Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

A good conversationalist balances talking with questions and a good teacher balances explanation with intrigue; to be an effective leader, you need to be both. An effective leader will use the back and forth of communication to engage the group being led and it is through engagement that the first step towards transformation is made.


"  This is the goal of any small group leader - to engage and hopefully transform.

One of Jesus' many titles was Teacher and his ability to engage with his disciples - his small group, is one every small group leader ought to emulate. Of the 10 times Jesus was asked a direct question in the Bible, he responded 9 times with a question of his own. He undoubtedly knew the answers to the questions asked, yet, he also knew the benefit to asking his own questions and having the questioner arrive at their own conclusion.


"  It is through an individual's own arrival at a conclusion that real transformation can occur.


If you lead a small group and want to ask great questions and have transformational conversations, consider taking a Coach Approach to Leading Small Groups. Email me to learn more.
On February 4th, XP4U will be offering a 1 day Coach Approach to Leading Small Groups workshop in Edmonton. For more information or for tickets please visit Evenbrite here.

The Key to Great Facilitation

The Key to Great Facilitation

“Great facilitators are innovative, intentional and immersive.


Before we get to the ‘great’ part of ‘great facilitation’ we need to understand what facilitation is:

A process where an individual who is agreed upon and acceptable to all of a group’s members intervenes to assist the group in solving problems and making decisions to improve productivity and efficiency but who has no authority to make decisions.”

If you work in a church, a business, a charity, or any sort of organization then you have probably had experience with a variety of facilitation and facilitators. Facilitators can be team leaders, supervisors, an outside party or sometimes even a fellow team member. Can you recall an instance of great facilitation? Chances are the facilitator implemented at least one if not all the following keys to great facilitation:

1.     Innovation: create an adult social learning environment
Great facilitation happens when the learning environment is engaging (think the opposite of sitting and watching a PowerPoint presentation!) and this takes a bit of creativity and innovation.

2.     Intentionality: focus around team work and collaboration
A great facilitator will intentionally put the onus on the team to work together to come to their own conclusion; the facilitator’s role is not to tell but rather to guide. 

3.     Immersion: utilize the reality that people learn by watching others
Social cognitive theory states that people learn new things not by trial and error but by the replication of the actions of others and great facilitation takes advantage of this by creating opportunities for members of the team to actively take part and observe.

If you spend any time facilitating groups you may want to consider an upcoming learning opportunity – “Coach Approach to Facilitation.” Even though I have had years of facilitating teams, boards, staff and volunteers at meetings, retreats and through strategic planning I was surprised at how this workshop changed the way I facilitated afterwards.


“It was the single best thing I have done that has helped me to become a more effective and better facilitator.



Tell Your Story...Or Someone Else Might

Tell Your Story...Or Someone Else Might

If you lead in a church, charity or business then you know the importance of telling your story. Your story paints the picture of who you are, what you are about and why you are doing what you are doing. Your story can either convince someone to join in, participate and be a part of what you are doing or make them turn away. You need to be telling your story and you need to be telling it through social media.

‘I’m too busy for twitter’, ‘I don’t like Facebook’, ‘I don’t like putting my face on Instagram’. I have heard these and many other complaints about social media. While they may all be valid, reasonable and understandable if you are the leader of your church, your charity or business then you don’t the luxury to hold on to these complaints. Why? Because if you don’t tell your story someone else might and it may not be the story that you want told.

Reasons to be engaged in social media:

  • It allows for real time interactions– shape and articulate your story to cater to your audience
  • It expands your reach exponentially – unconstrained by time and distance
  • It is a FREE platform – use it!


You need to be telling your story and you need to be telling it through social media.
— Ed Temple


So then how should you tell your story through social media? It’s very simple – be present, be generous and be focused.

  1. Be present: engage, respond and participate in conversations that relate to what you do
  2. Be generous: don’t just talk about yourself, talk about other people, other organizations and they are doing to make a difference
  3. Be focused: knowing your why (see previous post on finding your 'why') and your mission as you engage will help people better connect with your story

Finding Your 'Why'

Finding Your 'Why'

There’s a TED Talk by Simon Sinek that has been viewed over 29 million times titled ‘Start with Why’ and I myself have watched it 4 times at different seasons of my life. Sinek’s talk has helped me regain clarity and direction by simply getting me back to my ‘why’.

Last week I dropped in on a group taking the Mastery Coaching course with Essential Impact. While I was there I had the privilege of coaching some members of the group on finding their ‘why’ through an activity used in the course. As I led the activity I myself was reminded of the lessons that come along with finding out our ‘whys’:


-       It is a process and a journey – don’t rush it
-       It is filled with emotion – be ready for laughter, tears, fear, excitement…etc
-       It is better with a coach – a skilled coach evokes the best and helps guide you
-       It requires support – journeys are best share with others who can cheer you on
-       It is transformative – you cannot help but be changed by the process
-       It is scary – to dream of what you are capable of and then to step out is intimidating
-       It is compelling and motivating – to watch others journey and step out is inspiring
-       It is fun! 


I have been on this journey of finding out my why in the past but my situation has changed and I have changed, so I am re-starting a ‘finding my why’ journey again (I already have a call with my coach set up!). Finding out your ‘why’ is far too important to be put on the shelf and watching the transformation and excitement from the Mastery Coaching group as they found their whys has inspired and reminded me of the importance of my ‘why’.

Have you found your why? What’s holding you back? Let me know and we can journey together to find it! 


Ed Temple


Vision Begins with an Image

Vision Begins with an Image

Where there is no vision, the people will perish” (KJV) or so the poorly translated Proverbs 29:18 goes. While it may not be a matter of life and death, we all know that vision is important. Vision gives direction and goals. But a vision must be compelling, clear and concise, otherwise it just fades into the myriad of messages we receive daily.
A logo or brand can be a catalyst to help your vision be compelling, clear and concise. While this logo isn't everything, it is the start of something. You cannot underestimate the power of branding in its ability to articulate your vision or the importance of the branding process itself as it helps to better communicate your vision.
Currently we are going through this exact branding process with the Canadian Midwest District, and we want your input! As a part of the process we want to hear from a diverse group of people. Help us by simply providing some demographic info and feedback on potential logos. We only have a handful of questions on 5 logo designs. This will all be anonymous and your demographic information will not be retained.

If you would like to participate and be a crucial part of this branding process click on this link here ---> CMDbrandinput.

The Perfect Team: a unique mix of People, Process and Performance

The Perfect Team: a unique mix of People, Process and Performance

The foundation of any organization is people. But great people still need relevant processes to keep them on track and aligned. Great people want to perform and need accountability and measurement to support them. People, process and performance - the perfect team.

Processes work to help an organization answer both questions that they have and questions that they did not even know needed answering. Through a review of current processes and the addition of new ones, there will be clarity and definition. Did you know that there are people on your team motivated to create, manage and maintain processes for the benefit of the team?

Performance is the result of your efforts and tells you whether or not you are doing the right things. Measuring performance ensures that both the organization and its goals are relevant and continue to be effective. Did you know that there are people on your team motivated by performance? They will compete, push, drive and win for the benefit of your team.

People are essential to everything done within your organization. If you value performance or process over your people, everyone loses. Did you know that there are people on your team motivated to serve the people around them? They will care for, support and help others for the benefit of your team.

Personal Strengths Canada and their unique tool - the Strength Development Inventory (SDI) - help you and your team identify how you value people, process and performance. We all have a different combination of these values, and understanding your own and those on your team will help to create a stronger, more connected and more effective team.

Learn more about SDI and how it fits with a coach approach to leadership by contacting me at XP4U.


Ed Temple


Mentor Coaching - the What, the Why and How

Mentor Coaching - the What, the Why and How

Mentor Coaching
 noun, men·tor coach·ing \ˈmen-ˌtȯr, -tər ˈkōch- iŋ \

  1. coaching practice with the support of a skilled observer who provides feedback and assessment based on ICF Core Competencies.
    • Through mentor coaching you will grow as a coach by getting coached and practicing coaching.
  2. an important component of developing one's skills as a coach.
    • The importance of mentor coaching comes down to the development of coaching skills, participating in the coaching community and gaining accountability and input.
  3. an opportunity for you to sign up and get involved with mentor coaching, just email Ed here.
    • Through this opportunity there will be a total of 10 hours working in a cohort with 3 hours of one-on-one coaching and 7 hours of coaching practice with feedback.

It's not too late:
There is still room in the Mastery Coach Training (5 days) Workshop offered by Essential Impact. This is an accredited coach training program offered November 14-18 in partnership with Foothills Alliance Church. For more information or to sign up click here.

SEEDS Coming to Edmonton:
Excelerator Essentials SEEDS Workshop is being held in Edmonton (Beulah Alliance) November 29-December 1. This is a 3 day accredited coach training program called Essentials. For more information or to sign up check out Essential Impact's website here.



Ed Temple

A Coach Approach to Leadership: Ask Great Questions

A Coach Approach to Leadership: Ask Great Questions

A coach approach to leadership is not about offering advice; it is about helping people discover their own potential and tap into their own expertise. To do this, leaders need to continually listen, learn and reflect. The way the best coaches do this is by learning to ask questions. Great questions.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Voltaire

Anyone can ask questions, but a great coaching leader will ask questions that encourage people to identify their own strengths and goals and chart a course on how to attain those results. These are not yes/no questions nor should these questions be asked in a way that implies a right or wrong answer.

Questions Lead to Discussion

A good question will uncover values and assumptions and lead to meaningful conversations resulting in internal leverage to take action.  

Questions Lead to Listening

Leaders often are seen at the front of the room leading through talking. But great coaching leaders ask questions as it helps with the discipline and value of listening to your team.

Questions Lead to Learning

If you’re willing to listen, people will share their expertise and experience and this provides everyone with an opportunity to learn and grow and share knowledge.

Has a leader asked you a question that changed your perspective or set you on a different path?

Be a Superleader! Take a coach approach

Be a Superleader! Take a coach approach

We see coaches in a sports or athletic context all the time, but have you considered becoming more like a coach with your staff? A coach is not a consultant, they don’t bring the expertise or teach skills, but enhance and hone the skills already present in the athlete (think professional coach, not Little League).

Coaches help us establish and reach our goals, become self-reliant, contribute more, take on greater responsibility, and work better with others (a team approach). The best leaders, actually SUPERLEADERS, take a coach approach.

You don’t have to be a trained coach (although it helps) to use these principles to help your staff achieve greater results. I am launching a new 5 week series on the blog to help you take a coach approach as a leader:

  1. Ask great questions
  2. Believe in your leaders
  3. Continually listen
  4. Demonstrate trust
  5. Empower leaders

Have you had a coach (sports-related or not) who helped you achieve greater results than what you could do on your own? How did they help you?

Upcoming Coach Training Opportunities

XP4U offers coach training in partnership with Essential Impact.  This is an award winning and accredited coach training through the International Coaching Federation.

3 Day Essentials Coach Training - SEEDS (24 hrs accredited training)

Sept 27-29, 2016, Foothills Alliance Church

5 day Mastery Coach Training (36 hrs accredited training) 

Nov 14-18, 2016, Foothills Alliance Church

Ed Temple

How To Choose The Right Candidate

How To Choose The Right Candidate

This is the final installment on my series on hiring well. In the first post, I discussed the need to have a transition plan so that you can take time to make a good decision instead of reacting. The second post looked at the need to review the job position to evaluate how your needs have evolved and how to set up your new hire for success.

In the third installment, steps on posting the job widely were discussed to help ensure you have an adequate number of candidates to choose from – a great problem to have. This final post will go over how to create and execute an effective vetting process.

Elements of a good vetting process

Involve Stakeholders: This is a step that bears repeating at each point in the process. Involving others helps bring a diversity of perspective and values to the discussion and including existing stakeholders helps everyone feel a part of the process. If people feel they’ve had a voice in the process they’re more likely to support the decision.

Interview Layers: It’s important to collect a variety of data points in order to evaluate candidates. How do they handle themselves in a group setting? Behavioural-based interviews are helpful. The best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour.

References: Candidates choose references who will give a favourable report. This makes sense. When speaking with references, ask questions to get past the pats-on-the-back to discern where possible weaknesses or short-comings exist. Provide the opportunity for references to share glowing reviews, but be sure to ask open ended questions that lead to disclosure. Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or no. “Where do you think the candidate will struggle?”

Evaluating A Candidate

You’ve completed the interview and made your notes. You have gotten feedback from stakeholders on what is needed and are now faced with making a decision. Whether you’re the one making the decision or you’re part of a team making the choice, here are some things to consider:

Character: Character trumps everything. When choosing between candidates who are equally qualified, or between one candidate with skills and another with good character, know that character is the greater asset.

Chemistry: Choose a candidate who will mesh in with the existing staff well. Whether this candidate brings a new skill, perspective, or culture, they also have to integrate with the existing stakeholders.

Competency: Consider comparing their work experience with their application of that knowledge. Do they bring wisdom along with a skill?

Conflict: Conflict is inevitable. Find someone who is able to give and receive constructive criticism with a good measure of grace or humility. A candidate who is able to reason, be objective, and someone who is more apt to listen well can leverage any conflict that pops up and use it grow and move forward.  

Check out all four steps to hiring well here:

Transition Planning

Job Review

Job Posting

Vetting Process

4 Mistakes Of Job Posting And How To Fix Them

4 Mistakes Of Job Posting And How To Fix Them

If you’ve been following along with our series on new hires, you’ve already learned to pause the process and create a transition plan and review the job description. Now that these foundation steps are complete, it’s time to post the job. If you post it they will come…

Not quite.

I have listed a few common mistakes and how to avoid them below. These common mistakes can affect how many people see your job posting, how many respond, and the information you receive back.

Mistake #1 – Don’t post widely enough

·         Your website is not the only place to post about a new job. Take advantage of various social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Make public announcements, send out an email to your community and network; publish the job opening in your bulletin. There are a variety of professional and community job boards online (schools, regional, denominational, affiliates, and paid job boards). Cast a wide net.

Mistake #2 – No process to filter or vett job responses

·         Once you cast a wider net, expect more responses. Don’t get caught without a plan. Implement a strategy to respond to applicants in a timely manner. Designate a staff member to oversee this. Since you’ve cast a wider net, you’ll receive more responses so delegate this work before you get swamped.

Mistake #3 – Job not posted long enough

·         Allow sufficient time after posting the job for applicants to respond. We recommend 60-90 days. People may have to consider their current employment situation, possibly relocating, or how it will affect family. Applicants may need time to brush up their resume or collect recommendations.

It can take time for staff or the church community to share the opening with their own networks or for those in the community to organically share with friends and family. Give those who are already invested in your work time to seek out people on your behalf.

Mistake #4 - Don’t ask for enough information

·         Resumes or CVs are often carefully crafted and can be difficult to evaluate a potential candidate’s fit. Request more information from your applicants to help the vetting process. Keep in mind what kinds of information you’re legally allowed to ask for.

I recommend churches request a resume, one-page testimony (they can become books), one-page philosophy of ministry (to start to understand their values), and a creative piece (something they have done in the past that showcases their talent and experience).

Next week, we’ll look at the vetting process so you can streamline the process and only interview those who are right fit candidates.

Check out all four steps to hiring well here:

Transition Planning

Job Review

Job Posting

Vetting Process

4 Steps To Review A Job Description

4 Steps To Review A Job Description

Adding a member to your team is both exciting and daunting, but before you rush into hiring you should perform a job review. You need someone who can not only do the job well, but will also mesh with and complement the existing team.

A vacancy is a perfect opportunity to step back and determine how your organization has changed since you last hired for this role. Over time roles change, other positions are eliminated or created, needs shift, and perhaps new goals are identified. Before you post that position’s last job description, take some time to evaluate what you need.

A good transition plan will allow you the time to go through this process purposefully and with a mind to the future. When you hire someone new, hire with updated goals and expectations in place.

4 Steps To Performing A Job Review   

Engage Stakeholders: Engage stakeholders (staff, supervisors, clients/ministry participants, leadership) to evaluate the position’s strengths and weaknesses. Not only will stakeholders feel like they’ve been heard and involved in the process, you’ll have more realistic expectations for the position moving forward.

Basic Skillset Required: Many positions evolve over time. The previous leader may have been gifted or passionate about something that was unique to them. Focus on the skills required for the job. Sort out what would be nice to have in a new hire and what is required to do the job well. This will help set up the next person for success.

Identify Job Goals: Re-evaluate the position’s goals. How will you measure success and identify added value? Perhaps the goals for the position, the processes in evaluating the goals, or other positions created since this position was last filled, mean a few things need updating or changing.

Make Change Easy: Some people thrive in a fast-paced and always changing environment, but most people resist change. Changing a position before you fill it is a lot easier than asking the person in the position to change. Set new expectations while the position is vacant.

Tips For Evaluating Job Descriptions and Goals.

Create a short list of questions for stakeholders so you receive helpful feedback. Feedback can be gathered through interviews, group discussions, or surveys. Empower stakeholders to share and report with each other. You don’t need to do all the work yourself.

Sample Questions For Stakeholders (note: try to avoid questions answered with yes/no):

What do you love about what we are currently doing?

What do you not love?

What is essential for us to grow and move forward?

What gaps in workloads or processes do we need to address?

If we could change anything, what should it be?

Check out all four steps to hiring well here:

Transition Planning

Job Review

Job Posting

Vetting Process