesus but hardly know Him.

8. We have given lip service to the presence of the Lord in our midst and ignored Him.

The problem is our traditions, our ruts. Used to the same order of worship all the time, we find it easier to insert a few hymns here and a solo there, a prayer here and the offering there, and the sermon here, and go forward. Too bad if the Spirit has other plans for the day.

We say all the right things about the Lord being in the midst of even two or three disciples (Matthew 18:20), but for the most part, we act as though that is some kind of spiritual principle but not an actual reality.

We have raised a generation of practicing atheists.

9. We have put our continued employment above faithfulness to the living God.

The problem is our selfishness. We have to pay our bills and send our children to school. And we do. And so, we allow ourselves to curb our enthusiasm for the cutting edge of the gospel lest people of affluence and influence be disturbed and take their support elsewhere.

You can understand why the Apostle Paul said it’s better for such a servant of the Lord to remain unmarried (I Corinthians 7:8ff). If they get crossways with worldly leadership in the church and find themselves jobless, it’s a lot simpler to load up the car and move on to the next town.

We have raised a generation to “keep” the preacher, almost as a lap dog. (I say to our shame.)

What is the answer? A rich relative, maybe. (another smiley face goes here) The answer is for pastors and spouses to accept when they enter the ministry that courageous leadership may well mean they will be asked to leave a church, and so to be prepared for all eventualities.

10. We have exchanged pleasing the Savior for compliments from the people.

The problem is our egos. We do like to be popular.

How did the Apostle Paul put it to young Pastor Timothy? For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables. (II Tim. 4:3-4)

It’s not clear from the Greek text, however, whether it’s the congregation with the itching ears or the preachers. I suspect one is as bad as the other.

We have raised a generation of self-absorbed members who are preached to and ministered to by self-absorbed preachers.

Sorry to be so negative. It’s no fun, I’ll tell you. Perhaps that’s one more way we fail: we want to be positive because it’s easier, more fun to do, and more pleasant to receive.

Medical doctors would love to deliver nothing but good news. But in a real world, that’s not possible.

When you entered the ministry, young pastor, you did not win a final battle with the world and its ways. You merely armored up for that fight. The struggle goes on all your days. Only at last when the Father calls your name and you step across that final line, only then will the warfare with the world and its standards, its seduction, and its promises, finally end.

Until then, with your eyes on the Savior, your face in the Book, your heart pure from all that would pollute it, and your love for the people of God constant, keep telling yourself, “One more day. I will be faithful this day.”

And on some of those days, God will do amazing things. But He will not tell you in advance which days they are.

 

After five years as Director of Missions for the 100 Southern Baptist churches of metro New Orleans, Joe retired on June 1, 2009. These days, he has an office at the First Baptist Church of Kenner where he’s working on three books, and he’s trying to accept every speaking/preaching invitation that comes his way. He loves to do revivals, prayer conferences, deacon training, leadership banquets, and such. Usually, he’s working on some cartooning project for the denomination or some agency.

Source: CHURCH LEADERS

 
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Publicado por em 11/03/2012 em POIMENIA

 

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5 Reasons You Can’t Be the Leader You Were 5 Years Ago

Adopt, Adapt, Improve and Innovate

by Thom Rainer

There are some facets of leadership that are constant. Character and integrity are vital. You must have willing followers. And you must be courageous. Those are some of the key components of effective leadership five years ago. They still are today and will be fifty years from now.

But so much of leadership is changing. In fact keeping pace as a leader has never been more difficult.

I interviewed several leaders whom I respect and follow. I asked each of them how leadership has changed over the past five years. To the person, each of them said that the changes have been fast and furious, and have demanded much of them. And though my study was not scientific, the responses were fascinating.

In summary, these leaders shared with me five reasons you can’t lead like you did five years ago.

1. The digital revolution affects all aspects of leadership.

We have observed the radical change in the music industry in this digital era. We are in the midst of another revolution in the print and book industry. But no organization is unfazed by the digital revolution. Leadership today demands we understand it and embrace it.

2. Social media is changing the landscape of leadership.

Social media is the great equalizer. No organization has an inherent communication advantage anymore. Leaders must embrace the many facets of social media or get left behind. It’s hard to believe I started tweeting in 2008. It seems like I’ve been doing it for a decade.

3. Leaders must manage information saturation.

There is no shortage of information. Leaders today have magazine subscriptions. RSS feeds to blogs, bookmarked Internet news sources, and many other sources of information.

The challenge for leaders today is to know what to read, to whom to listen, and how often to do both. Leaders must both stay current and relevant, and they must be willing to ignore and discard.

It takes wisdom to discern the helpful from the not-so-helpful.

4. Leaders must have a greater awareness of relational intelligence issues.

Leaders must understand and manage a plethora of organizational and social relationships.

They must deal with the soft issues of culture as well as the hard issues of numbers, products, services, and performance. Peter Drucker was on target and prophetic when he said “culture eats strategy for breakfast” (The quote is widely attributed to Drucker, but it was popularized in 2006 by Mark Fields, president of Ford Motor Company).

Now more than ever, leaders must understand relational and cultural issues, including a frank assessment of the person in the mirror.

5. Strategic thinking is more important than ever.

Culture may eat strategy for breakfast, but strategy is still vital. Leaders of organizations and leaders in organizations must anticipate the future with wisdom and discernment. The world is changing so rapidly that a leader can no longer have the luxury of simply carrying out assignments. He or she must anticipate and take risks. No organization that is standing still will be effective five years from now.

Obviously, these five factors are not mutually exclusive, nor are they comprehensive.

It is clear, however, that we must constantly be growing as a leader, or we will not be effective leaders in the years to come. Though the challenges are great, those challenges can lead to exciting and rewarding times.

How has leadership changed for you in the past five years or so?

What changes have you made to be a better leader to meet these new challenges? I would love to hear from you.

Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources(LifeWay.com). He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.More from Thom Rainer or visit Thom at www.LifeWay.com

 
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Publicado por em 09/03/2012 em POIMENIA

 

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Humildade torna líderes mais eficientes

Redação do Diário da Saúde


Líder humilde

Líderes modestos são mais eficazes e detêm mais simpatia de seus subordinados.

Os pesquisadores queriam descobrir quais comportamentos caracterizam um líder modesto e quais são as diferenças em termos de desempenho entre eles e seus colegas menos humildes.

Os resultados apontam para três características cruciais: admitir os próprios erros, destacar as contribuições e os pontos fortes dos subordinados e procurar sempre aprender mais.

Humildade dá resultados

Bradley Owens (Universidade de Buffalo) e David Hekman (Universidade de Wisconsin) verificaram que a presença desses comportamentos em um líder é um excelente indicador de como será o desempenho da empresa ou da equipe.

E os resultados parecem ocorrer em todos os níveis: os pesquisadores trabalharam com o principal executivo (CEO) de 16 grandes empresas, 20 gerentes de nível médio e 19 chefes de nível operacional, e tiveram sempre a mesma correlação entre humildade e desempenho.

Todos esses executivos catalogados como humildes, de todos os níveis, apresentaram um fator em comum: todos eles concordaram que a essência da humildade de um líder envolve ajudar os liderados a crescer dentro da organização.

“Crescer e aprender frequentemente envolve falhas, e isso pode ser embaraçoso,” disse Owens. “Mas líderes que conseguem superar esses medos e disseminar esse sentimento passam a ser vistos mais favoravelmente pelos seus seguidores. Eles também legitimam as jornadas individuais de crescimento de seus seguidores, criando organizações de alto desempenho.”

Verdadeiramente humano

Os pesquisadores descobriram que líderes humildes funcionam como um modelo de como se tornar verdadeiramente humano, e não um super homem, e legitimam o “tornar-se” em lugar do “conquistar”.

Mas há pedras no caminho de alguns líderes, mesmo modestos, humildes e competentes.

Aqueles que são jovens, não-brancos ou mulheres precisam provar sua competência constantemente, e têm sua modéstia mais esperada e menos valorizada pelos seguidores.

Já os homens brancos mais experientes auferem grandes benefícios de admitirem os próprios erros, elogiarem seus seguidores e tentaram aprender mais.

Fonte:

Diário da Saúde – http://www.diariodasaude.com.br

URL:http://www.diariodasaude.com.br/news.php?article=humildade-lideranca&id=7228

 
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Publicado por em 03/02/2012 em POIMENIA

 

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12 Steps to Conflict Resolution

How to Get Along with Difficult Staff, Volunteers and Board Members
Ron Jensen
This article provided by the Engstrom Institute

“In the right key one can say anything. In the wrong key, nothing; the only delicate part is the establishment of the key.”
—George Bernard Shaw

Do you have anyone in your life who drives you nuts? Maybe it is a child, a spouse, a friend, a co-worker or a parent. Well, if you are like most people you do have one or more people like that in your life. I want you to get a picture of that person’s face in your mind as we begin this article because I want you to think about how you apply these principles of conflict resolution to your relationship.

These principles have worked wherever I’ve taught them in dozens of countries around the world. So, think about how you can put them to work and see broken relationships become whole!

The Word of God says, “strive to maintain the unity of faith,” “be perfected in unity,” “esteem others higher than yourself,” “admonish a brother in a spirit of humility,” “be reconciled first to your brother,” “if you’re offended go to your brother and speak to him,” “forgive one another,” and “speak the truth in love.”

From these and many more passages we see a strategy and principles for resolving conflict. In this article I want to coach you on 12 steps to resolving conflict. First, let me give you the 12 steps in summary form and then I’ll unpack them.

12 Steps to Resolving Conflict

  • Learn to embrace and resolve conflict.
  • Address your anger appropriately.
  • Seek understanding, not victory.
  • Assume the best.
  • Learn to share your feelings appropriately.
  • Watch your tongue. Ask, is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?
  • Speak the truth respectfully.
  • Attack the problem, not the person. Don’t use “You” statements; use “I” statements.
  • Deal with specific areas, not generalizations.
  • Seek and grant forgiveness.
  • Deal with conflict personally. Go to that person. Don’t reprimand anyone in front of others.
  • Be gentle. People are fragile.

Now, that you have an overview of the principles, let me give you a little more practical application of these.

1. Learn to embrace and resolve conflict. How was conflict handled in your life growing up? Did your family deal with it in a healthy way or didn’t they? It’s important to think about this because most of us tend to respond to conflict the way our families did, or we overreact and go to the other extreme.

The tendency is for us to react by “Fight” or “Flight.” We can get abusive on the one hand or run away, deny and hide on the other. Both of these processes are unhealthy and never resolve conflict. Remember, the goal is to embrace conflict and resolve it.

So, what do you do? You commit to resolve conflict routinely. You embrace it the way one fighter embraces another who is beating him to a pulp. You try to get your arms around the conflict, evaluate it, not wasting emotional energy but letting your energy be used for positive problem solving.

The next 11 principles will tell you how to do this.

2. Address your anger appropriately. Learn how to handle anger. First, realize that anger is not bad. It isn’t. In  fact, anger is an emotion built within you in order to help you deal with impending danger the right way.

Let me illustrate. You are driving on the freeway and a car pulls right in front of you. What do you do? Well, you may be tempted to do all sorts of juvenile things. I sure get tempted to. But, hopefully, I let the anger I’m feeling lead me to step on the brakes, swerve and avert a fatal accident. You see, anger is a tool to help you.

So, anger isn’t bad. A response of flight or fight, however, is NOT the right way to respond. Instead, admit your anger and ask yourself what is causing it. Again, don’t waste your emotions by moping or screaming or being resentful. Instead, let all the emotional energy go toward completing the next 10 steps.

3. Seek understanding, not victory. Learn to listen! That’s a killer for most of us. But, you’ll never be a pro at resolving conflict unless you let go of trying to always win and focus on truly understanding. So, keep your mouth shut and ask questions.

If you are feeling hurt by someone due to what they may have said or done, don’t attack the person but ask questions to determine what was said and why it was said. Again, don’t get in an attack mode.

Instead, try to understand the other person’s perspective.

4. Assume the best. Don’t jump to wrong conclusions. Instead, give people the benefit of the doubt.

How many times have you heard someone say something or look at you a certain way in a meeting and you thought, “She doesn’t like me.” What’s that all about?

We so often squelch good relationships at home and at work by assuming the worst. This especially happens when we hear that someone has said something negative about us. Hey, don’t overreact. Remember, we all get and give filtered information.

So, if you get disparaging reports about you from others, check it out. And, assume the best. You might want to say, “The other day a mutual friend said he heard you say, or someone else say, some unflattering things about me. I know how messages get confused when they pass through people, so I wanted to check directly with you to see if you do have any concerns and/or see any areas in my life I can work on.”

I know that you may just want to deck the person. But why? First, you may have inaccurate data. Second, if you received accurate data, you may need to do some changing. Third, at the least, the person knows that there is accountability for saying things and most likely will be more thoughtful the next time.

5. Learn to share your feelings appropriately. Feelings are often confusing. Frankly, most men, myself included, seldom know how they feel. For instance, my wife Mary can say something to me that hurts my feelings and I express anger instead of hurt. Many men react to hurt with anger. It’s easier, because anger seems to us to be about you—and hurt is about us.

It is, frankly, a little too vulnerable for most of us “macho” guys to admit that what you said hurt us. But, that is the fact. We are feeling unappreciated, disrespected and unloved. And, hey, this is a two-edged sword. Women feel the same way, guys. They feel unloved, unappreciated, undervalued.

In fact, I believe that the major problem in marriages is the inappropriate management of anger, especially in the area of sharing our feelings. It is really not about finances, the business, the kids, the in-laws, sex or other side issues. It is about how we feel—unloved, unappreciated, etc.

Here’s what we need to do. The next time you feel angry, you need to do the following:

  • Admit that you are angry. It’s OK. Anger is just a warning sign.
  • Communicate your anger to the person in this way. Say something like this, “I have a problem. When I heard you say ____________ the other day, I felt hurt, upset, unappreciated (whatever is accurate) and angry. Now, I realize that this is my problem, but I’d like to work through with you what you meant, how I can change, and how I can make you aware of the effect your words had on me.”

Give this a shot. Don’t get discouraged if people don’t respond well. This will always work best when the other person has bought into these same 12 Steps as a common approach to resolving conflict. But this will improve things even if they don’t, because it is the right thing to do.

6. Watch your tongue. Ask, is it true, is it kind, is it necessary? Do you know how dangerous the tongue is? It is such a little instrument—like a spark of fire—but it can cause a huge conflagration. It can do incalculable damage though it is so small. It’s much like the rudder of a ship—so small but it can turn an entire ship.

You probably remember words a parent or others have said to you in anger. Those words just don’t go away. They result in you feeling unloved, unappreciated, unvalued. Well, you have the same power.

So, the next time you open your mouth, remember the power of your tongue. Use these questions as guidelines for everything you say. Ask:

  1. Is it true? Don’t say things like “always,” “never,” or other words that are absolute. Say, “in this instance,” or “in my opinion,” or “sometimes,” etc.
  2. Is it kind? Hey, think about it—we should be kind. There is never a reason to be rude, obnoxious, offensive or harmful. It doesn’t matter how horrible another person may be. Use the old golden rule here, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” Treat others kindly just like you want to be treated.
  3. Is it necessary? So often we speak just to speak. Don’t do that. Say what is necessary. One wise leader said, “Even a fool seems wise if he keeps his mouth shut.” Don’t be guilty of verbal pollution. Instead, keep the verbal airways clean by saying only what is necessary.

7. Speak the truth respectfully. You should always be truthful! That will keep you away from practicing flight or running away, denying, or repressing conflict.

Truth is truth but much of what we think is the truth is really opinion. And each of us thinks our own opinions are the right ones! Do the work to determine if what you’re about to say is truth or opinion.

But even if it is just your opinion, do express how you feel about a situation. You must be truthful. People deserve to know what we are thinking and feeling.

If you don’t do this you are bound to be stuck in the same cycle of miscommunication, hurt, frustration and other elements of pain. By getting the truth, or even your perspective of the truth, on the table you are beginning to address the real issue and can get to its root. I’ll give you more tips on this throughout this article.

While you speak the truth, be respectful. Treat people with dignity. Be kind, generous, gracious, caring in your relationships. This is just the right thing to do. Be gracious toward people. This will cause you not to practice flight—or demonstrate offensive, abrasive, bitter, or abusive behavior.

8. Attack the problem, not the person. There are few things more harmful than attacking a person’s character.  We do this often when we try to handle conflict. The key is our language. Don’t use “You” statements; use “I” statements.

Don’t say, “You make me so mad,” or “You are such a pain.” Instead, use words like, “I have a problem … when I see you do this I feel … ” or “it seems to me” or “I think that … ,” etc.

Remember, when you use “you” statements you give the impression that you are attacking the person, and in some way you are. Don’t back people into a corner. Instead, use “I” statements which give the other person some room to grow and preserve their dignity.

9. Deal with specific areas, not generalizations. There are few things worse than making overgeneralizations. Men, don’t ever say to your wife, “You are just like your mother!” This is usually not complementary in the first place, and second, it is not totally accurate.

Instead, be specific. It is one thing for me to say to you, “You are a liar!” How does that make you feel? Probably worthless and defensive, does it not? It is too general and I am attacking your person.

Instead, I might say, “The other day when we were in this meeting I heard you say ________. This didn’t align with my view of the facts. Can you help me understand the discrepancy?” You see, there may be a perfectly good explanation. But, at the very least, I have given you a gracious opportunity to address the real issues and clarify the problem without pinning you in a corner.

10. Seek and grant forgiveness. These are two of the toughest things to do. It is not easy to forgive or ask forgiveness. Let’s take them one at a time.

First, forgive. Now, understand this. Forgiveness and trust are not the same thing. Trust is conditional and forgiveness is not. You need to forgive freely and unconditionally for three reasons.

  • First, it is the best thing for you. My buddy, Nancy Dornan, often says, “Unforgiveness or bitterness is like taking poison and hoping it will kill the other person.” You see, bitterness is like a “root” that holds you down from achieving your own potential. It stops you from flying like an eagle. It poisons you.
  • Second, you should forgive because you free up the other person to seek reconciliation and forgiveness for him or herself. You liberate people to be their best when you forgive. You are an instrument to help others be their best.
  • Third, you should forgive because you are so blessed and forgiven in so many areas of your life. Make an inventory of all the good things in your life that you don’t deserve—wealth, health, family, friends, and forgiveness itself. You have so much. Do you really deserve it? My first prayer each morning is, “Thank you, Lord, that you don’t give me what I deserve.”

I mean that prayer very sincerely. I know what I deserve and I have so much I don’t deserve. So, pass a little of that grace on to other people.

Then, learn to ask for forgiveness. I have to do this routinely because I mess up so much. I coach people to use the following four statements. I’d memorize these and put them to work on a daily basis. Here they are:

  • I was wrong to have ___________.
  • I’m sorry I caused you to feel ________.
  • I’ll work hard at not doing this again.
  • Will you forgive me?

11. Deal with conflict personally. Too often we get frustrated and go behind a person’s back and complain or  gossip about them. Don’t do this. This is cowardly. Be brave. Care enough to confront. But, do it using all the principles we’ve talked about in this article.

Go to that person. Don’t reprimand anyone in front of others.

“What if that person doesn’t respond?” you ask. Then, bring two or more people with you for clarification. Your goal here isn’t to beat up on the person but to provide clarity and confirmation of the issues. You may be wrong yourself. Be humble, share how you feel about the conflict and let the other person share his or her perspective. Let the others with you give their perspective.

Whatever you do, don’t embarrass people in public. Given them the opportunity to address and resolve the issue in private first.

12. Be gentle. People are fragile. Remember that. Treat people with grace and kindness. They are fragile like eggshells. The person with whom you are in conflict may seem like a hard-hearted wretch. But, trust me. They are fragile even if hardened. So, be gentle.

Gentleness is the same word for meekness. Someone has said, “Meekness is not weakness.” And, it isn’t. Meekness or gentleness means “strength under control.” So think of a wild stallion whose will has been broken but whose spirit is alive and well. You should be dynamic, powerful and intentional. Hey, your job is to speak the truth. But, you should also be gentle, kind and gracious.

So, have an alive spirit and a broken will under the control of the Master.

I don’t have the time to tell you the dozens of stories I have of relationships that have been reconciled by following these principles—now in dozens of countries around the world. I can tell you that I have heard and read the stories of hundreds of people who have applied these principles and, in tears, relayed the results of restored relationships.

Don’t hold back. Be a leader and take action. I coached you through the process of clarifying and resolving conflict. So, now start practicing connecting with those closest to you. And, write me your stories of transformation and reconciliation as you apply these principles.

Ron Jenson is the author of 15 books, including Taking the Lead, Glow in the Dark (co-authored with Bill Bright), The Making of a Mentor (coauthored with Ted Engstrom) and Achieving Authentic Success. This book builds out the 10 MAXIMIZERS principles that serve as the basis for this article. Jenson serves as a life coach to many top leaders throughout the world. Contact him at ronjenson@futureachievement.com or visit TakingTheLead.net.

Source: CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE

 
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Publicado por em 12/10/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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How to Bless Your Team Members!

John Pearson
This article provided by the Engstrom Institute

“If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself be irritated with them or be depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.” —Romans 12:6-8, The Message

Looking for ways to enhance your employee’s performance and effectiveness? Here are five key strategies.

1. Focus on strengths. First, help your team members discover their strengths. When a gifted person is released to serve out of his or her strengths, it’s powerful. Conversely, when you have round pegs in square holes, it’s a disaster. Buy everyone on your team the breakthrough book, Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.

Imagine what would happen if you realigned all jobs based on team members’ strengths! Psychologists at The Gallup Organization have been investigating the nature of human strengths for over 30 years, and have interviewed over two million people to discover what made them successful. From this research, 34 recurring patterns of thought, feeling and behavior emerged. Gallup calls these patterns, or themes, “the raw materials for building a strong and productive life.”

Team members, according to Gallup, don’t need to possess all these themes, but simply to identify which of the 34 are their most powerful—their “Signature Themes”—and then cultivate them with learning, practice and focus.

Help your team members learn their “Signature Themes” by giving each one the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. Each book includes a unique website password that allows each person to take StrengthsFinder, a very helpful assessment tool. An email report is returned, revealing the person’s five most powerful themes—and how best to leverage and align these strengths at work.

2. Align work with giftedness. Next, help the members of your team know and focus on their spiritual gifts. Imagine what would happen if (per Romans 12) leaders led, administrators did the administration, teachers did the teaching and mercy-givers poured out the mercy?

3. Draw big boxes. Paul Nelson, a former president of Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (EFCA), once told leaders at a roundtable for CEOs that every boss must carefully define the extent and limits of team members’ authority to act without additional approval. He drew a box on the flipchart and recommended, “Let your team members know how big their box is.”

4. Celebrate success. Build in celebration moments, formal and informal. (This, of course, assumes that you’ve already blessed your team members with clear annual targets, or three to five key standards of performance.) Ideas:

  • Present dinner for two certificates to the finance team members when they announce, “Today, for the first time in three years, we have zero payables!”
  • Hang a hand-made banner (king-size bed sheets work fine) at your front entrance, “Thanks … for your part in helping us reach our Vision 21 Goal—60 days early!”
  • Award an extra floating vacation day—to everyone—to celebrate God’s blessing on your biggest ministry event of the year.
  • Skip your next scheduled working lunch and take everyone to Chuck E. Cheese—and buy them plenty of game tokens!
  • Hold an emergency 9 a.m. staff meeting and give each person $50 with the instructions, “Thanks for your great work this quarter. Here’s 50 bucks. You must leave the office in 30 minutes, with at least one other colleague, and don’t come back to work until you’ve spent it all. See you at 4 p.m.!”

5. Pray personally. Imagine a prayer wall in your office with photos of each team member posed with their families and/or friends. Grandparents on your team will happily bring in the baby photos—others may need urging. Let your people know you’ll pray faithfully for each of them, the people in their lives, and their many life challenges outside of work.

John Pearson is president of John Pearson Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm based in San Clemente, Calif., that helps nonprofit organizations in vision implementation with detailed execution. In December 2005, Pearson concluded 11 years as the president/CEO of Christian Management Association. Visit him at www.johnpearsonassociates.com

Source: CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE

 
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Publicado por em 12/10/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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Five Things They Never Told Me About Christian Fundraising

R. Scott Rodin
This article provided by the Engstrom Institute

What’s so Christian about the way we do our fundraising? Is Christian fundraising nothing more than secular fundraising, with some Bible verses strewn throughout our appeal letters?

I’ve been wrestling with these questions throughout my career, wanting to understand what our Christian theology has to do with our fundraising strategies and techniques. As a result, I discovered five things I believe mark us as distinctly Christian fundraisers, and change dramatically the way we carry out our work. They are things I wish I’d learned a lot earlier.

1. Spirit-led, not Sales-led

God’s people give to God’s work as they’re led by the Spirit of God. We may agree with this in our hearts, but approach our work as though it’s really all up to us. When we ask people to pray over their decision, we must be sincere in leaving the decision in God’s hands.

We must do our work well by making clear presentations and a definite ask for support. But we do not ‘close the sale.’ One dear faithful supporter responded to an ask I’d made by saying to me, “I’ll pray about this and trust God to lead me in how I should respond.” Then she looked intently at me and continued, “Will you?” It’s a question I ask myself now on every donor call.

2. Transformational, not Transactional

If we ask our donors to make a transactional giving decision, we’ll fail both our ministry and the kingdom of God. Asking supporters to give their money is different from asking them to give their heart. Our goal is not just more money, it’s to raise up godly stewards to be rich toward God.

Transactional gifts are here and gone. A relationship with supporters that leads to ongoing spiritual transformation (in them and us) builds the kingdom of God, including our ministry. Christian fundraising is a function of God’s work of transforming hearts, minds and purses. The secret that’s lost on so many CEOs and boards is this: If you take the time to participate in the transforming work God is doing in the lives of your supporters, their generosity will follow. The very best givers are the most faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

3. Warfare, not Welfare

When we ask people to be faithful stewards by supporting our ministry, we’re entering into spiritual warfare. Christian fundraising is about far more than asking people to give to the welfare of our ministries. It’s challenging God’s people to deny their allegiance to the god of Mammon and declare through their generosity their complete obedience to one Lord.

The enemy won’t take this lying down, so we need to be prepared for the battle. I’ve been blessed by reading Ephesians 6:10-18 as a preparation for my fundraising work. It calls us to put on the full armor of God, to stand firm and pray in the Spirit. A fundraiser is a warrior, not a welfare collector. Our work is symbolized not by an extended empty hand, but by a helmet, sword and shield.

4. Ministry, not Means

Christian fundraising is not a means to an end, it’s an end in itself. Done faithfully, it calls people to greater obedience as godly stewards. It gives people the opportunity to express their allegiance to one Lord, breaks the hold of materialism in their lives, brings blessings, invites celebration and engenders true joy.

In these ways, Christian development work is ministry. “I’m spending so much time fundraising, I can’t do ministry.” That’s a common and deeply flawed concept. If we believe our development work is simply a means (necessary evil?) we must use in order to fund ministry, we’re tragically mistaken.

When our fundraising becomes valued as part of our mission and ministry, we approach our supporters differently, we assess our success differently, we hire development staff differently and we celebrate differently. And when our entire organization understands that development work is ministry, it too will be transformed.

5. It Starts with Me

I can’t ask others to respond as faithful, godly stewards if I’m not a faithful, godly steward. I can’t lead a development team with integrity if my own life doesn’t bear witness to a life that’s rich toward God.

In one church campaign, a pastor listed all pledges given to the campaign from largest to smallest, and all were anonymous except his own. His intention was to demonstrate leadership by example. Our people (and the world) are watching to see how God is transforming us as leaders. The first step in the transformation of our organization is our own, personal transformation. And the first step in becoming an effective fundraiser is becoming a generous, cheerful giver.

Looking back, I see how much my work as a leader and as a fundraiser has been affected by these convictions. I believe there’s something wonderfully unique about Christian fundraising, and that realization has engendered a sense of joy and satisfaction in my work. I pray it will in yours as well.

Scott Rodin, Ph.D, is president of Christian Stewardship Association. He can be reached at rodinconsulting@aol.com.

Source: CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE

 
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Publicado por em 09/10/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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