“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader
We have to do a better job at our church in developing leaders. This week’s posts are more about what we could be doing better rather than what we are doing right!
On the drive 702 mile drive back from my parent’s place in Kentucky in August . . . I was restless thinking about Leadership Development and wanting to add something simple on this front to help us serve our leaders better.
The idea is pretty simple. We would host a monthly conference call with a great leader for our volunteer community. I would interview them about the area of expertise and then throw it open to our volunteers to ask questions. The conference call format is nice because it doesn’t require people to meet at a specific location and can be easily recorded.
If this was done right . . . I was hopeful that the following would be true:
- My team won’t feel like it’s a drag because all they would have to do is promote the event to their team. (I don’t want to be “that guy” who comes back from vacation with a new idea that equals more work for his team!)
- Our volunteers would feel appreciated because they are getting access to great leadership resources and feeling kinda cool about it because it’s an “exclusive” just for people who volunteer.
- The leadership development temperature would be raised just a little bit.
So who did we have on the fall line up of calls? I was super pumped to have the first round of leaders that we had . . . they gave us lots to chew on in the time that they spent with us.
To kick it off we had Lee Cockerell, the former EVP of Operations from Walt Disney World. During his time with Disney he lead a team of 40,000 “cast members” who literally made magic happen every day!
Lee was incredibly gracious to be our first leader for these calls. He had some fascinating insights for our team on customer service and leadership.
My favorite quote from the call “Put the iPhone back in your pocket and go talk to somebody!” [Audio Link]
His unique style is to provide a fire hose of personal productivity while peppering in a lot of zany humor along the way. At one point in the call he was telling us about the broadway musical he’s working on . . . about personal productivity! [Audio Link]
On our November call we talked with Joseph Michelli, the guy who literally wrote the book on Starbucks. The call was fantastic as we talked about how we can apply lessons from this master service organization to what we do.
Joseph practices was he preaches! I was so impressed that he did some research on Liquid Church. He figured out that we want to “take church to the people” . . . had been to our church online experience . . . and was commenting on our work to bring clean water to people who don’t have it. What a fantastic guy! [Audio Link]
How did we get these incredible people to join us? I just asked them. Really . . . it was that simple. I got on the internet and lined up these folks in an evening of emailing. So far, I have found that authors are looking for audiences to talk to about their work. We bought a handful of their books each time as a give away to people on the call . . . but we didn’t pay them anything. Ask big . . . you never know what will happen!
We are continuing the Liquid Leadership calls this winter. I’m working on the next slate of leaders for our volunteer community . . . and I’m pretty excited about this next group. Who would you love to have your volunteers hear from?
On Wednesday we’re going to look at three different organizations that I think are doing a great job with Leadership development and what I’d like us to apply from them to us!