Robert Wachs, Lead Pastor of Newbreak Church in San Diego, CA, caught up with me to talk about embezzlement, risk, liability, business strategy for nonprofits and small businesses, plus the opportunity to leave behind unnecessary things in 2020.
I worked for Robert as his Executive Director of Business Operations, so this was like a family reunion for us to have this conversation. His experience spans a variety of leadership positions in the marketplace as well as leading a church through the evolution of single site to multi-site, then a centralized model to de-centralized. Pre-COVID, Newbreak’s attendance across multiple locations averages 2200.
Takeaways from Robert
1. Too many contractors who were disjointed and no one to manage them well. It led to embezzlement that he was able to find and stop. When leaders try to function outside their zone of genius, the business strategy suffers no matter how hard you try.
2. Systems, procedures and policies to survive the test of time. Find a coach, an expert, and a cohort to walk alongside you.
3. Rapid growth is beautiful and it’s also a challenge. If you don’t have a solid foundation, your business strategy for growth will be painful, so take the time now to establish your brand and your organization.
4. Layoffs suck. When a company has a great season they get excited and start to hire for growth. Before you jump into the deep end of the pool, use percentages and ratios to scale smartly. Pay attention to the industry you’re in and be sure you compare apples to apples when looking for standards and baselines.
5. Robert’s word of the year is optimism. Being optimistic is not just good for you, it’s a gift for those around you.6. When you are facing tough decisions, prolonging the difficult choices rarely makes it easier when you are finally faced with a deadline. Be proactive in a caring way for any business strategy or staffing decisions and save yourself grief in the long run.Most importantly, blame it all on COVID. It’s the perfect time to pivot.