As John Maxwell says “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” This truth can have significant impact on a person; empowering them as person and a leader, and at times overwhelming them. In my life and leadership I have found myself at both ends of that pendulum at one time or another, struggling to navigate my way through challenges associated with life’s success and the hard times that life provides. Recently I have been working with a friend who I not only respect but has been working in the field of consulting and coaching to professionals, leaders and pastors and in doing so discovered a key to success, I am not alone! The question is how do I take advantage of the resource of people God has given me? What does that look like?
For me this process is to summed up in this quote by Zuse and Skiffington:
“Coaching is a conversation, a dialogue, whereby the coach and the individual interact in a dynamic exchange to achieve goals, enhance performance and move the individual forward to greater success.”
To do this Scott and I meet weekly at a consistent time and place a focused effort addressing the issues that we are coming together to address. Whether the topics are business or personal this meeting is a safe place that I can be transparent and honest and expect honest feedback and guidance. We work on strategic planning, goal setting and organizational development. We cover staffing issues, budget concerns, upline struggles as well as failures and success. This is not a class or webinar this is another person helping me process through my real world circumstances. Not a boss or subordinate but a partner who is helping me find the best answer to the needs of my life and business realities. A coach to challenge and encourage me to be and do my absolute best in every situation. A coach is not a player on my team he is a person who is on my side and wants me to win because our lives and values are aligned through intentional choices and commitment to one another.
The writer of Proverbs tells us that “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.”:… Together we win!
Article by: David Kincaid, Executive Director – Middle GA TC
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 that 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