“It is nice of course always to be with people from time to time and that’s valuable still. But you don’t have make that a requirement I think to get some great stuff done.

– Jason Fried (37 Signals CEO)

I just finished ReWork written by Jason Fried, which is an excellent book by the way. It was so good I picked up his new book titled “Remote: Office Not Required” and watched the video above as well which started getting me to think again about remote work while working for a church. But right now instead of you watching the video above and then reading a long post, I would rather just pose a few questions instead to think about:

  • [highlight]Can we hire designers and motion artist who live out of town/state?[/highlight] We use freelance artist at times and we usually go on about how great it was doing that. Why not hire them?
  • [highlight]Why not let your staff set up shop at the local Starbucks one day week?[/highlight] I personally get the most done sitting outside a Starbucks with a casino online warm drink. My creativity seems to fly in different a atmosphere.
  • Not everyone is a morning person or an afternoon person. [highlight]So what would a second shift or night shift look like at a church?[/highlight] I mean my dad has been pulling the night shift for over 15 years for Energizer .
  • Why is it when you ask an employee the question ‘where do you go when you really have to get work done?’, they never answer their desk/office? [highlight]Then why do we insist on using the same broken model daily?[/highlight]

These are just some questions I have thought about with no real answers yet.

What about you? What are your thoughts about remote work within the church staff context?
Adding Value to People

Three years ago I picked up a CD set from the Catalyst 2007 event and listened to a talk that I have been processing through ever since. The talk was given by John Maxwell and is exactly 18 mins & 26 secs long of perfection in my book. I still remember driving down the highway heading to Durham, NC while on vacation in the car alone and hearing it for the first time. Maxwell based the entire talk around the idea of VALUE and laid it out in four simple but powerful points. And the one thing that Maxwell asks everyone to take away from the conversation was:

Intentionally add VALUE to people every day.

And before I get to the four points we must remember the following statement as well:

The greatest way to add value to people is to find your ‘strength zone’ and then leverage those strengths for others.

To keep it short and sweet, your ‘strength zone’ is your spiritual gift as a leader, your sweet spot. To be the most effective leader you must find out what you are good at and focus your leadership around that particular spiritual gift. Once you find out your ‘strength zone’ you can lead from a very focused position within the following four points:

Value People

Before you can add value to people, you must first value people. You CANNOT add value to people, if you do not value people. You see, it took me a long time to learn how to truly develop people in my early days of leading people because I did not actually value people. You have to love people. You have to want to see people succeed. You have to put others first.Before you continue to the next three points ask yourself one very important question:

Why do you want to be a leader?

Do you want an office? Do you want more money? Do you want control?

Make Yourself More Valuable

Next you must add value to yourself before you can add value to others. You must keep developing as a leader, keep learning, keep reading, keep listening. This may sound like a selfish point, but think of it like this. How can you lead people and give things away if you have nothing to give away. You can never start coasting as a leader. Never stop seeking wisdom and never quit reading.

Know What Others Value

You need to know and relate to what others value. As a leader you must first LISTEN and then learn. If you do things in that order you will become a great leader.  You must walk the hallways at work and peak your head in others offices. You need to follow volunteers on Twitter and interact. You see, that is how you will find out what people value. Its hard work and takes time, but is necessary to becoming a true people developing leader.

Know What God Values

If you really want to add value to people, you must know what God values. The world we live in has so many different ways of how to show value. Some are great ways and some not so much. So to truly know how to value people you must be in tuned with God and scripture to know what He values. This is the part where most business leaders would check out, but this has to be your foundation leaders.

I hope that this helps you grow in your leadership abilities. Also, I want to point out that this is for everyone who has a heartbeat and can interact with people. I believe that EVERYONE is a leader and you lead people daily whether you like it or not. If someone looks up to you or asks you for advice and models you, then you are leading them. So I pray that this is thought about with great focus and zeal. Why you may ask, because it has completely changed the way I lead my wife, volunteers, family, friends and strangers walking through a store.

So throughout today begin to ask yourself, “Am I adding or subtracting from someone today?”

I’ve seen this type of post on a lot of blogs and decided to do a quick update on “what’s in my bag”. I am actually in the middle of looking for a new office/work bag to use on a daily basis. I currently use a wonderful Swiss backpack that carries everything plus more, but is quite heavy just by itself. So I’m looking for a bag that will hold the following items plus one hardcopy book. Also this is part one of a three part series and you can now read part two, “What’s on the laptop“.

  • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2.4 GHz – Light and the screen is gorgeous.
  • Apple iPhone 5 64 GB – My wife gifted me w/the 64 GB which is paying off big time with the offline Rdio library!
  • Evernote Classis Moleskin, Large Ruled – LOVE this new journal/notebook. Lays nice and flat and has a great Evernote feel and design to it. (still have not tried the smart stickers)
  • Evernote 15” Laptop Sleeve – I just got this a few days ago and love the texture and feel of this sleeve. Starting to leave my backpack at work and only using this now.
  • Pilot Hi-Tec-C Gel Ink Pen with Grip – 0.4 mm – Best pen in the world! This is the one area where I am a diva. I will only write with this 0.4 pen or its sister the 0.3. Must order from company in Japan though.
  • Kero Lighting Nomad Cable – Great little key chain iPhone cable for charging. I bought it from a small company who created it from a Kickstarter program.
  • Klipsch S4i In-Ear Headphones – Another piece of gear I can’t go anywhere without. The best sounding headphones I have ever listened to. I also own a pair of Image One Klipsch full size headphones not pictured here.

And other than a good book this is my main tools I use daily.

I would love to see what you may have tucked away in your backpack. Share with us below in the comments section below or on Twitter/Instagram what you may be using that we should be checking out.