What They’re Not Telling You About Becoming a Leader – LM0220

Leadership can be hard. It can wear us out.

We all want to do the right thing, but sometimes it's hard to know what that is. There are so many opportunities to serve that those of us who truly have a heart to serve have to be careful, or we can do more harm than good.

If we're not careful, we could be walking in the PRESUMPTION that God will equip and empower us, without knowing for sure that we're actually CALLED.

If we're doing the wrong thing (or the right thing at the wrong time or with the wrong people) we might be walking in the PRESUMPTION that God will equip us, without knowing for sure that we're actually CALLED.

Let's be careful to always walk fully in God's calling and serve well as leaders.

Continue reading “What They're Not Telling You About Becoming a Leader – LM0220”

Leadership Lessons From a Broken Ice Cream Machine – LM0219

Leadership is leadership, no matter the situation.

Bryan Entzminger and Scott McClelland continue their conversation about what leadership lessons we can learn from a broken ice cream machine.

They talk about commander's intent, the dangers of institutionalization, and the importance of truly supporting people–because sometimes what works for one person at one place and time will not work for another.

Leadership is Leadership, No Matter the Situation

There are many leadership qualities that one learns in the workplace or on battlefields. Being aware of commanding officers around you will help you understand how to lead people in a way that will benefit them best as an individual, not just as a part of a collective whole.

We Can't Assume the Same Things Will Work For Everyone, Everywhere

It's important to remember that effective leadership strategies that work for one person in one situation don't always translate to other people. What does and doesn't work in leadership is very context-dependent.

You have to be able to adapt leadership styles when necessary, which can often mean tinkering with leadership strategies until you find something that will fit the person you're trying to lead.

We Have to Support Each Other

At the end of the day leadership is about effective people-leading and not strategies. When leaders have their priorities straight, they can identify what those around them need most and give them whatever support they require in order to succeed.

It's important for leaders to work together with other members of leadership who are also working towards

There's Danger in Organizational Growth

As our businesses and organizations grow, there's always the danger that they might either become stuck in the past or drift from their purpose.

It's important for leadership to be vigilant about such problems – and to actively guide the organization towards its future. This means not trying to force change on leadership but rather working with them towards a vision of what leadership can look like as those who were once appointed leadership roles have retired and new leadership needs to take charge.

It means honoring the past while looking to the future. And that's why Commander's Intent is so important.

Commander's Intent

A Commander's Intent is a leadership principle. In military doctrine, it is an instruction that informs soldiers on the commander's desired end-state. It inspires unity, assigns tasks, and establishes how they will know when they have succeeded in accomplishing their mission.

We can think of it as the direction set by the leadership for the team to be more effective and accomplish the mission. The people in leadership can see where the team needs to go and what they need to do in order to be successful.

It can be applied to many leadership scenarios. For example, if a restaurant manager wants her employees to provide excellent customer service, she may give them this goal with the following plan: “The servers should wait at least two minutes before seating guests to ensure that all tables are available”.

Allowing your staff time to achieve success not only helps them feel valued, but also reinforces good habits for the next time there is a change or new task handed down from leadership.

Leadership Isn't Just About Leading

Leadership isn’t just about leading people. It's also about supporting them and making sure they feel valued while they do their job well so as not to encourage burnout and resentment among employees.

It's important for leaders of all levels- from business owners, managers, supervisors on up-to learn what kind of support works best in a given situation before attempting any changes without first talking through potential problems with those who are.

Have you ever had a leadership lesson from a broken ice cream machine?

Tune in to hear this discussion on leadership lessons that are applicable no matter where you are or what situation you find yourself in!

About Bryan Entzminger

Bryan Entzminger is a former McDonald’s manager, who now edits and produces podcasts. He previously hosted the Engaging Missions Show and now cohosts the Podcast Editors Mastermind. You can find him at Top Tier Audio.

He loves to edit audio because it provides a creative outlet and technical challenge for him, as well as being intellectually stimulating. Bryan is a saxophonist with a degree in Music Education from Evangel University in Springfield, MO.

When he's not recording or editing podcasts, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Katherine, and their two children, as well as being involved in his local church.

Other Places You Can Find Bryan

Resources

The Founder tells the story of how one man built a company that has had an impact on just about every American. Starting the novel with Ray Kroc selling milkshake mixers from his car Prince opens up to show his ambition and drive, and debunks common leadership stereotypes of success

If you're satisfied or stimulated by seeing leadership related problems being solved would want to watch this movie.

From the Forefront is a missions podcast that helps highlight what God is doing on the forefront of missions. Learn how to hone spiritual, intellectual, and emotional skills so you can become an exemplary leader in whatever field or arena you find yourself.

ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP MOMENT

Scott McClelland of Foundational Missions shares bite-sized insights into leadership, with a focus on the Bible, missions, and ministry. He pulls from a wide variety of sources and always has something to inspire and challenge us to greatness.

Leave a Rating or Review: https://lovethepodcast.com/leadersmomentFollow to get the show for free: https://followthepodcast.com/leadersmoment

The Ice Cream Machine at McDonald’s is Broken Again … Why It Matters – LM0218

How many times has this happened to you?

You've been heading to a McDonald’s, excited about getting an ice cream cone. You get there, place your order in the Drive-Thru, and then discover that the machine is broken?

Now, not only are you not able to get the ice cream you wanted, but you're also stuck on the inside track of a two-lane Drive-Thru, unable to leave until what seems like the world's slowest line starts moving again.

If that's happened to you, you're not alone. But here's the deal – we ALL create “ice cream machine” experiences for our customers and partners from time-to-time. They come to us for that ONE THING, and we fail to deliver for them.

We leave our people unhappy and disillusioned because we didn't take care of them.

And when that's the case, it all comes down to leadership. Our leadership.

The problem (and the responsibility) is ours.

It's our responsibility to care enough about the people we serve that we make it a priority.

Leadership starts with us – whether you're at the top of an organization, in charge of one department or project, or just starting out on your journey as a leader-to-be…it all comes down to how much do you care about the people you serve?

It's not an easy leadership lesson, but it's one that we all need to learn. Because at some point in our careers (and sooner than you think), someone will come to us with a broken ice cream machine issue and if we're not ready for them then…well, they'll just be another person who leaves disappointed.

And when people are consistently disappointed over time, they may leave for good.

Consistent leadership failures will drive away partners and customers

A lot of people just don't even bother anymore. They go somewhere else instead because it seems so much more worth their time and money, given the frequency with which McDonald's breaks down.

Consistent leadership failures can bring ridicule.

When leadership fails to keep things running smoothly in an organization or business, people start making jokes and laughing at them – even if their service used to be great.

This has certainly affected McDonald's. Not only do other companies take cheap shots, there's even a website that will help you identify working and non-working ice cream machines in the USA.

Consistent leadership failures can break down morale.

Believe it or not, leadership failures are contagious. One leadership failure can lead to others, and over time, it can create a counter-culture in your organization where “bad” leadership becomes the norm.

If you're not careful, this could happen at your company:

  • Your team starts feeling like they don't have someone on their side to help them get through the day.
  • Your team starts feeling like leadership is more focused on what they can do for themselves, and that takes away from leadership's focus on keeping their people happy.

This can lead to a breakdown in morale, which could be:

  • leading to disengagement (where employees leave voluntarily). 
  • leading to your top performers leaving.
  • leading to a leadership crisis (where the organization fails).

 Of course, we're not trying to pretend that it's easy. It's not.

A working ice cream machine requires a LOT of things to go right.

 What might appear simple to customers could be very complex – even if it looks VERY simple to those you serve.

 Think for a moment about all the things that go into maintaining an ice cream machine.

  • It needs to be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
  • There's a preventative maintenance schedule.
  • It has to be kept full so that it doesn't freeze up.
  • It can't make ice cream faster than it can keep it frozen.

Oh, and in many cases, most of this is managed by teenagers. Often at the end of a long shift, late at night, with homework waiting to be done so that they can go to school the next day.

In other words, just because they're responsible teenagers doesn't mean that their priorities are completely aligned with the people who will come in tomorrow looking for that ice cream cone or strawberry shake.

 The same can often be said of our organizations. That's why it's so important for us as leaders to be open to the idea that what's most important to our customers and partners might not be what we think it is (or want it to be).

What’s a low priority for us might be a MUCH higher priority for those we serve.

 Every day, leadership teams are faced with tough decisions about what to focus on and what not to. We have limited resources, so we must be selective in our choices.

And it's in the details that things can get complex and messy.

In leadership, it’s easy to focus on the mission and strategy of our work while neglecting the tactics of day-to-day operations that are critical to achieving results. It requires intentional leadership attention to prioritize what really matters in the big picture.

It's also easy to let low-priority things pile up and become distractions that keep us from focusing on the important tasks at hand. It’s not uncommon for leadership teams to find themselves with a bunch of broken ice cream machines in their organizations.

What we might consider less urgent, or even trivial by our standards, is actually a much higher priority for those we serve.

As leaders, we MUST be as intentional about what we consider lower priority as what we consider higher priority. To do that well, we must understand where and when we must either adjust our priorities or manage their expectations.

We need to understand the nonnegotiables for our customers and partners.

It's important for leadership teams in organizations and businesses alike, to take note of when customers or partners have a higher priority on something than they do. That means understanding their nonnegotiables — what matters most — so that they can be aware of when their customers or partners may have a higher priority on something than the leadership team does.

To do that, leadership teams need to actually know them. They have to talk with them and listen — not just hear what they're saying but really listen to how it makes them feel.

Leadership teams also need to be willing to listen and humble enough to know they're not the only ones with broken ice cream machines.

You can’t always fix people problems by tweaking the system.

Sometimes the best way to fix things is by adjusting the system so that we're setting people up for success. This might require reallocating resources.

But if the problem really IS a people problem, we have to address it as that. Because even though we can shape behavior through rewards and punishment, we ALL give our best when we're bought in on the purpose and value of what we're doing.

What about you?

Does your organization have its own “ice cream machine” issue?

What are you going to do about it?

About Bryan Entzminger

Bryan Entzminger is a former McDonald’s manager, who now edits and produces podcasts. He previously hosted the Engaging Missions Show and now cohosts the Podcast Editors Mastermind. You can find him at Top Tier Audio.

About The Leadership Moment

Scott McClelland of Foundational Missions shares bite-sized insights into leadership, with a focus on the Bible, missions, and ministry. He pulls from a wide variety of sources and always has something to inspire and challenge us to greatness.

Leave a Rating or Review: https://lovethepodcast.com/leadersmomentFollow to get the show for free: https://followthepodcast.com/leadersmoment

The Key to True Transformational Leadership – LM0217

The key to true transformational leadership is a willingness to be the first to change, to always be learning and engaging culture, and to invest time in deep relationships with others before ever trying to lead change. This may be one of the most challenging tasks for any leader, because it goes against our nature. But if we don’t do it, our attempts to affect real change will never work.

Listen as Scott and Dr. Noah Manyika continue their conversation about transformational leadership.

Listen to Discover:

  • The one kind of expectations most likely to put us into an awkward position or make us feel like we’ve been blindsided.
  • When cross-cultural missionaries can assume they’ve dug deep enough into understanding culture and relationships (hint: never).
  • How our expectations can create a great chasm between what we think we’re communicating and what is actually heard and how it’s understood.
  • Why we should prepare as though the unexpected will happen (and why it’s biblical).
  • Why understanding and connecting with people is the key.

Resources

About the Leadership Moment

Scott McClelland of Foundational Missions shares bite-sized insights into leadership, with a focus on the Bible, missions, and ministry. He pulls from a wide variety of sources and always has something to inspire and challenge us to greatness.