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Change Someone’s World Today

Isn’t it crazy what believing in someone can do? Sometimes I wonder why we don’t believe in people more, why we don’t give them the opportunity to succeed. I really think it’s because we’ve been treated the same way. We haven’t been believed in. BUT, what if we decided to encourage one person today? What could start because of that?

Here’s a few simple ideas on how to encourage someone today,

1) Write them a card. We often forget the impact of sitting down and taking a couple minutes to write a card to someone. Yeah, text is nice, email is quick, but an analog card is something a little more tangible. A little more thought went into it.

2) Get creative with a drink. Does that person you want to encourage love coffee? Get them a drink and leave a little note on it. Short, simple, tasty.

3) Publicly praise them in front of peers. I firmly believe nothing is more powerful and empowering then being recognized, for a specific task, in front of peers. If you keep it to general you run the risk of patronizing the person. If you clearly communicate what they did great at, you’ve empowered them to do it again!

Whose world will you change today?

Seek Understanding

On Monday I tweeted out and posted this question on my Facebook page. I was doing some thinking about conversations that I was in and how sometimes I try to make sure my point is made. I’m finding that’s not always the best route to go. Check out my thought below.

It generated a couple interesting comments and lots of “Likes”. So it got me thinking, if people agree about this why doesn’t it happen more? So I thought I’d share three ways that I try to seek understanding in hopes that it might be useful for you too.

1) Ask Questions – This probably seems pretty obvious but it’s the most unused way of seeking understanding. It’s always easy to respond in a conversation with what you think. It’s not as easy, and somewhat humbling, to ask a question. Ask what they meant. Ask them why they think that. The best part of asking questions is that it means we are (should be) listening.

2) Put Yourself in their Shoes – Most times in arguments/debates we are only thinking about our context. “How will the conversation effect me?” I have had some of the biggest ah-ha moments when I’ve taken a second to think about their context. Or, the problem they are dealing with. Sometimes it can be as simple as someone having a bad day and it comes out in your in conversation. Disarm this possibility by asking questions about them at the beginning of the conversation.

3) Work Towards The Same Goal –  Often times we are representing our point in a conversation. What we think is right. There is an aspect of conversation where it’s important to get that out. But then we get to a point where it becomes personal. That’s when we need to shift our focus. Once we reach that point we should be making sure both sides are working towards the same goal. It saves a lot of time, energy, and emotional baggage. If you feel a conversation is going the wrong way bring everyone back around to the same goal with a simple reminder of what the discussion should be working towards.

There are a couple ways that I try to use when having a conversation. Try to remember to shift the focus from you and think through the lens of the person you are working with. 

WCA Global Leadership Summit – Day 2

Coming at you a few days after the Leadership Summit has ended are my takeaways on day two! The second day was just a challenging as the first. I was certainly tired at the end of the day but filled up by what the speakers had to say. I’m just going to give you two takeaways I had from day 2 but if you’d like more of a comprehensive overview check  Justin Wise’s Blog, the LeadershipFreak Blog, or Scott Williams Blog. You can check out my day one recap here. 

The first takeaway I had was from Patrick Lencioni. You have probably heard of him, but if not just google him and buy one of his books. Anyone will do, they are all great. He was talking about organizational health and how it’s the trump factor in what makes one business more successful then another.

One of the main themes of organizational health is clarity. It’s extremely important to be clear on job roles, core purpose, core values, strategy, and what’s most important right now. After you do that, you need to over communicate that clarity. Then you need to reinforce that clarity.

My challenge for myself is to evaluate the areas I may be under clarifying things. Once I have those figured out I need to over communciate that to make sure me and those around me are all aligned on the same page.

The second takeaway was from Mario Vega. He gave a great talk (in Spanish) on integrity. Very challenging. This quote in particular stuck out to me.

When a person engages in dishonest living they reveal their lack of character.

My challenge for myself? I need to make sure I build in people around me to let me know if I’m living and leading out of integrity. I also need to do some honest self check-ups on the condition of my heart and motives out of which I act.

There are a couple of my takeaways & action steps, how about you? What have you been learning lately? 

(Photo Props)

WCA Global Leadership Summit – Day 1

Yesterday I attended the first day of the Global Leadership Summit. It was a great and challenging day. I was blown away by the openness and humility of the leaders that shared on that stage. I thought about doing a recap post on the highlights from each session but here are so many other great bloggers who’ve done that way better than me. So if you are wanting more of a recap of what someone said check out Justin Wise’s Blog, the LeadershipFreak Blog, or Scott Williams Blog.

What I’d really love to share with you today are the two takeaways that I hope to turn into action steps from day one.

Bill Hybels had so many great things he taught on in 4 or 5 mini “teachings”. The lesson that hit home most was the lesson on Self-Leadership. He started it off by saying, “You are the most difficult person you will ever lead.” You know what…I agree with that.

Bill talked about a 6×6 strategy he uses to focus his energy on the right projects. He’ll take 6 projects and focus just on them to get them done in 6 weeks. He said he’s had tremendous results from it. But, at the core of this is where I’d like to create an action step.

Bill said that leaders aren’t called to respond, they are called to move things ahead. That right there is my first challenge/takeaway. As a leader, what am I moving ahead? At work? In my relationships? In my marriage? My next step is to determine things to move ahead in those areas.

The second takeaway came from Craig Groeschel. He talked on bridging the generational gap. It was challenging and inspiring.

He challenged my generation on two things. Don’t have an entitled mindset (because we do) and show honor to those before us.

The action step for me in this is to be actively seeking out ways for me to honor those who went before me. That includes my grandparents and parents, current and past leaders, and really anyone who has significantly impacted my life.

Those are two challenges I’m taking away from day 1 and super excited for what I’ll learn today! Feel free to follow along on Twitter for thoughts from the conference.

(Photo Props)

What Are You Doing?

Well hello! It’s been a while that I’ve been able to push some content out here on the blog. But that’s yesterday, today is a new day. And this is a new post!

A couple weeks ago I came across this tweet in my Twitter feed from a friend Tim Schraeder. Tim usually has quality tweet material and this tweet is no different.

 

This tweet pretty much sums up the past few months of my life. I’ve been in a cycle of adding more (or getting more added) to my plate on a weekly basis. Which is pretty cool because I’ve been learning a lot! The other side of that coin though is that my attention starts to get pulled in different ways. Many different ways. Then all of the sudden I’m finding that I can’t do EVERYTHING well anymore.

So what are the options? Two things come to mind. One, I can keep control of everything and keep trying to do it my way and the way I think is right. The problem with this is eventually the quality of these “tasks” will start to drop drastically. I can’t do it all.

The other option? Give it away…Not like pass the responsibility off give it away, but empower, train, and equip someone to do the job who can do it, and hopefully do it better than me!

This can be a very foreign concept to Type A, controlling personalities; but it’s the only viable, sustainable option. If I’m leading well, I need to be training others to do the work. Like Tim quoted in the tweet above, my job is turning more into a role of making sure the work gets done, not necessarily doing it all.

One last thought. Some people can view this as the easy route. Thinking, “You are just telling people what to do.” And it probably might look like that from the outside. But I’m learning it’s harder (and just as much work) to lead and influence people to do a task then it is just to do it yourself.

So the question I leave you with today. What are you doing to empower others to do the work? What opportunity is someone missing out on because YOU are doing it? 

(Photo Props)

What’s Going On

I feel like I’ve been having a major blog #FAIL. My goals I set for myself over the past year have worked with doing almost one post a week which is pretty easy to do. But over the past few months I’ve been having a hard time to squeak anything out. I figured I’d share a little with you what’s going on and what I want to do about it.

First, back in February my wife and I bought a little puppy. Her name is Lola. She’s fun, fluffy, adorable, and keeps us very busy. This automatically changed some of the time I’ve had in the evenings. More so recently we’ve been doing puppy kindergarten with Lola which has been lots of fun!

The second thing that has happened (right around the same time) has been some new responsibilities added to my job at work. Previously I’ve been working with our 20somethings community (Saturate) as the ‘Experience Architect’ for the past 6 years. A couple years ago I started to oversee our Social Media efforts at LCBC and help shape our Twitter/Facebook/Blog experience. Now my job has shifted into Worship & Arts at LCBC. I’m managing our Campus Producers and helping to shape and be apart of our creative process for the weekend. (Still doing the other stuff too) So, I’ve been learning how to balance all three of those things at work and learning how to bring my best in those three areas.

The last thing I’ve been working on over the past month has been a class with the Willow Creek Association’s LIFT program. I’ve been taking a class on Organizational Culture and it has been eye opening. I’ll be writing a couple blog posts with my experience with the LIFT program over the next couple of weeks, but here’s one I wrote already on why working on your organizational Culture is extremely important.

All that to say, I’ve been pretty busy over the past few months. But that’s not really an excuse. And here’s the lesson I’m learning. Sometimes priorities change, goals can change. It’s healthy. It’s the way it has to be. Often times we can let #Fail’s (of our own expectations) weigh us down and sometimes even keep us down. When that happens we need to remember we are doing that to ourselves.

So what needs to be done? Pick yourself up, or have some friends help you up. Look at the big picture and your priorities. Figure out where things need to be and jump back into the hustle. And always be learning from those experiences. 

How have you dealt with big changes all at once? Do you find it easy or hard to keep your priorities in the right order?

(Photo Props)

The “C” Word…

Culture. It’s this word that I’ve been obsessed with since high school. In college I tried to figure out how it worked on one campus (with so many cultures coming together). Now at an organization I’m trying to figure out how to influence it.

It’s hard to describe, but you have it.

 

About a month ago I came across an opportunity  to be a part of a WCA LIFT course. Check out the link for more info, but essentially these courses are 7 week intensives for ministry leaders. Online classes for them to take while “in the trenches” doing work, learning, discussing with others who are doing the same or similar things, and then bringing it to your context.

So far from my experience, it works, and the content is rich.

I decided to take the Shaping Culture course and it has been extremely challenging and stretching for me. I’m currently in the middle of it and have a few more weeks yet. So, back to culture.

One thing that has stuck out to me more then anything over the past few weeks is that I’m responsible. I’m responsible for the culture. You are responsible for the culture where you work. And, it’s something that’s there now. It’s always there. It can be healthy, it can be sick, or somewhere in between.

Here are a couple things that might be helpful for you. 

I came across this quote last week.

Brand is simply a lagging indicator of the culture – @DHMovementCEO

Are you taking the time to look at your organizational/staff culture and not just your “brand” or perceived culture?

Are you doing anything to influence your organizational culture in a positive direction

Try to create some space in your schedule, step away for part of the day, bring your team, and evaluate. Ask good questions. Start the discussion.

Here are some discussion starters:

  • What does your organization value?
  • How does it add to or take away from the organizations mission?
  • Is your staff healthy? Is there trust in your organization?
  • Do you have honest, open relationships with people throughout the organization (think different levels in chain of command) to know what the culture feels like from the top to the bottom of your organization?

What’s your organization’s culture like?

(Photo Props)

Resource Dump #3

Hey, it’s a Wednesday post as promised! Thanks for being gracious as I work out a new blog schedule for myself and continue to try to write the best stuff for you to read! Usually in the resource dump posts I try to have different “mediums” of resources to share. Today they are all the same! Today’s posts contain three blogs that I HAVE to read. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of blog I subscribe to. When things get busy I just skip over some of them. These three I will always read. Since they are that good, I want to share them with you!

JustinWise.net – I’ve been following Justin’s content (Blog/Twitter/Facebook) for a few years now. I’ve always found it challenging and filled with quality stuff. I don’t believe Justin would post or write about something that 1) he didn’t believe or 2) he felt shouldn’t be asked. I’ve certainly learned a lot about Social Media through Justin and also have really rearranged the way I do things because of him sharing the way he does his things. (Productivity for the Win!) Also, he finds the best stats!

History In The Making (Ben Arment) – Ben is a producer of people. He see’s things or hears of things that people are doing and figures out how to help them be better at what they are doing, or help others through what this person is doing. That’s just a personal commentary from what I’ve noticed afar. I like his blog. Simple, short and sweet. He shares things that he comes across in life and I find those things inspire me in what I’m doing. Also, check out a great conference he runs called Story and his “coaching” program called Dream Year.

Stephen Brewster – I’ve just started following Stephen’s blog in the past year. He’s the Creative Arts pastor at Crosspoint.tv. They put out killer stuff. So naturally, I want to know what he’s learning and sharing with his team. If you are involved in a creative process (anywhere) check out his blog. He shares some great tips and questions that help stimulate creativity or get you out of that rut.

These are just three of my must read blogs, I actually have a couple others to share down the road. What blogs are on your must read list?

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