10 Things Only Exceptional Leaders Give Employees

by Jeff Haden

Good leaders have strong organizational skills. Good leaders have solid decision-making skills. Good leaders get important things done.

Exceptional leaders do all of the above — and more. (And we remember them forever.) Sure, they care about their company and customers, their vendors and suppliers. But most importantly, they care to an exceptional degree about the people who work for them.

And that’s why they’re so rare.

Extraordinary leaders give every employee:

1. Autonomy and independence.

Great organizations are built on optimizing processes and procedures. Still, every task doesn’t deserve a best practice or a micro-managed approach. (Here’s looking at you, manufacturing industry.)

Engagement and satisfaction are largely based on autonomy and independence. I care when it’s “mine.” I care when I’m in charge and feel empowered to do what’s right.

Plus, freedom breeds innovation: Even heavily process-oriented positions have room for different approaches. (Still looking at you, manufacturing.)

Whenever possible, give your employees the autonomy and independence to work the way they work best. When you do, they almost always find ways to do their jobs better than you imagined possible.

2. Clear expectations.

While every job should include some degree of independence, every job does also need basic expectations for how specific situations should be handled.

Criticize an employee for offering a discount to an irate customer today even though yesterday that was standard practice and you make that employee’s job impossible. Few things are more stressful than not knowing what is expected from one day to the next.

When an exceptional boss changes a standard or guideline, she communicates those changes first — and when that is not possible, she takes the time to explain why she made the decision she made, and what she expects in the future.

3. Meaningful objectives.

Almost everyone is competitive; often the best employees are extremely competitive–especially with themselves. Meaningful targets can create a sense of purpose and add a little meaning to even the most repetitive tasks.

Plus, goals are fun. Without a meaningful goal to shoot for, work is just work.

No one likes work.

4. A true sense of purpose.

Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone loves to feel that sense of teamwork and esprit de corps that turns a group of individuals into a real team.

The best missions involve making a real impact on the lives of the customers you serve. Let employees know what you want to achieve for your business, for your customers, and even your community. And if you can, let them create a few missions of their own.

Feeling a true purpose starts with knowing what to care about and, more importantly, why to care.

5. Opportunities to provide significant input.

Engaged employees have ideas; take away opportunities for them to make suggestions, or instantly disregard their ideas without consideration, and they immediately disengage.

That’s why exceptional leaders make it incredibly easy for employees to offer suggestions. They ask leading questions. They probe gently. They help employees feel comfortable proposing new ways to get things done. When an idea isn’t feasible, they always take the time to explain why.

Great leaders know that employees who make suggestions care about the company, so they ensure those employees know their input is valued — and appreciated.

6. A real sense of connection.

Every employee works for a paycheck (otherwise they would do volunteer work), but every employee wants to work for more than a paycheck: They want to work with and for people they respect and admire–and with and for people who respect and admire them.

That’s why a kind word, a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to ask if an employee needs any help — those moments are much more important than group meetings or formal evaluations.

A true sense of connection is personal. That’s why exceptional leaders show they see and appreciate the person, not just the worker.

7. Reliable consistency.

Most people don’t mind a leaders who is strict, demanding, and quick to offer (not always positive) feedback, as long as he or she treats every employee fairly.

(Great leaders treat each employee differently but they also treat every employee fairly. There’s a big difference.)

Exceptional leaders know the key to showing employees they are consistent and fair is communication: The more employees understand why a decision was made, the less likely they are to assume unfair treatment or favoritism.

8. Private criticism.

No employee is perfect. Every employee needs constructive feedback. Every employee deserves constructive feedback. Good leaders give that feedback.

Great leaders always do it in private.

9. Public praise.

Every employee — even a relatively poor performer — does something well. Every employee deserves praise and appreciation. It’s easy to recognize some of your best employees because they’re consistently doing awesome things. (Maybe consistent recognition is a reason they’re your best employees? Something to think about.)

You might have to work hard to find reasons to recognize an employee who simply meets standards, but that’s okay: A few words of recognition–especially public recognition–may be the nudge an average performer needs to start becoming a great performer.

10. A chance for a meaningful future.

Every job should have the potential to lead to greater things. Exceptional leaders take the time to develop employees for the job they someday hope to land, even if that job is with another company.

Employees will only care about your business after you first show you care about them. One of the best ways is to show that while you certainly have hopes for your company’s future, you also have hopes for your employees’ futures.

How can you know what an employee hopes to do someday? Ask.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140630120036-20017018-10-things-only-exceptional-bosses-give-employees


Hiding from Accountability

“Those without true oversight or any form of accountability may believe they have free reign to do what they want, when they want, without any recourse. But the Word of God is clear. ‘Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.’ – Ecclesiastes 12:14″


Restricted vs. Designated Offerings

Oftentimes, churches and ministries receive restricted offerings for building campaigns, outreach programs, or benevolence. There are other times when a church receives a designated offering. You may be surprised to know that a large number of churches have trouble distinguishing the difference between the two. The main reason for this problem is that many do not know what the law requires. Section 170 stipulates that if a person gives an offering/donation to the church, in order to get a tax deduction the giver must relinquish control and allow the church to use it however the church best decides. Therefore, it is important to know the difference between a restricted offering and a designated offering.

Restricted offerings

In essence, a restricted offering is any offering/donation in which the giver retains control over how the offering/donation is used. Here is an example. John and Jane Doe make a $50,000.00 contribution to the church and they stipulate that they want it to be used only for improvements to the children’s facilities. Even though the church does not have a special fund for the children’s facilities, the church acknowledges the donor’s intent and accepts the donation. Under the law, the church is required to use the money solely as intended by the givers. Additionally, when the church gives the receipt to the givers, the church must clearly mark the receipt as non tax-deductible.

Another type of restricted offering is when a church creates a special program and then raises money for it. When a person gives to that special program, the church is bound to use that money solely for the purposes of that program. Here is an example. First Church decides to announce that it is going to raise money for an orphanage in South America, which is in need of $9,000.00. Over the next two months the church leadership announces it from the pulpit, and special offerings are taken up for the orphanage every Sunday. At the end of the two months the church has collected a total of $7,800.00. Because the church was already suffering financially, the pastor directs the treasurer to send $6,000.00 to the orphanage and to apply the remaining $1,800.00 to desperately needed pastoral salaries. This is a classic case of misuse of restricted offerings because the church announced to the congregation from the pulpit that the special offerings they were collecting were for a specific purpose. The use of these offerings is restricted because they were specifically collected for one reason. The church does not have the liberty to use the funds as it wishes. A New Jersey appeals court in August of 2013 ordered a nonprofit organization to refund $50,000.00 to a couple who gave a restricted offering. The court also noted that ordering the nonprofit to refund the couple was the most lenient sanction against the nonprofit from a menu that included “breach of fiduciary duty and civil fraud.” The same court concluded that when a charity solicits and accepts a gift from a donor, knowing that the donor’s expressed purpose for making the gift was to fund a particular aspect of the charity’s program, it is bound to return the gift when the charity unilaterally decides not to honor the donor’s originally expressed purpose.

This type of violation also happens when love offerings are taken up for guest speakers. The church leadership announces that they want to take up a love offering for the guest speaker but they do not announce that they will only give the guest speaker up to a certain amount. After the love offering is taken up, the church gives only a certain portion of it to the guest. Ouch! The congregation believes that 100% of the offering was given to the guest speaker. Like the misuse of the funds given to the orphanage, this, too, is a crime if a pastor tells the congregation that their love offering will be given to the guest speaker but then withholds a certain portion for the church. Not to mention that it undermines the congregation’s ability to trust their leadership when it comes to handling finances.

Designated offerings

A designated offering is any type of offering/donation that is given to the church in which the donor designates the offering for a particular purpose but does not require the church to use it solely for the designation. An example can be when someone makes a donation using the church envelope and he/she designates it to a certain program. If the church envelope contains specific language (see example below), it clearly makes the designation a suggestion and allows the church to retain control, thus making the donor’s contribution tax-deductible. Below is sample language you can use on your church envelopes.

This church is a qualified section 501(c)(3) organization. All tithes, offerings, or donations of any kind are tax-deductible under section 170(c)(2). Using this envelope constitutes your agreement to relinquish control in accordance with IRS regulation.

Let me give you an example. Jim Steward writes a check for $1,000.00 and designates on the memo and on the church envelope that he wishes for it to be used to buy the church a new computer. After receiving the offering, Pastor Larry notices that the church has a bigger need. The rent was due 2 days ago and the $1,000.00 was exactly what they needed to pay it. He instructs his treasurer to write a church check for the rent. In this example, Pastor Larry did nothing wrong. He acted in the best interest of the church. The giver gets a tax deduction because he did not apply any conditions to his contribution. Under current IRS regulation, the church has the right to use the money any way it sees fit so long as it is an honest effort to further the purposes of the church, and paying the rent is pretty important to the well being of the church.

Mistakes we make for lack of knowledge

Not a week passes by that we do not have a conversation with a pastor or church leader who confesses that they have made mistakes (both small and large) because of a lack of knowledge. It does not have to be that way for you. Make it a priority for you and your church to come into full compliance with the laws of God and man.

Source: Raul Rivera, StartChurch

Shepherds in My Life

“I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” — Jeremiah 3:15, NKJV

I am so thankful for the men of God that God has placed in my life in the past and currently to provide biblical teaching and understanding. If you are attending church somewhere, but not getting challenged each week by the Word, it’s time to go somewhere you do.

Pastor Riley and Deborah Pippen

Pastor Chip and Ramona Hayden

Pastor Jason and René Tourville

Ministry Leadership and Church Development