One of my favorite podcasts is the HBR IdeaCast. Episode 283, The Right Mindset for Success, focuses on the distinctions between a fixed and growth mindset. One of the most helpful portions was about supervision and management. This list, from Carol Dweck, describes the methods and message that a manager or leader could give to new employees that would put them into a growth mindset:
We value passion, dedication, growth and learning; not genius.
We do not expect that you have arrived here fully formed. We expect that you have arrived here ready to learn.
We expect you to stretch beyond your comfort zone and take reasonable risks. We do not expect you to do the same thing you are good at over and over and stay in your comfort zone.
We value and reward process, taking on big but reasonable challenges, dogged pursuit of challenges and teamwork.
Even without success we reward that you have engaged in the process in a wholehearted and smart way.
I have much to learn from these methods in the way that I supervise staff and volunteers. These methods would be helpful for:
Pastors with staff and volunteers
Board of Ordained Ministry with candidates
Bishops and District Superintendents with appointed clergy.
I have had the privilege of spending time with Ray Pitman, a member of Resurrection, over the past several months. Several years ago, I officiated at the funeral for his wife, Betty, and we reconnected this summer when I lead worship at Leawood one Saturday night. I found his perspective on capacity to be particularly helpful as presented to an executive MBA class at the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University.
As drinking glasses exist in different sizes, people have varying capacities in life and work. If you fill a glass to the point of overflowing it won’t do any good to keep putting water in it. When your own glass is overflowing you have to be able to recognize that and make sure that you are surrounded by other people who have some additional capacity.
I have had the privilege of spending time with Ray Pitman, a member of Resurrection, over the past several months. Several years ago, I officiated at the funeral for his wife, Betty, and we reconnected this summer when I lead worship at Leawood one Saturday night. He has shared with me over and over his four keys to business and entrepreneurship. I have found them to be applicable in a wide variety of circumstances:
Opportunity – Be able to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.
Vision – Have the vision to project that opportunity to where it might go; Be able to recognize if this is the opportunity for you
I have had the privilege of spending time with Ray Pitman, a member of Resurrection, over the past several months. Several years ago, I officiated at the funeral for his wife, Betty, and we reconnected this summer when I lead worship at Leawood one Saturday night. Last Friday he invited me to hear him speak to an executive MBA class at the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University. He has told his life as a case study to classes at the Helzberg School for several years and I wanted to share a few tidbits for life, work and ministry.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask. Don’t worry if you don’t have the money to accomplish a project that you have in mind. If the idea is great, there will be someone that will be able to help fund it.
Just because your back is against the wall don’t think that there isn’t anything to do about it.
What may seem to be tragedy at the time may be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you are and your horizons will be broadened by their abilities.
Sometimes its best to ignore the details and focus on the people who are caring for the details.
Clearly numbers do not tell the whole story of a local church, annual conference or denomination. There are stories of life change that are more important than raw data. One of the challenges of collecting stories is how to report them. It is far easier to look at a graph of worship attendance at our church over time and seek to draw conclusions over time. How do you look back over time and compare stories that have been collected?
Number of stories?
Category of stories?
Stories of visitors?
How do you collect stories of people and tell them in a way that builds up the body of Christ both at the time and will be able to used in a meaningful way in the future?
On Sunday afternoon, Nicole and I met some friends to see the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Community Open House. It was a drizzly afternoon and the line was long. We waited in line for over an hour. Along the way, there were volunteers that were present to answer questions or handout a flier about the event. Generally, pretty helpful.
Near the building, I saw a woman with a blue jacket who I first thought was another volunteer greeting people. When we shook hands, I saw her nametag: Jane Chu, CEO.
The CEO was standing outside in the drizzle shaking hands and greeting everyone in line.
I don’t know if she stayed there to greet every one of the over 50,000 people who were at the open house, but it made a distinct positive impression on me. Not inside, not present just at the gala opening previously – outside in the rain, greeting everyone.
This is the kind of leader that I want to be and follow.
There are many things that I hope to do well as a pastor. One of those is strategic planning. The Wikipedia contributors define strategic planning in this way - ”Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people.”
This process is critical for a local church to have significant success in their purpose. At Resurrection, our purpose is that we are building a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. Each year the church council defines strategic objectives to help us accomplish this purpose. As an associate pastor, I have some role in this process and when I am the lead pastor at a church I want to be great at leading the congregation through this type of planning process.
Strategic planning can undergird the purpose of the church, equipping volunteers, mobilizing for mission and faith sharing. It is a helpful skill for pastors.
Last week, I was reading Mr. Brown can Moo, Can You?: Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises to my son when I realized that I was holding the book at a level that was easy for me to read and not one that was great for him to see. I quickly changed the angle of the book to one that he could see.
I realized that there was a lesson here, not just for reading books to our son, but for leadership as well. You may have a way of interacting with others that works just fine for you, however if your interventions are not made in a way that they can be received by others they won’t do much good.
Are you leading at the right level?This is similar to our leadership interventions.
Our own defaults, how we would usually or unconsciously react or intervene in a situation, can be significant barriers to making progress on the issues we care about.
There is a lot to be said for this principle as well as the others in the list, but today I wanted to focus on the final part of the sentence – “making progress on the issues that we care about.” I have realized that this is universally applicable.
Everyone wants to make progress on the issues that they care about.