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We never grow closer to God when we just live life.  It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness. 

Your level of preparation determines your level of outpouring.  It’s not someone elses responsibility to take care of what’s inside of you.

Paul instructed Timothy to fan into flame the gift that was inside him. (2 Timothy 1:6)

“Your life from seed to full-grown tree is a process. We all like the idea of fruit, but rarely do we allow ourselves to build a root system.” Banning Liebscher

As leaders we need to have a strong, consistent inflow to balance our outflow.  As leaders were are giving out all the time.  Energy, time, emotions.  In order to GROW as a leader we need to stretch our capacity and ability to lead.  Read the rest of this entry »

Found these great leadership quotes today… thought I would file them here…

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“Leadership is the ability to not only understand and utilize your innate talents, but to also effectively leverage the natural strengths of your team to accomplish the mission. There is no one-size fits all approach, answer key or formula to leadership. Leadership should be the humble, authentic expression of your unique personality in pursuit of bettering whatever environment you are in.” – Katie Christy, founder, Activate Your Talent

A leader is someone [who] leads by example and has the integrity to do the right thing even when it is not popular. A good leader has positive influence over others, inspiring them to become a better person and example for others to model their life against, as well.” – Mark Little, founder and president, Diversified Funding – See more at:

“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” – Lisa Cash Hanson, CEO, Snuggwugg

“Leadership is the ability to help people achieve things they don’t think are possible. Leaders are coaches with a passion for developing people, not players; they get satisfaction from achieving objectives through others. Leaders inspire people through a shared vision and create an environment where people feel valued and fulfilled.” – Randy Stocklin, co-founder and CEO, Readers.com

“Effective leadership is providing the vision and motivation to a team so they work together toward the same goal, and then understanding the talents and temperaments of each individual and effectively motivating each person to contribute individually their best toward achieving the group goal.” – Stan Kimer, president, Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer

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“For any team, if you don’t fight for community, it won’t happen. Community is the intentional pursuit of being intertwined in each other’s stories. It’s being a part of the highs and the lows together, being hope for each other, having fun together, working together, encouraging one another, helping each other grow and calling out the gold in one another.” // Paul McClure from The Heart Behind Community Nights

 

This popped up on my facebook feed and made my heart pause.

Wow.

This is my heartbeat.  This is my way.

Leadership is about community and having a common WHY and one heart, one mind, one purpose.

Together we do this thing.

Proverbs encourages us to “Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23)

Everything flows from having a well heart, a heart in right relationship first with God and secondly with each other.  Vertical and horizontal health.

When our hearts are discouraged or disillusioned and unwell, we attribute negativity and bad motivations to people.  We are critical and don’t give ourselves fully to serving.  We are divided.  This affects attitudes and our own motivations.  We become hurt and offended.   It creates a gap in relationships, vertical and horizontal.

Our hearts matter.

When our hearts are well we are encouraged and inspired.  We are positive and motivated.  We cover and overlook mistakes, working together to develop strengths, serving with all we are.  We are unified and on the same page, able to be real and vulnerable and creative, discussing ideas freely with no sense of shame or fear.  We laugh and have fun.  We grow.

One of my great goals as a youth pastor is to create a leadership team that is more than just doing a job together.  Together we care passionately, live passionately, serve passionately.  This happens when we’re on the same page, where we are intentional about creating community and doing life together.

Together.

 

What do you do to create intentional community for your teams?

Get fun name tags for the kids to write what they are dressed up as, or if they did not dress up, what they want to be! This is fun for all ages! (also allows kids who did not dress up to feel involved and engaged)

I’m good at names. #humblebrag

When I start the year with a new Bible in Schools class (scariest thing on the planet!) I make a bet with the kids that I can learn all their names in one half our session.  And remember them all the next week.  It’s my win them over trick.   This year Evangeline’s class has 31 awesome kids.  Yes, 31.  A mental challenge yes, but one I took on and smashed.  I’m good with names.

So I totally enjoyed The School Of Greatness podcast with Lewis Howes with his special guest Jim Kwik.  Jim had some simple Memory Hacks to remembering names that I thought were very actionable.   Check out the link to find out more.

When I am learning a class full of names I get the kids into a circle and we play the “random get to know you question game.”  Yes I know, naff title.  But it works.  I get them to say their name and something interesting about themselves.  I then every now and then go back down the line repeating their names and what they’re interested in.  We have fun with this and usually end up with some good natured teasing about who likes pizza.

I use the same technique when meeting someone new at church or at an event.  Say their name, link it with something interesting that they’re into.  Boom.

Jim Kwik’s tips are this: BE SUAVE

Believe
Exercise
Say the name
Use it
Ask about it
Visualize
End by saying their name

How do you remember names?

This would be cool with some of my grandparents' old post cards or snapshots.

7 Ways for Women to Find Soul Friends – Lisa Jo Baker

Soul friends pay attention to what you’re saying, not to what time the clock says it is.

Soul friends listen as long as it takes to make you feel heard.

Soul friends aren’t in a hurry to get to the point or to check you off the list.

 

How do I tell my story? – Suzie Eller

There’s power in sharing our stories.

Do you feel God leading you to tell someone?

It can be a fearful thing. What if no one listens?

What if some of the details are harsh?

What if it’s not that exciting?

What if communicating isn’t my thing?

All of these are questions I’ve asked myself as a God-girl with a story.

Do you know what freed me?

I finally owned my story.

 

The Moment that Saved My Marriage – 

A few years ago, my husband Art and I hit a rough place financially. Some investments we’d made went bad and we lost nearly our entire life savings. I was knee deep in caring for three small children at the time and hadn’t a clue that financial danger was looming on the horizon.

That is, until Art came home and the look on his face spoke of utter defeat. How could we have lost so much? He’d been wise with our finances. He’d done his research. He was a faithful saver. I stood stunned in our foyer that day, as Art told me the news.

There were many different directions my reaction could have gone in the minutes that followed. I was upset. When Art first talked of making these particular investments, I shared with him that I didn’t have a good feeling about it. But, in the end, I let him make the final decision.

So many times in my marriage, I’ve chosen the wrong words — words that were tainted with bitterness, words that were emotionally toxic. But I’m so thankful the Lord had been working on preparing my heart for this moment, and instead of reacting immediately with what would have been a disastrous response, I paused. I allowed the Holy Spirit a few seconds to interrupt my natural flesh feelings.

 

SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND STRATEGIC THINKING

We are servants first.

Without understanding your identity as a servant, leaders (myself included) can use the “important but not urgent” category as an excuse to isolate themselves and be unapproachable and unavailable to the teams they serve alongside.

Much of ministry to people is unplanned.

My friend Darrin Patrick has said, “The most impactful conversations happen at the most inconvenient times.” Some of the best interactions are not on the calendar. Some of the most holy moments are opportunities disguised as interruptions. Without that understanding, leaders (like myself) can loathe the urgent, and those great opportunities would be missed.

If you approach the matrix with the foundation that you are a servant and that God works in the midst of the urgent, then the matrix can be very helpful. After all, it is possible to be both a strategic leader and a servant leader. One does not need to negate the other.

"Don't compare your beginnings to someone else's middle"... keep your head up, stand tall & work hard for what you want

How Goals Can Help You Define Success – 

  1. Define your success. Let’s say you have a “priority” of family. Fine. But what relationships make up that family, and how would you define what success means for those relationships? More specifically, ifyou are married, what would having a “successful” marriage look like? What characteristics would it have? Think about it and write down your thoughts.
  2. Make an action plan. Go over what you’ve written down and be honest about what needs to take place for this success to happen. Continuing with the example of marriage, if success is defined as having clear communication, quality time, and deeper intimacy, you need to choose actions that foster the growth of those attributes. In this case, scheduled date nights, family business meetings, and other ideas specific to your marriage will make this success a reality. Be sure to communicate clearly with those who will be helping you make these changes. It is really important to have support from others. You can’t just change an important area of your life overnight.
  3. Put it on the calendar and do it. Jerry Seinfeld became a better joke writer by writing daily. To maintain discipline he used a wall calendar which has the whole year on one page and hung it on a prominent wall. After he did his work, he used a big red magic marker to mark each day he’d done his task. Can you do that? Or something similar in your own life?

 

 

How Do You Know When You’re ‘Successful?’

How do you know when you’re ‘successful?’ Is ‘success’ internal or external (i.e., a feeling or recognition)? Is it a journey or a destination (i.e., a process or an event)? Though my search for answers admittedly continues, here are three truths about success that have helped me wrap my head around the concept and be more appreciative of my own accomplishments. I hope you find these ideas helpful and encouraging too!

 

 

THE SECRET PART OF BRAVERY PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH MOST – Michael Hyatt

Jon Acuff Explains Why We Need to Step Out When We Feel Like Holding Back

  • Bravery is a choice, not a feeling.
  • Being afraid isn’t failure, staying afraid is.
  • Bravery has two parts.

 

 

Stop Reacting and Start Responding

Virtually all of your thoughts and feelings are conditioned responses to past experiences. It’s a normal strategy for dealing with new opportunities. But if your strategy is flawed, you’ll continue to get low returns on your efforts — both in your personal and professional lives.

Eventually, something will pop up and push you out of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a strategy to deal with new challenges, it won’t be long before you buckle under the pressure.

Stop reacting and start responding.

 

 

 

FIVE POWERFUL “C’S” FOR LEADERSHIP SUCCESS – Leadership Freak

  1. Cultivation: Grow as you go, not before. Find new capacity by embracing inadequacy. Sufficiency is the enemy of growth.
  2. Curiosity: The second solution is often better than the first. But, you can’t find the second solution when you’re defending the first. Stay open minded after you find an answer.
  3. Compassion: Show compassion while getting things done.
  4. Courage. Older leaders often say, “If I had it to do again, I’d take more risks.” The fear of failure motivates. Running from discomfort is the end of achievement.
  5. Celebration: Celebrate the contribution of others. You aren’t always the smartest person in the room, regardless of how smart you think you are.

Attitude determines altitude.

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I love the Bits + Pieces I’ve read today, all by Brad Lomenick.  He is such the man.  His leadership insight is invaluable.   Click on the title links to read more!

 

20 Characteristics of an ALL IN Leader 

Are you a leader who is “ALL IN?”

I want leaders on my team who are “all in.” Coaches want players who are “all in” on their teams. Every organization out there wants employees and team members who are “all in.”

Being ALL IN as a leader means:

1. You don’t constantly look at the clock, and you’re not punching a time card. Your role is not defined by 9 – 5.

2. You get it done no matter how long it takes. You are “managerless,” meaning no one else has to worry about whether you are getting it done.

3. You realize you are part of something bigger than yourself, and humbly accomplish the goals because of a larger motivation than just you.

4. Giving just the “minimum” amount of effort required to get by without “getting in trouble” doesn’t even cross your mind.

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12 Keys for Successfully Starting something New

Are you starting a new organization? A Church Planter? Entrepreneur? Involved in a small organization just getting started?

Here are some tips for getting started:

1. Act like you’ve arrived. No one needs to know you’re just starting. When you’re small, act and think big. When you’re big, act and think small.

2. Hire people you like. Look for chemistry first in terms of creating your initial core team.

3. If at all possible, don’t work with your family. Start with competency, not relatives. And stay away from taking loans, venture capital, or seed money from family members as well.

4. Establish your values and organizational culture immediately. Build your organizational DNA early and often. And repeat.

5. Work hard, play hard. Have fun. Get things done.

6. Lean into interns. A great way to build capacity quickly. And to keep you young.

7. Establish partnerships. Look for opportunities to collaborate at every corner. Seek to build joint ventures.

8. Create benchmarks. Understand clearly who you want to be like, both personally and organizationally. Once you know, learn from them. Seek them out.

9. Celebrate constantly. Find the small wins as well as the big wins.

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20 Keys for Leading 20-somethings on your Team

Young leaders are the future. They actually are the present as well. Lots of leaders ask me how best to lead the millennial generation, basically those born after 1980. We gather thousands of leaders who fit this category on an annual basis, and most of the Catalyst staff are under the age of 30. I have the privilege to get to hang out with 20-somethings a lot, and I’ve noticed some things very particular to this generation.

I have to admit- I don’t always get this right. As a 100% Gen X’er, my tendency is to lean away from several of these points, and lead how I’ve been led over the years by Boomer and Busters. But I’m working on it….

So with that said, here you go, 20 keys for leading 20-somethings on your team 

1. Give them freedom with their schedule. I’ll admit, this one is tough for me.

2. Provide them projects, not a career. Career is just not the same anymore. They desire options. Just like free agents.

3. Create a family environment. Work, family and social are all intertwined, so make sure the work environment is experiential and family oriented. Everything is connected.

4. Cause is important. Tie in compassion and justice to the “normal.” Causes and opportunities to give back are important.

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“Research assistants posed as jam suppliers and set up sampling tables at a gourmet store. In one condition of the experiment, six flavours of jam were available. On another condition, twenty-four flavours of jam were featured.”

This experiment proved to be an ideal method of understanding career choices. By giving the customers a variety of options, they noted how the quantity subconsciously affects the pattern of purchase more than the variety of options.

After laying out the choices, the researchers noticed that the twenty-four-flavour table have attracted more attention from the customers, but very few went on to purchase from the set. While, at the six-flavour set up, more customers were able to pick their choice easily and proceeded on buying a jar of jam.

Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.

Based on the study, Meg Jay explains that one of the reasons we feel stuck on our dilemma is because of the overwhelming thought that we can do anything we want, if we want to. “Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.”

But she elaborates that the idea of a ‘twenty-four-flavour table’ is just a myth. This much amount of options hardly exist even for those gifted with multiple talents. At best, each of us is choosing from our own six-flavour set.

So how do you begin to decide, really?

Well, “you’ve spent more than two decades shaping who you are. You have strengths, weaknesses, experiences, interests, diplomas, hang-ups and priorities…You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.”

You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.

Each bottle of jam represents bits and pieces of your ‘self’ reflecting your past, present and desired future. Choosing your options is merely just laying out the flavours of jam in your life and picking the one that tastes best for you. You can even go back to pick another variety next time.

from CHOOSING A CAREER IS LIKE PICKING A BOTTLE OF JAM by Dreamlist

and first read in Meg Jay’s book THE DEFINING DECADE

::: check out her TEDTalk HERE

 

Costumes of the 1960's Batman TV series starring Adam West

I’ve always loved batman.  the old Adam West batman, not the ripped darkness of Ben Affleck or Christian Bale.

One thing that always intrigued me, apart from those gloves, was his bat belt, his utility belt, packed full of tools for any occasion, any emergency, any situation.

batarang’s, Grapple gun, Smoke pellets, Concussion mines, Sonic devastator – you name it.  its in there.

Batman was prepared.

the bat belt even has its own wikipedia page!

 

But it reminds me that as a dreamer i need to tool up.  I need to strap on my own utility belt.

I need to have tools at my fingertips that are keeping me accountable, that help me step forward, that are inspiring me.

And I need to keep on collecting tools, up skilling, growing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Leadership Quotes for Kids, Women and Students – By StyleGerms

a coach helps others win by helping them to discover the knowledge, strategies, action plans, inspiration and accountability they need to excel and reach even greater levels of success.

they:

help teammates to identify gaps in their businesses and personal lives

recognize and affirm the gifts of teammates

discover their teammates convictions and encourage them to create a vision consistent with those convictions

assist with creating plans necessary for further levels of success

keep teammates focused, passionate and on track in regard to their plans

pinpoint and assess their team’s resources

provide the fresh perspective their teammates may need to complete their goals and actions

hold teammates accountable to their commitments

 

 

as a coach we help to:

make sure they have defined their reality, to stop, think and truly asses their current situation

clarify their vision and define their goals, most people constantly react to events, people and things… and therefore are not driven by purpose

understand and address roadblocks to their vision, we are most blinded to the things that are most comfortable or familiar to us

test their thinking, opinions, and conclusions, we easily get caught up in insanity, “doing the same things over and over, but expecting different results”

establish accountability, too often people fall short by confusing intent with action

 

FROM ::: BECOMING A COACHING LEADER by Daniel Harkavy

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