• Leadership,  Living as a Leader

    Singing out of a different Hymnal, Yet another Way to Lose Your Job – Part 9

    2013-05-23 08.00.08The maxim “singing out of the same hymnal” reflects a foundational reality for a choir whose goal is to perform at their very best – every member needs to focused on the same music and be willing to perform their part so that the whole choir is successful

    So when a member of the choir decides to sing from a different hymnal, the music not only sounds bad but the whole choir (and audience) suffers.

    In other kinds of organizations, people who sing from a different hymnal – have their own agenda and do their own thing – are as disruptive as any out of step choir member can be. And because of this disruption, at least in healthy organizations, people who sing from a different hymnal eventually lose their jobs. The reason is, in the long run, no leader can tolerate having employees not align with the organization.

    So what is the “hymnal” of a healthy organization? It’s their mission, values, vision, strategy, goals and priorities. In addition a good organizational hymnal also defines the roles and responsibilities for each person in the choir. So when a person is singing from the right hymnal they’re agreeing with and working towards these ends and within these parameters. When they’re singing from a different hymnal it means they’re working from and towards a different vision, strategy, values and goals then the rest of the organization, all of which can be extremely painful.

    So the real question is why in the world would any person want to work in an organization but not sing from the organization’s hymnal? It can be just as frustrating to the individual as it is to the rest of the choir.

    So if you’re currently singing from the wrong hymnal in your organization, you have a choice to make – either pick up the right one and start singing or find a new choir. But please, make a choice. If you don’t, sooner later someone will make it for you.

  • Leadership,  Living as a Leader,  Organizational Leadership

    The Necessary Qualities to be on a Super Bowl Team

    nfl_g_dungy_580A few years ago, the season after the Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl; we hosted a small group of SpringHill friends at a Colts preseason practice session where we had a few minutes with Coach Tony Dungy. During the Q&A time one of the questions our group asked Coach Dungy was “what are the qualities the Colts look for in players?”

    He responded without even thinking about his answer, reflecting the deeply held values he and the Colts had about the kind of players they looked for. Coach Dungy said there were three things they expected from every player:

    1. Players had to be smart. To help assess this quality one of the things the Colts did was simply reviewed the academic records of players being considered for their team.
    2. Players had to be goal orientated. The Colts evaluated this quality by asking potential players to state their goals for their career and their life.
    3. Players had to be team players: Before drafting or signing players the Colts asked a number of current teammates of a potential player to name the 10 people on their team they’d most want to play with on future teams. If a potential player didn’t make these lists the Colts won’t sign them.

    Simple, straightforward yet imagine if all the players on the team you’re currently on, whether it’s a sports team or a business or ministry team, had all three of these qualities. What kind of team would it be? What championships might you win?

  • Growing as a Leader,  Organizational Leadership

    Never Underestimate the Power of a Team

    Today I had the privilege of facilitating a discussion on the subject of teams with the staff of Workplace Chaplains, U.S. during their annual retreat at Young Life’s Timberwolf Lodge in northern Michigan.

    This diverse and committed team of professionals provided such a lively and inspiring discussion about teams that I thought you’d appreciate some of their insights.

    To the question “What’s the advantages of being a team?”

         “The whole is  greater than the sum of its parts”

          “It refines you as a person – ‘iron sharpens iron'”

          “Provides discipline and accountability”

          “Teams are better image bearers of God than individuals”

    To the question “What’s the qualities of a great team?”

        “Raise people up to another level”

        “Teammates trust each other”

        “Unselfish teammates”

        “Share a common goal”


    This team described “the types of people who make up great teams”

        “Dedicated to the team”

        “Committed to a shared goal and mission”

        “Loyal, love and respect each other”

        “Elevate people around them”

        “Prepared to perform and ever improving”

        “Intensity and strong work ethic”

        “Self aware and coachable”

    Finally we discussed the work of Patrick Lencioni found in his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team which provides the following outline for creating a great team:

    1. Trust
    2. Constructive conflict
    3. Commitment
    4. Accountability
    5. Attention to Results

    As you can see from our notes we had a great time together and one I pray will make a difference in their work and in the lives of the people they serve.

    By the way if you’re responsible for the care and development of people in an organization you need to consider Workplace Chaplains whose mission is to “partner with client companies to provide care, counsel, and crisis management services for their employees from a Christian perspective.” You will be providing a great service to your people and helping to improve the performance of your organization.

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