Dr. Phil – It does not take long when talking about leadership, teams, and organizational development to mention values. But what are values? And why are they important? You have read in this and previous Updates about how those in our Ministry Coaching Network are connected by shared values. But this is nothing really new, for the reality is that each of us have a set of values from which we live our lives (if we are aware of them or not). As we embark on the year 2015, I thought it might be an appropriate time to share a few thoughts regarding the importance of values in our everyday life.
In any organization (churches included), the vision (what we are going to do) is nurtured in the soil of shared values (what we believe to be true) of the leadership team and members. To the degree that there is widespread buy-in with these shared values, is the degree to which there is a cohesive vision that results in a common “how to fulfill” the organization’s purpose. The “how we do things around here” (often called “our culture”), is largely based on the shared values of the group. While the values are mostly unseen, they have a direct impact upon the visible activities of the group.
As a network of Ministry Coaches that are involved in leadership training and team development, our MCNet has five distinctive values when it comes to leadership. These are important as they impact both the why (values) and how (strategy) of what we do.
Servant Leadership – biblical leadership is about using our resources to serve others not ourselves
Mentoring Relationships – the development of others through intentional relationships
Team Approach – the practical expression of servant leadership happens within community
Catalytic Influence – the goal is to equip and release others, not hold on to position and power
Unity Emphasis – our ultimate focus is God’s Kingdom not our distinctives: In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things charity.
These values are what make us tick as individuals and as a group. They in turn motivate all that we do. Our “doing” part is: MCNet is a Global Community of Coaches, Equipping Ministry Teams to Mentor a Generation of Servant Leaders to Lead Healthy Reproducing Churches.
Just as values are important at an organizational level, we each individually adhere to certain values and live our lives from them. For some this is very unintentional, which often leads to somewhat chaotic results. Others pay no attention to this and just let life happen to them as it will. Obviously, life is going to throw each of us a fair share of curveballs. However, having a clear understanding of our values – what’s important to us – can be a great help in making decisions, dealing with the unforeseen, and developing quality relationships that will help us finish well.
Like most of us, this is not something we think about on a daily basis, but as the new year begins it seems to be as good a time as any to evaluate why we do what we do – particularly as these are far greater indicators of us having a significant 2015 than any News Year’s resolution ever could.