ETHICS & Billy Graham’s Modesto Manifesto covered more than we realize…

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: My friend and colleague Nelson Searcy has written a good article explaining that Billy Graham’s Modest Manifesto (ethical guidelines for their ministry) is much more than people realize. Take a look at this brief excerpt of Nelson’s insightful article.

“Billy Graham’s secrets to a scandal-free ministry“ by Nelson Searcy, Renegade Pastors Network, 3/27/18.

…For 80 years of ministry, Billy Graham stayed scandal-free.

… So in November 1948, Graham called the members of his evangelistic team to his hotel room during a crusade campaign in Modesto, California. “God has brought us to this point,” he said. “Maybe he is preparing us for something that we don’t know.”

He and his team identified the issues that had been stumbling blocks to evangelists — and ways to prevent them from happening again.

What emerged was a declaration of Biblical integrity that all church leaders can follow. The “Modesto Manifesto” was the pact that would set the standard for Billy Graham’s scandal-free ministry.

The Manifesto included four key principles to guard against:

– Financial Abuse
– Sexual Immorality
– Pride (specifically with relationship to other local churches)
– Lying and Deceit (specifically regarding publicity and reporting of attendance numbers)

No formal document was ever created . . . until now.

I know the impact this Manifesto of integrity can have on your ministry as well. It has made such an impact in my own life and ministry. So I decided to painstakingly research and assemble the four principles into a framable presentation — one that would be easy to follow and keep as a guide…

(To download Nelson’s analysis of the manifesto you must be a member of his Renegade Pastors Network. I am a member and would encourage you to check it out: https://renegadepastors.com )

LEADERSHIP & Inspiring Presidential Quotes on Leadership for #PresidentsDay

by Marissa Levin, the founder and CEO of “Successful Culture,” and author of “Built to Scale: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth Through Exceptional Advisory Boards,” Inc. Magazine, 3/19/18.

On Mindset:

“If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“Pessimism never won any battle.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” ~John F. Kennedy

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” ~Abraham Lincoln

On Community & Circles of Influence:

“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.” ~George Washington

“Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a leader.” ~John Quincy Adams

On Persistence & Resilience:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~Calvin Coolidge

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.” ~General Ulysses S. Grant

“In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest.” ~William McKinley…

“The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” ~George Washington

On Ethics & Taking a Stand:

“An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory;” ~Millard Fillmore…

“Unswerving loyalty to duty, constant devotion to truth, and a clear conscience will overcome every discouragement and surely lead the way to usefulness and high achievement.” ~Grover Cleveland

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” ~Abraham Lincoln

“Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.” ~John F. Kennedy

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/marissa-levin/22-presidential-quotes-on-most-important-aspects-of-great-leadership.html

ETHICS & Simon Sinek at TEDxPuget Sound on “How great leaders inspire action”

Commentary by Prof. B.: In my introductory course on leadership we discuss the importance and impact of ethical behavior in leaders.  We look at Alexander Hill’s three aspects of ethics: right action, just action and acting in love.  Hill bases these elements on a biblical and theological foundation.  Simon Sinek, author and futurist, describes these same three aspects of ethics in his TEDx talk on what inspires action in followers.

Read and watch more at … https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action and https://startwithwhy.com/

Download the rest of the chapter “Becoming a Leader After God’s Own Heart” by Bob Whitesel in The Church Leader’s MBA: What Business School Instructors Wish Pastors Knew About Management, eds. Mark Smith and David Wright here > Ethics_Whitesel_10.09.

ETHICS & Becoming a Leader After God’s Own Heart #ChurchLeadersMBA

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 2012 (excerpted with permission from The Church Leader’s MBA: What Business School Instructors Wish Pastors Knew About Management, eds. Mark Smith and David Wright, chapter title “Becoming a Leader After God’s Own Heart” by Bob Whitesel).

Today we are having the most lively ethics discussions since ancient Greece more than 2.300 year ago… – Geoffrey P. Lantos, Professor of Business Administration[i]

A Well-intentioned Misappropriation?

“They didn’t train me for this in seminary … the rules about ethical business decisions were never addressed.”

Jim, a pseudonym, was leaving the community food bank for which he had served as director. His career had been shaky from the start, but Jim felt over time he had grown into the position. Just a year before he had told me, “this (job) is where I think I’ll stay until I retire.” Now, only in his mid-40s, Jim was leaving to pursue a career in business. He had been stung by perceived ethical missteps, which eroded his credibility, and eventually eroded his support among the food bank’s board. “They didn’t train me for this in seminary,” complained Jim. “The rules for parsing verbs were explained clear enough. But the rules about ethical business decisions were never addressed.”

The ethical landscape can be a minefield for the Christian leader. Differentiating between what is appropriate and what is illicit can be daunting. Jim had learned the lesson so many church leaders learn the hard way, that high expectations are placed upon church leaders, and ethical missteps, even minor ones can be ruinous.

What was the fiscal blunder to which Jim succumbed? In the midst of trying to keep a floundering food bank afloat, he appropriated money designated specifically for food purchases and used it for office expenses. When the benefactor learned money designated for food stuffs, was now going to buy a copy machine, they demanded their money be returned. Standing upon shaky ground, Jim could not refund the money without jeopardizing the daily operations of the center. The board decided that in order to make ends meet, Jim’s salary would have to fill the gap. And thus, Jim was unceremoniously dismissed.

Jim had rationalized, that if he didn’t apply the designated money to the non-designated needs of the office, then food bank would lose its few already overworked employees. Certainly this is not what the benefactors would want. And thus, he made a judgment call. However, it was an ethical decision that the wealthy benefactors felt crossed the line of propriety. What Jim needed was some sort of system, or procedure for effectively grappling with these ethical questions.

Defining Ethics

Fred David in his seminal book on planning, tenders a common definition of ethics. David writes, “ethics can be defined as principles of conduct within organizations that guide decision making and behavior.”[ii]   This definition is good, even in its brevity, for it reminds us that ethics are not a set of hypothetical decrees, but principles that actively affect daily action and attitude. Ethics are powerful and dynamic ways of thinking that determine our choices, our actions, and our future.

In today’s world, ethics play a central role. The media is full of accounts of moral breaches of ethical behavior. And a continued barrage of ethical issues is being thrust upon businesses and churches by the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, religious prejudice, and ethnic discrimination.

Therefore, due to the dynamic and strategic nature of ethics, let’s begin our investigation with a look at how ethics are practiced in the business world. We begin with the business realm, because is it the venue where most laypeople become acquainted with ethical decision making…

Download the rest of the chapter here > Ethics_Whitesel_10.09.

[i] Geoffrey P. Lantos, “Motivating Moral Behavior,” Journal of Consumer Marketing (Arvada, Colorado: np, 1999), Vol. 16, No. 3, p. 222.

[ii] Fred R. David, Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, op. cit., p. 20.

ETHICS & Video intro to Praxis 2 assignment for LEAD 600 by Prof. B

Commentary by Prof. B: For my students I often record weekly “introductions” to prepare them for upcoming submissions. This 5-min video explains the Praxis 2 assignment “Developing a Ministry Ethics Policy” for LEAD 600: Missional Leadership.

©️Bob Whitesel 2017, used by permission only.

ETHICS & Harvard Researchers Discover Most People Selfless – Until They Think About It

“Selfish behavior comes from thinking too much, not too little. Rand recently verified this finding in a meta-analysis of 51 similar studies from different research groups.2 “Most people think we are intuitively selfish,” Rand says—based on a survey he conducted—but “our lab experiments show that making people rely more on intuition increases cooperation.”

Selfishness Is Learned: We tend to be cooperative—unless we think too much.

by MATTHEW HUTSON, Nautilus, 6/9/16.

…In 2012 he and two similarly broad-minded Harvard professors, Martin Nowak and Joshua Greene, tackled a question that exercised the likes of Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Which is our default mode, selfishness or selflessness? Do we all have craven instincts we must restrain by force of will? Or are we basically good, even if we slip up sometimes?

They collected data from 10 experiments, most of them using a standard economics scenario called a public-goods game.1 Groups of four people, either American college students or American adults participating online, were given some money. They were allowed to place some of it into a pool, which was then multiplied and distributed evenly. A participant could maximize his or her income by contributing nothing and just sharing in the gains, but people usually gave something. Despite the temptation to be selfish, most people showed selflessness…

This finding was old news, but Rand and his colleagues wanted to know how much deliberation went into such acts of generosity. So in two of the experiments, subjects were prodded to think intuitively or deliberately; in two others, half of the subjects were forced to make their decision under time pressure and half were not; and in the rest, subjects could go at their own pace and some naturally made their decisions faster than others. If your morning commute is any evidence, people in a hurry would be extra selfish. But the opposite was true: Those who responded quickly gave more. Conversely, when people took their time to deliberate or were encouraged to contemplate their choice, they gave less.

The researchers worked under the assumption that snap judgments reveal our intuitive impulses. Our intuition, apparently, is to cooperate with others. Selfish behavior comes from thinking too much, not too little. Rand recently verified this finding in a meta-analysis of 51 similar studies from different research groups.2 “Most people think we are intuitively selfish,” Rand says—based on a survey he conducted—but “our lab experiments show that making people rely more on intuition increases cooperation.”

Read more at … http://m.nautil.us/issue/37/currents/selfishness-is-learned

PLANNING & A Better Option Than Just Trial-and-error (A Leadership Exercise)

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 9/8/15.

I created this exercise to help leaders see that strategy planning is often undertaken in the church in a emotional and imprecise manner (and that is something we must change).

And so in previous postings, I explained how to rate various plans with a simple SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Yet some readers and students (especially those with strategic/operational leadership leanings) sometimes find such quantitative analysis a bit tedious. (I did actually when I was in seminary.  But as I progressed through graduate school I came to enjoy research).

Thus for the above two reasons, sometimes those with strategic/tactical gifts and those with tactical/operational attributes will find this exercise helpful.

A Leadership Exercise

Let’s start by recalling that Baumhart asked business people “What does ethical mean to you?” (Church Leaders MBA, p. 29)  The following were the answers he received:

“What does ethical mean to you?”  Answers:
1)  What my feelings tell me is right.  50%
2)  In accordance with my religious beliefs. 25%
3)  Based on the Golden Rule. 18%

Now, let’s see if this also might be true regarding how Christian ministries pick their strategies (and select programming).  Here is an adaption of Baumhart:

How do churches usually decide upon programming?
#1:  What they feel is a good program.
#2:  In accordance with what other Christians and churches think about a program.
#3:  A program based upon a bible passage.

So, pick either #1, #2 or #3 and tell why it isn’t (or is) a good way to choose a strategic ministry tactic.  And, give an example if you know of one.

For example, you might explain why “relying on your feelings” is not a good way to choose a program.  And, you might site a personal example.  Or you might share why basing a strategy on a merely bible passage could be misleading.  Again, you could give an example from your personal history with the church.

Baumhart, R. (1968). An honest profit: What businessmen say about ethics in business. New York: Holt, Reinhart and Wilson.

Smith, Mark and Wright, David. W. (2011). The church leaders’ MBA: What business school instructors wish church leaders knew about management. Circleville, OH: Ohio Christian University.