As many of you know, I spend a good chunk of my time coaching leaders. Each is different, with a unique set of needs and issues, which lead them to desire a life/leadership coach. Coaching, in its original intent, was simply a method of “transportation” from one place to another…from point A to point B. As a coach, my task is to help these men go from where they are in any given area of life and ministry to where they believe the Lord would have them to be.
At times they need someone to walk with them to help them “Break Through” some barriers!
If you would like to talk with me about being coached, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From time to time I am asked what kinds of issues those I coach are dealing with. I have been professionally coaching for 15 years and have probably coached around 300 leaders; both in business and in the church. I have discovered that most of my clients are dealing with two key issues which cause them to hunt for a coach.
- Doing a better job of stewarding their time well
- Doing a better job of selecting their team members wisely
I recently shared this with a young man I coach and he said,
“Time and Team.”
Yes, that’s it. Good way to put it.
There are, of course, other issues, but these two are almost always in the top five for most of those I have been privileged to travel with in a coaching partnership.
DOING A BETTER JOB OF STEWARDING THEIR TIME WELL
I recall hearing of a pastor in Chicago say that most of the people he knew were overwhelmed and over-committed. I thought to myself that it’s a small world. He is in Chicago and I am in Southern California and he knows some of the same people I know.
I have discussions with my clients about going at a challenging pace, but not an insane and unsustainable pace. Most leaders I know are trying to do too much and traveling too fast. Why?
- Growing up in a home where nothing they did was ever good enough
- Being driven instead of being led
- Ministry/work has become an idol that they worship
Many of the leaders I coach have a good work ethic (maybe too good) and a good biblical understanding of the value of work, but not a good biblical understanding of the value of sabbath. They are burning the candle at both ends and praying for more wax. There is a big need out there among leaders to practice sabbath as a principle–not just a day…to take each day and learn how to engage and disengage appropriately and create margin in work/ministry. It’s not a matter of working faster or longer, but working smarter and pacing oneself. Life is a marathon, not a 100-meter race.
DOING A BETTER JOB OF SELECTING THEIR TEAM MEMBERS WISELY
Before Jesus chose his disciples, he spent all night in prayer. After Judas hung himself and the disciples felt the need to pick someone to take his place, we read this in Acts 1:24: “And they prayed and said, ‘you, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen.’ ” It is still a discussion point among theologians whether Mattias or the Apostle Paul was the rightful candidate. One thing is clear though and that is they realized they needed help in making the selection.
I can’t think of anything more critical to accomplishing an organization’s or a church’s mission than having the right people on the team. As John Maxwell says, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” Select the wrong people and the dream stands much less of a chance of happening. Select the right people and the chances increase exponentially.
Jim Collins in his writings talks about:
- Getting the right people on the bus
- Getting the people in the right seats on the bus
Getting the right people means getting people who are: Growing in Christ, characterand chemistry with others.
Finding the right seat for each person means identifying their passion, giftingcompetencies and capacity. I spend a lot of time in my coaching helping leaders in their important team selection process; and, if they have made poor decision in the past, coaching them in how to help someone find another seat on the team bus, or leave the bus.
Exodus chapter 18 is the best chapter in the Bible (in my opinion) on the need for a team and how to make those selections. Verse 21 is especially insightful: “Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.” I see here: gifting, walk with God, character and capacity. The advice is as old as the hills and as up to date as a course at Harvard Business School on leadership.