Friday, June 27, 2008

PRAYER ~ Community Impacting Prayer


Praying for Cities

Pray!®, Issue 67 - July/August 2008
by NavPress

Praying for Cities:NavPress Reaching out to our communities in prayer

See Product Details
See Customer Reviews

Special Theme Section—Praying for Cities

We know and expect God to change our personal lives when we pray, so how much more should we expect Him to respond to intercession for our cities? This issue will challenge, inspire, and equip you to turn your prayers toward the transformation of your city or community.

You'll Read About...

"Why Should I Care about Ninevah (or Nashville or Naples…)'"—The Lord’s question, “Should I not be concerned about that great city?” was intended to change Jonah’s heart to one of concern and compassion. Author and prayer leader (and soon to be Pray! columnist) Phil Miglioratti brings insight on how you can gain God’s heart for your community.

"Keys to the City: How to Pray for Community Transformation"—Perhaps you long to see the resurrection power of Jesus change your city, but you wonder where to begin. You’ll find helpful what author and former pastor Tom White has learned about praying and working toward city renewal.

Also in this issue...

"A Day with God: Do-It-Yourself Prayer Retreats"—Making time for a prayer retreat with God can be one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Author Letitia Suk shows how to design a personal prayer retreat to provide much-needed focus, renewal, and rest in the Lord.

"Learning by Example: What Praying Churches Can Teach Us"—Christian leaders can learn from churches that have created an effective prayer culture. Daniel Henderson provides motivation for any church that wants to go to the next level in prayer.

"Stormy Weather: How to Pray in Poor Visibility"—We know God answers our prayers. So why do we sometimes feel like we experience more shipwrecks in prayer than happy cruises? Author Joann Hawkins points out that we don’t need to despair; our Lord is in the boat with us during the storm, and He’s promised to take us all the way across.

For larger discounts on purchases of 25 or more back-issue copies of Pray!®, please call 1-800-366-7788 (7am-6pm M-F, MST) to place your order.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

"LC2Cities" to meet @ the MAC Annual Gathering

From Generation to Generation
Communicating Christ in Our Changing Cultures

Oct. 7-9, Minneapolis Miles McPherson Each year the partners and friends of the Mission America Coalition come together for an annual meeting to reconnect, encourage each other, and hear what God is doing in partner ministries around the country. Kara Powell We hope you will join us this year as we face a critical issue and focus on bridging the gaps between generations. Be at the table as we interact on how the prayer-care- share lifestyle is being lived out in each generation and Dave Olson how we can impact our culture with the love and power of Christ. The Mission America Coalition: Uniting the Body of Christ for effective and innovative evangelism. Speakers include Miles McPherson, Kara Powell, Dave Olson, and more. Partnership 101 and Partnership 201 classes will be held as well as an array of interactive ministry tracks for breakout sessions.

Bring someone you are mentoring and their discounted registration will include a free year of Mission America Coalition membership. Register now online or download the meeting brochure. More info.

Note>>> The Loving Cur Communities to Christ Learning Community of coaches and leadership team members meets Tuesday @ 1pm and continues in the LC2C Track . . .

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

SHARE ~ Ordinary Church Evangelism

Evangelism for the Ordinary Church
Just because your people don't like to evangelize doesn't mean they can't share their faith.
by Steve R. Bierly

A few years ago while candidating, I looked at a number of profiles sent to me by congregations searching for a pastor. One question my denomination asks churches to answer on such profiles is, "Name two or three specific things you have done to evangelize your area in the past year."

My heart sank as I read responses such as, "We let the local Rotary Club use our fellowship hall once a month for its dinner meetings," and "Our Christmas Eve service is always advertised in the local paper." It seemed few congregations were excited and intentional about reaching their world for Jesus Christ.

I eventually found a congregation that said it was ready to evangelize, but I was in for a shock.

Click to continue.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

LC2City - Fresno, CA: A Biblical vision for transforming the church to transform our city and Valley

Loving God and Others

A Biblical vision for transforming the church to transform our city and Valley

Alan Doswald / Affirmed by the ESA Board of Directors

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Jesus, (Mark 12:30-31)

A foundation of prayer

  • Focused and ongoing prayer would undergird everything that happens. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” (James 5:16b, NLT)

The need for love

  • Among God’s people there would be renewed worship and love for the Lord, which would result in greater obedience to the Lord out of gratitude for His great love for us. “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)
  • The culture of the Church would be transformed in order for the Church to transform our city and our valley. Jesus said to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves.” Although many churches are doing this, there is much room for improvement. Some churches will need to move from a self-serving, self-focused mentality to a “missional culture” which focuses more on “others”. They would need to expect believers to also be disciples and followers of Jesus to actually follow Jesus by doing what He did on earth. Jesus mostly walked down the street, touched others at their point of need and showed God’s love to them in word and deed which brought healing to their lives. As followers of Jesus, we must do the same. “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” (I John 2:6)

Getting Involved:

  • We would share this vision with key pastors, ministry leaders, government leaders and business people, across racial and denominational lines. We would ask them to work together to help transform our community. “…Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” (II Timothy 2:2b, NLT)
  • Churches would unite in a citywide/valley wide vision of transforming lives and communities in the name of Christ, with the purpose of their congregation having vision and a mission to follow Jesus. “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me.” (John 17:23b)
  • The task is so great that every Christian would be challenged to love their neighbors on their street by praying, caring and sharing the Gospel with them as the Lord leads. This would also include their family and those at their school or workplace. We need to love them and lead them to Jesus Christ and His family, the Church. This step alone could transform our city/valley. “The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14)
  • An army of thousands of Church volunteers would be organized to make their gifts and abilities available to serve people in need. With over 500 congregations, the Church is by far the largest group in the city. Churches would name Love INC Contact Persons, to be trained by Love INC to enlist these volunteers. They would respond to needs that arise, including those in their church and those in the community screened by Love INC. They would be encouraged to serve others in a relational, loving way as Jesus did and to help them get back on their feet if needed. With God’s help, there is no need the church can’t meet. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (I Peter 4:10)

Making Connections:

  • Churches that have “more” in our city/valley would be connected with churches that have “less” in order for them to work together for the transformation of both the churches and their communities. “As it is written, he who gathered much did not have too much and he that gathered little did not have too little.” (II Cor. 8:15)
  • Churches would be connected to serve in several key areas including:
    • Schools
    • Neighborhoods
    • Low income apartments
    • Mentoring youth
    • Valley communities
    • The many outreach ministries in our city/valley

“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13a, 14a)

      • Christians would join with local ministries, be trained and begin to serve others that they normally would have never come into contact with. About 60 local parachurch ministries have been asked how many church volunteers they need to accomplish their mission. They have identified about 3000 opportunities for Christian volunteers to serve in our community. As we serve, our compassion will grow. “Then he said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.’” (Matthew 9:37-38)
      • Most churches would allow regular opportunities in their services for sharing testimonies of how God is transforming and using their people so that others are stirred to love and good works. Jesus said, “‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” (Mark 5:19-20)

    Following Jesus by serving others:

      • In time, most Christians in our community would follow Jesus in service to others, most churches would be involved in serving others, and most Christians would love their neighbors in word and deed. Following Jesus, by serving others, would become normal for Christians and not serving others would be seen as abnormal for followers of Jesus. If not, most of those around us will perish, but if so it will transform our city and our valley. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Evangelicals for Social Action/Fresno

Fresno, CA


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Friday, June 13, 2008

Coaching ~ Learn the 30% Rule

See more book notes at

Becoming a Coaching Leader

The Proven Strategy for Building a Team of Champions

Daniel Harkavy

Thomas Nelson, 2007, 210 pp., ISBN 0-7852-1982-X

To purchase this book click here.

[ Daniel Harkavy is the founder of Building Champions, an executive coaching company. The core of success consists of a life plan, a business vision, a business plan, and priority management - in this order. ]

"Truly great leaders walk alongside their followers and help them to become more on this journey." (5)

"Coaching others intentionally is one of a leader's highest payoff activities." (16)

"Heart is the difference maker in great leaders. You cannot be a great coach without heart." (22) "Heart is the home to both convictions and courage; it is the fuel of all exceptional leaders." (23)

"The level of character, care, and discipline they see in us will determine the level of coaching they will invite and accept from us." (28)

"Before we can help clients to succeed, we must first help them to clearly and succinctly define what success looks like for them." (33)

"The mission of a coaching leader is to meet his teammates where they are in order to move them forward by helping them to improve the skills, disciplines, and knowledge they need to succeed. He does this by helping his teammates to clearly see the right action steps to take, and then by holding them accountable as they complete each step." (36)

"The way to enjoy success yourself is to focus on the success of those around you, by making their success your mission." (36)

Eight Core Competencies of a Coaching Leader (39-48)

1. Discernment (the ability to see what is not visible and understand what is not being said. To ask effective questions to get to the root of an issues)

2. Conviction-Driven (In layers, they act as sieves sort opportunities)

3. Accountability (How are you progressing on your promises?)

4. Effective use of Systems (for follow-up and encouragement)

5. Communication (including questioning and listening)

6. Self-Discipline (not just at work)

7. Vision-Orientation (including helping others see a vision for their lives)

8. Leadership (helping people work together synergistically)

The author prefers "convictions" to "values." Convictions represent a much higher level of commitment and intensity. "Your convictions help to spell out who you are. And when you bring yourself to the company, you bring your convictions along with you. Over time, these convictions define the infrastructure and the framework of your company." (83)

"The clearer you are on what you and your organization stand for, the easier it will be for you to make good decisions." (84)

Vision is but 10%. "The other 90 percent is in execution, and it must be directed by a business plan that aligns your highest priority near term deliverables with the big picture vision." (88)

"A good Business Plan tells you

· What you will accomplish,

· Where you need to make improvements or adjustments in order to reach your stated goals,

· How you will behave in order to accomplish those goals, and

· When designated aspects of the plan need to be completed." (103)

A good Business Plan identifies and details, in this order,

· Step One: The Outcomes (what you measure)

· Step Two: The Disciplines (what you must do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis), and

· Step Three: The Improvements (the top projects most important to execute in the year ahead) (107-08)

Review your plan weekly. Make decisions by it. Organize time, resources, and schedules by it. Use it for direction, for team development, and for tracking everything critical. (109)

The Skills of a Coaching Leader: The Necessary Abilities

"Questions have a power all their own, and the best way to show others that we care about them is to truly listen to what they say." (158) "A coach attempts to draw out the meaning behind a team member's words…." "Active listening is all about asking questions that cause the player to peel back the onion, to get to the heart of performance issues, or to reveal limiting beliefs." (158)

"Powerful questioning enables you to go from head to heart. Habits chance only when convictions change or are clarified." "They won't make a change until they have hurt enough, heard enough, or had enough--all heart-level experiences." (160)

Take a special interest in what motivates and inspires your team members. (160)

"We coach most effectively when we do no more than 30 percent of the talking." (161)

"Learn to take good notes." "Give clear, appropriate, and concise direction. "The coach helps them develop a game plan so that they can see what's required for them to improve." (163)

Some people excel at vision, others in execution. Therefore some need coaching to improve their vision and others to improve their execution through identifying specific steps and time frames. (164-65)

Tell the truth and value accountability. "Accountability is the friend of top performers." (169)

Perspective is often a limiting factor. Help them to see by telling stories and using word pictures. (171)

Stay on track. Stay on time. Good communication is essential. (172-173)

The Disciplines of a Coaching Leader

"Everyone on your team watches you. They really do! They take note of all your actions, all your reactions, and all your behaviors." "They mentally record what you identify as important, then watch to see if you live out your words." "Most often, the most influential leaders are those who tirelessly live out their convictions." "Your regular disciplines are the outward manifestation of your true convictions." (178)

Create your "Gap List," the knowledge, skills, and disciplines you must develop. Then focus on these areas and strengthen them. (179-80)

"If you truly want to have the most influence possible over your team, you cannot overlook any aspect of who you are." (182)

"The best coaching leaders encourage in advance, consistently follow up, then celebrate noteworthy accomplishments with their team members." (185) "…follow-up is the difference maker in building a team of champions." "So discipline yourself to follow up. It's crucial for your success as a coaching leader." (186)

"If your teammates know that you genuinely care about them (and not just about increasing revenue or meeting quotas), they will respond in amazing ways." (187)
- - - - - - - -

To purchase this book click here.


David Mays, The MissionExchange (formerly EFMA)

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CARE ~ More Than Comfortable?

Our works are impotent

if at the end of the day we have merely made men more comfortable on the road to hell.

We must not only couple our good works with faith,
but also go in the resurrection power of Christ.

The goodness of God paves the way to persuade men to repentance (Romans 2:4)
while the message of the gospel alone, holds the keys to eternity.

Quoted in Sentinel Group report on Flood of Blessings in Brazil

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

The way to have the community @ church is to have ...

Unfortunately, many in the church want the community to come to the church without the church coming to the community.

Jesus knew that the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit. Why would we expect them to? Jesus knew that men need a man that they can see, touch, hear, feel and experience. So, the Son of God became the Son of man. The Word became flesh and pitched His tent in earth’s neighborhood. Jesus had first contact. He made the first move. He knew there would be no community transformation without a heavenly incarnation. The way to have the community @ church is to have the church @ community….first!

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Community by Community Transformation


Are you interested in establishing a Community-Based Health Care Program which integrates the physical and the spiritual? LifeWind International's (formerly Medical Ambassadors International) Training of Trainers (TOT) introduces people to Community Health Evangelism (CHE). This strategy teaches concepts, gives vision and practical How Tos for implementing and managing CHE in your ministry. Train in the USA June 15-20, 2008. Additional information can be found at or email Kristin (at)lifewind(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for ourcontributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at)with @ and (dot) with . then reassemble the address back onto one line.]

COPYRIGHT -- This issue of _Brigada Today_ is Copyrighted 2008. "For a free subscription to Brigada's weekly missions publication, write and/or visit Brigada on the web at"

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Unity Decays

NetMag Spring 2008
Doug Clark Director of Field Ministries National Network of Youth Ministries
Unity in a relationship tends to deteriorate without deliberate, focused attention.

Ephesians 4:2-3
...with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

What Paul is telling us is that unity is already there, but it takes an investment to preserve it; it does not remain strong without a commitment of time and energy.

This caught my attention recently when I was reading Warren Wiersbe's book, On Being a Servant of God. In a chapter on the joys (and challenges) of working with people, he wrote:
You and I don't have to manufacture unity in the church because it's already there. We're all one in Christ (Gal. 3:28), and the spiritual oneness of the body is a miracle of God's grace (Eph. 4:1-6). No, we don't have to manufacture unity; but we do have an obligation to maintain unity that Jesus died to create.

I read that...then read it again. There was something new to me in it. I thought that biblical unity is something we create. Paul's words brought me up short; I had it wrong. Unity is already there; it just needs to be preserved.

Like the deterioration that occurs if you are gone from your closest relationships too long, unity in the church suffers without invested effort. It can't be preserved by inaction.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

CARE ~ Servant Evangelism Articles & Ideas

Serve! with Steve Sjogren - June, 2008, Issue 18

Living In The Outflow
Serving -- Without Much Expense
By Steve Sjogren
In keeping with this month's theme of doing much with less, consider a few serving projects that don't require much financing and leave a big impression on folks.
New Feature
FREE PDF! Why Kindness - It's Naturally Supernatural
By Steve Sjogren
Download this free PDF today! This is a sample of what's to come from and Steve Sjogren.
By Steve Sjogren
Perfect conditions are not necessary for progress to continue!
Ask Dr. Savant
The Balance of Serving and Speaking
By Dr. Savant
I've been wondering, when is a person to speak when serving? Or is serving when doing serving projects an end in itself?
Connect Card Ideas
New Connect Cards Available!
By Rebekah Sjogren
PrettyGoodBooks has released a slew of new connect card designs for SE/Outflow projects.
Practical Insights
The Fine Art of Handlepanning
By Ken Glassmeyer
Looking for a new idea to add energy into your outreach activities? Here is a simple one. It is low maintenance and low cost, but big fun!
We Have Amazing Opportunities To Invest
By Georgie Washington
When funds are tight, this is the perfect time to divest ourselves of what appears to be limited funds.
Servant Evangelism
Hang In There Faithfully For The Long Haul
By Mr. Greenjeans
"Yeah, but do I get free HBO with this?" Serving isn't like the latest trial offer from a satelite or cable company. It is the dynamic interaction of noticing people and then helping them notice God. . .
Outward Focused Living
A Well Invested Life. . .
By David Wheeler
A father's outreach legacy leaves an indelible mark on not only the people in his community, but even more on his son.
Video Spotlight
In Times Like These
By Steve Sjogren and Tracy Larson
Steve and Tracy share their thoughts on cost-effective ways to serve those around us.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Quote; Unquote . . .

Ray Bakke at City Impact Roundtable in Boston, April, 2008

  • "You are never more like God than when you are working in partnership."

  • "Listen your way into relationships."

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Monday, June 02, 2008

RESOURCE ~ Ten Tools for Coaching

Using the 10 Tools

When you buy a computer there are two kinds of software bundled with it, system software and application software. Recently released Windows Vista is system software, as is Apple’s OS X and Linux. These programs, known as the operating system (or OS for short), provide the platform for all other programs to run on your computer. Application software is different. Application software allows you to do specific tasks, like creating documents, designing spreadsheets, surfing the Internet, or listening to music. These applications are what make your computer so incredibly useful, but they depend on the operating system to run effectively.

The purpose of this book is not to provide you with an operating system for coaching. There are great coaching schools for internal and external coaches, managers, and executives alike to learn the fundamentals of coaching. The purpose of this book is to provide the business coach and coaching leader powerful application tools. Each of the applications presented here allows you to take your core coaching skills and use them to get certain jobs done: building teams, casting vision, mastering priorities, receiving feedback. Use this Toolkit like you use your computer. With the operating system firmly in place, ask, “What am I trying to accomplish?” and select the application that will work best for the end in mind.

A few weeks ago, however, I took my computer into the shop. My programs were running slowly and it wasn’t working as well as I wanted it to. The technician gave my computer a tune-up, which cleaned out a lot of useless stuff that was slowing down my operating system. Anyone who has read the dreaded words on their monitor, FATAL ERROR, knows how important it is to clean up the operating system so applications can run as effectively as possible. So here are, from our perspective, six coaching essentials that form its operating system.

Review these six items, and the self-scoring survey, as a way to tune up your practice so that the tools presented in this book will operate as effectively as possible.

The operating system of coaching begins by asking great questions. Sir John Whitmore, one of the founding fathers of the current coaching movement, began his work in the sports world as a tennis instructor. Frustrated with repeatedly urging his students to “keep their eye on the ball” with little effect, he developed a set of questions like, “Which way is the ball spinning as it comes toward you?” and “How high is the ball as it crosses the net?” (Whitmore, 2002, page 45) To answer these questions a player must have his eye on the ball, but much more than that. These questions force a player to think more completely about the situation and to embrace the game of tennis at a more fundamental level. In the end you have a better player and better results.

Effective, purposeful questions in the arena of life and leadership achieve the same results. They awaken our awareness and create an environment of self-directed learning. They force us to think for ourselves and take responsibility for our actions. This is the central skill of coaching and its first, fundamental objective: to facilitate self-discovery. “The skill of the coach,” states Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, “is the art of questioning. Asking incisive questions forces people to think, to discover, to search for themselves.” (Bossidy and Charan, 2002, page 74)

On a scale of 1–10, as a coach, I ask powerful, thought-provoking questions that allow my clients to truly think for themselves:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

It is not enough to ask good questions; the answers to those questions must be listened to and heard. Great coaches actively listen with their entire being: ears, eyes, mind, and heart, feeling what a client feels in the circumstances in which they find themselves. So many of our conversations are a collection of disconnected monologues void of any real understanding. Effective coaches, however, set their monologue aside and truly and deeply seek first to understand. “It is impossible to overemphasize the immense need humans have to be really listened to, to be taken seriously, to be understood. Listen to all the conversations of our world, between nations as well as those between couples. They are for the most part dialogues of the deaf,” declares Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Paul Tournier.

Listening then takes an extra step of reflecting back what has been heard. It is one thing to think something, and another to say it. And quite another to have someone repeat it back to you. My wife occasionally repeats back to me something I thought I said to her and I am amazed. “I really said that?” I’ll ask. Bringing a person’s thoughts and words full circle so they may be fully considered is part of the listening process and a fundamental element of a coach’s operating system.

Another part of the listening process in coaching is the strategic use of silence—not filling all the gaps in the conversation with words, but allowing the wheels to turn and, again, allowing our clients to think for themselves. This can be very uncomfortable for those who are new to the coaching role. We feel compelled to talk, but very often a client needs our silence and not our words, space to think, pause, and reflect. John Whitmore writes in Coaching for Performance: “Obsession with our own thoughts and opinions and the compulsion to talk, particularly if one is placed in any kind of advisory role, is strong. It has been said that since we were given two ears and one mouth, we should listen twice as much as we speak. Perhaps the hardest thing a coach has to
learn to do is shut up.” (Whitmore, 2002, page 49)

On a scale of 1–10, as a coach, I listen to my clients with my entire being, at times even being completely silent so they are able to work through their own thoughts:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

Great coaches are incurable activists. That is, they are all about getting things done. Principles must become practices, and strategies must become steps of action that affect every day of every week. Mary Beth O’Neill in Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart describes effective coaching as “having a results orientation to a leader’s problem. To lose sight of outcomes is to waste the time, money, and energy of the leader.” (O’Neill, 2000, page 7) This is why my personal definition of coaching involves two words that begin with the letter r: Coaching is a professional, collaborative relationship committed to delivering real-world results.

The temptation in a coaching engagement is to land too much on the relationship side of the equation by being satisfied with asking questions and listening only. Although this is core to coaching, it is not enough. An effective coach’s operating system helps clients decide what they are going to do in clear, concrete, measurable ways. At the beginning of a coaching engagement, objectives are formed that guide the relationship. Throughout the engagement, specific steps of action are taken to execute on these established objectives. At the end of the coaching term, the engagement is reviewed against
the objectives. Bottom line: Real business coaching gets things done. End of discussion.

On a scale of 1–10, as a coach, I have clear, established objectives for every coaching engagement and specific measurements to determine their success:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

“Inspect what you expect” is a well-recognized and rarely followed business imperative. Coaching delivers on that imperative by not just making plans, but following through on those plans. Human beings are by nature great starters; coaches help them become great finishers. The American Society for Training and Development conducted a research project into the probability of an individual’s completing a goal based on the actions they take related to it. Here are their findings. On the left column is the action taken related to the presentation of a new idea and on the right column the probability of completion of that idea.

1. If you hear an idea. 10%
2. If you consciously decide to adopt an idea. 25%
3. If you decide when to act on the idea. 40%
4. If you design a plan to act on the idea. 50%
5. If you commit to another person to act on the plan 65%
6. If you have a specific accountability 95%
appointment with the person to whom you
made your commitment.

Clearly, as accountability increases, so does the probability of completion, the greatest percentage leap being from action five, making a commitment to another person, to action six, having a specific accountability appointment with another person. Coaches who provide this accountability deliver significant return on investment for their services. A friend of mine, a coach-based strategist in Washington, D.C., defines the process of accountability this way: “Coaching is helping people do what they already want to do.” In other words, the operating system of coaching has an edge to it.

Week after week, appointment after appointment, the coach skillfully reviews the commitments made by the clients and by so doing helps them fulfill their best intentions. Accountability accelerates performance, and accountability makes coaching work because it closes that gap between what we know and what we do. In this way, coaching can be the most challenging training program your clients will ever experience.

On a scale of 1–10, as a coach, I unapologetically hold my clients accountable for fulfilling their best intentions:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

Mark Twain once quipped, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” It is the coach’s job to fuel the fire of clients’ passion by highlighting what they are doing well and keeping it in the forefront of their mind. Peter Block refers to this as appreciative inquiry, an approach to problem solving that asks, “What’s going right around here?”

The first coach who worked with me years ago was absolutely masterful at doing this. After every coaching conversation, I felt an incredible sense of encouragement and strength because he was able to identify, in spite of the challenges I was facing, what I was doing right and reminded me of those things over and over again. It gave me the energy I needed to address less positive issues. The power of positive praise discussed in an earlier chapter outlines the very real business impact of affirmation. Coaches get a chance to model this principle every time they meet with their clients. Just make sure it’s not fluff. Coaching has been accused in this regard of serving to its clients a diet of sugary-sweet sentimentality. In many cases these accusations are true. Make
your use of affirmation real food—in-depth content—not cotton candy.

On a scale of 1–10, as a coach, I am able to identify in each session specific, concrete positive actions my client has taken and affirm them in a personalized way:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

“Just tell me what to do!” is a common refrain many coaches hear. A good coach knows when to refuse that request, and when a person is genuinely stuck needing to hear the perspective of another. Coaching is not content-neutral, but it is content-careful. There is a time to provide counsel, but I have found myself too quick to give advice when a client’s wrestling with an issue may sow the seeds of self-reliance.

In a situation like this, there is a technique that should be part of every coach’s operating system. The technique is called partner brainstorming. Partner brainstorming is co-creating a list of options between a client and a coach. One item is placed on the list by the coach, the next item by the client, or vice versa. This helps a client who is genuinely stuck by involving the coach with idea generation, but alternating the contribution keeps the client participating as well. At the end of this exercise, a client has a list of options from which to choose, not the solitary opinion of a coach.

Coaching is not a weekly pep talk given by an expert. Please read that line again—coaching is not a weekly pep talk given by an expert! It is a professional, collaborative relationship. This model must be maintained even when advice is needed and is never violated when the advice is outside of a coach’s area of expertise, as with legal or medical issues.

How did you do on the survey? What were your highest scores? What were your lowest? Consider giving this survey to a few trusted clients to tune up your operating system. Identify areas that need sharpening and consider hiring a coach yourself to work with you on them.

Advising (with Caution)
On a scale of 1 – 10, as a coach, I give my opinion only when I sense my client is stuck, and then only as one of a multiple of options that can be taken:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

A coaching engagement, from start to finish, goes through four specific phases. The tools presented in this book are designed to help you with each phase of this flow cycle.

PHASE ONE: Connecting and Contracting
Coaching begins with a connection of some kind through a referral, a speaking opportunity, or consulting project. In one way or another, a prospect hears about your services as a business coach and wants to talk with you. What happens next? The best coaches use the power of live demonstration to make the most of the connection. Consider this example from the book Samurai Selling by Chuck Laughlin and Karen Sage:

When Chuck was a teenager, he sold furnace cleanings during a summer break. People don’t worry much about their furnace during the summer, so he and a team of six other teenagers had their work cut out for them as they went from door to door explaining their service. The boys sold a lot of cleanings, but they also made a list of all the homeowners that had a coal furnace that didn’t buy a cleaning.

At the end of the summer a samurai salesman from the company’s headquarters drove up in a long Cadillac and called on every homeowner with a coal furnace who had not purchased a cleaning. The man made a presentation on the kind of work his company did and the value of a clean furnace. Then he capped it off with a demo. He opened a jar of soot, poured a bit of it onto his hand, lit a match, and dropped the lit match into his hand. As the fire blazed on top of the soot, the salesman said calmly, “You’ll notice that the soot is insulating my hand. That’s what’s happening in your furnace. Soot—like you have built up in your furnace—is a good
insulator. That means that most of the heat from the coal you’re burning is going up the flue and not getting into your home. Once we’ve cleaned
your furnace, you’ll be getting all the heat you’re paying for!” He made almost every sale. (Laughlin and Sage, 1993, pages 110, 111)

How do you light a coaching fire for your prospects? Use one of the tools in this book in a live demonstration. Go though the values exercise in Chapter 1 and ask, “What would it be worth for you to have someone help you live these values consistently?” Fill out a SMART Goal Worksheet or conduct the positive praise exercise. Demonstrate in a very real, compelling way exactly what coaching is all about. Instead of selling your coaching services, you will actually be delivering a
bite-sized chunk of value that a person can choose to have more of if they like. Have you ever tried to open a bag and eat just one potato chip? Pretty hard, isn’t it? Give your prospects a tantalizing taste of what coaching can do for them and wait for them to ask for more. Most coaches then have as part of their operating system a set of policies and practices they share with the prospect. They ask for an intake form to be completed and have their clients sign a coaching agreement that outlines the parameters of the engagement. This is what we mean by contracting. Often the first month’s payment, or a deposit of some kind, is also collected. Because I do most of my coaching in the corporate world, I avoid the legal department like the plague. Instead of an official contract, I have a series of expectations that I ask a person to initial and fax back to me along with basic contact information. This is what initiates my coaching engagements. Here is a copy of that document.

Executive Coaching is a formal, collaborative relationship between an experienced executive coach, Bill Zipp, President of Leadership Link, Inc., and an executive leader focused on increasing this leader’s effectiveness and performance.

Executive Coaching expectations: Executive Coaching is initiated when an executive leader or his/her manager is seeking a more intensive development opportunity and the expectations of Executive Coaching on this sheet have been read and agreed upon. Please check off and initial each item faxing this
sheet to the number below along with your information form.

❏ Initial coaching sessions are spent interviewing both the executive leader, her direct supervisor or governing board, and other important parties, if desired. Based on these interviews, objectives for the coaching engagement are identified and agreed upon.

❏ Once the coaching objectives have been completed and agreed upon, coaching sessions take place three times per month for a minimum of six months. Each session lasts 45–60 minutes and will be conducted face to face or over the phone. Live coaching observation and team facilitation is available for an additional

❏ In addition to weekly sessions, fieldwork may be assigned and other learning tools that are aligned with the agreed-upon coaching objectives may be employed, such as the Leadership Circle Profile, the Time Mastery Profile, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, the LBA II, or the StrengthsFinder
Profile, at the client’s expense.

❏ While the specific details of coaching conversations are strictly confidential, the executive leader’s direct supervisor or governing board can be apprised of progress related to the agreed-upon coaching objectives throughout the coaching process.

❏ The monthly fee for Executive Coaching begins with initial interviews and is billed in advance to the appropriate account. The six-month minimum commitment may be paid up front in its entirely with a 10 percent discount. Executive Coaching engagements that exceed six months are conducted on a month-
to-month basis upon approval. Payment is to be received within 30 days of billing. A 30-day advance notice is required for the termination of a coaching engagement.

❏ Cancellation of a session without a 24-hour notice may result in the forfeiting of a session for that week. In almost all cases, alternative times can be arranged, but advance notice of this is needed.

❏ During the coaching engagement, Bill is available by phone, 541-752-LEAD, or by e-mail, If you leave a voice mail or send an e-mail, Bill will seek to answer either within 24 hours.

❏ Bill is committed 100 percent to the success of his clients and their organizations and will communicate openly and honestly with them. He will be fully prepared and punctual for all coaching sessions and asks for his clients to be the same.

PHASE TWO: Dialogue and Discovery
Here is where the coaching relationship begins in earnest. In Dialogue and Discovery, a coach seeks to learn everything about the client’s business context and the challenges he or she is facing. The organizational structure is laid out and team members are enumerated. What clients like about their job and what they dislike are discussed. Their business background is explored, and, although the relationship is new, many clients freely talk about their personal background as well. If you are coaching in a corporate context, you may want to interview a client’s supervisor and key members of their team to get a third-party perspective on their leadership.

The goal of this phase is to establish a set of coaching objectives that will define the engagement. This is the backbone of your work together. Apart from a set of clear objectives, your coaching sessions will not have the focus critical to execution and could devolve into a series of very expensive conversations. There are two approaches to setting objectives in a coaching engagement, also referred to as a coaching focus. Marshall Goldsmith has developed a system for working with executives that identifies up front a behavioral habit, or a tic as he calls it, that is getting in the way of their success. Once identified, the coach works with the executive to eliminate that habit. Marshall works with “People who do one annoying thing repeatedly on the job—and don’t realize that this small flaw may sabotage their otherwise golden career. . . . My job is to help them—to identify a personal habit that’s annoying their co-workers and to help them eliminate it so that they retain their value to the organization.” (Goldsmith, 2007, pages 9, 10) The great gift this approach gives to its clients is simplicity, one clear focus in the midst of a mountain of things to do. But there are coaching engagements where I have found that a single coaching focus was overly simplistic. In other words, there was no tic but a clus-
ter of interrelated issues that all had to be addressed. For instance, I had a client who needed to spend more time developing his people but had a communication style that was harsh and abrupt. If I helped him schedule his time better to meet with his people but didn’t help him communicate better, I would have actually helped
him find more time to alienate his people. Not exactly the results I wanted. Or if I worked on his communication style, but gave him no help with his time, I would have succeeded only in adding more items to an already long list of things to do. Added to these challenges was the fact that this client was almost incapable of delegating important tasks to others. Coaching him how to delegate projects would significantly affect the use of his time, but without being able to talk to his team in a more respectful manner, delegation would be useless.

Here were three interrelated problems that needed to be addressed: time mastery, interpersonal communication, and getting things done through others. In this situation I felt that focusing on just one of them would not deliver the best possible coaching results. That is why I took a cluster approach to setting the focus of this coaching engagement, landing on three objectives for our time together. We then began working on them in concert. Please note that these were not three random objectives: The issues were interrelated, and we still had a crystal-clear focus. However, that focus was on a set of issues that existed in a sys-
tem where each affected the other.

To help distinguish between these two approaches, I have called one behavioral-objective setting and the other developmental-objective setting. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and both are appropriate for differing situations. Here is a summary of each.


One key habit or detrimental leadership behavior / / A set of interrelated issues that each affects the other

Clarity and simplicity // Addressing issues within a system

Could be overly simplistic and miss other factors that contribute to a leader’s success // Could unnecessarily clutter the engagement and make things more complicated than the really are

Will really work when ...
You sense a leaders has a solid professional foundation that he simply needs help applying // You sense a leader has gaps in his development and greater professional growth is needed

With either approach this Toolkit is a valuable resource. Once an objective, or set of objectives, are identified, select the tool that best develops the actions that will deliver the desired outcomes and use that tool over and over again.

Finally, some coaches choose to conduct Dialogue and Discovery in one extended intake session that may extend three to four hours. I prefer to use my first two or three sessions and let a client use the in-between time to reflect. Tools that work well in this phase are the ones that have assessment aspects to them like the Life Leadership Dashboard, the SWOT grid, or the True TEAM survey. A lot of coaches use a 360-degree assessment and this is the place they use it. These are becoming, however, overused (and a bit resented), and I prefer personal interviews with supervisors and direct reports if a 360-degree perspective is needed.

Here is a worksheet I use to onboard new clients. This worksheet summarizes basic steps of action that need to be completed for both

Phase One and Phase Two.

Executive Coaching On-Boarding Process

CLIENT: ___________________________ DATE: ___________
SUPERVISOR/SPONSOR: ______________________________
❏ Executive Coaching Expectations and Information sheets sent to client and/or supervisor.
❏ Executive Coaching Expectations sheet returned initialed.
❏ Executive Coaching Information sheet returned completed.
❏ Direct supervisor and/or coaching sponsor interviewed.
❏ Initial coaching client interviewed (first appointment).
❏ First month’s billing sent.
❏ First draft of executive coaching objectives completed.
❏ Supervisor and/or coaching sponsor give input on coaching objectives.
❏ First three months of coaching appointments set.
❏ Final draft of coaching focus and objectives completed (second or third appointment).
❏ Assessment completion (if needed).
❏ Early win: _______________________________________________________________

❏ First month’s payment received.

One final comment on the use of an early win listed in this worksheet. People often come into a coaching engagement a bit skeptical about what it can really do for them, especially if those engagements have been prescribed by upper management. I like to find something simple and meaningful to get done right away. Like a football team marching down the field and getting a touchdown the first time they touch the ball, it gives the coaching relationship real momentum and energizes everything you do afterward. Some of the tools in this book are quick-and-easy applications that can have an immediate impact. Use them to build momentum. Yes, the changes you are seeking to achieve in your coaching work are for the long term, but a good first drive can get coaching started on the right foot. Ideally you want an early win to align with the objectives you are identifying, but sometimes they do not. The point, however, is that some engagements need a shot in the arm to get them started right.

PHASE THREE: Engagement and Implementation
Phase One may be completed in one or two precoaching sessions, marketing meetings where you vividly demonstrate the value of coaching and reach an agreement on working together. Phase Two should be completed in the first month of coaching, in one supersession or over the course of your first two or three sessions. Then work begins on each objective.

This is where the Toolkit has its greatest value. Pick a tool that will help you and your client reach the outcome of a specific objective. Take time explaining the tool and then experiment with it in a session. Completion of the tool may be given as fieldwork and reviewed at repeated sessions. Finally, to close the learning loop, ask your client to teach that tool to one or two other people and debrief the experience. Here’s how I have done this for the Weekly Planning Worksheet.

Session One: Introduce the Weekly Planning Worksheet, its principles, and its business impact. Complete for the week to come steps of action for the first two sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet: Myself and My Family.

Session Two: Review the week’s developments of the first two sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet and the principles behind the tool. Complete the first two sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet again for the week to come and discuss the priority areas of the next three or four sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet.

Session Three: Review the week’s developments of the first two sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet. Complete all the sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet for the week to come with their specific steps of action.

Session Four: Review the week’s developments of all the sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet. Adjust priority areas, if needed. Complete all the sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet for the week to come. Select someone for your client to teach the Weekly Planning Worksheet to and role-play the interaction.

Session Five: Debrief the client’s teaching of the Weekly Planning Worksheet. Review the week’s developments of all the sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet. Have your client complete the Weekly Planning Worksheet for the week to come on their own and fax it to you. Select someone else for your client to teach the Weekly Planning Worksheet to and role-play the interaction.

Session Six: Debrief the client’s second teaching of the Weekly Planning Worksheet. Review the week’s developments of all the sections of the Weekly Planning Worksheet. Have your client complete the Weekly Planning Worksheet for the week to come on her own and fax it to you. Talk through a typical day’s list of things to do and rigorously apply the A, D, C, D, E method to them.

If you meet three times a month with your clients, as I do, here are two months of sessions with this tool. When you move on to another objective, keep having your client fax his completed worksheet to you as a point of accountability.

In the course of Phase Three, issues will inevitably come up that are not part of your established objectives. I once had a client’s top salesman get arrested just before our session. It makes no sense to push ahead with your predetermined agenda when a situation like this occurs. Deal with pressing issues as they arise. That’s the great thing about coaching: It is extremely nimble and able to adjust to the needs of the moment. However, if every session presents a new crisis, perhaps you’re not working on the right objectives. Revisit your objectives and reevaluate them.

The reevaluation of coaching objectives is good for another reason: midcourse correction. Often at the beginning of a coaching engagement a client has no idea where to focus, but once you get started gains a clearer picture. Be willing to drop one objective and add another as the engagement unfolds. I like to include a client’s supervisor or sponsor in this review process and get his perspective on how things are going. This can be a bit tricky. You don’t want to violate confidentiality, but neither do you want to hear just one side of the story. Gather as much feedback as you can from all perspectives. Better yet, ask for a day of live observation where you are like a fly on the wall in your client’s world to just observe her in action. I have seen within minutes
in a live setting what eluded me for hours in one-on-one sessions.

PHASE FOUR: Closure or Recontracting
Many coaching engagements have a predetermined ending point at 6, 9, or 12 months. I used to resist this kind of deadline, believing that a coaching engagement needed to end when the objectives were completed, but now I think just the opposite. In establishing the coaching contract, a clear ending point gives both coach and client a deadline that brings rigor to their work. If, at the end of that time, the objectives have not been completed, the contract can be renegotiated with a new deadline. That’s what I have called here recontracting. Ongoing coaching with no set expectations for completion or measurement for success, however, is a very expensive proposition and is, in my opinion, giving coaching a black eye in the business community. In the closure of a coaching engagement, the tools in this book can also be of help. For instance, I have worked with a client to complete a SMART Goal Worksheet that addressed his activities for the first three months after coaching. A delegation plan for a future project could also be designed, using the PAR Delegation Flow Chart. I have set an appointment six months into the future for a group to retake the TEAM survey to measure their progress or to redo their SWOT.

My favorite closure exercise, though, is a simple letter. I have clients write themselves a letter of what they would like their life and leadership to look like six months after coaching. Then I hold on to the letter and mail it to them in six months. Knowing that letter is coming, not from me but from themselves, is a powerful motivator for staying on track. The point of all these activities is that coaching doesn’t stop after coaching sessions stop. A good coach locks in learning and makes it a permanent part of a person’s life.

In 2002, Nortel Network’s Leadership Edge program engaged MetrixGlobal to determine the business benefits and return on investment from an executive coaching program. The results, reported in Coaching for Extraordinary Results, were astounding. Coaching produced a 529 percent return on investment. When combined with the financial benefits of employee retention, the overall return on investment of coaching jumped to 788 percent. (Mitsch, et al., 2002, page 19) Clearly this is good news for those of us seeking to serve our people in a greater way in these days of reduced training budgets and height-
ened financial accountability. To do this, though, we must make sure our operating system, the core skills of coaching practice, is functioning
at their very best. In addition, the tools of coaching, the applications presented in this book, when used effectively, make your coaching that
much more powerful as you seek to serve others in the decades ahead.

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