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Author Archive | Andrew Pino

Develop Core Values & Cultivate Culture

IMG_2227Don’t worry, that subject line isn’t leading you into a late night, Jerry McGuire inspired revelation of all things organizationally amazing. This won’t be a LinkedIn Top 100 article, featuring the most brilliant minds in business. Instead, this is a post about our culture here at Salem Church Products (SCP). A post that focuses on what we hold foundational in our work with pastors and church leaders around the world.

For us, the process of creating core values really helped us to solidify what the management team and I were feeling as we launched SCP. What motivated us to get up every morning. What made us feel like this was more than a job, but instead a career with purpose. If we could establish that as a written document of who we were, who we wanted to be, and, more importantly, who God equipped/called us to be, then we knew we could motivate and align our entire team to be even more engaged and effective. After establishing them, the core values have become the lens through which we view everything – the good, the challenging, and the down right uncomfortable stuff.

If an organization’s culture is healthy, it will naturally respond to celebrate wins and/or challenge things that don’t “feel” right. So often a leader or leadership team have great vision, ideas, and relationship with each other, but as it trickles down the ladder, it becomes watered down or lost altogether. For SCP, that wasn’t allowed to be an option. Everyone lives out our 12 core values in what they do everyday.

So, how do you maintain engagement on the core values? For me it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about once, or even once a year, and then people go about their work life. I knew to be reminded of these values, and better yet internalize them, they would need to be seen. I had our values designed and framed in 5×7 frame for everyone’s office, cube, or workspace. When someone is having a challenging day, glancing over to see these values that we hold dear allows them to regain perspective on why we do, what we do. Nothing can pull you out of a funk faster than getting realigned with your purpose. (I think some pastor wrote a book about it. haha)

By this point, you’re probably wondering “So, what are SCP’s core values?” Well, here they are…

  • We are singularly focused on serving pastors, church leaders, & the Church around the world.
  • We are grateful for what we get to do. We see it as a career with purpose, not just a job.
  • We hire the best and the brightest, and we expect excellence from every team member.
  • We value entrepreneurship, but also expect teachability.
  • We seek to develop great leaders in every area of our business.
  • We are known as people who get things done. We take ownership of our work.
  • We are proactive in confronting challenges. We run towards problems with creative solutions.
  • We look for ways to encourage each other. We celebrate each other’s wins and have each other’s backs.
  • We laugh and have fun, but are mature enough to know hard work is what makes it all possible.
  • We see our customers as the lifeblood of our business. We go above and beyond to make sure they’ve been well served.
  • We work with the best contributors and partners. They matter to us, and we invest deeply in those relationships.
  • We value being a part of Salem Media Group & share the company’s passion to make The Message Our Mission.

Like I said in the beginning, these weren’t written by the most talented business minds in America. They were written by passionate leaders who love what they do, love the team they’ve assembled, and actively pursue a strong engaging culture.

I hope these inspire you to create your own version in your church, ministry, business, and even family. I think if you take the time to do the exercise and keep the results in front of you, you’ll see your environment thrive.


Lean Forward

There are a lot of times in life where we sit back and observe other people’s lives and make judgments based on the perspective we have. Why did she do that? Why doesn’t he do this? More often than not, our view of the situation is only a partial view. Sure, we may have “heard the story” from one of the people involved, but that’s just it, only one of the people involved. As they say, every story has two sides.
For some reason we find it very easy to jump in on other people’s lives and pass judgment, offer unsolicited advice, etc. BUT, we almost always hate when they do it to us.
Why are we prone to picking other people apart? Even worse, why do we so often do it behind their backs? It’s not constructive. It’s not healthy. And it’s not helping anyone.
Before you get concerned I’m saying this to you and not myself also, relax, I’ve been that jerk. All of the insecurities that bubble up in me from time to time, have made me look for the shortcomings in others to elude the judgment myself. Totally immature and unproductive.
Can you imagine if our position in life went from “sit back and judge (or gossip)” to “lean forward and encourage (speak life)”…what would our relationships look like? What if your goal was to build up coworkers instead of tearing them down with attitudes, accusations, etc? What if their stance towards you reflected those same “life giving” attributes. Can you imagine how much productivity in your office (or church, or sports team, etc) would go up with everyone looking for the best in each other versus picking out the worse? Encouraging the strengths in each other instead of amplifying the weaknesses.
Sure, it sounds utopian to believe we could all just flip the metaphorical switch and turn off the inherent human nature to judge and gossip, but we have to start somewhere. We seem to be getting more and more cynical as a society. When will enough be enough? When will we raise the standard back to a place of dignity and valuing others for who they are?
I want to challenge you to do this. Lean forward. Engage a stance of speaking life. I promise you, if you will begin to live out this principle on a daily basis, at work, home, church, wherever, your environment will change. You have the ability to inject life into situations and circumstances that no one else can. Don’t wait for someone else to take the high road. You map out the course for them to follow.

The Power of Patience

Patience…just writing that word makes me feel guilty. I am the consummate “do as I say, not as I do” person, when it comes to patience. I can’t think of a time in my life, where patience wasn’t a battle for me.

This struggle wasn’t birthed out of being a spoiled brat, who got everything he wanted growing up. It isn’t spurred on by other people at all. Impatience simply seems to be part of my DNA. That’s not a copout. I’m not off the hook. I just realize that I have an addiction for getting things done and want everyone around me to be the same way.

There are pros and cons to this dilemma…

Certainly a pro is that I get a lot of stuff done. I mean a lot. You’ve heard people say “I get more done by 9am than most people do all day!” That’s me. I don’t let things sit, fester, and atrophy. I push, I execute, I drive. (Just saying this is making me energized. I know, I’m a freak)

Another pro is that I inspire and energize people around me. My wife, my kids, my staff…all can feed off the driving force I bring to the table. Finding a new gear and getting more done than they thought possible.

BUT, it’s not all magical and alive with the light of a million fairies! The opposite side of that proactive drive is impatience and control. The ugly truth is that “drive” often looks like impatience and arrogance to others. Just because I’m wired to “get it done now” doesn’t mean that everyone else is or even should be.

Though there have been many positives in my life that have come out of being proactive (promotions at work, leadership in church, a thriving family), there have also been a lot of missteps, damaged relationships, etc. I’ve learned the hard way that leadership at home, at work, at church…centers on patience.

Patience and grace. These words have been used interchangeably in my life. People have had to show me an extreme amount of both. As if that weren’t enough, God, my creator, has shown me more patience and grace than I can ever quantify. I’m literally in debt to Him and can never repay Him fully. The only thing I can do to honor God in all of this, is show other people the same patience that God has shown me. Hopefully in that gesture, I model Christ and His strength in my weakness.

So, the journey continues. I may never be a person that others call “the patient guy” but hopefully I can become a man that others are inspired by, pushed to be better by, and see gracious leadership from.

How about you? Do you battle with patience? I’d love to hear your story…


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