Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

earI came across a great post this week in which Rick Warren stated that “probably 75% of the problems we face, at home, at work, and at church are related to poor communication with family members, church members, your clients, or your coworkers. Poor communication is also the most frequently mentioned problem in marriage counseling.”

Here are three things Rick says you must give up in order to grow as a communicator. As you lead…

Give Up Your Assumptions

We get into trouble when we start assuming we understand the meaning of what people say to us. The truth is – everything you hear goes through a filter. Your filter is determined by your past experiences and your unique personality. You may not be hearing what they are really saying. Therefore, it’s smart (and safe) to ask for clarification. There are 6 possible messages every time you speak:

  • What you mean to say and what you actually said.
  • What they heard and what they think they heard.
  • What they say about it and what you think they said about it.

Proverbs 18:13 says “It’s foolish to answer before listening.”

There is a second kind of assumption you need to give up on. Stop assuming people understand everything you’re thinking and feeling as you communicate. It’s only fair to clearly and completely share your expectations with people when you assign them a task or a project. You must find a way to be both concise and complete, and always clear when you communicate.

Give Up Your Accusations

You’re never persuasive when you’re abrasive. And you never get your point across by being cross. Anger and sarcasm only make people defensive… and defensiveness kills communication. Here are four common forms of accusation:

  • Exaggerating – making sweeping generalities like ”You never ” or “You always.”
  • Labeling – derogatory name calling. Labeling never changes anyone. It only reinforces the negative behavior.
  • Playing Historian – bringing up past failures, mistakes, and broken promises.
  • Asking Loaded Questions – which really can’t be answered, like “Can’t you do anything right?”

Ephesians 4:29 says Use only helpful words, the kind that build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Give Up Your Apprehensions

Fear prevents honest communication. It causes us to conceal our true feelings, and fail to confront the real issues. The two most common apprehensions are: the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. But when you face your fear and risk being honest – real communication can happen. Freedom is the result of openness. Jesus said, “The truth will set you free!” (John 8:32)

Good teams communicate, or they disintegrate. It’s worth giving up our assumptions, our accusations, and our apprehensions to build unity and lead everyone forward.

Thanks Rick for some great advice.

GrassThe rain’s been a long time coming so the rain this week has been very welcome.

There’s something about rain that changes everything. Rain that comes at the end of a long hot summer brings with it new life and refreshment. The dust that has accumulated on the leaves of the trees and plants is washed off and everything is glistening.

After it’s been raining you get this sense that it’s OK. That there’s hope … there’s life.

One of the great Kings of Israel was David and the Bible records his last words before he died. This is part of what he said: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’

How many times have you heard a politician, or any kind of leader being described like that? But I reckon if you’re a leader it’s worth pursuing.

If you’re a parent, for instance, you’re a leader. Those children watch you every moment of the day and follow your example. I wonder if they say, mum’s like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth?

Well… maybe not first thing in the morning as you’re clearing up from breakfast, making sure bags are packed and shoes are on … and you discover that note to parents that you should have got last night.

David certainly wasn’t the perfect leader, but somehow in his dying moments he thought back to some of the better experiences in his life and he realised that the times he saw raindrops glistening on the work that he had done, was when he had allowed God to influence his life and leadership.

I suspect that most leaders, most people generally, want to be successful. We may measure our success by numbers or dollars, or graphs on a wall. But there would be few leaders who measure their success by the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning…. Like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.

But if that was how we were judged as leaders, I think the world would be a better place. If someone records my last words before I die, I think I would like them to be words like David’s. I’d like to think that my leadership resulted in people being more hopeful, being able to love more, to be more generous, more gracious, more respectful of others.

As I look out my window at the sunlight glistening on the wet grass it makes me think how important it is for those who call themselves leaders to be like that. People who reflect light rather than casting a shadow. People who bring joy rather than sadness. People who offer hope rather than fear.

David, the king, was able to talk about his leadership in such a way at the end of his life. Even though he had made some terrible mistakes he knew that leadership that was God-breathed made a difference in the lives of the people he was leading.

As leaders that’s a goal worth pursing.




We tend to think that management has always been here, but it is just something some guy invented in the 1850s. It’s a brilliant technology but it is designed to get compliance. What we have is a set of motivational mechanisms that were good for 19th century work and not bad for 20th century work. But they have outlived their usefulness for most 21st century work. If you ask people when they were most engaged at work, they don’t say: “I was so engaged when my boss told me exactly what to do.”

From an interview with Dan Pink. Some useful thinking about leadership and management in the 21st century.

The Australian Sports Commission has released a report today that says that Australia’s sporting clubs have the potential to recruit an additional 3.8 million members if they consider new ways of delivering sport to Australians who want to get involved in club-based sport.

The report, released by Minister for Sport, Kay Lundy, identifies 10 adult segments and shows where the best potential for growth lies.

The issues raised in the report sound very similar to the issues faced by the 21st century church and I wonder if there is anything we can learn from this report.

The 10 segments identified in the report are the Loyalist, the Socially Engaged, the Sport Driven, the Apathetic Clubber, Sidelined Sportsters, Club Wary, Ponderers, Self-focussed, Sport Indifferent, and Sport Atheists.

They’re all there in sport, and Australian sports clubs are currently hurting as people move away from organised sport.

… And they’re in the church too.

This is a document that needs to be read by church leaders.