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Faith

Men: Get A Wife, Live A Better Life

May 7, 2008 | By | No Comments

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Jack and Charmaine This is wedding anniversary week in our household: We celebrate for 7 days.

Men’s Health magazine reminds us why marriage works. The April issue has six compelling reasons to marry, by Anna Maltby.

Anna is a woman.

But the advice is still good,

If you are susceptible to vice, find a wife. She’ll save you from yourself — and improve your life — in a variety of ways…

1. Increase your pay

A Virginia Commonwealth University study found that married men earn 22 percent more than their similarly experienced but single colleagues.

[VCU is a terrific school located in Richmond, Virginia. Conservative. Good.]

2. Speed up your next promotion

Married men receive higher performance ratings and faster promotions than bachelors, a 2005 study of U.S. Navy officers reported.

[If the Army wanted you to have a wife, it would have issued you one, goes the old joke — it looks like the military is a-changing its perception of the value of a helpmeet.]

3. Keep you out of trouble

According to a recent U.S. Department of Justice report, male victims of violent crime are nearly four times more likely more likely to be single than married.

[Your Business Blogger(R) has not been in a bar fight since getting married. But every few years I got to get the caps replaced on those cracked up front teeth from an altercation back in single days. And I wish that ringing in my ears would stop...]

4. Satisfy you in bed

In 2006, British researchers reviewed the sexual habits of men in 38 countries and found that in every country, married men have more sex.

[...]

5. Help you beat cancer

In a Norwegian study, divorced and never-married male cancer patients had 11 and 16 percent higher mortality rates, respectively, than married men.

[Charmaine is forever pestering me to get a(nother!) physical. Goodness, I had one back in the 90's. And the colonoscopy was her idea too. Such a pain in the ...]

6. Help you live longer

A UCLA study found that people in generally excellent health were 88 percent more likely to die over the 8-year study period if they were single.

The accountability and friendship of marriage works.

Excuse me now, I’ve got some yard work to do.

As one academic studying the men-marriage-maturity transformation wrote, “A rake, now out raking leaves,”

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National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day American Life League

April 29, 2008 | By | No Comments

UPDATE: School Officials direct student (our Diva!) to remove Pro-Life T-shirt. DEVELOPING…

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The Penta-Posse L to R: Baby-Boo, The Dancer,

The Diva, The Dude, The Dreamer

The Roe Effect Today is the Sixth Annual National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day.

The bright blue t-shirt shows a baby growing and growing then black — nothing. So simple even school age children understand what abortion does.

So compelling that even the teen-aged Dreamer donned the shirt.

Our five wee-ones will be wearing the garment-billboard today at school and around town.

Here comes trouble.

Our public school system is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic party, Planned Parenthood and the teachers’ union.

(The only debate allowed is who would be better for the country, Obama or Hillary. And how awful Ronald Reagan governed and when global warming will kill us all. War is not the answer, etc and etc…)

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National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day So our city is our mission field.

The schools will not be happy to see Pro-Life T-Shirts. We will be setting up a legal defense fund when the sheriff comes a-calling. Details to follow.

The American Life League sponsors the annual trouble-making event. The legal eagles at the ALL non-profit have provided a helpful handout for the students if they are confronted with the intolerant abortion lovers.

Free Speech in the public schools? We’ll see.

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Growing, Growing…Gone Pro-Lifers are the new Progressives.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

UPDATE: It took 8 minutes before one of the Penta-Posse principals called — comparing abortion to the disruption of “liquor, cigarettes or guns…” The school is really unhappy with the Pro-Life T-shirt. Your Business Blogger(R) was most polite. DEVELOPING…

UPDATE: The school leadership has made The Diva turn her shirt inside out — Charmaine found out and lost her sense of humor — the t-shirt is right side out, we think. A school official asks The Diva, “What will you say when the kindergarteners ask about your t-shirt?” The Diva doesn’t miss a beat, “That doctors kill babies…”

The Diva hits the mark.

From the American Life League,

Harassment

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The Diva protesting at the Afghan Embassy, 2006

She is no stranger to controversyIf you are a student at a public school, you have a right to wear a pro-life shirt to school. Our experience is that most young people who wear a pro-life shirt to school on National Pro-life T-shirt day do not have any problems. Occasionally a misguided school official may ask you to remove the shirt. This is a violation of your rights.

Read more at the jump from the good-guys at the ALL.

The Diva making phone calls for Mike

at the Huckabee for President headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa

Video Credit: The Dreamer

Read More

Stacy London and The Harbour League: You Are Invited

April 23, 2008 | By | No Comments

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Stacy London This ad is not approved by The Harbour League.

Save the Date: May 13, 2008.

“Stacy London is co-host of The Learning Channel’s What Not to Wear and has been with the show since its first season. After growing up in Manhattan, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College with a double degree in 20th-century philosophy and German literature.”

Stacy London is a very bright young woman with a father almost as famous, Herb London.

[Stacy] began her career as a fashion assistant at Vogue magazine and later returned to Conde Nast as the senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle. She has styled fashion photos for other editorial publications, including Italian D, Nylon and Contents.

The Harbour League is hosting a star-studded event on May 13th in Baltimore, Maryland. Make plans to be there. Eli Gold runs the non-profit think tank and writes,

I want to make you aware of a very special evening that The Harbour League will be hosting. It is an evening that will give you a chance to meet and chat one-on-one with leaders of today’s conservative movement.

America’s Secular Challenge

Stacey Herb London

On May 13th, 2008 The Harbour League will host an evening with the board. This will be the first time that our entire board will be in one place at one time to answer your questions regarding today’s conservative movement, where we are and where we are headed.

The Harbour League’s Board of Trustees includes: Eli Gold, Chairman; Herb London, President of the Hudson Institute; Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform; David Keene, President of American Conservative Union, as well as various other leaders in the movement.

The evening will begin at 7 pm (doors open at 6:30pm) with a talk given by Dr. Herb London entitled, “America’s Secular Challenge: The Rise of a New National Religion”. Dr. London will suggest that the rise of secularism in the United States is a flaccid response to the challenge presented by the fanaticism of radical Islam.

In the so-called war of ideas we are handicapped in our ability to thwart the inroads of fanaticism by a reflexive belief in relativism, one dimension of secular humanism.

The rise of secular humanism not only challenges the traditional antecedent of the nation, it is an ineffective response to the challenge of Islam.

The result? If you don’t know what you believe in, you are unable to defend what is worthwhile. Something that if understood can change Maryland for the better.

Following the talk and question and answer session, there will be a dessert reception that will give you a chance to talk with any member of member of the board regarding the movement.

I also would like invite you to a private VIP dinner prior to the evening’s event. For the first time we will open the board’s pre-event reception and dinner to the first fourteen reservations.

The cost for dinner is $200 per plate (dinner is discounted for members). This is an opportunity to have an intimate dinner with these opinion leaders. So reserve your spot soon! Dinner reservations can be made by calling The Harbour League at 410-753-4560.

The presentation and dessert reception is free for Harbour League members, $5 for non-members. Please feel free to forward this invitation to your colleagues. A RSVP is highly recommended since seating is limited. Media covering this event should contact The Harbour League in advance.

I hope to see you at the event on May 13th.

Sincerely,

Eli Gold

Chairman

When you RSVP click “America’s Secular Challenge.”

Stacy London will not be there. Sorry for the bait and switch: Terrible marketing. My bad.

But her father, Dr. Herb London, will be there. Meet the proud papa and get a hint on why she is a success. And buy his book.

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Stacy_London_yoest009.jpgThank you (foot)notes:

More on Stacy London at the jump

Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine and one of the Penta-Posse will attending — we hope to see you there!

UPDATE: Alert Readers noticed that Your Business Blogger(R) originally spelled Stacy as “Stacey.” Error corrected and she provided a nice pub shot — a class act.

Read More

Video: Management Training for Church Pastors & Leaders — The Answers In 60 Seconds

April 1, 2008 | By | No Comments

Management Training for Church Leaders.


Management Training for Church Leaders:

The QuestionsYour Business Blogger(R) would often tease Preachers about their work-load.

After all, they only work one hour a week. On Sunday.

Pastors always laugh at that old joke. Diplomacy is part of their discipline.

But as managers, Pastors have double duty.

They have the work of an individual contributor.

They have the responsibilities of management.

Between the christening, marrying and burying, they really do have the hardest job on this side of eternity.

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The Christian Church which shepherds believers and their faith worldwide, is nevertheless much like any organization in terms of order and structure. Basic management principles apply.

Pastors often must focus on numbers: numbers: attendance, budget, seating, parking, programs.

But the Pastor as manager doesn’t manage numbers, he manages behaviors.

If not of the congregation, then hopefully of his staff.

The following questions concern management strategies. The numbers will follow once skills are in place.

All church organizations and staffs experience personnel challenges and management concerns. The following questions concern management strategies and skill building for pastor-managers who can benefit from knowing that the numbers will follow once the staff is trained and trusted, and skills are in place.

Remember:

The Pastor leads people and manages behaviors.

The Pastor doesn’t manage numbers; he manages behaviors.

The Pastor doesn’t manage staff; he leads people.

The YouTube video presents 5 common questions. Here are the 5 answers and bonus solutions to many church management problems.

1. What does the church leader, the manager really do?

Plan, Lead, Organize, Control, Motivate.

The pastor’s focus must be on both the congregation and his staff. This requires skill building and continuous learning as the pastor also undoubtedly must commit serious time and attention to study and sermon preparation.

Here the Pastor is radically different from the manager in business and government. In business there are many areas of which the manager will know little or nothing. But he depends upon department heads to support him.

A great deal of the Pastor’s time is consumed in the research and review of the sermon. This is work that only the Pastor can do — this is vocational time.

The Pastor is one of the few managerial disciplines that has considerable management time and the vocational-knowledge responsibilities of an individual contributor.

For most managers the formula is simple: Knowledge plus Network equals Success. The manager’s success is dependent on getting his network…to work. To succeed, the manager needs the support of his Ruling Board, outside peers, and staff.

2. What does the individual contributor do?

The work. The individual contributor does the hands-on work — in business it would be the accountant, brick layer, college professor. This is the vocational, the knowledge-worker.

The manager, in a routine management position, has few vocational duties.

Except for the Pastor.

His is one of the few positions requiring both extensive hands on — sermon writing — and management skills. Little wonder Pastors run out of time.

3. Pastors, why were you hired?

If management wasn’t mentioned, that’s not unusual. Indeed, the search committee had a list of KSA’s (knowledge – skills – abilities), but often they don’t delve into management maturity or the candidates ability to garner support of his network. Pastors usually are hired for their wisdom and judgment.

Traditionally, seminaries haven’t focused on the day-to-day management challenges. So even pastors over 50 may only have the management maturity of a twenty something. Henry Ford once said that, “If you take all the experience and judgment of men over fifty out of the world, there wouldn’t be enough left to run it.”

4. Can the church manager be a victim?

Many Church leaders feel this way – but the Pastor must have impact on his church and the community. The manager must be in control of events or favorably influence outcomes.

The successful Pastor- manager is able to develop a team that is proactive. The Pastor and his staff are on the “offensive” for good. For example, a church received visits by the police for violating noise level ordinances. That church was on defense.

The best Pastor-manager and his team would have anticipated any community friction and worked out solutions.

5. What happens when the team/church staff is angry?

Even if the staff displays no emotion because they are “people of faith,” they still need

a trusted manager to whom they can turn and who knows how to deal with their concerns and get to the bottom of the matter. The worst outcome of an angry staffer in a church work environment is not disobedience, but incentive-stifling compliance. Such negative attitudes, in turn, damage the manager who will often need his team to protect him from (his) mistakes.

In the army the cliché was, “Take care of the troops and they will take care of you. And if you don’t take care of the troops, they will take care of you – the troops always get even.” But even if the staff displays no emotion, the manager will often need his team to protect him from (his) mistakes. The worst outcome of an angry staffer is not disobedience, but supervise compliance.

Of course church staff aren’t really into vengeance; they just hurt, withdraw, and stay

out of sight as much as possible. This is especially true for staff with a distracted pastor-boss and it is why staff-building events, lunches, silly contests and required prayers together seldom work.

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Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine

and the Penta-Posse on Easter Sunday

2005 Grand Canyon 6. Who are the church ‘constituents’ and ‘customers’?

This is the classic dilemma in the non-profit world – the disconnect between who gives and who gets. The constituents, who tithe in the pews, are not the customers; recipients of charity from the pastor’s discretionary fund or outreach budget are the actual customers.

These ‘customers’ probably are not even members of the church. This poses unique challenges for church managers and staff, who need skills and understanding. Many church employees, especially the young, don’t know that the dynamics they find frustrating are the result of working for a non-profit.

7. When is counsel, coun-‘sell’?

A council of advisors – akin to a church’s Administrative Board or Vestry – should ‘sell’ counsel, advice to the pastor. The pastor can buy the advice or not and making the best decision is the wisdom of mature management.

If the senior pastor isn’t trained to make good decisions by asking for recommendations, people at all the other levels will suffer the consequences and have no opportunity to express themselves.

8. What is the most important concern for the church staff? The work/ministry, the people/congregation or the boss/Pastor?

The Pastor. (Staff and Pastors always get this wrong – staff thinks it has the answer and gives the wrong answer. Pastors know the right answer and give the wrong answer, out of embarrassment…)

Even in the atmosphere of ‘servant leadership’ the Senior Pastor is the final arbiter, the final decision maker and sets the tone for decisions made by subordinates.

Here again, the church leader is quite different than other business leaders. In any other ‘industry’ some managers might prefer to be low profile. Pastors do not have this option; commanding a pulpit three times or more a week puts him, well, front and center whether he wants to be seen or not.

It is the Pastor’s direction that counts in making decisions on the strategic direction of his church. Every church staff member, of course has his work to do.

The staffer does not have his own agenda.

Only the Pastor.

9. Is office politics good or bad?

Politics is the normal interaction of people and power and position and process. Office politics in a church setting is a tool to be acknowledged and used by church management.

10. Is it better for the church leader to have the answers, or to ask the questions?

Neither. It is best for the church leader to have competent staff who anticipate questions, research alternatives and present recommendations. Why does the pastor have to think of everything? (I know, I know…I’m sorry to ask.)

But if the structure only allows for a few associate pastors – those who insulate the church leader or senior pastor – to offer information, the intelligence and experience of other staffers who work in different parts of the church is wasted.

The subordinate should bring not only questions, but suggested answers. The church leader can then grade the answers and make decisions on staffer’s recommendations.

11. How does the Pastor know when he is managing well?

The best church staff will bring a memo/course of action/decision that will require nothing more than the Pastor’s signature.

There is friction if communications channels aren’t in place. Many challenges may not even be known to some staffers who could make a difference; the manager should be looking for input.

12. Does the Associate Pastor have the “right” to church resources?

Nope. The mere position of authority may or may not command compliance from the church bureaucracy. It has to be earned.

Church managers, like mid-level managers in any organization, do not have a “right” to assets or support from his peers in sister departments — even if the manager’s position warrants.

The professional manager nurtures his network.

13. Who is the boss? Who is the subordinate? How can an observer tell if the Senior Pastor they trust as their spiritual leader is the one really making the decisions?

The military has the template. There is a term for a subordinate in the Army called, “Action Officer.” There is no doubt when the superior officer and junior officer work together, that the action, the next steps remain with the lower ranking Action Officer. Management training teaches managers and staff to understand who is tasked with an assignment and what the follow-up will look like. Training reviews the understanding of clean lines in the chain of command and who has the next move.

14. Is there a relationship between the time a manager ‘works’ and the results?

No. The manager should see himself, not just as the captain of a ship – but as the helmsman with a light touch on the rudder. Where the slightest movement, the smallest effort moves the rudder and can direct the largest vessel.

15. What is the Pastor responsible for?

All that his church does, or fails to do.

Even if The Senior Pastor delegates to another pastor and gives him both the responsibility and the authority, the congregation will likely still demand that the Senior Pastor do it instead: the christening, marrying and burying.

16. What makes for the best Associate Pastors?

If the Associate Pastor, or any staff, waits until being told what to do or has to ask what to do, the senior pastor is not running a healthy organization — he is running a kids-daycare center for adults. Associate Pastors need to know what to do, how to do it, and when. Training and discipline preparation for them is not unlike the Army’s definition: Prompt obedience to orders or the initiation of appropriate action in the absence of orders.

Every Senior Pastor’s deam.

Every Senior Pastor should be training his successor.

17. When should the church leader raise his voice? – When should the church leader not take counsel?

When the sanctuary is on fire. And a fire-and-brimstone sermon, to be sure.

Emergencies are the few times that a direct order — or direct shouting — is required. And maybe not even then if you’re Presbyterian…

In most instances the Pastors should make a moment to take council of the mature adivsors. Seldom in any situation will the manager need to raise his voice.

For more on management in 60 seconds, see:


Management Training: A Formula For Success

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Cross Post at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Please email me for comments and suggestions.

Mark D. Siljander Is My Friend

March 27, 2008 | By | One Comment

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Mark Siljander and

Your Business Blogger(R) And I’m not alone.

“You know about that cliche: Want a friend in Washington, DC, get a dog?” Mark asks me.

“Yep, Truman, I think…”

“Not true,” says Mark, laughing.

“Johnson?”

“No, no, the cliche is wrong.” He’s upbeat. A former public servant, currently indicted, unworried, unhurried.

Another congressman, Asa Hutchinson emailed us, “I consider myself an informal advisor and friend” of Siljander.

He still has friends. In this town! Alert the media…

Well, maybe not that.

Mark has been unjustly targeted and will be cleared. But this is when — with most indicted congressmen — friends who were actually “friends” and don’t recall knowing le accuséd.

This is a case study on having friends. (Mark does have the added benefit of being innocent…)

“No one has left me,” says Mark. “Except the media, thank goodness.”

The helicopters, the satellite dishes, the circus have stopped blocking his drive way.

His friends stayed with Mark. Clients, however, have become a bit skittish. It is business, you see.

So his business has stopped, the bills have not. And the kids refuse to stop eating.

So what has caused all the ruckus? The government is confused over the source of funding for Mark’s research. (Yes, yes, confused government is redundant.) Alert Readers can read the product of the work.

Get Mark’s new book is A Deadly Misunderstanding, published by HarperCollins.

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