I have realised the power of an accurate assessment, plus a qualified coach, to help leaders succeed.

Recently I took a group of leaders through an assessment on their leadership effectiveness.  it required some time on their part to administer the assessment, minimal cost and honest reflection as they responded to the questions.  Each person became more self-aware than they were before and it gave the supervisor/coach an opportunity to de-brief their initial observations – at a minimum.  For the leader who is serious about her/his development they are in a much better position to learn and grow.  For the intrinsically motivated leader, the data from the assessment served as a catalyst to change and grow their leadership.

A simple self assessment like the one I will share below can propel people on a developmental path that could have short-term and long-term implications for the leader.

This assessment is NOT in-depth.  It is not the assessment I mentioned at the start of this blog.  It contains 8 questions to rate yourself on 8 essential traits of effective leaders.  It does not cost anything financially.

It does however, give you a baseline measure.  It does generate a report that will be e-mailed to help you, to help you move forward in your development OR to work with th members of your team.  It does serve as a means to open the conversation with leaders.

Please CLICK HERE to access the Develop the Leaders Around You survey.



Stories Stick – Facts Fade!

Stories Stick – Facts Fade!

Last week I attended the Global Leadership Summit for about the 15th year.  The faculty came from diverse areas in ministry, government and business.  Each year I encourage my network to attend because of the rich leadership insights I have gleaned.  In fact, several years ago I began taking my then 12-year-old son and later my teenage daughter.  The GLS became an annual ritual they enthusiastically anticipated, until they entered university.  Even during those early days of their development they captured key learnings about themselves that shaped them into the young adults they are becoming today.

What struck me again this year was the quality of the speaker’s content related to some aspect of leadership.  One speaker that caught my attention was Craig Groeschel (Founder and Senior Pastor of Life.Church).  His final presentation of the conference was on the topic of communicating, especially as it relates to vision.

His point was simple and clear:

Knowledge leads to conclusions; emotions lead to action.

Groeschel offered three questions for consideration when preparing to communicate vision:

  1. What do you want them to know?
  2. What do you want them to feel?
  3. What do you want them to do?

His Big Idea was for leaders to pay special attention to the emotional dimension when communicating vision.  With that in mind, Groeschel concluded his talk with three things to move people’s emotions:

  1. Share Stories Purposefully
  2. Choose Words Deliberately
  3. Show Vulnerability Thoughtfully

As leaders, I believe we would agree that we must all sharpen our communication.

Following are two podcasts by Craig Groeschel where he elaborates on the points above.  I would encourage you to watch these and share these with the leaders around you.  Until next time – lead on!


NEW BOOK RECOMMENDATION – The Church Planting Journey

NEW BOOK RECOMMENDATION – The Church Planting Journey

Thirty years ago, you would have searched hard to find a resource on church planting.  There were a few; but one of the first resources to have had broad appeal was The Church Planter’s Toolkit by Bob Logan & Steve Ogne.  This work set the standard for all of the church planting resources to follow.

If you conduct a search today on Amazon, you will find more than 1,000 titles on the topic.  Many of them are worth reading.  Few are worth referring back to again and again.

The Church Planting Journey by Bob Logan is an important read.  It is the updated version of “The Toolkit”,  You will want to digest this information and refer back to if your are a(n):

  • aspiring church planter
  • new church planter
  • veteran church planter
  • parent church leaders
  • coach of church planters

I know, church planting feels like it is a new idea.  Look into church history and you will find all lasting revivals had a multiplication movement of organic church planting at it’s core.  Go further back, you will find the blueprint for the mission of the church in the book of Acts.

With so much literature available today on the topic, I would suggest that, The Church Planting Journey is the one you will want to have on your shelf.

“How Entrepreneurial Immigrants and Missions Collide”

“How Entrepreneurial Immigrants and Missions Collide”

There is a movement going on in our world today.  It is called immigration.  My simple explanation of immigration is: “a movement of a group(s) of people, from one country to another”.

As a husband married to an Australian I understand the problem, to a degree; but my wife left her homeland on her own terms.  The millions of displaced refugees in Europe for instance, are not leaving by choice, but for survival.  That presents an opportunity for humanity and specifically, Christians to step-up.

One of my friends is doing something about the problem through the organization he serves from his adopted country – Spain.  Here is a quote from a recent article that he was interviewed for in CT entitled: “Strangers in the Land of Startups” (May 23, 2019).

Rather than a job training for jobs that don’t exist, we believe in helping immigrants and refugees start their own microenterprises, or local, regional, and global companies. Brent McHugh

It takes a unique leader who has the combination of leveraging Business Acumen + Missional Integrity = Disciplemaking Movement.  To the degree that he, his team and organization are able, they are influencing the trajectory of immigrants that are relocating to Europe, and beyond.  If you would like to read the CT article in entirely – CLICK HERE!

Coachability – what are the traits of a coachable leader?

Coachability – what are the traits of a coachable leader?

I’ve struggled to describe the non-negotiables of a coachable person when training leaders in the coaching process and skills.

That is, until I read Patrick Lencioni’s book entitled, The Ideal Team Player.  I’ve blogged about the three qualities (Hungry-Humble-Smart) as it pertains to a coachable person, in the past – CLICK HERE to review previous blogs.  These are so important, easy to remember and helpful to determine if a person is a good fit.

What I did not know is that you can actually assess a person for these three qualities with a statistically reliable and valid tool – CLICK HERE to learn more.

The Harrison Assessment is capable of doing just that.  This could be a very helpful exercise to assess prospective coaching clients, potential team members or as a developmental tool for people already on your team.  Honestly, to have people see where they assess on the three qualities could be a humbling exercise, as well as a great way to help leaders surface blind spots.  I’m always looking for new ways to come alongside leaders to help them go further faster.

If you would like to chat about this or other Harrison assessments, please CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with Gary and discuss how The Harrison Assessment might further your mission to pre-qualify future staff hires & church planters, assess existing staff and develop your leaders.


How to pre-qualify future staff hires, assess prospective church planters and develop existing staff

How to pre-qualify future staff hires, assess prospective church planters and develop existing staff

A church recently asked me to provide an assessment for two candidates they were considering for an Executive Pastor position.

The Harrison Assessment was the tool I used to give a clear picture of the candidates.  Both candidates assessed “high” in the Job Success Analysis portion of the report, that used the actual job description for the position as the filter to measure if they were good fits for the position.  A deep dive into the data revealed insights into their “Traits and Behaviors” that were not evident in the interviews they had conducted.  Both candidates would have made excellent Executive Pastors; but when comparing and contrasting their profiles, in conjunction with the information from the interviews, the choice was clear.  One candidate stood out.

It is impossible to give an adequate explanation of the tool; but you may CLICK HERE for a 4 page online brochure explaining The Harrison Assessment.

If you would like to learn more, CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with Gary and discuss how The Harrison Assessment might further your mission to pre-qualify future staff hires & church planters, assess existing staff and develop your leaders.


*(c) 2019.  Harrison Assessment Int’l.  All Rights Reserved_v2019.1

Eligibility vs. Suitability

Eligibility vs. Suitability

The two terms ask distinct questions that can help organizations determine if a candidate, or existing employee, is a good fit for a particular role:

  1. Eligibility – CAN the person perform (the job)?
  2. Suitability – WILL the person perform (the job)?

The second question is based on Enjoyment Performance Theory (based on the Harrison Assessment) and suggests that:

… when we enjoy a task – we tend to do it more often.  When we do something over and over, we have a tendency to get better at it through both learning and repetition.  When a person gets better at something, the feedback he or she receives – both from others and internally – is normally positive.  And positive feedback increases the enjoyment of the behavior.  The cycle keeps repeating itself – increasing the strength of enjoyment and tendency for the behavior – and often results in behavior habits that we don’t realize are behavior choices.*

Conversely, the theory holds true for those things we don’t enjoy and procrastinate or avoid doing.

Furthermore, Harrison research shows that employees who enjoy at least 75% of their work, are three times more likely to succeed.  That’s correct, 3 times more effective.

Let me get more practical.

For the last thirty years I’ve found a common challenge among churches, networks and organizations.  Fact is,

As much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions  …according the The Harvard Business Review.

How much does it cost you and your organization for a bad hire?  Probably more than you realize.

It is estimated that it could cost you up to five times a bad hire’s annual salary  (SHRM Study).

This has to do with the “fit” between the leader and the role they are being asked to serve in, or the degree to which they are a “good fit” in their current role.  Here are some of the places that organizations can benefit from a reliable and valid assessment, to determine the “best fit” for a leader:


  • assessing prospective church planters, lead pastors and denominational executives
  • assessing existing staff members at all levels in an organization
  • assessing future and current teams (paid and volunteer)

Many tools have come and gone over the last three decades, some better than others.  Each has certain elements of leadership that are assessed.  Several I use to this day e.g. the behavioral interview, DiSC, Leadership Effectiveness Profile, etc.

For a season I conducted behavioral interviews for church planters and coaches of church planters.  The behavioral interview process is extremely effective when conducted by a trained and skilled assessor.  The challenge is that they are time consuming.

Until recently, the behavioral interview was the “go-to” process to pre-qualify church planters and develop coaches for church planters, lead pastors and missionaries.  But now I have been trained to use a tool that does the job of a behavioral interview, at a fraction of the time normally required.  At the recommendation of my coach, I went through the Harrison Assessment training.  The breadth and depth of the assessment immediately captured my attention.  It is impossible to give an adequate explanation of the tool; but you may CLICK HERE for a 2-minute video explaining The Harrison Assessment.

I’m not wanting to sell you on a new tool as much as to alert you to the idea that there is a resource you might want to consider, to see if this could help you in your next hire OR to assess your current staff members and board members.  I’ve always found that the price paid to prevent a bad hire is money well spent.  In the short time I have been using the Harrison Assessment I have discovered that the insights the client receives have been well worth their investment.

If you would like to learn more, CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with Gary and discuss how The Harrison Assessment might further your mission to pre-qualify, assess and develop your leaders.


*(c) 2019.  Harrison Assessment Int’l.  All Rights Reserved_v2019.1