Unlocking Value for Entrepreneurs

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Weekly Family Meetings

Each week our family meets to go through our family meeting. This gives us the time to reflect on the week, prepare for the week ahead, share goals, learn about each other and have fun with a family game. Here are some of the things we cover:

1) Our family mission, values & rules.
2) One Word Open about how we are feeling.
3) Review of the responsibility Chart (our boys earn allowance based on these responsibilities & bonus things assigned to them).
4) Our family charity. In addition to money we tithe, we selected a family charity we are giving money toward. We update this each week.
5) We go over the highlight, low point of each week as well as any concerns or things we are looking forward to the week ahead.
6) We all have 2 goals we are tracking. Here we update what took place during the week (status) and what we plan to do next.
7) We come up with a question of the week. (eg. What is your favorite thing to do as a family? Where would you like to travel to? What super power would you want/and why?
8. Family Fun Time. Each week we rotate who gets to pick the family game we play.
9. Lastly, we do a one word close to select how we are feeling now. It’s always cool to see the change from the one word open.

Now Hiring: Project Manager

MonkDev is looking to add a Project Manager to our team. As a Project Manager, you will be the lead in managing the successful planning, development and launch of new client web projects. Your background ideally includes successful web project management experience and a passion to serve the church with web technology. You care about project quality, are detail oriented, and have the capacity to manage multiple projects at the same time. This position is for our San Diego, CA location.

Why work at MonkDev?

MonkDev is a fast-paced development company that has doubled revenues over the last several years and has been named one of the fastest growing companies in San Diego County several years in a row. Our solutions are used by thousands of churches and organizations around the world. We are passionate about leading the way in helping churches and organizations broaden their reach, deepen their engagement with members and develop their community using technology. At MonkDev you’ll be part of a high-performing team of strategists, implementers, designers, and developers who build custom web solutions for churches of all sizes.

Project Manager: Apply or See more about the role, responsibilities & benefits

Leading Others for Results

How do you grow as a leader where more of your ‘results’ come through others, rather than the work you do? Specifically, how do you lead people versus supervise or manage. (I framed some of the personal challenges of going from doing the work,to leading others in the post: The Entrepreneurial Journey to Leadership.)

I had the chance to spend a day with Jeff Silverman, who is a leadership coach. Jeff has been the CEO of a national fitness company and a Divisional VP at YUM Brands/Pizza Hut. He also was a consultant at Bain & Co and MBA from Harvard Business School. It was in his 20 years+ of leading, particularly at YUM Brands that he developed a very simple concept called Leading for Results. There is ‘Macro Leadership’ (at an organizational or team level) and Micro Leadership (leading 1-on-1). Here’s the concept of the Micro Leadership:

Motivation + Ability = Capability

In order to lead a person, you first must understand their Motivation and Ability on a per project basis. Knowing this will help you appropriately lead them in a way that best serves them and sets them up for success.

Motivation: Awareness, Desire & Willingness
Ability: Aptitude, Training, Experience & Resources

Once you know these things, you can appropriately lead a person in the way that will get the best results. Here are the different styles of leadership based on a person’s motivation and ability:

What I’ve found is often my default style/desire is to delegate things, but when they didn’t work out I moved into a more directive style. If someone is motivated, there is probably nothing more frustrating then being ‘micro-managed’ with this type of directive style. So with people who have a high motivation, but maybe low ability in an area because of lack of experience, coming alongside in a supportive role works best. Or if someone has the ability but has a low motivation because of awareness, helping facilitate would serve things much better.

As an example of this, Jeff shared a story of knowing that several gym franchisees were getting low scores on the cleanliness. Instead of just telling them the problem, he picked them up in a van and took them to competitors sites, asking them to score their view of how clean the location was. It was easy to spot all the problems. At the end of the day, Jeff took them to their own locations. Quickly they became greatly aware of how messy their gym was without Jeff having to say a thing. Subsequently, each manager took to great lengths to improve the gym in this way. All this happened without Jeff having to say a thing. Jeff said if you were unclear of the person’s motivation and ability, facilitation is always the best place to start. At the end of the day, the goal is for greater clarity and clearer leadership that leads to better results.

I hope this simple but powerful approach is helpful for you.

Peer Coaching, Our Personal Blind Spots and Looking through the Johari Window

I am a believer in the value of peer coaching. I’m grateful to serve on the Board of three non-profit organizations where this is a central part of why they exist. In my experience, I’ve had tremendous growth personally when others know me better and I’m open to learn from them. One tool that describes the value of this process is the Johari Window. Now before you think, “Johari window, is Drew getting all new-age mystical on me?” The Johari window was created by two guys, named Joe & Harry [Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham] to help others better understand their relationship with themselves and others.

The basic premise is this. The more I share of myself and other get to know me, the smaller my blind spots, hidden (or facade) areas and the unknown are. Without these type of open relationships, Leaders are in a dangerous place because so few people have access to these windows. Their own perceptions of how things are become less able to be questioned, because they don’t see their blind spots. The facade or hidden areas become slippery slopes because they are able to live life with impunity to their personal preferences. Further, from my experience, the more we live in a facade, the closer we are to personal insanity. When who we are doesn’t line up with how we show ourselves, it is a dangerous place to be. And the other quadrant, the unknown stays large and unchecked when we don’t lean into these personal growth opportunities. All of us have experienced these pitfalls to one degree or another.

The principle I want to communicate regarding the Johari Window is the value of peers in our life. When we communicate with others, we increase our ‘open’ areas, decreasing the hidden quadrant. This allows us to grow in being vulnerable and authentic, which others through their reciprocation share with us, which decreases our blind spots. We all benefit from a larger open window.

Ready to learn from others? To be iron, sharpening iron?

If you are interested in leading missional movements in your city, I suggest you check out: GCM Collective
If you are a church communicator, look at: Conclave Sessions and the Center for Church Communicators: Local Labs.

Peer Coaching, Group Sharing & the danger of Advice

I’m trying to share a few of the things I’m learning along the way as I seek to grow as a leader. One group I participate in is EO, a peer group of CEO’s/Entrepreneurs who use a protocol called Gestalt to share learning and speak into each other’s business practices & life from a place of their experience versus giving advice. Advice-giving can be dangerous. For example, when I interacted with other church planters, often (in retrospect) I can think of several people I tended to give my advice/opinions more than I ought and it created tension in the relationship. Enter the Gestalt Language Protocol.

To begin, what I want to communicate isn’t so much a promotion of Gestalt (as you can research) which includes forms of psychology and worldviews. Phil Kristianson, an EO Trainer writes about Gestlat:

Gestalt is a German word for form or shape – and in English has come to mean ‘wholeness’. Built upon earlier theories by Hume, Goethe and Kant; gestalt theory emerged in the early 1920’s as a psychological belief system, in contrast to the behaviouralist & structuralistic approaches of the time that sought to explain complex ‘things’ by breaking them down to simple elements. Gestalt focuses on the selforganizing and intuitive mind that perceives wholes from incomplete elements. Gestaltists believe that context is key to perception.

I’ll share the part of Gestalt that I believe is valuable, particularly if you are meeting with other peers, such as Church Planters/Missional Leaders (such as through GCM Collective) or church communicators (Center for Church Communication) and want to discuss, learn and improve your context. While in Gestalt, I’ve found it supports a vulnerability in sharing and a deeper sense of owning the experience of the group collectively. Here’s the benefits of why I think this practice is valuable:

1. The group value of the shared experiences far outweighs the one-directionaly nature of the specificity of advice. If we were going to give a person advice on how to improve the engagement of their volunteers, that person would potentially walk away with a handful of specific tools/tips to try to implement. Instead, if we all shared our experiences of times when they saw volunteers be engaged and really ‘own’ the project they were leading, we all may walk away with aha’s that we could apply to our own context.

2. Advice is arrogant; the implication of advise is that I know what is best for you. It doesn’t build trust in the situation, because the subtle message is I trust myself because I have the answers and understand your context rather than your ability to take these shared experiences and apply them in your context.

3. Advice creates division and hurt feelings. As I said before, advice is dangerous, in that if a person takes it and it doesn’t work they can blame the advisor and if they don’t take it, the one giving advice stands in judgement of them.

Ultimately, these create a place where people withhold sharing because they don’t feel safe in a vulnerable place. What are the advice danger signs? Avoid opinion, “you” statements, future tense and words like “should”, “would” or “could”

So how do you adhere to the Gestalt Protocol?
1. Speak only from experience.
2. Use “I” statements.
3. Speak in Past tense.
4. Use Questions to better understand the problem, not give veiled advice that is leading to problem solving.
5. When sharing experiences, do so for the benefit of everyone. Posture should be group-centered, not toward the own who shared the problem.

This ‘experience’ sharing is helpful in many contexts. I’m not suggesting that it should be used for all conversations, for example if you are speaking about theological definitions. But, when you are doing peer coaching and want to share learnings or if you are stuck, it is a powerful tool.

The Entrepreneurial Journey to Leadership

How do you go from starting a business, church or other organization to transitioning to leading the staff or volunteers looking to you? I believe this is one of the more difficult work transitions people have; from doing the work, to managing others. This requires a paradigm shift. I believe this can be because what we do is wrongly tied to our identity and how we ‘value’ ourselves. I went to a training and wanted to share a concept I learned that goes through the steps that often take place. I’m generalizing, so of course this may not be everyone’s experience.

Often people start out as the Worker. In this role they do 90% technical work and 10% people interaction. If all goes well, soon things are growing and as a Supervisor they take on a person and work alongside them, 75% technical and 25% people interaction. The next phase is manager, where with a bigger team the Manager requires 50% technical skill and 50% people. This is where the barrier to moving from Manager to Leader emerges in the form of the drama triangle. Why? Managers and below find half or more of their energy being defined by what they do (technical) rather than their people leadership. Moving into the Leader role is a significant leap, one where 90% of your time is with people and 10% is on technical things. (see triangle with percentages of technical/people skills here.)

The Drama Triangle evolves when a person struggles to move from Manager to Leader. As they struggle with not ‘doing the work’ they take on a role of Hero or Village. The Hero often withholds information or put people in positions to ‘save them’ when they provide this info or do the work. On the flip side, the Villain plays a ‘Devil’s Advocate’ role or uses seagull management to fly by and do their business on others work. Both of these put the people that work for them in the role of Victim.

Where do you go from here? As a Leader you should be the holder of the vision and guider of the group dynamics as you pursue a common purpose. The Leader should shift from Hero to Coach that has no illusion that they can save anyone. The Villain role changes to one of Challenger that suspends judgement (a Villain often is motivated by being right and/or looks for someone to blame ie the Victim). And finally, the Victim needs to take ownership and recognize when they blame others, they give away their power.

Conclave Session for Church Communicators Dallas 2012

Join the Conclave Session in Dallas, prior to the Echo Conference the night of July 23rd and July 25th. If you’d like to be considered for the Roundtable, please apply here.

What is a Conclave Session?

The Conclave Sessions are an ongoing project to gather thought leaders and church communication experts to leverage best practices and talk through challenges. Our Sessions are filled with individuals from growing and influential churches with something to say. “As iron sharpens iron,” Proverbs says, “so one person sharpens another.” This is an opportunity to share with and learn from some of the brightest in the field.

View an example Conclave Session Agenda from the Dallas 2011 Roundtable.

What are Past attendees saying?

What are Past attendees saying?

“It was a great opportunity to learn best communication practices from other churches.”

“I liked how the social atsmosphere coexisted with productivity and focus.”

“I really enjoyed the networking and open conversation. I loved that it felt like everyone was really comfortable.”

“I loved the opportunity to talk with other church communicators. Even though there was a structure to the roundtable, we could “go with the flow” if a topic really captured our interest.”

“I enjoyed getting to have a “safe” place to talk about some of the issues that I am dealing with.”

“When you get around people who are similar to you, have the same passions, or are just great people, you can’t help but be inspired. After just a few hours with the people at this round table, I walked away inspired. Which was something I really needed right now!”


Why Past attendees suggest you should attend?

“Great place to make connections with other church communicators. They would walk away with some great take aways and practical resources.”

“The connections you make with the people of the Roundtable will become priceless assets to your ministry.”

“It was a great way to have meaningful conversation with others that share the same responsibility as myself to tell the most amazing story ever told. If I can learn to do that better, why would I not want to be part of that? I made some real work related connections, but also some friends in the process.”

“If you ever have the opportunity to be apart of a legit roundtable like this, DO IT! Just being able to network with the other people like you who will be there is worth it.”

Going Deeper: Preaching the Gospel & Your Identity

I posted an article in 2006 entitled, Preaching the Gospel to Yourself.  This article spoke about what I was learning regarding seeing the ‘sin beneath the sin’ and exposing the idols of our hearts.  This gospel preaching stated that often we can go after the symptoms of sin (eg. anxiety) but miss the powerful idol that causes these sins to surface in all sorts of ways (eg. the idol of seeking other people’s approval).  Since then (at least based on a Google search on preaching the ‘gospel to yourself’) tons of articles now appear that were written on this topic, including books being written. Preaching the Gospel to yourself has become a more common term used by Christians. In fact, in ours and many communities, ‘gospeling’ has become a verb that we remind one-another this freeing news of how Christ lived for us and allows us to ‘go up the slope of faith’ rather than be enslaved to idols.

But, what happens when after “preaching the gospel” to yourself, you find patterns of sin deeply embedded in your personality that causes you to feel frustrated that change is not happening?  In my journey, seeking to deal with these idols, I’ve felt I haven’t had the transformation I’d hoped.  Often some idols seem so deeply embedded that we think, “they are part of who I am”.

Why is this?  Based on recent experience, for some idols that drive our heart, often when we were young, identity-level formation takes place based on sin and becomes woven into us.  (Often it occurs between the ages of 5-8 when our belief systems are being established consciously and unconsciously.)   Typically, because of a sinful situation where we felt wounded, we make a vow that  becomes an idol that opens up a stronghold in our life.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say you are raised in a home where your parents separate and while living with your mother a new man enters the home and abuses you emotionally.  These series of events create a turbulent environment and at this moment, in your heart you say, “I would never let my children experience something like this.”  Now, this wound is like a muscle knot in your back, as you grip onto this vow tightly, you lock-up and your whole body adjusts to this vow.  Even something ‘good’ as protection in your own hands becomes a powerful idol that enslaves you to “make sure you have control in your life to save you from chaos.”  As you grow up, you have children and become overprotective out of this ‘good’ desire for your children, but ultimately smother them with fear-based parenting.

As I’ve seen and heard others who’ve gone through this process of identifying these wounds/vows, it can take hours to navigate this discovery process in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where it came from and subsequently months to unpack.  In all circumstances (for me at least), it has led to a specific childhood memory (wound) that was a powerful shaping event in establishing this false identity and idol in your heart.  This requires seeing the wound beneath the idol, beneath the sin.

For example, let’s say you were wounded because you were put in a threatening situation and felt unprotected by your father (remarkable how most of the issues involve fathers) and so you make a vow in your heart to not let this happen again and seek control.  So because of this lack of control when you were a child you now have an idol of control that causes you to be angry when things aren’t in your control.

For these recurring idol struggles, I am suggesting we need to add a layer deeper to the earlier post I referenced.  I am also learning that things tend to get worse  before they get better.  It can feel like sin is happening more often when you began to realize these wounds. I believe this is because you will go from being unconscious to conscious in an area that once was ‘just part of who we were.’  So, from the example above, we go from unconsciously angry to consciously angry when we realize the wound and in this moment need to apply the gospel and re-form our identity in Christ.   All of this is very difficult work and requires a vulnerability with others that is scary.  I am learning as we seek to understand where our powerful idols form that they have caused me to live out of lies of who I am versus my true identity in Christ.  As we go through this and recall these wounds, a helpful question we are asking is; “where was Jesus in this moment?” when we were wounded.  In this we seek to see Christ and  re-consider these circumstances in light of who He is and who we are in Him.

Moving Beyond Stories

An article that I wrote that is at Church Marketing Sucks, it begins:

What is the objective of church communication? Of using story? What is the role of the church communicator? Last month I had the privilege of tackling these topics for a group of church communicators primarily from large churches in Southern California.

Often the larger the organization, the more dangerous the tendency to slip into pragmatism. All of us like to get things done, but it adds a layer of complexity when we seek to do this through others in a church setting. Over the years I’ve failed in this way in numerous ways, particularly when our church made a transition from being more traditional Sunday service oriented to becoming more based on people gathering throughout the week in missional communities across the city. My communication caused many to feel a burden of legalism because we often improperly communicated. Even in my role at MonkDev, where we are building web apps and online strategies for church that want to increase engagement such as small group participation or broaden exposure to attract new people, this tension is always there: How do you effectively communicate and get the results you want?

CMS: Moving Beyond Stories

Biola Digital Ministry Conference

One of the conferences I enjoy the most is the Biola Digital Ministry Conference. Over the years it’s gone by many different names, such as the Christian Web Conference but this year there is more clarity around the conference than ever before. If you are in the digital ministry space this is a must attend event. Plus, this year we are launching an amazing event, the Hack-a-thon Competition.

Digital Ministry Hack-a-thon

The Digital Ministry Hack-a-thon is a two-day team competition designed to deepen your faith and give you an opportunity to use your skills for the kingdom of God. The competition will take place as part of the Biola Digital Ministry Conference on the campus of Biola University in Southern California from June 4 to June 7, 2012. Do you think you have what it takes? Are you ready to put your skills to the test?

I will be co-presenting the Keynote Session:

The State of Digital Ministry
Drew Goodmanson and David Bourgeois

In this session, Drew and Dave will examine the way ministries are using the Internet and other digital technologies. Using their own unique perspectives, they will start by talking about where we are today: what technologies we are using, how is technology being integrated into ministry, and offer opinions about its effectiveness. Then, they will review the trends in technology and make some predictions about the future. What will be doing in five years? What technologies should your ministry be investing in right now? This session will help your ministry understand where you fit today and how to plan for the future.

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