Tipology

I looked this word up in the online dictionary and couldn’t find it. So I don’t know if it is a real word but I would like to use it to illustrate my thoughts for the day. I just got home from a great training session in Kansas. I have been doing some training as of late on the personality traits. I have gleaned my material from various sources and used a bunch of my own concepts.

We have been diving into the four basic personality traits for the most part in an effort to help the leaders understand each other. We have been learning about each one’s particular strengths and weaknesses. While on this last trip I was training on the subject and the thought occurred to me about tipping. And when I brought up the subject it turned into a wonderful dialogue between all of us. I call it tipology, the art of learning your nature and characteristics by how you view participate in tipping people.

Tipology is the awareness and study of how people tip wait staff etc. There are so many opportunities to tip these days. We tip the pizza delivery person, even though there is a surcharge added to the bill for delivery. We tip wait staff at restaurants. People at hotels, maids, paper boys, mailman, and even the luggage handlers at the curbside check-in. I suppose most of our tipping is sort of passed down to us somehow. Maybe our culture tells us it’s the right thing to do. Maybe with others we once had those jobs, and or feel compelled to tip and say thank you. In any case it is a part of the fabric of our lives nowadays. It’s not always easy to know how much, and or who to even tip to?

What I found in my training session was an amazing concept. Tipology revealed to me that most of us haven’t been trained in tipping, but we rely upon our nature and or personality traits to guide us.

I struggle at times traveling or on vacation. There are so many opportunities to tip. Do I tip the valet? When I sit at the bar at an airport because there are no tables, do I tip the person when I just order a soft drink? My wife always tips the maids when we leave hotels, mostly because when she was first in college she worked as one and knows how hard and unthankful that job can be. I have been tipping my curbside friends for over 11 years now. They have become friends of sorts. We know each other by first name, and have had loads of conversations about life and family. But now the airlines charge for using their services. Not only do you have pay for your luggage to fly, but curbside also cost a couple of dollars a bag now. So what I do is tip above that because of our friendship. I can’t tell you of all of the benefits they have helped me in getting my luggage onboard.

Here is just a snippet of what we discovered during the training session. I have a basic rubric for processing personality training. I like to use the DISC method for detailing the unique qualities and personality traits. It’s easier to understand, and to explain.

1. Passive reserved – Task Oriented People ( We call these the C’s)
2. Aggressive outgoing – People Oriented People ( We call these the I’s)
3. Passive reserved – People Oriented People (We call these the S’s)
4. Aggressive outgoing – Task Oriented People (We call these the D’s)

Tipology went like this:

I presented the question to the group; ‘What is your philosophy on tipping wait staff?’ Everyone answered the question from their personality point of view without even knowing what they were doing! This first model is strictly based upon acceptable service. Meaning at their core if the service was fine then these would be the motivating factors in deciding how much to tip. We will get into the other scenarios later.

1. The C group of people are called C which stands for committed, calculating, conservative. This group viewed how much to tip based primarily by the protocol and the exact percentage. This group tends to go by the rules because they are safe and takes all the relational and emotion out of the decision on how much to tip. These people are the ones that use the tip app or calculator on their phones. So the C’s feel safer in tipping within the guidelines. They should tell the wait staff upfront, “I’m only going by the guidelines so chit-chat isn’t going to help your cause here sorry it’s not personal!” This group tips with their mind engaged.

2. The I group is another animal all together. Actually if you look at the rubric the I’s and C’s are polar opposites. The C’s live in the world of boundaries, numbers, procedures and guidelines. The I’s not so much. The I means inspirational, Influential, Impulsive. This person abandons form and rule for the love of people. This group never met a stranger! So in response to how much they would tip it was based solely upon the connection they made with their wait staff. I realized this group would tip higher, and would overlook the service all together. The I’s say, “wow I really like our waitress she’s nice”, when she walks away. Guess what she is going to get a 20 percent plus tip I would guess. This group would tip based upon how much fun they had.

3. The S group is passive people group. The S is for Steady, Stable, Sensitive, Supportive, and Submissive. Belive me I am very familiar with this group. It’s the group that you should never ask, “Where would you like to eat?” This group is sensitive to others plight, and thinks of the big picture. So they would tend to tip bigger than required, whether they made connection or not. It wouldn’t even matter if the order was totally blown, and the wrong food was ordered. They would not complain, and or send food back. But would still tip. This group is very conscience of the fact that this wait staff is only getting like two or three dollars an hour, and tips is how they survive. They also think about them as mothers and or students with responsibilities at home. The S’s can not see the big picture. This group tends to tip with heart in mind.

4. Last and not least the D group. The D is for Dominant, Driven, Direct, and Decisive. This people group tends to be only 10% of the population. In their weak state they can have a huge ego. This is the aggressive task group. So quite naturally the person or wait staff’s personal connection isn’t that important. To a high D it’s expected! Contrary to the I it’s a great pleasure. The D tends to be influenced solely upon performance. Did the wait staff perform the task of serving us from start to finish in the reasonably required time frame. Oh yeah the D’s make all the rules for the times as well. The friendliness of the wait staff and the quality of the food, the timeliness are all factors. The D will take all of these into consideration when deciding how much to tip. For them it’s like an evaluation. And believe me they would NEVER give their hard-earned money to people who can’t perform to their liking. This group tends to tip solely upon the performance of the task.

I asked a High D to explain their process of thinking further at the break. He said well when I go to a restaurant I have determined how much percentage I intend to give. And he put his hand sideways in front of us like this is the bar. The then explains to me that everything the wait staff does performance wise determines if she gets the whole amount. Like for instance if the drinks weren’t filled in a timely fashion, or he felt ignored, then he would like dock her tip. So I asked him, “Is there any way for the wait staff to increase the amount or raise the bar?” He looks at me puzzled like, ‘NO!’ I found this amazing stuff. To be fair he started his bar out high like 20 percent. And he always tips even if the performance gets an F.

So I have to tell you I was honored to hear these stories. It was quite enlightening and totally drove the point home with me about the personality training. One thing I was pleased with is all 30 people or so said they always tip no matter the bottom line motivation.

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New Science of Motivating

I ran across this video a couple of years ago I believe. It made so much sense to as to where our new models of leadership have to come from. I believe we are coming into a new leadership style for the Kingdom. The days of the Hierarchical structures are giving way to a more fluid flattened style. When I think of this it reminds me of Google workplaces. It looks like they have created an empowerment model that works. They can take breaks if they need to, bring their dogs to work, and it just speaks to the open spaces to create!

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Does anyone REALLY care?

Through a chain of unusual events I have recently found myself in the midst of a “movement” within our area as it relates to business and schools.  I have been contacted by local colleges and universities to explain the success of the business whom I serve as President.  In the midst of a down economy we have seen double digit growth and our employees are happy and engaged in what they do.  Business leaders and leaders of business schools are recognizing there has been a shift in the workforce in our country.  I wish I could say this was a positive shift but it is more negative in nature.  Under performance, little motivation and unengaged seems to be the norm.  Employees are working only to make it to the weekend so they can enjoy life for 48 hours.  With the sluggish economy there is even more dissatisfaction as workers are reluctant to “rock the boat” as there are few jobs available to replace the one they have.  This environment breeds mediocrity and a culture of lifelessness.

With more work being offloaded abroad business leaders are looking for ways to increase productivity to stay competitive.  All types of quality systems, lean processes and other programs are being implemented in order for the business to be more profitable.  As I reflected on the challenges of business I can see the same thing with our American Church culture.  People are lethargic, uninvolved and not sure if the commitment is worth while.  Pastors are leaving the ministry faster than coming in.  They are discouraged and the congregations are waiting for some “new” innovative wave or program to take them to the next level. 

This brings me back to the movement I referred to earlier.  Our business implemented a character training initiative nearly 8 years ago.  As the culture of our business began to develop and change we were recognized by area leaders and educational organizations.   Leaders began to observe our training and show great interest in what we were doing.  As I reflected in our culture change, as we taught and modeled simple character traits, I wondered why was there so much interest and why does this training seem to make such a positive difference?

Then it occurred to me, in the midst of looking for better technology, faster methods of production and leaner processes we had missed one important factor of leadership.  CARING.  Yes it’s that simple.  An authentic concern and heart felt compassion for those you have been entrusted to lead.  The real question is “Do you love the people more than you love your organization?”  If the answer is yes, people will follow you and will be engaged to help meet the organizations objectives and goals.  The beautiful thing about caring is you can’t fake it.  God has given us this inherent truth that can discern when someone truly cares opposed to someone giving us lip service. 

I’ve learned that our character imitative led us down the path of learning to care for our employees at a deeper level.  This has produced a “family” environment and an organization that produces at a high level.  Caring can’t be mandated and really can’t be taught.  It’s a decision we must make based on our value system.  We care about what we value.  Looking into my own life and learning from my own mistakes I have come to learn that people are not a tool to meet my objectives.  They are not equipment, but living breathing God like creatures with emotions and needs.  When we humble ourselves before God and recognize that without a creator who is madly in love with us we could never learn to love or care for another. 

This challenge is not unique only in business.  You would think our church environments would be the safest place to be cared for and loved.  However, some of the deepest wounds I suffered have happened inside the “sanctuary of love”.  I have grown to learn these are just leadership issues and forgiveness is the key to moving forward.  As a leader myself in business and in the church I can say I have made the same mistakes.  It’s our natural Adam inclination to blame someone else for our own shortfalls.  We think it’s the people around us that have caused the tension, strife and apathy.  When in fact it might be our employees and congregations are simply crying out “does anyone REALLY care?” 
By Toby Lavine

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Kingdom Leadership

We have been involved in Church life and leadership for almost 30 years. About ten years ago, I had a very dear friend begin a dialogue that has transformed my thinking concerning Kingdom Life. He is a very successful businessman, and was and still is the company president of a multi-million dollar corporation. Yet being a christian and working in the leadership role of the church, he felt divided somehow? He used to explain the feeling as wearing ‘two hats’, the president of the business, and then a church leader hat. It was almost as if these two worlds were as different as oil and water. This began a conversation between us that has gone on for almost  ten years. We used to talk about this subject on the phone for at least an hour every Friday. We met twice a year for a whole weekend many times at a hotel conference room to dialogue this issue. I began to research ancient text, I conferred with many church leaders and business leaders as well. No matter where we turned you could not escape the reality that these two worlds in our culture have been separated somehow.

It is our passion to see the reality of the original configuration of Kingdom Life, to where these two worlds merge into something wonderful beyond belief. We have been trying to identify, and erase these lines for years. This material was brought forth from all of the years from dialogue.

I asked my friend one day,”So are you a christian that does business; or are you a businessman that is a christian?” This is not just a play on words it is a genuine thought to begin the Kingdom conversation. The one thing that was important in developing this material is that it had to be adaptable to both ‘worlds’, the business sector and the church. So with this in mind let me say at the outset that we are purposefully going to steer away from the ideas of christian and church because there is such a separatist mentality. We prefer the language of the Kingdom to where the true christian life is lived in and among our daily business life. So the answer to the above question to me know is I’m not necessarily either one, but I’m a Kingdom person.

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