Saturday, June 16, 2007

Foundations for Transformational Leadership

Building strong foundations is key for the Transformational Leader. In order to succeed, it is crucial to know what you want. To know what you want, it is important to know who you are and what you value. The worksheets in this section provide a format for discovery and planning. Start where you are by first identifying the current reality. Identify what you value before going on to structure your Vision and Mission. Once these steps are complete, then it’s time to identify specific goals and write them down.
Another other key factor is: winners don’t work in a vacuum. The concept of a “Mastermind Alliance,” developed by Napoleon Hill in 1937, is still as valuable today as it was then. Hill interviewed numerous successful leaders and constructed his theory of success.

Permission is given to copy the worksheets. Copy and use them for drafts before making a final version. Copy and update them each year. A five-year plan remains relevant if it is revised and updated each year. It is an organic model that remains five years in the future each year as it is revised. Do not fill out these worksheets and put them away where they will be forgotten. Put them in a place that will provide a prompting to view them on a regular schedule. Major goals may be important enough to view each and every morning! Keep these positive affirmations in the front of your thinking constantly. Believe it can be accomplished and it will!

Delve deep for rich and complete thoughts using specific language. Know what you want. Identify it exactly. Then you will know how to get there. Use the objectives section to articulate “baby steps” toward your goal. Don’t get discouraged by a big picture goal that seems too big. Give yourself small steps and celebrate accomplishing each one of them!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tools for Transformational Leaders

Foundational Tools

Values, Vision & Mission
On 3x5 index cards, make a list of what you value, group the list by category, subject or some other method and name each group. You can use a large flat surface like a dining room table or countertop. After you finish this exercise reflect on the results. After all this, type the results into a word processing document and print it out. Post is where you can review it for at lease one week.

Next, lest statements about your personal vision for your life, your career or your family. Group those statements in the same way and write a “Vision Statement” in a single, comprehensive, but brief form. This is a “Defining Statement” that describes your primary purpose, your vision for your life. Create a statement about the future and express it in present tense. A vision statement can be expressed in a brief response to a question in an elevator. It describes your purpose as a concept.
A Mission Statement is the application of your vision. Repeat the steps for constructing the vision statement, but do not limit the content. Let the content of this statement describe how you will accomplish your vision.

Powerful Goal Setting
Once you have identified what is important in your life and career, then and only then will you be able to construct and accomplish powerful goals for transformation. Goals should be S M A R T! That is:
Specific – define exactly what you want to accomplish
Measurable – define the quantifiable results, exactly as you want them to be
Accountable – share the goal with someone who will hold you accountable
Realistic – set goals that you have a reasonable chance of accomplishing
Timed – set a target date for completion

Transformational Leaders have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and enlist the leaders around them to build the path to accomplishing that vision. It is essential that the leader articulates and shares the vision through SMART goals.

Alliances with professionals in a Mastermind group will provide unique support for success. Here are some basic tips for a Mastermind Alliance:
• Choose people you respect – learn from those who are successful.
• Set the size of the group – 4 to 6 is ideal; there is time for everyone to interact.
• Plan to meet on a regular basis – weekly or bi-monthly, but often enough to do good.
• Set the length of the meeting – one hour works unless there is a meal.
• Set a schedule that allows time for each person to share – stick to it.
• Ensure that each member is committed to the common goal.
• Challenge each other to stretch because of this group.

Relationship Tools

Collaboration vs. Competition
Ineffective leaders and dysfunctional teams work in a competitive environment. This is counter-productive to success in many cases. Establishing a collaborative climate where everyone celebrate the success of each team member and the success of the team as a whole will empower and enable maximum achievement with the least amount of conflict.

In some organizations, a collaborative climate is counter-intuitive and must be taught. Once the team experiences the power of collaboration, there will be no other choice that will suffice.

Team Strategies
Clearly define the structures and systems for process, especially the process for decision-making. Communicate each step to each person present as well as those missing from team session. Consider who else need to know the information. Those not on a team in a formal way can contribute in surprising ways to a project’s ultimate success.

Teams come together with a variety of skills and diverse background. Each person has an idea of how team process works and how decisions are made. Therefore, in order to prevent unproductive conflict, it is important that the team defines its guideline for operation and guidelines for what to do when decisions cannot be made easily and also what to do when things do not go as planned.

Empowering Those Whom You Lead
In order to have the leaders around you support a common vision, it is crucial that you let go of things that others can do and get out of the way so they can get going. Getting out of the way, however, does not mean abandonment. Give the encouragement, information and structure needed for success. Remember, if they look good, you look good.

Systems: Tools and Techniques

Effective Time Management
In order for the leader to be a effective leader, that person must be in command of his or her own schedule. Modeling good systems will inspire and encourage others to do the same. Integrity in leadership is doing what you preach. Manage your time and lead others to do the same.

Conducting Energized Meetings
One of the biggest quenchers of team enthusiasm is holding boring, unproductive meetings. If team members fell that their time is wasted, they are not encouraged to be productive in their own areas of responsibility.

Define the systems for process and have effective structure for defining options and making decisions together. Use visual aids when working with groups. It is important not only that team members know what to expect in team meetings, but moreover it is crucial that they know what their role is and what to expect next. It is also important that information for decisions be visible for a reminder of what the options are.

Leading Teams
Be the leader. Know who your team members are and what you can expect of them.
Working “Smarter” not “Harder”

Plan for success or you will be planning for failure. Working smarter means that you are in command of your schedule and that you know how much is expected of you and when it is expected. Planning prevents failure which saves time and energy. This is smarter!

Quality of Life: Tools for Balance

Personal Relationships
Make and keep relationship outside the workplace. Provide a change of pace and change in personalities for balance and variety. Don’t burn out with the same routine with the same people hay after day. Variety and rest will make a leader more productive.

Spiritual and Physical Health
Set and maintain a reading and exercise schedule for mental and spiritual balance an physical health. If a leader is felling good, then they can think more clearly and get more done.

Balance and Wholeness
Schedule reading, planning, rest, spiritual renewal time just like you schedule work. Keep track of your schedule for at least two weeks to see how its working.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Transforming Teams

Develop Effective Process
Relationship BECOMES Process
Process CREATES Trust
Trust FORMS Community
Community BUILDS Relationships

The Transformational Leader works with people. Working with people means establishing systems that people can understand and follow. The sequence above is true about teams. You recruit persons for your team because you know and trust them. However, factors in a personal relationship do not necessarily transfer to a good team relationship. You tend to overlook the faults and inconsistencies of friends. In a team, that is not always possible. Each team member must depend on other members to perform effectively. If the leader overlooks the faults of a friend, then the relationship with other team members is damaged.

Therefore, you recruit a person because of a relationship, but process replaces that relationship and creates trust, community and a different relationship for the team members as a whole.

Transformational Leaders understand change. Change is necessary for transformation. The leader, however, must be willing to change first before expecting others to be willing to change. The transformation begins with the leader--and then moves to the team.

The templates and worksheets that follow are intended to give the leader some structure for discipline, both personally and for the team as a whole.

In order to be creative, there must be a foundation of planning, structure and commitment to excellence. It is possible to be creative and work in a structure. Computer programmers and musicians must be creative and have to work within an unforgiving structure. Leaders can be more creative when a structure is in place, thus giving the team the freedom to focus on being creative and not on structure.

Look at your skill set first--then help others do the same. They will respect your discipline and preparation. Do not, however, prepare all the content, if you expect team participation. Plan what results you desire then let the team build the journey together, then they will own it, also. As each person learns to trust the process, the team will mature and the new community will be created.

The Transformational Leader must give attention to the details of leadership and group dynamics to keep the process moving. If the leader wants to be involved in all the tasks, then there is no need for a team. Delegate and follow up as the leader.

Get transformational leadership resources at:

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Building Leaders

Get to know all the people in the group over which you have leadership responsibility. Know their skills and desires. Know who can do what task and who will likely want to do what task. Leaders must be an example of the traits they expect their volunteers and staff to manifest in their duties. A good leader must also know what to ask from people and where to assign them. Do not expect a duck to act like an eagle. All of the positive modeling in the world will not change reality.

Choose wisely, and it will make you happy. It will make them happy. It will make the church happy. And you will get more accomplished! This means asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. Do not make assumptions here. Listen carefully to your staff and volunteers, and ask specific questions. Consider giving people a choice of different tasks and see how they respond. Sometimes people will agree to perform tasks that are not their first preference if they have previously been affirmed by the successful completion of a task they do prefer. Leadership is about relationship and personal fulfillment. If they feel affirmed and you have earned the right to ask because of your relationship, then they will be more willing to do more for you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Transform Yourself, continued

Getting too focused on programs, goals, and strategies can and will keep a leader away from the main focus on the spiritual journey. Keep your focus on God’s work through your work. God transforms people through the talents given to you.

Set and keep a daily routine for personal devotion. Read constantly. Listen constantly to God’s messages in the readings, through others, and in prayer and meditation. God leads; we follow. We lead, and others follow. Don’t let that chain be broken. It is through God’s power that we succeed. Read and remember scripture that relates to following God and that relates to God’s equipping.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Transform Yourself

Continually sharpen your skills for proficiency, and continually focus your devotional life so that you are Transformational Leader transforming followers spiritually. After all is said and done, the end result should be spiritual renewal, spiritual transformation and spiritually equipping people for Christian service.