by Andrea TruddenDirector of Communications & Marketing, Heartbeat International
There is no I in team, but there is me.
This is a silly take on a saying that we have all heard since little league. However, it is an important part of team leadership training. Hear me out.
When you invest in yourself to become a better leader, you need to take that “me” approach because you’re diving into the core of who you are and how you lead. You discover new ways to become a better leader.
And when you become a better leader, everybody around you benefits.
If you have attended the Leadership Track of our Pregnancy Help Institute, you know the importance of investing in yourself to directly impact the lives of those you interact with daily. Understanding how to truly hear people and how to effectively communicate helps alleviate many potential misunderstandings. It also allows you to intentionally connect with people and pour into their lives.
From our home to the office, our spouses, children, and colleagues all receive the nurturing care that true leadership training provides.
As a team here at Heartbeat, we recently completed the Whole Intentional Leader Development (WiLD) program, an online set of tools that “builds self-awareness, connects the dots between who you are, why you are, and what you do, and scaffolds the transformational conversations necessary to prepare you for the road ahead as a leader and as someone called to make a difference in the lives of others. that is available to both individuals and teams.”
While on my own, this would have impacted my specific leadership style – going through the program together allowed us to share this experience and grow as a team.
We are blessed to have a strong leadership team here at Heartbeat. We are a mixture of introverts and extroverts, men and women, millennials and baby boomers. Utilizing our (in some cases, very different) strengths for Heartbeat, allows us to lead it effectively. A good team utilizes the strength of each individual within it.
I will admit, I enjoy learning. If you look at my bookshelf, there are several books on leadership and parenting. Coincidentally there are a lot of the same lessons within each. However, to be honest, I was hesitant to walk through a leadership program as a team as it would require a certain degree of vulnerability.
Throughout our time together, there were a few weeks when we were asked tough questions. Well, I thought they were tough questions.
Many of my colleagues answered these very easily and seemed to know the exact answers. Questions that I struggled deeply with, they were laughing about and offering answers at will!
These moments were a bit intimidating. They were also moments of growth.
Because of the trust I have with my team, I admitted when I struggled. This opened the door to some amazing conversations that both helped me grow personally, but also enlightened others to the fact that a few of us, in fact, were on a different experience level, and perhaps we needed to focus a bit on certain leadership areas.
Walking through the WiLD program together was a good reminder that depending on our age, experience, and/or personality styles, we are all unique individuals utilizing our individual strengths to achieve a common purpose.
We do not lead at Heartbeat with an iron fist. We work together as an effective team with an open-door policy. Walking through a leadership training together reinforced the importance of transparency.
By trusting one another and walking through this activity alongside one another, we were able to lift each other up, strategize to overcome obstacles, and plan effectively for the future.
This is not a first for Heartbeat, nor is it a last. We believe in investing in ourselves to grow as individuals because we know that when we as leaders of the pregnancy help movement take time to nurture those around us, we inspire! And when we inspire others, we change the world!
Heartbeat has an exclusive offer for U.S. affiliates in good standing. Heartbeat International is partnering with WiLD Leaders to provide this professional training for pregnancy help leaders to advance their leadership skills. Working with WiLD Leaders, Heartbeat-affiliated Executive Directors, Presidents and CEOs can delve deep to grow as individuals and lead intentionally. Learn more.
by Jor-El Godsey, President
Best practices and powerful tools will only carry the effort so far... And maybe not as far as we'd think or want.
Even from the title of his book, "The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business," Patrick Lencioni tells it straight. Our best tips, tools, and techniques won't carry the day beyond the operational health of our organization.
Sounds too "touchy-feely"? Lencioni anticipates this objection, noting, "[M]any leaders struggle to embrace organizational health because they quietly believe they are too sophisticated, too busy, or too analytical to bother with it. In other words, they think it's beneath them." (Emphasis added)
Lencioni, well-known for best-selling leadership and management books such as "Five Dysfunctions of a Team," "Death by Meeting," and "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive," pulls from each of these and others to reveal how a business or non-profit can learn to function in a healthy way.
Setting aside his customary "fable" format, Lencioni uses real-life examples to illustrate and emphasize the challenge and importance of working toward organizational health.
"Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage." Lencioni says.
If you're new to Lencioni, you might start with his "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" to ease into these weighty concepts. His books are neither long nor difficult to read, but offer powerful insights for any non-profit organization.
by Chet Scott, Built To Lead
The US Air Force trains it team to memorize two numbers, for the sole purpose of their survival during a time of trauma. We don't recall so well when we're overwhelmed, so our military leaders want these numbers embedded in their soldiers brains.
Our tendency, remember, is to do nothing, to turn into statues when we become hyper-stressed. This is rarely the right call. If the building is on fire, run. If the plane has crashed and you are still alive – move. If the boat is capsizing in the open seas, get going. Head for the upper deck and plan your escape. Don't sit still. However, if you're lost deep in the woods, according to Ken Hill a renowned expert in this field, don't get busy moving. Don't run. Don't move. This is where being a statue actually pays off. STOP. You are most likely to be found, in this case, if you stay where you are. Moving on...
Our fear tendency takes a similar look and feel every day around the hallways of corporate America. The moment things get a little hazy, crazy, and out of control we start to freak. When we can't see where we're going the freak can reach a dizzying peak. Our brain gets overwhelmed and without a sense of direction, we go statue again. We ruminate, and we tend toward sitting in our "cubes" and either doing nothing, or doing nothing new.
We STOP. We wait for the leader to tell us the way forward. They rarely do. So, mindlessly we continue to do what we've always done even when deep inside we know it's not working. And, oftentimes we go further. We allow our brain to forecast the future and it tends to catastrophize when given an overwhelming problem and little to no direction home. Yikes. Back to our Air Force pair of num's to recall.
Here are the numbers.
The USAF reminds it's workers of these two numbers over and over again. Here's what they mean.
98.6, as you already know, is our optimum core body temperature. When it gets below 88 you can't think clearly and when it drops below 82, you're toast. They teach their team to do what's necessary to remember techniques to keep warm. Here's one. Consume sugar even if it's cold. Sugar is the best ignitor of heat. Choose sugar over coffee, tea, or alcohol. Is that sweet or what?
3 is a little more complicated. They refer to this as the Rule of 3.
You cannot survive:
Here's the BTL AND...
To live out your OPUS while traveling your builder's journey, please remember this:
Your CORE temperature needs to feel like fire. As you pay attention to what gives you energy along this journey we call life, you can significantly improve your chances of writing your masterpiece. Step one is realizing what gives you energy the moment you are doing it. We refer to these as discovering your LOVE's. We ask our clients to write this in the form of their love to's. Very cool. Great lives are always lived by someone that discovers their passions and falls in LOVE in work and life. This is step one...
3 numbers we remind our family, friends, and clients are as follows:
12 8 4 powered by 2 is our framework for building CORE centered confidence, Communities with chemistry, and Continuity with contentment. These fortunate few live lives that represent their masterpiece. Their teams are inspired communities of people that are building deep trust and tasting what it's like to be in flow. They build the next generation of leaders before they need them and understand why this is best. These, home grown leaders, carry the vision forward and make it clearer during their time. The team outlasts it's founder and continues on with uncommon alignment, engagement, and energy. The Leader looks back at this legacy with contentment. Very cool.
And, you're BTL CORE on fire. We'll call this you're Air Force three. Remember these and you'll be flying.
Like this article? You'll love Heartbeat International's Insitutes for Center Effectiveness, which features on-site training from the Built To Lead team in the Leadership Track. Registration is open today for Insitutes, which takes place Sept. 29-Oct. 3 in Columbus, Ohio. Click here to learn more.
Grace Chanda Swala was on the verge of giving up.
Having become executive director for Mansa Silent Voices in Zambia just a year ago, Grace and her family had laid the comfort of living in their own home on the altar, hoping to raise support for the fledgling center by renting out their home.
But by the time late July rolled around, and the Africa Cares for Life conference along with it, Grace was on the brink of losing heart.
Her heart burdened for the women and children in her community, and her spirit all but crushed under the weight of financial stress and worry, the five-day bus ride from Zambia to Durbin, South Africa, seemed like an eternity.
Would her center ever reach and rescue the women she passed by on the street every day? Could her ministry thrive under such tight constraints and seemingly insurmountable obstacles?
Would Grace and her family face financial ruin because of their selfless sacrifice on behalf of women and babies in Mansa?
Meanwhile, as Grace traveled the five days from Mansa to Durbin, grace was traveling halfway across the world to meet her, as Heartbeat International’s Director of Ministry Services Betty McDowell arrived for a full week of speaking and teaching at the conference.
Betty’s week started with a visit to Pregnancy Resource Centre, a maternity home in Durbin, and followed up with an in-depth day on fundraising all day Monday and into Tuesday morning.
While teaching two sessions on Heartbeat’s Sexual Integrity™ Program early in the week, Betty delivered two keynotes to the 80-plus person conference, which included representatives from three African nations.
“Vision came through as a major theme at this conference,” Betty said. “These friends face so many hardships we don’t here in the U.S., or even most parts in the west. It blew me away to hear from each organization about the problems they deal with: HIV, high crime rates, and even personal safety at risk on a day-to-day basis, and yet they keep at their work in spite of all these obstacles.”
“Africa Cares for Life did a superb job with this conference, and so much of the credit goes to Shanno Enoch, who was running her first conference as Executive Director,” Betty said. “That group is such an encouraging example of what true learners and servant-leaders look like.”
As the conference, “New Beginnings… Bountiful Harvest,” progressed, leaders like Grace were refreshed, encouraged and better equipped to hold fast to the Gospel of Life in spite of the daunting challenges they face every day.
For Grace, the conference truly proved to be a new beginning. As she boarded the bus back to Mansa, prepared for five days en route home, Grace reveled in the encouragement, instruction, and fellowship that had left her rejuvenated, and freshly ready to pursue her God-given call.
Grace also reflected on God’s faithfulness to provide a harvest. Even after a hard year of working the Zambian soil.
by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant
by Jor-El Godsey, Vice President
Probably the most common question asked when center leaders get together is, “How many unique clients do you see?”
Presumably, the higher the client number, the better the outreach. And it seems to follow, the better the outreach, the better the outcomes. But does this really reveal the whole picture? The answer in a word... hardly.
Yes, more client numbers generally suggests there are actually more “outcomes.” But does it naturally follow that those outcomes are “better”?
The answer to this question requires a deeper look, beyond focusing on total client numbers, and more closely evaluating the outcomes they represent. We have to ask, “What outcomes are we representing?”
Do we count a last known intention after one visit the same as that of a client we’ve seen several times throughout her pregnancy?
How do we qualify discussions relative to spiritual interactions? As faith-motivated ministries, we recognize the context of a life-and-death decision is every bit as spiritual as specifically choosing to follow Christ. Do we count both as equal in light of our mission?
Forty-plus years into the pregnancy help ministry, we all stand on the backs of entrepreneurs who blazed the trail before us. Those courageous folks—some of whom are still very active in our ministry today—tackled challenges like getting real-time pregnancy test results (before the easy tests were available) and getting listed in the Yellow Pages.
These pioneers learned to successfully draw someone who was not looking for their services (even though they desperately needed it), and that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our movement, as we push into the new electronic marketing frontiers and mobile device client intake.
With that, we must continually make room for the intrapreneurs among us—those who may not push the envelope per se, but who work to maximize their ministry’s effectiveness. Intrapreneurs spend time on process, protocol and efficiency (not to be confused with effectiveness).
These in turn help serve better outcomes as well as more outcomes. Pushing into new territory is important, but not to the exclusion of developing the territory we are already in. Thankfully, God provides those with temperaments fit for the task.
Take up the task of becoming a pregnancy help movement Intrapreneur today. You can begin by taking one more look at how you evaluate your outcomes.
by Andrea Trudden, Director of Communications & Marketing
Being a full-time working parent of toddlers does not leave a lot of downtime.
At work, I have my task list that I check through each day. At home, I have my domestic duties that I enjoy. On the weekends, we have parties, church activities, and visitations. So, when I have a few moments to myself, I find I sometimes feel bored.
I literally don't know what to do with no obligations. (Hence this article I'm writing while waiting for my flight to take off.)
I believe I have become so accustomed to having obligations that I truly have not thought of downtime.
This has forced me to acknowledge that my husband and I have fallen into exactly what our priest warned against in premarital counseling—we are living for our family and not for ourselves.
It's very hard to not live for our family, however, because we both love them so much!
Recently, we were able to take a date night, before coming home and sorting through our bookshelves to clear space in our guestroom, of course. It was so nice to know that we can still just talk about nonsensical things and laugh at each other’s jokes.
Don't get me wrong, we talk every day. But we usually tend to talk about the cute thing one of our kids said, or our conversation revolves around planning for our next event.
This made me revisit Ephesians 5:15-17
""Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..."
Although I interpreted this initially as, “Do as much as you can,” I’m coming to find that, sometimes what I actually need is an hour to shop, play a game, or just talk.
Sometimes, it’s more “productive” for my soul to stop trying to be so… well, productive.
I encourage you to take some time and do something for you. Maybe it’s walking, reading, or praying... just make sure it’s something you want to do, and something you can do without interruption.
Okay, back to work.
I deleted an app from my iPhone this afternoon.
It was a good app, and free when I got it. But, as I read through Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions, as I do every year, I became instantly convicted that this app—which I just downloaded yesterday—has already wasted too much of my time.
Edwards, regarded by many as the finest American theologian ever, jotted down 70 resolutions over the course of several months in 1723, and these have stood the test of time as some of the most brilliant, yet simple resolutions a Christian can make.
Several of them cut like a boning knife through my flabby heart, not the least of which is Resolution No. 5:
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
Not one moment wasted. Not even when I’m waiting at the airport or stuck in traffic. Not even when I’m early to an appointment—a rare event in any case—and have 15 minutes to kill. To Edwards, a truly godly man, those 15 minutes didn’t belong to him in the first place, and therefore, were never his to kill or make alive.
I love this resolution of Edwards, not only because it sounds ambitious to the point of heroic, but because it is so squarely biblical. It’s nothing more than a simple restating of the Apostle Paul’s instructions to the church at Ephesus:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
I want to imitate men like Edwards and Paul, who understood and embraced the gospel so wholeheartedly that every moment became an opportunity to capitalize upon and make the most of, for my ultimate joy, for the good of others, and for the glory of God.
Step 1: Cut out the Fat
The first step to capitalizing on the precious opportunities that each moment represents—to really redeem the time and make the best use of it—is to prayerfully quit doing things that do waste time. There goes that iPhone app. Is Facebook next? Pinterest? Maybe.
That’s what Edwards means when he resolves to “never lose one moment of time,” and it’s what Paul is shooting for when he warns his readers to watch how they’re walking, “not as unwise, but as wise.”
Can you picture Jonathan Edwards, the third president of Princeton, frittering time away on Facebook or Twitter? Or, can you picture the Apostle Paul, commissioned by Jesus as a servant and a witness to the resurrection, burning time on his cell phone while he waits for the bus?
Step 2: Capitalize on the Moment
Following the pattern set by Paul in Ephesians 5, Edwards counters his negative goal (to not waste time) with a positive objective: “to improve (each moment) the most profitable way I possibly can.”
This “improvement” starts with the heart. Are we actively seeking Christ where he is to be found—in his Word and among his people, the Church? Are we actively seeking to embrace the gospel so that we can say with Paul, “the love of Christ controls us”? (2 Corinthians 5:14)
This is what Paul means by “making the best use of the time,” and there is no app for it.
This kind of living takes discipline, study, and Christian community. And this is the kind of living that will really make a difference in the world, including the people you interact with on an everyday basis.
How can you improve each moment in the most profitable way you possibly can in 2013?
If so, then consider the Heartbeat International Academy, which currently offers 50 courses, as well as Life Affirming Specialist training and certification.
Geared toward life-affirming leaders, staff, volunteers, and supporters within the pregnancy help movement, the Academy offers just the kind of training you may need in order to make the best use of the time you’re given in 2013.
In the meantime, be choosy about your apps.
by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Vice President
“Let’s get the volunteers to do it. That will save a bundle!”
Volunteers are often seen as a supply of labor for almost any task or for the implementation of an action item. Leaders - board members and directors alike - often assume that volunteers are the least expensive option available. Think again.
Many moons ago, our pregnancy help center utilized a team of volunteers to accomplish the bulk mailing of our newsletters and appeals. Trays of printed material and envelopes along with stickers and labels were distributed. Presto, some two weeks later the mailing had been delivered.
Upon closer inspection, we realized that, in addition to the volunteer time, two staff members had spent ten work hours (a total of twenty staff hours) each mailing cycle to coordinate the assembly, distribution, and postal paperwork for this process. A local mailing service (also known as a fulfillment house) that had more sophisticated equipment could lower the postal rate and turn the same task around in three working days as opposed to two weeks. Cost comparisons revealed that, for just a few dollars more, we could improve our process, tighten our turn around, and release several volunteers to more personally rewarding tasks.
All leaders recognize the scarcity of resources to accomplish the mission and achieve the vision. The good leader continually evaluates how to allocate the limited resources available for maximum return on the investment for the ministry and those involved.
Adapted from DIRECT Well™, Heartbeat International’s manual for directors.
From On the LeaderBoard | Volume 2, Issue 2
by Betty McDowell, Heartbeat International Director of Ministry Services
As a social worker in the mental health field, I was trained to assess a patient’s level of alertness and orientation by asking them four questions: (1) Who are you? (2) Where are you? (3) What is the date and time? (4) What just happened to you?
This simple exercise helped determine the next steps in diagnosing the patient and constructing a treatment plan. But I have since discovered the value of asking the same four questions to those serving in ministry when I try to help them diagnose a problem and move forward in a clear direction.
How would you answer these four questions?
I have found that spending a little time at the end of each day to review my answers to these four questions has been a great habit. You too may find this practice valuable in becoming alert and oriented x4.
Also check out the link to "The Daily Examen" by St. Ignatius:http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/how-can-i-pray/
Heartbeat provides several resources and trainings that were created for the Executive Director of a Pregnancy Help Organization. We know it takes a lot of your heart, time, and energy to manage staff and volunteers, work well with the Board, make sure prospective clients can find you, and keep the organization on budget (not to mention keeping that budget funded). We're here to help you find the right tools for the job.
Executive Director resources available for you include:
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