Archive for October, 2012

To help deal with under-performing staff, here is a guide to help determine why the person may under-perform and possible courses of actions to take.

Turning a blind eye to mediocre performance implies you are condoning sub-standard work.  The best course of action is to identify and confront problems early.  Meet with the person to determine the reason for under-performance and take the necessary steps.  However if improvement does not occur, be clear about the consequences.

Unclear targets and expectations Many times we, as leaders, are vague and brief in our instructions. Therefore, the staff, or volunteer, does not know what they’re supposed to do.  And it’s very possible they may be fearful of admitting to their “boss” they don’t understand. Identify expected outcomes and completion dates. Always ask for feedback and accept it gracefully and patiently. Instructions must be clear and understood to be followed.

Poor ‘fit’ for the task or position Fit is one of the most difficult things to measure, yet the success or failure often rests with how well the staff or volunteer’s behaviors, interests and preferences blend with others on staff. Maybe having a blunt discussion with the person to determine jointly if the chemistry is right.

No rewards for doing a good job Rewards, in the form of personal recognition, can be simple and very effective.  Saying ‘thank you’ for a job well done, giving a gift card to a local restaurant, or writing a brief note of appreciation will go a long way to motivating people. Be specific in praise.

The Person does not have the skills or knowledge to do the job The source of this problem is, again, in the Leadership process.  You may have “inherited” the person, there be “nepotism” involved, and it’s “politically incorrect” to change, but regardless of the original cause; a Leader must move to quickly identify where the gaps exist and provide the necessary training to do the job properly.

Staff do not understand how their job fits in the big picture In other words, does the person realize how important their success is to the overall mission of the organization?  All tasks in any situation are important; otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Let people know how valuable their role is.

Poor relationship with the leader Studies have shown this is the #1 reason why people underperform.  In my experience, one of the most common reasons for this poor relationship is the leader attempting to apply what I call a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to managing.  We fail to recognize that each person takes in information differently and responds in different ways. Spend some time with them to understand “how” they sort communication.

Family or health issues conflict with work There may be concerns over their home life, health issues, even stress, could cause issues. Sometimes a person will not be open about these things, maybe seeing them as an embarrassment. An open, supportive workplace with a focus on health and wellness will help employees achieve a better balance between their work life and home life.

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ELECTION: 2012

For the first time in U.S. history, a major party candidate for the presidency is a Mormon, an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

In the long view of American history, this is not the first time Christians have been confronted with a presidential election challenge.

We must remember that although we have long referred to the United States as a Christian nation, we are not a theocracy. That is what Islamic governments attempt to institute through the implementation of Sharia law. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

America is in trouble. We need God! We have lost our spiritual way, placing our trust in substitutes or despairing about the future. However, the salvation and spiritual depth of our nation will not be led by the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, or the Republican or Democratic parties. We still need leaders. The alternative is anarchy.

There are times when Christian voters are faced with an electoral dilemma. We MUST ask this question: “No matter the candidate’s stated religious preference, are there indications or evidence the candidate truly would uphold the First Amendment in respecting religious freedom and not subordinate it to political views of a different persuasion?” Clearly, a candidate’s substance – the actions that flow out of beliefs – matters more than religious appearances.

Christians must always prayerfully choose from available electoral options. Who appears most likely to respect rather than curtail Christian freedoms in our nation? Who appears most likely to take stances that honor biblical convictions? American politics is a rough and tumble sport, downright ugly at times. We must prayerfully and wisely vote for (but not endorse the religious beliefs of) candidates whom we determine will be either supportive of or at least respectful of our freedoms and understand the valuable role churches play in the moral fabric and direction of our nation. REMEMBER: Jesus, not the president, saves souls.

We have been told from all parts of society that we should not mix politics and religion, the Church and the state. However, for Christians, faith is meant to be instructive to them in their relationships, their careers and all aspects of their lives.

Instead of shying away from the issue, these are the principles by which I believe all Christians should vote.

Vote For Citizens

Even though we have dual-citizenship, (in this world and Heaven) we are nevertheless citizens of the towns, states and country in which we reside. Voting for Citizens means we should not simply vote for what we think is best for people in the Church, but rather as a citizen of Ft. Lee, or New Jersey or the United States.

Vote With Knowledge

You should know where each candidate stands on numerous of issues. If you don’t inform yourself, then you are merely becoming the type of person who gets swayed by negative ads.

Part of the problem is too many Christians have become One-Issue Voters (same sex marriage; abortion; taxes; military strength; Israel) and once they encounter a candidate who doesn’t agree with them on the hot-button issue, then they stop listening and stop learning.

Vote For Others

Throughout Scripture, we are called to be advocates for those who have no advocate. We are called to be a voice for the voiceless, to stand up for those who have no standing. Cast your vote for the benefit of others.

Don’t simply vote for whoever will give you the best tax break or the best health plan. Rather, use your vote to bless others.

Vote With Hope

This election is about hope. The rhetoric among the parties is about who will raise America out of the recession, who will create new jobs, who will change the trajectory of our nation in the world at large.

But, as Christians, we need to realize we need to Vote Without Hope. Don’t place your hope in any one person. Ultimately, whomever wins will not deliver on every promise. Neither candidate will be able to accomplish everything they intend. And in four years, we will probably be using the rhetoric of hope once again to nominate new presidential candidates.

However, we can Vote WITH Hope. That is because we believe in a God who is sovereign over the president and Congress and supreme over the Supreme Court.

This information was gleaned from articles written by:

Randall Bach and Richard Lee