Archives For Leadership

DREAM TEAM(WORK)

November 11, 2019 — 1 Comment

The 1992 men’s Olympic Basketball team has been described by many as the greatest sports team ever assembled. As a result, the team was given the name Dream Team. As a basketball junkie, and a player who grew up with these superstars in the 80’s, I couldn’t wait to watch them play in the Olympics! The team did what many predicted, and handily won every game they played. They defeated every opponent by an average of 44 points; the players on the other teams were not only overwhelmed by their play, but also in awe of these superstar players being on the court at the same time. Since the original Dream Team, no other USA team has really been able to compare.

The Dream Team had exceptional talent at every position, a team made up of the greatest of all time, so talent alone would guarantee their wins. It might look different for us as most of the teams we lead are made up of lots of different types of people, and many that are not all talented in the same way. Despite the discrepancies that may exist in talent and skill, all great teams have a few things in common:

Every great team is united. Hellen Keller is quoted as saying, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Teamwork is about standing on the line together and supporting one another through the highs and lows. Great teams unite around common mission, and help each other execute their roles in the accomplishment of the mission they serve. They don’t allow outside forces to destroy one another, always playing offense together against what comes against them.

Every great team has short memories. If you’ve ever played sports, you know that in order to be successful, you have to have a short memory during games. If you or your teammates make a mistake, you can’t continue to live out the mistake…you have to move on to the next play. Great teams don’t stay too low in the lows, or too high in the highs. They are always learning from and growing to the next opportunity.

Every great team is responsible to not for. This may be the most important quality of great teams. Teamwork is about working together, and the best teams that work together are the teams that understand they are responsible to their team’s success and contributing to it, but not for the success of others. President Harry Truman said, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.” Every team member should focus on being responsible for what they bring to the team, and not worrying about credit or accolades. The team, working together, is responsible for outcomes.

Every great team is agile. I can be accused of overusing this word, but it is one of my favorite words when talking about leadership. Teams that work great together are agile – able to take on, accept and manage change and obstacles when they come their way. We have to move quickly, lightly, and in a graceful manner together through change or obstacles. Teams that have members who can’t do this tend to clog the effectiveness of the team.

Questions for you:

  1. What qualities make your team successful?
  2. Where does your team need to improve?

Lead Differently!

Greg

GUIDE ON THE SIDE

October 28, 2019 — 1 Comment

A number of years ago, Monica and I took a trip to Italy. We traveled with two other couples and visited Florence, Rome and a few other great cities.

If you have ever traveled anywhere in the world with a rich history, you want to make sure you don’t miss a thing while you are there. As we prepared for this trip, we spent some time reading up on this history as well as some of the most popular sites to see. As great as the books were on information, they could not help us much once we got there… seeing everything in a book is much different than being there in person.

What made this trip come alive for us and provide us with a memorable experience, was servant leadership of one of our friends on the trip. She became our guide and she was great. She guided us through the entire trip, making sure we didn’t miss anything, and introduced us to much more than the book ever could. As our guide, she became a part of the journey and the experience – it simply would not have been the same without her guidance.

This is what servant leaders do for us in our life – they help guide us in the journey. My good friend Tim Elmore calls great leaders the ones who are “guides on the side.” How can we become effective guide on the side servant leaders?

Servant Guiders are Prepared. On our trip to Italy, one of the things that made our friend such a great guide is that she had done a lot of preparation for the trip. She had been there before; she knew where to go and what to avoid. Great servant leaders who help guide others are always more effective when they are growing and learning themselves and can help to serve as guardrails in our life, keeping us from going over the edge.

Servant Guiders Share a Passion. Great guides who serve others are passionate about the same “macro” things we are. For example, they share the same worldview, values, or mission in life. Our friend was passionate about travel and the experiences just as we were, as a result she knew what we would connect with and connect to. That’s what great servant guides do – they connect to each other’s passions.

Servant Guiders are Pushers. Great servant guides push others to see what they may not see in themselves, and thus create experiences they may never have experienced on their own. For us on our trip, we would have been fine staying in Florence and Rome. These two areas were familiar and popular, but our guide pushed us into other towns during day trips – ones that were less popular but created some of our most memorable and magnificent experiences.

Servant Guiders are Pullers. Finally, servant guiders not only push, but many times will pull you in the journey. When we visited Italy, we could have moved at our own pace, which would have been slower, based on our limited knowledge of what there was to experience. Our guide was great at pulling us out of our pace, so we could experience as much as possible in the limited time we had. Great servant guiders have to pull us out of comfort and self-imposed limitations in order for us to flourish.

  1. Are you a great guide on the side? In what ways?
  2. Who are the great guides in your life? Have you told them how much you appreciate their servant guiding?

Lead Differently!

Greg

SERVICE: A HIGH CALLING

October 9, 2019 — 4 Comments

When organizations talk about values, an important point to consider is how can the value connect to the heart of the individual and encourage action. Service is the second value of FCA, and it does just that – connects to the heart and encourages action.

In my life, I have had one of the greatest models of earthly service I could ask for. If service really is modeling how Christ served on earth and continues to serve today, then my mom is that person. My mom did not have what would be called the greatest childhood…there was a lot of dysfunction in and around her home. She does, however, love her parents and her siblings unconditionally at all times.

Over her lifetime I have watched my mom truly serve all types of people in all types of situations, but nothing has stood out to me more than how she served within some of the toughest moments of her life. My mom led the charge on service – taking care of the family when her brother’s life was cut short too early, when her mother had Alzheimer’s for too long, and her father’s health failed at the same time. She served her sister, as she slowly died from painful rheumatoid arthritis. She never said no, and she was always there, doing whatever needed be done. She always did and has taken the high road and always put others’ lives before her own. She is a servant leader if there ever was one. It is from her life of service that I have come to my own conclusions of what service actually is, and over the next few weeks, I am going to lay this out in more details but here is a synopsis:

  • Service is about Going. In reality, most of life (at least the parts of life that produce impact) is all about getting up and going, and not letting bitterness, pain or pride stand in the way. Great servant leaders get up, go, conquer obstacles and change the people’s lives.
  • Service is about Guiding. One of the greatest and most impactful things we can do in this world is to help guide people. My good friend Tim Elmore calls great leaders the ones who are “guides on the side.” Great servant leaders walk beside others helping them navigate life.
  • Service is about Generosity.  This goes without saying, but service requires a generous heart. We can give in so many different ways, whether it be our time, our talent, or our treasure. Great servant leaders give up what may be important to them for what is important to others.
  • Service is about Garnering. This may seem like an awkward word to associate with giving, since garner means to gather for oneself, and true servant leaders do not serve because they are looking for something. However, a true leader who serves other does garner respect, credibility and loyalty. People want to listen, be around and follow servant leaders and this gives the servant leader great influence.

Dr. King said; “To serve, you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

I wish I was more like my mom when it comes to service, it seems so easy for her and like so much work for me. I have to work on my servant leadership every day, and sometimes I fail miserably. But I’m very fortunate that Jesus and my mom have provided examples and a roadmap for me to follow. Thank you, Mom!

  1. Who has modeled servant leadership for you?
  2. Who can you serve today?

Lead Differently!

Greg

THE McPHEE EFFECT

September 27, 2019 — 2 Comments

Years ago, our family stumbled across a couple of movies on TV, called Nanny McPhee. My family will tell you – once I find a movie I like, I will watch it every time it comes on, regardless of who is with me. And now, the Nanny McPhee movies fall into this category.

A brief background on the movies: Nanny McPhee is based on the book series Nurse Matilda written by the British children’s author Christianna Brand. Nanny McPhee is a Mary Poppins-type character who is called upon to help a family in need. There is a deeper lesson on unity, and a focus on helping the children learn and grow. She has a motto for the way she works; “When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go.” I love these statements and they really hit home for me on many levels, especially with my relationship with Jesus.

There are two points made in the statement and I want to look at the first one first: When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When I think about my faith, and the times in my life I find myself needing God but wanting to fix everything myself (which honestly is always), God actually does not fight against that. Many times, He actually waits me out. Think about the times where we really need guidance, wisdom, provision or protection… in those times, we search out hundreds of ways to deal with on our own, thinking that we can fix it. It’s really cool that God stays – He does not abandon us as we attempt to go about it without Him. He realizes we need Him, and His hope is that we give up the fight and turn to Him for wisdom and guidance.

The second statement, though on the surface seems contradictory to the first, is an intriguing statement as well; When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. This statement has everything to do with God giving us the room to grow and learn. James writes about this in James 1:3-4:

“Because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Let perseverance finish its work so can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I don’t believe for a second God ever departs us, but I do believe He leaves us alone to grow and mature in many circumstances. For me, I realize the trails and tests I have been through have helped me mature and grow. I’ve been tempted to wait on God to “fix” it all, instead of letting perseverance run its course. When He gets me upright, I have to begin to walk, moving forward toward purpose.

My prayer time begins to reflect less a person who is always in need, to a person who takes on the strength and gifts of Christ. A person who moves forward to deal with issues and praises Him in the process.

“Find it pure joy my brother and sisters when you face trails of many kinds.” (James 1:2)

It’s not that we don’t need God, but there is a time when our need to praise Him and find joy in where we are needs to outweigh our desire for Him to fix everything.

7 STEPS TO GREATER AWARENESS

September 17, 2019 — 1 Comment

Steven Covey has been quoted as saying, “Self-Awareness involves deep personal honesty. It comes from asking and answering hard questions.” I have dedicated September as the month for our journey through the importance of integrity in our leadership. In Fellowship of Christian Athletes, integrity serves as one of our main pillars toward seeing our vision – to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes – successfully implemented. This week I will expand on the importance of awareness in being a leader of integrity.

I can remember the first time I drove a car. There is something about driving for the first time that you become keenly aware of things one never observes as a passenger. I was now aware of names of streets, other cars, buildings, landscapes and people. They had always been there but now my view had changed. This is what self-awareness is… changing the view. How do we change our view in order to become more aware? Emotions, personality and reactions all play a major role in our awareness.

  1. Know your why. When we are confident in why we are where we are, or why we are doing something, it brings loads of clarity to our life. Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” People of the highest integrity know why they do things and lead from this position of strength.
  2. Ask hard questions. A lot of our awareness is built around asking hard questions of ourselves and others. Hard questions force us to think harder and deeper about who we are and what we truly believe. You might ask yourself the following: What is my ideal definition of success? Do I carefully consider other people’s suggestions before I dismiss them?
  3. Answer hard questions. Asking hard questions may be difficult for you, but answering them can prove to be even more difficult. I think it’s best to run answers through a few filters, such as your values, or how others might answer the same question about you. Journaling is always recommended – getting your answers down on paper helps you to process them more effectively.
  4. Notice warning signs. Being aware of the warning signs in regard to your emotions and how you react to situations can help head off any major issues. Does doing certain activities cause you to be angry or stressed? Be aware of the button-pushers in your life and leadership. What is your emotional kryptonite?
  5. Make adjustments. Great awareness allows for a greater ability to make adjustments. Being aware of the traffic around us allows us to adjust when needed. People of high integrity are not people who “dig in their heels,” they are people are aware of adjustments that may need to be made.
  6. Listen better… especially to feedback. Many have argued that feedback is the most important skill a leader need. When someone gives feedback to us, it is a great opportunity to build awareness. Hearing other perspectives helps us grow. Winston Churchill said, “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
  7. Be a planner. Writing out your goals, plans and priorities helps develop a keen sense of awareness. Step one is to write down what you want to do, and the second step is to develop a way to track the progress. This will bring clarity awareness around the things that really matter.

Paying closer attention to skills, emotional patterns, deeper feelings and our behaviors allow us to live lives of deeper integrity. This awareness will become the foundation of personal growth, success and sustainability over our lifetime.

Lead Differently!

Greg

AWE

September 12, 2019 — 1 Comment

The other day I was spending time with Steve, someone who has become a great friend over the last few years. Steve and I often get into conversations about theology, and primarily discipleship. During our conversation, he mentioned a book he was reading entitled, Awe: Why it Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do by Paul David Tripp.

As Steve and I continued to talk, we briefly talked through the impact of the word awe in our Christian faith and life. Awe is defined as: a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear and wonder. After leaving Steve’s office I began to think about how awe is so much a part of my life and how much power true awe can have. I am in constant awe of God, finding it hard to grasp what He has created and how He created me to operate with purpose within His creation. Think about this for a second – God created the world and all that we are able to see, touch and enjoy, and within this creation He created you and me. Not only does He want us to enjoy this spectacular world but wants us to play a part in the opportunity to help transform all who live in it with us. To you and me, with all of our pain, mistakes and brokenness, God Himself says, “Let’s go change the world together!” In my opinion that is awe inspiring! When my awe, ultimately lies in the love of God, it does three things to me:

  1. Awe Moves Me Toward Awareness. It’s the things I am in awe/fear of that I become most aware of. I can remember when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time, it was truly awe inspiring. I sat there, for what seemed like hours, amazed at what I was looking at and having a hard time coming to terms with it. It’s these types of moments that unfold in front of us where every part of us is affected – our emotions, our minds, our bodies – and the impact is etched into our memories forever. This is God’s desire for us with Him, to be in such awe of Him that his love and presence in our life affects every piece of who we are, how we feel, how we think and how we act.
  2. Awe Moves Me Toward Accountability. Just as being in awe of God affects how we feel, think and act, it can also connect us to that forever. For me it is the awe of God that connects me to Him. Awe always happens when our thoughts and emotions intersect with something. It’s at that intersection where we become connected to it. Ultimately my desire is be connected to God, because when I intersect with God, I am never surprised by what God does. My awe is found in the faith and expectation of God’s greatness. I stumble most when I am in awe of my own created fears or consumed by the untold future of my story – the story I attempt to write about how I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, or whatever chapter I begin to write. This is the worst level of accountability…accountable to a fear-based story that causes me to miss the awe-inspiring love of God.
  3. Awe Moves Me Toward Action. D.L Moody said, “I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts.” Emptiness inspires awe. Awe of God turns the focus from us toward asking this question, “what do people need from me?” In Acts, Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles” (Acts 2:43). Awe moved everyone toward action, it restored faith, confirmed strengths and changed lives. Awe has the ability to do just that.

True awe brings about indescribable moments. Louie Giglio writes and speaks about the indescribable moments in our relationship with God. That is what awe is – those moments so big in our life that we cannot describe them, we only know they move us toward action and change.

Ponder these:

  1. When was the last time you were in awe of something? How did you feel?
  2. Take time to write out the indescribable things God has done for you that move you toward awe.

Lead Differently!

Knowledge - light

I am coming off my seven-day social media fast, and though I missed being able to share things with everyone, I did find the time away nice.

A couple weeks ago I shared five books with you that I thought would be great books for the new year. This week, I would like to share five books I am currently reading. If you do the math — it’s 10 book ideas for you this year!

1. Pivotal Praying by Tim Elmore and John Hull. As I mentioned in my previous post, I read this book at the beginning of every year. There are a lot of books on prayer, but this is full of stories and great application.

2. How to Be Rich by Andy Stanley. I love Andy Stanley books because the are so incredibly practical. This book is all about recognizing how rich you are and how rich you can be in many areas of your life.

3. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I have underlined almost everything in this book. It can be a little heady — you can’t just skim it. But it’s excellent for establishing good habits and breaking bad ones.

4. Global Explorers: The Next Generation of Leaders by Stewart J. Black. I am in school, so honestly I have to put in a book that I’m reading for school. This is a great book about the essentials of Global Leadership and how the world is in desperate need of it.

5. Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson and Mark Schlabach. This is the biography I am reading now. I attempt to read at least 4 biographies per year. Many of you are familiar with Phil and Duck Dynasty. Very intriguing story of the rise to fame.

Hopefully one of these books will help you in some are of your life. Enjoy and good reading!!

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