31 Tips for 2016 – #11

Unknown-1Here is Tip #11 for Ministry Leaders in 2016…

Say, “I don’t know” more often.

Just because we are the leader, doesn’t mean we know all the answers. People often come to us with questions because they make two assumptions…  1 – We know the answer and 2 – We understand the question (or the situation) to begin with. The fact is, sometimes we do, and sometimes we don’t.

We need to avoid the temptation to look and sound competent when we simply aren’t. It doesn’t mean we are less of a person or leader, it just means that we are ignorant in the classic sense of the word… sometimes we simply don’t know.

Good leaders don’t give into an arrogance that demands to have all the answers, all of the time. Or, worse, to give the appearance that we do when we know we are clueless. We should be secure enough in who we are and the team that we have around us to admit that the best response to a question that stumps us is, “I don’t know. Let’s see if we can find that out together.” 

Saying “I don’t know” does 3 powerful things…

  1. Encourages a sense of team. No one has all the answers and we need the collective insight of others. No “one man show,” here.
  2. Engages team members. The answer may just be a question or two, a team member or two, away. Ask around and get others involved in the answer or solution. Collaboration is key.
  3. Empowers team members. Those with the answers may/may not be the one’s with the resources the answer requires. Either way, team members are brought around the table and then empowered to see that the question is answered and accompanying need is met. This is something that good leaders will acknowledge and celebrate!

Not feeling the need to have all the answers is liberating. Believe it or not, most people will respect you for it as a leader all the more. Why? Because they know you are no different than them, and they don’t know it all, either.

Grow your team by these three powerful words, “I don’t know.” 

31 Tips for 2016 – #10

Unknown-1Here is Tip #10 for Ministry Leaders in 2016…

Own the moment. 

This one comes from an organization who has arguably valued people, or at least their magical moments with them, more than any other on earth. They drive this value home with a phrase that pays… “No one owns the guest, but someone always owns the moment.” (Disney Leadership Institute)

This begins when people pull into the parking lot… the faces they see, the words that are said (or unsaid), the signage they see (or don’t see). It ends with the closing moments of that message, that guest reception or that leadership training. Leaders, we need to understand, if it happens in our organization, on our watch… its our responsibility.

When it comes to people’s experience with us (and WHO we represent), what do we want them to feel, think, do and become as a result of their moments with us? In short, what is the take-away? Is there one moment that we believe can really be a game-changer, an eternal life-changer? Maybe this is going overboard, too controlling of the experience or even manipulative of people? Is this too much to ask of leaders? Only for those who don’t believe the moment matters, nor mind if people miss it even if it does.

The moment matters. Plan for it. Practice it. Pray over it. Unpack it when it’s over. Whatever it takes. Own the moment. 

Here is a great synopsis of this value – Experience Matters

Check out the Disney Leadership Institute for more on guest experience.

The “Be There” Dare

images-11Are we really there when we are there? While social media has many redeeming qualities, could we be missing something with our constant posing for pictures and pausing to post? Worse, could we actually be manipulating the experience and messing it up by making it more or less what it could be if we just lived the moment? According to researchers, “One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.” (Weizmann Institute Of Science, February 27, 1998; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm)

Here’s my challenge to you, take The “Be There” Dare…

What is the “Be There” Dare? It’s simple. Experience something without pausing for pictures or posting. If you are alone, resist the temptation to invite the rest of the world via another “selfie.” If you are with family and/or friends, refuse to record the moment with anything other than your shared memories. Just be there.

Before anyone protests or reports me to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat “police,” or I run afoul with any of my photographer friends, please understand. I’m not suggesting we stop recording our memories with family and friends altogether, let alone promoting some “boycott” of our favorite social media sites. Some of you have already observed the irony that I’m plastering this dare on multiple social media platforms.

What I am suggesting is that we enjoy some uninterrupted moments of life for the value of those moments with the people we love. There may just be more to this than meets the eye. Here are 3 reasons I dare you to “Be There…”

1 – When you are there, you will be more there.

2 – When you have simply experienced it, you and those you experienced it with will have it as a shared bond.

3 – When you do reflect on it, you will have only your memories from which to paint the picture of what you shared together. We may just be “forced” to re-weave the moments in a more meaningful way. We will have to remember, reflect and rehearse the experience by engaging in the art of conversation. In doing so we create yet another moment of purer experience… and again and again each time we do so.

There you have it. Something tells me that you have some moments to live that will be more than you have known, more than you have shared. Less will truly be more.

Be there. I dare you.