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Quick KidMin Lessons Part 3

Here we are for round 3 of quick lessons I have picked up over all of my wonderful and joyful years of being a full-time children’s pastor. I will continue with the numbering from my previous post, which sets us up for lesson #9.

9. Focus is the most underrated skill that you must master. 90 percent of the time, what is on your computer screen is not resulting in a positive ROI (Return On Investment – along the lines of the 20% for the 80% discussed earlier). Learn to focus on what truly matters to your pastor, you, and your families. Then, do it consistently.

10. Multitasking doesn’t mean greater productivity. Numerous studies have shown that multitasking decreases brain power. I do lots of projects with my KidMin coaching students to show them the true effects of multitasking. You would be just as amazed as they are when we do the exercises to show it is better to chunk your time rather than chase the myths of multitasking.

11. Find a coach. This is a lesson I tried to figure out how to accomplish in several ways besides just going and find a coach who could work with me one on one. I tried to use conferences, books, tapes, web sites, networks, and more. All of this run around time did not produce half the results of if I would have taken the advice of getting an actual coach. So please learn from my experience just invest in getting a coach, you will see it pay for itself.

Quick KidMin lessons part 2

I a continuing some quick lessons I have learned through all these wonderful years that God has allowed me to be in full time children’s ministry. I had an earlier post of 5 quick lessons which you can check out here.

I am starting today’s numbering as a continuation of the lessons I have posted.
6. Learn to forgive. Things happen. People change. You can’t move forward in ministry — or in life — if you can’t forgive and move on. Believe it or not there will be several times that you yourself will need to be forgiven as well.

7. Don’t underestimate the power of the water cooler. The power of word of mouth is extremely powerful. Learn to use social media and give your congregation something to spread the news about. People want to talk, they want to spread news, they want to take pride in areas of their lives, so give them something to do this over and they will.

I am adding this video from Michael Hyatt who interviewed Dan Cathy from Chic-fil-a as he speaks about service. I think this topic of service is a great bridge from lessons #7 and going into Lesson #8. Enjoy.

An Interview with Dan Cathy from Michael Hyatt on Vimeo.

8. Treat your team well. People will follow a leader who treats them with respect. Learn to value your team’s input, and always reward them for a job well done. My goal is to be known as the ministry i the church that takes care of their team the best.

I will stop with these today. So what else do you think should or will make the list of lessons I have picked up over the years? What are some of your lessons?

5 of the Top and Top of the Bottom

It seems that at this time of the year more list come out in blog post than any other time of the year. So I don’t want to break the pattern so I have compiled the results from 2010 for the top 5 click on post in my blog and also the bottom 5 as well. You may ask yourself why would I ever post the bottom 5? I wonder if they are really the bottom 10 or just missed by more people.

Why should these posts matter to you? Here are three suggestions:

1. You might have missed them, now you have a chance to read them.
2. You might have liked them and want to read them again.
3. You might want to share them with a friend via email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. (They’ll appreciate it and so will I.)

Top 5

5. Did I do that? Did I do that? It is time we start to take responsibility for the results we are getting.

4. Cut the bull, where’s your true passion? A leader who is not passionately committed to a cause will not draw much commitment from others

3. Making a living or building a cathedral? Purpose inspires performance and commitment.

2. New Position landmine #2 Relationships.For this landmine, it is usually going to happen when the new children’s pastor does not do an accurate job of establishing and identifying key relationships that will happen up and down or side by side in the ministry.

1. New Position landmine #3 The ministry itself. You become blinded with excitement of the new ministry, or the size of it, or the pay of it, new title or areas like that…

The bottom 5

5. Successful people have successful habits. Your everyday choices ultimately determine if you will experience success or just watch others experience success

4. Risk to become better. We need to be creative, take risks, explore new ways to make more stuff happen for the glory of God.

3. Growth through vision. …look at only two even though there are several fundamentals that could help us break through and into the growth we should be part of.

2. Someone who gets it. Jesus may I be counted guilty to be the one who will say “Thanks, and I love you”. Just for the record, this is definitely one of those post I feel if people truly caught, it would radically change our lives. Also, since the writting of this letter God has brought us back to the same state that Logan is in, K.C., MO.

1. Clarity is a must. It is our responsibility as leaders to make sure people understand the goals and purpose of what we are telling them about so they can make good decisions.

I hope you will read these if you haven’t, comment on them if you like them and share them with someone who would enjoy or benefit from them.

Writing in the sand

Today I wake up and gear up for a NEW day. Yesterday for me was one of those days I am sure we have all had that just really suck the wind out of your sails due to a variety of things. Here I am at the start of a new day and as I prepare myself for this new day I need to put yesterday behind me but know that as I start today there will still be remnants of yesterday that I need to walk through. In order for today not to be the same I must find a way to get over it and leave it behind me. This is definitely one of those things easier said than done, but a must for a bright future filled with all the potential God has me.

Thinking about this makes me think through how often I have seen when people work with kids will get upset or disappointed with kids in their ministries and when the adult volunteer leaves for that day they do not erase the child’s wrong but instead keeps that list alive and as the week goes on, that list becomes more solidly etched in stone in the mind. Everyone shows up the following ministry time and the past wrongs are still recorded and the child already starts off behind in the mind of the volunteer. It is extremely important that we do not etch wrongs in stone but in sand. Just as I am having to wake up today and start new by rubbing the sand, we also need to have volunteers do the same with the kids in their ministries.

Thank you Jesus for such a great example of writing in the sand.

Focus helps get superior results

I am a life long student of life. I always want to keep learning, growing and stretching. This desire for me starts from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep, many of you know exactly what I am talking about because that is what you do as well.

One of the lessons that I continue to come back and tweek often for myself is the topic of Focus. I have always felt that I am fairly good at this but every time I go and examine my focus, I realize just how far I have to go. The topic of focus is one I’m becoming more convinced if truly taken seriously we would have less talk about how few of hours we have in a day.

The ability to focus is a critical success factor for us. Focus will help us to see the effect of increasing time in our days. No it will not take you from our 24 hours a day to a possible 26 hours a day, but Focus will help you to stay more productive on your set priorities. Here is the thing for me, in today’s world we have so many great and powerful tools to help with our effectiveness that they can and do actually become potential distractions. The internet, cell phones, laptops, email, iPhone apps and much more all can be used to usher in unexpected distractions, focus busters, and priority bumpers. Focus is about establishing priorities and keeping the main thing the main thing.

Here are 3 characteristics when focus is accomplished.
1. Fewer distractions. To eliminate distractions we must know how to recognize them.
2. More high leverage activities. Not all activities will produce the same level of benefit.
3. Deadlines accomplished. When we stay focused on priorities we will accomplish what we want in the right time line.

How is your focus? How successful are you in keeping focused? Have you falling prey to any of the above focus busters?

Successful people have successful habits

As I continue to get older I also continue to have some thoughts that become more firm over time. Here is one of them: “Your everyday choices ultimately determine if you will experience success or just watch others experience success.”

Notice I did say “everyday choices”. Choices for success are good and consistent choices which will help lay that foundation for your habits. Then habits will play a major role in how your future will unfold. These will be habits that you live out and display in your work environment and also in your personal life.

Bottom line for this thought is, Successful people have successful habits and unsuccessful people don’t. This is much easier than said I know.

What’s your reason for wanting leadership?

As time goes by and I get the priveledge of talking with more and more leaders over the years, one thing is becoming even more obvious to me: Peoples core reasons for leading.

Many people are interested and strive to be in leadership because of what they imagine it can provide for them. Some of those provisions they thing will be there are:
1. Power
2. Control
3. Perks or just down right being served by others.

These can all happen at least for seasons but the life of a true leader is actually quite different from those expectations. The life a leader involves:
1. Helping others fix problems and moving forward
2. Empowering others
3. Serving others.

See, leaders lead for the joy of creating and fulfilling something bigger than themselves. Let’s read a couple things from some leaders who I think from what they have expressed show this exact kind of spirit.

Warren Bennis says how he wants to publish books “that disturb the present in the service of a better future.”

Hyrum Smith expressed: “Leaders conduct planned conflict against the status quo.”

So what are your real reasons for wanting to be a leader? Is it to have yourself empowered or to empower others? Who are you serving and if those people were asked would they say you are serving them, empowering them, and providing help to them or would their thoughts and feelings say that is more of what they are doing for you?

Let’s check our reasons constantly for being leaders.

Starting smart so it doesn’t end foolishly

image428280100.jpgAnyone who knows me knows that I enjoy studying success and failures of people, businesses, churches and more. While keeping an eye on these topics I have read how in the past couple decades, 30% of Fortune 500 CEOs have lasted less than 3 years. According to a Harvard Business Review, 2 out of 5 new CEOs fail in their first 18 months on the job. It appears that the major reason for the failure has nothing to do with competence, or knowledge, or experience, but more with over bearing pride, ego and a leadership style out of touch with modern times.

One reason this may be happening could be the Leadership vacume that creates how leaders see themselves and how others see them. This is an area leaders live in because they are the leader and no one wants to truly speak openly with them. This vacume can be career limiting. The bigger the vacume, the more resistance there is to change. It also makes it difficult to create a positive organizational culture where openness and honesty are encouraged. Candid, constructive feedback can help a leader grow, and often leaders don’t get that feedback from their teams.

Research shows 82% of newly appointed leaders derail because they fail to build partnerships with subordinates and peers.

Sydney Finkelstein, author of Why Smart Executives Fail, researched several spectacular failures during a six year period. He concluded that these CEOs had similar deadly habits:

Habit 1: They see themselves and their companies as dominating their environment. Warning sign: A lack of respect for others .

Habit 2: They identify too closely with the company, losing the boundary between personal and corporate interests. Warning sign: They define themselves by their job.

Habit 3: They think they are the only ones that have all the right answers. Warning Sign. They have few followers.

Habit 4: They ruthlessly eliminate anyone who isn’t completely supportive. Warning Sign: A lot of subordinates are either fired or quit.

Habit 5: They are obsessed with photos, speeches, appearances and publications in which they represent the company. Warning Sign: They blatantly seek out media.

Habit 6: The underestimate obstacles. Warning Sign: Excessive hype and little substance.

Habit 7: They stubbornly rely on past achievements and successes. Warning sign: They consistently refer to what worked for them in the past.

There are no universal ways to prevent failures, except perhaps to be alert for the warning signs. To be aware of History so we do not need to repeat it.

Good leaders make people around them successful. They are passionate and committed, authentic, courageous, honest and reliable. Leaders need a confidante, a mentor, or someone they can trust to tell the truth about their behavior. They rarely get this due to the vacume stage that I have mentioned.

Coaches and Mentors can help leaders reduce or eliminate their blind spots and be open to constructive feedback, not only reducing the likelihood of failure, and premature burnout, plus also provide an atmosphere in which the Leader can express fears, failures and dreams.

There are many great mentorship you can join out there, but if you want to know of a specific one that I know gets results it is Kidology Coaching.

Why Smart Executives Fail and What We Can Learn From Them

Kidology Coaching

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