What if the clear, constructive feedback of your colleagues could unlock your untapped leadership strengths to help take your organization to the next level. Joel Engle has seen this come true in ways he never imagined.
Joel is the former Lead Pastor of Preaching & Vision/Elder at ChangePoint Church, a robust and growing main campus in Anchorage, Alaska, with three emerging campuses across the state. Some time ago, an executive pastor encouraged Joel to consider a Leadership Development 360 Review. BCWI developed the 360 as a powerful research-based tool to align a leader’s behaviors and skills with an organization’s needs.
- The 360-degree feedback process helps develop and leverage leadership talent to improve an organization’s health and outcomes, based on the fact that:
- actionable feedback improves performance,
- feedback alone can change behavior,
- clear goals for improvement are essential,
- combining feedback and goals are most effective for growth, and
- follow-up on feedback leads to greater improvement.
Joel, working in unison with two fellow pastors who comprise the executive leadership team discovered how the 360 Review intentionally integrates three, central leadership characteristics of:
- Spiritual Vitality
- Spiritual Leadership
- Visionary Leadership
- Drive for Results
- Strategic Thinking
- Creativity and Innovation
- People Focus
- Building Effective Teams
- Motivating Others
- Executive Communication
- Performance Coaching
- Board Relationships
As a leader, knowing my strengths and weaknesses was a game changer for me and my team.”
“I realized a prerequisite for the 360 Review was my desire to see the real state of our ministry culture, and that took honesty and transparency. You can’t really improve the culture if you don’t have a grasp on reality. At the same time, I was reluctant and afraid of being exposed. I needed to humble myself to receive both positive and negative feedback.
“Executive leaders like myself, were reviewed by the board, direct reports and all support staff and we reviewed each other” recalls Joel. “Some leadership diagnostics other than the BCWI 360 Review, focus only on competency, which I think is a serious limitation.
“We’re not just a company, we’re a church. We represent the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we need competency, and we also need character and chemistry. We have a unique leadership model, and I was pleasantly surprised at how the customized questions gave us a very clear, honest, exhaustive evaluation of how we viewed each other’s strengths, as areas in which each of us can improve.
“At first I was shocked at the disparity between what I thought about myself and how others perceived me. The board and my executive team seemed to love me, but there was a disconnect between me and the staff. Without the 360 Review, I would never have caught some of the issues that were going on.
- “I started off accepting the feedback pretty well, yet over the coming days, however, I became hurt and angry. How could they think that I don’t listen? How could they think that I spin the truth about top-level decisions? How could they think that I have a pride issue? Feeling discouraged, I began to process this with my two other executive teammates. We compared notes, and I began to write down the common threads of the negatives. (There were a lot of positives too but let’s face it, we tend to focus on ‘what needs to be fixed’ more than the good.)
- “Honestly, the 360 findings were very accurate; the debrief helped me see where I was really winning and helped me process negative feedback in very positive, practical ways:
- I discovered that I need to be very intentional in listening to my fellow pastors and staff. Today, rather than being the first to speak up in a meeting, I’m making it a priority to listen first and speak last.
- As a result, I’m learning that I need to ask more questions of my staff rather than casting vision all the time. Recently I went on a “listening tour” and sat down with four of our leading women staff leaders. I’m glad I did it, because I don’t want to orbit out of our church’s ministry needs.
- “To become a better, more effective leader, I’ve developed an acronym, I call HAL:
- Honor my colleagues in everything I say and do
- Ask good questions that mine out what’s going on inside our team
- Listen intentionally to what others are saying out of an ongoing desire to know what’s really going on
- “Besides this personal takeaway, the 360 Review has given our executive team some tools we didn’t have before to calibrate our own spiritual goals as leaders.
- “The entire 360 process has been a sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in my life. By addressing my weaknesses, God broke me. This needed to happen. The 360 Review has shown me my desperate need for God. It’s not about having all the answers, but the fact that I need to be abiding in Christ on a daily basis. I must walk in humility and, at the time, lead out of boldness as I’m aligned with the Lord.
- Because of the 360, I’m far more intentional about creating a healthy culture than just achieving goals, because if our culture is not healthy–if there’s not unity, collaboration, and trust—how are we going to achieve our goals? As a result, I’m much more transparent and available to my staff.
Joel’s word picture for the 360 Review is a keeper: “In his bestselling book, Good to Great, Jim Collins says your organization can’t go from good to great without brutal honesty. He uses the metaphor of ‘picking up the rock and looking at the little squiggly things underneath.’
“As much as we like to think we are aware of our faults and strengths, we are reticent to do a ‘deep dive’ and really look at the reality of our ministry leadership. It’s too scary to examine the little squiggly things of our leadership and think that we might be rejected or disliked by our ministry teammates.
“This is why I would challenge every ministry team to do a comprehensive review, because you cannot grow as a leader if you do not understand the reality of your organizational culture.
“Though the 360 Review was hard at times, it’s been a game-changer for me, our team, and our culture at ChangePoint Church.
It’s Your Turn!
Can you think of a time when a colleague, or trusted friend told you something about yourself you didn’t want to hear, yet over time became something you grew to value, appreciate and learn from over the years?
BCWI 360 REVIEW
Click here to learn more!