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Episode 55 - 11 Nov 2019

Leadership Best Practices We Are Currently Trying

In this episode, Blake Holmes (Dallas Campus Pastor & Director of The Watermark Institute) joins Adam and John to talk about leadership best practices. Each of them comes to the table with something new they are currently implementing. What about you? What are you currently trying? For show notes and more information, visit

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Episode Summary


Blake Holmes (Dallas Campus Pastor & Director of The Watermark Institute) joins Adam and John to talk about leadership best practices. They come to the table with something new they are currently implementing. As you listen along, make sure to ponder your own leadership. This isn't just about adopting what works for Blake, John, or Adam. If in listening to this podcast, you realize something here is helpful, then by all means try it out in your context. But don't let it stop there. Join in the conversation. What is currently working well for you? What helps you lead others and stewarding your influence well? What best practices have you found especially helpful?

Send in your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions to We read every email and your ideas might be mentioned in the next "Best Practices" episode.

Episode Highlights

Here are John, Blake, and Adam's leadership best practices. How can you adapt these to your leadership context?

If we are not growing, we will begin to atrophy. As leaders, we cannot allow ourselves to drift into apathy. We should always strive to improve and learn from others. Consider starting a leadership Journal. And it doesn't need to be complex or time-intensive. Simply end each week by taking 10 minutes and write down the wins, lessons-learned, and ideas from the past 7 days. If something worked well, write it down. If someone said something you want to remember and hold on to, make note of that. Keep it short. You want to be able to look back over the last several entries quickly and get a sense of how your leadership is growing or changing. You need to take responsibility for your own development and remember that you are always going to be the most invested in your own growth. Writing things down forces clarity and helps you know what exactly it is that you are accomplishing.

When leading teams and regularly-occurring meetings, what are you doing to best steward your time? Rather than entering into meetings without a plan or direction, it can be incredibly helpful to start meetings with a framework. This inevitably gives structure to discussion and aids in staying on track. The format is ultimately up to you, but if you are looking for a simple framework, consider the following:
* For Follow-up - Go over the action items from the previous week. Simply report on what occurred. This creates an expectation for checking in on what was asked of everyone in the past.
* For Your Information - This is not meant to be in-depth. Take time to report on things that do not require discussion. Communicate what the group needs to know, but does not necessarily need to weigh in on.
* For Discussion - This time is the bulk of most meetings. Use this to gain insight from others, go over problems that we are facing. Avoid the highly philosophical or theoretical. Try to pick discussion topics that are actionable and can have clear next steps for everyone at the meeting.
* For Approval - When the bulk of planning has already taken place, and all that is needed is the go-ahead, bring something to the table for approval. This helps everyone stay in on decision making and avoid surprises.
* For Prayer - Lastly, finish the meeting with dedicated time to pray for one another, the church, and any other problems that are arising.

All together, these guide rails keeps meetings on track. Use Evernote or a shared document to organize ahead of time. Prior to each weekly meeting, insist for people to slot their talking-points and discussion topics into one of these 5 categories. This lets people know what is being talked about, and lets you as the leader know if longer points need to be moved to future meetings. Brining structure to meetings lets people know which topics to elaborate on and ask more in-depth questions (for example, if something is being talked about in the "For Your Information" part of the meeting, people know not to follow rabbit trails).

Meeting weekly with those who directly report to you can be a huge time-saver and relational win. If you do not already, consider meeting face-to-face with each person individually. It doesn't need to be lengthy or incredibly structured. But there is something valuable to relational investment outside of large group meetings. This best practices cuts down on randomly meetings and people popping into your office for small questions or information. Most of the time, it can be helpful to simply ask how they are doing. Ask where you can help them get unstuck. This relationally builds trust and professionally gets information. Relationships may not be efficient, but they are effective.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Email

Hosted By
John mcgee 20200223 wcc headhshots 001447
John McGee

Sr. Director of Watermark Resources

A tarnow
Adam Tarnow

Cohost of Church Leadership Podcast