Category Archives: Career

The Perfect ChMS Add-On

 

I’ve been looking to help a few churches with the “perfect” Church Management tool add-on.

Over and over, churches need a better, or easier, or friendlier, or find your own phrase that fits, solution for queries and selections.

Most churches, occasionally, need to do some wild and crazy query of their database. Something like “find all men, over age 30, who have kids, who have attended the missions class, who have not been on a mission trip, and are not part of the special services events team.” When we use words, that sort of makes sense. But in most of the ChMS products, it’s not so easy. Some products let you get under the covers and use SQL statements, so then you have joins and includes and Boolean stuff, but how many regular church staff can work through that?!

The software developers don’t have a chance of pre-developing this type of query because it is, totally ad-hoc. And once you get those results, undoubtedly you’ll discover another condition you want to add.

Maybe there’s another answer. What if we used a person, instead of software? What if we had people at these churches, or even in consulting roles, who would do these queries for you. You explain in everyday language, and these people do the special work to accomplish the task. Somebody who does this every day is a lot more likely to get it right than the typical staff member who only attempts this once or twice a year.

Instead of fixing the software, let’s try using a people resource. Too easy?

Do you know any people like this?

 

What Makes for a Good Work Ethic?

WorkEthic3

I’ve several times made the claim that I have an old-fashioned work ethic. Lately, I’ve begun to question what that actually means. I’ve met other people who don’t seem to have a good work ethic, but when asked, they say they do. Hmmm. Is “work ethic” totally subjective? That doesn’t seem likely. So, what does make for a good work ethic?

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Further below, are ideas gathered from various sources and friends, but here’s one thing I’ve noticed over and over. If somebody comes in with a sour attitude, no matter how good they are at what they do, the attitude tarnishes everything. On the other hand, if somebody comes in with enthusiasm and a smile, and again, it may not matter how good they are at the job, they seem to have a good work ethic. So, I don’t want to go so far as to say that enthusiasm and a smile are a measurement, but maybe they are a strong hint!

I’m going to choose to be enthusiastic and smile.

Two other especially strong thoughts for me:
1. Always go beyond the minimum requirement
2. Taken from The Outward Mindset, when there’s a problem, take the attitude of “As far as I am concerned, the problem is me.” At first that one is scary. Then it becomes liberating!

Talking with some retail managers, it’s fun to hear some of the challenges.
1. Get people to just show up!
2. On time
3. Dressed right

More thoughts, “borrowed” from many others:

From QBQ newsletter:
1. HUMBLE: Self-deprecating humor, takes no credit for wins, downplays their strengths. Acknowledges it’s a “team effort.”
2. ACCOUNTABLE: Quick to own mistakes and failures with little to no blame and finger-pointing. And definitely not a whiner! (See the QBQ! book)
3. COLLABORATIVE: Don’t have all the answers, know they can’t do it alone, and open to ideas they did not generate. Shares AND listens.
4. DECISIVE: No “paralysis by analysis” here. Flexible, but not wishy-washy. Possesses opinions that are thought through.
5. ENCOURAGING: Praises people, provides positive feedback, and slow to criticize. Lifts others up with their words.

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  • Showing up to work, on time (preferably before your appointed office hours), appropriately dressed, and ready to take on the day.
  • Being present at work – different than being “on time” being present is the sense that you are doing what you can do for the company first, and for yourself second. You are thinking constantly about how to make the company better – in turn, you will be better at your job.
  • When you are at work, you are giving it your all, 110%, thinking of your colleagues and about advancing the company. Your company and colleagues are part of your extended family and you will do whatever is legal, moral and ethical to advance their careers and the cause of the company.
  • You don’t whine or gripe about tasks that have been assigned to you or ones that you have been volunteered for. You do the work with a sunny, optimistic attitude.
  • You defer to your manager’s decisions, even if in your opinion they are wrong.
  • You understand that you are an employee of the company, 24/7 – you are never really “off” the clock.
  • You are always selling your company’s product or service and you are always looking for a chance to advance your company’s product or service even if it is at a dinner party, a wedding, gas station, etc.

What other thoughts would you add for a good work ethic? Or is smile and be enthusiastic enough? And yes, I’m smiling as I ask that question!

 

The Courtesy of a Response

The Courtesy of a Response

ResponseMost definitely stepping up onto a soapbox here – this is one of my pet peeves. Yes, I am directing this at a few friends as well as the world at large. I’ll put on my flak jacket if needed.

I don’t understand businesses who advertise their phone number, their email address, their twitter account, their Facebook page, and then when someone contacts them through any of those mechanisms, they don’t respond. Shame on them!

Likewise, I don’t understand when churches and other non-profits do the same thing. The irony of churches with sub-titles like “the friendly place,” or “we want to hear from you,” but it’s a one-way communication path into an apparent black hole.

Certainly, there are spammers and such, who don’t deserve a response. If somebody just wants to pick a fight, or argue, or are chronic complainers, OK, I can understand not responding to them. However, when dealing with a real person, treat them as a person. If you were talking face-to-face and somebody asked a question, would you just wander off and ignore them?

I’m very aware that my choosing to respond to almost all requests doesn’t obligate you to do what I do. You make your choices, I’ll make mine. Feel free to test me on this — responding is one of my higher values.

ZigTomZiglar

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.Then there is Tom Ziglar, head of the Zig Ziglar company. Zig has since passed on, and is very much missed. I had an opportunity to reach out to Tom back in 2010. Of course, his response was excellent.

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How does this apply to a job search? Or for an employer? What is one of the terrible things potential employers do? Jeff Haden thinks it’s the Worst Hiring Mistake!   If it’s a fact that most jobs are found through networking, then every contact may represent the creation, maintenance, or sudden loss, of a networking contact. How many can you afford to lose?

 

Last updated: 12/20/2014

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn’t work out well.