Issue No. 18 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features another book and a bucket. Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Financial Corporation, writes “If you have mediocre management, you will have a company with mediocre performance. There is no cure for mediocrity except to surgically extract it out of the organization, particularly out of the senior management level. Mediocre managers inevitably recruit mediocre people.” (From the book, The Best Investment Advice I Ever Received.)
Trying Versus Training: God Is Not Impressed With Your New Year’s Resolutions!
Happy New Year! John Ortberg said that “following Jesus simply means learning from him how to arrange my life around activities that enable me to live in the fruit of the Spirit.” He writes, “The traditional term for such activities is ‘spiritual disciplines.’ But for many people, that term carries associations of legalism, or attempting to earn God’s goodwill, or something like New Year’s resolutions—good intentions that are neither practical nor world-changing.”
In the footsteps of Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline) and Dallas Willard (The Spirit of the Disciplines), Ortberg gave us The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People almost 10 years ago. His humor and his plain-spoken practical theology shine through and it remains one of my favorite books. (He joked about calling it Dallas for Dummies.)
Read the third chapter for his core message, “There is an immense difference between training to do something and trying to do something.” He adds, “Spiritual transformation is not a matter of trying harder, but of training wisely.” Example: A New Year’s resolution to pray more every day may accomplish little if it doesn’t lead to being a more God-honoring person.
He warns do-gooders that God is not impressed with the activity of training. “Spiritual disciplines are to life what calisthenics are to a game. Once the game starts, basketball players get no bonus points based on how many free throws they shot in practice. The only reason to practice them is to be able to make them in a game.”
As you inspire your team in this new year, focus on results not activity. As you pray and practice spiritual disciplines this year, remember that those activities are not ways to get extra credit from God. If you’re not becoming more loving, you’re wasting your practice time.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
#1. On your own, give yourself a spiritual self-assessment. Are you trying harder to be a true disciple of Jesus or are you training to be his disciple?
#2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” What kind of Christianity do you desire?
The Daily Drucker: Insights from the Management Buckets Workshop Experience
Not every team member arrived with management savvy, but you can inspire and encourage life-long management learning. Here’s an idea. Give your team members a copy of The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done, by Peter F. Drucker.
Once a month, host a “Drucker Lunch” and invite everyone to bring their book and give brief reports on new insights or interesting Druckerisms. Bullet point the memorable comments and post them on the bulletin board.
In our Management Buckets Workshop Experience, we identify numerous Druckerisms in The Drucker Bucket, one of 20 Critical Competencies Required for Leading and Managing Today’s Nonprofit Organization. Email me for the 2007 workshop dates.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
#1. Surprise! We’re ending this staff meeting early today so you can get back to your exciting work. However, take five minutes at your desk and “Google” Peter Drucker and see what you can learn from the father of modern management.