Archive for October, 2010

Day 112-114: How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Importance of Confrontation!

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

During my early morning walks around the neighborhood this week, I couldn’t help but notice that each year the Halloween decorations the neighbors put out become just a bit more horrific: headless corpses, witches in trees, characters in “Scream” masks stabbing one another. All of this is accepted as “harmless fun.” However, place a nativity scene in your yard during the Christmas season and you’re ostracized as a “freak”! This is quite an interesting age we live in, isn’t it?

I worked on How to Lead by THE BOOK for six hours yesterday–very productive hours, interrupted only by an occasional bite to eat and a workout. I’m including an excerpt in today’s post about the importance of forcefully confronting followers for values violations; especially the leaders. So many top leaders and business owners falter here. They fear upsetting a highly placed individual within their company over values violations, choosing to allow the violators to devour their culture instead. You may recall that I will begin each chapter with a “Man’s Way” versus “God’s Way” comparison for handling an issue. Here’s a sneak peak at the chapter on confrontational feedback:

Man’s wisdom & way

There’s really no middle ground with confrontational feedback. Either you’re a leadership wimp who avoids it altogether, or you step up and let people have it; and if they don’t like it and leave, good riddance! You really don’t need the hyper-sensitive types on your team anyway. After all, you’re running an organization for adults, not a daycare! Besides, Galatians 1 says that my job is to please God and not to worry about pleasing men. And what pleases God is that you’re truthful with people.”

Galatians 1:10 has been hijacked by mean-spirited leaders throughout the ages who value rules over relationships, and who look to justify their unloving manner of dealing with people. Here is what it says:

For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

God’s wisdom and way

Demonstrating love for others is what truly pleases God. Thus, we must confront, for to fail in this discipline is to evince apathy and indifference towards an individual’s welfare and potential. But we must confront in love, doing so for the right reasons and with just motives. We confront to improve the character or competence of an individual, to preserve our culture, and protect the organization’s future overall. Confronting with feedback does not mean that you do so primarily with the intent to punish, humiliate, expound your personal power, or in attempt to establish superiority over another.

When Jesus, Peter, Paul and others confronted individuals, they customized their approach to fit the person and the offense. Their harshest words were reserved for leaders of whom more was expected and to whom more had been given. They came down harder on heart failure—character shortfalls—than on production issues. Despite the importance in organizations to “hit the numbers”, we are wise to follow the Biblical examples to take an even tougher stance against those who violate values, embrace selfishness, create division, and place their personal welfare ahead of the team’s well being. These are cancers that must be neutralized or removed, lest they devour the entire entity.

Day 111 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Zig Ziglar on Leadership!

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Some of you were able to attend the webcast I did yesterday at the Zig Ziglar studios: “Ten Proverbs, Parables, & Principles to Sell More of Anything NOW!” If you’d like the audio version, this link should allow you to listen to the program:

www.ziglar.com/public_ftp/Webcast MP3s/10272010ProverbsAndPrinciplesToHelpYouSellMoreDaveAnderson96K.mp3

Rhonda and I were able to visit over lunch with Zig, Jean (his wife), Julie (his daughter), and Tom (his son). At 83 years young, Zig is still as full of charm, wit, and wisdom as ever before! Despite a fall a few years back that caused a brain injury and occasional short-term memory loss, Zig still sets the standard for excellence in speaking and writing. He’s written 29 books and is working on more! Jean and he have been married over 60 years, and they still absolutely adore one another. They serve as incredible role models for couples of all ages.

Zig’s life verse is Romans 8:28. When you read it, you’ll understand how he has responded so admirably to the injury he suffered, and will find encouragement for how to respond to your own struggles. I’ll write about the importance of “Life Verses” in, How to Lead by THE BOOK. In fact, I’ll cover the importance of developing spiritual disciplines in-depth. After spending a day with Zig and his team, I can write more resolutely about the long-term benefits spiritual disciplines have on one’s leadership over the course of a life time. And I can use no finer example than the life of Zig Ziglar to make my point.

Day 108-110 How to Lead by THE BOOK: The Right & Wrong Way to Give Feedback!

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I’m in Dallas this morning and will soon be going to the Ziglar Headquarters. I’ll be interviewed by Zig Ziglar, and then I’ll do a web cast with Tom Ziglar on the topic: “Ten Proverbs, Parables & Principles To Sell More of Anything NOW!” After the broadcast, Rhonda and I will fly back to L.A. for the next few days where I’ve got dozens of hours blocked off for writing, How to Lead by THE BOOK.

I’m finishing up the chapter on giving feedback, where I’ll offer biblical blueprints for confrontation, positive reinforcement, and the consequences of not giving any feedback at all. Man’s way and the Bible’s way differ greatly in this arena. The following excerpt from this chapter will show you what I mean:

Man’s wisdom & way

“You’ve got to be careful with feedback. If you pat people on the back, it can make them lazy. At the same time, if you get in their face about performance shortfalls, they only get worse or poison the culture by complaining to others about how badly they’re treated. Overall, it’s best to play feedback close to the vest. You get more out of people if you keep them a bit off balance.”

If ignorance is truly bliss, then the people employing this leadership philosophy must be the happiest souls on earth! If you’ve ever uttered such nonsense, hit your knees and repent! In fact, if the people you inflicted this nonsense on during the course of your career are out of therapy and still willing to speak with you, apologize and ask their forgiveness.

God’s wisdom & way

If people do well, tell them! Proverbs 27:3 mandates: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, if it is in the power of your hand to do so. In fact, Hebrews 3:13 reminds you to do it quickly: …but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today”, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

On the other hand, if someone errs or strays from the proper course, you are commissioned to address it: Someone who holds back the truth causes trouble. Proverbs 10:10. But while you may detest the behavior, you must love the perpetrator. In fact, confronting in love is what separates the biblically obedient from abusive bullies.


Day 106-107 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Eight Challenges Leaders Must Face!

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

As I’ve worked on How to Lead by THE BOOK the past two weeks, I’ve changed course and have decided to spend more time and provide deeper teaching on each business challenge and its Biblical remedies. In order to accomplish this, I’ll list fewer challenges overall, but will expand on the highest impact areas where I’ve found that leaders need the most help. Here’s a sampling of the chapters I’ve completed thus far:

1. What is the most effective way to hold others accountable?

2. Should leaders be held more accountable than followers?

3. Which is the most effective leadership style?

4. How do I recruit great people?

5. What is the best interview strategy?

6. Which questions should I ask during an interview?

7. What is the most effective way of giving feedback?

8. What exactly are core values, how do I create them and use them effectively?

Depending upon space, there should be twenty-one of these key challenges overall along with in-depth examples on how to master them.

I’m traveling with Rhonda this morning to Dallas where I’ve been invited to give the Monday morning devotionals to Zig Ziglar’s company, and then teach a web cast on Wednesday for him: “Ten Proverbs, Parables, and Principles to Help You Sell More of Anything NOW!”.  You can sign up for free at their website http://www.ziglar.com/webcast/webcast_register.html

You’ll be able to ask me questions-live–after the web cast is over! I hope you can join me on Wednesday–you don’t want to miss the Ten Points I’ll present to help you and your team sell more!

Day 104-105: Ask These Four Key Interview Questions!

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

In, How to Lead by the BOOK, I will suggest seven key character traits to look for and over a dozen questions to ask to determine if an applicant has these traits. Here are some interview reminders, along with a sampling of questions you can put to use right away:

For starters, it’s helpful to assemble a checklist of character traits that are most important to you, and then fashion questions to help determine those qualities. I’ve included seven traits, with fifteen questions to help determine those traits. When you receive an answer to an interview question, always follow up with deeper probing: “How did you do that?”

“What did you learn?”

“Why would you say that?”

“What mistakes did you make that you’d fix if you did it all over again?”

“Describe the biggest decision you made to get that result”

“What were the three toughest changes you had to make to get from where you were to where you are?”

“Explain resistance you had to overcome and how you did it.”

You’ll weed out exaggeration and glean a glimpse of the candidate’s true nature as you dig deeper to follow up your initial questions.

Remember, you can teach skills and knowledge but you cannot teach character! In Acts 6:5, when the disciples chose seven key men to assist in the growing church’s duties, it reports: And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Prior to their selection process, the criteria they established for the new recruits was: Therefore brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business…Acts 6:3.

The apostles set a clear and powerful example with their established criteria: character counts! Hire it in! Here are key traits to look for and questions that help you determine their existence within an applicant:

Two character traits and related interview questions

1). Character trait: truthfulness. Therefore, putting away all lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. Ephesians 4:25.

Is there anything wrong with telling a caller/vendor/someone asking for a contribution etc. that someone is not in, even if he or she is?

Has a former boss ever asked you to tell a white lie? How did you handle it?

2). Character trait: work ethic. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:41

Could you define for me what you believe doing a good job is? A great job?

In your last job, what particular task or project do you believe you did a great job with? Be specific. Explain why you feel it was a great job.

How to Lead by THE BOOK will cover five other character traits and many supporting questions, but these will help you start on the road to conducting interviews more focused on uncovering the essential moral traits a great candidate must bring to your table.

Day 102-103 How to Lead by THE BOOK: Hold Leaders More Accountable!

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Yesterday I traveled from Los Angeles to Wisconsin, where I’ll conduct a leadership seminar today. The weather here is beautiful! Who’d have thought that the October climate in Wisconsin would be better than it is in LA? A pleasant surprise!

I’ve fine tuned the format for the opening of each of my chapters for How to Lead by THE BOOK. Each chapter will open up with a common leadership challenge. For instance, “Is it right to hold leaders more accountable than followers and why?”

I’ll first present “Man’s wisdom and way” and then present in contrast “The BOOK’s wisdom and way”. Here’ s a sample of how it will flow from chapter two of the book:

Man’s wisdom & way

Leadership is about privileges. Once you pay your dues and “arrive”, you’re not subject to the same demands or expectations as followers. There is an unwritten understanding that organizational rules and values are designed to keep the flock in line; they don’t apply equally to leaders.

It is within the realm of reason to claim that there is scarcely a person on the planet who has not been in some way impacted by the arrogance and sense of entitlement demonstrated by leaders who embody “Man’s Wisdom and Way”. Whether in business, politics, the church, or the average family corrupt leaders debilitate and destroy companies, countries, families, and denominations.

The BOOK’s wisdom & way

“…everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”. Luke 12:48.

When an organization is struggling or under-achieving, you don’t first try and fix it in the middle or at the bottom. Rather, you fix it at the top. The old saw is true: A fish rots at the head: It starts to stink at the top first!

I was asked at a seminar whether a poorly performing manager should be given more or less time to get results than an underachieving subordinate. I suggested that a bad leader should be given less time and less rope, because when he hangs himself he takes a lot of other people down with him.

From there, I’ll go into detail to explain what the BOOK says about the issue with supporting parables, proverbs, principles, personal experiences, and real life stories and examples. This should make each chapter a fast, informative read with usable information the reader can put to use immediately!

Day 101 How to Lead by THE BOOK: An Interview Mistake You Must Avoid!

Monday, October 18th, 2010

In How to Lead by THE BOOK, I will have three chapters on the various aspects of hiring:

1. Recruiting.

2. Interview strategy.

3. The best interview questions to determine strength of character.

I will also have a variety of other hiring tips to improve your chances of hiring a great employee. In addition, I’ve decided to remind readers of two key hiring tips I presented in How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK, since they are easily forgotten. Here’s one of them. It’s one of the most common mistakes made when hiring:

  1. Don’t get blown away by personal appearance! Making emotional decisions during interviews based on your own prejudices, stereotypes, and personal appearance is one of the most common hiring errors. Remember the words of God to Samuel as he was evaluating Jesse’s eight sons in his quest to discover who to anoint as king. Samuel was blown away by the “king-like” appearance of Eliab:

So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees: for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7.

History goes on to show that Eliab was far too petty and selfish to have been a great king.

It also helps to remember that one chapter before Samuel’s encounter with Eliab, he anointed Saul as Israel’s first king. Saul was an abject failure as king. But take a look at how his physical appearance is described: And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. 1 Samuel 9:2.

How many “Saul’s” have you seen during your career—or perhaps even hired—only to discover later that their style disguised the sad fact that they lacked substance?  Endeavor to see job candidates during an interview as God sees them: from the inside out. Look at their heart and hire with your head!

Day 100 How to Lead by the BOOK: The Most Effective Interview Strategy!

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Time has flown. It’s hard to believe that this is the 100th day of writing my blog for How to Lead by THE BOOK. I researched and wrote for several hours today. I’ve divided recruiting and interviewing into two separate challenges that I’ll present separately and in-depth in my book. I want to stress that there is zero margin for hiring errors, especially in the tough economy when you must maximize every day and each opportunity.

In Galatians 5:9 the Apostle Paul warns: A little leaven leavens the whole lump. He was speaking of how just one smattering of false teaching can negatively affect the entire church. It also is meant to demonstrate the potential that one corrupt member of a church has to taint an entire body. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns, Do not be deceived, evil company corrupts good habits.

In light of numerous scriptures like the two listed warning of wrong influences and associations, it is essential that interviews be rigorous. There is too much at stake to hire quickly or recklessly: culture, morale, momentum, production, and your own credibility. In addition, the easier you make it for someone to get a job, the less they appreciate it. This is human nature: whatever we gain too easily we esteem too lightly. On the other hand, you have greater appreciation for what you must work hard for, and will do more to protect it once you secure it. For this reason, you are wise to follow this one strategy as the framework for interviews:

Use interviews as an elimination process!

Once you recruit a promising job candidate, your work has only just begun! Your interview should be used as an attempt to eliminate the person and not as an exercise in “inclusivity”. To that end, you should not do the following during an interview:

A. Talk too much.

B. Use the forum as a time-wasting “good old boy get acquainted session.”

C. Conduct it as though it were a casual conversation.

D. Turn it into a sales pitch.

During an interview, you should seek to determine a combination of character and competence traits that portend that the job candidate can contribute greatly to your organization. To determine these qualities it is most important to evaluate someone’s past accomplishments. This is because past performance is a greater indicator of future performance than past experience. By digging deeply into someone’s life you can better determine if they have key traits like character, talent, attitude, energy and drive. Critical success factors like these will show up in someone’s life, and so will the lack of them! In other words, success leaves clues, and so does failure!

Day 98-99 How to Lead by THE BOOK: A Key to Effective Recruiting!

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

I don’t mean to sound unkind, but you’re very unlikely to build a team of eagles in your organization if you endeavor to staff your team from amongst the ranks of the unemployed. While there is always talent in the available pool of unemployed people, you are advised to first focus on recruiting people who are already working! While there are normally exceptions to every rule, here’s a rule you must remember: You cannot build a great team around exceptions! Focus on the rule!

In How to Lead by THE BOOK, I will provide in-depth recruiting and interviewing strategies. Here’s a start: Consider that the following biblical giants were all busy, working, or otherwise engaged with productive activities when they were called into service or promoted to greater opportunities. There is not room to include all examples in The BOOK, but this group offers a convincing case to recruit the currently employed and/or productive!

  1. Joseph’s talents and performance preceded his promotion by Pharaoh.
  2. Moses was a shepherd.
  3. Joshua was Moses’ right hand man and succeeded him as leader of Israel.
  4. Caleb’s track record prompted Joshua to honor his request and grant him Hebron.
  5. Job was a successful farmer and rancher.
  6. Ruth was working in the fields when discovered by Boaz.
  7. David was tending sheep in the field when Samuel came to anoint him. The only one of eight brothers engaged with tasks when Samuel came to call.
  8. Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him when discovered by Elijah.
  9. Gideon was threshing wheat when the angel called him.
  10. Nehemiah was working as the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes when commissioned with his assignment.
  11. Amos was a sheep rancher when called to be God’s prophet.
  12. Daniel had previously served other kings with excellence when Darius promoted him.
  13. Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, was a priest.
  14. Joseph, the earthly father chosen to raise Jesus, was a carpenter.
  15. Andrew, Peter, James and John were all working as fishermen when called by Jesus.
  16. Matthew was working in a tax office when called by Jesus.
  17. Stephen and Phillip (the evangelist) were working as waiters in the new church when called to greater assignments.
  18. Luke, the author of the gospel bearing his name and Acts, was a doctor.
  19. Paul was tirelessly and zealously working to persecute Christians when called to serve Christ.

There is no pattern in the Scriptures of God using unproductive, lazy, or otherwise disengaged men or women in worthy endeavors. Miss this lesson at your own peril!

Day 97 How to Lead by THE BOOK: A Real Life Servant Leader

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Yesterday I taught my new Simply the Best Customer Service Workshop to a client’s team of 40+ managers in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a one day version of the full two day workshop I’ll give in January at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The audience was made up of professionals from the hotel, restaurant, and automotive industries. The class was a great success and my hosts presented me with a special gift after the presentation: a new IPAD with all the accessories! What a great surprise and display of generosity!

As I’ve been writing the chapter on servant leadership this week, I was challenged to decide who I would use as an example of a contemporary servant leader in the book. My goal is to include as many real life examples and scenarios of leadership in How to Lead by THE BOOK as possible. Of the many great servant leaders I’ve become acquainted with over the years, I decided to use my friend John Maxwell as the example of a servant leader.  Here is an excerpt from the book that explains why. It will also give you a portrait of what an effective servant leader is and does:

John Maxwell the leader, the celebrity, the servant

My wife, daughter and I traveled to Israel with members of the Christ Fellowship Church located in West Palm Gardens, Florida. My long time friend, leadership guru, and best-selling author, John Maxwell and his wife Margaret, co-hosted the trip with the Mullins family who do an outstanding job of leading Christ Fellowship Church.

John was one of the leaders of the tour, he was the celebrity, but he was also the servant. Everywhere we visited, John gave a mini-lesson to add insight and value to our experience. On the Mount of the Beatitudes, he preached a moving sermon about the Sermon on the Mount. As we boated across the Sea of Galilee, John shared insight that placed us in the boat with the disciples the night Jesus walked to them on the water. On the Mount of Olives, John shared scripture that put us in Jesus’ sandals as He wept over Jerusalem. While on the Mt. of Olives, John even performed a hilarious rap and dance, “Baal Busters”, reenergizing the tired tour group and making him even more approachable. He then led us down a path to the Garden of Gethsemane where we partook of a communion that brought tears to the eyes of many.

At Caesarea, John gathered us in the ancient Roman Theater and brought to life Paul’s bold defense there before King Agrippa. After this lesson, he invited anyone who wanted to talk more about Jesus and faith, to visit with him. Following a rain shower at Beth Shen, it was John with his hankie drying off the chairs the group would use for lunch. Even with a non-stop schedule, John took the time to meet personal needs. He prayed one-on-one with whoever asked. Many times, despite the frantic pace and bustling crowds, I saw him, arm wrapped around the shoulder of another, walking, listening, conversing, and encouraging. He tirelessly posed for hundreds of photographs with group members at each stop. John even bought ice cream and other goodies for the entire bus, adding life, love, and laughter as we sojourned for nine days across Israel.

John was one of the tour’s leaders, its biggest celebrity, and most noble servant. Of the many priceless memories and lessons my family and I took away from our pilgrimage to Israel, John Maxwell’s real life lessons on how to be a servant leader was the most valuable, and remains the most memorable.