The Words We Use Matter

In his book The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle tells the fascinating story of some experiments that Stanford psychologist and author Carol Dweck has conducted with fifth graders in multiple settings. The fifth graders were put into two different groups and given the same tests. After completing the first test, the first group was told, “You […]

6 Ways to Build a Culture of Feedback

Under the guise of “being nice,” many leaders fail to offer feedback to those they lead. Instead, they often ignore or work around the deficiency. Because feedback is an essential ingredient in development, teams and individuals suffer when leaders fail to provide it. So how do you, as a leader, develop a culture of feedback in […]

The Cruelty of No Feedback

Better an open reprimand than concealed love. The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive. (Proverbs 27:5-6) According to the proverb, it is loving to provide corrective feedback to those you love. Corrective feedback, of course, is not about being right or about making a point. The motivation […]

When “Everyone Is Saying…”

Perhaps one day it will happen. Perhaps one day the statement “Everyone is saying…” will really mean everyone is saying. Perhaps one day the statement “A lot of people think…” will really mean a lot of people think. But so far, in nearly twenty years of ministry, “Everyone” has never been everyone. And “A lot […]

Three Problems with Over-Quoting the Leader

In many organizations and ministries, people often over-quote their leader. Even in organizations where leaders involve others in decision-making, lead in community, and submit themselves to accountability, the over-quoting often occurs. It is an epidemic that lowers ownership, fosters disunity, and unintentionally creates the perception that the leader is leading in isolation. If I lead […]

Discuss the Process

Imagine this scenario. A pastor and team of leaders invest months in crafting a vision or purpose statement. They have late-night meetings with pizza and M&Ms. They debate the wording. They choose key Scriptures to emphasize the direction of the church. They are filled with excitement, and they come up with a plan to share […]

Reminded, Not Instructed

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Sometimes we forget the fact that New Testament letters like Paul’s to the Romans were originally meant to be read, studied, and practiced in community. Commands like these from Romans 12, then—to rejoice, to be patient, to be persistent in prayer—are not just for […]

The Folly of Mr. Autocorrect

If you communicate via text messaging, Mr. Autocorrect is often your friend. He appears to be highly educated, knows more words than you know, and knows how to spell words that you never were able to spell correctly. Thus, you often trust him to automatically correct misspelled words for you as you feverishly type messages […]

How To Respond When People Aren’t Responding

Church leaders have often asked me how to handle a staff or a congregation that is not exactly eager to follow pastoral leadership. How do we respond when people are not responding to our leadership? First, we must realize that leadership is not easy. It is extremely difficult. One of my mentors once told me, […]

The Importance of Clarity

Clarity is the ability of the process to be communicated and understood by the people. A clear process has ability. It has the ability to be easily communicated and understood. Clarity involves certainty, and it eliminates confusion. For a church to be simple, the process must have a high degree of clarity. Clarity and simplicity […]