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Grow! by Paul Martin

Posts Tagged 'Management'

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The Pain in Setting Goals

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I’ll confess something to you: I have had a real problem with goals for a long time. I used to be gung-ho with goals—for years, I wrote them and I reviewed them almost every day. I can even point back to significant milestones in life were brought to reality because I prayed through goal-setting and goal-achieving every day. Reality, Aspirations and Goals But when our oldest daughter, Beth, was born, goals became so much harder to set.  Those of us with kids understand the disappointments of decisions and the powerlessness we feel.  Perhaps you are like me that before the child is born you have great aspirations for the girl’s (or boy’s) life.  Maybe she will be a physician who helps heal sick people.  Maybe she will be a great judge who settles matters in a wise and noble way.  Maybe she will carry the gospel to people who have never heard. These aspirations came into direct conflict with the reality of Beth’s birth—she was born without frontal lobes in her brain and is multiply ...

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Managing in Front of an Audience of 42,000 Screaming People

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After watching the pitcher struggle through a couple of batters, the pitching coach knows it is time to walk to the mound. Forty-two thousand people in the stadium watch the pitching coach and hope his words help the pitcher make it through the inning without surrendering a run. So at a recent game, I asked my friend who was a professional baseball short-stop for eight years, “What does the pitching coach say to a struggling pitcher on the mound?” Jeff told me that the pitching coach watches the multi-gazillion dollar pitcher closely on every wind-up, every pitch and every follow-through.  The coach observes the pitcher’s posture, motion, release and eyes.  Every pitch,  Every game.  With each movement in his mental catalog of the pitcher, the coach sees the normal, the abnormal and the potentially disastrous. He knows when the pitcher is at his best and when…well, when something bad could happen. I interrupted Jeff, “So what does he say, in front of 42,000 tense fans, to get the pitc ...

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Weaknesses: God’s Strength at Work

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People succeed not so much because of full utilization of their strengths but because of their not having significant shortcomings.  Bradford Smart “Your backhand can lose a game that your forehand won.” I remember my father telling me that after winning his tennis match one day.  Then at 80 years old, his decades of observing tennis offered a remarkably simple truth: Your strengths can put you ahead but your weaknesses can make you lose the game. Sure, sharpening your strengths is a good idea, but getting control of your weaknesses is key to high-impact performance. Acknowledging weaknesses is the first step to see God perform a mighty work.  That why the Apostle Paul wrote: I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:10 Mere acknowledgment of weaknesses, accompanied by a prayerful plan to smooth them down, allows your strengths to shine brighter. Never dwell on weaknesses, pray for discipline and God's provision t ...

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Leadership, Management and The Four Spiritual Laws: Do We Really Believe?

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During a management retreat, the Christian owner of a business addressed his management team, “Managers, you’ve got to understand that your employees are out to screw you.”  I was stunned to hear it.  I knew he had deep disappointments from employee difficulties, but that statement seemed awfully harsh and broad brushed. But maybe he had a nugget of biblical truth that I didn’t want to recognize. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (NIV) Going door to door in the hot Texas summer, I shared the Gospel using this little booklet.  The Four Spiritual Laws encapsulated a simple approach for those who want to seek God.  The little booklet used simple words and simple graphics, but I think I struggle with the implications of those four laws today more than ever. Law #2 is based on Romans 3:23 (above).  Simply put, we are so caught up in our selfish thoughts and deeds, we can’t co-exist with God.  True that.  After we receive God’s grace ...

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Fired: Performance Problems or People Problems?

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In a society where performance is trumpeted, the cold truth is that people problems can be job fatal at most non-profits. Non-profits normally don't fire team members due to performance problems. Mostly, non-profits fire team members due to people problems. Today, emotional Intelligence (EI) is more important at non-profits than for profits (and it is becoming extremely important at for profit organizations). Why?  Non-profits are normally focused on on mission. Anything that distracts from that mission--like teammember conflict--is job fatal.  Non-profits are unique because they are often led and staffed with people who are so mission-minded that they lack EI. Not the Wrong Leader, Just Needs New Skills In my work with non-profits over the last 25 years, leaders and mid-managers are often hard-working, task-oriented people with discomfort when trying to guide employees with the small corrections that a coaching-leader uses.  Often, a task-oriented person works loyally and long ...

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Be excited about how God created you

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We're all different--and that's good! God handcrafted each one of us into the person He wants us to be.  He has given us experiences unlike anyone else on planet Earth to help shape our character.  Be excited about how God lovingly created you! But there's a catch.  Often, we bump into co-workers, family members and friends that just rub us the wrong way.  We just don't seem to connect as well as other people do.  Researchers tell us that we'll understand and communicate well with about 25% of the population.  As for the remaining 75%, we just have to work harder. Purpose: The Motivation for Working Together If we believe God created us for a unique purpose, we also will believe that He created others for a unique purpose, too.  It is our job to find ways to connect and communicate with the 75%.  Learning how others like to communicate and work can be a challenge--but it is a great challenge to take on. In I Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul outlines how the diffe ...

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Helping Leaders Make Good Decisions In An Indecisive Time

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Over the next few weeks, the Average-Leader will try to defer a decision until after the election.  Above-Average-Leaders know that the best time to get an advantage is when others freeze. How do you help Average-Leaders gain an advantage while others stay slow?  Some ideas: Keep leaders focused on their objective, not the distractions.  Many of us believe this election is pivotal, but we more deeply believe that the objective we have in our organizations is of far greater importance.  On the day after the election, the leader will still need to move toward their goals and objectives.  A good question to ask leaders who are caught in pause mode: “If your objective is more important than the election results, what can we do today to pursue your objective?” Recognize the outcome of the election has little to do with short-term issues.  If the leader’s organization needs more income—a very safe assumption—they will likely still need more i ...

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Giving listeners and donors a voice

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"...people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals". - David Ogilvy In radio, we like research. Research is like the facial expressions of a congregation to the pastor at the pulpit, it gives our listeners a communication path back to us.  That’s the way we hear a representative sample of our listeners. Whether perceptual research, music research, quantitative or qualitative research, research chronicles the history of our listener preferences.  Research can become our digest of history for our listeners. What about the voice of our donors? Over the last several years, Advocace studied donors from Christian radio stations in personal interviews with our team, as well as online, telephone and mail surveys.  The discoveries from these research studies shape the interactions we plan with donors.  For instance, in our meetings with hundreds of donors to Christian radio stations, we discovered that a majority of large-gift donors do not ha ...

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Perfect Timing and the Value Triangle

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Another deadline passed and the manager called to ask, “What do I do with this employee?”  No, it wasn’t the employee’s fault. I know the manager well.  He is a perfectionist.  His staff knows it.  He doesn’t. When he assigns work to a person, he expects perfection and will critique it until it is ‘right’.  HIs staff will make it as perfect as possible, recognizing that deadlines matter less to their manager than perfection.  His staff is proud of their work product, but disappointed that they cannot satisfy their boss’ requirement of perfection. Public Enemy Contrast these two maxims: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Colossians 3:23 (NIV) Volt ...

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Making Decisions In A Funhouse

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As I walked through a tourist area, something caught my eye: It kind of looked like a reflection of me, but the image was warped and distorted.  It was a funhouse mirror!   Wow!  What if I used that mirror to shave in the morning?  What a disaster it would be! If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. You and I make a lot of decisions that impact other people every day.  If the information that we use to make those decisions is inaccurate or misleading, we could make a mess of things.  Whether spending money on a capital improvement or deciding on the kind of development campaign, getting clean data is the first step. We’ve discovered management data can take three forms: Clean. Clear information that speaks to the core of the issue.  The data is trustworthy, speaks to the issue and is simple to understand.  Incomplete. Information that is obviously missing key components.  As managers, we see that the data is not to be trusted ...

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Comments
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    -- alaso

  2. Re: Helping Leaders Make Good Decisions In An Indecisive Time

    I think #4 is the key. In today's world it is more important than ever to be sensitive to when a strategy...

    -- Ben Armitage

  3. Re: America’s Most and Least Bible-Minded Cities

    Bible-Mindedness how is that defined?

    -- PastorKenT