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11 tools to improve your performance

At the 2017 GLS, Marcus Buckingham challenged everyone to re-think performance management. He said, “Leading is taking someone’s unique gifts and finding a way to help them contribute to the world.”

Here was a great blog by the Global leadership network where they have provided 11 tools to help equip you to improve performance management at your workplace. Click the links to go directly to each resource.


1) Blog Article: Why the Best Leaders Know that Frequency Matters—Marcus Buckingham

2) Blog Article: 4 Things Great Leaders Do to Raise Performance—Ken Burkey

3) Blog Article: The Surprising Alignment of Marcus Buckingham and Moses—Jenni Catron

4) Blog Article: 3 Essentials to Manage Your Own Performance—Sheila Heen and Elane Lin Hering

5) GLSnext Video: The Best Way to Get a Reliable Performance Review, Marcus Buckingham

6) GLSnext Video: Why Coaching Trumps Feedback, Marcus Buckingham

7) GLSnext Video: Identifying and Rewarding Top Performers, Laszlo Bock

8) GLSnext Video: A Method for Dealing with Low Performers, Laszlo Bock

9) GLS Podcast: Episode 013: Marcus Buckingham with Bill Hybels and Jeff Lockyer. At the 2017 Global Leadership Summit, leadership expert, Marcus Buckingham, challenged us with new research on performance management. In this episode of the GLS Podcast, Jeff Lockyer talks with Bill Hybels about the practical ways he manages leaders at Willow Creek to maximize their performance.

10) GLS Podcast: Episode 014: Liz Wiseman. Leadership expert Liz Wiseman describes research around the management style of three types of leaders: The “multiplier leader” who amplifies the intelligence of the leaders around them, the “diminisher leader” who exhausts and frustrates the people with whom they interact and the “accidental diminisher” who unintentionally has a diminishing effect.

11) The Marcus Buckingham/Performance Management GrowthTrack. By enrolling in this GrowthTrack, you will receive free access to the resources above and many more resources—all tailored to develop your skills in performance management.

Is it really worth being a great leader in your ministry?

Being great isn’t always so great.

Have you ever excelled at a job or position to then be ignored? As you learn your place and excel at it, there comes a time where the nice things said about you come to a stop. The resources poured into you to help you improve stop. The incremental pay raises or small bonuses stop.


You have become great at what you do. But that is not it. Your place of ministry does not recognize the value of high-capacity, well-trained, top 20% type of leaders. Don’t hold this against your leader, or your church, or the church board when it comes time for any of the above to be shown. Unfortunately, many fall into this category. Sadly, many have never learned or experienced the value of this type of impactful leader.

So what now?

Be that great leader that you are and help your church, ministry, the board, and your leader see the value in having someone like you. You can do this in many ways, I am only going to walk one to two examples out. Be creative in what you can do in your situation.

Start with the same challenge that God gave Moses, “What is in your hand?” Start with what you have. Model how to reward, recognize and love on your top performers. Yes, play favorites in a way. The ministry is for everyone, but why devalue the time and effort of your top performers? Love on everyone, but because you are spending more time with the top performers, you will love on them more.

Here are some quick ideas on how to spread the love with little to no budget.

* Pay more for the same conferences they go to as opposed to the amount helped with when others go.
* Invite them more into your house for meals with you and your family.
* Recognize them by name in the largest group setting of their peers that you have control over. Share why you are mentioning them by name.
* Buy them a coffee more often.
* Hang out with them in their office, the hallways, etc.

There you have it. These ideas will not break the bank. But, if you have the influence and ability to do more, then do it. Resources invested in your top 20% doesn’t return void, or they would not be the 20%.

Create a culture where going the

4 tools we use for better team communication.

We value communication with our teams. Ever since moving into more of an Executive Pastor role at my church, one thing I have noticed is how well all of my 25+ years as a children’s pastor, youth pastor, and even family pastor have really equipped me for success in this ministry role. Through all of these roles mentioned and now in my newer role communicating with a diverse group of people who want different types of info at different times is still one thing in common.

Here are 4 tools I have come to love because they aid in great communication.

1. Trello.
Here is a tool that I use to track projects of individuals to teams. We use it to keep their wish list ideas in, to tracking their top 2 projects they are working on for the week that keeps the ball moving down the field to accomplish the bigger mission and vision of our church. We will use it at budget times as well to go back and see exactly how we did spend money and look for patterns. One last way that I will mention here, even though we have an abundant amount more we could list would be, we use it for weekly review.

2. Slack.
Instead of texting, we have moved to using slack. This has a much more collaborate feel and function that fits our church. Easier to track documents being shared, I can monitor usage to see how we are using this tool, you can shut off notices when you don’t want to be disturbed, and again many other ways.

3. Dropbox.
All finished projects go here. Every year we do an Easter event of some type. So as planning comes up for Easter we will go into our shared Easter folder and there we will see all collected files, resources, budgets, vendors used along with their contact info, forms etc there for convenient use in guiding us toward creating the new Easter event.

4. Evernote.
The bottom line on this tool, as it can be used in so many ways but the bottom line way we use it as a team is for our electronic brains. A file cabinet that can snatch things from the web with a web clipper for your browser extension, to an email given to you from Evernote that you can send things to through email. With everyone using this tool sharing a folder is easy as well.

The Truth about your capacity

The truth about yours and mine capacity is that we should always be increasing it.

Traveling through a neighborhood recently where when I was a child I use to have a paper route. The homes were always the kind of homes that I dreamed of owning myself someday. Big driveways for many cars, several stories high, well-kept yards and more. I always enjoyed delivering the paper to the neighborhood. The tragic sight that I recently saw during this visit. Those same homes now several years later would not be anyone’s dream homes. Several yards tore up and dead. Driveways have more weeds growing from cracks in the driveways, and so many more changes that it no longer looks the same.

What is the big difference? The capacity of those new homeowners changed.

The homeowners had the capacity to take care of all their yards and homes. They later sold those homes to people who would move in and not have the same high-capacity in taking care of their homes and the result is what is the reality now.

Raise your capacity in whatever you are doing.

Some ways to raise your capacity in today’s world.

1. Read. Reading today can come in many forms. Information in today’s world is not something we have a shortage of.

2. Watch Videos. Plug into, YouTube,  Vimeo etc. Do a search for keywords that you want to raise your capacity in and stand back to be amazed at the number of videos available to grow from.

3. Join social networks. Join Facebook groups or pages, LinkedIn group, and the list goes on.

Bottom line. Today is the day to start raising your capacity. No excuses, there is way too many ways to grow.


Are you worth following


Do you have what it takes to lead others, not just in the ministry that you may oversee, but lead them into being what all God has called them to be?

Why would anyone want to be led by you?

Is your leadership truly worth reproducing for today? Do you still do what you did 5 or 10 years ago, except your calling it something different?

Many today in churches want volunteers to join them in what they are doing. Many wonder and complain that others are not following them or jumping on their teams. Many are finding (maybe I should say, making up reasons) why people are not joining their teams, all the while they can see some teams thriving. Why?

For years I have trained my teams on how God is a great shepherd and not a butcher (excuse the extreme verbiage) so He will not call people to join a church or a ministry to just get hurt. His Love for us is too great. This is why I always stress that we need to prepare ourselves and be truthful for where we are now at and where God is calling us to be at, so we can shepherd His people correctly.

How do we do this?

1. Be strategic about your growth.
There are reasons you see terrible odds for people who choose to throw their money away in playing the lottery. Odds like 1 in 293 million! Because it is by CHANCE. People becoming who God is calling them to be should not and can not be put in the chance category. It cost Jesus everything, and so should at least cost us the time and effort to be purposeful in growing ourselves.

2. Attend to your prayer and Bible reading life.
If it is Gods Kingdom that we are getting the privilege to take part in growing then why do we often time either not consult Him or ask Him to join us after we have started something. Spend time with the owner and do what He wants and then we will see success in being that leader that will help others be who and what all God wants them to be.

3. Surround yourself with others who are stronger than yourself in leading.
There are always others who are around the corner from where you are or have been. They can speak into your life but usually will not unless you have made it clear they have the red carpet invite to do just this.

To help this previous suggestion, allow me to let you know that I am more than happy to help you grow into all that God has for you. I am a National Trained coach for Kidology and with Open Bible as well. You can also get me through my link on this blog of mine here. All of these are designed to help you but they go about them in different ways. Pick the one that works best for you.

These 3 suggestions should you get you going in the right direction to be a leader worth following. What others would you add to this?

Better Use of my to-do list

laptop on table copy

It is a little embarrassing to admit how I have used a to-do list whenever I did use one. I am into embarrassing myself a little though so I will admit that my use to do list have not been good.

What I am leaving behind:
* Trying to stack my list with everything so I have more boxes to check off
* Systems that award me for checking boxes off. My competitive side draws me in to add things just so again, I can check them off.
* Creating a random order of to-do’s
* Working with a to-do list that takes me to watch video tutorials to understand how to use it throughout the day.

Now what I am going to:
1. K.I.S.S. method, Keep it simple Stupid. Trading in the quantity over quality mentality to be just the opposite. I will decide the night before the top 3-5 items only that will make the days to-do list.

2. Organize the list according to my energy level of the day. For me it is early a.m. that I have the most energy and excitement. It will be during this time I will schedule my most energy usage to-do to be done.

3. The limited to-do’s that I will have on my list will all have a verb.

These are only a few ways I will start to use a to-do list better.

How do you find using a to-do list is productive? What else should I have included in my list? I want to be the best steward of the time that God loans out to me by the task that will take place in that time.

Starting new Family Life Pastor position finding Break-even Point


For those who may not know or who have not been following me long, you need to know I have had the opportunity to start a new position in Des Moines, Iowa at First Church of the Open Bible. I thought as long as I am starting a new position I might as well journal the journey.

There are a ton of great books out there on every topic but not many if any on the practical how to’s of when starting new at a medium size church, in another state and for me even a different denomination as i am going from Assembly of God to Open Bible.

So let’s begin!

There is such a thing as what I would call a “Break even point”. This is a point when new leaders have contributed as much value to the new ministry and church as they have consumed from it. Being a consumer when you first start is natural seeing that this is what many call the “Honey moon” time as well. During this time everyone is your friend, helping you in every way, you can purchase items more frequently, you can get information, etc.. The goal even as nice as this Honey moon period may be is to not camp here. Gather and move on.

When 210 CEO’s were asked for their best estimates of the time it takes a typical midlevel manager in their organizations to reach the “Break even” point, the average of their responses was 6.2 months. With this being said, it should be our goal to accelerate the time spent here to get out earlier than most. Doing so will help us create value sooner and that will lead to stronger influence into the lives of those we lead.

There are 2 types of people that you want to secure for yourself pretty quickly and they are:

1. Environmental atmosphere
2. Personal

Real quick, Environmental atmosphere people are those who can help give you the pulse of the environment in which you are working. These are the people that you want to hear from when you get ready to make your changes.

Then the personal advisers will help you keep perspective in times of stress. They will keep you accountable to your reasons of “why” you are doing this or that. They will serve behind the scenes and stay removed from the mechanics of your ministry due to their main ministry is your personal well being.

Have fun gathering these 2 types of people. Do this before you move much into changing anything. These 2 types will help you get to your break even point faster.

Score BIG with parents. It’s really not as hard as many make it out to be.


Whenever you are trying to make improvements to anything, it is always wise to start with what needs improving. You find this out by asking questions, by discovering what people want, need, desire. Everyone tends to take their own filter into situations and then judge everything according to their filter.

Perception is Reality!!!

In Family ministries, we must find out peoples perceptions in order to change or improve their reality. Over the many, many years I have been involved in children or family ministry one consistent perception keeps coming up – The parents feel they are not in the know of what is going on with their child.

With each ministry I talk with they mostly feel all the information for events would be in the bulletin, on the quarterly calendar, on the website, and sent home on flyers. But with all of these outlets, parents still managed to miss what was going on in their children’s ministry and the details about events.

The biggest disappointment is that perception is reality. So, if it was perceived that the information was unclear, then it was.

How families perceive your organizational and communication skills is the true test of how you are truly communicating. Communication is leaving from one person and being received and understood from another person. Talking is simply just that, communicating to only yourself because it is not being received by anything or anyone else.

Ideas to try in communicating.

Email Parents Once A Week or put same info out in paper form. Include some of these each time:

* Share the vision and purpose of your ministry. This needs repeating several times.

* Encourage parents with ideas and resources on how to love their kids.

* Encourage parents to pray for ministry and provide specifics.

* Empower parents to take away excuses for their kids to miss church.

* Share stories of how God is at work in our ministry.

* Communicate upcoming lessons for both follow-up and open dialogue.

* Highlight upcoming events and communicate details.

* Provide an easy way for parents to get a hold of me.

Ideas to try to gauge if your communication is being received.

* Hold contest that are announced in your newsletters or email etc. Tell families that the first X amount of families that email you back with the word that is the 4 word in a specific section of your newsletter will get a prize.

* Survey families as they pick up or drop off their kids. Ask a couple targeted question about their opinion on the usefulness and helpfulness of your communication pieces. Don’t wear your thin skin on these days.

* Announce a quarterly parents pizza night and have parents respond back to RSVP with how they heard about the Pizza night.

Have fun with this but always build in evaluation. If you do this you will Score BIG with your families.

AHA review coming soon.

Aha book cover

I have received this book from David C. Cook, AHA by Kyle Idleman, that I am so excited to read and do a blog post over.

Here is just a snippet that I read from Kyle and was only a few pages into the book. Enjoy.

“I’ve discovered that what drives travelers to the distant country is that they are running away from a god that doesn’t exist. For one reason or another, their perception of God doesn’t match up with reality. They are rejecting a god they created rather than the true God who created them.”

This is feeling like it is going to be a good book. Stay tuned.

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