Thursday, August 05, 2010

Do They Make You Want To Vomit?

Today at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels delivered the opening message and it was right on. He talked about a time a while back in which he was in a leadership slump. Nothing seemed to be going right and it seemed like he couldn't solve any problem, big or small. As a result, he was losing confidence in his leadership abilities.

Then, while spending some intentional time with God, he heard a gentle whisper from his heavenly Father saying, "You can lead. Look at what you've done. You have it in you!" This encouraged him and then God shared with him four foundational leadership principles.

One of those was something that, on paper, looks very elementary...but in practice, it is anything but. One of the principles Hybels referred to was that it takes fantastic people to move anything from here to there, in other words to make significant progress.

In discussing this point, he said that a leader's job is to recruit, train and develop talented people who will flourish in your culture. He said there is a great way to determine how your team stacks up, give them this test.

If you were to receive a text message right now stating that a certain person on your team has just resigned, which of the following would be your response?
1. "Whew! I sure am glad they're leaving!"
2. "Ughhh! They are such a good person and they're doing a good job. Now I'm going to have to find someone else!"
3. You want to vomit on the spot. "This person is a fantastic person with a fantastic attitude and they are a fantastic fit in our culture. They are irreplaceable."

Hybels went on to say that they spent an incredible amount of time going through this exercise with their entire staff at Willow. The time was very well spent, though.

Hybels said that they then met with every staff member and shared with them the results of this exercise. To those who were in the third category they would say something like, "You make me want to vomit (with obvious tongue in cheek). Really, if you left this organization, that is what I would want to do. You are a fantastic person and you are doing a fantastic job. We hope you are here for the long haul. Now if God calls you someplace else, we'll throw you a party but our hearts won't really be in it. But we want you to know that we hope you will be with us into the future."

Could you imagine being on the receiving end of something like that? It would feel pretty good, wouldn't it? Hybels shared that these meetings helped to build increased loyalty and passion for the vision that God has given them. It was an extremely beneficial thing to do.

After Hybels was finished, we heard from Jim Collins who discussed the importance of having the right people on the bus in any organization before you can talk about growing the organization. The exercise Hybels mentioned is a great way to determine if you really do have the right people on your bus.

So will you do this with your team?


larchmeany said...

What would they say to those who were in category 2? And what about category 1?!?!? My hope would be that they would work to get those people into the vomit group by discussing why they weren't there already and what exactly they could do to get there...It's a very simple exercise, but those conversations with the 1's would not be as simple...

Jim Lange said...

You're absolutely right Scott. He did not mention this during his talk but I saw this as a way to help them improve or get them to take their talents elsewhere. Agreed that some of these conversations would be difficult. However, with this exercise as a framework, it would help to force the issue for all of the leadership team.