The Negative Side of My Command Strength

I am becoming a student of Strengths Finder.  This personality reviewer gives a person insight into his or her “signature themes” of strengths or behaviors that help drive a person.  Over the next few days I will share my individual themes in an afternoon post.  Hopefully this will give insight into some of what makes me the way I am and even a clue as to why I may blog about what I blog about.

Before I start to share, however, I need to share that I am also learning there are weaknesses that accompany each of the strengths. For example, one of my strengths is Command.  You will read more about it soon, but basically it is a strength, which leads me to take charge.  I want progress and I am wired to push for it if no one else does.  At times this can cause problems for those around me.

Take for example, if I get to a four-way stop the same time as another car.  If the other car hesitates even for a second I am gone.  It is not that I mind waiting for the other car or that I mind the other car waiting for me, but I just don’t want the other car waiting for me as I wait for the other car as the other car waits for me…  In other words, I want forward progress!  Let’s go!  Sometimes this trait causes Cheryl to think I am impatient or unkind if she is in the seat next to me.

When I am part of an organization that “strength” shows up as well.  If those around me are not leading, get out of the way and I will. I am perfectly fine if another person wants to lead, in fact I strongly encourage people to do something, take a risk, dream a dream, plan big.  I will even be okay if your way is different from mine (at times), but my main concern is that the ball is rolling in some direction.

Unfortunately, this trait can at times be overwhelming, annoying, and even seem uncaring.  I am realizing that more each day.  My thought process now is to figure out how to allow this strength to work for the good of the organization and not allow it to disrupt team spirit, harmony, or morale.  I am trying to take COMMAND of my strengths!

Let’s go!

I Hate Job Titles

I am not a big fan of job titles.  We have had some staff additions and changes in the last couple of months and one of the most frequent questions has been “What’s their new title?”  Frankly I do not care!  I am fine with people picking their own title and would rather spend my time concentrating on the work we need to get done.

I suppose my dislike of titles has to do with one of my philosophies of work.  I think when an organization has a vision, operates as a team, and strategically sets out to accomplish it, that everyone’s job on the team is to see that the vision is accomplished, regardless of a person’s title.

Titles to me are too specific. They seem to indicate a defined area of focus.  I realize some people need that for clarity and I understand the need for specialization around an area of work or skill sets, but I prefer a job description to a title.  I like for a person to understand the goals and objectives for the position, and even more than that, the overall vision of the organization and for them to realize how they are a key part of the organization’s success. That is hard to capture in a specific job title.  Job titles tend to lead to the phrase and thought, “That’s not my job.”

I realize job titles are cultural, so we will keep using them, but I do not have to like something just because everyone else is doing it.  I almost wish we could start calling everyone “Team Player” and if they need a big title to feel good or to dress up a business card, maybe we could title them “Director of What’s Required”.

Do you like job titles?  Does your title truly capture the entire role you play in your organization?

This Fall At Grace Community Church

This week in a message called “Hot Seat” we unveiled some of the vision for Grace Community Church this fall. In this message we introduce new staff members and new assignments. Keep up with what Grace is doing next here… You can watch the first 10 minutes without logging in and then Truthcasting forces you to log in. I hope you will take the effort to watch an interview about what God is doing at Grace.

Never Miss An Opportunity Again

I love being able to respond to opportunities as they present themselves. I am not talking about possibilities. I am referring to legitimate opportunities, things that the organization should and wants to take advantage of when they come available. (Read HERE for a post explaining the difference in possibilities and opportunities.)

The problem for many organizations is that they are not structured in a way that allows them to react quick enough to take advantage of opportunities, before the opportunity window passes.

My advice: Be prepared so you can make quick decisions.

Here are 6 tips to be better prepared for the next great opportunity:

Have margin in the budget for emergency funding, as well as expanse funding. At Grace Community Church we have always operated extremely conservative. Even when cash flow was tight we were never spending all of our resources. We waited to do some things we may have wanted to do so we would have margin for opportunities as they arose.

Network. Some of the best opportunities come quickly and are known to few people before they are gone. Stay connected to others in your particular industry to know when a sweet deal comes available.

Stay current with culture and trends. Many organizations are reactive rather than proactive. Great organizations know the people and society around them and can respond as changes occur.

Have systems and structures in place that welcomes innovation. For example, organizations that have a healthy team environment can more easily shift workloads to accommodate new responsibilities.

Make change a part of the organization’s culture. Resistance is less likely when change is something people are accustomed to experiencing.

Be willing to move by faith. There are times when an organization has to take a risk or it will miss out on the opportunity.

How is your organization taking advantage of opportunities as they come available?

Ron Edmondson Blog Reader Survey

survey09My blog is written as a part of what I sense to be the call of God on my life.  I have been called to be a Kingdom-builder and this blog gives me an opportunity to expand my ministry beyond my local church.  I want to continue to make it better and meet the needs and desires of my readers.   It will help me do that better if I know more about you. That’s why I have created my first ever reader survey.

Would you please do me a favor and take a few minutes to fill out the survey?  It will help me to develop relevant content and focus my attention on where my readers are in life.

Your input is important to me. The survey is easy to fill out. And it will only take one minute of your time. Thanks in advance for your participation!

Click HERE to take the survey.

Facebook Buys Friendfeed (Threat to Twitter?)

The news of Facebook buying Friendfeed is probably unwelcome news to Twitter today.  After almost a week of Twitter troubles and the fact that I many are still struggling with using Twitter with Firefox (me included), I can imagine there are some looking for an alternative.

Mashable has a great post about what this change in social media could mean for Twitter.  Read that post HERE.

Anything that will make my social media useage easier is a welcome addition for me, but it will be interesting to watch how this plays out over the next few months.  One thing for sure, Facebook is not afraid to change things quickly and in the world of social media changes happen fast.  Read a previous post about that HERE.  Some of my Facebook friends who have sworn off Twitter may soon have an alternative option.

Would you drop Twitter if Facebook offers you a better solution?

Pre-Planning Your Week For Efficiency

Here’s a quick encouragement to help you have a great week.

Spend the first 30 minutes of your workweek pre-planning for the week.   Follow these steps:

Set goals for the week. – What do you need to and want to accomplish by the week’s end?  Be realistic, but make sure you include some stretch goals.

List the major tasks required to accomplish your goals – Break down each objective into the activities you will need to do to complete them.

Allot time for each activity – Again, be realistic, but determine that you are going to work diligently to meet your goals.

Schedule your week – Calendar each of the activities throughout the week. Be sure and allow for downtime, reflection, prayer and devotion time.  Those times keep you grounded and fresh.  If your schedule fills up before you finish you are probably either planning to do too much or allotting too much time for each activity.

With this pre-planning period you will be better able to enjoy your week with less stress, more productivity, and a better attitude at the end of the week.

Let me know how this works for you.

Spiritual Growth and Maturity Survey

As a part of my Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University I am to conduct a qualitative research project.  I wrote about the master’s program in yesterday’s post.  Read it HERE.  I decided to survey the spiritual health of our church by asking a cross-section of people questions about their own spiritual maturity and growth.

Specifically this research will attempt to measure:

  • What contributes to a person’s spiritual growth most?
  • What has caused or will cause them to want to take next steps in their spiritual growth?

I am asking people to answer the following questions:

  1. What do you believe is spiritual growth?
  2. Do you feel you are growing spiritually now?  Why?
  3. What has caused your life to improve spiritually in the past?  Were there key events/people/times?  Can you explain?
  4. How has Grace Community Church influenced your spiritual growth since you began attending?
  5. What would help you grow more spiritually mature?
  6. What changes do you need to make to grow more spiritually?
  7. Are there any comments or thoughts you have about the church and what we are doing to spur people to “become growing followers of Jesus Christ”?

I am getting great responses so far.  I will share some of my results in future posts.

Feel free to play along.   How would you answer these questions?

Master’s In Organizational Leadership (WHY?)

81logoI have been asked consistently for the past year why I would subject myself to the discipline of obtaining a second master’s degree.  I have a seminary master’s in counseling, but last year I began work on a master’s in organizational leadership from Eastern University in Philadelphia.  I should finish this degree in early 2010.

The answer is fairly simple.  I am an idiot who loves to torture myself.

Actually, the truth is that I felt the need for more education in a field that I practice most.  As a pastor and church planter I need seminary training.  Honestly though, I went to seminary later in life also and much of what I learned about the Bible I had studied previously as a layperson.  I have been a student of the Bible since I was in my early twenties.  What I have found the need for most in my leadership role in the church is insight on leading an organization.  The more we have grown the more I have sensed the need to grow personally.

So far in my studies we have looked at organizational leadership, strategic planning, organizational efficiency, human resources, strategic thinking and change management and financial management.  All of these are vital to what I do at Grace Community Church and the training has been directly transferable to my work.

There are a few other reasons I am pursuing this degree.

  • Our church has grown faster than my ability to keep up with it at times.  I recently wrote about leadership capacity and, as with many posts, this one had personal implications.
  • I want to make the organization of the church better.  One of the reasons I blog is to help others grow in their leadership with principles I have learned in business, church and through my education.
  • I am a Kingdom-builder. When God called me into ministry, He called me for who I am.  I am not a sit still, detailed, or single-minded person.  I think big!
  • I never want to stop learning.  Ever!

It has been a fun, but stretching and expensive venture for Cheryl and me, but I am thankful God has given me the opportunity.  I am also thankful to Cheryl for allowing me the time and to spend our money to do this.  As an added benefit, I have learned to love Philly cheesesteak.  I even have a favorite.

How are you learning and keeping up these days?