INATTENTION TO RESULTS – The 5th of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Inattention to Results – The 5th of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

“You can accomplish anything, if you are not concerned about who gets the credit.” President Ronald Reagan

You may have determined by now that building a team is not an easy task. The effort requires planning and extensive consideration of all the organizational needs.

We must ask ourselves as we build our program do we have the right means to accomplish the mission. For example:

  • Does the team have all the resources they need to serve the organization as best they can?
  • What tools or resources are missing? List and prioritize your needs.
  • How can you better train your team? Using your resources or outside assistance?
  • Do you help the team meet the needs of the organization, or do you get in the way? Who gets the blame and who gets the credit?

That brings us to the fifth of the five dysfunctions of a team the inattention to results. When a team member isn’t held accountable, too often they tend to protect their self-interests and themselves. Without accountability, the results the team hopes to achieve will never come to be.

Therefore, I am a believer in two things when it comes to team building.

One, I must understand myself well enough to know when to lead and when to follow as there are occasions when the best leader is a follower.

Second, if I am the leader of the team, I take responsibility for modeling the behavior I want from my teammates, and I own any failures of my team. However, I always share and reflect any successes to the entire team for their credit. Teams should celebrate their accomplishments and successes. Leaders should congratulate teams in public and correct team members in private.

Leaders help their team members overcome the five team dysfunctions by leading through behavioral example, ,that is by “walking their talk,” always setting a positive, warm, friendly, and welcoming tone when dealing with people even when it is challenging to do so.

As leaders we accomplish a results-oriented culture when we have built team trust, engaged in productive conflict and debate, committed to mission and held ourselves accountable.

We achieve success in our effort by dedicating ourselves strategically and methodically to overcoming the five dysfunctions of a team.

Church Safety and Security Plan – Start with a Simple Three Phased Process

A OneNewsNow.com survey of 4000 churches in 2008 found that 75% of them had no security plans!

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Acts 20:28

“More guns are not the simple answer,” says Terry Mattingly at GetReligion.org.

 After the November Texas shooting, many small churches reacted by seeking a qualified Carry Concealed Weapons holder.  A reaction is not a church safety and security plan.

Assessing your church’s vulnerabilities is the foundational step in understanding what your risks are and how to prepare.

Good Springs Church

Become Proactive Instead of Reactive in the Process

A thoughtfully written, communicated, and exercised plan of action for church safety and security is a much better and safer solution and it begins with a facilitated discussion with your congregation.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises identifying threats, developing goals, and planning courses of action. Then implement, review and consistently maintain your plan.

Take into account your geographic region. Are you subject to natural disasters like the New Madrid Fault in Western Kentucky or hurricanes at Tybee Island, Georgia? Perhaps you worship at a church in tornado alley, or you are subject to fires or floods.

Active shooters, disgruntled congregants, angry church members, sexual predators and hate groups are always possible threats.

Churches are “Soft Targets”

The American Crime Prevention Institute notes that criminals see houses of worship as “soft targets” for theft, robbery, embezzlement, vandalism, arson, and violence from hate crimes. They are “soft targets” because many don’t have security systems, are meagerly staffed, leave their doors unlocked, and never think of robbery when taking up an offering.

Jimmy Meeks, who retired after 35 years in law enforcement and has been a minister for 44 years, is a consultant with Sheepdog Seminars for Churches, a training firm focused on teaching church security measures.  He notes that sexual abuse can and does occur in the church, citing 23 sexual crimes reported at Protestant Churches every day.

Sadly, the recent Texas church shooting points out the vulnerability of congregations when it comes to active shooters seeking revenge and the importance of being prepared even in a small country congregation.

Three Initial Planning Phases

Regardless of the size of your church, now is the time to implement a six-step emergency planning process starting with three general phases.

The first phase is to form a collaborative planning “ministry safety and security” team. Collaborative teams are made up of congregant volunteers who are willing to “co-labor” and get the job done. Choose this team wisely. We will discuss criteria for such teams in a future column.

This team should consist of your pastor, deacons, principal leadership, local law enforcement and emergency response personnel, an attorney, and your insurance agent. Others to consider are people with private security, teaching, counseling, and crisis communications experience.

Whenever possible, your team should have a right mix of genders and ages on this team because people in their 60s will see issues differently than those in their 20s.

In the second phase, facilitate your planning dialogue and risk assessment using the Collaborative, Informed Consent model. This model starts with the premise that the team “agrees” to provide their consent to the plan because they collaborate to design it and become well informed about its use.

Kay Armstrong, a senior consultant at L. Darryl ARMSTRONG and Associates, explains, “This engagement model uses a structured facilitation process that allows for a candid discussion about the pros and cons of having a plan for church safety and security. Participants can freely talk about their fears, current issues, and the perceived risks. This process helps them realize the possible emergency scenarios that could face the church; how to prioritize them; and how to develop options to handle them.”

Once the numerous situations are listed, discussed, vetted and prioritized, the committee can develop well-defined goals and objectives, which is the third phase.

Further information

These columns share the expertise gleaned from our four decades of experience in crisis planning and management and from experts in church safety and security nationwide. We challenge you to explore what has become a vital role in today’s houses of worship – safety and security – and to realize that just carrying a weapon in a house of prayer is not enough.

Find additional information including an introductory video on church safety and security, podcasts, and downloadable materials at www.ldarrylarmstrong.com. anyone interested in participating in a pilot webinar can register at our website for future presentation dates.

END

Churches, irrespective of size, must plan to ensure the safety of their congregants #churchsafetyministry

Church - Country

Churches, like any other businesses in today’s environment, must take steps to ensure the safety of their congregations.

Because emergencies happen to all businesses, a thoughtful and resilient emergency plan of action is prudent.

As of December 19, 108 people were killed in churches in 2017.

When an active shooter on November 5, 2017, killed 26 people and wounded 20 at a rural Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas,  media, public, and political concerns reached a new high.

This church attack was the deadliest active shooting by an individual in Texas history and the fifth-deadliest in the United States.  It is the most devastating active shooting in an American place of worship in our history.

Such events disappear quickly from the front pages of  mainstream media, and many people, including pastors and congregants, resort to thinking, “it can’t happen to us.” Hopefully, it won’t.

Although the chances that your congregants will be involved in such an attack are slim, church leadership must accept the possibility and plan for this and all other possible emergencies.

Having worked in the field of crisis communications, prevention, and management for 40-years, I believe in and practice with my clients “ praying for the best while preparing for the worse.”

Organizations that do so will survive and recover; those that don’t suffer severe and often irreparable consequences.

This series of columns will provide insight into the questions that church leaders and pastors must consider as they plan for the safety of their congregants.

Planning for the necessary personnel to respond, the communication of the event, training church personnel, and the event follow-up should cover issues such as:

  • Why houses of worship need an emergency response plan and the types of emergencies to include.
  • The importance of a facilitated dialogue with leadership and congregants about developing an action plan that includes law enforcement, emergency response, legal and insurance personnel a process we call “Collaborative Informed Consent.”
  • Considerations of hiring professional security personnel or using volunteers, including a “talent inventory” from your congregants.
  • Conducting a risk analysis and evaluation of your church facility, parking lot, and personnel.
  • Why your institution is a “soft target” and how to “harden” it by quickly achieving “soft” and “hard” lockdowns.
  • Having trained “screeners” and the options for action they must take when an incident develops.
  • Understanding your internal and external communication needs and venues before, during, and after a crisis.
  • Considering non-lethal and lethal options.
  • How to gather intelligence and ensure confidentiality.
  • How to protect children and seniors who are the most vulnerable members of your congregation.
  • Understanding what an active shooter is and how they think.
  • The times of day and the days of the week your church is most vulnerable.
  • The role of active or retired military, law enforcement, and concealed carry permit holders on your security team.
  • What you must communicate to your congregation about your plan and what they must do in the event of an emergency, including an active shooter.
  • Whether you should post signage, and, if so, what should it say?
  • Establishing proactive establishment of post-event counseling and recovery assistance.
  • Teaching self-awareness and using the “see something, say something” strategy.
  • Pros and cons of “Run, hide and fight.”
  • The need for “Stop the Bleed” first-aid kits and training.

Further information

These columns share the expertise gleaned from our four decades of experience in crisis planning and management and those involved in church security nationwide. We challenge you to explore what has become a vitally important role in today’s houses of worship – safety and security and not just to conclude that carrying a weapon in a house of prayer is all you have to do to protect your congregants.

Interested persons can find additional information including an introductory video on church security, podcasts, and downloadable materials at www.churchsafetyministry.com. A pilot webinar is under development, and those interested in participating in this pilot can register at our website to receive announcements of future presentation dates.

Churches, irrespective of size, must plan to ensure the safety of their congregants

Column 1

Church - Country

Churches, like any other businesses in today’s environment, must take steps to ensure the safety of their congregations.

Because emergencies happen to all businesses, a thoughtful and resilient emergency plan of action is prudent.

As of December 19, 108 people were killed in churches in 2017.

When an active shooter on November 5, 2017, killed 26 people and wounded 20 at a rural Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas,  media, public, and political concerns reached a new high.

This church attack was the deadliest active shooting by an individual in Texas history and the fifth-deadliest in the United States.  It is the most devastating active shooting in an American place of worship in our history.

Such events disappear quickly from the front pages of  mainstream media, and many people, including pastors and congregants, resort to thinking, “it can’t happen to us.” Hopefully, it won’t.

Although the chances that your congregants will be involved in such an attack are slim, church leadership must accept the possibility and plan for this and all other possible emergencies.

Having worked in the field of crisis communications, prevention, and management for 40-years, I believe in and practice with my clients “ praying for the best while preparing for the worse.”

Organizations that do so will survive and recover; those that don’t suffer severe and often irreparable consequences.

This series of columns will provide insight into the questions that church leaders and pastors must consider as they plan for the safety of their congregants.

Planning for the necessary personnel to respond, the communication of the event, training church personnel, and the event follow-up should cover issues such as:

  • Why houses of worship need an emergency response plan and the types of emergencies to include.
  • The importance of a facilitated dialogue with leadership and congregants about developing an action plan that includes law enforcement, emergency response, legal and insurance personnel a process we call “Collaborative Informed Consent.”
  • Considerations of hiring professional security personnel or using volunteers, including a “talent inventory” from your congregants.
  • Conducting a risk analysis and evaluation of your church facility, parking lot, and personnel.
  • Why your institution is a “soft target” and how to “harden” it by quickly achieving “soft” and “hard” lockdowns.
  • Having trained “screeners” and the options for action they must take when an incident develops.
  • Understanding your internal and external communication needs and venues before, during, and after a crisis.
  • Considering non-lethal and lethal options.
  • How to gather intelligence and ensure confidentiality.
  • How to protect children and seniors who are the most vulnerable members of your congregation.
  • Understanding what an active shooter is and how they think.
  • The times of day and the days of the week your church is most vulnerable.
  • The role of active or retired military, law enforcement, and concealed carry permit holders on your security team.
  • What you must communicate to your congregation about your plan and what they must do in the event of an emergency, including an active shooter.
  • Whether you should post signage, and, if so, what should it say?
  • Establishing proactive establishment of post-event counseling and recovery assistance.
  • Teaching self-awareness and using the “see something, say something” strategy.
  • Pros and cons of “Run, hide and fight.”
  • The need for “Stop the Bleed” first-aid kits and training.

Further information

These columns share the expertise gleaned from our four decades of experience in crisis planning and management and those involved in church security nationwide. We challenge you to explore what has become a vitally important role in today’s houses of worship – safety and security and not just to conclude that carrying a weapon in a house of prayer is all you have to do to protect your congregants.

Interested persons can find additional information including an introductory video on church security, podcasts, and downloadable materials at www.ldarrylarmstrong.com. A pilot webinar is under development, and those interested in participating in this pilot can register at our website to receive announcements of future presentation dates.

END

(L. Darryl Armstrong Ph.D. is the principal at L. Darryl ARMSTRONG and Associates LLC, a firm providing crisis communications and consulting training nation-wide. Dr. Armstrong, who holds a doctoral degree in neuro-linguistics, graduated from Murray State University in communications and behavioral psychology and the Executive Security Institute with an emphasis in security planning. For limited speaking engagements and consulting, contact him at 1.888.340.2006, ldarrylarmstrong@gmail.com and www.ldarrylarmstrong.com.)

Who are these people called the Millenials?

A robot woman head with internal technology

“The best crisis to manage is the one you prevent,” Dr. L. Darryl Armstrong speaking to the National Association of Environmental Professionals

You are hiring, like it or not, many members of the Millennial generation (The M-Generation). Most likely you are either a “Baby Boomer” or a “GenXer” doing the hiring. You are thinking that these people must not have grown up in the same world that you did. You think to yourself, we may have a crisis developing, and you have no idea why. You would be right in both assumptions.

Although some of what you read here will seem negative, try to maintain an open-mind. This description of the M-Generation is intended to be helpful and will show you how research and understanding is evolving to help us all better understand this generation.

Dealing with the M-Generation will be challenging, yet successful employers recognize the importance of learning as much about this generation as possible. Like it or not, they will be reshaping our world because by 2020 they will be 60% of our work force.

The basis of this series of six articles comes from the research, including “The M- Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace” by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman (Harper Collins, 2010) and from the Internet site PWC’s report Millennials in the Work Place – Reshaping the World. We also have integrated the work from other consultants who specialize in the M-Generation and work with them daily.

Perhaps, just perhaps, if you get better informed about the M-Generation, you can prevent a major crisis from developing, or at the least, better understand how to deal with the crisis when it does. The idea is to understand and utilize the particular talents of the M-Generation because you will be hiring and/or working with people who have unique characteristics and challenging behaviors for years to come.

As a behavioral psychologist, I am fascinated by people’s behaviors and their responses to behaviors. The behaviors I see being exhibited by the M-Generation and the responses from the Baby Boomers and Gen X folks provide an extra dose of fascination.

Millennials are anyone of the 76 million young people who were born between 1982 and 2000. They are entering the work force at a rapid pace, and they are being hired by managers between the ages of 40 and 65 (the “Baby- Boomers” and “GenXers”). The hiring managers are somewhat bewildered by the people they are hiring, as well as learning that transitioning this generation into the work environment is rarely without issue and can be crisis inducing.

Why are there such generational differences between these three groups? Let’s look at the differences in the M-Generation’s cultural and historical memories. Just as World War II was only a textbook to those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 70s, the Vietnam War was is only a textbook memory to the M-Generation.

In our generation, we were just beginning to enjoy the benefits of such advanced technology as pocket transistor radios; the M-Generation is technologically savvy beyond any of our wildest expectations. Just stop and ask yourself, whom did you call to program your VCR just a few years ago?

I would suggest that there are three significant questions we must answer and understand to work with the M-generation:

  • How do they see their world and how do they process the information they see?
  • How do they expect and choose to operate in the world of work and why?
  • What do they expect to receive from their work and what do they perceive as rewards?

Research, surveys and analyses by many people more experienced than I am suggest that the good news is there are answers to some of these questions. The bad news is that many of our generation can’t relate to those answers and the M-Generation perspectives.

Some key findings to be sensitive to when dealing with the M-Generation:

  • They will share information of all types and of depth across many different platforms and with many different people – discretion is not part of their typical vocabulary;
  • They require – read – must have – personalized attention;
  • They must be always winning and be recognized for even coming to work on time;
  • They use a variety of social media and social networking, unlike any generation previously, and their knowledge and use of this technology can be impactful to an organization, as well as society at large;
  • They are talented in certain areas of endeavors and less so in others;
  • They are critical and don’t hesitate to voice their views and opinions.

Seniority and your feelings are irrelevant to many of the M-Generation. For example, they may understand how to use Microsoft Power Point, yet invariably would explain to you how to use Apple iPhoto to get better results on the presentation that you spent hours on developing.

They have trouble dealing with lines of authority, and command positions are simply irrelevant to many of them. In fact, they would without hesitation go straight to a CEO and argue their case against a change in the organization’s protocols without your knowledge.

And their parents, well, they also can be an issue. Fathers and mothers (think “Helicopter” parents) of the M-Generation have been known to reprimand employers at social engagements over incidents their children just mentioned in passing to them.

Now, having laid this foundation, allow me to caveat it by saying not all M-Generation people are of this ilk.  However, research and experience show these generalizations are not that far from the reality of their behaviors in the work place. So then, how do we deal with the M-Generation at work?

As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore!

Next: Part 2 – How do we deal with the M-Generation in our work place?

 

Sources: The M- Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace” by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman (Harper Collins, 2010)

 

PWC.Com – Millenials in the Work Place – Reshaping the World https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/managing-tomorrows-people/future-of-work/assets/reshaping-the-workplace.pdf

 

Promoting a consistent message and visual identity is critical to success

branding-art

Art source: www.aboutbranding.co.za

Most companies simply will not allow haphazard uses of their logos or brands. Break those rules and you are in serious trouble.

Promoting a consistent message and visual identity is critical to “branding” and maintaining controls around variance of messages.In fact, once we have standardized our systems (think purchasing,hiring, interviewing, community outreach, media engagement, crisis and issues management, communications) we are able to be more efficient, effective and save time and money.

When variances show up on the bottom line, we can check them against our standardized processes.This is what our financial people do on a regular basis. This brings standardization to the organization.However, most companies still don’t standardize their leadership best practices.

 

They may have dozens of ways to interview and hire, solve the same problem in five different ways in various divisions, and simply spend a lot of time and energy needlessly identifying and solving the same problems repeatedly in many different ways.

Those companies who do standardize their leadership processes and training create a path forward map to help every leader in the company to be successful. In simple terms: Develop your road map and follow it, or as I tell clients who seek strategic planning assistance from me, “Write your plan based on best practices and work your plan.”

Why don’t companies do this?

Research shows that many companies don’t have a unified leadership process in place because:

  • The leaders don’t have the training they need to succeed.
  • There is no objective accountability system.
  • The “dots are not connected” for employees in respect to purpose, worthwhile work and making a difference.
  • The companies are not using a sequenced mapped approach.
  • There is no process for managing high- and middle-level managers.
  • There is no process in place to address the problems with low performers.

To determine if your company needs to standardize your leadership system, Quint Studer in his book, “Results That Last,” suggests we ask ourselves such questions as:

  • How many different ways do we have to interview a candidate?
  • How do we know that when our leaders have left a meeting we have accurately and completely conveyed the messages we want them to carry back to the employees?
  • When employees are asked tough questions, how do we know they are not giving us just the answers they think we want to hear?
  • How do we measure the performance of our employees in such a way as we can determine they are low, middle or high-level performers?
  • What process do we have in place to assess the performance of employees and their accountability against the overall organizational goals?

Six ways to improve our leadership programs

Leadership programs can be standardized and improved.

When we standardize our programs, we provide a path forward map for all our leadership, which saves time and money and makes organizations more successful.

How do we do this?

1. Use a common agenda. While Studer recommends that all agendas be organized around his “Five Pillars of Excellence,” (People, service, quality, finance and growth) even more important is that for every meeting there is a standardized agenda used by all leaders in the organization. By using such an approach, we can align all staff to our organizational goals, which then allows us to help them connect to the organization’s vision and mission. This approach also gives us the means to communicate to our team the critical success factors within the organization and in their individual work areas.

2. Align your evaluation process to Studer’s five pillars or the organization’s critical success factors. When developing goals for our organization, they must be objective, measurable, meaningful and aligned with the organization’s pillars or critical success factors. They must also be focused on results.

3. Provide consistent packets of information. When leaders leave meetings, they should have a prepared packet of information they can share with their employees so that everyone hears the same messages. Studer notes that many companies use “Flip and Tell” books to package the information.

4. Choose a single method of interviewing and hiring employees. All applicants should be asked the same three or four behavioral-based questions no matter what job they are applying for in the organization. It would be prudent to choose questions geared toward values and ownership.

5. Collect tough questions from leaders. Every leader should be asked on a regular basis to share with the team the tough questions they hear from their staff. Then work with your leaders to develop a consistent set of answers that will be used by all leaders. This develops a consistent message that can be communicated by everyone. Consistency builds confidence and provides employees evidence that the leaders have the information needed to answer their questions.

6. Make sure your leaders are trained in basic competencies to perform. Many leaders are not comfortable delivering messages without appropriate training.

Those companies who annually train their leaders in such competencies as meeting facilitation, negotiations, conflict prevent and resolution and presentations skills are more successful because they are providing the essential training all leaders need.

Research shows that repetition is essential to build integrity and credibility within an organization. Great leaders never tire of repetition. When leaders become better at using their skills, they become more efficient and effective at doing it. They will get better with practice.

Organizations that use this six step approach have longer lasting results, improved organizational efficiencies and greater innovation.Key points to remember:

  • Stop the variances. When an organization has variance in its leadership approach it produces inconsistencies within the organization making it more difficult to achieve excellence. Alignment among the managers and employees improves performance and enhances customer and employee satisfaction.
  • Standardize behavior. Leadership behavior is challenging to quantify and many organizations find it a challenge to standardize behavior. Many organizations fear that by doing so they will intrude on the leader’s autonomy and creativity. However, organizational goals come down from the top and include clear visions and missions. Any single leader’s independence is less important than the organization’s mission.
  • Eliminate barriers. Barriers that can get in the way of standardizing leadership behavior include: Lack of critical mass; lack of a balanced approach; insufficient training; no objective accountability; no path forward map which connects the dots; no process in place to manage middle and high level performers; no system to address quickly and efficiently low performers; an inability or unwillingness to standardize best practices across the organization. These barriers must be systematically eliminated.n Identify and eliminate inconsistent practices.

Carefully scrutinize all your practices in interviewing systems, messaging to employees, leader responses to crises, varying leadership performances and ineffective leadership evaluations.

Every organization should strive to create a self-sustaining culture with energy and vision to achieve excellence, Studer says. This can be accomplished by renovating your leadership evaluation system, applying key leadership behaviors, which will inspire self-motivation (the most powerful motivator of all), and developing standardized processes which will hardwire excellence into your organization.

Sources: “Results That Last” by Quint Studer

Dr. L. Darryl Armstrong, Armstrong and Associates, is a consultant and counselor. He can be reached at drdarryl@aol.com or 1-888-340-2006 or http://www.ldarrylarmstrong.com