Coaching Leaders Through What Keeps them Up at Night. Shawn is the Founder & CEO of CourageToLead.com. Shawn also speaks and trains leaders and their teams about all things leadership all around the country.
One of our Momentum Coaches will make contact within 24 hours of your inquiry to schedule a video call. It’s paramount in our process to get eyeball to eyeball to discuss what are relationship is going to look like moving forward. Our coach (a practitioner in your field) will facilitate a conversation with a strategic set of questions to familiarize themselves with your current context. This is be a crucial piece of the Momentum Audit.
This offering seems pretty straight forward, but let me explain what kind of data we will be aggregating. At CourageToLead we believe that most of our issues orbit around 3 areas: CULTURE, TEAM & SYSTEMS. We have a series of constructs that will help us discover your overall organizational health as it relates to these 3 areas.
The tools that we pull together and pull out during our ONE DAY ONSITE will bring most of what we need to know toward the surface. Our guiding principle during this time is to help you discover what’s producing your momentum, identify threats to your momentum, or identifying what's keeping you from the MOMENTUM you need!
LEADERSHIP WIRING PROFILES
Years ago a leader was just a leader, but through various studies we’ve discovered that there are different types and styles of leadership. In other words, we are all wired differently. That’s a great thing, but most don’t see it that way. We will help you evaluate every leader in the room with a personality and strengths profile and then help you interpret the results. This is going to help you identify: (1) Gaps or voids within your organization; (2) Leaders that are in the wrong seats; (3) Leaders that are on the wrong bus! By the end of our time together we will be able to draw profound conclusions related to structure and staffing.
It’s EASY to point out problems. Chances are you probably already have someone on your team doing that! It’s HARD to come up with solutions that solve them. Our extensive report will cover in some detail: "(A.) THE CHALLENGES are XYZ (B.) THE POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS ARE…" We will affirm and/or help you discover what the issues are and prescribe practical and tactical advice to help you navigate your way out of the issue. This report will help you protect the Momentum you have or produce the Momentum you need!
IMPLEMENTATION COACHING (optional)
You need more than perspective. You need more than inspiration. From here, you must execute. You need accountability. You not only need to know WHAT to do. You need to know HOW to go about it. You need to do the right things the right way. You need coaching. We would love to help. We can explain what it looks like for us to coach you and your team through this next season while you seek to implement everything you have learned. We can provide permission, perspective, and accountability while you execute the plan. If we execute well during this season, sustained momentum is almost certain.
Momentum can be dangerous. Momentum can cause us to think we are better than we are. Momentum can hide our flaws. It can tempt us to be prideful about our success. Momentum can cause us to rely on the successes of the past. It can tempt us to draft on our momentum. Momentum can cause us to give less than our best. It can cause us to presume on the future. Momentum can give us false hope. Don’t get me wrong. Momentum can be powerful! Momentum matters...but just recognize that it can also be be dangerous! How can we be sure we maintain our momentum?
3 Ways To Maintain Our Momentum: Stay Focused On The Basics.
Be consistent in your habits. Focus on the fundamentals. Pay close attention to all of our metrics. Focus on customer service or congregation care. Invest consistently into your leaders. When we are experiencing momentum, communication is the first to get lost. Communicate well with people. Do the little things well. Be consistent in the blocking and tackling of leadership!
Stay Focused on the Future.
We can get so caught up with the tactical responses to our growth, that we fail to focus on the strategic. We can't simply be reactive. We have to be pro-active. We need to stay out in front of the growth. We are perfectly structured for the results we are getting now...but what about the future?
Stay Focused on Learning.
When we have momentum, everyone wants to learn from us. The question is: "Who are we learning from?" Are we maintaining an eagerness to learn and execute our way to the next level? Who and what will you be learning from leaders who have been to the next level? Bring leaders into your organization and invite outside perspective. Plan time to travel to network with and learn from other leaders and organizations. If we stop learning, sooner or later we will stop growing. If we stop growing, our organization will eventually stop growing. Don't allow that to be you!
If you are a leader, you will have haters. You will be misunderstood. You will be criticized. Not everyone is going to like you and your methods. Some will question your motives. You will be misquoted. People will make up stuff about you. Some will be out to get you. A few will try to take you down or run you out of town. It has happened to me, it has happened to every leader, and it will happen to you. Welcome to leadership! So...how do we respond to our haters? In my coaching with hundreds of leaders, I have worked with them often to not only do the right thing but do it the right way. This includes how we respond to our haters. Today I offer:
7 Ways To Respond To Our Haters:Don’t take haters so personal.
Haters comes with the territory. Don’t take it so personal. Embrace the fact that you will always have a few haters. The only way you can make everyone happy is have no vision or direction. The moment you declare a vision and direction, or make a decision, not everyone is going to like it. Not everyone is going to agree with you. Don’t allow every post, comment, email, or word send you into a tailspin. Don’t be so insecure! Embrace some criticism. Develop thicker skin. Every leader I know has haters. Accept it as part of your leadership. The greatest leaders I know have an emotional fortitude that leads through criticism, not in the absence of it.
Don’t hide from your haters.
When we are hurt, our tendency is to hide, but it’s the worst thing we could do in the moment. If we hide, we only give haters more fuel. Show up. Do your job. Stay in the public eye. Show the world (and especially your heaters) you have no plans to tuck tail and run. Focus on the next thing. Don’t allow this to consume your time or your thoughts. The sideways energy could affect your entire organization. Don’t allow it to become your focus. Focus on the blocking and tackling of your leadership. Do the next right thing. Be faithful in your tasks. Traction equals satisfaction.
Don't Become A Hater.
How do you ultimately respond to your haters? You don't! When you’re hated on, you’re going to be tempted to become a hater. Don’t give into that temptation! Take the high road. Turn the other cheek. Don’t react or even respond to your heaters. Don’t take to social media. When you react or even respond, it makes you look more insecure. When you sling manure, you get manure on you.
Outlast Your Haters.
Strive for a good track record from this day forward. Be a person of character and integrity from this day forward. Outlast your haters through courage, determination, and consistency in the long run. Your overall track record is your greatest defense. Over time, this will calm down. This will blow over. This will go away. This will all be largely forgotten, if you are consistent. So stay the course. Overwhelm your critics through your consistency.
Learn From Your Haters.
Leaders are not perfect and that includes you. Haters are partly our fault. We always could have handled things a little differently. We would do it a little differently next time. We need to learn how to do the right thing the right way next time. We need to be knocking the rough edges off of our leadership. In the long run, haters make us better! Confront your mistakes, but don't be condemned by them. Acknowledge them and give yourself some grace. Grace is not just a theological truth. It’s something we must experience for ourselves in our leadership.
Forgive and Pray For Your Haters.
They may never recognize the hurt they have caused. They may never admit fault. They may never ask for forgiveness. You still need to forgive: For your sake, for those closest to you, and for the sake of your relationship with God. Don’t allow sin to cause sin. Don’t allow haters to turn you into one. They may not deserve to be forgiven, but neither do you, and God forgave you! Forgive them because God has forgiven you. Pray for your haters. Bless those who persecute you. Jesus commanded us to do this. Releasing people to God is a choice.
Don't Dwell On Your Haters.
Stop dwelling on the hurt. Stop dwelling on what could’ve and should’ve been. Stop thinking and and talking about it. No one has ever changed the world by dwelling on their past! It’s a new day. Don’t allow the past to negatively affect your future. You will recover. We will recover. Not everyone is a hater! Most people are for you and with you! They are depending on you! Get everyone focused on the next big thing. If you don’t have a next big thing on the horizon, come up with one. It will be good for everyone to sink their teeth into building a bigger, brighter future. Don't dwell on your haters! Get focused on the future. You have a job to do. Let's go!
I’ve heard it from my teenagers. I’ve heard it from team members. I’ve heard it from Politicians, CEO’s, Pastors, and other leaders. “Why won’t you (they) just trust me?”
Does that bother anyone besides me?
To encourage you, I for one will never “just trust” someone. Why?
I believe trust is something that we earn. Trust is something we build. People around us should demonstrate their ability to be trusted before we go all in with our trust. Believe the best about people, but don’t just blindly trust people. Blind trust people can get you broke, hurt, or even killed!
Of course, we are commanded to trust God… to have faith in Him. But if anyone has earned the right to be trusted, it’s God. He has always been consistent. He has always been faithful. He has modeled the way consistently. He has earned the right to be trusted!
How do I follow His example? Earn the right to be trusted in my relationships with others.
I don’t want people to follow me because I’ve ASKED them to trust me. I want them to trust me because I have earned it. Leaders, we should always do the same.
Never say “Just Trust Me.” If we have to say that, we haven’t earned it.
Trust is earned. Trust is built. Trust can be broken, but trust can be re-earned and rebuilt!
When we come into a new position, we shouldn't turn everything upside down right away. We should earn the right to be trusted with change first.
If we have broken someone’s trust, we should be willing to earn it back over time, and be patient with that process.
Be consistent in your words and actions. Do what you say you will do. Practice what you preach. Consistency earns trust quicker than anything.
If someone has earned the right over time through consistency of life and leadership, trust them!
“It’s just easier to do it myself.” All of us have said it at one time or another. But is it true? Is it really easier to do it ourselves? Not really. In fact doing it ourselves simply causes our team, department, organization, or ministry to be totally dependent on us. When we stay in the middle of everything, everything seems to run smoothly. When we step away, everything goes to (you know where)! Empowering others takes time and energy, it allows things to run without us. This is why empowerment produces freedom! So how can we get there? Here are:
3 Simple Ways to Empower Others:Allow someone else to run the meeting.
Great meetings shouldn’t just happen when you are in the building. Don’t run every meeting! You are controlling the conversation, energy, and creativity! Allow someone else to run the meeting. Don’t know who would be the best candidate to do this? After you create the meeting agenda, start rotating who facilitates the meeting each week. The best leader will soon emerge. You can even attend the meeting, monitor how much you speak. Allow the meeting to breathe without your input. Ove time, leaders will learn how to facilitate productive conversations and meetings they way that you do, and you can be out of meetings more often! Empowerment produces freedom.
Put someone in charge and leave.
Put someone specifically in charge when leave on a trip, vacation, sabbatical, or something of the like. Tell the person they are in charge. Tell the team this person has the authority to lead while you are gone. Debrief with the team member and various other team members about this person’s leadership conversations and decisions when you return. On the backside, debrief with the team member about what you think was right, wrong, missing, or confusing in the leadership while you were gone. If you have the right person, they’ll get better before the next trip. Over time, we will be able to step away more often! Empowerment produces freedom!
Give responsibility AND authority.
To empower someone means to give them power! Give your leaders power to make decisions! Don’t make them responsible for the outcome if you won’t give them the authority to make decisions. Never penalize a leader for making a mistake. You will paralyze the organization. When (not if) they make a mistake, coach them through it and train them over time to think like you think, see what you see, and respond like you would respond. Over time, they will make better decisions, become a stronger leader, and build a stronger organization that doesn’t all rest on you. Empowerment produces freedom!
How does an organization lose its momentum? How can we keep it from happening to us? If it has happened, how do we regain momentum? Here are:
3 Reasons an Organization Loses MomentumThe Vision Becomes Unclear.
Vision Drift Happens. Slowly and quietly an organization forgets WHY they are doing WHAT they are doing. This vision can also be hijacked by a person or group of people that have other agendas and ambitions for the organization. Great leaders are Mean About The Vision. I wrote an entire book on this subject!
Energy and Enthusiasm Decreases.
When we forget WHY we do WHAT we do, we will eventually lose our passion. Most of WHAT we do is not all that sexy: meetings, spreadsheets, emails, services, and events. WHY we do these makes all the difference. We must consistently remind those who serve with us why we are here and cheer them on! Momentum can make us look better than we are and even cause complacency. Passion and Urgency must rule the day to gain and maintain momentum.
The Leaders Stop Learning & Stop Growing.
Success is the number one danger to future success. Number one mistake successful leaders make? We stop learning from others. We begin to lack perspective. Every learning, growing leader I know leads a learning, growing organization. Every stagnated leader I know leads a stagnated organization. Don't allow that to happen to you and the organization you lead.
We would love to help you protect the momentum you have or gain the momentum you need. Check out The Momentum Audit!
On Friday, June 29, 2018, Toys R Us will close its last store. What once was THE toy store is no more. Rumors are that they will sell the name to an Asian Company for an undisclosed amount and that will be the end of an era. I have always believed that there is a lot to learn, not only from our own failures, but from the failures of others.
What can we learn from Toys R Us’ demise?
How do we keep our story from becoming like that of Toys R Us?
Three Ways To Avoid Becoming a Toys R Us1. Keep the First Impression First.
When Toys R Us first opened, when you walked in the store it felt like something out of Disneyland, with lights, music, multiple elaborate displays, and even a Cartoon-Like Giraffe character walking through the aisles taking pictures with the kids. We went to the store, not just for a transaction, but for an experience.Over time, Toys R Us began to pursue expansion over the first impression customer experience. I see this happen all the time in churches, restaurants...even doctor’s offices! As we grow and expand, we must also keep a close eye on maintaining a very strong, engaging, first impression customer experience. If we lose the WOW factor that made us special in the beginning, it will eventually bite us in the heel. By the way, the store, office, campus, or worship service is never the first impression. Our website is now the first impression a customer gets. Amazon and others came along and offered a better first impression experience online, and it was the beginning of the end for them. Pay closest attention to the first impression!
2. Don’t Try To Do Too Much.
When Toys R U first opened, they didn’t try to offer every toy imaginable. They created elaborate displays to highlight some of the new and most innovative products hitting the market, salted in a few additional products on the shelves behind it, and people gobbled up their products. As Toys R Us, aged, they felt the pressure to offer everything that every other toy store offered, the aisles got more crowded with STUFF, and innovative things began to get lost in all the minutia. As our organization grows, we tend to feel the same pressure. Even “Babies R Us” was a failed experiment that did nothing to slow the organization’s demise! Offering MORE was never the solution. We must constantly fight the temptation to get in the race of trying to offer MORE than everyone else, or even offer what everyone else is offering and doing what everyone else is doing. Instead, we stick to our core and the few things we do better or differently than anyone else. Less...is More!
3. Customer. Service.
In the beginning, Toys R Us had the best toy people who had the best training. Over time, they began to think so much of their brand they they thought they could get by with less than the best customer service. Customer service is dead in most franchise situations, and the market is ripe for smaller, boutique locations to WOW people with the Customer Service. Target is gaining on Wal-Mart right now, not because they offer more products and service, but because they offer higher paid, more well trained, more staffed locations, with shorter lines and warmer staff. Customer Service is the new Blue Ocean. No one is doing it! Amazon can’t offer that. Wal-Mart won’t. You can.