1. Screening benevolence requests. "'We strongly recommend an application that helps gather a person's data,' advise Elaine and Frank Sommerville, both editorial advisors for SkillBuilders. Churches can use a smaller application for smaller requests, for example, a $25 grocery card, and a fuller application for large assistance requests. Elaine says churches should design their applications to answer basic background questions about income, household, address, and so on. Frank, an attorney and CPA, says churches should ask to see the person's financial records and bills, too, to verify the need in question. That may seem intrusive to some people, but take Elaine's advice: 'You can say, 'I'm very sorry but the IRS doesn't allow us to give out funds for needs we can't document.'" ("6 Benevolence Fund Best Practices," by Samuel Ogles, Church Finance Today SkillBuilders). Did you know SkillBuilders is free to all Church Finance Today newsletter subscribers? Subscribe today.
2. Leading versus managing. "Vision is the main difference between leadership and management. Management consists primarily of three things: analysis, problem solving, and planning. If you go to any management course they'll be composed of those three things. But leadership consists of vision and values and the communication of those things. If you don't clarify the purposes as the leader, who's going to?" ("The Crucial Difference Between Managing and Leading," by Rick Warren, Pastors.com).
3. One-on-one meetings matter. "When faced with an onslaught of meetings, many managers cancel their one-on-ones with their direct reports. While this might free up some time right away, it can actually cost you in the long run. Not having a predictable check-in schedule can lead to mistakes—that you'll have to fix later—or a decrease in productivity because people are unclear about their priorities. And employees will often find other, less effective ways to connect with you. They may start sending you lots of e-mails or hovering outside your office to catch you in between meetings" ("Cancelling One-on-One Meetings Destroys Your Productivity," by Elizabeth Grace Saunders, hbr.org).
4.Keeping 'know-it-alls' at bay. "Know-it-alls think they know everything. ... But there's an effective way to deal with know-it-alls, to gently put them in their place without sounding like a know-it-all yourself. Several principles help, including these three:
- If the person's behavior starts getting on your nerves, it's time to directly confront [the person] so that you can resolve the conflict.
- Think and plan how you can assertively speak up and tactfully let the [person] know you don't need the help or unsolicited advice.
- Add that if you do need help, you'll be sure to ask for it"
("How to Deal with a Know-It-All," by Renee Evenson, amanet.org).
5. Notable quote. "The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes." —Tony Blair (via Jeff Haden,inc.com).
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