who is taking you to the gym

Just a quick post to reflect and hopefully challenge or encourage someone today. Hopefully we all have someone we are investing in. I had forgotten until recently how valuable it was for someone to take me to the gym. No, not the literal gym. But the gym of exercising and growing my muscle of faith.  Let me add this disclaimer… At a certain level of leadership, it is our job to be our biggest cheerleaders, advocates for growth, and hungry for the next level. But I still think no matter what level we lead at we need someone urging us along. It had been a very long time since I have been challenged to stretch my faith. As I was walking through this most recent chapter, I discovered just how long it had really been.  My faith muscle was very weak. As a few months went by and I would go back and forth about stepping out in faith, I finally got taken to the gym. It was a very simple work out but effective at the same time. All the text said was, when are you going to step out in faith?  

That’s my challenge today for you… When are you going to step out in faith in whatever area that is?

Thank you PBK!

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leader or manager…but from a different view

I wanted to look at this whole leader vs. manager thing but from a different view point.  I would say that we would all have the same definition of these words…give or take an adjective or two.  I do not want to focus on differences but on how we lead these people that are on our team.

I would say most leaders want leaders.  However, I have seen a few positions that only require someone to manage them.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t invest in them or help them grow.  That is a non-negotiable.  This just means that it really only requires a box checker or someone to execute something that is already developed.   We do not need someone to create something, improve something, or lead teams.  It is a clearly identified role.  Here is where I am going with this from the hiring/leading perspective…

PLEASE, do not sell a manager role to them as “leadership”.  Be up front with the expectations, what is required, and the honest deal with what is needed.  The problem is when we mis-sell a position to a leader that ends up with them being a box checker…everything will suffer.  The organization will suffer because at some point the leader will be forced to leave.  This could be a real game changer for the organization that is now headed down the road.  A genuine leader will not be happy for a long period of time checking boxes.  Now, the organization is back to filling a position, the team is back to starting over with connecting and jelling, and could have fall out from the “customer”. It is just so not worth it!

Hire a manager to manage and a leader to lead…just my thoughts…

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A few days into the new year

So, we are a few days into the new year.  Curious on how many people set resolutions or did a growth plan for 2016?! And if you did, where are you at with hitting those these first few days in?!

I am a huge fan of growth plans.  I have done one for the past 6 years.  If you are a leader, it is tough to grow without a plan on how to get there.  No one would take a vacation without figuring out where to go, how much money it would cost, how long to go for, etc.  Your trajectory to better influence is the same way.  We have to remember that we will always be the lid on where we lead.  If we are not growing we are go backwards.

Here are a few thoughts on my approach to a growth plan…

  • Make it custom and keep it simple
    • Don’t use someone else’s plan…using a template is fine but do not use their goals
    • It should be easy to read and easy to see how you are doing
    • Check it regularly to see how you are doing
    • Don’t be afraid to adjust mid year or quarterly
    • Make the goals to push you but be reachable
  • I focus on a few areas on my plan
    • Spiritual
      • My bible reading
      • My daily devotions
      • My prayer time
    • Family
      • Vacations
      • Date days with spouse and daughter
      • Intentionally leading them
    • Ministry
      • Developing a Timothy
      • Investing in leaders
      • Working on communication
    • Sometimes depending on the season, I will add something custom like:
      • Fitness (when I needed to lose 100 lbs)
      • Money…trying to pay off a debt or get a savings set up

There is no right or wrong to this.  The goal is for you to get better against the current version of yourself!  Let 2016 be the year that your influence goes to the next level.

If you have not set some goals or put a plan together for 2016…it is not too late!  Spend a few minutes this week and hit next week off to the races.


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Both sides to leaving…

I just wanted to share some random thoughts about leaving.  From both sides…

First, no one stays on a team forever.  That said, as leaders, be ready to lose someone.  It is ok.  Don’t worry about that.  Don’t let that impact your investment.  Do your best to equip them to be all that God wants them to be no matter where that is.  As a leader, it is our job to love on them and walk with them until their last day.  Be a blessing and not a hinderance.  Be a encourager and not a limiter.  Be a springboard for them and not a sandbag.  Saying you care is not the same thing as showing you care.  Your investment with them until the end will show God you care about the resources He has trusted you with.  This is a serious matter.  I walked through this recently with a great friend of mine, Pastor Kevin.  PK left for Colorado 3 months ago and I care even more about him today than when he was on our team.  I want to be one of his biggest cheerleaders and fans.  I knew God was steering him a different direction, and while it was tough and sad, as a leader, it allowed me a new chapter from a different perspective, to continue to invest in him and remain part of his journey.  Please do not cut someone off and cast them a side because they announce they are leaving or they have done all for you that they can.  Be a bigger leader than that.

Second, here are a few thoughts on how to leave.  One of my mentors, RTB, taught me to always leave something better than how I found it.  Give everything you have until your last day.  Do not slow down or lay up.   Do not do it for a person or your boss but do it because it honors God and the calling that He has given to you.  Do not leave destruction in your wake.  Set the team and next leader up to jump off of your shoulders and not to be stuck behind picking up the pieces.  Cast an exciting vision.  Speak hope and life and NOT death and defeat.  It is your job to be the best leader you can be until your last day.  I really believe that how you finish one chapter will greatly determine how you start the next chapter.  Finish strong and be ready to start even stronger!

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what Seattle taught this Packer fan

Wow!  What a great NFC Championship game.  As a Packer fan I was not pleased with the results.  I would have loved to watched the Pack play in a Super Bowl this year.  But instead of crying and praying plagues of frogs and locusts to the individuals who text me to rub it in….I am going to look at three things I learned.

First, never give up.  It doesn’t matter what slump you are in or what you are walking through.  NEVER give up.  Keep fighting.  Keep trying different plays to change the outcome of your situation.  It is not over until the final whistle.

Second, it does not matter how you started only how you finish.  Listen, we all blow it. Make mistakes.  Mess up.  God does not care about what you did last year, month, day, or hour but rather what you are going to do with right now.  He is a God of grace and second chances.  His mercies are new each day.  He provides fresh manna each morning.  If you did not start the game real strong, switch some things up, and finish like a NFC Champ.

Finally, coaching matters.  Seattle kept fighting and calling plays to try different things to score.  I also don’t necessarily feel that kicking all of the field goals in the red zone against the defending champs was great coaching.  Sometimes you have to GO FOR IT.  Point is, coaching matters.  Each play you call matters.  Also, it is not just one coach.  There are assistant coaching who are helping to call the plays and guide the game.  Who are the coaches in your corner helping to call the plays?  THEY MATTER!  Find a coach for your current season that can help you go from down and out to the Super Bowl.


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God’s view or ours?

I took this picture from my front yard.  Today I saw this great brilliance of bright yellow that God created and I believe, put right in my path to get my attention today.  I feel that God also sees something special in His creation.  Most every other day I would have seen the dandelion that it is.  On those days, God will still see His amazing creation.  That is like a lot of us.  We have this view of ourselves based on what we, others, the world, our flesh, or the enemy shows us.  That is our view.  We see the dandelion in our past, our addiction, our shame, our guilt, our hurt, our whatever that is.  Even in this time, God sees the beauty that He created in us.  The person that is created in His image.  That is His view.  Some of us never get past those areas or to the next level because of our view.  Why not make today the day that you change the view from the dandelion to the brilliant creation that God made?  What is standing in your way?  What do you need to surrender?  Believe that God can and stand on His promises!

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One Great Reward of Leading

I have the privilege of leading two incredible teams in two different ministries.  I love watching life change happen and celebrating victories with our teams.  There is nothing greater than tripling the normal weekend attendance at Easter or watching small groups birth and open up more seats for more souls.  How great it is to see someone lay down a long time addiction at the altar.  I love celebrating folks coming down on a spontaneous baptism weekend and letting the church know they love Jesus.  The stories could go on and on.  All great things but here is one of the greatest rewards of leading.  The moment you give leadership away and watch a team member lead to the next level or have taken the lead on one of these celebrations.  That is great!  If you lead a team and are holding on too tight…STOP IT.  Let it go and let them lead.  Equip and empower your team to DO.  Do not miss out on great victories because you have to do it all or be the “leader” in all areas and initiatives.

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