If you are a pastor, ministry leader, or leader of a non-profit organization, you may be thinking, “Why would I hire The Medlin Group? They’ve only worked in the for-profit world, never in mine.” Actually, that’s not quite accurate. The Medlin Group has provided many of its services to churches and ministries around the country.
We know you’re not the same as the corporate folks. We know you are purposed differently and wired uniquely. We know that shepherding and leading are distinct skill sets. Yet at the end of the day, people are people. Great leadership, superior communication, effective conflict resolution, and high performance team building are all grounded how people are wired. If you’ve perused other parts of the website, you’ve likely seen what we do. We offer solutions for leadership, team dynamics, communication, conflict management, and coaching that are tailored for the environment in which you work and serve.
Acknowledging you might need a coach is not an admission of failure. Instead is a request for assistance, recognition that there is something you wish to achieve or correct that is of such importance, you are willing to look beyond yourself. The Medlin Group offers you an external Christian business perspective about the issues with which you are concerned. Our definition of coaching is “a transfer of knowledge”, helping you view things in a new way and put them into practice. We believe that there is a logical end point to a coaching relationship – it’s when you have received what you needed and you are able to employ it in a sustainable manner. Coaching is highly beneficial when there is an established foundation of trust, an admitted need, earned respect, genuine authenticity, and complete confidentiality. You don’t jump into a coaching relationship; you cultivate it. It’s a two-way street that can yield distinctly fruitful and favorable results. The Medlin Group’s leadership level coaching process typically includes one-on-one confidential Discovery interviews with those who interface the most with you. Through direct observations, input, and trended Discovery feedback, we focus our coaching with you on those areas that will yield the greatest impact.
It can be helpful to see yourself in writing. Sometimes others are hesitant to tell you directly how they truly feel. The Leadership Portfolio is a customized leadership plan based on collection of reports, observations, and insights that are gathered from a variety of input sources – you, your staff, your Board (elder or advisory) and, in appropriate cases, your partners or volunteers. You’ll get a real-world lens on how they think you’re doing. Often the results can be shocking! They think you’re doing better than you thought. And they have some terrific ideas for you to leverage.
It’s often presumed when one works for a Christian organization that godly values are pervasive and assumed. While that may be the case, it is always appropriate to delineate your values as a leader under the umbrella of the Biblical principles that govern you church or ministry. Standards may be assumed or are misguidedly interpreted as expectations. Yet if you don’t publicly and clearly state what your values and standards are how can others adhere or live up to them? It’s not good enough to run your organization with expectations because you’ll be the only one disappointed if they aren’t met. Instead declare what matters most – those things you’d stake your reputation on and those things that really push your buttons. Our methodology can help you identify and articulate your non-negotiables in a written, defined format that can be published throughout your organization.
Do you know how you come across to those on your staff? Do you understand how they “hear” you? Effective communications is widely and consistently affirmed as one of the top 10 qualities of a great leader. In a 2013 article by Thom S. Rainer, “Ten Ways to Be a Better Pastor: Church Staff Perspective” having good and open communication was the number one issue listed. This is further emphasized when talking about conflict management. Often Christian leaders are reticent to handle conflict within the team or between themselves and another staff member. Yet the friction will not simply vaporize. Addressing disagreements can be much easier when effective communication techniques are employed. What you say matters as much as how you say it. The Medlin Group’s online leadership and communication assessments provide you with a personalized report and readout about your style, how you come across to others, how those with different personality types “hear” you, and how you can effectively adjust how you say things to become an even better communicator.
Though all Christians are called to serve the cause of Christ, God calls certain persons to serve the Church as pastors and other ministers. These senior leaders need a supporting staff, committed individuals to fill key positions in order for the church or ministry to function fully. How do you identify and recruit the ideal candidates for those roles? What if the job could tell you what it really needed before you hired someone to do it? If the job could talk, it would clearly identify the knowledge, personal skills, hard skills, behaviors, and intrinsic rewards that are needed for superior performance. Unfortunately, our personal biases prevent most people from hearing the job talk. We migrate to those candidates we like or those folks who interview well. We may avoid hiring people don’t appear to “fit the mold”, perhaps passing over an exemplary candidate. Selecting the wrong person is costly – to you, to your organization, to your staff, and to your constituents. The methodology we use is measurable, documentable, and sustainable. We can help you discern the behavioral traits, intrinsic motivators, skill competencies, and acumen indicators that the job itself requires. These collective attributes become part of a customized job benchmark against which you can assess both new hire candidates and existing staff members, comparing them to what the job says it wants as well as to each other.
The individual you’re thinking about already works in your organization. Perhaps they’re doing a superior job and you are contemplating whether broader responsibility is in order. Perhaps they are not performing to expectations and you don’t know why or what to do. Either way you want an outside lens on things. You don’t want favorable or unfavorable one-sidedness to cloud making the right decision for your organization and for the individual. You want some additional insight to validate your impressions or offer an alternative perspective. Our Discovery Interview process asks others who work for or with the individual some thought-provoking questions. When the aggregated and trended responses are documented, you will have a clearer picture of what currently is happening. At your discretion, we can work with you to decide what to do next.
“Where are you going?” It’s a simple question but one that often yields an oversimplified, pat answer. Yet it’s really important to answer this clearly and consistently– for your staff, your volunteers, your board, your elders, and other constituencies that you depend upon. And it is critical to the success of your church, ministry, department, or non-profit. Strategic planning is also called direction setting or destination setting; it’s the grid through which you sift the major decisions facing your organization. If something doesn’t support you getting to your planned destination you shouldn’t do it. This is especially crucial when you have many good and worthy choices: how will you decide which is best? The Medlin Group offers a process to help you sort out your strategic plan, define a direction, put specific milestones in place, identify relevant success metrics, and determine the tactical steps to get you there. Everyone that touches your organization needs to know where you are going and how you will get there. Once they do, they will understand their role and contribution in successfully getting there.
"During the early part of the Great Recession, as group leader of the real estate practice for the Orlando office of my law firm, I decided our young associates could benefit from some training on business development issues. The Medlin Group led two partners and four associates through a comprehensive study of human behaviors, motivators and communication tips to enable us to more effectively connect with clients and prospective clients. Each member of our group participated in a self-analysis and received a report on our individual values and motivators. This helped us identify our own strengths and weakness and provided insight into the communication style that best fit our personalities. Using this self-analysis, The Medlin Group then led us through exercises geared towards enhancing communication with clients and co-workers in a fashion that would maximize the chances of success. I have used the techniques and analysis learned from The Medlin Group's program with existing and prospective clients, with great success. It also enabled me, as group leader, to follow, support and critique the efforts of our associates in their business development activities. I recommend The Medlin Group without reservation."
A. Guy Neff
Significant International Law Firm