Issue No. 156 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a novel with a real life message on grace. I’ll bet any CEO $500 that behind the masks of many of their team members are sad faces needing a divine dose of grace. This book is one of my Top-5 Books of the Year for 2009. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Cheers for Bo’s Cafe
Warning. If you read this book on an airplane, you’ll have to explain to your seatmates why your eyes get teary-eyed toward the back of this can’t-put-it-down novel. (Fortunately, the middle seat was empty on my flight.)
“Why do you enjoy making everything I say sound stupid?” Steven Kerner asks his Southern California out-of-the-box mentor. The loud Hawaiian-shirted, 1970 Buick Electra-driving, cigar-smoking, becoming-a-trusted-friend responds, “I don’t. I only enjoy making the stupid things you say sound stupid.”
“Will grace finally win?” is the big question in this life-changing, profound first-person story. It’s a novel, but don’t let that fool you. It’s in-the-trenches real life. Uncomfortably so. It’s for Christ-followers who don’t and it’s for Christ-seekers who might.
Andy, the Beach Boys-era sage (with his own warts) comments, “Nothing defines religion quite as well as a bunch of people trying to do impossible tasks with limited power while bluffing to themselves that it’s working.”
Bo’s Café is the Pacific Ocean view hangout. The assembled cast is part Cheers (where everybody knows your name) and part sit-com accountability group. Carlos (who used to fake it as a pastor) guts it out about the environment of grace that is the gang at Bo’s Café:
“Listen, we don’t need places like this to become more like church. We need churches to become more like this place. You know?”
But don’t think that this is about church or Cheers. Fast-track marketing exec Steven (age 34, married, one daughter) has blown it. Married. Marriage problems. Angry. Anger problems. Serious mask problems. All the past fixes don’t fix it. “Lies picked up when we’re young can stay with us for a lifetime.”
And so enters grace. An environment of grace. I won’t spoil the story. But let me say this. I have three more months of books to review this year. I can announce already that Bo’s Café is on my Annual Top-5 list. It’s that important. You’ll hear from God and want to share it with many, many others.
I’m so grateful for John Lynch, Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol—and the whole TrueFaced team—for this gift to God’s people. William Paul Young, the author of The Shack, writes, “Bo’s Café is a treasure for all of us who harbor a longing to be authentic.” Treasure indeed.
To order this book from Amazon, click on this title: Bo’s Café: A Novel, by John Lynch, Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) In this novel, Andy (the mentor) says, “Meagan isn’t different from anyone else. She’s just another on an endless conveyor belt of those who’ve been trapped into believing a lie about themselves.” Have you ever worked with a team member like Meagan?
2) On the TrueFaced blog post on Sept. 7, 2009, John Lynch begins, “Today I’ve been thinking about that place in us that doesn’t change by will power, diligence or good intention.” He then goes on to write a hilarious, yet poignant restaurant scene about self-perception and the lies we believe. It’s a great staff meeting opener followed by this question, “What validates your worth in God’s eyes?”
Your 90-Day #1 Goal - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Results Bucket, Chapter 1, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to prioritize results with S.M.A.R.T. standards of performance (maybe 5 to 10 SOPs). Guess what? I’m suggesting everyone take a time out and focus on JUST ONE GOAL!
Here’s the shocking reality: few CEOs and even fewer senior team members and even fewer direct reports to those team members can articulate their Top-10 goals for the year. So…let’s put the cookies on the bottom shelf again.
For the next 90 days (your next quarter), ask each team member to post their ONE BIG GOAL on the whiteboard or flipchart by the coffee pot. Then, do a stand-up meeting once a week for the whole team or department (with food, of course). Go around the circle and ask each person to report on the status of their Number One goal. Celebrate goal accomplishment and encourage those who are facing challenges. Give grace (read Bo’s Café first!).
On the Buckets website, you can download a story that Peter Drucker told about goal alignment between a Fortune 500 company CEO and his VP of Marketing.
NEXT CEO DIALOGUES:
• October 1, 2009 – CEO Dialogues 1-Day Roundtable (New York City)
Click here for more information.
MANAGEMENT BUCKETS WORKSHOP:
• October 20-21, 2009 – Mastering the Management Buckets Workshop Experience (Blue Lantern Inn, Dana Point, California)
Click here for more information.