Church Leadership Lab is a podcast that seeks to empower healthy churches. Through conversations, interviews, and stories, we explore what's happening in ministry today and how pastors and leaders can navigate what lies ahead.
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How can you cultivate a healthy culture that lasts? Of course, having a healthy culture doesn’t mean having a perfect culture, but a well-functioning team culture is critical to the success of every church and organization. In this episode, Jenni Catron, speaker, author, and CEO of The 4Sight Group, walks us through identifying an unhealthy culture and taking the necessary steps to cultivate a healthy and strong one.
One of the biggest leadership gaps exposed in 2020 was the need to equip mid-level leaders better. Mid-level leaders felt pinched as organizations began to shuffle and move around their team structure. These leaders were given more responsibility with fewer resources. As a result, they began to feel the pressure to become a buffer between the team’s feelings and what leadership was directing. This continued pressure became a glaring issue and decreased the health of many organizations.
Another factor that came to light was the need for a proper understanding of what is a healthy organization. For example, when a team is in a good season, it’s easier to maintain a healthy culture. But when facing challenges, shifting roles, and handling more responsibilities, the organizational culture and team dynamics begin to be questioned.
By recognizing these two factors, we can ask more profound questions about what really makes a healthy culture and then take action to invest and build that healthy culture into our teams.
When you sit in the seat of senior leadership, your culture is never as good as you think. And it is essential to recognize that it may be difficult for you to get a pulse on your culture due to your position. However, the more a senior leader is willing to have humble curiosity about the reality of the culture, the better it will serve them. Ask your team questions, get feedback, and listen to the people you lead.
As a mid-level leader in an unhealthy culture, know that you can still make an impact. Do what you can for your group. You can reflect a healthy culture and implement change by starting within your team. Try to be the best leader you can be, and with your influence, help build the healthiest culture for those teams.
Every person on the team also can influence and shape the culture they are a part of. Remember that you can own your part and positively contribute and help improve the culture around you.
Questions to ask yourself:
As a senior leader, you are directing your team and can foresee when turbulence is coming. It’s essential to recognize that your team may also be feeling some of that disruption. Even if you can’t fix an issue right away, by communicating awareness and addressing it immediately, you can still build trust and shape the culture in a healthy way.
The best leaders are thinking:
Paying attention and acknowledging your team’s questions go a long way. Senior leaders can build trust and positively impact the organizational culture through this process.
Five questions your team is asking:
What is the most missed question senior leaders aren’t addressing? Answering their team members’ questions: Where do I fit?
In the church, many senior leaders can have a habit of not being clear about roles and expectations, assuming their team members get it. But if we are honest, everyone wants to understand their place within the org chart better. Therefore, leaders owe their team members as much clarity as they can provide them when it comes to roles, responsibilities, and expectations of where they fit within the bigger picture of the organization. Clarity is the chief indicator of culture.
Every role is critical to achieving the mission of an organization. When senior leaders provide clarity as to the importance of each team member’s role, answer questions, and set expectations, these actions give the direction to help the whole team succeed. These actions also allow leaders to connect and engage with their team members, resulting in better retention and stronger teams.
One essential component of a healthy church is a healthy staff team.
For senior leaders within the church, your church staff is your first congregation. Therefore, investing in and developing them will increase the health of your team and overflow into your ministry. By thinking through the four dimensions of leadership, we consider how to lead our teams (1) relationally, (2) spiritually, (3) strategically, and (4) with vision. As a result, our teams will be more equipped and healthier to lead and serve the congregation and community.
The 4Sight Group was created with a passion to help leaders find the clarity and confidence they need to grow in their business and ministry through leadership coaching, culture consulting, courses, and workshops. Learn more about The 4Sight Group at https://www.get4sight.com/.
“The function to help our church or organization flourish is critical to achieving the mission.” – Jenni Catron
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“Lead yourself well to lead others better.” – Jenni Catron
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“If a leader is healthy and the team is healthy, then the ability to achieve a mission is exponential.” – Jenni Catron
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