The Speed of Trust and the 3Cs

Good leaders surround themselves with good leaders.  Good teams submerge themselves in good practices.  Good people doing good action with good processes produce great results.   It works.  Great results flow. They don’t take onerous work. The people, the action, and the process make it happen.

So what does a great flow look like?  Trust builds on competency, chemistry, and character.  Trust greases the skids of great and right results.  Look for trust.  When it exists, the 3Cs are most likely in place.

There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world – one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love.  Stephen M.R. Covey on Trust

What does trust look like?

Loyalty:  When trust exists the backdoor bickering is silent.  Ever have a cohort who constantly bickers?  Character prevails. Loyalty extends in every direction.  A disloyal worker will bring strife into every decision.  Loyal people listen and learn and run with direction.

Rapid Results:  When trust exists people are busy doing the next thing.  The constant questioning goes away.  Vision is caught and integrated into daily action. Chemistry is activated.

Right Action:  When trust exists the team knows they can run and make mistakes.  They are responsible to keep each other informed and know what to do.  Competency is not a question.

Do The Hard Thing:

Team Building:  A manager asked me recently, “Phil, what do I do when these three seem out of sync constantly?  I have solid processes.  The people are trained.  Communication is constant.  Yet, we just can’t get the flow moving?”   Answer:  Look for the weakened link.  Somewhere, someone has lost vision or never had it.  They are not with the team.   Check out my series of TEAM articles on Shepherdok.net .  There are some tips on structure, action, accountability, adherence, and alliance.   Find the person out of sync.

  • If they are in a slump and have been faithful in the past, see if you can discover their angst and help them solve it. You can’t solve the issues of the soul.  You can provide the right environment to heal if it has been damaged.
  • Do not attack them. Many managers make this mistake and lose quality team members. Not only will you lose a friend and supporter, this is an act of treason on your part.  The rest of the team will sense your disloyalty to one member and you have become the joint out of sync.
  • If they have never shown faithfulness, release them to follow their heart. They are not with you and will destroy the rest of the team.  Let me be strong here.  If you have done your best and a team player resists, release them.  They will not become happy because you are a great person.  They will tear at the rest of the team’s joy and trust and productivity.  Release them and your team can go forward.  Their passion is elsewhere.  Help them get to it.  Be graceful and firm.

Stand strong. Build a great team.  Build a better organization forward.

Boldly Break It Off!

excerpted from Time To Lead (available on Amazon.com)timetolead

Break Off Old Relationships

Radical action causes us to look for new anchors.

II Kings 18:4: He (Hezekiah) removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made (during a time of destruction as a focal point): for in those days the children of Israel burned incense to it (turned the one use object into a sort of a god): and he called it Nehushtan (piece of brass).

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Base Living:Human nature leans toward base living. As much as we would like to complement our humanity, it simply will decay into animalistic expression left unchecked. Values and character are built over time and circumstance. Truth, honesty, courage, and compassion in a community do not come from standing on the corner and watching. They come from purposeful and determined action of many individuals over time.

Urgency: Hezekiah in his young heart knew action had to be taken. He sensed the urgency of the moment and moved off of the sidewalk of people watching. Hezekiah seized the day throughout his life. At this trend-setting juncture, he established a position of “no retreat” by tearing out the places to which people could retreat.

Disequilibrium: Creating disequilibrium for those caught in a vacuum of disillusionment and distortion of vision can be a necessity. When wanting to move forward into new territory, it is many times absolutely necessary to take away reminders of a destructive past. Radical action causes us to look for new anchors. Even a good thing in the brass serpent, which God meant for good when it was created, can become an evil reminder and a draw backwards instead of forward.

Hezekiah broke off old relationships that pointed the wrong direction in establishing and living in greatness before God with the people.

Ugandan Change AgentUgandan President Yoweri Museveni stood against the curve. After discovering a third of his army officers were HIV positive, he determined to make a stand. The President started a hard and loud program focusing on faithfulness and sexual purity. It was against the cultural curve. The nation had a culture of free sexual activity with multiple partners. He called for cultural change as an answer. The results were astounding. HIV percentages dropped 15% over a decade.

There have been many detractors to his actions. But he took them. He stood against the curve and called for a break with old relationships at a national and individual level.

 Respond with Action: What symbols of antiquity cause your vision to look backwards? What about the people with whom you partner? What ideas are anchored in the past but not the future? What keeps character tied to a post?

Pray with Faith: These are challenging words, Lord of Life. You have plans for me to succeed and prosper in all I do. You have focus on my future. There are many around me waiting on my action. Deliver me from the death of apathy. Deliver me from the shroud of inaction. Cause me to come to Your fresh and living waters. Cause me to see those obstacles that bind me and those around me to the past. Birth this greatness in me, Father. I commit to see life in a new light. Help me to purge the distractions that draw me backwards.

 

Prepare Your Will

excerpted from Time To Lead: Steps To Transformation For Those and Those You Lead

timetoleadLeaders are able to reroute their path to meet core vision and objective.

Hezekiah was a God-Follower. It Changed His Life To Obedience

 II Kings 18: 5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

Rest in this – it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you. Jim Elliot

 Rule Well

Hopefully, we rule well. Our challenge is to address the issues of today that have been left unaddressed, too long. Our challenge is to set a powerful course that will reverse the manners in which we have become accustomed and find a course that will guide for decades. Our nation has lost moral compass and needs a strong thrust to establish a critical course for the future. It will be disastrous if we do not engage and adjust.

Principles Work

Leadership is leadership. Anyone can see results if they adhere to the principles. The more principles invoked, the greater the leadership. Yet, sometimes, it only takes one principle to fit with the timing of events and a great leader emerges. A leader empowered with the love and wisdom of God through Christ has a distinctive “accelerator” in results. God works with us doing miracles. (Mark 16)

Real Success

There are leaders entrenched in manipulation and avarice and greed. That is not where we need to look for example. Study them. Understand them. Avoid the fault lines. Men like Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin need to be studied. Understanding why people followed such leaders is important, but not wisdom to emulate. People will follow base leadership that touches their prurient side. That does not make a successful leader or leave a better world.

 Worthy Goals

Earl Nightingale identified success as the progressive realization of a worthy goal. I like that definition. So my first test of greatness in leadership is a worthy goal. Is the goal one that builds other people? Is the goal one that adds to productivity? One U.S. company has the goal of producing the best “sin product”. Cigarettes, beer, snuff; anything that is damaging and addictive but legal for consumption is on their agenda. The greatest influence leader in that organization would not be considered successful in my estimation. There is no worthy goal in contributing to the destruction of human bodies and relationships.

Check The Core

If the core philosophy or goal or vision or mission is off center, scrap that example. Study those leaders and goals to understand the ways and wiles of mankind. Look for your own leadership example elsewhere. If you find your goals and methods following a leader with an unworthy goal, find a good closet for repentance, change your mindset, and get corrected. Some of the greatest leaders in history started with an unworthy focus, shifted, and become powerful in building communities. The ability to correct direction when it has gone awry is a quality of a great leader.

Pray with Faith: In the intensity of change, Lord, I look to You for guidance.  Mold my mind, will, and emotion to be Yours.

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Risk It! The Better Way Mentality

Every progressive effort starts with a step toward change and a holy dissatisfaction with status quo.

Phil:3:13: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

 A winner …says, “There is a better way.”.

training

 A loser…. says, “That is the way it has always been done around here.”

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

 Life is full of opportunities to continue to do the same things.  One man defined insanity this way: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Expectations, persistence of others, voices from the past, and other forces impugn on our ability to think new, creative thoughts about what we do.

How do you get into the “better way” mentality?  A favorite saying of mine is, “If it ain’t broke, break it.”  What?  Don’t you mean, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”   No, I meant what I wrote.  “If it ain’t broke, break it.”   Many times we build traditional barriers around an activity structured on preference and our limited understanding at the time.  A man displayed curiousity about the way his wife cooked a roast beef.  She would always cut the ends off.  Thinking there must be a great culinary secret to this method he asked her why.  “I don’t know,” she replied, “my mother taught me that way.”  Pressed for information on the private process he went to her mother.    “I don’t know,” she replied, “my mother taught me that way.”  Perplexed he drove to the matron of the family’s home and asked again.  “Oh,” she quickly responded, “my roasting pan was too short to hold the full roast.”

Most processes need to be repaired regularly.  Now, you don’t want to tear up a good thing, so there are many other rules of change and improvement like: Always give a change time to go through the curve of lagging productivity until people learn the new way and become adept before implementing the next change. AND  Any change will be resisted in strength in direct proportion to its’ potential for improvement.

Life is full of processes and a “better way” mentality will protect you from foolish failure.  A computer tech went out to resolve a problem one day in an executive secretary’s office.  Seemed that every time she printed a letter she first had to print all the letters she had ever printed.   It took an half a box of paper to print a letter!  The cost and time of doing her job that way finally overcame her embarrassment and she asked for help.  The fix was simple.  She was simply doing what she had been shown.  Open a file, go to the end, type the letter, print it.  Problem was she had only be given one file name and all the letters since she began her job were in one file that she printed each time according to explicit instructions.  Absurd?  Real.  Fortune 500 company.  Executive secretary doing something that needed to be broken.

What about the way we converse with others?  What about how we walk into a meeting?  What about how we greet our friends?  Are those processes that could use some “better way” mentality?

Jesus broke the mold for some in the way they treated their parents in a story related in Matthew 15.  God gave a principle.  Honor your fathers and mothers.  They made a rule that discluded them conveniently.  Tradition overruled wisdom and principle, and Jesus saw through the smoke.   Matt 15:6:  Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12: 1-2  NIV.

Principle is principle is principle.  Relationships, work issues, projects, and hobbies all present problems.  When you allow others to help in the process, you prosper quicker.  Sometimes they have the solution you need.  Always, Jesus has the solution you need.

Take Inventory

Where do you have a process, a way of doing things that really could use some improvement by being broken?

Are you ready to give up personal preferences and do what it takes to “break it and make it better” ?

Can you think of a scripture to apply that can help you into “better way” mentality?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

Pray To Be Changeable

Father, quicken my mind and heart.  Life is full of processes.  You know the one that needs breaking and bettering at this moment.  God, I can get so confused with all of the items in life.  What item can I work on today?  What am I doing that really does more damage than good?  Where can I get a lift seeing you touch a new area of my life and give me a creative fresh approach?  Cleanse my thinking, Lord.  Jesus, be my wisdom, be my source, be my life giver.  Holy Spirit release the fresh wind of Your brooding.  Brood over my thoughts and bring order to their chaos that I might see clearly what You want to create.

Risk It! Find A Way

A winner says, “Let’s find a way.”     A Loser says, “There is no way”

Rv:2:7: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.training

A winner says, “Let’s find a way.”

A Loser says, “There is no way”

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

 Problems are life.  A great book written some years back is entitled, “Eating Problems For Breakfast.”  Another great book published years ago was “Lateral Thinking”.  Both of these books challenge us to remember that problem solving requires getting outside our normal boxes of thought and thinking different thoughts.  When we are ready to do that, we can see incredible solutions to plaguing problems.

Recently in the children’s department of a large church, the problem of space for growth came up.  The main area for elementary kids would only hold about 150 chairs, crammed uncomfortably with bad visibility.  There had to be a way.  After 15 years of looking at the problem, no one had a real viable solution.  It took getting outside the box.

Walking through another room planned for remodel a worker struck on an old idea with a new twist.  A choir loft seating about 75 adults was going to be torn out.  Why not split the loft and reassemble it in the kids area as bleachers?  The new use of an old item would make room for 100 new kids.  Not only that, but it took up little used space in the room and changed the room to a more exciting place for the kids and allowed over 250 kids to be in the room with all of them having good visibility.  Add to that another idea of doubling the lumens in the lighting and the whole idea gelled.  Unusable, dim space was turned into light, great space because some folks though outside the box against 15 years of  “no way”.  (Sunbonnet: The cost was only a few dollars as the labor was volunteered along with some great carpet to cover the bleachers. The cost of purchasing bleachers and installing a new lighting system would have been over $10,000.)

 1 Pt:1:7: That the trial (testing by presenting of problems)of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

This principle applies in all areas of life.  Tests, trials, opportunities, problems, glitches, frustrations, whatever you call them come up. Persistent prayer and thought can bring new light (couldn’t resist) and a different way to attack the problemFaith pushes through to solutions.  Fear stares at the problem and gives up.

Take Inventory

Do you have a long term problem that needs fixing?    How can you persist again and say, “There has to be a way!”?

What can you do today to get past the idea that you have to live with that old problem?

Make Application

Write what you are going to specifically do in the next 30 days about this.

 Pray To Be A Problem Solver

 Father, quicken my mind and heart.  Encourage faith in me to believe again for something on which I have given up hope.  You are so real and alive and active in everything that is.  Stretch my faith.  Let me be like the one who said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief.”.  Give me the courage to try a new approach and see Your had displayed.

Marketing Within

Decades of working in corporate politics can leave you scarred and scattered.  There is no need for that.  In a series for American Printer, I’m reviewing tips for a specific service provision to large corporations.  Enjoy and apply to your endeavors.    This particular service is multi-channel marketing as an ongoing service.  Many print service providers are finding survival means adapting and becoming new.  Whether you are internal to an organization or serving the larger engine of an organization, the rules are similar.

Take a read and ask a question.  This is only one of a series of articles addressing this service.  Others cover staffing, workflow, conceptualization, and will move on to business model for effectiveness.

http://americanprinter.com/columnists/phil-larson/multi-channel-marketing-012315-ampr-phil-larson

Common Grounds: 4 As of Team: Identify Structure

Twin Bridges
courtesy robbharper.com

Teamwork is not simple and not common. A well functioning team is powerful and poised for growth. Why do you allow areas of your company to operate with dysfunction? Do you realize the power of synergy you lose? Great teams have accountability, adherence, action, and alliance knit into performance and decisions. To adopt the Four As of Team identify where you are.  Executives must lead.

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today

Command and Controlwere the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  Steve Jobs

Command and Control: This can be good practice in crisis and creation. But, it does not resemble team. A command and control structure with hierarchical dictates allows for quick obedience. It also promotes mindless action. You had better be ready to lose thoughtful workers. This is great in a battlefield of well defined parameters. It is death when you need mental acuity and engaged creativity.

Laissez Faire: Apathetic management will render apathetic results. How often have you found a manager so afraid of making mistakes that decisions linger? Indecision runs rampant and results wander further off target over time. Many times this is symptomatic of Command and Control structure in the higher hierarchy. Managers freeze because they know every decision is really made in an upper level and they have no authority, just responsibility. And that is a disease, not a management practice. Team? Not on your life. Everyone lives for himself. Finger pointing and blame shifting become survival necessities.

Helicopter Micro Management: Wow. This one is painful for every worker. Authority to make decisions may be released, but any small mistake is noted and put into the brown stamp book for later redemption. This environment breeds anger. Rewards are rare except to the micro manager, who redeems all the good points for her own benefit. There might be a team of workers gelled to mutinous intent. This is common in highly political organizations.

Staff Rules: This dysfunctional team approach is gaining ground in many organizations. Executives, directors, and managers are afraid of the employees. What if they don’t like me and my vision? What if they go somewhere else? What if they file a complaint with HR? What if, what if, and what if cause managers to check in with employees on every decision. This is entitlement mentality and will lower and lower productivity to the level of the most charismatic laggard in the shop. The danger is that managers believe this will improve morale. The exact opposite is true. People thrive on leadership that is decisive, non-political, visionary, supportive, and fair. It is not fair to allow the least productive the same reward as the most productive in a free market economy. The dichotomy of this approach is that executives begin making hidden decisions because it is impossible to please everyone. So really, you are living in Command and Control with a ruse of inclusion.

Courage and Consequence: The best team structure rewards both courage and consequence. There is a reward system for the over achievers.  There is a consequence system for the under achievers. It may not be money. It may be getting more training or being included on key work teams or allowance for a flexible schedule or whatever works for the producer. Isn’t that going to be interpreted as “teacher’s pet” activity? Sure. Deal with it. That is the courage part. Courage starts with the executive and director.

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.  C. S. Lewis

Summary: Identify your team. Where are you? How did you get there? Is it where you want it? In next week’s article I address the As of accountability and adherence that make powerful and productive team. You cannot afford to lag in the first four structures. Neither can you change overnight. I’ll give you solid tips on making transitions built over time and tension and triumph.

COMMON GROUNDS: These tidbits come out of daily consternations, comments, and 

ROI/ROEconcerns of real managers doing what needs done. Executives gain insight.

 This article focuses on the Be Responsible triad of the operational pyramid.

 

Let’s talk: Phil Larson or Shepherd Consulting OK

Common Grounds: Razor Sharp Relationships – 10 Risk Taker Tips

With one client, when I took an antagonistic department head into the inner workflow of the shop, I was frozen with fear.  Surely they would tear the client apart in front of some executive over a small disagreement of approach.  On the contrary, they reciprocated and let me into their workflow.  We built a cooperative system of workflow that ended up in our locking shop and customer into a 100% provider relationship”

Read the full article by Phil on GCWORLDBZ

Common Grounds: Razor Sharp Relationships – 10 Risk Taker Tips.

Renaissance Man – There is No Box

Danny DeVito starred in an acclaimed movie entitled, Renaissance Man.   He impacted others to believe outside the restrictions of present systems.  My junior year of university, Dean Musselman tagged me with that title.  As he reviewed my business, psychology, literature, religion, and sociology mix of courses, he both scratched his balding dome and complimented me for being broad in my quest for understanding.  Renaissance leads to revelation.  There is no box.

Wikipedia defines the Renaissance Man as “A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”), is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems”

renaissanceman

My personal form comes in taking a few keen skills honed over many iterations in business, community, and congregation and offer them to you.  Most of us in our journeys do not discover who we really can be until later in life.  Some find the path early.  Finding and early path to late discovery is a joy.

Excellence in operations and communications really shouts what I want to say to you.  Business, community, and home are fields of prosperity.  Leadership in community (business, government, education, non-profit), leadership in the people services (non-profit, congregation) and leadership in the home (fathers and families) build the environment in which healthy, dedicated, morally and emotionally and socially competent individuals and groups develop in balance and holistic health.

Contact me to assist in improving your business results.

Contact me to assist in improving your non-profit or congregation results:

Contact me to assist in your family results:

Contact me to GET RESULTS.. 405.388.8037 cell/text

 

Fix The Plumbing

Don’t hand your customer toilet paper for a messy problem. Fix the plumbing.

Creative managers create solutions alongside staff. Duct tape and WD40 and vise grips may be all that is needed to do small jobs around the house. That won’t do in a productive and viable business. You need to fix the plumbing. You need to eliminate the repeating problem. You need to take responsibility instead of putting the issue in the customer’s hands. Don’t make them clean it up.

Good service management attends to a few items. There are incidents and service requests, problems and changes. Keep clarity between items. Address appropriately.

Incidents and Service Requests: These two items make up the bulk of customer service.

A service request is what we live to do. A customer asks for a product or service to be delivered. So do it. Do it with excellence and alacrity. Do it with pizzazz and punctuality. Do it. A service request may ask for an altered product or service or a new product or service. That means we have to jump into the area of change and that is another manage well article.

An incident is what we wish would never happen. While delivering a product or service, something is not right. Color is too light. The size is too big. The pizza came with pepperoni instead of black olives. The customer wanted 250 and we delivered 1000. While working with a client, every other email returned an error. My service provider was experiencing incidents. Thankfully they cleared the issue, but not before my customer had to wait extra minutes waiting on reports to be delivered as I had promised. Incidents need to be restored to proper service levels immediately and product or service delivered.

Problems and Changes: Confuse these and your customers will suffer unreasonable delays and constant delivery disruption.

Problems are incidents that won’t go away until a change is installed or a fix applied. A fix is just a fancy name for a change. When the plumbing backed up into my house through the shower drain, it impressed me something was tragically wrong. All the paper towels and mop buckets would not resolve this. When a problems occurs you need to look for root cause of the issue and determine a resolution or change to be made to stop the incidents from coming back. The sewer main had collapsed at the saddle in my back yard blocking all drainage from the house. The city came, sent cameras down the lines, and claimed it was an incident, it was my incident, and they were going home. I don’t think so. A friend and I dug seven foot deep in my back yard until we found the collapsed connection leading to the major collapsed connection. The city came back and repaired at much expense and then paid to restore my house to right order. Their paper towel and toilet paper solution was not going to fix my backhoe and major plumbing problem. Full repair and restoration was needed. The root cause had to be determined and a change made to get us back on track.

Changes move the nature of the service into a different order. Replacing the main saddle in my back yard not only restored right water flow out of the house, it took care of a sinkhole that could have swallowed one of my children. No one knew the sink hole existed until we dug up the yard. There were bigger problems looming that the change repaired. Changes fix things for good. Not necessarily forever, but for good. And they have potential to adjust the nature of the product or service. By handing me a toilet paper solution the city was setting us all up for some major pain.

Kudos for the city. The next time I had a city potential issue, the service manager came out, inspected, found a crack in the line feeding water to my house, repaired it, installed a new meter, and made me a happy man. It was a different experience and one for which I am grateful. Oh, they also reversed charges on my water bill even though the leak appeared to be in my pipe not the city pipe. That is service. They took responsibility for a debatable item and went an extra step. I love my city’s service.
Summary: Get your customer back to service as rapidly as possible. And then look deeper to determine if a problem exists that will cause service to be impacted again. Find the root and fix the plumbing. Work on your shop processes. Look for machine malfunctions. Examine reporting routines. Do whatever it takes to eliminate repeating incidents. Your customer will appreciate. Your business will grow.

Be Busy Building Better Business  Have a Great Day!

Phil

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I need your help. I need you to join me for lunch.  (It is okay if you want to just give to the work also if you can’t come.)

Register now. http://www.championfatherstourney.org

On Sept 16th at 11:45am join Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering, Hon. James Lankford, U.S. House of Representatives, Chuck Bowman, Larry Campbell, Imagenet+ Consulting, R.K. Black, Kimray, Tom Hill, keyevado, Shepherd Consulting, Willow Creek Golf and Country Club and others.

Your registration goes directly to works in progress at Tulakes Elementary in North OKC, Epperly Heights Elementary in Del City, East OKC, West OKC, Dad’s University, and Matamoros families. Through the support of a friend, lunch expenses are covered. That means your registration goes directly to the work.

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