STAFF & Ditch the Annual Performance Reviews. Do this Instead (and Unite Your Team). How Successful Companies Do It.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I suggest most of my clients initiate at least quarterly one-on-one meetings with their staff instead of an annual performance review. Read the article below to see why annual performance reviews have shown to be ineffective about 80% of the time. Discover instead how one-on-one meetings at least each quarter (where you discuss goal setting, growth opportunities and how you can assist one another) grows better employees.

by Marla Tabaka, Inc. Magazine, 11/30/19.

This SHRM study found that as many as 72% of companies still conduct yearly reviews even though 87% of both managers and employees find them ineffective. 

A Gallup study revealed that employees whose managers regularly communicate with them are nearly three times more engaged than those with managers who don’t communicate regularly. The benefits related to frequent feedback, goal setting, and growth opportunities far outweigh the value of an annual review. 

 Here are a few tips on how to make your transition smoothe.

Take notes.

Doing away with annual reviews does not preclude the need for documentation. Keep ongoing notes on your discussions and the action steps that result from them. In the case of an underperforming employee, this is especially important.

Discuss reward and compensation.

Tell employees when and if they can expect a raise. The absence of an annual review could leave employees wondering about their financial future with the company.

Don’t slack. 

It’s great when you stop someone in the hallway to acknowledge an achievement, but a scheduled meeting still needs to take place. I have one client who meets with each of her five employees weekly, some of my clients hold meetings with employees monthly, and some quarterly. Determine your schedule by considering goals for your culture, the stage of growth the company is in, and how employees are performing. Avoid putting off a meeting with an employee for any reason; this sends the message that they don’t come first.

Listen.

These meetings aren’t about you; they are about the employee. Your time together is the perfect opportunity to ask them questions about their ideas and vision. Ask them for feedback about your leadership and communication style and let them voice their general concerns should there be any. 

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/ditch-annual-performance-reviews-this-is-how-progressive-companies-do-it.html

ETHICS & The ethical character of a church leader: What is “ethical character” and how should a turnaround leader use it?

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., Church Revitalizer Magazine, 4/26/18.

What exactly makes a decision ethical? 

It is best to think of ethical decisions as those that honor the “the spirit behind the law.” 

Definition: “Ethics” means operating in the “spirit behind the law” and not just the letter of the law.  Example:  Something can be lawful (a loophole for instance) but not ethical and thus does not honor the “spirit” behind the law. 

The “character” of an ethical leader requires a 3-pronged approach, as popularized by former president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and ethics professor Alexander Hill (“Just Business: Christian Ethics for the Marketplace [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997].)

Ethical leaders have a “character that embraces” three principles…

1. Right actions

2. Just actions 

3. Acting in love

Let’s briefly explore each.

RIGHT ACTIONS are actions in harmony with God’s Word, sometimes described as “holiness” or Biblical godliness. Here are two examples:

a. Being physically and emotionally separate from impure or or ungodly principles, practices and actions. Peter reminds us that as Christians we are to “be Holy without blemish” 2 Peter 3:11-12. EXAMPLE: the ethical leader spends time in Bible study, theology and history to be able to distinguish between actions that go against Christ and His Word.

b. Right actions are rooted in humbly serving others as exemplified in the servant leadership of Jesus. EXAMPLE: “If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” 1 John 2: 4-6.

JUST ACTIONS characterize leaders who practice equal procedures, fair reward for merit, and protection of rights.

a. Equal procedures mean that regardless of where the person is in the company hierarchy or their cultural background, they are treated equally. EXAMPLE: The apostle Paul living in a highly bigoted and hierarchical culture said that in Christ said that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ” Galatians 3:28. Ponder for a second how revolutionary this was in Paul’s day. Embracing equal procedures means treating people the same regardless of gender, ethnicity and/or socioeconomic culture.

b. Fair reward means that a person is paid fairly based upon their performance (merit) when balanced with what the congregation can afford. EXAMPLE: Exorbitant salaries for church leaders cannot be justified by saying that: “We’ve always paid this much for that position.” Sometimes in church turnarounds, the pastoral salary was set at a time when the chruch could afford a larger salary. Fair reward means negotiating salaries that are equally fair to the organization and the individual. 

c. Probably the most important aspect is to protect the inalienable rights that God has bestowed upon his creation, including bodily safety, freedom from harassment.

ACTING IN LOVE is what sets apart the character of a Christian, because it means our ethical framework demonstrates supernatural love. Here are two areas where Christians often fail in their ethical behavior.

a. Shouldering others pain: This means when one person in the organization suffers, we all suffer and therefore everyone does something to address their pain. Luke tells us in Acts 2:42-45 that in reaction to Peter’s Pentecost sermon, “They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.” EXAMPLE: When a church is undertaking a turnaround, one of the most powerful examples occurs when leaders give up something to help others. A notable secular example occurred when Malden Mills, a textile factory was destroyed by fire. Their CEO refused to lay off his workers. Instead he paid the worker’s salaries out of his own pocket. He told the news media that the workers were, “part of the enterprise, not a cost center to be cut. They’ve been with me for a long time.  We’ve been good to each other, and there’s a deep realization of that.” (Manuel G. Velasquez, Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, 5th ed. [Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Publishers, 2003], p. 122-124, 491-92.)

b. Taking action on others behalf: This means working and coaching others to help them improve rather than firing them to find someone else. EXAMPLE: In many churches in need of revitalization, there is often an unhealthy and historical “Burn and Churn” style of leadership. “Burn and Churn” means that leaders “burnout” the volunteers/staff and then  leaders recruit more volunteers/staff to replace them, creating an endless “churning” cycle of: recruitment-leavings-recruitment-leavings-recruitment-leavings-etc. However, “taking actions on others behalf” means noticing when people are struggling and coaching them to improve, rather than dismissing them. By taking more time to mentor volunteers/staff rather than firing them, builds upon the strengths of the volunteers’ experience, the volunteers network of friends and the volunteer’s feelings of self worth.

Below is an example case study. Can you spot what could have been done differently utilizing “right actions, just actions and acting in love?”

Sarah doesn’t know very much about her new job as the Director of Discipleship. The previous director suddenly left because of burn out. And though he had no more prior experience than Sarah, the church paid him more because he was a man and was perceived to be the sole provider for his family.

A little more than year into the job Sarah felt she was starting to understand her responsibilities. For most of that year Sarah was on the verge of burning out because she felt the mission of the church was so important that she often worked 60 to 70 hour weeks taking time away from her two young children. 

Her boss the administrative pastor came in to her office and explained to her that she wasn’t developing into what the church needed. Sarah felt blindsided, because the administrator had not worked with her to help her learn her job or improve on doing it better.

The end result was that in this church turnaround situation Sarah was fired with little consideration for her financial and emotional fallout. In the 18 months she had developed many friends among the staff and they empathized with Sarah, perceiving the leaders’ actions to have had failed to exemplify Christlike actions. The end result was that the church went into further decline. Instead of a turnaround church … the lack of ethical character in the leader resulted in at downward church.

Download the article here: ARTICLE ©Whitesel – Ethical Character of Planter (Church Revitalizer) and here: https://issuu.com/renovate-conference/docs/2018_april_may_cr_magazine_final_adb6f267542cdb

INNOVATION & Steve Jobs quote: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/16-top-quotes-to-inspire-a-rare-remarkable-type-of-leadership.html and https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/this-classic-quote-from-steve-jobs-about-hiring-employees-describes-what-great-leadership-looks-like.html

HIRING & Rural Pastors’ Myers-Briggs Correlated w/ Church Size/Health

Commentary by Prof. B: There are many research-based and valid ways to look at pastoral suitability.  Martin Butler has looked at various leadership traits and behaviors in his exhaustive research.  Kenton F. Hinton D.Min. offers a somewhat different and interesting correlation between the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and whether a pastor can grow a church. The following is gleaned from his presentation to the 2017 annual meeting of the Great Commission Research Network held Oct. 19, 2017 at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY.

Caution: These findings were part of a DMin project by Hinton and based upon a sample of 28 rural churches led by Anglo pastors.  Though the results mirror other research (notably Finke and Stark), the reader must be careful to apply this cautiously outside of the sample context. One of my colleagues at the presentation stated, “This proves what works in Johnson County in Southern Baptist Churches” (ET).

Here are some of the takeaways.

ESFJ pastors

  • mostly grew a church.
  • top spiritual gifts (ranked): faith, prophesy, pastor, encouragement
  • strongest skill set: preaching

ESFJ pastors

  • mostly plateaued a church.
  • top spiritual gifts (ranked): pastor, giving, encouagement, faith
  • strongest skill set: pastoral care

E/ISTJ pastors

  • mostly declined a church.
  • top spiritual gifts (ranked): teaching, wisdom, knowledge, pastor, giving
  • strongest skill set: teaching

(Hinton didn’t expand on other MBTI categories)

#GCRN

 

 

 

HIRING & 12 Qualities Research Discovered Makes Pastors More Effective #Butler&Herman

Commentary by Prof. B: The following is an introduction (with at the end an opportunity to download the complete article) to Butler and Herman’s seminal research on  behaviors and traits that lead to ministerial effectiveness. I have summarized the results for churches in an article I penned based upon Butler and Herman’s research here: LEADERSHIP TRAITS & Research Offers Alternative List of the 12 Qualities of Effective Leaders. Here is the introduction to the original Butler and Herman research.

Finding Effective Pastors

Introduction by D. Martin Butler, Ph.D.

My doctoral dissertation was written on the topic of ministerial effectiveness. Although the research is now more than a decade old, it still reflects the core values of a post-modern world. Many of the eleven competencies reflect post-modern ideals such as servanthood, shepherding, visioning, multi-talking, etc. The instruments used in the study have continued to be utilized in various leadership situations and continue to show validity for predicting leadership effectiveness. Most notable, the religious instrument used was based upon work done by the Association of Theological Schools. As recently as 2002-2004 the conceptual framework of the Profiles of Ministry was re-visited and the characteristics expected of ministers reflected in that instrument were overwhelmingly endorsed by laity and clergy alike. It is impossible to know if a study made of Nazarene pastors today would yield exactly the same eleven competencies spelled out below, but neither has evidence surfaced from any research that renders the results invalid for the 21st century Church.

I won’t bore you with asking that you read then entire dissertation, but the following is a copyrighted article I co-authored with my research advisor. It was printed in a journal entitled Nonprofit Management and Leadership. I include it below for your educational benefit, but remind you that it is copyrighted by the journal and should not be reproduced.

What you will read below is a summary of my research. The bottom line is that I discovered key laypersons in Nazarene churches were looking for certain leadership competencies in their pastors. Those eleven competencies become the focal point of the remainder of the course. The article is a bit “dry” because it was written for a scholarly publication, but I hope you catch the essence of my research.

Abstract

Ministers of local congregations are in positions somewhat similar to the chief executives of other local nonprofit organizations, except that ministers are also expected to respond to the specifically religious needs of their congregants. In this research we assess how especially effective ministers in one denomination differ from less effective ministers in both general leadership skills and specifically religious leadership skills.

The especially effective ministers were identified by applying three selection methods, resulting in an unusually careful selection of a sample of especially effective leaders. The results show that the especially effective are more skillful managers, problem solvers, planners, delegaters, change agents, shepherds, inspirers, multi-taskers, students, servants and demonstrate themselves to be persons of integrity…

Read more in the article, Effective Ministerial Leadership,

If you are a Wesley Seminary student, Off Campus Library Services can provide this to you free of charge.

HIRING & Here Are My Comments on What Research Says Are 11 Questions You Be Asking Candidates

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Hiring a new employee is a momentous decision that I have helped many churches and university committees tackle.  Here is a list of 10 questions I try to ask with a commentary on each.  The 10 questions are based upon the hiring questions from James Kerr’s article in Inc. Magazine (bulleted points by James Kerr, Inc. Magazine, 8/8/16).  My thoughts are in red.

Here are 10 questions that should be used to assess the quality of the leaders in the place and to help in the selection of those to come.

By James Kerr, Inc. Magazine, 8/8/16.

(Comments in red by Bob Whitesel PhD).

1. The leader works to understand their industry and contribute to its evolution through their company’s work? You want leaders that are sincerely interested at the work at hand and those can become movers and shakers within their industries.

It is important she/he be a “mover and shaker” in the future of their field.

2. The leader communicates the firm’s vision and strategies and helps their team to better understand how they contribute to the achievement of Company goals? You want leaders that understand, buy-into and can communicate the firm’s strategies to their people.

A good communicator.

3. The leader demonstrates executive presence and is comfortable working at all levels of an organization? You want leaders that have the poise and confidence to be effective in all circumstances.

Who understands and is well read on the views of today’s younger generations.

4. The leader is an exceptional trust-builder? You want leaders of high integrity that you can be counted on.

This is a key.  It should be someone of whom the committee senses they can trust to do the right thing for the team (not just for the organization).

5. The leader inspires followership and can build a strong team around them? You want leaders that people want to work for and with.

Who understands different types of leaders and can build a team with what she/he is given.

6. The leader is a thought leader that can introduce new ways of “thinking” and “doing”? You want leaders that are always pushing to be better.

Who is an ‘organic intellectual’ (Antonio Gramsci) who makes difficult ideas easy to understand, e.g. may have written easy-to-read books on difficult subjects.

7. The leader is an outstanding communicator, skilled at both listening and messaging? You want leaders that can communicate effectively, so that there is no doubt about what is important.

Does she/he listen? Or do they run headlong with their own projects.

8. The leader routinely provides feedback and coaching to their team? You want leaders that are always working to make their team better.

Are they a conflict-avoider? Do they welcome criticism?

9. The leader rewards outstanding performance and knows how to reward the “right” people? You want leaders that recognizes talent and rewards people based on results, and, not on effort or out of favoritism.

Will they ask staff to do things without compensation, because the staff will do so? Instead, will they help move an organization where staff and volunteers do not feel taken advantage of.

10. The leader can demystify complex concepts and teach them to their teams? You want leaders that can teach people how to be the best that they can be.

Someone who brings out the best in the team they are given.

Original bulleted points retrieved from … http://www.inc.com/james-kerr/top-10-leadership-assessment-questions.html

HIRING & Top 10 Leadership Assessment Questions You Should be Asking a Potential Hire

Here are 10 questions that should be used to assess the quality of the leaders in the place and to help in the selection of those to come.

By James Kerr Inc. Magazine, 8/8/16.

1. The leader works to understand their industry and contribute to its evolution through their company’s work? You want leaders that are sincerely interested at the work at hand and those can become movers and shakers within their industries.

2. The leader communicates the firm’s vision and strategies and helps their team to better understand how they contribute to the achievement of Company goals? You want leaders that understand, buy-into and can communicate the firm’s strategies to their people.

3. The leader demonstrates executive presence and is comfortable working at all levels of an organization? You want leaders that have the poise and confidence to be effective in all circumstances.

4. The leader is an exceptional trust-builder? You want leaders of high integrity that you can be counted on.

5. The leader inspires followership and can build a strong team around them? You want leaders that people want to work for and with.

6. The leader is a thought leader that can introduce new ways of “thinking” and “doing”? You want leaders that are always pushing to be better.

7. The leader is an outstanding communicator, skilled at both listening and messaging? You want leaders that can communicate effectively, so that there is no doubt about what is important.

8. The leader routinely provides feedback and coaching to their team? You want leaders that are always working to make their team better.

9. The leader rewards outstanding performance and knows how to reward the “right” people? You want leaders that recognizes talent and rewards people based on results, and, not on effort or out of favoritism.

10. The leader can demystify complex concepts and teach them to their teams? You want leaders that can teach people how to be the best that they can be.

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/james-kerr/top-10-leadership-assessment-questions.html