EP 190 – LEADERSHIP CAPITAL
Hey Bootcampers, Jimbo and Bob are back home for a bit before heading out once again and take some time to break down a question posed by one of the Participants they received during a recent event regarding how to lead changes in your church. In short, Leadership Capital. The guys spend time unpacking this idea a bit more. Sit back, grab your favorite beverage and listen in as they talk about this important leadership issue.
Leadership Capital: is the influence that you acquire over time, which is stored in the minds and hearts of those you lead. When leading changes, you make withdraws from this account.
As a leader you build this capital over time, in slow, regular steady increments. If you are new to a church, you don’t acquire instant leadership capital just from your position. It must be earned through leading well, demonstrating competency, character and establishing credibility.
Check out this EP and the ones listed below for more insights on leading well.
Here are some additional bootcamp EPs to check out regarding leading change:
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JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are. Back at it again. Bob. I hope you’re ready for the next episode of the Replant Bootcamp here in our own domiciles. You got your dogs with you. we are, not on the road and, the replant road trip mayhem of the last few months cranking from like an 11 down to like a seven.
Bob Bickford: Man, I would agree. you especially, you had a couple more trips than I did. but we have been on the road, I think our most recent trip was to Southern sim or Southeastern Seminary, excuse me, in Wake Forest. And, MI Replen had a great, great time there with Keelan and the crew. And, man, it’s been a really good, a really good winter slash spring, it’s really good that we are now sliding into spring because I know Jimbo, you are not a fan of the cold weather.
JimBo Stewart: No, I am not. I’ve gotten a little with all the look, I think I’ve been in 12 different states in the last 90 days, and,
Bob Bickford: Oh.
JimBo Stewart: most of them are not as warm as Florida, and so I feel like my body has started to adjust and it hasn’t been as miserable. as before, [00:01:00] although I walked out early the other morning here in Florida and I think it was like 61 and it was windy, and I was like, yep, this is too cold.
I’m not. I’m like, it shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be like this.
Bob Bickford: Man, that is a beautiful spring day here in, uh, Missouri, and we would welcome that with shorts and, probably, I’m not a flip flop guy. I don’t know about you, but I, Jimbo I don’t know any man’s feet that are pretty, do you? I, and I just don’t.
JimBo Stewart: no, no, I, well, I mean, Florida prefe are not a prerequisite for, for flip flops.
Bob Bickford: Okay. You just wear ’em.
JimBo Stewart: You just wear ’em.
Bob Bickford: Well, there you go.
JimBo Stewart: Well, hey, one of the events that we did, uh, was am I replant? We did that at New Orleans and in, uh, at the New Orleans Seminary and at Southeastern in Wake Forest. And, the q and a sessions, I think are, the discussion panel is one of my favorite times where we get to hear kind of what’s on the mind of those that are attending these events, that are considering going to replanting or new to [00:02:00] replanting and.
oftentimes it comes down to kind of pace of change, especially for a new guy, which we’ve got, you know, I would harken you back if this episode’s particularly helpful to you to some episodes like, first 100 days or things like, or how not to do lead facility changes or, some things like that.
one of the questions that we got recently got me really thinking about the importance of, discerning between things that are important. And things that are urgent, and those are not always the same thing. and urgent is not always urgent. Like urgent sometimes feels urgent. But actually isn’t urgent.
And then sometimes urgent is urgent, but it’s just not important. but it’s still urgent. And when we’re considering those things, I think one of the things we have to do is we have to think about how to spend our leadership capital wisely. I remember as a young guy the first time somebody explained that to me, it was really helpful, in thinking, Bob, how would you explain leadership capital?
Bob Bickford: Well, leadership capital is the influence that you acquire over time and you store it[00:03:00] up when you need to make, in the future, when you need to make a withdrawal or a a, a decision or Leads lead the church in a particular direction. You’re drawing upon that capital, you’re dropping, drawing upon those, those small moments, those everyday moments that give you credibility as a leader.
And capital is the word that we, we are using here to describe it. So every time, every time I make a leadership decision, that is a little bit challenging. Then I’m, I’m withdrawing some of that capital because people trust me and I’m able to, to spin that. I think Bolsinger, in canoeing the mountains talks about leadership as disappointing people at a rate they can absorb and will accept.
Right. So I think that’s really, I think that’s really good in, in that sense. And so every time you. You are leading forward in, in calling people to change. You’re spending capital and if you don’t have it, this is particularly why when guys first show up, they don’t have a lot of capital, and just because you got a position, it’s not monopoly.
You don’t start off with a certain amount of cash, like you start out with zero. [00:04:00] Right?
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Well, and depending on the context you’re walking into, you may walk in in debt. Uh, like if, if you’re coming into a situation that is, uh, already pretty contentious. And you’re the new guy, or even sometimes, and this is a nobody’s fault necessarily, but if, if it’s a replant and you’re from the supporting mother church, you’re seen as an outsider.
And not only do you, do you not have anything to start with, you kind of have less than nothing and you’ve gotta work. You gotta work to build up to zero.
Bob Bickford: yeah. Especially if the guy before you like overspent his capital
and, uh, just because you bear the name pastor and the position of pastor, you might be starting at a, at a deficit. Like you say, that’s not fair, but sometimes that’s it. That’s the reality.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. And I think part of that, so one, recognize that when you walk in, you, you don’t have a lot of leadership capital, if any, ready to spend. So you gotta make choices, very wisely. The other thing is,[00:05:00] For most leaders, if you’re, if you’re a leader, then the pace of change is going to be slower than you want it to be.
and I like that that quote that Bolsinger gives of leadership is disappointing people at a rate that they can accept. And, you know, I think you have to go at a slower pace for several reasons. One, change is overwhelming for all of us. We’re not all overwhelmed by the same changes, but we are all overwhelmed by change.
And so I would harken you back to episodes on emotional cycle of change or vision, adoption cycle, things like that where we’ve talked really more in depth on that. Just know it’s, it’s an emotionally draining, overwhelming thing. To go through change. And so make changes, spin capital wisely. And building that trust and building that capital takes time.
and some of the ingredients I think over time. Bob, I would love to know your thoughts. I was thinking about you have to des you have to demonstrate, competency like that you actually can [00:06:00] do what you’re supposed to be doing. You have to display some really good character. you have to demonstrate a commitment.
Consistency, and build connections with people emotionally and really different types of people are gonna respond differently to each of those ingredients, of how you build trust and leadership capital over time.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I think you, you’re nailing some of the most important ones in terms of. Building capital for change. Competency obviously is the foundation. Do you know what you’re doing? Right? And Jimbo, I think that’s as, that’s, and here’s some, some places where pastors miss it, especially the visionary pastors.
If you’re leading the people to. Participate in an event, say a mission project, or a discipleship project. Here’s a little tip. Make sure that it’s as well organized,
right? Make sure that you’re not ordering the food for the event. An hour before
JimBo Stewart: yeah.
Bob Bickford: right? Everybody has name tags that the PowerPoints are ready, that you know, all of those sorts of things.
And I [00:07:00] think this is just basic kinds of leadership acumen that that wasn’t taught in seminary or maybe you just didn’t get, or maybe you didn’t have a, a home situation where your, father or your mother. Taught you to be prepared and always, always add value, that sort of thing.
But you can really blow a lot of credibility, in simple things that d that really d denigrates your competency. So I think you’re hitting on those things, Jimbo. And I think the other part too is, you just gotta love people. Well listen well and pastor well. And when you do those things, that’ll, that’ll establish some credibility.
I think of our good friend Markk that talks about the importance of pastoring. This is why Jimbo, you don’t have to be like a stellar thousand star leader oftentimes to get people to follow you if you love them and you listen well, you lead them, accordingly.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, it’s not necessarily super complicated. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it’s not necessarily super complicated. Now, part of that is another reason I think you have to do paces slower. Change [00:08:00] is, change takes time to stick. if you don’t, if you don’t give time for one thing to. To kind of stick before you move on to changing the next thing.
I mean, it, it might just reverse on you, a lot faster than you anticipated. And all of this is to say one, just, it’s gonna be a slower pace. But the key that I wanted to focus on today, Bob, is as how do you, as a new leader especially, or even if you’re an established leader, how do you discern when something comes up?
Is this something that’s really important? Or is this something that is really urgent? or is it both of those things? and then how do you, how do you lay those out? And I love, I’d love to actually look to our old president, Dwight d i, Dwight d Eisenhower on this, he has a great quote. who can define for us with accuracy the difference between the long term and the short term, especially whenever our affairs seem to be in crisis, we are almost compelled to give our first attention to the urgent present rather than to the important future.
And so [00:09:00] he built a matrix. Four quadrant matrix that a lot of people have taken and adapted from there. I think Steven Covey, maybe one of the guys that really ran with that, many years ago and, and really popularized this matrix. but. It’s four quadrants and, and the axises, you know, is this important or not important?
Is this urgent or not urgent? And so, I know this is a podcast, so you can’t see things, but if you think of the top left quadrant being important and urgent, so this is, it’s both right? This means it has to be done now. the top right quadrant, Would be that it is important, but it is not urgent. So it’s very important, but it doesn’t have to be done right now.
And so you need to schedule when you’re gonna focus on that important thing. On the bottom half of the quadrant, the bottom left quadrant would be that it is, not important, but it is urgent. So something that has to happen, but it’s not super important. but it is time. Like it has to be done quickly.
And then the bottom right [00:10:00] is it’s not urgent and it’s not important. And one of the things that’s fascinating is it’s amazing how much time we spend in things that are not important and not urgent. We probably should not spend really much time at all in that quadrant, but we end up spending a lot of time there.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I think you have to ask yourself why, like, why are you spending your time there? And sometimes we’re, we are. prone to put off the difficult things.
And the tedious things. And we want to do the fun things. And oftentimes part of being a leader is doing, determining what, what time you have, what resources you can allocate to a task, and then also the priority of those tasks if they are urgent or important or not important, that sort of thing.
And so you really have to think about. How you choose to do your work. And oftentimes you’ll hear good leadership mentors that say, do the difficult thing first and get it out, done and outta the way, because oftentimes that’s when we have our best mental energy and our work energy. [00:11:00] And then do the fun thing later, which your passion and your enjoyment will, will pull you through on that, right?
And so, part of it is looking at your schedule and your responsibilities and, and making a, a call in terms of priority and energy and focus, that sort of thing.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. and figuring out what, what it is there. And I think part of it is when we talk about urgent. We have to also distinguish that just because something is emotionally charged does not necessarily make it urgent. Meaning
it doesn’t have, like I think sometimes we, when we’re in like a contentious situation, especially if we’re the personality type that, really struggles with conflict or things being really not fully copacetic.
Then we will try to deal with the things that are most emo emotionally urgent before we start to deal with the things that are super important. and I think the hard part is the area we ought, the quadrant we really ought to be spending most of our time in is actually quadrant two, which is things that are.
important but not urgent.[00:12:00] Meaning, these are the things that, really move us towards our goals. These are the things that, this is that deep work stuff that we’ve talked a little bit about before of, man, we, you know, I gotta really drill. This is sermon, sermon prep, right? prep, if you do that right.
And you schedule it and you’ve got it built into your week, then it’s super important. but hopefully it’s not urgent when it becomes important and urgent and you’re pulling a Saturday night special. you can do that periodically, but you don’t need to be doing that every week. and so it oughta, you oughta really try to keep the things that are super important, but not urgent in that second quadrant.
But especially when you first walk into a church, Bob, it seems like, Everything feels really important and really urgent. And so how do you, as a newer guy walking in and you’re seeing 10,000 things need to be changed. How do you practice tactical patients and how do you identify, these are the things that I think are actually important, and then these [00:13:00] are the things that are really urgent and these are the things that are both.
What advice would you give.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, a a couple things. One is I think you gotta make a list, right? Because if it’s just all in your head, it gets crazy noisy in your head when you’re processing all that and, and you have a lot of emotions and energy and that sort of thing. So get it all out on my whiteboard or, piece of paper or a journal.
And then what I would do is I would just begin to sort of ask this question. Which of these would help our church move forward in a way that adds health and moves us all together more holistically in a direction that I feel the Lord wants us to. And then look at those things, identify those, those, you know, keystone, issues.
But then I would also look at the list and say, are there any of these that are on the list that are keeping us from taking. Action that helps us move forward, right? Are there barriers, are there roadblocks? And then I would kind of break out my list there, and then I would begin to pray about that list.
[00:14:00] And then I might also sit down with a mentor or call a friend who I, I felt like was a really good leader. And then I might talk with them about, Hey, look, here’s is, I’m looking, here’s where I feel like these are the important things that we need to address. Here’s some other things that I feel like are roadblocks and, or what we might call dumpster fires, right?
I mean, if you’ve got, if you’ve got some dumpster fires that are like, you know, if there’s something on fire, it is time to get out the fire extinguisher, right? Like, that’s just what you do. You, you, and you have to run towards it. It, it reminds me, Jim, but one time I was walking out of high school, and I went to a Christian school, my last, uh, couple years of.
Of high school and a friend of mine kind of came saur in the building and said, Hey, my mom’s car is on fire.
All right. That just doesn’t happen very often. So, so Jimbo, I, I was at that time a custodian at the church, and so I knew where a fire extinguisher was and I, you know, I just instinctively ran, [00:15:00] pulled the fire extinguisher out, ran towards the car of the hood was up.
what had happened is she’d gotten her oil change and they forgot to replace the, the oil cap. And so
oil spilled all over the engine. Fire. A fire had started. And so Jimbo, I just put the fire out with the fire extinguisher and it wasn’t a time to go. Hey, uh, we probably should call the fire department.
you know what, I’ve never put a car fire out. I’ve never, operated an extinguisher. Jimbo. It was time
to act. And occasionally what I would say is it’s time to act. Now, here’s the challenge. Very few things at the church that feel like dumpster fires can be met with that much urgency, right? Or that that urgent response. What would be some of those things? I mean, maybe like there’s somebody that’s teaching heresy in your Sunday school class. Well, that’s probably an urgent matter. but you also have to approach that with caution, right?
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Bob Bickford: there’s not a lock on the door or, there’s water that is leaking through the roof.
that demands an urgent right now [00:16:00] response. Right? instituting background checks for all of your nursery workers, that’s an important. Almost slash urgent response, but that’s gonna take you some time to navigate. So, so in the church world, it’s, it, it’s interesting how things that are urgent take time to respond to, uh, and so I think you’ve gotta use wisdom in, in doing so.
JimBo Stewart: So here’s how Stephen Covey breaks down the difference between urgent and important. He says, the urgent matters are those that require immediate action. These are the visible issues that pop up and demand your attention right now. Often urgent matters come with clear consequences for not completing the task.
Urgent tasks are unavoidable. But spending too much time putting out fires can produce a great deal of stress and can result in burnout. I would say not just burnout, but you being mission shift of not being focused on what you’re supposed to be focused on. Important matters on the other hand, are those that contribute to long-term goals and your [00:17:00] core values.
These items require planning thoughtful action. When you focus on important matters, you manage your time, energy, and attention rather than mindlessly. Expending these resources. What is important is subjective and depends on your own values and personal goals. No one else can define what is important to you.
and that’s where I’d say for personal and that Stephen Co you talked about. in the church world, what’s important is defined right, and we see it in, in the Bible and it’s that we’re on the biblical mission that God has given us. And, it’s the trap that. Everybody that has served in a local church has probably wrestled with of man.
I signed up to make disciples and tell people about Jesus and help people fall in love with Jesus. And I’m spending my time, you know, doing all these other things, putting out these fires and dealing with these administrative tasks and All those things become so urgent, the tyranny of the urgent, and all of a sudden we feel like a slave, like, oh, I ha I have to fix all these urgent things and then I can get [00:18:00] to what’s important.
And what I hear you saying, with your story of putting out the fire on the car is there are, there are moments where it is so urgent that you need to set aside the important, but if that’s where you live, then something has gotten off track. Like we can’t live there. Like that can’t be our normal, where we’re constantly dealing with urgent and rather than the important.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, if everything’s urgent, nothing is. And, also if everything’s important, nothing is important. So, yeah, I think you, you just have to take some breaths, maybe even get outta the church office, go to coffee shop, go to a park, just get out of the environment because sometimes even the environment, and you’ll see in a church that’s needed to be renewed and revitalized.
Jimbo, you might even be, you and Clifton talks about this all the time. Just the smell of an old church might just keep you in a sense of, this has gotta change.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Yeah.
Bob Bickford: Right. And so then, you know, you just, you’re like, oh man. And so get out. really think of what’s important and then a, also give yourself some [00:19:00] grace and time that you just can’t address everything in a short amount of time, but, Always address something.
I think in our first a hundred day days episode we talked about always be regularly changing something that leads the church towards progress. Whether it’s a small thing or kind of a medium sized thing. But oftentimes we try to change those big things. Thinking that change will, that, that change will be the keystone, what’s not.
It’s a bunch of, it’s a thousand different things that you can can change that will help the church over a long period of time.
JimBo Stewart: I’d say one of the things to consider with that as, as far as making those changes is, if you’re brand new, or you’re in a leadership capital deficit than, One of the important things on your list is building trust in leadership capital. And so as you make changes, it’s gonna require a lot more, conversation and buy-in and partnership with.
The members of the church and then you acting solo in order to build leadership [00:20:00] capital over time and what might be helpful, I really think the suggestion you gave Bob of listing things out was really helpful. and what may even be helpful to you is list things out and then literally draw this matrix.
You can draw, you don’t have to buy anything. You can draw this on a sheet of paper. You can draw it on a napkin, just four quadrants from the bottom left to bottom, to top left. Is it not important, important, the top. Left to top rise. Urgent, not urgent. We’ll have a link to it in the show notes.
So you can just look up, Eisenhower Matrix and it, it literally might help you to like, take all those things in the list and then decide which quadrant do they belong in, right? is this, and so the example is that Eisenhower gives to, for you what you do, each of those, if it’s important and it’s urgent.
So, quadrant one. Top left. If it’s important and urgent, then you do it. you, I mean, that, that’s the, if it’s urgent and important, then you gotta take care of it. If it’s urgent and not important, you delegate it. things that, there’s things that need to be done, but they don’t really require you to do them.
it’s kind of busy work. They don’t [00:21:00] require your specific skillsets, but they’re, they’re urgent. It’s not super important. It’s best if you can delegate that and develop somebody else to be able to manage those things so you can be focused on things that are more important. so that’s quadrant three.
Let’s go back up to top quadrant two. I know this might be confusing, but you’ll be able to see it, if it’s important and not urgent. Then you schedule it. And this is, this is the kind of stuff that you set a deadline. These things, this is deep work, brings you closer to what you’re trying to do. This actually gets the ball down the field.
This is your annual planning. This is your sermon prep. This is, I mean for yourself. This is physical exercise. This is, all the things we do that have long-term results, meeting our goals. And then if it’s not important and it’s not urgent, then you delete it. It’s done. You don’t, don’t spend your work time doing that.
This is just distractions. and they’re not even really that helpful. You know, we’ve talked about these types of things before, but one of the things to consider is, If you’re tired, and you’re exhausted and you think, oh, I’m just gonna binge watch some things on [00:22:00] Netflix, I have no problem with you watching tv.
But if that’s where you’re going in order to rejuvenate your energy, just scientifically, it’s not gonna work. Like the research has shown us sitting and watching TV for long periods of time does not rejuvenate you and doesn’t refresh your brain. and so that’s something that’s not important. It’s not urgent, it’s not helpful.
and so you delete that.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I don’t think anybody ever said, man, I’m, I’m glad I wasted a whole day watching. you know, an episode of whatever, or, uh, man, I’m, I’m glad that I spent 10 hours on video games, and I, I think if you are going to those kinds of things that what we would call is to, you know, amusement time where you just click off your mind and don’t do anything productive.
What I, what I would suggest is give that some, give that some thought. What, what is it about? At that activity and just not having to think about anything that I get lost in it. What is that? What am I attempting to bring into my life through that? There’s a lot more helpful things that you can do, and we often have said this in the podcast.
Oftentimes, you need to work [00:23:00] hard. You need to work your body hard, you need to work your hands. You need to do something that’s strenuous in order to refresh your mind. And so something passive, just sitting there receiving something, playing video games, watching tv, you know, watching movies mindlessly scrolling the internet.
That’s gonna still work your mind. And it’s not really gonna work your body. So you’re not gonna get that refresh bump that, that you could by doing some other things, like go for a walk, man. Get out in nature, go on a hike, get a hobby, start doing something in the yard. Those sorts of things. Do something that that gives you some physical activity that will help your body replenish itself and will help your mind clear the stress chemicals that are inside your mind.
JimBo Stewart: This is good. Uh, hey guys, check the show notes. We’ll have some more information there for you. Look at the Eisenhower Matrix. be thinking about what you’re spending your time doing and maybe even, evaluate journal how you’re sp how much of your time are you spending on things that are urgent. rather than things that are important.
I hope this is helpful. If it is, let us know, uh, in the comments. give us a review. See you guys later.
Bob Bickford, Canoeing the Mountains, change management, Church Change, Jimbo Stewart, leadership, Leadership Captial, leading change, replant, resistance to change, Todd Bolsinger