Face the Facts; Keep the Faith

A long time ago, I read a book in which the author penned, “Great leaders can face the facts and keep hopeful expectation for the future” (Collins in Good to Great).  I’ve been challenged to do that even more recently. The fact is, there’s a lot that I can improve on as a leader and manager. I recently got some fantastic feedback based off a book called 42 Rules For Your New Leadership Role.

I asked a key leader in each area of Aroma along with two people I knew would give honest feedback beyond their role to give ratings to each of the 42 rules. It was tough feedback, but filled with clear, actionable data to move forward on. Here are four things I suck at and a brief preview of how I plan to improve them in the next quarter:

  1. Set your milestones. It’s hard to reach a goal if you’re not sure what the goal is. I often fail to be specific in setting goals. Another book offers a great way  to outline clear goals: “From X to Y by Date.” If I can be clearer with a goal that is a “WIN” (What’s important now), people are going to know more clearly how to focus their work. This is highly related to Boundaries for Leaders. What’s important right now? If I don’t clearly say what’s most important, I have no right to be frustrated when people aren’t making forward progress on that a particular issue. It’s time for focus and clarity.
  2. Tune up your team and Launch 1:1’s that actually drive performance (2 combined). I work with many amazing people. I’m excited to see them continue to grow. I put these two together, because they’re intimately connected. As one leader recently challenged me, “You have to be spending more time with your key people.” I often turn those times into sessions that are longer than they need to be. Again, being clear about expectations at the onset allows people to focus on what’s most important. Spending tim with each person on the team is highly valuable. It’s good for their health, mine, and their future growth both personally and for the organization.
  3. Run unmissable meetings. Sometimes, I don’t even want to go to the meetings I call. That has to change. Meetings need to be compelling because they have unmissable information, healthy debate, decisiveness, and a small dose of engaging humor.
  4. Model healthy paranoia. As a big-picture, idea guy, I sometimes get annoyed when people ask things like “How’s that actually going to happen.” Fortunately, these people haven’t given up just because I’ve been rebellious. I’m learning, through more than one source, that healthy paranoia is more than useful!

I actually got a rating a little higher than an F. The good news is I passed. The great news is I still have tons of room for growth. I’m looking forward to this next season.

I encourage you as a leader or manager to ferret out feedback (one of the 42 rules) from people that you work with. It’s one of the toughest, but most fruitful, ways to learn and grow personally and professionally. If you’d like to know more about the book, the test I created, or how you can grow as a leader and manager, please drop me a line. Here’s to your success!


“Feed My Sheep” – A Call to Discipleship

In John 21, Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep. This is tied directly to John 10:11-16, a passage we recently went through at the Aroma, something that has been brought to our attention through several people sharing testimonies the last few weeks and months. This is a word that is on Aroma right now. We can feel it so strongly. God is saying: get my sheep, feed my sheep, help my sheep, heal my sheep, encourage my sheep, train my sheep, love on my sheep. And each one of you have a responsibility to this. You’re the Aroma! A simple word for some of you is that you need to learn what it means to think beyond yourself. Learn to give of yourself. why? Not because you feel guilty, but because you’re compelled by love. You’re moved by love. You’re a good shepherd, and you can learn from Jesus THE good shepherd. 1 Peter says we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 1:9). We are ministers of the new covenant (1 Cor 3:6). We can’t afford to rely on one person or a few people. This generation, you, at the Aroma, can’t afford to sit around and wait for the pastor to do something. You’ve got to enter the door for yourselves. You’ve got to meet and intimately know the shepherd. And you’ve got to live from that as the Aroma everywhere you go! We’re the ones who help others walk through the door. We introduce them to the shepherd. They’ll know his voice. They’ll come. People have been seeing visions, having dreams, praying and hearing clearly from God that the time is coming when Aroma’s going to be exploding with people. This isn’t about it. This isn’t about you. It’s about Jesus. He’s the door. He’s the gate. And He’s inviting each of us to be the ones who host the presence of the Reality that comes when the door is opened. He’s inviting us to be the ones who hear his voice, follow him, and invite others to do. We need to step up. We need to people to boldly step up and enter the door. We need people to know the Shepherd more intimately. We need people to raise their hands and commit to finding another sheep and walking along the journey with them. To be honest, church, we are weak at discipleship. But I believe there are thousands of people out there who are going to be touched through the Aroma because of one on one discipleship, wherein you grab one sheep and feed them. Everyone needs to grab someone and read the Bible with them. Pray with them. Listen to them. Encourage them. Help them. Feed them. Feed my sheep (John 21:15-19). In the coming weeks and months, we must learn how to empower everyone to feed sheep as a lifestyle.