Can One Book Revolutionize Your Leadership?

Can one book revolutionize your leadership? Pastor Jason Price thinks so. I had the privilege of working with Jason and his church for about a year as they walked through Reaching the Summit: Avoiding and Reversing Decline in the Church. Jason’s church, Cornerstone, Nicholasville, KY, was not necessarily in decline. However, they had fallen into some routines and knew some adjustments were needed. I am a coach. As I coached Jason and his team through that year, God began doing some amazing things in their midst. Here is some of Jason had to say at the close of our time together and after reading the book, Coaching: A Way of Leadership, A Way of Life. Be sure to read down to what learning these coaching techniques has done for his personal and professional life.

Reading this book, you will explore the two greatest fundamental practices of coaching. How many senses do you use when listening to others? Do you realize you can utilize all five senses to become a better listener? It is true, when you learn to listen with more than your ears, you will become a better listener, and a better communicator. You will become a more effective leader and coach. If you’re listening only with your ears, you’re missing the point.

You are asking the wrong questions! This is true in most every organization and casual conversation in society today. Have you ever considered the nature and purpose of a question? Learn these two characteristics and you will be on the road to formulating the right questions. Learn to ask questions leading to greater effectiveness.

“George Yates is a master at asking questions. Even before Reading, Coaching: A Way of Leadership a Way of Life, I have seen first-hand how coaching can radically change the culture within a church, his coaching helped change ours!  George masterfully uses the art of asking the right questions, to lead churches and people on a road to self-discovery, helping them identify the God-given purpose for their church.”

”The principles taught in this book, are highly practical and transferable to any setting. They reveal the personal insights of an effective coach with decades of experience. If you have a desire to revolutionize the way you lead in your professional or church life, you need to read this book!  George has changed my leadership style for life!” R. Jason Price, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Nicholasville, KY

Why not set 2018 as the year of marked improvement in your leadership through coaching?

You can purchase your copy of Coaching: A Way of Leadershp, A Way of Life at Amazon or from SonC.A.R.E. Ministries. You can also contact George personally about leading a Coaching workshop in your area.

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Prepare for 2018

This past Sunday, the first Sunday of the New Year, I presented a message to our church titled “Prepare for 2018″. At the close of the message I led the congregation in a Responsive Reading and time of prayer. This seemed to impact people in a great way. Not only did we read it aloud, each person had a copy to carry home and use daily this week and throughout 2018.

Following our morning worship service, I attended a Pastor Search Committee for the church. The committee chairman began the meeting by reading the responsive reading and applying it to the committee’s task. It was then that I realized the impact this Responsive Reading could have on the life of many others. So, though I wrote it for our congregation, I now share it with you.

In the worship time, we read the bold print together, and I read the regular print as a challenge to each of us for 2018. My prayer is it will be of great value to your spiritual being and life for 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

Lord, as your children, we realize we have been sanctified by you to carry out your tasks of fulfilling the Great Commission. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

As your messengers to 2018 we have been blessed. Our blessing comes from you alone in carrying out Your mission. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

As believers in Christ, may we devote ourselves for the year 2018, to your purpose in our lives; opening up to others about your wonders and grace. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

God Almighty, you have left us here to fulfill Your works. Therefore, we know we are set aside by You for great wonders. May we be found faithful in 2018.

Consecrate yourselves, because tomorrow, the Lord will do wonders among you.

Lord, you have set us apart, so today, we dedicate ourselves to Your service. Embolden us to share Your story and Your wonders. May we be found faithful in Your eyes.

Prayer: Lord, YOU have set us apart. You have called us to this great supernatural work of yours. So, today, this first Sunday of 2018, we consecrate ourselves for all of 2018 to be watchful, obedient, and willing to share with others at every opportunity You avail to us.

Father, help me to be prayed up and studied up, so that I can lift up the name of Jesus. Teach me and guide me in how to share in every situation so that I will experience the wonders of Your Holiness around me.

O Lord, it is only with Your help that I will be found faithful. Lead me in being faithful to Your cause, that I will enjoy the wonders of Your work. In Christ’s name, Amen.

The message was based on Joshua chapter 3 with a focus on verses 4-5, 9-10.

May God bless you richly as you prayerfully use this through 2018. Drop me an e-mail or social media message with your thoughts.

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Bring Them In, Build Them Up, to Send Them Out

Ron came into my office to blurt out, “I’m quitting. I just want you to know, I’m going to quit teaching.” This caught me by surprise. I asked, “Why? What do you mean?” You see, Ron was doing a good job as a Bible study teacher in our church. I truly did not see this coming and did not expect Ron of all teachers to make this proclamation.

Ron went on to say, “Every time things seem to be going good and we are growing (as a class), some of them leave. They go off to start new classes or work in children’s Sunday School. We can’t get ahead. We keep losing people.”

“Ron,” I said. “You are not losing them. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to do; build them up and send them out to work in other areas of ministry. When they go out to help start new classes, it is not to abandon you. It is part of their growth.” I assured Ron, “We need every class to do what yours is doing.”

Whether in Bible study groups, church, ministry, or any corporate organization the goal should be the same: Grow people to be effective and fulfill their life purpose. Unfortunately, too many leaders and even entire corporations operate with wrong motives. Instead of growing people up and encouraging them to spread their wings, we want to use them for our own selfish interests and clip their wings, so they cannot fly and flourish.

Doing this does not improve morale and proves our selfish behaviors. Whether in a volunteer non-profit organization or a fortune 500 corporation, it hurts to see your best people leave and move on. Who is going to fill their shoes? How long will it take to hire someone and get him/her up to speed? So many questions. So many uncertainties.

Yet, building people up to let them go should be our joy and our goal. Not everyone is going to leave our organization, but if leaving is part of their growth and satisfies her life purpose, letting her go should be our delight. Not only our delight, it should be with our encouragement to continue in her growth.

Pastors, CEOs and other leaders demonstrate their understanding as they hire and recruit people with the expectation that they may someday leave, spreading his/her wings to move on in fulfilling their God-given purpose. Great leaders recruit with the intent of helping every employee/volunteer to be his best. Assisting him in becoming the greatest, most effective worker/person possible. Yes, great leaders recruit this way even knowing some of these will leave. If leaving is helping her become her best, who am I to stop her. Instead, my words should be of encouragement.

As we enter this new year, will you spend some time contemplating your role in helping others to become the best, most effective person possible – even if it means God moving them to other opportunities? Treat others as if they have the potential to surpass your abilities. Doing this will move you down the road to becoming a great leader.

May God bless you in great supernatural ways in 2018.


George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

The Goal is Life Change

The Goal is life change. Perhaps this should be the mantra for all leaders. As a coach, this is an imperative for me. I am privileged to serve individuals, pastors, leaders, followers, teams and organizations. My coaching has come out of leadership training and experience. Fortunate to have had good mentors, leaders, and coaches in my life, God’s blessings on me personally and professionally are innumerable.

The goal for all coaches and I believe all leaders should be life change. As a leader, my number one objective should be to assist you in becoming a better, stronger, person who desires to help others. I say this not because I am in the ministry. No matter what occupation or leadership position, your goal should be the same.

I fear many leaders have it backwards; believing their job is to use people to reach company goals or for self-interests as climbing a corporate ladder. As long as you lead with this mindset, you will never be satisfied. Nor will you experience high morale among your employees/volunteers.

Great leaders have never let people become objects to maneuver for his/her own success. You can find out what a leader values by how he treats the people who cannot add value to the leader’s reputation or success.

Great leaders and coaches have something most leaders do not possess. Great leaders accept the responsibility of helping others, challenging them to rise above their current level, striving to reach greater heights. Great leaders will build an environment or culture that builds others who will also build others.

It all starts with accepting the responsibility of building others, not reaching company goals, raising the numbers, increasing volume, or climbing my own ladder. You see, great leaders are successful leaders who have realized to build morale and increase productivity, you must pour into your people.

I was recently engaged in a conversation where one person believed the only way to build morale was for the company to increase the money flowing into the employees paycheck. Honestly, this is not a morale booster. Money may bring a temporary fix, but it will be short lived. Yes, pay your employees an honest wage, but other personal investments will lead to greater productivity and morale.

An intrinsic part of our nature is to be better than we were yesterday. We value improving. Therefore, when as a leader, you assist others in reaching greater heights in their personal or professional life, you build confidence and morale. You are building a person who will be likely build others as well. This is building a culture of great leaders and high morale. You are building a culture of Life Change!

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Family is a Team Effort at Home & Church

I remember it well. Well, I remember it as well as I can from a child’s eyes. We would all pile in the car, Mom, Dad, & five children, and head out to retrieve a tree for our family Christmas. Some years Dad would take a saw to cut a tree from a friend’s farm. Other years, later in my childhood, he would stop at a tree lot where he and mom would pick a cut tree just right for our living room.

Once we returned home Dad always cut the lower two to three inches off the base of the tree. He would say it needs a fresh cut, fresh opening to drink while in the stand. I’m glad Dad taught me things like that. Once it was cut and any other trimming completed, Dad would carry it in the house and place it in the tree stand.

My siblings and I would wait, eagerly anticipating our part in this family tradition, decorating the family Christmas tree. The order was always the same. First, Dad would string the lights (G7’s or 9’s) the big colorful lights of days gone by. Next, he and Mom would wrap the tree in silver or gold garland.

While Dad was stringing the lights on the tree, Mom was placing tree hooks on the ornaments to be hung. As we got older, we were entrusted to carefully hang some of the glass ornaments on the tree. While we were younger, though, we had to wait until all the ornaments were hung. And we waited with enthusiastic expectancy, because we knew our part was coming. As a child, the last part, to me, was the most fun and worth the wait.

What was the final act of decorating the tree? It is when all members of the family grabbed a handful (or two) of those thin silvery, shiny decoration strings called Icicles. Each person found a spot around the tree and began to toss them one at a time, so they would land loosely hanging from the branches of the tree.

I have wonderful memories from my childhood Christmases. I trust you do as well.

One thing I take away from this memory is, decorating the Christmas tree was a family team effort. Every member of the family was involved. We, may have had to wait for our part, but we were all involved – and eager to participate.

Church is the same way. Church should not be an event we attend where one (paid) person does all the work. Your local church body is a family of believers. Church should involve all members of the family. Don’t sit back and let someone else do all the work and service. Find your part and decorate the ministry with your participation. Enter God’s house with eager anticipation of your involvement.

And back to the Christmas tree. I am saddened when I hear of one person in the family (usually mom) decorating the tree without any help. Make it a family team effort. Build lasting cherished memories. Decorate the tree together. My wife and I do not have children, but, decorating the tree each year is still a joyous, highly anticipated family event.  I would love to have children to pass on this tradition and team spirit. Will you pass it on in my proxy?


George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Organizational Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Focusing on the Focus Question

Sheila was becoming more displeased everyday with her job. It seemed to her that the company she worked for did not care about its employees. Sheila, like several other employees, spent most of her time talking about what was wrong, talking with a few co-workers, her family, friends, anyone who would listen. Most of her talk was complaining. Sheila’s focus was on the symptom of her own displeasure.

Tom, pastor of a medium sized congregation, fretted and talked down the deacons and elders of his church. He would talk to church members (sympathizers), other pastors, but mainly to his wife. They would not get on board, they would not follow and would not let him do what he wanted. Tom’s focus was on symptoms.

Organizational focus as well as our own individual focus is often on symptoms, not the cause, as we have discussed in the two previous posts. One might think changing the focus would then be simple, once this fact is realized. Unfortunately, it is not simple. We are prone to fall back to focusing on symptoms. Therefore, it is important o continually asking the right probing questions to focus on the cause not the symptoms. Focusing on the cause alone will lead to the resolve.

In our normal pattern of thinking it is easy and even second nature to default to symptom thinking. Symptom focus leads to a lot of indecisive discussion and complaining, but seldom to genuine, fruitful resolve. Focus often requires the individual, team, or organization to take responsibility.

Reading of Sheila and Tom’s stories above, one might have difficulty accepting their worries as symptoms. The reason we have this difficulty is we have lived with the default of symptom thinking for so long, that we default to it. Default thinking is default focus. As individuals or an organization to focus on a cause (for resolve) often requires us to focus on strengthening something within ourselves (organization). Even in the type situations cited above, where the focus is other people, we must look beyond people, identify the issue – not person(s) but issues, and explore the possibilities of rectification.

If we desire people to move in a productive direction, be it individuals or an organization, we must ask questions that probe resolve and forward movement.

Here are a few more examples:

What would the ideal outcome look like in your opinion? – The response to this question would then require a follow up question as, “Would you expand on that answer for me?” The following conversation and activity would then be focused around “What will it take for us to get to that outcome?”

What is within your grasp to change the situation? The focus here is not on how to “make” other people change, but what can I do to improve the situation. What is within my power?

How do you envision a prosperous future? Once the prosperous future is described, the questions to ask will relate to the particular steps this person or organization will need to take in moving toward reaching this goal.

Study and practice using focus questions, in your own life as well as the individuals and organizations you lead. You will see a more effective and abounding after-effect.

Find out more in Coaching: A Way of Leadership, A Way of Life and Reaching the Summit. Or contact George Yates directly.

Focus: Understanding & Developing the Right Question

In front of the room, a large sheet of paper hung on the wall with four topics listed. A discussion carried on for several minutes as the team narrowed the list to one. The discussion beginning to focus on this one item, all team members seemed to agree, this truly was the most important factor of focus for the coming year. For ten minutes the team began to unwrap the potential of this point of focus.

Just then a gentleman seated at one end of the table, silent until this moment, interrupts with a question. This gentleman is a professional coach. His job is to listen and guide conversations, leading teams to the right decisions.

In the team’s conversation, the coach had heard something that raised a question in his mind. Knowing the team’s objective for the discussion and their business values caused his interruption. The question he asked immediately caught the attention of every person in the room. It was obvious the question invigorated the higher-level thought processes of each team member. Instantly, with excitement, ideas, thoughts, and analysis began popping out from around the table. Later, the team admitted, “If you (the coach) had not stopped us and asked that one question, we would have been chasing the wrong focus this entire retreat. And we would have led the organization in the wrong direction all year long.”

Every coaching situation requires a focus question. It is not the first question, but will be required to move the conversation toward a desired decision – the right decision. The key is to learn to develop the right focus question. Many can ask questions. However, to develop and ask the right focus question, oftentimes takes a keen, trained ear and mind, a coach with experience.

Are there pointers you can learn to use in developing good focus questions? Certainly!

A focus question is one that narrows a point of discussion with a clearly defined effort for attention. Any individual or organization can assess multiple focus questions. To develop the best focus question, one must listen to and know the intent of the discussion, and listen to what is not being said, as well as what is. If the focus is on symptoms and not resolve, it is not likely that effective, sustainable results can be achieved (see last week’s post).

Many organizations, having lost a large portion of its customer base, focus on getting the customer base back. The issue here is, loss of customer base, is a symptom. The right approach would be to unearth and address the cause.

Example: Symptom focus; “How can we get our customer base back?”

Cause focus; “If we as an organization could focus on only one thing, this next year, to improve our image, what is that one thing?”

This question focuses on the cause – within the organization – not the symptom (loss of customers). Once this one thing is identified through objective discussion, a series of questions can guide the discussion to the right decisions. Questions as; “What would this one thing look like in our organization?” “Who do we need to assist us in developing the implementation process?” “How do we implement the first steps?”

Asking the right focus question creates the transformation from a “in the box” possibility to an out of the box, fruitful experience.

Find out more in Coaching: A Way of Leadership, A Way of Life and Reaching the Summit. Or contact George Yates directly.


Finding the Right Focus

Richard could not seem to get his team to focus on the situation at hand. Or, at least, he could not get them to focus on how to move beyond the difficulty of the situation. We met to discuss Richard’s dilemma over coffee. Well, he had some type of coffee (latte or something) and I had an iced green tea. Though Richard never used the word in our conversation, it did not take long to realize the main ingredient missing from Richard’s team was focus. If there was any focus at all, the team was focused on the circumstances and fallout from the situation.

Many teams and organizations operate under the same guise of focus. Focusing on the symptoms will never bring resolve and healing or reversing of the trends causing the situation. A drop in attendance or loss of customer base is never the cause. Rather, it is always a symptom. Sneezing is not the cause of a cold. It is a symptom. While we tend to focus on symptoms, our focus should be to discover the cause and uproot the undesirable virus that brought about the disruption in our organization.

If the furnace in your house is running continuously, yet the house is not warming up, you will look for open windows and doors. Then you will seek out other air leaks. The continually running furnace is not a cause, but a symptom of something. If you find no air leaks or open windows, you may call a furnace specialist to find and treat the cause. You cannot treat the cause, until you first determine the cause. To do this you must narrow your focus.

The same is true in business, church, and any walk of life. The answer to life’s situations can be found when we bring into focus the elements surrounding the situation. It is easy place our focus on the symptoms instead of the resolve as Richard’s team was doing. Churches, schools, businesses and organizations fail (at least at first) to recognize the importance of focusing on the resolve. Days, weeks, even months are wasted focusing on the symptoms of a situation, rather than on resolve by determining the root cause.

Using events, gimmicks, and other tricks attempting to bring people in will not resolve your issue. These are not resolves but rather, treating a single symptom. Treating symptoms will never resolve the real issue. In next week’s blog we’ll demonstrate how to develop the right focus question for your situation in your church, personal life, business, or other organization.


George Yates is a coach and organizational health strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Realizing Your Value

In life we each purchase items for our homes and our personal pleasure. Some items are small and inexpensive. Others can be large and costly.

You can judge the value of each item by the price you pay for it. Likewise, we can judge our value by the price God, through Jesus, paid for us. Think of the depths into which Jesus had to reach in order to redeem you and me.

Imagine being taken from your nice comfortable home, with all your conveniences and pleasures, to a tin make-shift shelter with a dirt (mud) floor, to live for 33 years. This is similar (a rough comparison) to what Jesus did. He left a place of perfection to come to a messed up world. And He did it to redeem you and me. We can judge our value by the price God, through Jesus, paid for us.

You and I were born into a fleshly body. The flesh is sinful. Therefore, we live a life riddled with sin. Have you ever been around someone who sprayed themselves down with extra cologne or perfume, trying to mask body odor, because he/she did not take time to bathe properly? (Not a pleasant thought, is it?) The body odor comes through and the perfume only makes the stench worse. You cannot mask that body odor or hide it.

The same is true with our sin. We cannot hide or mask our sin with church attendance or good deeds. Sin is sin and it will not wash off with man’s solutions.

As the hymn says, Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin has left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” Only through the shed blood of Jesus, will God redeem.

We have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. God is a gracious God and is truly greatly to be praised. You are valuable to God. Read the Gospel of John in your copy of God’s Word, The Holy Bible, to learn more about what He paid for your redemption.

No matter your status in life, you can judge your value by the price God, through Jesus, paid for your redemption.

Iceberg Characters

The Titanic received 6 iceberg warnings on its maiden voyage before it went down. When the sixth message came in the early morning hours, “Look out for icebergs” the operator wired back, “Shut up, I’m busy.” Thirty minutes later the great vessel, whose Captain said, “Even God couldn’t sink this ship.” was sinking fast. What happened? They forgot the truth about icebergs. What they saw above the water could not have sunk the great ship. But, they forgot that 90% of an iceberg is below the waters surface.

Your life is much like an iceberg. The 10% above the water represents your reputation. The 90% below the surface represents your character. And it is what is below the surface that will sink your ship.

The 10% above water is only what people see when you are putting on your best behavior. Anyone can get dressed up and attend church services on Sunday morning. Anyone can put on a smile and pretend to like her surroundings. But our actions when we are tested exposes much more of who we are. It is then that our true character is revealed.

Whatever is happening on the outside of your life today comes from what is happening on the inside. God places “being” before “doing.” He prioritizes taking care of the inside (your heart) because that will determine what takes place on the outside (your behavior). Your behavior is the outward manifestation of your character.

How is your character as perceived by others – by the strangers you meet each day?

Is your character like an iceberg that cripples and sinks ships?

What do people see as your character? Is it God-like? What does God see? Nothing is hidden from Him.

The founder of SonC.A.R.E. Ministries, George Yates is a coach and organizational health strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.