Many working in corporate America recognize the term – Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  A big, hairy and audacious goal is inspiring and at times appears unattainable.  It is big.  It is hairy.  It is audacious.  A big goal drives organizations to focus all their time, energy and resources in efforts to obtain.

But, is having a Big Hairy Audacious Goal enough?  I argue, no.  Oftentimes goals are never obtained.  I believe the lack of goal achievement stems from lack of purpose.  A lack of a big “why”.  In the moment, the “why” appears to be spectacular on a whiteboard in a leadership meeting.  Without an underlying passion (“why”) to achieve the goal, the goal will never leave the whiteboard.

Question. Why do you want to achieve this Big Hairy Audacious Goal?  Because, it is big?  Because, it will put you on the map?  Having a big goal is not enough.  Every leader and organization needs a Big Hairy Audacious Why as the foundation to achieve a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

 

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Social media is here and here to stay.  If one social media fad disappears another fad will slide in and take the place.  The idea of people connecting virtually at the press of a key is here forever.

Social media is a phenomenal way for churches and leaders to connect with people.  On any given Sunday, church leaders have the opportunity to connect with a handful of people.  On any given second, church leaders have the opportunity to connect with people.

Churches and church leaders are presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with people every second of the day.  It is a matter of awareness and intentionality.  Churches must connect with people beyond the worship services, events and group gatherings.

Here are a list of compelling stats that prove my point -

 

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Over the year of 2011 I have enjoyed providing relevant content on branding, marketing, technology and communications.  More importantly I have enjoyed connecting with people all around the world via TimPeters.org and Twitter.  I look forward to connecting with others in the future of 2012.

Based on data, the below list provides the Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2011.  Enjoy a recap and share with others.

#1 – 8 Keys to A Great Church Website

#2 – 10 Keys to Being A Healthy Pastor

#3 – Ten Reasons Pastors Quit Too Soon

#4 – How Pastors Go the Distance

#5 – 5 Undeniable Ways to Create A Poor Guest Experience


You might have a wrong view of Christmas if …

  • You are more excited about looking at Christmas lights than worshipping the light of the world.
  • You are more excited about receiving gifts than giving gifts.
  • You are more excited about Christmas traditions than the Christmas story.

What would you add to the list?

I have the great pleasure to work with large denominational churches in the Houston, Texas area.  Due to a potential denominational shift in theology, a certain church was forced to evaluate what they believe.  It sounds like a problem.

As I drove to the meeting, I thought, “This meeting will be divisive and energy zapping.”  It was not. The church turned the situation into a growth opportunity. Guided by the Senior Pastor, a group of key staff members and elders dug into what they believe.  The guiding question of the day, Do we really believe what we say we believe?  The floor was open and the day was off.

At the end of the time the entire team exited the room with pure unity and excitement.  Why?

Stopping and thinking reminds you of the power behind what you believe. Wow, if we REALLY believe that Christ is the Savior, what does that mean?  If we REALLY believe that Jesus has overcome the world, what does that mean?  If we really believe that we are called to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth, what does that look like?

Stopping and thinking reminds us we are all on the same team. The beauty of evaluating what you believe ensures the right people are on the team.  This is a phenomenal time for those who do not believe what the majority believe to exit the team.  This is okay as you want the right people believing the same thing on the team.

Stopping and thinking reminds us what we are ultimately called to do. Once a team of people shore up their beliefs they have a platform for making decisions in the future.  The identified and team unifying beliefs help you understand what is important and what is to be dismissed.  These beliefs shape your decision making in hiring staff, planning events, sermon planning, etc.

Do not shy away from revisiting your beliefs.  Pull together key stakeholders annually and ask the question, Do we really believe what we say we believe?  Do our beliefs guide our decisions and actions?  Would outsiders agree that our actions match up with our beliefs?

Ultimately what you believe shapes your culture.  Give your beliefs priority and attention.

If you are in position of leadership, you more than likely hold the responsibility of saying “no”. If you are like me, you receive requests and ideas from team members that require an answer.  Strong leaders understand the value of saying, “NO”.  The idea, observation or request might be one of worth.  But, does the answer to the request advance the mission of the organization?  Running a healthy organization requires focused attention over a course of time.

If you say “yes” to every request, nothing is important.

I recently heard a fantastic leader say, “Do not tell me what you are doing, tell me what you are NOT doing.”  As leaders we hold the responsibility of doing the right things, the right way at the right time.  Simply put, it requires us to say “NO” appropriately.

If you are like me, you do not enjoy saying “No”.  It is not fun and nobody wants to be known as the “guy who alwas says ‘no’”.  Here are a couple of tips that will help you ease the blow when you tell a team member “NO”.

Tip #1 – Communicate you are “for them”

From the get go, make sure the team member feels valued and heard.  Communicate in a very personal and meaningful way.

Tip #2 – Provide them with good options

I found providing team members presented with options, are fine with the decision.  This is an opportunity to reinforce point #1.  Be creative and think through how you can help the team member receive what they want while not compromising the mission of organization.

Tip #3 – Take a posture of “yes”

Instead of immediately saying “no”, I try presenting a state of approachability by listening and fully understanding the need before supplying an answer.  This is a great way of showing the team member you are open to ideas and changes.  Who knows, maybe they have a great idea that becomes one of your core ways of achieving your mission?

This can be a relational deal as well.  You will hold the title of “The No Guy” ff your attitude and posture communicates “don’t cross me” or “it’s my way or the highway” or “I am the boss”. Don’t be this person.

As a leader, how do you balance the requests of team members?

True delegation is difficult and painful for many leaders. Why? Delegation demands leaders to trust, invest and empower others.  Delegating strips away control and requires humility.  Again, delegation is difficult.

Healthy organizations are chalk full of leaders who practice pure delegation.  Overtime these leaders experienced the power in empowering others.  Being a great leader requires insight into those they lead.  Dr. Lorne Sanny states every follower asks four questions -

  • What am I supposed to do?
  • Will you let me do it?
  • Will you help me when I need it?
  • Will you let me know how I am doing?
Healthy leaders create healthy cultures.  Healthy cultures attract healthy people and are highly productive.  Leaders possess the opportunity to create culture.
Before a culture is created or recreated, it is important to understand what influences and impacts cultures.  Below you will find 5 Inexplicable Ways Culture is Impacted by Andy Stanley of North Point Church.
The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast – 11/4/2011
  1. Leaders shape the organizational culture whether they intend to or not
    1. Nobody impacts the culture more than the leader.
    2. What if we like our culture?  Find out why you like your culture and put a fence around it and protect at all costs.
  2. Time in erodes awareness of
    1. The longer a leader is in a culture the least aware they are of the state of culture.
    2. Create ways to gauge the state of your culture.
    3. North Point distributes questionnaires new employees after three months of work to receive input on their perception of culture (fresh ears, fresh eyes).
  3. Healthy cultures attract and keep healthy people
    1. Unhealthy people are very comfortable in unhealthy environments.
    2. If you transform an unhealthy into a healthy culture, the unhealthy people will leave.
    3. Indicators of Unhealthy Culture – Drama, self-focused and discontentment.
  4. The culture of an organization impacts the long-term impact of an organization
    1. Your productivity is directly tied to your culture.
    2. Cultures tear down silos and foster collaboration.
    3. Unhealthy cultures are “top-down” and full of “red tape”.  “Top down” leadership SLOWS down productivity.
  5. Unhealthy cultures are slow to adapt to change
    1. Generally focused inwardly.
    2. Unhealthy people resist change.
How do you create and protect your organizational culture?

I sense more than ever the “exchange of the baton” between senior leaders and younger leaders.  But, I sense young leaders trying harder and harder to capture the attention and respect of senior leaders the wrong way.  I have learned the hard way in attempting this feat of impressing and influencing senior leaders.

After years of church leadership, I found two ways to best influence senior church leaders.  Frankly these are two insanely easy ways to positively influence those you follow.

#1 – Present the WHY

As I attend certain conferences, I hear lingering conversations, “Why does my Senior Pastor not Tweet?”  “How does my Senior Pastor not value live streaming?”  “Why is my Senior Pastor slow and outdated?”

I submit another option.  Instead of pleading these questions to other like-minded young leaders, why not present to your senior leaders the WHY?

Take the time to research and gather data.  Here are some tips in providing the WHY to your senior leaders -

  1. Grab A Camera – Press record and capture the WHY on camera.  Interview real people on the subject you are presenting.  Show senior leaders the need actually exist.  The message resonates much deeper when it comes from the lips of the end user.
  2. Research Online – More than likely Google can prove your point.  Simply search your “argument” and find proven data that supports your point.

#2 – Show the HOW

I’ve heard several times, “Tim, thank you for your research but how do we make what you are recommending a reality?” It is not enough to present the WHY.  If you want action it is crucial you present the HOW.   In your research find ways to present a solution to the problem.  Senior Leaders rapidly receive inquiries on what is wrong.  You can be influential by solving the problem.  At the end of the day, who wants to be known as the person who constantly presents problems with no solutions?

Do you want to influence senior leaders?  Do a great job a defining the WHY and provide ways to accomplish the WHY.   Go!

How do you believe senior leaders are influenced?  Senior Leaders, how are you impressed?  Young Leaders, how do you influence leaders?

I am a huge fan of social media.  Social media allows me to connect with people across the world I normally would never meet.  It is a powerful tool.  BUT, we must remember social media was created for us to use, not consume us.  Is social media consuming you?  Do you need a detox?  The infographic below is a funny view of social media mania.  But, I honestly ask the question, “do you need a detox?”