• Books I have read in 2010: 1

    Good to Great

First Who…Then What

Debb and I met today to discuss the next chapter in Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great.  I really enjoyed reading the “First Who…Then What” chapter and actually found that I needed to be a little persuaded by Collins as he presented this idea. 

The idea behind this chapter is that if you have the “right people on the bus” you can more easily establish the vision of your organization and because you have the right type of people they will be fine with whatever direction you head.  My first reaction was that the right vision would attract the right people, but my thinking is slightly flawed in that if your organization has to change directions or adjust then those right people might become the wrong people. 

My thought process was also impacted by the fact that here at Dare 2 Share, for the last 12-18 months, we have put alot of energy into our mission and vision.  The recently, due to unfortunate circumstances related to a difficult economy, we had to lay 5 people off.  A very difficult experience this past year.  Since we were recently coming off of the lay-off which came after such a long process of establishing vision my experience was inverted compared to Jim Collins’ advice.

Collins also discussed how to be rigorous in determining getting the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) as well as making sure that the people on the bus are in the right seats.  He offers up the following 3 Practical Disciplines:

  1. When in doubt, don’t hire.  Keep looking
  2. When you know you need to make a people change, act.
  3. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems.

APPLICATION: In processing this chapter and these final 3 Practical Disciplines I immediately began to think of what this would look like for the Sales Team at Dare 2 Share.

  • We have a very rigorous hiring process in place at Dare 2 Share, especially for the Sales Team.  This reinforces for me that it is much more important to hire the right people to begin with and to put a continued emphasis on character, work ethic, values, and basic intelligence than educational background or experience.
  • I struggle with the second principle in that I have been able to identify people that have been the wrong people on the bus, but being in a ministry lends itself to more grace and a strong desire to give people the benefit of the doubt.  The principle is easy to understand but difficult to put into practice, but acting sooner than later in this instance should prevail.
  • The third and final principle is one that I am most excited about as I am going to have the opportunity to implement it in the next few months.  With the recent lay-offs we are understaffed.  We also have some changes in our conference schedule for next year.  Those two factors will contribute to needing to reassign some of my staff to different assignments.  This principle will now be the first filter I put my ideas through in making those assignments.  I will be sure to post my conclusions as those decisions are made in the next 8-12 weeks.
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Up your game

A few months ago I was sharing with one of my mentors, Greg Stier, this new revelation I have had in life to pursue being the best Christian businessman in the world.  After he thought a few moments about my statement he asked me what exactly I meant by that.  I went on to explain that my desire was to become as well rounded as possible in all things related to business so that I would be equipped to successfully merge business and ministry for maximum Kingdom impact.  I have no “formal” education when it comes to business, like a degree.  I haven’t even ever taken a business class.  But my desire is to learn and grow and become the best there is in business. 

I also shared with him my goal isn’t to do it this for my own fame or glory but to benefit Dare 2 Share Ministries and the Kingdom of God.  After understanding where I was coming from and what my desires were he shared several thoughts with me and had a great conversation for a good 30-45 minutes about the topic.

Of all the things he said, there is one statment that has stuck with me the most and it actually sums up the entire conversation we had, “Up your game!”  It’s that simple…and complex.  Up your game in everything that you do was his message to me which I totally appreciate.  It’s not just focusing on one thing here or refining my skills and knowledge in a particular area of study within the business world.  It’s a full on commitment to up my game in everything I do…attitude, dress, how I carry myself, as well as my business knowledge in sales, marketing, numbers, reading books, etc.

From that conversation and a few other follow-up conversations with many of my mentors I have come to sum up this goal in life as follows: “to successfully merge ministry and business to exponentially advance the Kingdom of God!”

A heart for Jesus & a mind for business,

My Utmost for His Highest – Jan 6

My Utmost for His Highest is a daily devotional that I have had since graduating high school but I have never read it from start to finish.  Considering my ambition to read a book a week in 2010 I figured this would be a great time to tackle this classic work by Oswald Chambers.  The devotion I read yesterday entitled, “Worship,” struck me enough that I thought about it for the rest of the day.

Genesis 12:8 “After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord.”

Chambers defines worship as, “giving God the best that He has given you.”  This idea makes sense to me and is something I have heard before.  But what he goes on to say next is what really got my attention.  In the above verse Abraham set up his home in a place that positioned him between both Bethel and Ai.  Chambers explains that Bethel symbolizes a connection with God while Ai symbolizes the world.  Abraham positioned himself between both of these influences in his life.  The idea is that if you position yourself completely connected with God you become out of touch with the world. 

While it may not sound bad to be isolated with God the fact is that you find yourself removed from having influence over anyone in the world.  Adversely, if you were completely connected with the world you would lose your rooting in the Lord and would become overcome by its influence.  The point of where Abraham placed himself for worship was that he could serve as a vessel or channel from God to the world.  The quote that sums this idea up the best reads, “Quiet days with God may be a snare.  We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be.”

I think the reason this devotional resonated so deeply with me is that I identified being placed between the two influences: God and the world.  It’s the core purpose of this blog and my pursuit in life to successfully merge ministry and business.  I found this an encouragement that I am on the right path, headed in the right direction, confident of the right motivations.  May this blog and my efforts to unite these two worlds be my act of worship.

A heart for Jesus and a mind for business,