Archives For Tim Parsons

Bad Leadership

We’ve all worked for terrible leaders. The bosses who made us want to quit. The manager who forced us to rethink our entire life plan. The supervisor who drove us insane and caused an emotional breakdown.

I remember one leader that I worked for whom I would definitely call terrible. In the words of Charles Barkley – he was “turrible.” I didn’t want to work when he was working. I was filled with anxiety on the way to work, unsure of what he was going to do and how he was going to make me feel. He was mean, sarcastic, and only cared about himself and how he looked.

Have you worked for this guy, too?

And, as much as I want to totally bash this guy . . . I have to admit that being a leader, at any level, is hard. It’s full of ups and downs, uncertainty, and unpredictable people. Because leading is so hard, it can put us in a position where we can seem terrible ourselves.

I’m sure you’re like me – you don’t want to be known as the terrible leader either. It can happen quickly and without warning. But…

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Burning OutOkay, we’re already making our way through the new year. It’s now fully 2017 and we don’t need to talk any more about 2016. We can move on. Onward and upward, right?

By the way, how are you doing on your new goals . . . your resolutions? Are you on track or have you already given up. Either way, there’s grace here for you! Whether you set goals or not, whether you’re after some new plateau of your life like a tenacious animal or you’ve already limped away like an injured koala bear who fell off the top branch trying to reach that last leaf, and whether you’re expecting big things in the new year or you’re resigned to just handling whatever comes your way best you can — it’s all okay. No judgment here! Enjoy the new year and I hope that 2017 is the best yet for you!!

But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a phenomenon that happens to far too many leaders — and it often catches them by surprise. In other words, it’s a tragedy that most of us can only react to — rather than…

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As a leader, one of the hardest things to do is to lead people through the process of change. But, the reality is that change is happening around us all the time. And if we don’t change, we’ll be left behind. Change is a function of growth … things/organizations/people cannot grow unless they change. The paradigm that exists with all change as it relates to people is that the person must decide to change before they will.

A leader’s job is to inspire and influence the people they lead to create an environment where it is easy to change. As with most leadership principles, this one is easier said than done. I’ve found that there are really five reasons that change is hard for so many people … in fact I identified these in myself. So let’s learn and grow (and change) together!

  • I don’t want to. There are moments in time where we become obstinate. We just flat out don’t want to change. It can be vindictive because we don’t agree with the change or it can come from a place of bitterness because of a broken relationship. Regardless of where it comes…

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In a world of overload – information overload, option overload, and overload overload – there are very few things that set organizations apart from one another. Decision making about where we will shop, eat, and even worship is becoming more and more difficult. Who has the best deal? Where did I have the best experience the last time I was there? Which comes the most recommended by my friends?

The decisions can be difficult and confusing.

I believe that those organizations that will survive and thrive have, as their foundation, one principle that helps them succeed and differentiate themselves. A principle that takes years to perfect and only moments to lose. The one principle that will launch a business from mediocre to phenomenal. What is it?


I remember my days in the restaurant business. Consistency was the main goal of our business. Being consistently good, that is. If I go to the restaurant today and order a steak, it will be prepared exactly like it was when I ordered it weeks and even months ago. The service will be every bit as good as it was back “then.” The overall experience that I have will be good from the…

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One of my favorite things to do is to speak to a group. It’s mostly because I am a teacher at heart and I really enjoy helping people understand a new idea, deepen their knowledge about a topic, or help them move from point A to point B about a subject. From a young age I wanted to be a teacher and I have been blessed to be a teacher for most of my career.

Similar to leadership, teaching is something that has naturally come with each of my positions. When I’m a manager, I train others how to do their job – teaching! When I’m in a meeting presenting a new way to reach customers, I’m teaching! When I’m in the classroom in front of a bunch of college students teaching them about leadership, I’m teaching … okay, that one was kind of obvious.

One of the best ways to spread your message is through public speaking. Whether you’re in a pulpit on Sunday morning, presenting a PowerPoint presentation to your colleagues, or leading a family meeting at home, you’re speaking. And most of us can get better at this skill. And, I am…

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I fail in life far more often than I care to admit. Maybe it’s my perfectionist tendencies or just the high bar that I set for myself. Regardless, failure has been and continues to be a regular part of my life. I miss deadlines. I disappoint people. I forget important things. I spell words wrong when I’m typing.

I would imagine that you’ve experience failure at least once before. Right? Please make me feel somewhat normal here…

Over the years, I’ve been around others as they’ve failed. And some do it well…and some not so well. Let me be honest – sometimes I do it well and sometimes I don’t. But, I believe there’s a five step process to go through in order to fail “well.” Here are the five steps:

Step one – Have the right attitude about it.

When you fail, don’t overreact. Don’t treat your failure like it’s the end of the world…or even the end of anything. Often mistakes and failures are built up in our minds to be larger than they really are. When we fail, it’s a great time to choose the right attitude. Understanding, before the…

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I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded. I’ve been criticized much more than I’ve been complemented. I’ve been thrown into circumstances that I’ve never been in before many more times than finding myself somewhere familiar. And because of those truths, it makes me fearful that those trends will continue and I will ultimately find myself unemployed, alone, and isolated.

Maybe you can relate. I make decisions… worried that it won’t work out. I assign tasks… scared that they won’t follow through. I lead the team into the future… doubting that goals will be accomplished. Sound familiar at all?

Don’t get me wrong, I wish that fear wasn’t a part of my life. I sincerely hope that, one day, I’ll be in a place where I have so much confidence that fear dare not rear its ugly face. But that day is not today.

And the truth is that we leaders don’t do a good job at all of sharing these fears. We don’t want to get vulnerable or seem like we don’t have it all together. Although I don’t advocate this, I completely understand. But, I have come to find over the many years of leadership that we…

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Follow Up written on a wooden cube in office desk

Church growth doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t happen in a single day. Easter Sunday, year after year, is the most-attended service(s) of the year. There’s lots of planning and preparing that goes into it. Extra rehearsals, extra prayer, and extra effort. Pastors and church leaders across the world are busy making sure that everything is aligned for a great Sunday.

But, church growth doesn’t happen on a single Sunday.

Imagine for a moment what would happen to your church if every visitor that showed up on Easter Sunday came back the very next Sunday and became a regular part of your church. Wouldn’t that be great?

What I know is that it won’t happen by only having an excellent Sunday morning service. It only happens through a follow-up process that has these four keys:

  1. Don’t wait. All visitors should be contacted within 48 hours of their visit. If you wait, their experience will not be fresh anymore. Waiting to communicate with them will increase the likelihood that they’ve gotten back into the routine of life and moved on from their visit to your church. Plus,…

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Easter eggs in the field

As I’m sure you know, Easter is just a few weeks away.  In fact, this year, it’s early.  Easter happens the last week of March and that means that church leaders across the country are faced with a shorter time to prepare and less time to ramp up.

The good news is that there are tons of resources out there that can make it a lot easier to have a great Easter.  These online resources take the guesswork out and shorten the span of time that it will take you to prepare and get everyone ready to reach the people in your community that will either attend church for the first time or come back to church after being gone for a long period of time.

At Church Leader Strategies, we’ve found 5 websites that have resources that will not only help you get prepared, but they will also help you put in place some strategies that will lead to growth. From leadership training to giving to volunteers, these websites have what you need to grow this Easter.

Ministry Pass – This site focuses on preaching and promotion and has everything…

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Most of the time, when the topic of leadership is brought up, we tend to immediately begin talking about how to lead “doers.”  By doer I simply mean the people that are there to do a job.  They signed up to volunteer in your ministry.  You hired them to work in a specific department.  They are on your team and are expected to carry out tasks.  They are doers.

This is in contrast to leaders.  And, if you are in leadership for any length of time, there will probably come a time where you will need to lead other leaders.  Leading other leaders is, in many ways, different than leading doers.  Leaders expect you to interact with them differently.  In fact, I’ve found 5 truths that I believe that all leaders who lead other leaders need to understand.

1. Leaders need resources.  This includes money, equipment, and people.  Nothing will frustrate a leader faster than firing them up with a compelling vision and then not equipping them with resources to accomplish the vision.  Leaders are goal-driven and the most important thing to them is reaching the finish line – without resources, you’re making it impossible…

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A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called 5 Ways To Know If Your Team Is Inconsistent.  If you haven’t read it, would you click on the link and check it out?

Now that you’ve evaluated the team that you lead and you’ve discovered that they’re not as consistent as you’d like them to be…now what?  How do I help them become more consistent?

Well, I’m glad you asked!  Here are five ways to help increase consistency:

  1. Over communicate.  When leading a team, I’m not sure that it’s possible to communicate too much.  I’m sure that it is, but far too many of us woefully under-communicate that an increase in our communication would be welcomed.  But, when we communicate with our teams we are setting expectations.  And the more that they hear from us the more likely we are to adequately shape the culture and that leads to consistency and excellence.
  2. Have a system for development.  Often, one of the main reasons a team is inconsistent is because they lack training.  Especially in any kind of on-going way.  And, if there is training present, it happens haphazardly and without any clear system….

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Any time that we’re working with teams, delegation is going to be central to our success.  As a parent, we ask our kids to clean up their room or make the bed or brush their teeth.  At some point in their lives, we were probably the ones doing those things.  But, we want them to learn responsibility, so we delegate those tasks to them. In business, our capacity or skill level to do everything that needs to be done is limited.  So, we delegate tasks to those that we lead in order to accomplish the mission of the organization.

But, good delegation – whether its with a child or an adult – can require some skill.  Early on in my leadership, I was a horrible delegator.  In fact, I would say that I’m still growing in this area in some respects.  I’m not sure if it’s an introvert thing, but I definitely struggle with giving up control.  I have a mindset that if I want it done right, it’s better to do it myself.  But, I have definitely found some keys that must be present in order to delegate effectively.

1.  Be clear about the…

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