Is your team a bit dysfunctional? (Patrick Lencioni excerpt)

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Victories happens through teamwork.  There are just too many responsibilities that have to be executed for any one individual to take credit for a project’s or organization’s success.

However, as most of us, if not all of us know, working with others can be a challenge.  But, successful organizations find a way to acknowledge and work through their differences to come together to accomplish much.

With that intro in mind, I found this excerpt from Patrick Lencioni’s excellent book, “Overcoming the Five dysfunctions of a team” to give me much to think about.  Although the book talks about five dysfunctions, I think there is enough to think about just by reading through these notes and looking to ways to apply them:

“DYSFUNCTION #1—BUILDING TRUST
– there is no quality or characteristic more important than trust.—most of my work involves this issue
-there is no quality or characteristic that is as rare as trust—-if you can tackle this, then there is great potential for great things to happen
-trust is all about vulnerability—the idea of this is that if people are willing to be open about themselves, they are also going to be the kind of people not being devisive, or overly ambitious, or political
-people have a difficulty admitting their weaknesses, faults, mistakes, even when there is real data showing it
and then if the boss won’t accept it about themselves, then others will tend to be unwilling to stand up alone to confront their boss
-people have a desire for self-preservation—the idea of putting themselves at risk for the good of others is not natural and is rarely rewarded in life
—teams need to have courage to be vulnerable —to admit they have weaknesses and that others are more gifted in some area
-teams must be willing to take risks without a guarantee of success.”
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How trusting of each other are the members of your team?
How open and vulnerable are people regularly at meetings and in side conversations?
Are making mistakes “tolerated” in your organization?   (is that a good thing?)

Ideas for managing your pressure times

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P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E   T-I-M-E-S!

We all go through them, so what practical things can we do when we go through these tough times:

  • Communicate with those closest to you—  find support and encouragement from others
  • Question what are the priorities at the moment – find a way to back off from the situation  and clear your head—take time to think
  • Are you in a position to delegate to others?- again, find support from others to help you,  you don’t need to go it alone
  • Do you need to just endure for a “season”? – sometimes we just need to endure because there won’t be any “quick fixes”
  • Find time to rest  – take your foot off the gas, find the time to clear your head and relax, and/or take a retreat, we were never meant to go 24/7/365
  • Pray – unfortunately for many, prayer is a “last resort”, but it actually be a part of our life all the time. God is so willing to help, if we just ask
  • Question to learn “are you responsible for the pressure?” – pressure times can offer a valuable time to learn. Why has this situation happened?  What are some different ways to work through the tough time? How could I have handled things differently? Who or where can I turn to for advice on how to handle situations like this in the future?

 

Organizational leaders, learn insights from Ed Catmull (Pixar/Disney Animation)

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Leaders, you know it, but I’m sure you wonder at times, if others recognize how hard leadership can be?

When I came across Ed Catmull Interview about Ed Catmull, the President of Pixar and Disney Animation, I thought that leaders would benefit from the insights of a successful peer who understands what it is like to lead.

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/Staying-one-step-ahead-at-Pixar-An-interview-with-Ed-Catmull?cid=digistrat-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1603http:// by  Huggy Rao, Robert Sutton, and Allen Webb, which appeared on the McKinsey.com website.

Enjoy.

Good advice from my boss

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Every day, we all are bombarded with different choices to make.   For example, yesterday, there were several decisions I had:  Should I make a  certain call to someone?  What should I say to this person? Should I back off doing this one specific thing?

In several of those decisions, I heard myself asking a question that an older boss of mine was fond of advising, “DO THE RIGHT THING”.

I don’t know about you, but I can easily justify making selfish decisions.  With some issues, I can find it easy to procrastinate. Although I can be pretty confident in the right-ness, of my motives, I can tend to having suspicions about other people’s motives.

As so many thoughts circulate in my brain and  can complicate my thought process, I can do myself a favor by simplifying matters and just doing the right thing  (that, which I really know deep down is the best thing to do).

 

So, today, as you will have many choices to make, let me pass along the same advice to you that I received from a friend,

                                                                                   DO THE RIGHT THING!

Can your church compete with Disneyland?

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For many parents, going to Disneyland is high on their “parenting bucket list”.  And why not?  Any place that labels itself as “the happiest place on earth”  sure would seem to be a place worth checking out.

I’ve been to Disneyland a few different times and it was a pleasant memory (though expensive).

I thought about that phrase, “the happiest place on earth” this weekend.  Why?   Because I thought Disneyland might just have a worthy competitor–the local church.

There are approximately 300,000 churches in the United States.  I deeply hope that the you and the other members of your local  church, as well as its leadership would see itself as a place that people just love to be a part of and could compete with Disneyland’s reputation.      Why would they?

Well, I think that being in a place where like-minded people can re-assemble each week and share their similar experience of being a part of the family of God is a good thing and so are these reasons:

  • being challenged weekly with firm and loving words preached directly from the Bible that confront us with the truths that a holy God exists, and that apart being involved in a relationship with Him (made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who died in our place), we would be forever lost and separated from Him
  • being able to engage together in worshiping God in a joyous, celebratory kind of way
  • seeing people who you care about and who care about you
  • being involved in a culture that we are all just hurting people rubbing shoulders with other hurting people
  • serving together in voluntary helpful works of service
  • being encouraged by smiling people
  • feeling you are a part of fulfilling a vision  that is bigger than any one person

Those are just a few reasons that are top of mind to me as I was thinking about this after my church’s recent weekend’s Easter worship celebration!

I love it when I hear people tell me (as I’ve recently heard from some people I know who attend different churches than I do) that they hate to miss being a part of their church’s Sunday mornings because they just feel like their missing something.  I hope you feel that way as well at your church.

Again, I hope that being involved in a vibrant local church has already  been crossed off your bucket list.  If it hasn’t yet happened for you, I trust that day will come soon where you will just know that you are a part of something very special.

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(this was an amazing moment during the 3/27/16 Easter worship service where confetti helped the congregation at Harvest Bible Chapel celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!).

So much to do–where to start…

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Did you ever come back from a long holiday weekend (or a vacation, or a business trip) and you sit at your desk and you think these questions to yourself: “what am I doing?  what work did I leave off on last week? Where do I begin?

As you feel that surge of stress beginning to come upon you, let me offer you a few easy to follow suggestions:

  1. take a few minutes to evaluate all that you have going on –give yourself time to get a lay of the land before you start tackling individual issues
  2. Look at all your areas of responsibility (look at your calendar, catch up on e-mails (from the day before you left for your time off, as well as today’s) and phone messages, look for any reminder notes you might have left for yourself
  3. set priorities based on balancing both urgency and big picture importance
  4. give yourself some goals and expectations on what you are looking to get accomplished and when
  5. start executing your plan

I hope this helps.

Poetry: Winds of Destiny

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For those who are used to receiving my typical posts, you will find something different in this poetry post. This is a poem that is a part of a Poetry collection that comes from a time of my my searching days

Winds of Destiny

Swaying in rhythm to the ripples of water,

the sailboat mournfully docks itself with the pier.

A novice to the deeper  depths of water,

the sailboat is pressured from its pier,

“Enjoy my company,

for it is safe here in the shallows.”

 

“Safe it is-but, pier you do not move.

You know of no other waters or lands.

I realize you are a different life than I,

and you shall not live your life as you see favor.

For me, the horizon  calls my name.

In the waters of the unknown, I will sail,

guided by the Winds of Destiny,

led to the well of my dreams,

where I can lower my sails

and enjoy comfort in the crystal of the sea.