This morning I presented Anda Leadership to a group of businessmen at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I was excited about this opportunity because it gave me an opportunity to share our vision and to clarify my thinking about Anda Leadership’s mission and methods. I don’t know of any better way to sharpen my thoughts than to present them to others and this was a wonderful group.
The things I presented sparked a lively discussion. Several men stayed after the meeting to continue the conversation and then it continued after that via email. I was encouraged that I made sense to the group and the message energized them. I believe that what we are saying is timely, but it is new to many people. The need to enable emerging market entrepreneurs inspires people who want to make a positive global contribution. In a follow-up email, one person said: “The discussion was more engaged and lively than any other week I can remember. Partly due to the smaller group, but mostly to the provocative and compelling topic.”
I also received two elements of constructive feedback from the group. First, I inadvertently caused some of the men to feel guilty about their former missions involvement by emphatically stating that we need to be smarter in how we do missions work. I said that good intentions are not enough, which I believe. However, I need to say that in a way that leads to positive action, not to guilt for past missions involvement. Second, I need to more clearly state that my motive is to glorify God. Anda Leadership’s message is about helping give a hand up to entrepreneurs in emerging markets can sound very secular and non-spiritual. I want to be clear that I believe this is an effective strategy to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.
The two videos that I used were well received:
Thank you CH@W (Cherry Hills at Work) for the opportunity to share Anda Leadership’s vision, for the stimulating conversation, and for the helpful feedback. I also enjoyed the bagel! 🙂
Today a ministry leader asked me how to hire a person to fill a key administrative role. This is her concern:
“Most of the people who have some great ‘downtown’ admin experience (which is what we are looking for), don’t have the DNA of the ministry/mission. And vice versa. How have you handled this in the past? Is there a ‘trick’ to finding people with the whole package?”
This was my response:
“I agree that you might struggle to find someone who embodies your values and has the administrative skills for this position. When I have confronted this kind of challenge in the past, I have preferred to look for someone with the right skills first. It will be difficult to teach someone to be administrative. However, if the administrative person is humble, flexible, and teachable, they can learn the corporate culture. On a number of occasions I have seen people go from a total lack of knowledge about the organization to one of the biggest promoters in a matter of months. Sometimes, in their zeal, they misrepresented something about the organization, but I did not mind that because they were doing much more good than harm. Over time, they learned more and became solid contributors in every way.”
My approach is to hire character and skill. Then, teach culture.
What would you tell this leader?
Truth. Is truth absolute or relative? After a day of being harangued to change my answer from a simple statement of the facts to a response that people wanted me to give, I realize that there are differences of opinion about this.
Here is the situation. Tenants in a rental property Nancy and I own would like to purchase a home. They are nice people and they have generally paid their rent within 30 days of when it was due. When they have fallen behind, they have caught up within a few months. I would consider them to be relatively low credit risk. So, when the people representing them for a bank loan contacted me, I told them exactly that. In fact, I took the time to look up the tenant records and gave the loan processor the precise data and I added a personal word of endorsement.
However, the bank form asks, “Number of times rent has been more than 30 days past due.” This seems like a straight forward question and my answer was a positive number. However, the loan processor and the tenant want me to enter zero. They believe if the number is anything but “0” that the bank will reject the application.
During the afternoon I received several phone calls during which I heard appeals ranging from “these guys are nice people, we really want to help them realize their dream of owning a home where they can raise their family” to “do you realize that if you keep them from getting this loan that they will loose their house, the people who are counting on them to purchase the house will be stuck, and there will be a domino of ramifications after that?” There was also an attempt to redefine what “30 days past due” meant. Through all this interaction, I was made to feel like I was a lesser person because I was holding up the loan process. I tried to explain that it was not my fault that my records (verified by the tenant) indicated that the tenant was more than 30 days past due at least one time. They seemed surprised that I was unwilling to “simplify the entire situation” by saying the number is zero. It didn’t seem important to them that, in fact, the number was not zero.
For me, truth is the actual statement of fact. The loan processor, the tenants, and I agree that because the tenants are nice people and generally pay within 30 days, that they deserve a home of their own. I would like to help them achieve this dream. However, this dream doesn’t change the “facts.” The facts remain the same regardless of the circumstances and ramifications.