by Sue Baumgarten
Thinking strategically is not one of my top strengths. By nature, I’m a connector and a communicator, an activator and a mentor. But with almost 3 decades of board service, (respectful of term limits and built-in breaks) and also serving as an Executive Director for a few years, I am no stranger to Strategic Planning. And, I currently serve on the National Maternity Housing Coalition (NMHC) leadership council and we’re in the middle of Strategic Planning as I write this.
Strategic planning is a mandatory exercise for ministries and is probably the most important organizational document to have outside of your mission/vision statements. Strategic planning helps your board and staff have a road map that looks out into the future – hopefully 3, 5 even 10 years and says, “This is where we’re hoping to go.” Your strategic plan then breaks that hope into manageable pieces and allows your organization to make forward motion toward your destination. Strategic plans are living documents that can be adjusted annually so don’t be afraid to have BHAG’s (Big Hope-filled Amazing Goals, using my verbiage)!
In light of Covid-19 in 2020, I’m sure ministries in the middle of year 3 of a 5-year plan will need to revisit their Strategic Plan and make some adjustments. Your Strategic Plan is not just an internal document. It can be shared out in your community as you and your board members meet with potential church partners, foundations and individuals.
Preparation for your strategic planning session(s) is critical. Here’s some basic steps to give the process structure and to seek the Lord throughout the process.
What a good and Godly work we have been called to! What a joy to seek the wisdom of God through strategic planning so that our work can continue to give a witness to life, redemption, and the very goodness of God! As you think about the future of your ministry, may you experience it with awe and reverence in a posture of worship. Heartbeat offers Strategic Planning resources and as an on-site consultation session. Click here for more about Strategic Planning.
Knowing Your Strengths
SMART Goal Setting
Vision Traction Organizer
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Traction – Get a Grip on your Business by Gino Wickman
Mission Drift by Peter Greer
Sue Baumgarten has served on the Board of Directors (as well as a variety of other roles) for LifeHouse of Houston since 1993. For more information about LifeHouse of Houston, click here: https://lifehousehouston.org/
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 Chet Scott, Built to Lead
Courage, it’s been said by many, is really the first of the virtues because without it none of the others may be evoked. Today, I ripped my client a new one because he was caught in the downward spiral of blaming the King for his plight. You see, he sees his partner as his King. Most of us humans see someone in our work/life as THE man and cower in fear. My client needed a lesson in courage, so I gave him one and it was not nice. I used some colorful language to get his attention and asked him if wanted to be led around for the next thirty years like a miniature mouse, or did he want to learn how to stand like a man. We ended our practice with him deciding it was time to man up and simply stand.
Most of us need to learn how to stand.
Standing does not mean you get even, angry, or even whole as a result. Standing means you simply live your core and release the catastrophic fear around the outcome. You and I will someday die. Make it a good one when it’s time. Do not go out begging for more time, another chance, or whimpering/complaining about your King. Go out like Tecumseh, singing your song.
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion, respect others in their view, and demand they respect yours. Love your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise one to fools and robs the spirit of vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s knowing and loving someone/something just a little bit more. More love is the enabler of courage. More love.
Live hard. Love harder. Good…
This blog post originally appeared at the Built to Lead blog. We are grateful to have this executive coaching program that has trained CEOs, presidents, and ministry leaders nationwide guide our Leadership Track at Pregnancy Help Institute each year. Join Chet, his team, and us for this year's unique virtual experience of Pregnancy Help Institute!
by Beth Diemert, Ministry Services SpecialistHeartbeat Internaitonal
As The Pregnancy Help Institute 2020 New Director track is quickly approaching, it is only natural to reflect back to my own journey as a new Executive Director and remember the path I walked. All these years later (we won’t mention it being 30!) I am so thankful for the blessing it is to realize, that though “I didn’t know what I didn’t know” the Lord had me and led me every step of the way. If asked now, what would I suggest to that young director me, here’s what I would say.
A Letter to my 20Something New Director Self,
I am writing to you from the future, a place of time and distance that provides a great deal of perspective. I’d like to share some wisdom I’ve learned with you. I hope through the rear view mirror, I can help you see 5 key things that will help you blaze that trail you were meant to forge, and fulfill your destiny!
You are about to embark on the greatest journey on the planet. It will be a wild adventure! Picture this: When the Indiana Jones “rope swing” vine presents itself to provides a way across the wide cavern, in the dense jungle, jump on, hold on, and swing to the other side. Abide! Squeeze as tight as you can and let it take you there. It is the sole purpose for its existence. You can’t get there on your own! Don’t even try. And remember, the fruit you will taste on the other side is sweeter than you can ever imagine!
There can be no doubting. No self-talk that says, “Who Me?” No thinking that any day now, the board is going to call and say, “We’ve made a mistake.” You need to be 100% convinced and committed to “God chose me!” Know and believe that Lord searched the world over and picked you to do this job with purpose.
So much of what you need is already out there. Take advantage of it and don’t waste time reinventing the wheel. Gain knowledge and be a life-long learner. Connect with those who want to be there for you, provide a sounding board, build you up, and encourage you. We need each other! Don’t ever consider this a weakness. It is how you are designed.
Those hopes and dreams inside of you were put there by a loving Father. Pursuing your passion wholeheartedly can have life-changing outcomes for many. And always know that God is only good. Trust his leading, even if it looks in the natural to be crazy! Go for it! If you struggle here, refer to #1.
Do not let fear or worry steal from you. Don’t dim what God has intended for your life by playing it safe. Take the mercy that is new every morning, care for yourself along the way, and delight in every good gift. This is the abundant life and you can live it. Oh, the places you’ll go!
You can do this. God is with you. Believe me. I remember.
Do not forget these guiding truths for leaders who are leading anything in a time of crisis.
Great leadership understands the complexities of their system and has crystal clarity of their overarching vision, their aim. Great leadership knows why it matters and lives their purpose with passion, patience, and relentless pursuit of excellence. Great leadership has five to ten unifying strategies that make the complex understandable and actionable. Great leadership focuses themselves and their teams on clear, concise, direct PA (productive action).
During crisis, leader, remember to understand all the complexities in and around your system. Be a master at making the complex on top, simple on bottom. Master clear, concise, direct communications. Humans hear horribly in crisis so keep it simple when talking with them. “Stop this. Focus here. Never stop attacking.” Anybody can make the complex complicated. Your job is to take the complex and make it simple for your team to act. Ambiguity is the enemy. Clarity is key. Make sense?
Live hard. Love harder…
Chet Scott is part of the Built to Lead Team. Built to Lead works with the Leadership Track at Pregnancy Help Institute each summer. This article originally appeared here at the Built to Lead blog.
by Tony Gruber, ControllerHeartbeat International
The coronavirus is perceived by many as the largest challenge our world has faced in many decades. In answer to that challenge, the United States has enacted the largest aid package in the history of the country – with a $2.2 trillion estimated price tag. Help and aid is being offered to individuals, businesses and non-profits.
We’re going to unpack many of these benefits in a webinar next Tuesday. However, we’d like to quickly highlight one opportunity because it won’t last long!
by Jor-El Godsey, LAS, PresidentHeartbeat International
“Stay on target!” is a familiar line from the first Star Wars movie. The small band of intrepid rebels were being exhorted to keep focused on defeating the planet-killing Death Star. All while being attacked by Darth Vader and his Imperial cohorts.
During “normal” times the mission of pregnancy help is facing a Goliath-like giant in Big Abortion and its flagship, Planned Parenthood. Of course, these days impacted by COVID-19 (or at least the anxiety surrounding it) are far from normal. There is a very present need to reach and rescue as many lives as possible.
That's the question Dr. Rob McKenna has for you and all leaders leading up to the 2020 Heartbeat International Annual Conference this April.
The findings at WiLD Leaders? It's a matter of purpose.
Check out Dr. Rob McKenna's message to you below as he prepares to share more with you through his PEG Talk and Deeper Dive at this year's Heartbeat International Annual Conference in Seattle.
Dr. Rob McKenna from WiLD Leaders
Heartbeat International's Pregnancy Help Center Life Launch Grant is designed to inspire a new season of pregnancy help center start-ups by supporting individuals opening brand new centers in areas primed for more life-saving outreach. The grant is created to help start-ups open their doors and advance pregnancy help to new communities throughout the United States. Following a matching grant format, grant recipients would receive $30,000 in resources and funds upon raising $30,000 in funds.
In the last few years, Heartbeat has seen some amazing growth! Our affiliate network has been constantly expanding, and with the addition of the Abortion Pill Rescue Network, Next Level CMS, grant programs like Life Launch, and other exciting programs and resources introduced in the last few years, our staff have been working harder than ever to make sure you have all the tools you need to serve the women in your community.
With all of the excitement, Heartbeat’s team has had to adapt to new ways of working together, and that’s why we’re proud to announce that Betty McDowell, who has worked on the Ministry Services team for over 15 years, will be joining Cindi Boston as a Vice President at Heartbeat International.
Betty’s new title is Vice President of Ministry Services, and Cindi will continue to serve with the title, Vice President of Mission Advancement.
"Betty and I have worked together in pregnancy help ministry since 1983, and she has been a wise counselor to me (on matters both professional and personal!) for over 30 years,” says Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Heartbeat International, “So, I can confirm that she brings both a broad and deep level of knowledge, experience, creativity, passion, and wisdom to her position. Plus, her leadership is informed by her love of Christ and a focus on relationship. I can't think of a better combination! I am thrilled that Betty has accepted an even greater responsibility for Heartbeat's services to YOU, our affiliates, as Vice President of Ministry Services.”
Betty will continue to lead and serve the Ministry Services team, as members of the team take new titles as well. Dawn Lunsford, who will continue to make online learning available to the pregnancy help movement, takes the title of Director of Academy, and Christa Brown, who will continue to lead the Abortion Pill Rescue Network and work with those seeking to add medical services to their organizations, takes the title Director of Medical Impact.
Betty isn’t alone joining the Executive team. Director of Operations, Tony Gruber is also stepping into the executive team as Controller, and Danielle White, Esq. takes the title of Heartbeat General Counsel.
While not much changes for you, our affiliates (you’ll still be working with the same people for the same reasons!), we hope you’ll celebrate with us as we grow and adapt.
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