“I’m completely frustrated.”
Months of pent-up tension poured out as Allan, a senior pastor, explained his staff struggles to ministry consultant and coach Tony Morgan. “Members of this church tell us that they feel nurtured, loved, and supported,” said Allan. “But my staff can’t seem to get anything done.”
It wasn’t long before Tony understood the source of Allan’s frustration. As Tony conducted a staffing and structure review with Allan’s team, he asked each member to complete a Leading From Your Strengths profile assessment. The results were startling. Allan’s strengths were clearly task-oriented. He flourished in a fast-paced, results-oriented environment while his entire staff, all gifted with people-oriented strengths, functioned best in a supportive, relaxed, service-oriented atmosphere. Allan and his team operated completely differently.
Now, both Allan and his staff look back at that big “ah ha” moment as pivotal. Together with Tony, the team used the review as an opportunity to transition a few leaders into new roles that better reflected their strengths. Then, the church intentionally sought to fill gaps in their leadership structure.
The profiles were a key tool in building a close-knit ministry team in Allan’s church, and have become a resource that Tony returns to time and time again as he coaches and consults with leaders, churches, and ministries to grow teams.
A Dual Benefit: Data for Individuals and For Teams
Tony first became familiar with Leading From Your Strengths when serving at Granger Community Church (Granger, IN), where the profiles were part of the staff’s hiring process and used in team building. The profiles offer two different, though complementary benefits: data for an individual and data for a team. Individual profiles provide objective information outlining that person’s strengths, allowing him to cultivate those strengths. The Strengths Wheel offers a visual representation of the team’s strengths, plotting each member’s natural abilities and revealing the team’s needs. “Through the years, I’ve learned that a healthy team has a combination of leaders that reflect the entire Body of Christ,” says Tony. “Strengths and gifting are not just limited to the strengths of the senior pastor.”
Churches and ministries consult with Tony and his colleagues at The Unstuck Group either when they’ve gone through a rapid growth season or when they’ve reached an impasse and are struggling to move forward. Tony comes alongside these teams to guide them through a process of re-evaluation or to play “catch up” in building their structure, strategy, and systems. While Leading From Your Strengths is just one element of the ministry consulting firm’s assessments and strategic planning services, the profiles are instrumental in allowing ministries to move forward productively. “The profiles help us to learn about the leaders on the team,” says Tony. “And it helps the team learn about the leaders around them, especially in making sure the right people are in the right roles.”
The profiles also play a key role in Leadership Coaching Networks, small groups of leaders who meet with Tony for six, once-monthly sessions to grow in their leadership skills. Prior to each network’s first gathering, each member completes the profile assessment. Members discuss the results during the first session. The impact is significant, often motivating leaders to embrace strengths they previously viewed as weaknesses. Many leaders return to their churches or ministries and use the profiles with their entire team.
“Leaders discover a big takeaway – that each of them is wired differently,” says Tony. “That realization impacts how they communicate, coach, and lead others on their teams.”
Small Investment, Powerful Results
As The Unstuck Group coaches lead ministry teams through the process of getting unstuck or in making an intentional plan for growth, they experience the satisfaction of helping leaders grow.
Such was the case for Tony when about a year after first speaking to Allan, he received a call from the senior pastor. It was time, Allan said, for his team to revisit their staffing and structure plan. The church was experiencing so much health and growth that it needed to look at next steps for future expansion.
“The profiles are a small investment but a great value,” says Tony. “And their impact extends beyond the individual leader and onto a team – especially when a team reviews them together and works with a coach to develop strategic next steps.”