Create a Culture Others Clamor to Join

Create a Culture Others Clamor to Join

How to avoid a sterile team environment

Leaders are keepers of culture. Great team cultures require deliberate effort to cultivate a healthy environment. Teams will work better with one another, go above and beyond the call of duty, invest themselves personally, and own their wins and their losses.

 

How to Avoid a Sterile Environment

Healthy environments are characterized by leaders who value integrity; intolerance for discrimination; robust systems, policies, and procedures; and organizational alignment that promotes shared goals and achievable results.

But healthy cultures go one step further. They find ways to capture the spirit of the organization. They have identified the “personality” of the organization, and they express that personality with color and vibrancy to what could otherwise be an active but sterile team environment.

 

Bicycles and Bowling Alleys

Google is known for its corporate culture, and the company was ranked number 1 in Fortune Magazine’s list of The 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014. When I moved to Silicon Valley, one of the first places I visited was the Google campus. I had heard rumors of the great megaplex in Mountain View, California. My quick tour lived up to the hype.

Everything about the Google campus was designed to inspire open communication among employees reflecting a desire to keep the culture of a start-up organization. From inspiring meeting places to bicycles and bowling alleys, the facility encouraged team interaction in fun and innovative ways.

 

The “Wow” Factor!

Zappos, an online retailer, aims to “deliver WOW through service.” Zappos carries that wow factor into the culture of their staff. The managers refer to their staff as family and have ten core family values that they believe put the “zap” in Zappos. Among them, you’ll see phrases like “create fun and a little weirdness” or “be adventurous, creative, and open-minded.”

Several years ago I toured the Zappos offices. On our tour the other visitors and I were made kings and queens for a day, complete with throne and regalia. The group was challenged to a hula-hoop contest, and we received a free book from the company’s family library. We paraded through a sea of cubicles where staff, or “family members,” were bustling with energy and productivity. Zappo’s spirited culture made me briefly consider a career change.

 

What Kind of Culture are You Creating?

In the book “Spiritual Leadership,” Henry and Richard Blackaby state,

Today’s workplace is a forum for people to express themselves and to invest their efforts into something that contributes positively to society.
People no longer choose jobs based merely on salary and benefits. They seek companies with corporate values that match their personal values.

Great team cultures should cause people to clamor to join your organization, your division, or your company. People aren’t afraid to work. They fear a toxic workplace that drains the life out of them. As a leader, you can create a vibrant and healthy environment that inspires your team and increases creative productivity.

 

Keep leading well!

Jenni Catron

 

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.

 

 

 

Easter’s Over-Now What? 4 Ways to Maximize Easter Momentum

Easter’s Over. Now What?

4 Ways to Maximize Easter Momentum

 

Recovering from a Big Fat Easter Hangover? 

For those of you in full-time church ministry, you likely experienced a big fat Easter hangover.

Easter weekend included additional services, increased attendance, special events, more production – every aspect of ministry was in overdrive for the biggest weekend of the church calendar.

Now what?

Frankly, you and your team are tired. You’ve been working for weeks, even months to prepare. It was a great day, but you know this week was back to reality. No wonder you feel like you have the “Easter” hangover – “a letdown following great excitement” (dictionary.com).

It’s normal.

But here’s the thing; You’re the leader. You have to lean into this moment. While all of the things that I’ve named are true and it feels like a letdown, it doesn’t have to be and how your team responds depends on you.

 

4 Ways you can Maximize Easter Momentum

 

1. Celebrate

Circle your team up and celebrate how good last weekend was. Share stories that you heard about the person who came to church for the first time, the family that attended church together, the person who gave their life to Christ, etc. I’m sure you heard stories and probably received some calls or emails. Share them. Celebrating reminds your team of the “why.” Don’t take this for granted.

Celebrate the attendance numbers, salvation numbers, baptism numbers, and whatever metrics that matter to you. And remember every number represents a person. It’s not numbered for the sake of numbers; it numbers for the sake of lives.

Celebrate by doing something fun as a team. Go out to lunch, get a cake, or go bowling. I don’t know what is fun for your organization, but you do. Have fun together!

2. Rest

If you didn’t take a day off to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect with your families, it’s not too late. Send everyone home. Pick s day that everyone can take the day off. If you can’t shut down for a day, rotate the days off. I don’t care how you do it but give back some time to your staff and their families. I can pretty much guarantee that everyone put in extra hours these last few weeks. You need the break, and so does your team.

3. Follow up

You and your team made dozens, possibly hundreds of new connections this weekend with first-time guests and casual attendees. Follow up with each person. Hopefully, you have a system for follow-up and if so, be more purposeful about that follow-up system than ever. If you don’t have a system for following up with guests, this is the time to make one. Remember, every email, voicemail, welcome card, and lobby conversation is an opportunity to help people take another step towards being a part of your community of faith and becoming a follower of Christ. Don’t look at your “to do” list as a bunch of tasks. See the living breathing human on the other end of that medium and seek to connect with them.

4. Stay the Course

Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Next Sunday will probably feel rather ordinary, and that’s okay. Stay the course and make every weekend count. You never know when that Easter guest will return and when they do, you want to be ready. Make sure every weekend is one where guests feel welcomed and included. Make your church a place where people feel like they can belong any Sunday they come.

 

Maximize the Momentum for Today and Tomorrow

Easter may be over, but Jesus has risen. God always redeems, restores and saves. And he does this work in the lives of people every day, not just Easter Sunday. And guess what? He partners with you to do this fantastic life-changing work in the lives of others.

Don’t let the Easter hangover cause you to miss the restoring work that could happen today, tomorrow, and next Sunday.

He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

His work in all of us continues!

Keep leading well!

Jenni Catron

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.

 

 

 

JCLP Featuring Dee Ann Turner

You all are gonna love this one!

Dee Ann is a 33-year veteran of Chick-fil-A, Inc. Prior to retirement in 2018, she was Vice President, Talent and Vice President, Sustainability. The company’s first female officer, she was instrumental in building and growing Chick-fil-A’s well-known culture and talent systems. During her long career, she worked closely with Chick-fil-A’s founder, S. Truett Cathy, and other key leaders as an architect of their organizational culture. Additionally, she led Talent Management, Staff Learning and Development, Diversity and Inclusion, and Culture and Engagement.

Today, she leads her own organization, Dee Ann Turner, LLC, writing books, speaking to over 50 audiences per year and consulting and coaching leaders globally. She is the author of the bestseller, It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture. Her latest book, Bet On Talent, will be released in September 2019.

Highlights from our conversation:

• Dee Ann’s recipe for a remarkable culture
• How she discovered that her calling was to help others find and develop their calling
• Her greatest learning from @chickfila founder Truett Cathy
• The important difference between principles and rules

This one is SOOO good! Go listen, rate, review, and share!

Listen to this episode via Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or your favorite podcast app!

Pre-order her new book: Bet on Talent

Connect with Dee Ann:

Instagram

Website

 

How to Regain Team Momentum

How to Regain Team Momentum

4 Reasons Why Leaders Need to Release “the How!” 

 

Have you ever felt like you and your team are grinding out work, but the momentum is lost? You instinctively know something is wrong, but no one is offering feedback. Could it be the leader?

In this video, I share a valuable “aha” moment I experienced with my team. Click this video link or the image below to watch.

 

 

4 Takeaways for You to Consider

Lead with the what and why but release the how. Here’s why.

  1. Your team may know how to do it better.
  2. Your team will be challenged to bring fresh ideas.
  3. It will stretch your team to step up and do more.
  4. It will free you to focus on the future of your organization.

 

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Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 


Solving Gender Issues In Leadership

I frequently get asked, “What is it like to be a woman leader?” 

Frankly, I loathe the question. As if being a woman is like having a third eye or some other science fiction abnormality.

I am a leader who happens to be a woman. That’s all. My gender shouldn’t define my opportunities or limitations. It shouldn’t dictate whether I’m a good leader or a bad one. It shouldn’t be the thing that holds me back from leading nor should it be an excuse for me to receive opportunities that I haven’t earned.

But for as much as I wish gender wasn’t an issue, it is, especially in ministry leadership. We get clumsy, fearful, and inhibited when we lead among the opposite sex. Many of our church cultures dictate that men should lead men and women should lead women. Create nice, clean, tidy, and controllable lines. But is that God’s best? Did he intend for us to be segregated? Did he mean for our spiritual gifts to only impact half of the population? Are we limiting God’s work through us because of our fear of the gender he assigned us?

I believe we can create environments where men and women can lead effectively together and in doing so accomplish great work for God’s glory. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.

 

Men and Women Can Lead Effectively Together

We need to wrestle with three questions if we hope to create a culture where genders can lead well together.

1. The Theological Question

I know. I know. Some of you were getting twitchy with the subject as soon as you read the title. There’s a legitimate theological conversation to be had about what the Bible has to say about gender roles. If you’ve never explored it, I encourage you to do so. Seeking to understand scripture for yourself in this area is incredibly important. Many of us have formed our views about women and leadership by osmosis. We’ve simply absorbed the beliefs of denominations, our leaders, our parents, and our mentors without asking the questions and studying the issue for ourselves.

2 Timothy 2:15 reminds us to examine God’s word so that we can do the work he’s called us to with confidence. For those of us called to lead men and women in the church, it’s essential that we study the scripture and prayerfully consider how we’ll lead through the gender issue in ministry.

2. The Sexuality Question

Our over-sexed society has done us a disservice when it comes to an understanding of what it means to develop healthy relationships with the opposite sex. There is ideally one individual among the seven billion people in the world with whom you’ll have a sexual relationship. Do you think God intended for you to avoid half of the population for fear of sexual attraction?

Your temptation is not another human being. Your temptation resides in your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us that our heart is deceitful. We too must plead as the psalmist did, “search me, oh God, and know my heart.” Rather than avoid others for fear of sexual sin, we must search our hearts and seek God’s healing and restoration.

3. The Community & Unity Question

What does Biblical community look like and what is the purpose of unity in that equation? What message do we send to a watching world when they see men and women in the church segregated, divided and isolated? In their book, Mixed Ministry, Sue Edwards, Kelley Matthews and Henry J. Rogers share, “God did not create us male and female, so we could tease or limit one another, but so that we could join together, two images of God combined to make a whole, and glorify him through our unity.”

 

Community in Unity

Psalm 133 says it this way, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

I believe our goal as believers is to reflect the biblical community. What would unity between men and women in your church or ministry look like? Time and time again, I have seen God do great work through teams who have been willing to engage the conversation rather than avoid the issue.

 

Men and Women Can Create a Thriving Culture

What clarity might these three questions bring to you and your team?

Men: I would plead with you to take the lead on this conversation with your teams and your churches. Your willingness to engage the conversation is a gift to the women who feel alienated as well as to the men who feel the tension and uncertainty within your culture.

Women: I encourage you to be patient and prayerful about the limitations you may feel. Be faithful to steward well the influence you’ve been given. Don’t allow bitterness or resentment to derail you from being faithful. For those of you who do have positions of influence and leadership, be intentional to pass it on and create opportunities for other women in your organization.

Can men and women lead well together? I believe the answer is yes. When we’re willing to ask difficult questions, wrestle through our uncertainties and fears and seek a community of unity, I believe we create a culture where everyone – men and women – can thrive as they use their gifts for God’s greater purpose.

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 

 


What Christmas Movies have taught me about Leadership…#3

One of the all time Christmas movie classics is a movie called, The Christmas Story.

It is set in the 1940s, chronicling a young boy named Ralphie, who attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, AND Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. In fact, there are so many great and funny moments from this movie. The LEG LAMP, the F R A G I L E E E box, the freaky SANTA pushing Ralphie down the slide and nobody will ever forget the infamous TRIPLE DOG DARE, the mother of all dares!  But with each of those moments comes an indelible leadership lesson.

  • The LEG LAMP! The dad was obsessed with it, I mean it was a ‘major prize’. In leadership, obsessions always lead to distortions. The more we believe we must have something or do something the more it distorts the truth. Leadership must be fluid and as soon as you make something an absolute, it owns you. A leader is always flexible.

 

  • The FREAKY SANTA!  Ralphie was determined to put his dream of owning a Red Ryder BB gun in front of the ‘BIG MAN’, but it fell flat when he heard the words ‘you’ll shoot your eye out kid.’ Often in leadership we seek people’s approval. All of us have a ‘SANTA’ we are trying to impress, gain their approval or seek their attention. Healthy leadership pursues the focus of the vision and never the approval of a person. A leader is always driven by a vision.

 

  • THE TRIPLE DOG DARE! And finally, the best moment, the infamous triple dog dare! Leaders like to dream. They like to risk. In other words, every leader is influenced by their own triple dog dare moment. We are all tempted to lead from a place of trying to prove something. If we aren’t careful our leadership will take risks not because they’re wise and courageous but because they’re perceived as impressive. A leader always asks hard questions of themselves, before they charge the hill.

A Red Ryder BB gun, or leg lamp may not be in your future but it may be wise to consider these questions:

What’s my Leg Lamp? Who’s my Freaky Santa? And where is the Triple Dog Dare in my life?

Answering these questions, may just help you lead even better in 2019.

By: Patrick Detken

What Christmas Movies have taught me about Leadership…#2

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Somehow that Andy Williams song always welcomes in the holiday season for me, followed closely by the movie “Elf.”
In fact, let me just say right now that if you have not seen the movie ELF, it’s a Christmas must!

See, Buddy the Elf is a human that was raised by elves at the North Pole, until he discovers that he is actually a human and that his father lives in New York. When Buddy ventures out to meet his dad, he only has a few requests… “I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands.”

Since 2003, I have watched the comedic behavior of Will Farrell who plays Buddy the Elf, and as the laughs come, I am reminded of a few simple characteristics that apply to our every day life and that can greatly impact our leadership.

In fact, here are 5 Leadership Lessons from Elf:

  1.  Everyone has value, and everyone is special! Buddy does a great job seeing value in each person with whom he engages.  Whether they are a child, an executive or a maid, he views everyone through this lens of potential, value and joy, and encourages it out of them.  As leaders, when we choose to see in people what they don’t see in themselves, we create a space to show them what is possible!
  2. He models his message. “I like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”  Buddy engages every situation with clarity and confidence and does not waiver in his resolve to live out what he believes!  One of the greatest things that will build trust and earn respect for us as the leader is also to model our values, so that those we lead can follow our example.
  3. Perspective.  Buddy treats everyday like it’s Christmas.  The fun, hardworking culture in the elf shop has taught him to work as a team, and celebrate with anticipation what is to come.  Because of that, he carries a perspective that everyday holds expected joy, purpose and simple fun.  What would it look like if we walked in to our office with that perspective?  What would it sound like if we conveyed a sense of joyful anticipation for our team or project?  I bet we too would impact the culture and the atmosphere would change over time.
  4. Ownership. “I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.”  It’s a little comical how  specific Buddy’s apology to his father is, but what is great is that he is taking full ownership of the perceived wrong that has been done, that seems to be creating division.  As leaders,  when we take ownership of where we have fallen short or responded poorly, it shows those around us that taking ownership is valued in our culture.  It gives other people permission to mess up,  to own it AND then to move forward.  Ownership from the leader helps yield a healthy culture to grow in.
  5. Sing Loudly.  “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear.”  Out of every scene, you probably know this scene the best! In this scene, people are  grumbling, curious and anxious, but when someone begins to sing…everything changes. The singing at first is soft, unheard by the masses, but shortly a few join in, then several others and one by one, the singing is the loudest thing you hear and the smiles are what is seen.  In the same way, in our organizations, there will always be talk, feelings, questions and other things circulating amongst our teams.  We have to be the loudest voice of encouragement, truth, vision, clarity, hope, support, heart and truth that our team hears.  So cheer loudly for those around you and it will be contagious!

This holiday season will go by quickly, it’s an amazing season and probably filled with lots of deadlines and demands.  I want to encourage you this season, find the fun, be a carrier of joy and model for your team how to lead well both personally and professionally!  Make sure Elf is on your list to watch this year, it’s always a good one!

Leadership Lesson’s I’m Thankful for….#4

BY: Brett Detken

Have you ever had a cringe worthy moment? You know, those leadership moments, that when you STILL think back on them, you get that sinking feeling down in your gut!

I remember a time when I believed (really….I really believed!) that my boss needed to hear my opinion about how bad his ideas were IN THE MIDDLE of staff meeting! UGH! Cringe!!

I mean somewhere down in my young, inexperienced brain, I believed that because I had been on staff for a whole year (yes, insert eyeroll here) that I had a right to be heard! Luckily, my boss was very gracious and instead of firing me, gave me a chance to learn one of the most important lessons of leadership. And here it is: In any organization, you may be given a job, but you always have to earn credibility.

Whereas, character is about who you are, credibility really does come from what you do. Credibility is how you establish your reputation and it is how you build trust in an organization. And honestly, this is something leaders often forget to do. We often forget we need to earn credibility in order to be influential in any organization. Credibility, or the right to be heard, is always earned, and never just given.

So how can we as leaders earn credibility?

● BY DOING WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO: It’s so simple, but the first way to earn credibility is simply by being faithful to what you are already doing. Leaders who are clear, consistent, and who follow through on their commitments, earn the right to be heard.  And more than that, leaders who do what they say they will do with the right attitude, earn more than credibility…they earn favor. So, if you want to influence your organization, be consistent in what you are doing RIGHT now. Do it well, do it faithfully, and soon your influence will grow.

● BY DOING WHAT’S RIGHT EVEN WHEN HARD: The second way to earn credibility is to choose to do what’s right even when it’s difficult. Finding the courage to make changes when unpopular, enter into conflict when uncomfortable, and take risks even when unfamiliar, is what creates a lasting legacy and earns leaders the right to be heard in the future.

● BY PURSUING UNITY: Finally, a key to earning credibility in your organization as a leader, is by relentlessly pursuing unity. Meaning you will do whatever it takes to root out a critical, toxic or divisive spirit, and instead choose to lift up those above you, beside you, and below in your organization.

Building trust, respect, and credibility is one of the most important things any leader can do in their organization. It will take time, but as your credibility grows so will your influence.

So here’s a question:

Out of these three things above, what is one step you can take to earn credibility?

 

 Brett Detken is a leadership expert and the Director of Marketing for The 4Sight Group. She has led in the local church for the past 20 years, and is a Professor of Business and Leadership. 

Leadership Lessons I’m thankful for….#1

Leadership Lessons I’m thankful for….

by Jenni Catron

The longer I lead the more I realize that there are times in our leadership journey when we have to make critical perspective shifts to think differently and therefore lead differently.  These moments are often hard to identify because we don’t know what we don’t know. That’s why they’re called blind spots. The longer we have these blind spots the more limited our leadership becomes.

That’s why I’m thankful for other leaders in my life who have been willing to identify these blind spots and expand my perspective.

One particular perspective shift that comes to mind is when a leader that I served with coached me on the need to chase momentum rather than fixate on problems. This thought was so counterintuitive to me. One of my strengths is identifying problems and creating plans to overcome them. This gifting has served me well but the more my leadership influence grew the more problems that mounted and the more I was figuratively chasing my tail rather than moving us forward.

My leader’s challenge to chase momentum first was not permission to ignore problems. It was simply a challenge to shift my perspective. I needed to recognize that my greatest attention needed to be given to where we were experiencing momentum as an organization. How could I provide more resources and support for the things that were working? How could I coach and encourage my staff who were leading initiatives that were experiencing momentum?

Momentum is an extraordinary gift.  

One of our responsibilities as leaders is to protect and propel momentum because building momentum or regaining momentum once it is lost is disproportionately more difficult.  

As leaders, there are problems to solve… and we need to solve them, but this perspective shift helped me realize I needed to prioritize momentum over problems. My tendency as a leader was to believe that spending time on problems was my greatest contribution, when in fact giving attention to our successes would actually reap greater rewards, both with our staff and to the bottom line.

So, are you more prone to fixing problems or fueling momentum?

This could be the perspective shift that makes all the difference!

 

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best!

Jenni Catron 4Sight Group Leadership Podcast Shannon mILES

JCLP Featuring Shannon Miles

“What single brave decision do you need to make today?”  Michael Hyatt

That was the quote at the top of my planner today and it seemed pretty fitting for my conversation with Shannon Miles.

Shannon is the CEO of BELAY Inc, an Inc 500 Fastest-Growing Company and winner of Culture IQ and Entrepreneur’s #1 Company Culture awards.  Since 2010, the company has grown to nearly seven hundred team members and serves nearly one thousand clients on a daily basis.

Shannon is the author of The Third Option: Why a Woman Doesn’t Have to Choose between a Career and Family, but Can Actually Have Both and Succeed

Highlights from our conversation:

  • While Shannon’s book is written for women, the principles of creating remote work options, flexible work schedules and fully distributed teams are really important for all leaders to understand.  I really leaned into this to learn how to be a better leader in a virtual world.
  • Questions we discussed: Can I have virtual staff? Can I trust them? Is it fair? How do I do it
  • Communication is always critical to success but in virtual cultures the communication threshold is so much higher.
  • Remote teams must be integrated and connected.  “If you start to feel disconnected, you’re going to act disconnected and there will be a disconnect.”
  • Create a virtual “happy hour”.  Such a fun idea!
  • Clarity, Accountability, Flexibility are key to healthy work cultures.

Listen to this episode via Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or your favorite podcast app!

Connect with Shannon:

Get the book!

Check out BELAY

Follow on Instagram

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