STATUS QUO & The 20/60/20 Rule: How to Handle Misaligned Employees/Volunteers

by Brian Fielkow, Entrepreneur Magazine, 7/23/18.

… I first heard this concept referenced when I was an executive with Waste Management. Our CEO had been hired to turn the company around after a scandal. Legend has it, he called a leadership meeting and made this statement: “Twenty percent of you know where we are going and are on board with it. Sixty percent of you understand the need for change but are skeptical that we can really do this. My job is to win you over. And 20 percent of you do not agree with our plan and have already made up your minds about it. My commitment is to ensure you a fast and graceful exit.”

From that moment on, I have never forgotten the 20/60/20 rule. I urge you to keep this concept firmly in mind as you go about building your company. Trying to win over 100 percent of your team is a fool’s mission.

… 20/60/20 has no scientific basis. It is to make a point. Whatever the number is — 20 percent, 5 percent, 1 percent — most organizations have some employees who may never fit the culture, and your job as a leader is to either bring them fully on board or weed them out.

Read more at … https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/316461

#StMarksTX  #StLizTX

STRANGE BUT TRUE & Most Americans choose a political party before choosing whether to join a religious community or how often to attend religious services. #NewYorkTimes

“When Politicians Determine Your Religious Beliefs” by Michele Margolis, New York Times, 7/11/18.

Michele Margolis is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of “From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity.”

… a key fact: Most Americans choose a political party before choosing whether to join a religious community or how often to attend religious services.

Faith often becomes a peripheral concern in adolescence and young adulthood — precisely the years when we tend to form stable partisan attachments. Religion typically becomes relevant again later, after we have children and start to think about their religious upbringings. By that time, our political views are set, ready to guide our religious values and decisions.

…I find that twentysomething Democrats and Republicans were equally secular: Most had pulled away from religion after high school, and Democrats and Republicans did so at similar rates. But nine years later, Republicans had become much more likely to attend church than their Democratic counterparts. In contrast, even those who bucked the secular trend and remained religious in their 20s were no more likely than less religious members of their cohort to join the Republican ranks in their 30s.

…In other words, those who were already Republican sought out kindred political spirits at church, while Democrats opted to spend their Sundays elsewhere.

Read more at … https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/11/opinion/religion-republican-democrat.html

SOCIAL MEDIA & Should churches follow Gen Z into virtual spaces? Experts say yes – if they are willing to commit time, money & staff.

by Jeff Brumley, Baptist News Global, 6/19/18.

…Data recently released by the Pew Research Center shows Facebook rates fourth behind YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat among young people.

So, should churches with strong Facebook presences follow younger Millennials and the up-and-coming Gen Z into virtual spaces a lot of ministers have barely heard of?

Experts say yes – if they are willing to commit time, money and staff resources to the effort. Leadership must also recognize they may be venturing into territory where hoped-for results, like boosts in attendance, may be elusive.

Simply opening an Instagram or Snapchat account isn’t enough. Ministers must study the platforms and how they work, said Bob Carey, chairman of the department of communication and new media at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.

Read more at … https://baptistnews.com/article/churches-must-count-the-cost-of-pursuing-youth-on-social-media/#.WypkvhYpDDs

STO LEADERSHIP & My Answers to Questions About STO Leaders: Strategic, Tactical & Operational

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/25/15.

I have written extensively on the importance of team building with complimentary leaders, including creating a questionnaire to help you find your leadership mix.  Called STO Leadership (Strategic, Tactical and Operational Leaders) a student asked important deeper questions about it. Below are my answers which help expand (with his good questions) the importance of understanding Strategic-Tactical-Operational leadership.

Here are the questions from the student, with my answers embedded in them.

Student:  Do tactical leaders have to have equal or exceeding competency as the operational leaders they are leading in the given subject?  (I would lean toward, ‘no’)

Whitesel:  Tactical leaders are good at analysis, usually more than content. Thus, they enjoy balancing either bank statements or cultural/evangelical mandates.  Therefore, analysis trumps content, so no they do not have to have exceeding (or even equal competency) in a given subject with the leaders they are leading.

Student: I have a suspicion that strategic leaders are also not the best at developing new leaders.  So, when I read Nelson’s article I find a difficult time figuring out what to do about it.  Just last night someone on my board said, “we need to disciple these people, how are we going to do it?”  I just drew a blank.  She was right, but I didn’t know what to say.  Not because I didn’t want to do it – I just can’t figure the process.

Whitesel: Right, the process often is beyond the strategic leader’s skills. That is why strategic leaders need tactical leaders as their closest partners.

Student: Some of these principles in Nelson’s article just won’t fly in an established small church.  I have attempted to employ some of these things (like holding volunteers accountable) and it blew up in a huge way.  The people may not have thought me ‘wrong’ but they did think me ‘mean.’  In a family church structure – peace is more important than production.

Whitesel: Strategic leaders are not good at holding people accountable (neither are tactical leaders).  For example, a strategic leader on a board may say, “Joe and Mary aren’t around much anymore and they seem dissatisfied.  I think we should ask them to resign from the administrative board if they are not going to support our mission.” The tactical leader on the board replies, “They haven’t given money in a month, and I’ve noticed they’ve been absence four out of the past five Sundays.”  As a result the board votes to ask for Joe and Mary’s resignation.  What is happening is that an operational leader is missing, to be the go-between between the S and T leaders and the workers.

Student: This read helps me put people like Nouwen into perspective.  I have a hunch, and I may be completely wrong, that he is a strategic leader.  When I read his writings it seems he has a difficult time prescribing process and practicality.  Wonderful matters and paints a beautiful picture of the Christian in his book “In the Name of Jesus” – but what really does he want people to do?

Whitesel: Exactly, at a conference I was listening to a very strategic thinker-author one day and another one the next.  Their speeches are largely one “catch phrase” after another.  I don’t think many pastors were getting ideas that would help back home.

Student: To verify what Whitesel shared about a strong focus on strategic leadership to the neglect of tactical I checked out the DVD’s to the 2007 leadership summit put on by Hybels and gang.  The messages from 2007 include the following:  “Vision to Die For,” “Strategy and Leadership,” “Living for the Greater Good,” “Building Humanity,” and “Whatever You Do, Inspire Me.”  These are all strategy/vision appealing messages.  I think those that are more tactical oriented are just not popular by attendees, and they are presented by speakers who are brought back perennially.  I know I have left feeling more inspired than equipped.

Whitesel:  Well said, “more inspired than equipped.”

STO Leadership & A Comparison Between the 3-types of Leaders (created by my leadership students).

A comparison chart addresses higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and provides a visual representation.  The contrast/comparison chart below was created by my former LEAD 600 students.

STRATEGIC LEADERS

Positive:

They see a need and future and are dreamers with vision and creativity. (Doug B.)

Have a purpose or goal that they are working towards with passion. (Tyler K.)

Always see the big picture, you can see the positive that could be accomplished. (JC)

Seem to have a vision and direction for the future. (Ryan V.)


Negative

They have a vision, but limited idea of how to get there. (Doug B.)

May not simultaneously share appreciation of current state, demoralizing operational leaders.  Makes all feel like what they’re currently pouring themselves into isn’t good.  (Tyler K.)

Are not sure of the steps to take to get them to where want to go. (JC)

They don’t always know how to accomplish the vision and direction for the future. (Ryan V.)

TACTICAL LEADERS

Positive:

They can budget, plan, chart, graph and figure out the steps to accomplish the vision. (Doug B.)

Always coming up with ideas, which she also carried out (Christie W.)

Are able to work out the steps to implement the plan.(JC)

They are great at planning and organizing.  They like to take ownership. (Ryan V.)


Negative:

They are good planners, but not always the best at rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done. (Doug B.)

The only negative aspect of the person’s excitement was that sometimes everything had to go her way because she thought it was the best plan. (Christie W.)

They have a hard time working with the people to put those steps in place. (JC)

They are not good with new things. They like to be left alone in order to accomplish the task ahead. (Ryan V.)

OPERATIONAL LEADERS

Positive:

When given a task and a plan, they will “get it done!” (Doug B.)

Acts as a servant out of love for Christ and others because they believe what they are doing matters in the big picture. (Tyler K.)

They are excellent at building relationships. (JC)

They are caring and willing to jump right in to help. (Ryan V.)


Negative:

They tend to focus on the immediate task at hand and sometimes fail to see the bigger picture or future. (Doug B.)

Stares at a tree and misses the rest of the forest.  The rest of the forest may be “burning” or unhealthy and it would take them a long time to notice that there is an overarching dynamic that is going to affect them if they don’t let go of their tree. (Tyler K.)

They don’t like to correct people than they are wrong, so always let things slide.(JC)

They can easily fade away if placed in a position that appears tactical. Tend to be short-sighted. (Ryan V.)

Read more on STO leadership here … https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/?s=Strategic+leadership

TRANSFER GROWTH & In the past, churches could grow by drawing nominal Christians as there was still a cultural benefit to church attendance. “That is no longer the case.” #ThomRainer

by Aaron Earls, LifeWay, 6/14/18.

… (Rainer:) “ministry is harder now than it used to be.” In the past, he said, churches could grow by drawing in nominal Christians as there was still a cultural benefit to church attendance. “That is no longer the case,” he said.

Many churches rightly jettisoned a programmatic approach to evangelism, but they failed to replace it with anything else, Rainer asserted. “Instead of reaching out,” he said, “they became inward-focused.”

Yet Rainer was optimistic about the future as he spoke at the breakfast with Jonathan Howe, director of strategic initiatives at LifeWay and co-host of the “Rainer on Leadership” podcast.

Rainer noted the importance of personal evangelism in seeing a denominational renewal. “The way to turn things around is if every member of every church will answer the call of the Great Commission and say, ‘Here am I. Send me,’” he said. That includes pastors and leaders.

…Rainer noted the importance of personal evangelism in seeing a denominational renewal. “The way to turn things around is if every member of every church will answer the call of the Great Commission and say, ‘Here am I. Send me,’” he said. That includes pastors and leaders.

Read more at … https://factsandtrends.net/2018/06/13/thom-rainer-points-way-forward-despite-denominational-challenges/

SUICIDE & Why religions of the world condemn suicide

by Mathew Schmaltz, The Conversation, 6/13/18.

…The sad truth is that suicide rates have been increasing in the United States. In the last decade, the suicide rate increased by nearly 30 percent, with women and teens particularly affected.

And it’s not just the United States. Suicide is increasingly taking a toll on individuals and families throughout the world.

The ethics of self-inflicted death have historically been an important area of reflection for the world’s religions.

Whose life is it?

Many of the world’s religions have traditionally condemned suicide because, as they believe, human life fundamentally belongs to God.

…In the Jewish tradition, the prohibition against suicide originated in Genesis 9:5, which says, “And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning.” This means that humans are accountable to God for the choices they make. From this perspective, life belongs to God and is not yours to take. Jewish civil and religious law, the Talmud, withheld from a suicide the rituals and treatment that were given to the body in the case of other deaths, such as burial in a Jewish cemetery, though this is not the case today.

A similar perspective shaped Catholic teachings about suicide. St. Augustine of Hippo, an early Christian bishop and philosopher, wrote that “he who kills himself is a homicide.” In fact, according the Catechism of St. Pius X, an early 20th-century compendium of Catholic beliefs, someone who died by suicide should be denied Christian burial – a prohibition that is no longer observed.

The Italian poet Dante Aligheri, in “The Inferno,” extrapolated from traditional Catholic beliefs and placed those who had committed the sin of suicide on the seventh level of hell, where they exist in the form of trees that painfully bleed when cut or pruned.

According to traditional Islamic understandings, the fate of those who die by suicide is similarly dreadful. Hadiths, or sayings, attributed to the Prophet Muhammad warn Muslims against committing suicide. The hadiths say that those who kill themselvessuffer hellfire. And in hell, they will continue to inflict pain on themselves, according to the method of their suicide.

In Hinduism, suicide is referred to by the Sanskrit word “atmahatya,” literally meaning “soul-murder.” “Soul-murder” is said to produce a string of karmic reactions that prevent the soul from obtaining liberation. In fact, Indian folklore has numerous stories about those who commit suicide. According to the Hindu philosophy of birth and rebirth, in not being reincarnated, souls linger on the earth, and at times, trouble the living.

Buddhism also prohibits suicide, or aiding and abetting the act, because such self-harm causes more suffering rather than alleviating it. And most basically, suicide violates a fundamental Buddhist moral precept: to abstain from taking life.

Altruistic suicide

While many religions have traditionally prohibited suicide when motivated by despair, certain forms of suicide, for the community or for a greater good, are permitted, and at times, even celebrated.

In his classic work “On Suicide,” French sociologist Emile Durkheim used the term “altruistic suicide” to describe the act of killing oneself in the service of a higher principle or the greater community. And consciously sacrificing one’s life for God, or for other religious ends, has historically been the most prominent form of “altruistic suicide.”

Recently, Pope Francis has added another category for sainthood, that of giving up one’s life for another, called “oblatio vitae.” Of course, both Christianity and Islam have strong conceptions of martyrdom, which also extend to intentionally giving one’s life in battle. For example, the Crusader Hugh the Insane self-destructively leapt out of the tower of a besieged castle in order to crush and kill Turkish soldiers below.

Read more at … https://theconversation.com/why-religions-of-the-world-condemn-suicide-98067