CULTURE – Fight For It!

We have been experiencing change as an organization. As a leadership team we have been looking down the road and planning for the future, but before any of that could happen we knew that we had to adjust our culture as a region. It is time to align!

We have identified that we will have these values as an organization:

-Courageous Leadership

-Contagious Attitude

-Continuous Improvement

In the book, You Win in the Locker Room First, author Mike Smith makes it clear that culture is important and worth fighting for. He writes about coming into the Falcons Organization, ready to focus in on the culture from top to bottom. He spent time with every group of employee’s from the players, owner and senior staff all the way to the food service people and custodians. He said, “I’ve always believed that culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up.”

I have always been a big believer that we all own the responsibility for the culture around us. I have charged many students and staff through the years to be “culture changers” or “to bring a good culture with them” wherever they go. Basically, we all own the responsibility of our culture at every level of leadership.

In a recent meeting, Brice Maddock, explained that our culture is defined by what we create, but also what we allow. I believe this is a charge to fight for our organizational culture. He went on to say, “We must commit ourselves to build a great culture – we must build it, live it, value it, reinforce it, and fight for it.

We get to be a part of an amazing move of God that is literally saving lives and restoring them. What we do on a daily basis has an eternal value. Own the culture around you, do your part to live out the 3 C’s and we will see God do amazing things through us all!

Article Written by: Dustin Nance

Source – You Win in the Locker Room First, by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith – Chapter 1

Culture of Blessing

In our last article, Dustin Nance re-hashed the dynamics of conflict in the Teen Challenge context from our ELP Summit, challenging us in what can be our natural or first response to strong behavioral issues with our students. Many times, he explained, our students with strong behavioral outbursts have much more going on beneath the surface, and these outbursts need to be met in those moments with compassion and gentleness, not aggression and immediate correction.

To continue to expound on this ever-relevant issue in our field, we continue this month with more of what John Maxwell teaches on this topic. He calls it “Pass the Blessing, Please!” Oftentimes, he urges, people deal with difficulties beneath the surface because they are hungry for “the blessing.”

In Old Testament times, patriarchs of our faith would express “the blessing” in many different forms. Maxwell states that these occur by:

  1. Meaningful touch: Patriarchs laid their hands on their shoulder or embraced them.
  2. Affirming Words: Patriarchs spoke words of encouragement to them.
  3. The Expression of High Value: Patriarchs shared the value they added to others.
  4. The Description of a Special Future: Patriarchs used word pictures to share their potential.
  5. Genuine Commitment: Patriarchs committed themselves to see it come to pass.  

As we can see, there are many ways to express “the blessing” to our students, or to anyone to whom the Lord has granted us of having influence upon.

I recall, as an ELC student, sometimes during our group devotions, one of our staff started the devotion by encouraging outwardly the person sitting next to him, verbally and publicly sharing of that person’s worth and specific value they added to our campus. After he was finished, he asked that person to continue to do the same around the room. It was incredible to say the least to watch what unfolded, and many times as one person would look to the next person they were going to encourage, oftentimes tears would come before words. What was happening? People were connecting with the value of those they were serving alongside. What would happen if we did this everyday, naturally? I would think. What would our campuses look like if this was the norm, and not the exception?

Of course, this helped cultivate an organic culture of encouragement and helped our campus greatly, and spawned individuals to gain clarity of their beneath the surface issues, helping the roots of behavioral challenges and unresolved conflict, which improved issues on the surface.  

Of course, there are many ways, as Maxwell states, to “Pass the blessing” I would encourage you to learn even more the students and leaders you work with on your campus, quick to accept the responsibility to bless them often in the ways they are hungry for. As they say, we are in “The people business” and our highest honor is that we get to work with people, every one of them with dignity, value and worth.  Our tasks and to-do lists are not more important than the people we serve and lead. They themselves are the primary objective, not our tasks, no matter how big they may seem. Every person receives affirmation and blessing in different ways, but where genuine desire to bless them is present, God is near to help us and lead us by His Spirit as we do so.

Written by: Dan Williams dan-and-holly

Level II

Welcome

This month we welcome Holly Williams to the Level II. Holly is a graduate of Ft. Myers TC and the Emerging Leaders College and is currently serving the ladies at Pensacola Women’s Home. Welcome Holly! Looking forward to see how God grows you and your leadership through the Level II.

Congratulations

Congratulations Elissa Hollingsworth for moving on to your electives!

 

Current Course

This month we start a new core course Strategic Planning and Decision-making and our text: Executive Values by Kurt Senske. Senske demonstrates how Christian values support long term organizational success. This original and practical guide provides Christian leaders with a game plan for Christ-centered leadership that stresses the development of a healthy organizational culture, values-based strategic planning, mentoring, and balancing professional and personal life. The staff will learn how to add lasting value to the ministry, employees, students, donors and to society at large.

Your first post will be up on the forum by Monday, August 15th.

Level II Link – Nov 2015

Welcome!

This month we welcome Brett Cooper, Bryan Sampson and Chris Thomas (Central Florida) and Lyle Copenhaver (Jacksonville) to the Level II! Welcome guys! We look forward to see how God will grow you as a leader and give you greater responsibility.

Core Courses

Those of you who are finishing up your final course for People First, remember to mail or fax (706-534-0462) your Personal Action Plans (PAP) at the end of each chapter. I’ll grade these and send back to you.

Our core course this month is Strategic Planning and Decision-making and our text: Executive Values by Kurt Senske. In this course you will leave with a game plan for Exec Values PICChrist-centered leadership that stresses the development of a healthy organizational culture, values-based strategic planning, mentoring, and balancing professional and personal lives.

Your first post will be up on the forum Monday, November 16th. You’ll make an initial post and respond to someone’s post.

Elective Track

Congratulations Becca Price (Women at the Well, PA) for moving on to your electives!

Passing on the culture: Presence & Relationship

At our recent ELP Summit Dustin and Janel Nance shared how we, as the bridge generation, pass on a culture of presence and relationship. “We have to look at the past to remember that we are a part of a legacy.” David Wilkerson built a good foundation for TC by going to those boys, partnering with churches, fundraising, recruiting and training specialists and providing a home of hope for those boys. Teen Challenge has to be about Lamb Chop evangelism; real meat and substance; teaching our

I was working hard and wearing the ELP DNA shirt and gave Timmy a huge! thought you’d want to see me passing on DNA to our future leaders!

I was working hard and wearing the ELP DNA shirt and gave Timmy a hug! Thought you’d want to see me passing on DNA to our future leaders! ~ Dustin Nance

students to nurture a real love for Christ and a love for others. At ELC, Dustin and Janel creates a culture of relationship and living life with students. The decision to live in community meant they would live a transparent life before the students knowing the students would grow and they themselves would grow. “At the core of raising up sons and daughters is love. We love our students and we like them. They are our spiritual sons and daughters and they know that we love them even when it gets messy. We allow people to see the imperfect person we are, who love and who say “yes” to Jesus, and we teach them to hear the voice of God for themselves and to say “yes.” We want to raise up sons and daughters who are dependent on the Lord not dependent on us. Raising sons and daughters is not setting up policies for every infraction, it’s living life with people. The devil is not scared of dry bones (people following rules); he’s scared when there is life in them (people led by the spirit).

Characteristics of our Pioneer

Some of the characteristics of our pioneers are:

  1. They recognized that they were not owners but stewards of the vision. Prayer was all they had. Frank Reynolds said one of his greatest fears was that “we would think we know how to do it.” Because we don’t know how to do it, we are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit. He is the only one who can draw people to Christ.
  2. They did not put in human mechanisms to fix a spiritual problem. Jesus is the Program. What makes Teen Challenge different from other programs? It is the Jesus Factor. Jesus is the only one who can fill the deep void that our students feel. “We use God’s mighty weapons to capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ” 2 Cor 10:5 (TLB).
  3. Stop screaming from the bleachers and get in the game. David Wilkerson
    photo 5 (1)

    Claude Mooneyhan (GTC) and Dustin Nance working with emerging leaders to build a section of the bridge at our Summit.

    started the first Teen Challenge in New York, Mike and Kay Zello did evangelism on the streets, Frank Reynolds started The Farm in Rehrersburg, Dave Batty developed the first curriculum. They all had skin in the game and they went to work. They were exemplary leaders who modeled servant leadership and raised up sons and daughters.

  4. Don’t lose the vision of reaching others. David never lost the vision to go and save those boys.  Keep in mind the vision ahead “to put hope within reach of every addict” and work hard at it. Ministry is a heavy load and we as the bridge generation have a responsibility to be strong, to be a people of integrity and to believe God for the miracles.

Excerpts from ELP Summit 2015 “The Bridge, Passing on the Culture: Presence & Relationship” by Dustin & Janel Nance.

 

Enrich Culture – Building a Cohesive Team – More than Mediocre

A leader who is intentional about setting the culture, hiring people who fit the culture, and developing those people, now has the ingredients for an amazing team! In physics, cohesion is the force by which molecules in a substance are held together. In this article we’ll look at the factors by which team members come together to form a cohesive team. The book we’re drawing from this month is “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni – in this book, Lencioni outlines 5 keys to creating a healthy high-performing team. Each principle builds on the former, so let’s begin with the end in mind. The ultimate footballteampurpose of a team is to get “Results”. A sports team wants to win the game, a military unit wants to achieve the tactical objective, a corporate team wants to see profits, a married couple wants to raise children who become healthy adults, and a Teen Challenge staff team wants to see lives transformed. I love how Lencioni recounts of hearing people say, “well we have a losing record this season, but we have a great team!” He’ll say “no, you don’t have a great team; you have a group of people who enjoy being together and are satisfied with mediocre results.” You might say that Teen Challenge is God’s business and we can’t measure everything – the results are up to Him. That’s partly true, but from well executed fundraising events to well-maintained buildings to changed lives…there are plenty of results we want to see in Teen Challenge.

Next, a team gets results because they are willing to embrace “Accountability”. Greg Hammond talks about this principle in creating a “peer culture” in the student body. He uses the example of a time when he constantly found old gum on the sidewalks of the campus. He could have added yet another rule to the policy manual and said, “No gum.” Instead he went to the student body and said, “You decide – if you want to keep chewing gum, keep it off the sidewalks.” The students took care of it themselves by holding one another accountable. And this is what makes accountability effective, when it operates with “Commitment” to agreed upon decisions, objectives or courses of action. With this kind of commitment the team member says, “I’m all in and I will do my best to support this decision and see it succeed.”

While the gum chewing example is a simple one, other decisions and courses of action are not so straightforward – should this student be dismissed? How can we improve our admissions process? Can we disciple our students more effectively? This is where cohesive teams learn to be comfortable with “Healthy Conflict”. This is nothing more than the pursuit of truth – what’s the very best decision? Is there a better idea? What will be the most effective solution? When team members are free to weigh in on the discussion, and are willing to do so, it’s more likely that the best decision will be made because everyone has brought their brains, experience and giftings to the table. Healthy conflict doesn’t necessarily lead to consensus – the leader will often have to make the call – but people can usually commit to decisions they’ve been allowed to give input on even if they disagree. This kind of honest discussion can only happen in a healthy culture, where there is the presence of “Trust” on a team. Lencioni calls this “vulnerability-based trust”, where people can speak up or admit they don’t have all the answers without fear of being judged or shot down. This kind of trust takes time and intentionality to cultivate on a team but everything else depends on this foundation.

Next month we’ll take a closer look at the role of the leader in these 5 areas. In the meantime, how are things on your team? Is it healthy and functional? Or is there sometimes an inattention to results, avoidance of accountability, lack of commitment, fear of conflict, or absence of trust?

Enrich Culture – Developing People

In Teen Challenge we would say that we are “student-focused” – and we should be. However, sometimes a leader can be so student-focused that they look past the staff they are leading and, along with them, place most of their emphasis on the students. While a key leader may retain some aspects of student ministry, their primary ministry is to the people on the team they lead. And when a leader is growing and developing the people they lead, they can be sure the students will be growing and developing as well. So last month we looked at how a leader enriches culture through the practical skill of hiring the right people, this month we’ll look at the practical skill of developing people. Ken Blanchard, in his book “The Servant Leader”, says that a “key element of being a servant leader is to consider people’s development as an equal end goal as their performance.” Blanchard offers up a simple model for developing people with what he calls “Situational Leadership” and illustrates how Jesus was a Situational Leader. This model recognizes SLII-Color-Model-Exp_inprthat people are always on a development continuum based on 2 things: commitment and competence. When you started with Teen Challenge your commitment was high as you answered God’s call, but your competence was low because you’re new on the job, you have a lot to learn. Blanchard calls this an “enthusiastic beginner”. As you begin to learn your new role and experience challenges moving up the learning curve – maybe a student you’ve been counseling leaves the program – you may become a “disillusioned learner” as your commitment wavers. You may ask, am I really cut out for this? But as you continue to grow in competence, you reaffirm your commitment and become a “capable but cautious performer”, ultimately becoming a “self-reliant achiever”. (In our context, let’s acknowledge we’re still God-reliant achievers…) The leader’s role with Situational Leadership is to first “diagnose” which development level applies to the person. Secondly they demonstrate “flexibility” in adjusting their leadership style to that development level. For an enthusiastic beginner, it’s ok to be “directive” in your leadership – the person is new, they need to know what to do and how to do it. For a disillusioned learner the leader shifts to a “coaching” style – asking great questions while still providing direction to get the staff member over this hump. As the staff becomes a capable but cautious performer they need a “supportive” leadership style – they can do the job, they just need to be affirmed. Finally, the leader can “delegate” to the self-reliant achiever – empowering them and releasing them to flourish in their role. After diagnosis and flexibility in leadership style, the third skill of a situational leader is “partnering for performance” – working with the staff member to identify goals and a plan for on-going development. As a leader, when you create a culture that intentionally develops people and learn the skills to do this well, you’ll retain great people, your team will flourish, and students will be well served. And, if you are a staff member, guess what? These same situational leadership principles apply as you disciple students – think about how they go through these development levels in the program and how you adjust your approach accordingly… This month, read one of the Gospels with these principles of development in mind, how was Jesus a situational leader?

Article Contributed by: Karissa Corpeny, Director of Corporate Training

References:

The Servant Leader” – Blanchard & Hodges

Leading at a Higher Level” – Blanchard

Enrich Culture – Getting the Right People on the Bus

Author Jim Collins says that people who aren’t a good fit for an organization’s values figures-368751_1280and culture get “ejected like a virus”. In creating a healthy organization, one of the roles of a leader is to set the culture of a team or organization, and then do the hard work of identifying and hiring people who are a right fit for the culture. Collins goes on to say, “first, get the right people on the bus, and then get them in the right seats.” Getting the right people on the bus means bringing people onto the team who embrace and embody the organization’s purpose, history, DNA, values, etc. The gifts and skills they bring and the role they can fill is secondary. It doesn’t mean that people who aren’t a right fit are bad people, or that they aren’t called and passionate to serve God, it just means that they’re called somewhere else. When a leader makes a rushed hiring decision because they need to “plug a hole”, it does a disservice not only to the team but to the person who should be serving and flourishing elsewhere. A person who is on the wrong bus ends up disillusioned and the team ends up frustrated. The leader has to spend more time in the long run fixing the mistakes of a poor hiring decision while doing the work of re-hiring.

The book, The Leadership Pipeline offers the following insight: “Managers quickly learn how to hire people with the talent and experience to do a given job properly; they find it more difficult to hire people who ‘fit’ a company’s work values and practices.” Good hiring decisions simply take time and effort. Have more than one conversation with the person, describe (candidly…) what it would be like to serve with the organization and with their potential team, does that sound like a bus they’d like to be on for a long journey? Get to know the interviewee’s passion, gifting, vision, and the values they are already living out. Does this align with the organization? Use any relevant assessments or hiring tools and be sure to call the references, what is their appraisal of this person’s fit? Again in The Leadership Pipeline, the authors make the case that good hiring practices are a skillset that every leader should value and make time for: “The most difficult change for first-time managers to make involves values. Specifically, they need to learn to value managerial work rather than just tolerate it. They must believe that making time for others, planning, coaching, and the like [hiring…] are necessary tasks and are their responsibility. More than that, they must view this other-directed work as mission-critical…” Due diligence won’t prevent every hiring mistake, but it will prevent many of them. It will save everyone a lot of heartache and go a long way in creating a healthy team and culture. Not only that, but the right staff hired today become the “seed bed” from which tomorrow’s leaders are selected from!

In the hiring process, the leader should not only be thinking of their immediate needs, but the organization’s future. If you have a responsibility for hiring, how have you been doing in that area? What could you do better? If not, think about some of the past hiring experiences you’ve been through, what went well and what went wrong? How will you shape your philosophy in this area when given the opportunity for this leadership responsibility?

Article contribution by: Karissa Corpeny  (Director of Corporate Training, TC Southeast)

 

Insights from the Rep’s

A LEADER WORTH FOLLOWING

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”  John 10:11.

Some questions that humble me as a leader are; “Am I a leader worth following?” “Do I model the values of our work and home culture?” “Do I do what I ask the team to do?”  “Am I willing to give up my own interests for what’s best for everyone else?” And the question that looms largest, “Will I lay down my life for my family and friends?” For me to be a leader worth following, I will answer affirmative to these revealing questions. Mostly though, I must follow the good shepherd – Jesus.

The Good Shepherd Defends

Jesus is the ultimate leader worth following. He is not “a,” but “the” Good Shepherd. He is good because He is God, and He grows good leaders. The good shepherd Jesus defends the sheep from aggressive enemies. Just as the shepherd David battled the lion and bear on behalf of his flock, so Jesus engages the enemy on our behalf. He sees danger coming before we do, so what may seem an unnecessary diversion may be His protection from a bad decision or bad people.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12).

The Good Shepherd Protects

A leader worth following protects his or her people. He lays down his life, his interests, and his ego for the greater good. The others-centered leader also invests in her team. She spends time in mentorship. Over lunch she systematically  helps the less experienced process their pressure points. The leader is vulnerable about her own issues and how she learned from others. A safe culture invites honesty, and the opportunity for professional growth.

Furthermore, what are some ways you can invest in the character of those who look to you as their leader? You have to be good in order to teach others how to be good. Your generosity enhances a culture of generosity. Your care creates a caring culture. Expose your team to books, training and conferences that challenge and grow their character and skills. Begin a weekly or monthly educational process that infuses the values of the culture throughout the enterprise. A leader worth following is out front as an example, among the team to learn, and behind in prayer.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Prayer: Heavenly Father grow me into a leader worth following. Lead me to lead like Jesus

Article contribution by: Deanna Trujillo (ELP Representative – Pensacola Women’s Home)

Enrich Culture – Shifting the Values

I hope you took some time last month to reflect on “how things are going in your boat”… In that article we said that after prayer, the most important thing a leader can do is build a healthy culture for the teams they lead. Leaders must delegate a lot of things, but culture is not one of them. The leader is solely responsible for how healthy a team or ministry is. As a leader, being a “culture bearer” requires a shift in values, skills and allocation of time. For instance, as a staff member I should value being an effective contributor to the team and the mission. I do my part to enrich culture by embracing and embodying the Core Values and the TC DNA. I would be honing a particular skill such as teaching, counseling or computer skills. My time would be primarily allocated to working with students or in administration, completing my assigned tasks and responsibilities. As a leader, whether I’m leading a rally team, a work crew or a center, my values and skillset have to shift, as well as how I manage my time. It’s important what we value – we spend our time doing the things we value, and skills that are used without being instructed by values, aren’t done with much passion and creativity. So if I’m directing a center, and value making individual contributions such as counseling, I will probably pursue a degree in counseling and spend a lot of time counseling students. Instead, as a team leader, there has to be a shift – rather than valuing what I can contribute individually, I now value the success and contributions of others, I value the results of the whole team, I value the work and disciplines I need to do as a manager. This managerial skillset includes things like setting the culture, selecting the right people who are a fit for the culture, designing job descriptions, empowerment and delegation, performance evaluation and development, communication, building a cohesive team, and rewards and motivation. The book “The Leadership Pipeline” talks about this shift: “First-time managers need to learn how to reallocate their time so that they not only complete their assigned work but also help others perform effectively. They cannot allocate all of their time to putting out fires, seizing opportunities, and handling tasks themselves.” Putting out fires…yikes! Sounds like Teen Challenge! One of the challenges of leadership is slowing down the high speed train that we call Teen Challenge and valuing and spending time on the right things. Effective leaders and healthy organizations value an enriched culture and take the time to cultivate it. In the next 3 articles we’ll highlight 3 very practical areas in which a leader enriches culture: bringing the right people on the team, developing people, and building a cohesive team. In the meantime, assess how you allocate your time – how does it reflect what you value?

Article written by – Karissa Corpeny – Director of Corporate Training (TC Southeast)