Archive for the ‘meetings’ Category

“At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done.”

Think back to this morning.  Recall how you started your day at work.

How did you consecrate yourself and your staff?
Did you pray together?
Did you share a hymn or an inspirational verse with one another?
Did you do any form of consecration at all?

Certainly, there is much buzz about the separation of church and state when such a subject comes up.  Do not dwell on what you cannot or should not do.  Identify what you can do.

If you own the business, even if it is a franchise, you are welcome to offer staff members a period during the day where they can join others in prayer.  Provide them with a place and time.  Share how your faith has led you to the point of making such an offer. 

Don’t get preachy.  Just make the offer.

You can do so by organizing a morning prayer meeting or devotional period 15 to 30 minutes prior to scheduled work time.  This may work on those days where you have that dreaded morning meeting.  Prepare for presentations by dotting each and every “i” and crossing each and every “t,” but be sure to also solicit the prayers of your fellow Christians at work. 

Be sure to let people know that it is not mandatory.  Don’t try to make it a full-blown worship service.  Just offer it to them.  Those who want it will surely show up and serve as the core group.  Others will drop in as they find themselves in desperate need of prayer and support.  Just make the offer where you can and get started, in prayer of course.

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” – Proverbs 16:3 (KJV)

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Marie Antoinette: The Journey“If the people have no bread, let them eat cake.”- (Attributed to) Marie Antoinette

Despite the quote attributed to this famed aristocrat of royalty during the French Revolution, simply giving your guests something to chew on doesn’t make your special event any more special than a meeting of the local rotary club or Toastmasters.  You need more than veggie trays, finger food and other treats to make your event stand from the norm.
Everybody Cooks Rice (Invitations to literacy)
Spice Things Up: Go exotic with dishes.  Partner with Indian, Brazilian and Jamaican caterers for spicy dishes or sample trays.  This may appeal to broaden your appeal to other cultures and ethnic groups.  Spicy dishes such as curry or jerk chicken with some rice can carry enough kick to have your audience raving about the meal and the event for days to come.
Kodak Sport Disposible Camera, 27 Exposure, Waterproof up to 50 feetAdd Some Red Carpet:   People feel like stars when you treat them like stars.  Include a VIP element to your events.  The thrill of the paparazzi snapping photos along the red carpet, even if they are Kodak disposables or HTC camera phones, can cause a stir among attendees and passersby.

Social Location Marketing: Outshining Your Competitors on Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp & Other Location Sharing Sites (Que Biz-Tech)Share before You Get There: Use social media to share with others about the event.  Facebook, Twitter and other sites provide great platforms for sharing about upcoming events.  Foursquare and Loopt allow you to “check in” at the location when you arrive and alert others that you are at the place to be.  Make your events the type of experience that people tweet about throughout the event and afterwards. Be sure to include a Like This button or Share button on your event website or registration page.

Make your events newsworthy.  If your event draws press and publicity, then consider it a plus.  If you get a pre-event interview on TV or on a weekend radio show, that’s an added bonus. See what type of exposure you get from your efforts.
Free Publicity 101: How to Write Press Releases and Get Your Story in the Media 101 Ways to Get Great PublicityThe Savvy Author's Guide to Book PublicityPublicity & Media Relations Checklists101 Sizzling Hot Ways to Get Publicity 

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Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business (J-B Lencioni Series)

“But the fact is, bad meetings are a reflection of bad leaders.”-Patrick Lencioni

I don’t care what type of organization hosts or holds what type of meetings.  If the organization does not have an agreed and adhered to structure to its meeting, things can go haywire in a hurry.  It can be the YMCA or PTA, people will drift when they are not directed to stick to the structure that is in place.  It can be a corporate annual meeting or a community-based organization’s monthly meeting, but there should be an agenda with some action items.

The agenda identifies what will be discussed and reported.  In particular, there are also those action items that will be voted on identified within the agenda.  Many organizations structure their meetings with public comment at the beginning of the meeting.  These are usually appeals or addresses to the board or the entire body.  These are heard out, usually with a time limit like two minutes.  They are not action items and do not require a comment or questioning from the board or the floor.  That’s where the discipline must come in with the determined structure.  Some people may know the rules, but something just prevents them from following them.

You may need a sergeant at arms or a parliamentarian. The title may vary, but the functions pretty much run along the same lines.  They keep things in order when the chairperson seems to allow some things to run afoul or astray.  You know some parent meetings for those Pop Warner and Pee Wee teams can get sort of heated.  There may need to be some beefed up measures for an organization to keep order, so review your structure, including roles and rules.

  • Roles: Who is supposed to do what? Chairperson… Parliamentarian… Secretary…
  • Rules: Robert’s Rules of Order? Or, do you use another format? Be sure that all in attendance know what it is.
  • Reporting: Written reports versus oral reports… time limits… published or unpublished…
  • Responses: Cut down the confusion and cut off people on the board responding to comments from the floor.  Address the outbursts as disorder, ask for them to stop and demonstrate some restraint, and then move on with the agenda.

Robert's Rules for Dummies

You maintain order by restricting board members from responding to outbursts from the floor.  If not, there will be a cacophony of chaos as people go back and forth with their various comments and responses to any and every single thing thrown out there.  In many environments like school board meetings and city council meetings, people can have an outburst if they want to, but they most probably will be escorted out into either the hallway or the parking lot by security or some other authority figure.  That’s realistic. 

Set it up for success.  If you have been in an organization where the inmates seem to be running the asylum, stop the bleeding and set some order in place.  Share some insights about board training and running public meetings.  Do you accept public funds? You know that redevelopment money or those block grants.  Those are public funds.  That means your meeting- uh-oh- is open to the public.  Learn how to deal with the public in a decent and disciplined manner.

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Office Space - Special Edition with Flair (Widescreen Edition)

Got a case of the Mondays?  Much like the lead character played by Ron Livingston in Office Space, you may find yourself in such a predicament.  You may dread getting ready and going in to work.  That may be your issue with Mondays.
Change that malfunction into a makeover.  Approach Mondays with a new freshness.  Try some things that may get you going on Mondays.
  • Schedule your catch-up time at the end of the day Monday (after lunch may be best).
  • “Monitor of Motivation”: Adjust your screen saver and the settings to where an inspirational or motivational message scrolls across the screen when you come in on Mondays. Be sure to change it every Friday.
  • Schedule a special lunch (with your wife, old buddy from high school or a retired mentor).  Get out of the office and strike up a conversation about anything but work
  • Sunday Set-Up: Set your mind on work some time Sunday evening- maybe right after 60 Minutes.  Get your first orders of business together for the next day.  See if it helps .

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 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.
The Ten Commandments (Special Collector's Edition)
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Moses Great Lives Series: Volume 4
I read this book some time ago and still regard it as a revealing study in leading God’s people.

Here is a lesson for some would-be promise-seeker in 2011.  Let His promises drown out the pessimists, the ‘problem-seers.”  The difference between problem-seers and promise-seekers is vast and wide.  They are almost galaxies apart. 

Problem-seers are exactly that; they only see the problem.  They have sat and thought of every imaginable way to solve their problem on their own and in their own power, but they just can’t seem to match up with their obstacles or opposition.  They only see the problem.  These people argued from a pessimistic position in response to Caleb’s promise-seeking perspective.  There objection started with “We can’t” and went on from there.

Remember that, when you start failing to see your opportunities from the right perspective, you can easily become objectionable, outspoken and obstinate. Don’t let that be you.  Take on positive thinking and see the possibilities that exist beyond the problems that you face.

Promise-seeking looks beyond the problem.  When you seek the promises of God, you do not simply see problems.  You seek His promises.  You are aware of His presence and rely upon His power to solve the problems in order to deliver on His promises.  God is a problem-solver in order to remain a promise-keeper.  The believer’s stance should be that of a promise-seeker, benefiting from the blessing of God’s unleashed power to solve even the most gigantic of problems.

Caleb saw more than giant-sized occupants of the land.  He saw a land promised to God’s people by the same God who delivered this very people out of enslavement and hardships.  He recognized that the same Almighty God- I AM- had provided for them with safety and supply, even in a wilderness environment.  Caleb knew what God was capable of from what he had witnessed.

Outnumbered by nays to yeas? Seek God’s promises.  Put down for standing up? Seek His promises.  Trouble and conflict keep finding their way to you, even in church? Keep seeking His promises.  God is faithful. He expects us to be as well.  He rewards the promise-seeker as He proves Himself as a promise-keeper.

Grasshoppers get squashed by giants when they fail to:

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Relationships 101 (Maxwell, John C.)

“Just about everything you do, depends on teamwork.” – John C. Maxwell

You need to know your backyard businesses in order to expand your potential lists for sponsors and advertisers.  Have you ever walked into the cleaners around the corner? Have you ever introduced yourself to the store manager at the local grocery store? Do you know the manager at the local community bank by name? Better yet, do they know you? Or, do they even know that you exist? If not, you have a real problem.

Your problem is that you have not invested in “personal marketing.”  I am not talking about marketing yourself.  If you are the face of of your business, nonprofit or church, you need to create some personalized and face-to-face introductions.  You can do so with social networking likeFacebook, LinkedIn and Yelp along with other sites.  You may want to get in touch with people and check their Twitter page and start following them just to stay informed and keep interacting.

 For instance, a local pastor who writes books and Bible lessons needs to develop some kind of relationships with the local librarian and area bookstore owners and operators for carrying his books and hosting a reading and book-signing.  The Little League coach should at least see if the community’s pizzeria is will to offer a discount to the team’s families if they frequent the establishment every Saturday afternoon after their games.  The Christian businesswoman needs to know if there are other Christians in business in her area and how to connect with them.
Armed with newfound relationships, you need to maintain your relationships with potential business partners, vendors and others. Use email marketing such as Mail Chimp or Cosntant ContactStart posting in the blogosphere.  Set up a frequent gathering of those who work in your local area at your site or a community venue. You don’t have to host it by yourself.  Partner with your local Christian business network or chamber of commerce.  Get the word out to others with your tweets and status updates on social networks.

This is not a major “trade secret.” In fact, for many of us, it should be more obvious to us.  Let’s take advantage of what exists, even if we haven’t noticed it up until now.

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To everything there is a season…- Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)


Your calendar should not determine your actions. Use your calendar to distinguish your actions. You need to identify what time you need to plan and perform, even perfect, what you are are doing daily, weekly and monthly. Your calendar should include your quarterly and annual activities, too.

Your daily planner may work for identifying things to plan as well as things to perform. Franklin Covey and Day Runner make some great planners. As far as technology, I prefer using Google Calendar online as opposed to MS Outlook or any other program. Google Calendar interfaces with my Gmail account and offers me present reminders as well as collaboration with my contacts in Gmail or other emails. I just prefer it to other online and software alternatives.

Let your calendar help you keep up with appointments and assignments like meetings and special events. Schedule your daily and weekly activities in a monthly view. Print out copies of your next three months to get into view what are your regular meetings and activities as well as what special events and activities you have coming up on the horizon.

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“When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.”
– John Wesley
Does your ministry generate an appropriate response from its members and others? How would you know?
Here are some signs of to see if your ministry is on fire or simply slowly burning out:
  • What gets stirred up? [Good feelings or bad memories?]
  • What gets sparked? [Community or confrontation?]
  • What gets started? [Good works or good grief?]

If your ministry is producing negative sentiments, then you need to infuse some positive changes that will turn things around quickly before you lose more and more people.

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Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…- Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)

Make your meetings more meaningful. People can oftentimes see meetings as a bore or a burden. As a leader, you want to develop meetings that live and breathe with meaning for the attendees. Identify who needs to attend and why, and then offer them what is meaningful for their jobs or their departments. Projects should have a common cause or theme that runs through them so that the numbers people can oogle over the numbers while doing good and the visual people can the vision without losing the nuts and bolts of getting goals accomplished.
  • Share good news about upcoming events and activities. Include any accomplishments such as hitting anticipated benchmarks or special recognitions.
  • Show people how their input is valuable. Identify ways to infuse input into the process. Let people see that their input has value in getting the job done.
  • Send out messages that encourage participation. Attach the agenda to an inspiring email invite. Be sure to identify special invites for those who have not previously participated on your team.
  • Stir up interest. Let people know what to expect. Increase the level of awareness among your people so that you can increase their level of participation at the meeting.

Make every meeting more meaningful by what you put into the hands and inboxes of the people you want and need at those meetings. Try taking a stab at doing something different to get different results. Identify what works for your team and innovate further as they share new ideas.

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“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
-John Lennon
Life happens. Don’t get upset. It is what is. Things unravel and come undone. People get sick. Schedules change. Things just happen.
Whether you are leading a meeting, teaching a Sunday school class or presenting a workshop, you need to be flexible. You can’t lose it simply because things are not working. Keep it together.
Life happens.
The next time things go out of sync:
  • Accept it: Since it happens like it happens, deal with it. Come to grips with it and don’t let it get to you. Deal with it. Simply accept it.

  • Adjust to it: Once you have accepted it, you need to adjust to it. Make immediate changes to get through the short-term period of adjustment. Simple shifts can certainly help you make things work out when you have to make changes and adjustments.

  • Adapt because of it: You’ve adjusted for now. Now, since you have some experience, make adaptations in your planning. Allow enough “wiggle room” for life to happen without having a total meltdown due to a two-minute emergency. Keep good notes as you reflect on this experience. Make the right adaptations as you plan for the next time.

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