How You're Disrespecting Others

We’ve all done it.

But the occasional occurrence isn’t the issue. It’s the pattern that’s the problem.

It’s being late—habitually late.

Primarily, I’m focusing on lateness in the work environment. (For lateness related to both church and work, @BillHybels treats this superbly in this sermon podcast, “Simplify, part 2)

A pattern (more than 1/5 meetings) of lateness communicates one thing to the others in the room:

“My time and work is more important than your time and work.”

You’d likely never say those words, but that’s often how it’s interpreted.

I don’t believe, nor do I model, that the higher on the org chart you are, the more margin you have for lateness. Promptness and respect are a cultural ethos thing, and it emanates from the leader(s). If in fact your time is more valuable than others’ time, then be courteous enough to either:

1.            Let others know you’ll be late;

2.            Or have the meeting set at an alternative time that works for you.

How to modify your habitual lateness:

•  If a meeting is called, it’s likely collaborative. If you’re invited, it implies you add value in the collaboration. When you’re not there, you can’t collaborate. You lose value.

•  Even if the meeting isn’t collaborative, your supervisor wants you there. You should respect his or her wishes.  (If you don’t think you need to attend the meeting, address that with your supervisor in a respectful and thought-out plan at the appropriate time.)

•  Being late creeps into longer lateness. It begins with five minutes. To you, no harm, no foul. But then next time, it’s ten minutes, and you begin an expanding pattern. It creeps into others, and you begin setting an unhealthy cultural ethos.

•  Consider how you feel when you host meetings or schedule something, and people are late. It’s a sign of disrespect—and it impacts the plans you had.

How to deal with habitually-late people:

•  Make promptness a part of your ethos. Clearly communicate the expectation, and then model it as the leader.

•  Start meetings on time—no matter who’s not there. (At least when they walk in late, they’ll realize they’re, in fact, late.)

•  After 2-3 infractions, challenge the person. Do it privately, but do it. It could sound like, “I’ve noticed you’ve been late to our meetings for several weeks in a row. I realize you’ve got a lot of things going on, and you produce a lot of great results, but the chronic lateness is something we don’t allow. I want you to be diligent in being on time. When you are, it communicates to others on the team that you’re in with them, and you share in the mutual responsibility of using everyone’s time well.”

•  As much as possible, be conscientious of setting meeting times when they’re likely going to work for the majority of invitees.

If you’re “the late person,” I challenge you to focus on being prompt for your next three meetings.

If you lead those who are “the late person,” challenge them within the next week.

Email me or message me, I’d love to hear how your late experiment goes.

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It's Not Cheating! It's Collaboration

Collaboration isn’t cheating. I blame my school system for misleading me for so long.

In one of the first TED conference talks, Englishmen Sir Ken Robinson spoke on the future of education. He stated that what schools prohibit and call “cheating” is most often called “collaboration” in the workplace.

Embarrassingly, from grades 6-10, I cheated in school. I had some elaborate cheating techniques, which I’ll provide to readers for a price. But it didn’t get me very far.

The $2 for lunch money I paid my smart friends to do my math homework worked really well until test time. I got an F which meant ineligibility for sports, detention more than once, and of course, grounding. (Meanwhile, the recipient of my $2 daily, Eric Stenner had plenty of money for baseball cards and ice cream sandwiches)

Those cheating techniques aren’t very transferrable to what I consider collaboration in my current work environment. I’ve discovered that having multiple brains is better than having just one.

You’re missing out if you don’t collaborate. Invite think tanks, solicit feedback, and request borrowed perception from others.

In a team environment, it’s not about getting credit or really even giving credit. If it’s mutually understood as a value, your church or organization will be better for it.

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How To Present A Compelling Church Budget

Our church’s budget has increased 172% over the last decade. That’s due to God’s blessing, but it’s also a product of good presentation (amongst other factors). To inform and compel, we have to continue finding new, creative ways to present our budget each year.

Some people will give financially either way, but our budget presentations are for the other people—those who have means to give but need a vision for their money, and also those who give very little and need a God-reason for their giving to increase.

What goes into creating our budget, and later, presenting it? Here are some key components to make it compelling:

•             Present a process that’s prayed over throughout its iterations.

•             Give people the opportunity to speak into the process and ask questions. We do this by presenting the budget drafts to multiple groups in order to get their thoughts. Two weeks before a congregational vote, we host town hall meetings to address questions. Read more about our church’s unique governance.

•             List easily identifiable categories and their budget amount. We do this at town hall meetings and on the web. We also list the previous year’s budgeted amount and the % change, if applicable.

•             Use multiple mediums to promote the budget and vote. We use two: a video and a printed brochure.

View examples for the 2015 budget: printed brochure and teaser video.

We strive to make the video story-based, while still providing clear numerical information. We give numbers, but also frame them in a way that’s helpful to tell the stories behind the dollars.

The printed brochure changes from year to year. It acts as an advertisement for how God uses our monetary gifts.

We’re blessed to have a great Communications Team who helps produce these. But the same things can be done for presenting small budgets, and it can fit to your church’s situation or scale.

The key is to appeal to as many audiences and learning styles as possible. Use figures for left brainers, graphs for visual learners, stories for all, and art forms for the artists. All of these can still point toward how the church is going to use the money God allocates to it through the givers.

Here are a few tips on how to plan your presentation:

•             Consider your different audiences at each point. Remember you’ll have to have communicate multiple times, in multiples ways, to multiple groups in order to get the message out. Your budget presentation has to be agile and contextualized.

•             Present broad buckets for those less inclined towards numbers, and use words they understand.

•             Be specific enough to answer most accountants’ questions. Town hall meetings can also help address higher level concerns.

•             Communicate how your dollars are accounted for. Refer to audits, finance teams, or whatever measures you use for checks and balances. Givers want to trust you. Make that easy for them.

 

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