EPISODE #63 – LEADING WITH LEVELS OF INTIATIVE
The boys catch up from their Thanksgiving break, Jimbo details another “Florida Man” incident and then they get down to talking about the Six Levels of Initiative and why they matter to your leadership in your Replant.
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Here are the six levels as defined by Matt Perman
- Wait until told
- Act and report immediately
- Act and report periodically
- Act on own
Resources Mentioned by the guys:
What’s Best Next by Matt Perman
Six Levels of Initiative by Matt Perman
The Five levels of delegation by Michael Hyatt
Take some initiative and get yourself a great website, our sponsor, One Eighty Digital , has all the resources to help you improve your online presence.
Need the word for word? Check out the show notes below powered by Descript.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back out it again. Post thanks giving, are you on a tryptophan hang over?
Bob Bickford: [00:00:06] You know, I’m not, I didn’t do a lot of Turkey. I think I ate in moderation, I will say,
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:11] There we go.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:12] Yeah, it was, um, you know, just one plate, didn’t go back for seconds. And, it was good. Had the taste of Thanksgiving without the bloat of Thanksgiving, which I think is always a positive.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:23] look at you. Show in self-control at Thanksgiving.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:27] Yeah, man. It’s a new day. I did have some gravy though. I know last time we talked about, was it going to get gravy or not? the grocery store purchased Thanksgiving meal items weren’t bad. they weren’t awesome, but my mom busted out the homemade gravy.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:43] Good
Bob Bickford: [00:00:44] So I did get that my sister forgot the green beans and the, uh, you know, the green bean casserole that everybody makes the green beans and like the cream of mushroom
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:52] With, uh, with the onions on top.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:54] Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So evidently, she was supposed to get that when she picked up all of the Thanksgiving stuff from the grocery store and didn’t get it. And so Thanksgiving was Thanksgiving, the bus at Thanksgiving, almost veered off of the road and crashed, but she ran to like, , I think the dollar general, and, picked up some stuff.
It’s Thanksgiving was saved.
JimBo Stewart: [00:01:16] There we go. We had a great Thanksgiving meal with some church members and. Lots of very, very good food. I tried a new to me dinner roll recipe that I’ve never tried, that actually had a Japanese method of making it fluffier. And I got to tell you, Bob, they were amazing.
a great Thanksgiving, great meals. Great rest. Great. Last Sunday at redemption church, in true Florida fashion, we had a Florida man incident at the beginning of the day.
Bob Bickford: [00:01:50] All right. We’ll detail.
JimBo Stewart: [00:01:52] We had an inebriated man come in off the street in the middle of praise, band rehearsal.
And, uh, at first he seemed to just be really into the music, which was cool. And even like during one of the songs they were singing, like got on his knees and raised his hands and Audrey was like, okay, okay. This man is having a moment with the Lord. And then he, came up to the band in the middle of their rehearsal and asked if they could sing some denominational songs.
And Audrey said, well, what is a denominational song? And he said, you know, where other people sing along with you? And she goes, Oh, you mean congregational songs, congregation. He goes, yeah. Yeah. And so our worship leader, Wesley was like, well, you know, all of these songs are songs. You can sing along with us.
And he goes, okay. And then he yells, yeah, my Corrina.
Bob Bickford: [00:02:47] only at a replant. And that is so awesome
JimBo Stewart: [00:02:50] Yep. That was the, that was the beginning of the day. And so it felt appropriate. And then we had a great day sweet commissioning service. Great. COVID regulated. dinner on the grounds in the parking lot and with, to go boxes and social distancing and mask and all of that as best we could. And then the kids had some social distance fund with a Nerf gun war on the playground.
Yeah. After, after lunch. And so all in all, it was a, a great last Sunday as the pastor of redemption church.
Bob Bickford: [00:03:23] Yeah, that’s good to hear. I just want to say thanks for serving so well down there I’m just so, so glad you have Led that church and it’s been, it’s been great to, to be part of that story and just hear and listen to all the cool things that God has done. And I think of the last episode that we just shared about the sweet lady and, um, God’s done a great work and I think there’s really going to continue in great work there.
JimBo Stewart: [00:03:45] Absolutely. I’m excited to see what God does there. Do you know what else I’m excited about? Not related to that at all, Bob,
Bob Bickford: [00:03:50] What’s that.
JimBo Stewart: [00:03:52] our hats.
Bob Bickford: [00:03:53] Yes. Yeah, we are, uh, the replant bootcamp, black ops had giveaway still going on. So we’ve got a few more folks that have, signed up for that. And we want to remind you guys, get your very own replant bootcamp volume, two edition ball cap.
JimBo Stewart: [00:04:09] we’ll have a link in the show notes of here. It’d be on our social media. You can enter, I believe it’s this coming Monday that we will be giving away the next hat. and so make sure to get your entries in through the website. There are lots of ways for you to do that on the survey form there, let us know, and we’d love to have you on that.
All right. So on today’s episode, Bob for our topic of discussion. I wanted to talk about a conversation I’ve had with a pastor friend of mine here in Jacksonville area. That’s actually a church planter, but we’re going to allow him to contribute, his thoughts to this subject, even though he hasn’t grown up to be a replant pastor yet, we’ll bring this conversation into the mix where we were talking about how leading your leaders, right?
And so we’ve talked a lot about leading change and a big part of that was a jab out of team. We’ve talked about the idea of being at the end of the liver line. And the struggle of kind of being that last guy that has to, make sure everything happens. And then this, I think this is even related to the conversation we had with Bob Bumgarner on situational leadership and, and adjusting how you lead based off of the situation that that person is in.
And in that sense, what I want to talk today about is levels of initiative as you, you delegate tasks and you equip leaders. I think we have to think through. Being very clear on what our expectations are of people.
Bob Bickford: [00:05:40] I think that’s great. And I’m looking forward to this conversation. One of the most important, uh, things about replanting is developing others to help you shoulder the burdens and responsibilities. Replants the equipping that we always go back to. And so I’m looking forward to let’s jump in.
JimBo Stewart: [00:05:57] Stephen Covey, I think may be the original guy to kind of coin this idea of levels of initiative. He has six levels. There’s another organization called agile or working through agile through agility that has boiled it down to four levels of initiative. And so I want to start with Stephen Covey’s. I just want to list them.
And then I want to kind of dive into them a little bit with you, Bob. So listing them out real quick. It’s first one is wait until you’re told so first level, bottom level initiative, but just wait until you’re told to do something. Second level is asked before you do something. Third level is recommend certain things.
Fourth level act and report immediately fifth level act and report periodically. And then the six level is act on your own where you kind of own that area.
Bob Bickford: [00:06:45] thinking through the first level, that’s where we all start. Right. When we’re first starting out in ministry, most of us are even just thinking about in life, right? You’re wait until you, you wait until you’re told to do something. That’s how you grow up. So I think we, we want to look at this, the foundational level of oftentimes specifically for somebody who’s jumping into replanting or a church that’s being replanted.
Here’s, here’s the reality. Some folks are just waiting around because the committee structure, the bylaws, the business meeting, all of that structure has created a culture within your church. That everybody waits for two things. One is the church council meeting that decides what they’re going to do. And then the committee meeting to tell them how they’re going to do it, even though they’ve done it forever and ever ago.
Right. And so oftentimes churches will just kind of wait and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Uh, particularly as a replant pastor, you can leverage that, especially if they, if they follow pastoral leadership to a degree, You can come in and start initiating it and initiating things, but realize you’re probably starting at that base level for most folks, because in the church that’s been in decline, most folks are just kind of waiting around for the calendar to tell them what to do, or a committee person, or a business meeting.
Or at times if they’ll follow the pastor’s leadership, even the pastor.
JimBo Stewart: [00:08:03] Yeah, I think in many ways, this is an appropriate place for a lot of people to be in certain things. Curious when, when I walk into a situation where I’m not in charge, I don’t have influence. I’m just there to help. I’m going to start out with me. I’m going to wait until I’m told, because I don’t know exactly how things are supposed to be going.
What the expectations are. This is one I often have to tell my daughter Magnolia. Wait until you’re told this is where you’re still at this stage of life where I just need you to wait until I tell you to do things. Cause she, she operates on a high level of initiative, whether that’s appropriate or not, which is going to serve someone somewhere very well one day.
Uh, but she needs to wait until she’s told, but. I need to wait until I’m told. And in a lot of situations, when I walk into a meeting and I’m not the guy in charge, I’m not the guy people were looking to. I need to wait. I need to sit back and wait and listen. And those opportunities, uh, I think about a moment where I wish someone would have wait until they were told we at our church at redemption, we had for a long, for a long time, we’ve had this.
Concept of, we don’t want to do special offerings. and so we don’t do a special Annie Armstrong or Lottie moon, or state missions offerings. That’s all built into the budget and a percentage of every dollar automatically goes to those things. And we’d like to celebrate that and inform our church about that so that they can be bought into Annie Armstrong and Lottie moon and all of those things.
But we want to make sure that. The church was committed as a whole, that we don’t do special offerings. And we sometimes would have mission partners come in and highlight them, but we’d tell them, but we’re not going to do a special offering at the end. We will partner with you financially, but it’s going to look like a percentage based.
We’re not gonna let you do, uh, we’re not gonna do a love offering at the end. Well, we had just freshly minted. Some young deacons in our church and had a mission partner come by. Uh, that is a local mission partner called the pediatric cancer family foundation. And it’s a Christian organization that helps families that have children in their family with cancer, and they come alongside those families and serve and minister to those families and just really great ministry, great family that.
Was leading that out and they came and shared their heart. It comes out of their own personal story with their own son battling cancer and they share, and as a tear jerker made it so emotional. And so one of these freshly minted deacons just took the initiative and after they were done, just ran up to the stage, took the microphone and said, We’re passing the plates again and taken up a special love offering for pediatric cancer family foundation.
And so we did because he had said it out loud. And so we did it and it’s a great organization. I’m glad we were able to give him that money. I just wish he would have waited until he was told before jumping up and saying something like that.
Bob Bickford: [00:11:04] Yeah, that probably Alysia elicited a conversation. Uh, after that moment, I would imagine
JimBo Stewart: [00:11:10] It did it, did it did elicit some, some corrective conversation followed that moment.
Bob Bickford: [00:11:17] love the passion. Love it.
JimBo Stewart: [00:11:20] I would have loved, even if you would’ve gone to step two of initiative and just asked,
Bob Bickford: [00:11:25] There you go, there you go. That’s a nice segue. So in this, in this stage, somebody has an idea. Somebody sees an opportunity or a need, uh, and, and ask the, the leadership structure, whether as a pastor or the deacon body, or brings it before the church, whatever your decision making structure and says, Hey, I got this idea.
Could we do an offering for the children’s pediatric cancer foundation. And then you would have had the conversation there at the back. Yeah.
JimBo Stewart: [00:12:00] we can have a follow-up conversation to that. But I would say, I appreciate, even as Stephen Covey puts a difference between ask and recommend as the next one, because if you think about it asking is, uh, shows a little bit more humility and understanding of like, Hey, I’m still trying to figure out what my role in here and, and, and get my leadership feet underneath me in this.
And so I just need to ask. Oh, are we doing something about this? Do we support this organization financially? Uh, if we do, how much, how does that work? How could I give more? Whereas recommend is a whole nother step. But when I was reading this one, I thought about another Magnolia moment. Our daughter, this year in soccer was notorious on the team for not paying attention.
Um, she’s that kid, right? That is watching butterflies, picking grass, having a conversation with the goalie. Not listening to anything the coaches saying.
Bob Bickford: [00:12:57] While the game’s going on. She’s somewhere else.
JimBo Stewart: [00:12:59] Oh, yeah, she’s mentally somewhere else. She’s in, she’s on the field. She’s on the field, but mentally she’s, she’s just in a whole nother world. And I w I look one, one day and I mean, it got to the point where you could tell the coach was getting frustrated with her, that she wasn’t listening to him.
And. It’s just intense moment. The game, it’s a tight game and he’s got the team all huddled up and he’s, he’s kind of telling everybody here’s what we need to do. Here’s what we need to do. I need you to step up in this area. I need you to do this and Maggie’s got her hand up and, and I’m thinking, this is probably not good.
And so I just go, Maggie, come here, come here. She comes over. I was like, what are you doing? She goes, I have an idea of how we can win. And I’m going to tell the coach how we can win. And I was like, no, you get back in the huddle and keep your mouth shut. You do not. You do not recommend anything when you haven’t been listening to the coach the whole time.
Bob Bickford: [00:13:54] Did she share her idea with you? Or did you just let it die right
JimBo Stewart: [00:13:58] No, I let it die. I let it die. You just got to learn to let some ideas die. And so she runs back in there and just listens. Right. And I think sometimes, uh, there is a difference between asking, Hey, what are we doing about this? Is there anything happening about this? And coming with a recommendation, um, recommendation is, Hey, I see this is going on.
I recommend that we start supporting that organization financially. Um, and that’s a whole another step, but once you kind of get beyond just the asking and recommending the next level of initiative that Stephen Covey lists is to ask, act, not ask act and report immediately. And so once you have earned a certain level of respect and trustworthiness and leadership, you get to a point where you can act and then just report back.
Right. But even this one doesn’t necessarily always require respect and trustworthiness. Here’s what I would say. If, if you see that a toilet is overflowing in the bathroom, Just act and then report immediately. You don’t need to ask. You don’t need to recommend you definitely don’t need to wait until you’re told you need to act and then report immediately.
Bob Bickford: [00:15:15] Yeah, I’ve got a, I’ve got a really interesting story on this one. Um, so, uh, one of our musicians, uh, had been with us for several years and, um, he was a conceal and carry guy and there was drummer. And so, uh, after worship practice, uh, they were taking their break and he went to one of our men’s restrooms, which was in a children’s wing.
And apparently, uh, I guess during his time in the restroom somehow left his gun on the floor, in the restroom
and. So deacon Jerry. Um, thank the Lord. They had Sunday school classes meeting before deacon. Jerry happened in the restroom, uh, saw the gun. Um, he did, he did exactly what you said. He, he acted, he didn’t, he didn’t leave the gun there.
He didn’t, you know, wonder about it or ask permission or whose gun it was. He just picked up the gun and brought it to our worship leader and said, Hey, um, I found this in the men’s restroom. And so I show up a little bit after worship practices, taking place. And my worship leader comes up and pulls me aside and says, Hey, um, here’s the story.
He told me this story. And so then I had a conversation with our, our drummer and, uh, it all worked out and thank the Lord. Nothing crazy happened right then. And thank the Lord for Deakin, Jerry that went in there and just acted and then immediately reported, Hey, here’s what I found. Here’s what I had. So.
So in some ways, this initiative is to take care of a crisis or an issue or a problem, and not just a planning thing or not just a, Hey, let’s make the ministry better. And so in sometimes in a replant, it’s really good to have those crisis response people who just feel that, that they’re going to do the right thing and step up and handle a situation.
JimBo Stewart: [00:17:07] Yeah, I think the key with all of this is as you empower and equip leaders, You need to empower and equip with clarity. Okay. And so, in other words, as you are leading somebody and asking them to step up in a certain area, you need to make clear to them what your expectations of them are here. Do you expect them to wait until they’re told in every area?
Uh, are they at, are they at that level of leadership? Do you expect them to. Uh, ask before they do anything at all. Do you expect them to bring recommendations before anything happens? Do you expect them to just go ahead and take care of stuff, but then once they do let you know, uh, or the next level, do you expect them to act and then report back periodically?
And so I think about this as, as you work through, uh, and really it’s going to take working through stuff like. Situational leadership and leadership ladders to help you in leadership pipelines to help you get people to this level, but that fifth level of actor and report periodically I that’s where I would love to see like a youth guy underneath me, a lead out and use ministry man own that have some initiative and, and plan things and do things.
But I want to hear back periodically. Uh, and so. On a routine basis. I want to hear reports from you, whether that be weekly, monthly, however you decide to set that up. What that next level is. Here’s this area of ministry that I want you to essentially own, but I want to be involved and I want some feedback and I would love for you to on a routine basis.
Bring that back to me.
Bob Bickford: [00:18:49] So key in what you’ve just described. There is the, the regular meeting, whether that’s a monthly meeting or a weekly meeting or a quarterly meeting. Not just with the youth pastor, but like with all of your leaders, right. And even if you have, and this is something I think that’s overlooked a lot of times, if, if you’re able to have an admin in your local church, somebody who handles business administration bills, those sorts of things, you want somebody there with some initiative who has some ability to look at what’s happening, how you guys are processing information, and then ask the question.
Is there a better way to do this? All right. So we found a situation recently where we were paying, uh, because of COVID are the meetings at the church. And, uh, the trash that is generated from those meetings has incredibly decreased because we’re just doing worship and some of the Sunday school classes and the kids events once or twice a month.
So we used to have groups that would meet in there quite often, but because of COVID, they’re not meeting. So we’ve got, uh, we’ve got a small dumpster and when the neighbors or the construction workers, aren’t filling it up with illegal dumping, you know, uh, it SU it suits our needs, but now it’s like, it’s maybe one bag of trash a week.
And our person who processes our bills said, Hey, I think I’m going to call and ask if we can reduce our contract to a level that’s more suited to where we are now. And so it was awesome. I love that initiative in that, in that setting. Hey, I’m going to, I’m going to check on some of these things I’m gonna look at.
In fact, I’m gonna look at a lot of our services and see if we can arrange for some savings here before the church. So we’re probably gonna realize about a $3,000 savings in terms of. Uh, our trash service based on that initiative, super excited about that. And I’m thinking, man, where else can I turn this person loose, to look at some things in terms of how we’re doing ministry and, and, and I’ll make this point.
You find some of your best leaders who start at level one and then migrate up through these higher levels. Right. And what you see at the higher levels of people who initiate these things, you see higher buy-in and higher commitment to the local church, right? So if you can help transition people to the next level and the next level, and the next level after that, what’s you’re going to do is you’re going to develop leaders who are really bought into your church and are really going to help you guys move forward.
JimBo Stewart: [00:21:23] Yeah, and this is where I, like I said before, I think this connects so much to situational leadership. I know one of my issues is I have a tendency to just want people to operate at that level five initiative. You just kind of act and then report back periodically, but they may not be there yet. And they, and so this connects to that idea of situational leadership that we talked with Bob Bumgarner about, and we can link that in the show notes, uh, situational leadership by clin Ken Blanchard helps you get somebody to that level where they can feel free and equipped and empowered.
Because there’s a difference between being equipped and empowered. I may empower somebody to act at level five initiative, but they may not have the know-how and, and they may not be equipped to do that, even though I’ve empowered them to do that, which honestly, I’m sure it’s very stressful to have that happen, to be given that level of responsibility of level five initiative when you’re not even sure how things are supposed to go or what they’re supposed to look like yet.
And so this isn’t as simple as saying, here’s the six levels of initiative. I need you to operate at level five and you just act and you make this happen and you report back to me there, there has to be some equipping that is the Ephesians four 11 through 16 that we talk about. So often on here of equipping the saints to do the work of ministry.
The final level he lists is to act on your own. Uh, w where do you see this coming into play? Bob?
Bob Bickford: [00:22:57] I, I think. Uh, ministry leaders that have been with you for a while that are involved over, over ministries, alike greeters, like children’s, um, Mike, your tech team, uh, perhaps your deacon leader who is responsible to care for the body, um, your hospitality folks, et cetera. Like when, when you’re meeting, eating at a high level and you’ve been bringing some of those leaders and need to determine.
You know, here’s, here’s our vision, here’s our mission. Here’s what God’s called us to do you really want those level six leaders at the table to act on their act on the, the stated mission and the goals and, and move on it and do it right and own it. And then report back, uh, Occasionally. Hey, here’s, here’s what we’re by way, FYI.
Here’s what we’re doing, right. Or here’s, here’s some of the stuff, maybe an annual report or a quarterly report. Um, these are the folks that you would trust to handle and initiatives like. Cause I, I think of these folks as if somebody called you and said, okay, Hey, we’ve got this need and this opportunity, I would say, Hey, you know what, wait, let me, let me connect you with, and you would connect them with that leader.
And that leader would handle the situation. And you wouldn’t, as a, as a leader, have to think a second thing about it because you know them, you trust them and they, they handle it. You just trust them to know who you are, what your church is about, what your vision and mission is. And they just do it right.
They make it happen. And then sometimes they, even, you even find out, you know, After the fact that something’s been done and they, they talk about how they handled it. And I think those are the, all the leaders that we want, but those are the leaders that are not necessarily discovered. Those are the leaders that are developed and development developing might not be, Hey, I’ve walked them through level one, six, but developing might be I’ve brought them in at a level three.
Um, and. I’ve spent time with them and related to them so much so that they know who we are and how we go about being the, the community of God in this local context that they just do it. Right. They, they get it. They get who you are. So development might not be taking person from one to six. It may be taking them from level two or three, and then releasing them and empowering them, giving them.
At level six, I think that’s where we all want. Uh, you know, like you said, we want our, our leaders that little five and six part of that’s permission. And in some of the things I just will say to the guys, if we create a, if we’ve created a leadership culture within our church, that we don’t have those kinds of leaders naturally rising up and jumping, you know, from one level to another, we probably need to look at the way we’re leading and we need to evaluate that.
JimBo Stewart: [00:25:43] Yeah, you need to see if you’re micromanaging where if you are helping develop people, because part of that is permission. Part of that is development and equipping. Uh, so just to wrap up some resources to consider, if you want to dive into this further. Um, Steven cubby, uh, is I believe the original, gotta write on this and his book, principle leadership principle centered leadership, um, also written about by Matt Perman in, uh, what’s best next.
And, um, there’s something like that also came across a great resource by Michael Hyatt. Or he kind of shifted it to the five levels of delegation. So as you’re delegating to people, to make it clear to them what you expect and the first level being do, as I say. Second being, Hey, why don’t you research and report back to me on this, uh, and the third level being, why don’t you research and bring some recommendations of what we should do the fourth level being, why don’t you make a decision on this and then inform me what that decision is.
And then the last one is just, just act independently and on that. And so you can look up those on Mike, from Michael Hyatt, from. Uh, Matt Perman from Stephen Covey, uh, and look up Steve situational leadership with Ken Blanchard. That episode, we talked with Bob Bumgarner about that. All of these, as you work to equip leaders and eclipse saints to knew the work of ministry.