8 Most Stressful Careers

iStock_000000053566XSmallI love Southwest’s magazine.  I always find interesting articles to kill time during flights.  This month was no exception.  I am glad that let you bring these magazines home. (They do, don’t they?)

Do you feel like you have a stressful career?

According to a survey by careercast.com highlighted in Spirit Magazine, here are the jobs that send workers home most exhausted:

  1. Firefighter
  2. Surgeon
  3. Senior corporate executive
  4. Police officer
  5. Roustabout
  6. Sailor
  7. General practice physician
  8. Psychiatrist

I don’t know that I qualify, but if I can be considered a “Senior Corporate Executive” with our church, then the article helps explain why I seem to have so much stress in my work these days.  I realize I am a pastor, but lately, with the growth of our church, I seem to do play administrative roles than spiritual roles.  Read posts about that change in my role HERE and HERE.

I know a few careers I was surprised were not on the list.  These jobs would stress me:

  • Homemaker
  • School teacher
  • Lion trainer
  • Daycare worker
  • Soldier
  • Small business owner
  • Professional chess (or poker) player
  • Santa Claus

Is your career on the list?  If not, do you think it should be?  I guess at any given time it could be our career on the list.   What do you think?

Are You Taking Advantage of Human Capital?

iStock_000006413523XSmallDo you harness the greatest power in your organization?  The best assets of your church, business or non-profit never appear on your balance sheet.

The truth is that any organization is only as good as the people within it.  Take the greatest idea and put the wrong people behind it and little progress will be realized.   With the right people, even average ideas can achieve tremendous results.

Are you taking the advantages of human capital?

Are you relying on the knowledge, insight and experience of everyone on your team to make the organization better?

Here are a few quick ways to capitalize on the people value of your team:

Brainstorm – Have assigned times periodically where everyone on the team gets to give input into the organization’s future.

Allow mistakes – Create an environment where team members are willing to take risks without fear of repercussion if things go wrong.

Ask questions – Genuinely seek help from those around you.  Recognize the fact that others may know more than you know about a particular subject.

Don’t pre-define – If you want help solving a problem or planning for the future, start with a clean slate.  If the leader always has the answer, team members are less likely to share their input.

Be open to change/new ideas – The leader must genuinely desire the involvement of others.  If team member’s suggestions are never implemented, they eventually will stop sharing them.

How are you currently taking advantage of human capital?

For more ideas on creating an environment of innovation click HERE.

One Incredibly Important Characteristic Of Successful Organizations

team_building_ring

There is one incredibly important characteristic of a successful team or organization. It is inherent and cannot be trained or programmed. With this trait a team can weather the storms of life together. When this is an attribute of an organization, regardless of the struggles it encounters, the vision can be accomplished.


Leaders need to understand the importance of SHARED VALUES…

It could be spiritual belief…it could be a cause…it could be a sense of well-doing…it could be an organizational philosophy or structure or simply the joy of belonging to a certain team, but there is a power of the heart connection among employees that cannot be overlooked as a reason for success in an organization. There is strength in believing in what you do and your role in accomplishing the vision that is more powerful than talent, skills, or sometimes, even product.

Identifying the people who can share the values of your organizational structure is a critical part in hiring and retaining team members. For those wishing to join an organization, an important consideration should be if you share the same values with the people on your team.

Do you recognize the shared values within your organization?

Personality Pattern Assessment

Picture 1I have taken a lot of personality profile assessments. I find they give me new insight into myself and how I relate to others. Sometimes I have blind spots in my personality that these type assessments help me discover.  From that information I can build upon my strengths and recognize my weaknesses.  This is a new assessment to me.  Here’s what happened when I took the personality pattern assessment.

Competent

You strive to master everything you undertake. You tend to learn quickly and do not shy away from challenges.  You are not a “que sera sera” type of person, nor do you go easy on yourself when attempting to master a new skill or get a job done.

Creative

You are good at solving problems, coming up with original ideas, and seeing connections between things, connections that most other people miss. People with a high score on the “creative” trait often are employed in such fields as finance and scientific research, and enjoy avant garde and classical music as well as literary fiction and scholarly non-fiction.  You do not shun abstractions and concepts in favor of the concrete and tangible.

Astute

You are a quick study. You generally don’t need to have things explained to you more than once. When presented with a problem, you will often have an instant understanding of where to look for the solution.  You do not take your sweet time when presented with a new task to complete or problem to solve. You don’t avoid assignments that require you to learn new skills.

Assertive

You behave in a confident and forceful manner, take charge of the situation, raise your hand in class, stand up for what you think is right, and lead others. Among those who have a high score on the “assertive” trait, many have jobs in which they are valued for their organizational skills as well as their talent for supervising others.   You are not interested in fading into the woodwork, leaving everything to fate, taking more time than necessary to accomplish a task, or avoiding confrontation.

Competitive

You’d rather win than simply get along in most situations. When you know you’re right, you would rather argue your point than compromise. Generally, those with a high score on the “competitive” trait hold leadership positions in industry and are exhilarated by risk-taking both in their professional and personal lives.   You are not always interested in getting along with others in a group, especially if it can mean losing your identity.

Unflappable

You are not a slave to your emotions. It takes a lot to upset or unnerve you. That’s why you’re a good person to have around in a crisis.  You don’t let it all hang out, which means that those around you often don’t know the pressures you’re under or what you’re going through. You’re not the kind of person people run from in a crisis.

Innovative

You come up with a lot of ideas; if one doesn’t work out, there’s always another waiting in the wings. You often have interesting solutions to difficult problems. You’re practically a one-person brainstorming session.  You are less interested changing the world than in dealing with things as they are. Unlike those who spend all their time trying to solve problems, you prefer to zero in on things that work and stick with them.

Introspective

You like your own company; you’re a very interesting person. Tracking your own mental processes, knowing what you’re thinking and why you do what you do, is important to you. Often, what’s going on in your mind is more compelling than what’s going on outside. For the most part, those with a high score on the “introspective” trait enjoy reading, taking long walks, learning new things, and other solitary activities.  You are not someone who is constantly looking to be among a group of friends; you never feel bored when you are by yourself.

Intellectual

You are thoughtful, rational, and comfortable in the world of ideas. People find you interesting to talk to. You’re the living embodiment of the saying “You learn something new every day.” In general, those with a high score on the “intellectual” trait are employed in such fields as teaching and research, and are enthusiastic about reading, foreign films, and classical music.  You do not avoid abstract conversation, experimenting with new ideas, or studying new things. It bores you to stick to the straight and narrow of what you already know.

Resilient

You bounce back quickly from adversity. For you, all setbacks are temporary. You don’t dwell on bad news, bad luck, or criticism; you regroup and focus on solving the problem, whatever it may be.  You almost never feel that there’s too much on your plate, that you don’t have the strength to deal with the bad hand you’ve been dealt, or that you’re going to lose it if you have to deal with one more problem.

Try it out.  It takes less than 10 minutes. Then tell me what your top traits are.

10 Things I Would Do Differently If I Could Do Life Over Again

By all practical standards if I live a normal life, I’m at or past middle age.   Maybe it doesn’t happen to everyone like this, but my middle age crisis has caused me to reflect on life thus far…  (Certainly better than some crises I have heard)

Recently I was reflecting on what I would do in life if I had a “do over”. Have you ever wished you had a fresh start? If I did, here are 10 things I would do differently:

  • Took bigger risks earlier
  • Exercised more
  • Followed my dreams more fervently
  • Avoided the temptations to compromise
  • Stayed in touch with friends from high school and college
  • Saved more money
  • Worried less
  • Wrote down my experiences as I was experiencing them (I would have a best selling book)
  • Forgave others quicker and easier
  • Swallowed my pride a few more times (without life doing it for me)

Thankfully I have half a life (or so it may appear) to accomplish the list!

What would be on your list of things you would do differently?

Discipline Yourself To Dream

We have had a busy season at Grace Community Church.  Fall is the time of year when most churches ramp up their ministries, which tracks with back-to-school schedules and the change to cooler weather.  Our church has been in a fast growth mode since day one, but we seem to be in a unique place of extraordinary growth right now.  In addition to this growth we are launching new small groups, a college ministry, gearing up for our annual community outreach ministry, and adding a third service, along with numerous other changes occurring this fall, some that we are not ready to talk about yet.  Some days it seems we have just enough energy to get through another week and all our time is focused on the next Sunday.

At our most recent staff meeting, in the midst of making plans for our new third service, I reminded the staff of an important principle. (I hope they were listening.)  During times of significant growth, planning or workload, it is always important to…

…DISIPLINE YOURSELF TO DREAM….

During the busiest times in an organization, when all the team’s energies are focused on getting through a specific project or season, if the team is not disciplined otherwise, because habits form quickly, there is a tendency to continue operating in the day-to-day mode even after the busy season passes. I expanded on that idea in a previous post.  Read that post HERE.

Teams that want to experience long-term growth have to discipline themselves to build dreaming into the system.  Leaders should model innovative thinking during stressful periods within the organization.  Individual team members need to consciously pick their head up from the routines and strategically think further down the road for the organization.

Dreaming keeps momentum flowing forward.  The next great decisions made by the Grace Community Church staff will likely come from our time set aside to dream.

Do you need to set aside time this week just to dream?

Three Services Sunday at Grace Community Church!

On our fourth anniversary, Grace Community Church will take another giant step of faith.  This Sunday we move add a third service.  Everyone has to change times!

8:30 OR 10:00 OR 11:30  (3 identical services)

Join us at Rossview High School as we kick off a new series, celebrate 4 years, get ready for Operation Serve, and have a great time doing it!

Invite a friend to join you.  We’ll have plenty of seats!

New-Times

Leadership Perception Survey

lpsurveyI am conducting a leadership perception survey.  I have been in leadership positions for over 20 years, but in the early part of this time I also had a leader to whom I reported.  Recently I have been working with some churches and businesses facing leadership issues and problems.  From my observation, many times the problem is the different perception between leaders and followers of what leadership is and how one should lead.  It makes it difficult to lead in an environment where the leader and follow do not even agree on the principles of leadership.  I decided to illustrate this diverse thought through a blog survey.

Please understand, I am not trying to make a statement by any of these questions.  I realize some of the questions may seem odd and on some of them you will wish for more options, but I am trying to gather opinions that are diverse and get more general feedback rather than specific, to make some general observations about leadership perceptions.  On yes and no questions where you feel there is an in between answer, either pick the one you lean closer to or skip that question. According to the results of my recent blog reader survey, some respondents will be in leadership positions and some will not. It will be interesting to read the various opinions.

Click here to take the LEADERSHIP PERCEPTION SURVEY.

All responses will be anonymous of course, but I will post results in weeks to come.

Lessons in Wisdom From Rehoboam (1 Kings 12)

In the midst of an incredibly huge decision recently I happened one morning to read 1 Kings 12.  I love when God points me to the exact Scripture I need at the moment.

In this passage Rehoboam refused to listen to wise counsel and instead listened to the “wisdom of the day”.  As you can read for yourself, his decision to ignore healthy advice cost him far more than he could afford to pay.

There are 5 principles I can learn or be reminded of from Rehoboam’s experience:

  • Servant leadership is the model we need to follow and exhibit.  (It was also the model of Jesus.)
  • We need to make sure we are getting our wisdom from the right sources. Who are you listening to these days?  (Read a similar post HERE.)
  • Doing what is right may not always be popular, but it is right.
  • The consequences for failure to follow wisdom are huge.
  • There is natural wisdom that comes from age. (Read a similar post HERE.)

What other lessons do you get from this passage?  Which of these do you need to read most?