Helping Your Team Create Raving Fans

Sometimes we get so busy doing the work of our organization that we actually forget about the very customers we’re there to serve.  In those times we can let our attention to serving customers needs slip off our radar and become second priority.

The following 60- 75-minute huddle is designed for you to lead your team through a development discussion that will help shape the way they think about serving your customers. I used this with my team a few weeks ago and they’re still talking about ways we can create raving fans.

I’ve attached the Word document so you can edit any portion of it to fit your needs or context.  The document includes both the Leader Guide as well as the Participant Guide.

Creating Raving Fans Long Huddle

Enjoy.  And let me know how it goes.

Strengths Focused Leadership Development

Ask someone to name their weaknesses, and they fire off a laundry list of shortcomings without hesitation. But ask what they’re good at, and many tend to struggle for an answer. People struggle to identify their strengths for two reasons:

1. They’re embarrassed. Insecurities can keep us from admitting when we’re good at something.

2. They don’t recognize it as a strength. It’s easy for to see others strengths, but it’s not always easy to see our own.Sometimes we’re good at something naturally and for that reason we’re unaware that they are good at it.  A few months ago a friend mentioned a strength he had observed in my leadership. It caught me off guard because it was a behavior I knew it was something I did, but never considered to be a strength. Because he pointed it out, I now try to develop and practice this more intentionally.

It’s tempting when doing leadership development to identify weakness and try to help them grow from a three to and eight. But your time will be much better invested if you help the leader develop his or her strengths.

Try this exercise next time you meet with one of your staff members or someone you’re developing. Ask the following questions:

  • Name 5 to 7 projects or goals you’ve been working on for the past four weeks. Write a list on the whiteboard.
  • Where have you felt surges of energy during the past four weeks? What were you doing when you felt it?
  • What fruit or results have you seen in the past four weeks? What are the specific things you did to contribute to that outcome?
  • To what do you attribute those results, be specific? What response have you seen from others as you did this work?
  • Reverse engineer what you did well. Think about what you did well and why. Write down the skills you used to accomplish those things.
  • What do you learn about your strengths from these observations?
  • What are two or three things that you can put into practice over the next 30 days to sharpen that strength?

When you take someone through this process, there are three outcomes.

  • They will develop their strengths
  • They will begin to use the strengths with more intentionality.
  • It will increase their ability to develop others in that particular strength area.

Movement Makers

Yesterday I lead my final Small Group Directors meeting at Seacoast All Staff.  As I prayed about this final session God prompted me to focus on Nehemiah 8 and talk about being Movement Makers.  I share the session with you so you can use it with your team as well. 

I opened by telling them about a video someone showed me from You Tube.  It shows a man standing in the middle of a field at an outdoor concert.  With hundreds of people sitting around watching the concert he begins to dance with total abandon. It’s absolutely hilarious because he is totally oblivious to the people around him.  As he dances another guy jumps up and joins in the dancing too.  Then two more people join in, then three, then ten.  Two minutes into the video so many people have joined in that you can no longer see the original man who was dancing.  (If you want to watch the video CLICK HERE)

He started a movement.  Isn’t that what we want to do through our leadership? Whether you’re a small group pastor, a children’s director, a student minister or a senior pastor you want to be used by God to start a movement.

In Nehemiah 8 things are looking up for Jerusalem as Nehemiah has come in and helped them rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem.  But spiritually the people were still stuck in mediocrity.  That’s when Ezra came in and started a spiritual movement that lead to a renewal like they had not seen in years.  Nehemiah 8:17 says, “From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.”

In order to get an idea of how God used Ezra to start this movement read Nehemiah 8:2-12.

So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear [a] and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read. 9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.”12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

Next, as you reflect on the passage discuss the following questions:

  • What are the characteristics of a movement that you see in this passage?
  • What is the movement you’d like to see take place through your area of ministry?
  • What mistakes do we commonly make when trying to get others to join our cause?
  • What steps can we take over the next three months to gain momentum and generate a movement?

Finally, I summarized our discussion with these key points.  Starting a Movement Requires…

  • …a concentrated intentional effort (Neh 8:2-4,7-8).  As you read this passage you notice that a lot of preparation went into this event that sparked a revival.  Movements don’t just happen, they require leadership.
  • …maximizing the platform God has given you (Neh. 8:4-6). Ezra was a highly respected spiritual leader who had a lot of influence. Not only did he have the platform of his character and reputation he also had a literal platform as well.
  • …influencing influencers (Neh. 8:4)  Ezra had key influencers to his left and to his right.  This sent a message to the people that the leaders or main influencers were in agreement.
  • …getting people to use the same language (Neh 8:7-8).  There is a huge synergy when you align people’s language.  Ezra not only taught from God’s Word, he enlisted the Levites to break the crowd into groups and teach what he was teaching as well.   There was alignment from the top.
  • …re-shaping people’s perspective (Neh 8:9-12). Ezra, Nehemaih and the Levites helped the people change their mentality or pre-disposed attitudes.
  • …inspiring new behavior in those you lead (Neh 8:12).  The people who had been living in dispair were not filled with joy.

Get yout team together and take 40 minutes to work through this passage together and see what insights and action steps you walk way with.   Let me know how it worked for you.

A Plan for Shaping Your Corporate Culture

Last week I wrote a post Don’t Be Clueless about Your Corporate Culture which brought some questions and some good comments. The questions were primarily about how to shape your culture. So let me give you a simple technique that I’ve used in the past that works well.

  1. Ask the members of your team what words they would use to describe their ideal work culture or environment. As they call out different words write them on a marker board. All words are fair game. Come up with as many as 15 to 20 if you’d like.
  2. Once everyone has had a chance to share, work together to agree upon the top 4-5 words.
  3. Next put a letter grade A, B, C, D, F on each of the words grading how you are currently doing with each word. For Example Communication  B, High Accountability D, Innovative  C+, Fun  A -, Relational B –
  4. Now have the team discuss which one needs to be worked on the most and write out a plan for strengthening that value in your culture.
  5. Post the words on a wall in your meeting room where you can see them regularly.
  6. Three months later re-grade each of the words and see if you have made progress in shaping your culture.  Put a reminder in your Outlook so you won’t forget.
  7. Rinse and Repeat

What are some ways you can intentionally shape your corporate culture this week?

Are You Undermanaging?

I’m an empowering style of leader.  I believe in people, get agreement with them on their goals, meet with them regularly to discuss progress and do my best not to micromanage them.  But lately I’ve been questioning, “Am I under managing those I lead?”   Sometimes I empower people so much that I’m not close enough to observe and give feedback on their performance.  One thing I have learned about management is – closeness matters. A higher degree of proximity gives greater opportunity to observe and provide honest performance feedback.  To help with  my own leadership in this area I developed seven question assessment.  Here’s how it works.

  • Write down the name of one of the people who report directly to you. 
  • Answer each question below by marking it with a Yes or No. 
  • Add up your score and see how you did. 
  • Finally write out what next steps you feel you need to take to improve your managment of that individual. 

Okay, now take 5 minutes and give it a try.

EMPLOYEE NAME:  ___________________________


  1. Am I close enough to observe and offer specific praise on his/her most recent work?
  2. Am I close enough to observe and offer a specific push in an area where he/she needs performance improvement?
  3. Am I close enough to know the latest personal highlights of his/her life?
  4. Am I close enough to assess his/her level of morale and work engagement?
  5. Am I close enough to  know the health of his/her soul?
  6. Am I close enough that I provide needed coaching on his/her goals?
  7. Am I close enough that he/she and I feel a bond of trust?

MY SCORE: _______

6-7 Yes = You are doing a great job managing your direct reports.  Consider ways you can now begin to teach them your guiding managment principles so they can become great managers.
4-5 Yes = You are under managing in some areas and need to draw closer to this individual.  Identify the areas you marked No and develop your next step improvement plan.
0-4 Yes = You are under managing and need to get more engaged with your direct report.  Identify the top 2 areas that would make the biggest difference and begin taking steps this week for improvement.  You may need to let them know what you are doing so they won’t be shocked when you begin to engage them at a higher level. 


  1. ___________________________________________________
  2. ___________________________________________________

Today’s Leadership Challenge: Use this tool to assess how you are doing with each of your direct reports and write out your next steps improvment plan, then reassess yourself in 3o days.

Customized Leadership Development Tool

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the changes taking place with leadership development.  One of those changes is Customized Learning plans.  Well, last week I was meeting with a sharp young worship leader who wants to develop his leadership skills.  During our meeting time we went through the following steps to develop a customized development tool he can use for himself and his team. 

  1. Identify a Key Job Responsibility
  2. Create a list of no more than seven competencies (skills) that are necessary to do that responsibility well
  3. Have the learner rank themselves 1-5 on each competency
  4. Choose one area to work on and create a 30 day growth plan
  5. Follow-up and share your progress

This young man chose the responsiblity of Leading a Worship Band.  Here is the customized tool we developed for that particular responsiblity. 

1  Read each sentence below and rank yourself on each of the competencies.

SCALE:  1 = I don’t have a clue  2 = I know a little bit  3 = I have some experience  4 = I’m fairly confident  5 = I do this really well

Leading a Band requires the following competencies… rank yourself 1-5 on each.

  • Dynamic of Worship  – The leader understands the rhythm, focus and dynamics of each song in order to maximize that particular songs message
  • Confrontation  – The leader brings correction or adjustment to each team members attitude and performance
  • Connect with team – The leader connects with team members by communicating and relating to them outside of church services
  • Spiritual leadership – The leader brings spiritual insights and encouragement to the team and serves as a model for spiritual leadership.
  • Encouragement – The leader helps each team member understand and maximize the strengths they bring to the team.
  • Communication – The leader communicates clearly before rehearsal by informing members of service details in advance and during rehearsal by addressing each team member in a way that brings clarity and understanding.
  • Servant Leadership – The leader models servant leadership by serving each member of the team with humility and kindness.
  • Time management – The leader will effectively manage rehearsal time by starting and ending on time as well as sufficiently covering all songs according to the need of the band members.

2  Next work with your mentor or learning group to choose one area you will focus on over the next 30 days. 

3 Write down 3-4 next steps you can take to help you develop that particular competency. 

Use the following to help prompt your thinking about your next steps:

  • I will read…
  • I will meet with…
  • I will Google search…
  • I will do…
  • I will listen to…
  • I will observe…
  • I will go…

4 Meet again within 30 days with your partner or mentor and share your progress as well as what you have learned.  I would recommend discussing the following questions:

  • What next steps did you take?
  • How well did you do?
  • What would you do differently?
  • What did you learn?

Who are you personally developing?  Create your a customized growth tool by following the steps listed above. Give it a try over the next 30 days and see what happens.

Lead with Your Strengths

A few weeks ago my friend Allan Kelsey, founder of Leading Leaders, came to Seacoast Church to train our Campus Pastors and key leaders to lead with their strengths.  I asked Allan to make a short training video that we could use to train all Seacoast employees.  Feel free to use this training with your staff, all you need to do is purchase the book Now Discover Your Strengths, watch the video and follow the steps outlined below.

In this module, we will discuss leading with your strengths. To begin, please be sure that you have a copy of Marcus Buckingham’s Now Discover Your Strengths book. You can refer to the back inside back cover for your individual access code. You will visit to take your individual assessment. This will give you your top 5 strengths.

Please note, you can not share access codes. Once you have used your code, you will create a log in using your email address. You can only gain access to this site and your results via your email account and log in. Once you have taken your survey, please send your results to your supervisor.


  • Think: What percentage of your time do you operate in your strengths? What percentage of your time do you operate in your weaknesses?
  • Watch the video from Allan Kelsey from Leading Leaders.
  • Read pages 1- 79 in the Now Discover Your Strengths. Then take the online assessment to recieve your individual results. Next,  read the description of your top five strengths provided in the back of the book. You will also receive this explanation in an email with your results.


  • Journal: Keep a journal this week capturing moments you find yourself using your strengths. Write down how it feels, what it looks like, what were you doing when you were using one of your strengths?
  • Discuss: Ask someone close to you to help you identify how they see these strengths being used in your life.


  • Meet with your mentor to identify and discuss your individual strengths.
  • Talk about some of the following questions in your meeting:
    • What percentage of your time do you operate in your strengths?  What percentage of your time do you operate in your weaknesses?
    • What stood out to you from Allan’s video teaching?  What stood out to you the most from your reading in Now Discover Your Strengths?
    • Were you surprised by the results of your assessment? Which Strength do you see the most in your life? Which one suprised you the most?
    • What is one specific concept that has challenged your thinking about strength based leadership?
    • Why do you think it is important to take the time to understand the strengths of others on our team?
    • How will a focus on your strengths change your daily activities?
    • What will you do next week to spend a greater percentage of your time using your strengths?
    • Is there anything that needs to be adjusted in your current job description?