5 critical questions:

1. What is your current leadership challenge level at work?

*Appropriately challenged level

*Under challenged

*Dangerously over-challenged

Where do you do your best work as a leader on the line of appropriately challenged, under-challenged.

Dangerously Over challenged

Appropriately Challenged


Above appropriately challenged is where we do our best work. We don’t do our best work when we are under-challenged.

1st application for senior leaders: add something into the equation challenge yourself more or leadership power will atrophy. If you are in DOC level you are in trouble- you will begin to break down in body, mind, and spirit. You set a bad example for others if you stay in the DOC level.

How do you replenish your leadership bucket- If you are in the DOC level you cannot do enough to appropriately recover? If you see the dangerous DOC level coming embrace it and prepare for it but get out of it as quickly as possible.

Have everyone in leadership circle take the test to see where they are on the line of under challenged-DOC (Dangerously over challenged. Under challenged people in areas leave because of lack of challenge.

Do you think it is possible for organizations to be under-DOC? *It is possible to under-challenge an organization and over-challenge it.

2nd big question: What is your plan for dealing with challenging people in your organization?

What if we had a 50% revenue drop and you had to say goodbye to some people put your people names in order of who you would keep and who you would have to let go.

When you get to the people at the end of the line you ask questions…are they off mission, are they challenged appropriately…

Willow’s future if only as strong as the kind of people they can attract and retain fantastic people and for dealing with people who for one reason or another are no longer fantastic.

“At willow we begin the conversation about attitudes the minute we see it develop…” needs to be resolved in 30 days- bad attitude is a 30-day conversation-no more.

Because of the damage someone can do who spreads that radioactive attitude.

How do you handle underperformers (challenging people)? How long do you carry someone no longer worthy their hire?… needs to be resolved in 3 months-no more. For their sake, teams sake, organizations sake.

Toughest issue to deal with: Growth of the organization requires someone with greater capacity to fill that role… “talent elasticity.”  Values violations are easy to handle. 6-12 months- move at a slower pace because no one has really done anything wrong in the toughest situation to deal with.

If you don’t deal with them it hurts others in the organization. Challenging people deep-down are really not happy people.

3rd critical question: are you naming, solving, and addressing the problems that exist in your organization?

Acts 2-4- when the first church was exploding a problem arose. Acts 6- the leaders called it a problem and addressed it in short order and built trust 6:7- the church grew rapidly. As church leaders we come from a legacy of church leaders who call problems, problems and deal with them.

Every great idea you bring to the table has a life cycle. You hope it becomes part of your organization. But be aware nothing rocks forever- everything has a “season”.

Curve scale ranging from:





Reinvent problems before they tank! develop new programs and initiatives to address them.

Arrest tired ideas at the top of decelerating phase.

Critical question 4: what is the last time you examined the core of what the organization is about? What business are we in? What is our main thing? Are we clear about our core?

Another exercise- draw a circle- say to elders/staff. In 5 words: explain or summarize the central message of Christianity… Bill Hybels uses the following 5 words:

1. Love

2. Evil

3. Rescue

4. Choice

5. Restoration

5th critical question: Have you had your leadership bell rung recently? Book, circumstance, crisis, etc.- most of us are hard-headed leadership type and we need our bell rung to learn something new.

Your God-given job is not to preserve something but to move an organization from here to there and you have to be willing to believe at the core of your being God is willing to help you.

Make a decision that the next 5 years will be your best 5 years.