Category Archives: Leadership

To the Next Level

Chamber LogoYesterday Jennifer Krumm, COO of the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce, and I went to an all-day seminar at the California Chamber of Commerce.  The seminar was entitled “Taking Your Chamber to the Next Level,” and it was sponsored by Superchex, a Chamber group that provides training for local Chambers to help them offer better programs and leadership to their respective communities.

Continue reading To the Next Level

“I’m never to busy for your referrals.”

PeopleI really admire my friend Russ.  He is one of the kindest and most attentive people I know.

It’s not unusual to find a message on my cell phone.  “Hi Bruce, this is Russ.  I was just calling to say hello and see how you’re doing.”  It takes him about a minute to do that, but it really makes my day to get the voice mail.

Recently Russ and I were talking about what it takes to make organizations hum.  Again, he knows what people need in order to be encouraged and empowered.

I would summarize what he said in this way.  1) Take time to talk to people.  Not e-mail.  Talk.  2) Make sure that you don’t take people for granted.  Let them know that they are important to you and bring value to your life.

I think that is good advice for any group of people.

Marketing Non Profits

On Thursday I was dreading the thought of giving up my Saturday. I treasure sleeping in, a slow breakfast, and being lazy for one day. But Jeff from Radio Merced gave me a free ticket to the “Nonprofit Management and Marketing” seminar at Merced College.

So the alarm went off at 6:00 AM, and after hitting the snooze a couple of times I reluctantly got up. I can now tell you that it was well worth the effort. It also reminded me of the wonderful resources that are often laying on the ground around us for little or no cost. That was true today. Continue reading Marketing Non Profits


Whenever I have talked with church planters, a common warning comes from them. It’s always something like “Don’t surrender your vision to anyone.”

Many planters warn that disgruntled and baggaged people seek out new churches and attempt to shape them into their own vision. That vision can take the form of a particular kind of music, a church model, or even the kind of people sought after. Continue reading Teamwork

Public Service

Today I had two meetings to attend, one early this morning and the other in the late afternoon. The groups were highly diverse in membership, and the individuals very busy and responsible people.

Despite their differences, the members share a common interest and love of Merced city and county. You will see them all around town at various functions because they care about what happens here.

One of the groups is responsible for leading a program for developing high school leaders. Some of them just came back from a retreat with glowing reports.

The other group was invested with the responsibility for writing a mission statement for a business organization. That conversation was interesting and fun.

It is impressive to see the collaboration, passion, and determination of both groups. Any organization would be blessed to have people like that working for them.

Groups like this are more effective than individuals working alone because of their shared wisdom, insight, and experience. Effort increases exponentially. That’s a good way to work.


I recently had an interaction that caused me to think about the important matter of church DNA. DNA is the basic character of the congregation including what she values and how she goes about accomplishing her goals.

For several years I have believed that the leadership of a church is largely responsible for how members see themselves as well as the mission and methods of that church. For example, if the leaders do all the work themselves, the members come to see themselves as spectators or passengers rather than contributors.

One view of leadership, that I disavow, is that leaders sit at the front or top of an organization and dictate. In this view, the leader is the one invested with knowledge and wisdom and operates like a dispenser. Those who follow his/her leadership are trained to be dependent and weak. They often become discouraged and eventually quit.

Another view of leadership sees leaders as equippers and encouragers. They operate at the rear of the organization giving the people in their charge the opportunity and power to work. In organizations like this, people feel invested and responsible. This helps them to develop strength and energy.

The second kind of leadership takes time to mature. Failures will occur. By its nature this style of leadership is slower, but it develops a more mature membership.

John Maxwell says, “If you think you’re a leader and no one is following, then you’re only taking a walk.” Equipping leadership is true leadership that develops strong loyalties and follow-ship.

That’s the kind of leadership LifeSpring values.