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Why Ministries and Organizations Suffer & How to Stop the Pain, (Part Two)

Posted by: In: From the Fellowship 10 Apr 2012 Comments: 0 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

by Dr. David Robinson

(Part Two)

How You Make Sustainable Change That Stops the Pain and Leads to Recovery

Some call it active inertia, founders’ syndrome or just stuck in the past.  Whatever you call it, get it fixed or your organization dies at worst or is ineffective at best.  In 1900, the Fortune 100 companies, the best of the best, in 2000 only three remained.  What happened to 97 of the top companies just 100 years later?  I believe they suffered from one of the aforementioned diseases.

By the second or third generation, most organizations are over managed and under led.  How many marketplace companies, churches or Christian organizations do you know one-hundred years old or older?  It happens in any organized effort that involves humans.

Develop leaders that display the following traits:

  • Appreciate plans, budgets and guidelines.
  •  Make proactive decisions based on mission and budget constraints.
  • Make staff and leadership appointments based on gifting, training, capacities and “coach-ability.”
  • Value board members’ honest feedback, team spirit and expertise.
  • Sustain credibility among members, vendors and affiliates.

Teach Basic Principles to Present and Future Leaders:

  • Not all recurring problems are the fault of one individual.
  • Current management problems were first a leadership failure.
  • Be willing to look for and accept help.  Do not let your ego and pride keep you in pain.  Relieve yourself from having to know everything.
  • Communicate often and honestly based on accurate and adequate information.
  • Be patient with yourself and all others.
  • Take time to reflect and learn from each other.

Board or Leadership Team Actions:

  • Insist on Board Member training and orientation.  Review roles and responsibilities.  Conduct an annual self-evaluation ensuring effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Conduct annual risk management review.
  • Ensure job descriptions and performance agreements are current.  Keep reporting simple, regular and effective.
  • Maintain Strategic Planning Process and review annually.
  • Be hope dealers for the membership.  Your words define their future and yours.
  • Conduct “zero-based” program review.  No program is sacred.  Abandon if no longer effective in supporting mission.
  • Do not sit on problems or ignore them – solve them.


  • What got you where you are will probably not get you where you want to go.
  • Leadership is about change.  Let the past go and find out what it is going to take to move forward.  Envision where you want to be in five years and devise a plan to get there.
  • Remember, “Accurate, adequate and shared information coupled with open and honest communication is the only way to make informed decisions.”
  • It takes courage, determination and a spirit of cooperation to honestly define present reality and devise a strategy for recovery and forward progress.
  • Without outside wisdom and coaching, recovery is difficult for any organization, regardless of size, resources, leadership expertise or longevity.

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