Saturday, December 10, 2011

Leadership and Followship

Recently I came across a couple of really good articles on leadership:
  • Leadership in Church:
    • Oh, those are sticky wickets to address but every single one of them is a potential minefield for both the church and its leaders. And, minefields don't go away. A study of minefields (the ones used in wars) show that mines become more unstable over time and the least little pebble can set them off. This is also true of church life - any event can set off a long-dormant mine. Dig up the mines (carefully); confront the elephants in the church (carefully) - they won't go away on their own but need to be led/taken gently out of harm's way.
  • Leadership in Sports:
    • Actually, the "cover story" is about sports but the article cites some research on what followers want: "According to Hogan’s research, followers want four things: integrity, confidence, decision-making and clarity. But just as important is what followers don’t want: irritability, moodiness, untrustworthiness, indec­i­sive­­­ness, needless micro-management and excessive authority. They perceive these things as incompetent, and pretty soon the leveling mechanism kicks in and there is a subtle rebellion." Those are very powerful words for leaders to remember - all the time.
I also saw a short (less than one minute video) with the former CEO of Xerox. She turned the company around from death's door to being financially successful. When asked about leadership, her answer was that leadership was dependent on followship - how those who actually do all the work see you and follow you.

Years ago I heard that one of the problems of leadership is that sometimes people are following you and sometimes they are chasing you. Obviously, followers are much better than chasers but sometimes you need both to keep you on your toes.

Don't run away from the chasers, turn and ask them point-blank (in a nice way) what they want to follow. You may be surprised by how reasonable their answers are. And you will certainly take the wind out of their angry sails. Make the chasers your followers; make the followers your disciples; make your disciples your new leaders; make the new leaders your successors.

Lead On!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Funnies - December 2011

More stories from church life
  • Weddings!
    • One January a mom called the church office to reserve the Sanctuary for her daughter's wedding. The mother of the bride (MOTB) asked for a date in June, 18 months from when she called! When the office assistant congratulated the mom on the daughter's engagement, mom said that the daughter wasn't engaged yet but she was sure it would happen soon and she wanted to get the date she wanted reserved on the church calendar. It was an interesting wedding!
    • The most beautiful wedding I've ever heard of was when Miss Alabama got married several years ago. You see, Miss Alabama's bridesmaids were friends she'd met in various competitions. So, preceding Miss Alabama down the aisle were Miss Georgia, Miss South Carolina, Miss Mississppi, and a couple of other beauty queens. As I said, it was a beautiful wedding!
  • The minister's wife left her purse under her pew in church one Sunday. She asked her husband to go back to the church and get it for her. When the minister walked into the Sanctuary, he didn't turn on the lights because he would only be there for less than a minute. He went to where his wife usually sat and reached under the pew for the pocketbook. He grabbed some fabric and heard a yell from a man, the church's custodian. That's when the minister realized that the custodian was sleeping in the Sanctuary on the floor after worship. The wife got her purse and the custodian found another job!
  • Construction began on a new building for the church but first they had to demolish the existing structure. The wrecking ball knocked down walls and the excavator loaded up all the debris into dump trucks. But everything stopped when the wrecking ball swung too far and knocked down part of the mechanic's shop next door. Fortunately the church's insurance covered the bill for a brand new building. This was also unfortunate because the church had future plans to purchase the dilapidated mechanic's shop but now couldn't afford the price of the shop!

Lead On!