Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have written a very interesting book called Rework with ideas on leadership and business based on their experience. A few of their ideas struck me as particularly applicable to church structures, so I compiled a few of the most interesting and particular helpful ideas and printed them below. The page numbers denote where you will find these quotations in the hardback copy of the book. The book is a quick read and I’d recommend it. If you like what they have to say, you can read their blog at: http://37signals.com/svn/.
Plans more than a few pages long just wind up as fossils in your filing cabinet. Give up the guesswork. Decide what you’re going to do this week, not this year. (Pg. 20)
Start making smaller to-do lists too. Long lists collect dust. . . . Long lists are guilt trips. . . . Break that long list down into a bunch of smaller lists. . . . Whenever you can, divide problems into smaller and smaller pieces into until you are able to deal with them completely and quickly. Simply rearranging your tasks this way can have an amazing impact on your productivity and motivation. (Pg. 127)
When you put off decisions, they pile up. And piles end up ignored, dealt with in haste, or thrown out. As a result, the individual problems in those piles stay unresolved. . . . You want to get into the rhythm of making choices. When you get in that flow of making decision after decision, you build momentum and boost morale. Decisions are progress. . . . The problem comes when you postpone decisions in the hope that a perfect answer will come to you later. It won’t. You’re as likely to make a great call today as you are tomorrow. (Pg. 77)
Momentum fuels motivation. It keeps you going. It drives you. Without it, you can’t go anywhere. If you aren’t motivated by what you’re working on, it won’t be very good. The way you build momentum is by getting something done and then moving on to the next thing. . . . Small victories let you celebrate and release good news. . . . When there’s something new to announce every two weeks, you energize your team and give your customers something to be excited about. So ask yourself, “What can we do in two weeks?” And then do it. (Pg. 115-116)
Don’t make up problems you don’t have yet. It’s not a problem until it’s a real problem. Most of the things you worry about never happen anyway. Besides the decisions you make today don’t need to last forever . . . . Decisions are temporary. (Pg. 251)
Policies are organizational scar tissue. They are codified overreactions to situations that are unlikely to happen again. They are collective punishment for the misdeeds of an individual. . . . Don’t create a policy because one person did something wrong once. Policies are only meant for situations that come up again and again. (Pg. 260)
You don’t create a culture. It happens. . . . Culture is the by-product of consistent behavior. If you encourage people to share, then sharing will be built into your culture. If you reward trust, then trust will be built in. If you treat customers right, then treating customers right becomes your culture. . . . Culture is action, not words. (Pg. 249)