Issue No. 101 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features the perfect book, with 76 mini-chapters, for motivating and inspiring your staff—and it will add that important zing for spicing up weekly meetings. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings. (Note: a later edition of this book was published under the new title of Leadership Axioms.)
Speed of the Leader, Speed of the Team
It’s been 14 years since I served as the first president of Willow Creek Association (WCA), so I was eager to read the latest book from Bill Hybels, WCA board chair and founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, near Chicago. Hybels is one of the most gifted leaders I’ve ever met. Axiom, his powerful new book with 76 pithy leadership proverbs, doesn’t disappoint.
“Speed of the leader, speed of the team,” was and is one of Bill’s oft-mentioned axioms. Few leaders make this pronouncement because the camera immediately focuses in on them. Hybels always shared that core value confidently, yet humbly. His walk and his talk backed it up. He writes, “If you cannot say, ‘Follow me,’ to your followers—and mean it—then you’ve got a problem, a big one.”
He elaborates. “Follow my values. Follow my integrity. Follow my work ethic, my commitment, and my communication patterns. Fight as I fight. Focus as I focus. Sacrifice as I sacrifice. Love as I love. Repent as I repent. Admit wrong as I admit wrong. Endure hardship as I endure hardship.” Then he concludes this one-page proverb with the whole point of it. “When requisite actions back them up, these are the words that set followers’ hearts soaring.”
Scan the 76 mini-chapter titles and you’ll be pulled into the street-smart, God-smart wisdom. They include: Language Matters, Make the Big Ask, Hire Tens, The Dangers of Incrementalism, Never Say Someone’s No for Them, The Tunnel of Chaos, Disagree Without Drawing Blood, Admit Mistakes and Your Stock Goes Up, and Arrive Early or Not at All.
This is a no-brainer book purchase—with perfect-size chapters—to add color and commentary to your staff meetings. To order from Amazon, click on this title: Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs, by Bill Hybels. Warning! Don’t carelessly toss these axioms into your repertoire without understanding the biblical and leadership context. In my days at Willow, “Don’t Screw Up” was a common benediction at meetings—but it created anxiety, not blessing. The leader knew how to communicate it, but the lieutenants didn’t.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1. In the book’s foreword, Henry Cloud writes, “Great leaders do their homework so that weariness and unsteadiness are kept at bay.” Discuss what that might mean to you in real life terms.
2. Share a leadership axiom that demonstrates a core value we live by.
Don’t Rush Analyticals - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
“Speed of the leader, speed of the team” is all well and good—but you must also remember that your team includes four distinct social styles: Analyticals, Drivers, Amiables and Expressives. They all don’t think like you think. Chapter 7, the People Bucket, in Mastering the Management Buckets, discusses how to communicate creatively with all four styles, including your boss, your direct reports, your colleagues, your spouse, your children and your friends. (Attention Pastors: Your congregation includes all four styles!)
Download the “Do’s and Don’ts for the Four Social Styles” worksheet from the People Bucket on my website for clues on communicating to team members in their unique comfort zones. For example:
To bless the Analyticals on your team:
DO…be logical and well organized.
DO…focus on past, present and future.
DO…give facts, evidence, and lots of data.
DO…focus on detail.
DO…allow time to ponder.
DO…stress how the Analytical can be assured of being right.
DON’T…be intolerant of details.
DON’T…overlook the past.
DON’T…be too personal.
DON’T…be too emotional.
DON’T…press for immediate action.
DON’T…appear to not be serious.
Avoid the “weariness of leadership” and do your homework. Become a student of the four social styles and bless your team members.
FALL 2008 WORKSHOP DATES. Join your colleagues at one of our Buckets or Board workshops this fall:
Mastering the Management Buckets Workshop Experience
September 16-17, 2008 (Colorado Springs)
October 14-15, 2008 (Chicago)
November 18-19, 2008 (Orange County, Calif.)
Nonprofit Board Governance Workshop
September 18, 2008 (Colorado Springs)
October 13, 2008 (Chicago)
November 21, 2008 (Orange County, Calif.)
For more details and to download the workshop brochures, visit The Workshop page on the Management Buckets website.