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Up for air. To a certain extent, this is the feeling I think many of us are having. I’m not sure we are closer to any answers or plans then we were months ago. We only have new decisions, fears, anxieties, strategies and thoughts that occupy our mind. Regardless of this, for me personally, I believe I have come up for air. I’ve gone back to my gym, though I feel more like I work there, scrubbing down equipment after each use, then actually working out. I’ve heard from coaches who are ready to get going and to have FCA there with them as they navigate all of this newness. I have my masks I carry and wear where needed and required. None of the inconveniences seem to bother me as much. I whole heartily believe it’s the work of the Lord in my life, because I can get worked up about things, especially things I think are illogical and inefficient. But I’ve let most of that go. How did I get to this space? To begin with I put down my phone, my remote and cleared my mind. Then I returned to an old leadership truth I’ve used over the past 15 years, three principals that help me navigate life, decisions and strategies. It’s the picture of a target, starting small in the center, go deeper has it expands to a larger area. I wanted to share those with you.

  1. Start Small. The first step is always the most important step. I have found, in my leadership, my most effective sustainable strategies, decisions and outcomes have come from when I didn’t start big but started small. Jesus led this way. He started with three disciples and grew is inner circle to twelve. He didn’t start out with hundreds of disciples. He started small. Jesus says in Luke 16:10; “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” Don’t feel like every decision has to be made now, we don’t necessarily need to make decisions for January now. Get some small wins and be methodical. Start with one step at a time.


  1. Go Deep. By starting small we are able to make sustainable decisions and strategies. This is partly why Jesus chose only twelve disciples, he knew he could go deep with them and make a greater impact which could multiply to others from this depth. Jesus’s ministry is all about sustainability, this is discipleship. “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24, 25. Self-denial and cross bearing require a deep commitment. These things asked of us, by Christ, require a deep footing in order to sustain the storms on the horizon. Where are you growing deep? Are your decisions and strategies sustainable over time? Bring depth to your life’s work. I always try to make sure everything has depth to it before I chase it.


  1. Think Big. While the first two principals focus on small incremental steps, but if followed will allow for big thoughts and ideas. It may seem counter to have big thinking third in line, because honestly this is where most of us start. I can remember when I started in ministry 18 years ago. I had this big thinking vision of reaching every college student in Atlanta with the Gospel. For a vision, there is nothing wrong with this statement, but it’s not where I needed to start. I needed a first step and some depth to establish a good foundation to allow for the big thought. Jesus leadership serves as an example here as well. He started with 12 disciples, spoke and taught a deep truth into their life and we see the result in Acts 6:7, So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” It all started with only twelve. I continue to think big, encouraged by what I believe things can be and dream about my role in those outcomes.

The world is changing, and we will continue to find ourselves in unique places. As leaders we must navigate these waters and help others navigate them as well. Keeping in mind the ministry of Jesus and his leadership during difficult times can help us. Start Small. Go Deep. Think Big.

Lead Well and Be Encouraged!

The Burden

July 15, 2020 — Leave a comment


I have heard the phrase, “I’m burdened” more than once over the past 3 months or so. The burden for most started with the COVID 19 and has now led to a burden for those who feel marginalized because of the color of their skin. To be burdened is a movement within our heart where we have a balance of empathy, anger and sadness. When we read the scripture, God’s call on our life is to be much more than burden wearers. In Galatians 6:2 the writer Paul states; “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you fulfill the law of Christ.” Paul’s statement is clear, we are to carry the burdens not just feel the burden. Because it is what Christ has called us to, the love of himself and mankind.


I think there are three main points to consider when carrying another’s burden. Let me stop here for one moment and say this post is not a response to any circumstances more a reminder of how we should live our life on earth. I’m talking about a lifestyle not a reaction. We must carry burdens for others every day, this is what true authentic love and care is all about.


  1. Drop It. The first thing we may have to do, as we take on the burdens of others, is to drop some burdens of our own. We may have to drop our opinions, fears, anxieties, strongholds, past thoughts, distractions and ultimately ourselves. Jesus said so in Luke 9:23; “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Paul writes in Philippians, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We have to die to our own desires and begin to desire greatness, comfort and healing for others. I’m not talking about an unhealthy submission to others, I’m talking about removing the splinters and ash in our eyes so we can see others and their needs.


  1. Hold It. When one of my children were little, they would reach up to me and say, “I want to hold you.” In reality it was me that they wanted to hold them. But as I look back on it, it brought me comfort when they would wrap their little arms around my neck and squeeze for the security they yearned for, oh how I miss those days. Carrying one another’s burdens is very similar. We have to hold onto the burden we take on for others. In talking about the Lord Psalm 94:1 says, His huge outstretched arms protect you – under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Holding something tight can bring security, love and empathy in the same way our heavenly father provides this to us.


  1. Lift It. A clean and jerk is a weightlifting exercise where the person, while standing, takes the barbell off the floor, brings it to their chest and lifts it above their head. True power and strength are found in lifting the heavy weight overhead and holding it there for a few seconds. This is a great picture of what lifting another’s burdens looks like. We have to lift it up above everything else going on at that particular time. It also allows others to take notice and come alongside us to help support that person as well. When we bring other people to the table to help, we show how much we value them and want others to value them as well.


Carrying each other’s burdens allows us to walk out Christ’s commands to love God and love others. This type of love shows how valued we feel others are, though they may be different, we gain empathy and compassion and make this world a better place. Drop some things in your life, hold tightly to the things of others and lift them up to the Lord and allow him to add value and love to someone else’s life.

Lead Well and Be Encouraged!




My routines have been disturbed, no destroyed. I am a creature of routine. I wake up around the same time, go to the gym at the same time, watch my kids go to school and get home at the same time. I coach practices on the same days and the same times. If you are like me you have routines and these routines are in chaos at this moment. I’m watching the news more than I want to. I am inside more than I need to. I worry more than I have to. The problems we face are beginning to become our new routines and focus.

This is where, I believe, many of us find ourselves today. Our lives have been disrupted. We have gone from predictable routines and plans to uncertainty, fear and confusion. We need a change of perspective, a revolutionary change.

I have found myself hunkered down in 1 Peter 3:3-6. In this passage Peter writes to his audience, in my opinion, on how to change our mindset. He writes our perspectives are created on the foundation of our “new birth of living hope” found in our “imperishable inheritance” through Christ. But the verse order is just as important. Peter begins, in verse 3, proclaiming praise before he proclaims the problem. In verse 6 he writes a fact, we may face suffering, but he begins in verse 3 with giving praise. This is a wonderful lesson for us all, we must filter everything through praise not problems. Our perspective changes when we choose praise before we address the problem.

This is a great lesson to us all. I think most of us, especially in today’s time, see the problem first. We go to news or social media and are flooded with the problem. When, in fact, God is calling us to praise and to base this praise on the fact we are on the cusp of a revolution not just a revival. A person who chooses praise first, is a revolutionary leader who views situations not as problems but opportunities. These opportunities are buoyed by the new birth and inheritance shielded by God’s power. To choose praise is truly revolutionary, causing a dramatic or complete change.

I’m aware our circumstances can overwhelm our praise and magnify our problems. I’m not sure what God is calling us to, many smarter than me seem to have that figured out. What I do know is God has provided us a living hope no matter our circumstances and he did this through the most revolutionary act the world has ever seen, his son, a cross, a grave and a resurrection. To me this deserves a revolutionary leaders. This deserves revolutionary perspectives. This deserves revolutionary praise.



I once had a young couple come and see me for counseling. They had only been married a few months and were experiencing what they determined to be some major issues. She was upset with him because she felt he was self-centered, only doing the things that made him happy at the exclusion of her needs. He simply did not understand the problem – he saw the things that he wanted to do as a release for him. His new job was stressful, and he needed some things to help him escape. After listening to them, I began to guide them on journey of understanding what it means to actually serve one another. I let them know the first place we must start is to simply go – to move forward and change each other’s lives before changing our own. To me this is the first part of adopting a life of service.

  1. Service is about needs. Servant leaders put the needs of others before their own needs. Great servant leaders always measure joy by the accomplishments of those around them not by what they themselves have accomplished. Robert Greenleaf, the man who coined the term servant leader, suggests asking these questions:
    1. Do those we serve grow as persons?
    2. Do they, while being served, become healthier, wise, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?
  2. Service is about equity. Great servant leaders create a culture where there is a level playing field and everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Serving others is about empowering, not controlling, and seeing everyone as a collaborative partner. The best servant leaders I have seen are those who give people space to develop and use their talents and gifts.
  3. Service is about self-realization. When we serve, we always serve from our own character base. Servant leaders check their motives, always evaluate their values, and continue to look for opportunities to learn and grow. Greenleaf writes, “Servant leaders create a positive ethical climate for followers by striving to be trusting, insightful, open to new ideas, strong and courageous.”

When we serve, many times, we have to get up and go, not letting bitterness, pain or pride stand in the way. Great servant leaders get up, go, conquer obstacles and change people’s lives. It requires more than showing up or carrying a title… it requires movement toward transformational change.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you work to gain understanding, input, and buy-in from those you lead? What does this process look like for you?
  2. Which of the following do you feel are your strongest attributes in your leadership: trusting, insightful, open to new ideas, strong or courageous? Which are your weakest? How can you get better?

Lead Differently!


Wonder Twins

 When I was a kid, there was a cartoon called the Wonder Twins that I would find myself watching on a Saturday morning. The premise involved a twin brother and sister who were superheroes. Their “superpower” was to put their fists together, say “Wonder Twin powers activate, form of a…” and become whatever they said they wanted to be, supposedly they would become something that would be beneficial for fighting whatever enemy they needed to fight at the time. As a kid, I thought everything they turned it to was cool and innovative. As an adult, I look back on these transformations as very odd and peculiar. Recently I stumbled upon a video, of an episode, of the wonder twins where they were fighting some kind of evil and they did their thing, put their fists together and became… an octopus and an ice-covered unicycle. Yep you heard me right.

What in the world do an octopus and an ice-covered unicycle have in common? Absolutely nothing. But this did get me thinking, beyond how weird it is, but it got me thinking about the teams we lead. Our teams are made up of a combination of very different skills, talents, emotional maturity, experience, and passions… octopuses and ice-covered unicycles. Great leaders lead through differences, take those differences and make them work together to achieve the vision. If we combine our talents, perspectives, and gifts to lead with one voice we have a different kind of influence with the next generation.

 Let’s look at how we do this.


  1. Don’t Change them Challenge them. Too many times leaders attempt to change their team to fit all of the differences into one paradigm. As leaders we should not try and change those who are different, we should challenge them to work together and use the strengths of their differences to help one another achieve the vision. Malcomb Forbes once said, “Diversity is the art of thinking independently together.”.


  1. Encourage Collaboration and not Competition. Great teams work in collaboration with one another and not competition with one another. Leaders have a responsibility to take the differences that exist among a team and build a culture where status, money, affirmation and individual wins are secondary to working together for the same desired outcomes. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Hellen Keller.


  1. Embrace Differences and not Dysfunction. Let’s be honest an octopus and an ice-covered unicycle are very dysfunctional together. I’m not even sure how they would work together but they did, and it turned out good. Leaders must focus on the differences and the good those differences can bring to the organization and not the dysfunction that may or may not be associated with them. Sean Covey is quoted as saying about differences; “Fruit salad is delicious preciously because each fruit maintains its own flavor.” For example, you may have a player that has some different personality traits and if you fought against those traits it may highlight the possible dysfunction they may bring to the team. Instead focus on how the differences can be used to bring good to the team.


Make sure you encourage your octopuses and your ice-covered unicycles to work together and if you do you have a much better chance of achieving what it is you set out to achieve.





Leadership comes in many forms and effective leadership is dependent, in many cases, upon the leader themselves. Our experiences, learned responses, gifts, and personality traits all play a role in how we lead. I have found it is much harder to change a leadership style, and many times we spend the bulk of our time attempting to change who we are as a leader instead of focusing more on how we are leading. I’m worried that we abandon the needs of people for the need for sound strategy. I love what Simon Sinek says about leadership, “A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.” In other words, great leaders help others succeed.

Everyone has needs and every team has basic needs that lead to success. Our team needs help to drive sustainable success.

Four Basic’s Your Team Needs From You


  1. Information

Most teams fail for a lack of clear information. Information is where you give your team the necessary resources; clarity of vision, the why behind the what, the game plan to succeed. We can’t expect a team to move toward success if they have not been informed about what that success is. “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller


  1. Inspiration

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Leadership is the about people. It’s about having the ability to move people toward a common, transformational goal or cause. Many leaders use strategies to attempt to move people, but the only way to truly move people with passion and purpose is to lead through inspiration. A great leader communicates in a way that connects to the heart before it connects to the head.


  1. Initiate

 Once a team is clear on expected outcomes, and feel their heart has been connected to that outcome, a great leader must then begin to take steps to walk a team through the journey. This is where strategy and planning begin to take form. The great coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Hope is not a strategy.” A team can be informed and inspired but without the process of moving toward the goal there is no success. We must help our teams walk the steps needed toward the goal.


  1. Influence

Lastly great teams need to see the importance influence plays in success. This stage allows a team to empower one another by holding each other accountable to the stated goals. If your team is informed, inspired and taking steps toward the goal, many times influence will happen naturally. “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Kenneth Blanchard

Leaving a Mark

November 27, 2018 — Leave a comment


I have mark, behind my right knee, that is a scar from when I fell as kid. I will not go into the gruesome details of the accident but let’s just say it was not pretty. Every time I see the scar it reminds me of the day of the accident but also reminds me of a lot of other events, relationships and other things that happened during that period of my life. That’s what scars do they are marks with a story and those stories are usually attached to other stories which many times shape who we are.

As coaching leaders we leave our own marks on the lives of those we lead, little reminders of our influence in their lives. I started coaching junior lacrosse last year and part of my preparation, besides learning a game I knew nothing about, was thinking through the kind of mark I wanted to leave through my leadership into the lives of these young boys. I believe this is something we should all be mindful of and think through as we prepare to lead through each season. Marks can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes but I believe all marks should contain the same basic attributes.

  1. Leaving a Mark should be Intentional. Every coaching leader should think through what type of mark they want to leave on those they lead. Some marks may be encouraging, some marks may equip and some may challenge. The marks we leave are, many times, dependent upon the needs the person may have at any particular time.


  1. Leaving a Mark should be Inspirational. Every coaching leader should strive to leave a mark that inspires someone to move closer toward their intended purpose. That’s what inspiration is, doing something that moves someone toward the ultimate impact they can have on the world.


  1. Leaving a Mark should be Every coaching leader should leave a mark that invites their followers to something bigger than themselves. I feel, by encouraging, equipping and or empowering a follower, we are involving them in a process that allows us both to grow and as a result our team grows as well.


Coaching leaders will always leave marks. The decision we all must make is what type of mark we want to leave.  Remember all marks are part of a story that many will carry around with them for the rest of their lives. When you lead you have a role in the present and the future of those we influence.

What Type of Leader Are You?

November 13, 2018 — 1 Comment


I can’t begin to recount how many books and articles I have read on leadership over the years. I have been drawn to the importance of leadership since I started in ministry, seeing the importance of leadership in faith settings. What I have found is that just about every book and article on leadership tackles leadership style. There are many different opinions on the types of styles a great leader should have. At its core, leadership style is very subjective. I have found that most styles mirror the personality, background, experience and life history of the leader, as a result it makes it very hard to pigeonhole everyone into one or two styles of effective leadership. Author Peter Drucker is known for saying; “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

I have been around a lot of leaders. I have been led by them, influenced by them and even had the opportunity to lead right beside them, what I have found is most leaders fit into one of three categories.

  1. Those Who React. Most leaders are able to identify issues, areas for improvement or places of needed recovery. Many times, though, leaders have a tendency to react to the issue at hand. Reaction becomes harmful, for organizations, because reaction is often led by emotion. Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Reactionary leadership is not sustainable. Great leaders take time to pause and reflect on the situation at hand. They devise a strategy by seeing all possible outcomes and situations. In sports coaches teach athletes to “read and react” in many game time situations. This is a great lesson for all leaders, instead of reacting to everything, take time out to read the situation, climate of the culture, the repercussions and then react with the best possible solutions.


  1. Those Who Respond. This category is not much different than the previous one. Leaders who lead from a response mindset are usually not creative or really leading at all. They become followers to the circumstances and this leads to reaction. “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.”  – Herbert Swope. Leaders who only respond usually do so to please others or to avoid conflict and failure. The desire to fail on the way to reaching a bigger goal is an untold secret to success. Failure means things are being attempted and tested, things that are not normal, things that are risky. It is from risk not responding that innovation is born.


  1. Those Who Initiate. The most successful organizations are filled with leaders who are initiators and not reactors or responders. Great leaders don’t let things happen that make things happen. I have this “gift”, well that’s what I call it, to recognize when something is sinking in mediocrity. I like to step in an initiate change, ideas, and sometimes leadership. Many people do not like this “gift” they see it as pushy or invasive into their world. The reality is people who think this way enjoy the status quo and most of their leadership is reactionary and responsive. They are either ill-equipped or lack the desire to initiate and seek innovative solutions. Someone once said, “To be a good leader, you sometimes need to go down the untraveled path. Being bold in the face of uncertainty will help give your team courage and motivate them to keep striving when the going gets tough.”


As leader always remember it is you who must forge the path toward greatness. Leaders who do this initiate risk, count the cost and paint a picture that all can follow.