Monthly Archives: February 2014

Are You Coaching, Mentoring, Discipling?

The last couple years of being a C12 Chair has given me a greater awareness and appreciation for the value of good coaching, mentoring and discipling. It was a recent topic in our February advisory board meeting content, specifically in our devotion time, focused on this verse from 2 Timothy 2:2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” Some of the questions we discussed included:

What specific things do you do or might do to apply this principle in your business?

Practically speaking, how can we track our effectiveness in developing next generation ministry leadership using life-on-life discipleship, mentoring and delegation?

As usual there were great ideas shared among the group of Christian business owners who form the C12 groups. One of the resources offered by the C12 Group to the members is the Leaders Program materials from C12 member Troy Meachum of ACR Supply Company. I will share some of the elements of Troy’s program, as well as my own suggestions on how to implement a coaching, mentoring or discipling offering in your business or your church or your neighborhood.

Why is it important to provide this kind of leadership and do it well? For a business the benefits can be significant. “Training increases productivity 22%, when paired with coaching it increases productivity 88% to 400%.” (International Personnel Management Association, 2001)

The Leaders Program at ACR Supply Company has a formal application process for participants. The mentoring is done by CEO Troy Meachum in two three hour sessions each month. Each person participating commits to reading one book each month as part of the program. Troy’s program includes topics like self-knowledge and emotional intelligence, teamwork and cooperation, communication and feedback, stress management and work-life balance, influence, conflict resolution, developing others, and leading change. Troy’s goal as CEO is to spend 50% of his time coaching and mentoring staff.

If you are intimidated by the size and scope of what Troy is doing in his business, I suggest you start on a smaller scale. If I were to implement this in a business similar to the one I used to own (about 25 people on staff), I would start with 2 or 3 people. The group should meet every other week for at least two hours each time. The relationship building process is key and will take time, especially for employees to be honest and transparent with a business owner or senior manager. Each person should start with taking about 30 minutes to share their life story, where they were born and raised, their family life, their school life, their faith life. The coach should be the first to share, setting the tone for honesty and transparency. Our childhood shapes so much of who and what we are and most of us in business leadership roles know little to nothing about that time in the lives of our employees.

The list of topics from Troy’s program would be an excellent framework to use. C12 Group members could use segment topics or the recommended resource bibliography in their member binder to create a monthly topic for the coaching times. Incorporating a personality profile such as DISC would be a good tool for these sessions as well, helping your staff recognize the different ways people think and communicate. As you take your people through this time, be patient and be flexible, be aware of where they are at and their individual growth. Speed up or slow down if necessary, don’t be rigid about sticking with the program you designed. Share your successes and failures from your years of experience. Model for them humility and a desire for life-long learning.

You can use these same principles in a discipleship group focused on growing the members’ spiritual maturity. Again, keep the size small, 2 or 3 plus the mentor and of the same sex as the mentor. Start with the same life story approach to build trust. Cityteam,  http://www.cityteam.org/dmm/, has a discipleship resource called “Discovering God” that is good for a new believer. I was part of a group that used Greg Ogden’s Discipleship Essentials, http://www.gregogden.com/books.htm, and found it to be another good resource. One caveat for the Ogden book is that there is a lot of homework in each chapter and I would suggest cutting out the additional reading in each chapter, sticking to the Bible passages and verse memorization. Another alternative would be to take two sessions for every chapter in Discipleship Essentials.

In all of these models you and the people who are being coached, mentored or discipled need to commit to at least 12 months and ideally to 24 months. A covenant should be presented and signed by all participants as well.

If you are a leader, then you need to be doing this with others. Get started!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Christian Life, Coaching, Discipleship, Mentoring, Self-improvement, Uncategorized

Time for a Convention of States

If you look at any polls rating the public approval of the president, of Congress and of the Affordable Healthcare Act you will find a majority of Americans disapprove of all of these. You will also find a majority of Americans agreeing that the country is headed in the wrong direction. (www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls). The large numbers of citizens who disapprove of our current Federal government are the result of decades of professional politicians more interested in serving their own interests than the interests of this country and its citizens. They have lost sight of the real world that most of us live in.

The Federal government is not solving problems for its citizens, it is instead creating them by becoming increasingly intrusive in all of our lives, with regulatory and tax burdens beyond the scope imagined by the framers of the Constitution. They have overspent our hard earned dollars and there is no end in sight. Neither political party is interested in curbing this abuse of power. The executive branch continues to enact regulations that place an unnecessary financial burden on small and medium businesses that employ the majority of Americans, especially outside of the metropolitan areas of the country.

If, like me, you are one of the citizens who are among the dissatisfied, but aren’t sure what to do about it, there is an answer. The answer is found in Article V of the Constitution, which allows for a Convention of States to be called by the legislatures of two thirds of the states (34 of the 50). Here’s what happens: 34 states submit applications for the same issue; Congress is required to call the convention; commissioners debate, propose, and vote upon possible amendments; proposed amendments are sent to the state for ratifications; and if 38 states ratify, the proposed amendments become part of the Constitution. There are a number of possible amendments that could be discussed at the convention, including term limits for Congress and the Supreme Court. Read more about the process and how to get involved at http://www.conventionofstates.com/learn-convention-states-0.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Economy, Government, Uncategorized