Archives For Conference

What Motivates Us

  • We have certain biological drives… that makes us human.
  • We also have a reward and punishment drive… that also makes us human.
  • A third drive that we have
  • The view inside of organizations is two dimensional.  Biological and reward/punishment.
  • Neither work in an organization.
  • Science has shown that the offer of a larger reward actually brings a worse return in work from an employee.
  • Rewards are great if the task is simple, but as the task gets harder, if/then rewards bring less return.
  • One of the problems we have inside an organization, is that you begin with the wrong assumptions about people.  That never gets things started well.
  • One false assumption: Human beings are machines (complicated machines).  Press the buttons the right way and they will respond.  That is not true and science proves that.  Human beings are more complex than that.
  • The second assumption is that human beings are blobs.  They have to be threatened and enticed to get anything out of them.  They are passive and inert.
  • Daniel does not believe that is true. Find a two year old that is passive and inert.
  • If you get rid of those two assumptions and it takes you in a far more promising direction.
  • Three key elements to enduring motivation in more complex tasks
    • Autonomy
      • Management is an 1850’s technology.  How many things from the 1850’s do we still use
      • It is a technology used to get compliance
      • We want engagement today.  Management does not lead to engagement, self-direction (autonomy) does.
      • Autonomy of time, team, task and technique bring results.
      • Google does this by having a 20% project time, which means employees can work on whatever they want with 20% of their time.  Some of their best ideas have come from that.
      • Trying this in a church has to start slow.  Start with a Fed-Ex day (People create something one day and have to deliver it to the team the next day)
    • Mastery
      • Making progress is motivating
      • Giving people space to make progress is motivating
      • In order to achieve mastery, you have to have feedback
      • The workplace is not feedback friendly. (And the church is even less feedback friendly!)
    • Purpose
      • We are seeing the limits of the profit motive.  Profit motive is a good thing, but it is not the only thing.
      • There is a rise in the purpose motive.
      • If the only motive for a company is to raise profit for the quarter that is an insufficient motivator.
      • The only way to really motivate people is to call them to a purpose greater than themselves.
      • We need to be a “we” organization instead of a “they” organization.
  • Change happens by people taking small steps in their own world.
  • Every great change begins with a conversation.

When Leaders Emerge

  • Speaking on the start of the W.L. Gore and Associates company: You have to create the right foundation and values in order to ensure success.
  • We don’t tell people what to do, we influence them to do what needs to be done.
  • The leader shifts the energy and passion to the workers.
  • The team decides which products/projects are worth working on.  Ideas are shared among the team before they get to the leader.
  • Everyone wants to be viewed by their peers as making the greatest contribution.
  • As team members bring forth ideas, compensation is based on the contribution of each team member.  It is not based on leadership position or who is the loudest, but who is making the biggest contribution.
  • W.L Gore has more coaches than bosses.  Each person in Gore has a personal sponsor who makes a commitment to develop another associate, to help them grow.
  • Gore has many plants with fewer employees at each plant.  They believe in the divide to multiply philosophy of growth.  They have about 200 employees at each plant at max.
  • The hiring process is critical.  Gore spends a lot of time on behavioral interviewing to make sure that they fit with the values of the company.
  • Gore encourages risk-taking at certain levels (Waterline philosophy – don’t drill below the waterline, or you can sink the ship/company)
  • The environment at Gore is that of leaders taking the time to explain themselves.  They see that as a great use of time to develop their associates.
  • Terri admits that she is not the most knowledgeable person in her company. (Most leaders would NEVER say this!)
  • She spends a lot of time with the leaders of the company to make sure they remain in line with the company values.

Main take-away for me:  Empower the people of your church to lead and to develop other leaders around them so that the values and mission of the church go forward.

The Land Between

  • God commissioned Moses to lead His people from the fertile land of Egypt into another fertile land, the promised land of Canaan.
  • After leaving Egypt, Israel spent a lot of time in the land between.
  • Numbers 11, there is a riot that is about to break out because the people were tired of the manna God provided.
  • You might think that the land between is barren, but it is fertile ground… for complaints.
  • It is easy to look at the Israelites and think they are idiots for complaining.  But we should put ourselves where they were at, among the characters and see that we could be just like them.
  • Moses said “I cannot carry these people any more, they are to heavy for me.”  The land between is not only fertile ground for complaining, but for a meltdown.
  • Whose voice do we hear other than the voice of Moses? (think of those around you – parents whose child has run from God, a pastor who is navigating a church through a split, – Voices saying, “I can’t carry this any more!)
  • God heard Moses’ cry, and brought to him 70 other leaders to help carry the load so he did not have to do it alone.
  • The land between is also fertile ground for God’s provision.  God loves to provide… it is what He does.
  • He may provide through strength to send another resume or make another phone call.  He may provide by a eerily timed sermon as you walk into church one day.  He will provide!  We see this throughout the Bible.
  • God still had to deal with the Israelites and their rebellion.  God had to discipline, not for pain sakes, but for restoration.
  • We should respect God for bring correction where it is needed.
  • The land between is fertile ground for transformational growth.
  • It is in the land between that we learn to pray.
  • It is in the land between that we learn to depend on God.
  • The land between is the best place for transformational growth.  But it can also be the place where faith goes to die.
  • You can get very bitter in the land between.
  • Trust evicts complaint.  They are incompatible roommates.
  • The land between in the very soil where God does some of His richest and deepest work.
  • We need to guard our heart, and let trust grow in the land between.

WOW!  This was a timely message for me as we are in our “Land Between.”  I am so thankful for Jeff speaking on this today.  God has used it in a great way in my life.

The Upside Of Tension

  • They myth Andy grew up believing was that you would solve all your problems and get rid of all the tension.  If you did not, you had a leadership issue.
  • The opposite is true.  In fact, great leaders and organizations leverage problems and tensions to help grow.
  • The right amount of pressure or tension will allow you to go further faster as a leader.
  • Every organization has problems that shouldn’t be solved and tensions that shouldn’t be resolved.
  • Some problems and tensions are just things you manage.
  • Learning to manage them properly allows you to create progress.
  • Every church should wrestle with the tension of creating a safe place for those outside the church and creating a place to mature believers.
  • The role of leadership is to leverage the tension to the benefit of the organization.
  • As a leader, you cannot afford to lean one way or another around a tension or problem.  You need to give value to both sides.
  • Don’t allow strong personalities to win the day.  You need passionate people to champion their side.  But you need mature people to realize that the tension will always exist.  Don’t give up the passion but realize that there is this third category of something that will never be solved.
  • When applying this principle, don’t think in terms of balance, think rhythm. What does the organization need right now. Don’t try to be fair.  Fairness is not a Biblical value.
  • As a leader, one of the most valuable things you can do for your organization is differentiate between tensions your organization will always need to manage vs. the problems that need to be solved.

When Leaders Fall

  • There is a not a week that goes by when there is not a leader that falls (not just church leaders… all those in leadership)
  • None of us are immune.  It does not matter how committed to Christ you are.  We need to establish boundaries in our lives.
  • As we face this in the church world, there are serious issues at stake.
  • We had to model integrity as pastors and the responsibility we have, and as a church of grace.
  • There were people that joined the church because of the way they handled the situation they had. The grace that was shown to two of their staff drew people to Jesus and that church.
  • There need to be some strict policies and boundaries established for staff.
  • Adam has the “sex” talk with each of his staff twice a year.

5 Things to do to avoid temptation

  • Remember who you are: Child of God, Leader in the church, someone’s mom or dad, etc.
  • Recognize the consequences of your actions Ask: will I feel better or worse, more or less human, be proud or ashamed, free or enslaved?
  • Rededicate yourself to God.  Stop and pray
  • Reveal your struggle to a trusted friend.  There is more power in the temptation if it is a secret.
  • Remove yourself from the situation.  Sometimes we have to do radical things to avoid sin.  You may have to do something radical, even leave your church, to avoid the temptation in your life.