Don’t Be Like Olive Garden

Scott McClellan, writer/editor at Echohub and author of the forthcoming book Tell Me a Story (2013), recently challenged church leaders to live into their roles by doing more than simply providing the religious goods and services requested by the majority of their parishioners (consumers).   His blog post was inspired by a story about Olive Garden that suggested the casual dining chain's leadership wants to but has been unable to improve their offerings because any "attempts at better food are Read More …

Christian Leadership

Earlier this summer Will Willimon (read my review of The Best of Will Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus’ Name - 2012) shared some challenging words for those who seek to be Christian leaders: I’ve read dozens of books on leadership, have even written a few myself.  Books on leadership tend to say, “Here are the personal qualities you must have, here are the skills you must acquire if you want to lead.”  In the world, leaders must be omniscient and omnipotent, capable and courageous, competent and Read More …

Organizational Clarity

Last week Scott Williams wrote several blog posts summarizing the sessions he attended at the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit, including one on a session led by Patrick Lencioni on the importance of organizational health.  Lencioni is the author of ten business books and president of The Table Group, where he focuses on writing and speaking about leadership and organizational life. Williams shares Lencioni's six questions every organization must ask and answer when seeking Read More …

Becoming a Rebel Leader

Sister Joan Chittister is a progressive Benedictine nun, a prolific author, and sought after speaker.  She recently gave the baccalaureate address at  Stanford University.  In this moving speech on leadership, she shared these words with the graduates and all who were gathered: No, the world does not really need the skills you learned here. Today's skills will all change in the next five years and change your life with them. The world does not need answers either. Answers are easy to come Read More …

A Simple Approach to Leadership

Scott Williams has considerable leadership experience as a prison warden, lead pastor of a congregation that grew to an average weekly worship attendance of over 3,500 during his tenure, consultant, and social media guru.  He is also the author of Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week (2011 - read my review here).  Recently, he shared his list of "10 Ways to Make Leadership Simple:" Believe In Yourself Believe In Others Point The Direction Understand That Team Read More …

The Power of Why

Seth Godin is the author of twelve books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change, and work. He is also the master of saying a great deal using relatively few words on his blog. Recently he shared this wisdom about the power of why: "Why?" is the most important question, not asked nearly enough. So What? The life of faith and the ministry of a given local community of faith both benefit tremendously from why questions.  Far too often Read More …

9 Reasons Leaders Struggle

Michael McKinney recently wrote about nine reasons why leaders struggle.  His article highlights the list Denny Strigl, former CEO and president of Verizon Wireless, includes in his recent book: Managers, Can You Hear Me Now? (2011): Managers Fail to Build Trust and Integrity. They Have the Wrong Focus. They Don’t Model or Build Accountability. They Fail to Consistently Reinforce What’s Important. They Over-rely on Consensus. They Focus on Being Popular. They Get Caught Up in Read More …

Good Followers . . .

Anthony B. Robinson is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor who currently serves as President of Congregational Leadership Northwest, and who has written several books including Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations (2008 - read my review here).  His article in the January 11, 2012 edition of the Christian Century highlights five ways people can be good followers: Good followers recognize that leadership is necessary, important and difficult Read More …

Can You Be a Leader?

Terry "Starbucker" St. Marie is a seasoned executive leader with over two decades of experience in the cable television industry, who has partnered with Liz Strauss to create  Inside-Out Thinking (a venture centered around the development of great leaders who can make a difference in any organization) and SOBCon  (a business "think tank" with a Social Media twist). On his blog, he recently shared his experience of his first job interview with a CEO, which happened while he was still in his Read More …

Being Prepared for Church Administration

Yesterday I reviewed Robert Welch's Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry, 2nd edition (2011).  In that post, I noted that his research shows most pastors graduate from seminary with little or no preparation for church administration even though the average pastor spends around half of her or his time on such tasks. When I entered seminary, I already had a solid educational and experiential background in administration outside of the for-profit sector.  I had Read More …