Issue No. 82 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting comes with our encouragement to—surprise—meet weekly with your team, or at least your direct reports. Mentor your team members with great books. Read them together or ask each team member to give a five-minute book review once a month. Your team can “read” 45 to 50 books a year that way if each person takes a book about every six weeks. The downside of this best practice? None! And this reminder: visit these archives to review the 80 books I’ve recommended in back issues. Plus, take a sneak peek at my new Management Buckets website—ready for the public later in April. The list of 80 books is posted there under “The Book Bucket.”
Partners—Not Peons or Parrots
“If all you give are orders,” writes U.S. Navy Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, “then all you will get are order-takers.” And so begins this new captain’s voyage to change a ship’s morale and create a polished crew of 310 self-starters. I know, I know. I recommend a new book every week. Trust me—this is a must-read!
This risk-taking leader’s dominant core value, “It’s your ship, take responsibility for it. Don’t ask permission; do it.” To order from Amazon, click on this title: It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy. Captain Abrashoff begins with his personal goal, “I was determined to be the captain these sailors deserved.” Wow. He cites a Gallup study that said 65 percent of those who leave their companies are actually leaving their managers. So Abrashoff gives fascinating and fun stories of how he injected risk-taking leadership on his ship. He developed partners, not peons or parrots.
He covers almost all of my 20 buckets: lead by example, listen aggressively, communicate purpose and meaning, create a climate of trust, look for results—not salutes, take calculated risks, go beyond standard procedure and build up your people. Some estimate that the cost of losing a trained employee is one and a half times the annual salary of the outgoing team member (“as measured by lost productivity and recruiting and training costs for the replacement”). Yikes! Quick—order the book and pass it around to every manager.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1. Captain Abrashoff writes, “If a rule doesn’t make sense, break it.” Wow—do we have that kind of “It’s your ship” mentality here? Why or why not? Give examples.
2. As you “supervise” team members (and volunteers, perhaps) are you creating order-takers or self-starters? What could you do to enhance our culture here so being a self-starter is honored?
Bucket #11 of 20: The Donor Bucket - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
Over a 20-week period, I’m featuring one of the 20 buckets (core competencies) each week from my new book, Mastering the Management Buckets (now available). Major George Hood, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army (USA National HQ), endorsed the book with this: “John Pearson has just thrown a bucket of cold water into my face…and it woke me up!” Here’s the core competency in Bucket #11 - The Donor Bucket:
“We believe that extravagant generosity is the biblical norm, not the exception. We challenge donors to give liberally to kingdom causes. We urge prayerful giving to God’s work, not for tax benefits nor budget needs. We scrutinize our methodologies not against what works, but against God-honoring principles.”
The Bible says, “Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” Paul is crystal clear in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Pastors, ministry leaders, business leaders—all Christians—are to encourage other Christ-followers to be extravagantly generous when giving to God’s work.
While many nonprofit ministry leaders excel at communicating this biblical value, it seems that local church leaders often sprint the other way. The neglect and under-emphasis of teaching true biblical giving has harmed the cause of Christ and all nonprofit organizations. Few pastors and leaders would dispute the importance of preaching and teaching the foundational doctrines and essentials of the gospel, yet God’s Holy Word teaches that believers must be extravagant givers—and somehow far too many pastors, church elders and board members just don’t believe or practice it. What can be done?
Horace Bushnell wrote, “One more revival—only one more—is needed, the revival of Christian stewardship, the consecration of the money power to God. When the revival comes, the Kingdom of God will come in a day.” Fundraising gets a lot of bad press and, unfortunately, many pastors and Christian leaders still consider this side of their ministry work to be distasteful. Their donor letters are apologetic. “I wish we didn’t have to ask you for money this month.” Others create unbiblical dichotomies between “ministry” and “fundraising.” God never intended that.
So…read the chapter on “The Donor Bucket” in my book—and share it with church leaders, nonprofit ministries and the givers in your circle of influence. Have fun being an extravagant giver!
Introduce your team members to the 20 critical core competencies every business and nonprofit must master. Attend our Management Buckets Workshop Experience. Here are some of our 2008 dates:
• April 21, 2008 (Dallas) – Mastering the Management Buckets all-day workshop at Christian Management Association’s annual conference
• May 27, 2008 (Dallas) – Mastering the Management Buckets, half-day workshop at the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions annual convention
NEXT STEPS: I can help you integrate these leadership and management best practices into your unique setting and help you assess your competencies in the 20 management buckets. Email me at John@JohnPearsonAssociates.com or visit my website at www.JohnPearsonAssociates.com and my book website at www.ManagementBuckets.com.
To bring a one-day or two-day Management Buckets Workshop Experience to your organization or city, call our office at 949/500-0334. Ditto for the six-hour Nonprofit Board Governance Workshop for board members and senior leaders.