What kind of influence are you?

On August 14 and 15 the Leadership Summit was broadcast from Willow Creek Community Church to over 300 churches across the United States. Over 90,000 leaders viewed the event. They lead in various contexts, from churches, to government and business leaders. It was a GREAT time of inspiration, equipping and challenge to all who attended.

Last week I had the privilege of gathering in Chicago with about 80 pastors from leading churches around the country to “Debrief” about the Summit. As always, it was great to network with pastors from churches doing amazing things.  We also had time to meet with Bill Hybels on leadership. We had a session with Dr. Richard Allen Farmer on “preaching well,” and Joseph Grenny on Crucial Conversations at work.

I’d like to pass along some of Joseph Grenny’s insights, and ask the question, when it comes to your work, your church, or whatever organization or people group you are part of, “WHAT KIND OF INFLUENCE ARE YOU?”

He identified “FOUR DEFAULT VIRUSES IN ALL ORGANIZATIONS.” Read through them to be sure you don’t see yourself behaving in these dysfunctional ways.

1. The Culture of Resistance: People naturally resist change, yet it is necessary for all organizations. Be an influencer, a “go-to” person for your boss, NOT a resistor.

2. Culture of Silence: People avoid talking about “risky” issues, following the unwritten rule, “I value harmony (and people liking me) over honesty.” Be a healthy teller of the truth!

3. Culture of Collusion: The unwritten rule, “Don’t confront (or tell on) me, and I won’t confront (or tell on) you.”

In this point, he cited a study that found 82 % of nurses say they have dangerously incompetent co-workers, but only 21 PERCENT will speak up about it! This sounds “terrible” when we think of the health risks to ourselves or our loved ones…but it is also wrong for each of us to behave the same in our work places.

4. Culture of Cynicism:  “I’m not going to do anything about the problem, I’ll just wait it out.” We have a responsibility, especially if we claim to be a follower of Christ, to give our leaders our best, for us, for them, and for the organization we are part of.

Colossians 3:17 tells us that ALL we do, we do as for Christ. Take a few soul-searching moments to see if you contribute to any of these four “unavoidable cultures” where you belong. Then, start your week off right, prayerfully determine to be the healthy difference where you are! photo(1) Joseph Grenny teaching at the Summit Debrief.