Tag Archive - lesson

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Leadership is a Team Sport

I find myself turning into one of those dads who brag on their kids. All four of them have strengths and things they’re brilliant at. But Lincoln, my 7-year old, is the athlete of the bunch. He’s fast, athletic, and is a winner (he gets it from his mom). He’s usually the smallest kid on the field, but he doesn’t know it. And he usually goes after the biggest kid on the field. He has that quarterback personality that people are drawn to and he simply believes he can’t lose and that he shouldn’t lose. It’s just hard-wired in him.

Don’t worry I’m not that delusional dad who is set on his kid being a D-1 athlete. But I am glad he’s playing team sports. Because leadership is a team sport, and he’s learning some incredible leadership lessons at a young age that will serve him well the rest of his life.

Most of us adults who are leading would do well to remind ourselves of some of those leadership lessons we can pick up from playing team sports.

1. Learn to Lose

Unless you live a very, very, very blessed life you’re probably going to experience some losses in life. Learning to lose gracefully and bounce back from a loss is a key to team sports. It’s one thing to be beat and lose, it’s a completely other thing to adopt a losers mindset.

2. Learn to Win

The point of playing the game is to win (forget all that don’t keep score and everybody gets a trophy stuff). If it’s worth playing, it’s worth winning. You want your team to adopt a winning mindset and get in the habit of winning. Let’s face it losing isn’t fun. People want to be a part of a winning team. But there’s a reason coaches tell players to, “Act like you’ve been there.” Pride will destroy a team.

3. Authority

At some point every talented player, if they’re going to be a great player, has to learn to submit to the authority of the coach. That it’s not their team, that they’re not running practices, making decisions, or calling the plays. Coach is. The faster everyone realizes who’s in charge and submits to his or her authority the faster the team can get on with winning.

4. Coaching

World-class athletes need coaching. In fact one of the reasons that they’re world-class athletes is because they recognize that they need coaching. They know how to receive, embrace, and learn from their coaches. Even though they’re at the top of the game, the pinnacle of their industry, they’re literally life-long learners when it comes to their craft.

5. Teamwork

You can go fast alone, but you can go far together. When it comes to team sports, mediocre players that have a great team mindset will always beat great players that have a mediocre team mindset. Relationships are key to any winning team. Winning teams don’t win alone they win together. They work hard at the relational integrity of the team. It leads to trust. And a talented team that trusts each other can go far together.

6. Hard Work

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. You want to play to win you have to practice to win. Winning isn’t easy. The old adage still rings true today, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

7. Playing Position

Not everybody can play every position on the field. Each position takes a certain mindset, skillset, and body type. When you play to each player’s strength by placing each player in the right position, and when they stay in position, the team has a chance to win.

8. Team First

When you play a team sport you quickly realize that while there may be many players on the field, only one player can have the ball at any given time. And if you want to win, you’ve got to learn to put the team before yourself.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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5 Articles to Help You Make Vision Real

Thank you for helping make September a great month here at Helping Churches Make Vision Real! It’s fun to watch all of the interaction on social media and hear about how helpful the content has been. So, thank you for connecting with me through the content on this blog! You made these the top 5 Posts from this last month. If you missed out on any of them, here they are all in one place for your convenience!

1. What is a Campus Pastor?

In August, 2012, Leadership Network released a report stating that over 5,000 churches are now multi-site churches (churches that meet in more than one location for worship). It’s a growing trend that first began with mega-churches, but has now expanded to churches of all sizes. With this new trend a new staff role has emerged, that of “Campus Pastor.” While a lot churches are still trying to figure out this new role, here are 6 things that great Campus Pastors do:

2. Leadership Lessons I Wish I Understood as a Young Leader

Lately I’ve been thinking about some leadership lessons. You know…the “I wish I knew then what I know now” kind of stuff. See I’ve had a lot more time to think recently. That is, thanks to my wife for registering me for a triathlon this Fall. She said it was something that “we could do together.” She’s the one who races in the family. I’m the one who visited 5 different Starbucks cheering her on while she ran the Chicago Marathon. But it’s been interesting, as I’ve been training how many of my experiences have paralleled lessons that young leaders need to internalize and learn early, or risk potentially derailing their leadership journey before it really gets going. So in no particular order here are 5 Leadership Lessons for Young Leaders based on my experiences training for a triathlon.

3.  Are You Doing Things or Getting Things Done?

It’s not bad to do things. After all, someone has to. Or else they won’t get done. But effective leaders know their role is to be more concerned about getting things done than doing things. When a leader doesn’t manage this tension well and begins to drift towards doing things, instead of getting things done, bad things begin to happen.

4. Are you a “Big L” Leader?

People don’t just become “Big L Leaders” overnight. It’s not something that can be learned by reading books or by going to conferences. They learn to lead by leading. Want to know if you’re on your way to becoming a “Big L Leader”? The following six characteristics will help you in identifying “Big L Leaders.”

5. Bringing Clarity to the Language of Organizational Leadership

One of the most frequently reoccurring conversations I get into in helping churches focuses around building organizational health and alignment in churches. Often times in those conversations confusion surfaces over language such as Mission, Vision, Goals, Strategy, Structure, Core Values, and Systems. So here’s an attempt to help provide some clarity and a framework to some of the most influential conversations you may have as church or organization.

 


Posted in Leadership

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Leadership Lessons I Wish I Understood as a Young Leader

Lately I’ve been thinking about some leadership lessons. You know…the “I wish I knew then what I know now” kind of stuff. See I’ve had a lot more time to think recently. That is, thanks to my wife for registering me for a triathlon this Fall. She said it was something that “we could do together.” She’s the one who races in the family. I’m the one who visited 5 different Starbucks cheering her on while she ran the Chicago Marathon. But it’s been interesting, as I’ve been training how many of my experiences have paralleled lessons that young leaders need to internalize and learn early, or risk potentially derailing their leadership journey before it really gets going.

So in no particular order here are 5 Leadership Lessons for Young Leaders based on my experiences training for a triathlon.

#1 Young Leaders have a Tendency to Overestimate their Capacity

When I started training for this triathlon I thought I’d pick it right up. After all I played varsity sports through out High School, have been pretty active as an adult, and heck I even lift weights pretty regularly. Well that was before I got in the pool and almost swallowed half of the water as I attempted to swim laps. Young Leaders are notorious for believing they can do more than they actually can. If you’re a young leader and ready to change the world, don’t be discouraged it may be in there; it just needs to be developed over time. You’re not nearly as good as you’re going to be if you keep working on it over time.

#2 Young Leaders Need to Learn Internal Fortitude is the Muscle of Leadership

I’ve got to be honest. There are days I don’t feel like training…I’d rather sleep. And there are moments when I’m running, or biking, or swimming that I’d rather just stop. But I don’t. And if you’re a young leader you need to soak this next statement in. The will to keep moving forward in the face of adversity, to find a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way; this is what separates “Big L” leaders from the weekend warriors. Not a lot of people will say this, this way, but there are a lot of ridiculously talented leaders out there (more talented than me) that fell by the wayside because they simply lacked the internal fortitude to take another step forward. They allowed their leadership muscle to atrophy.

#3 Young Leaders Need to be Given the Right Resources

I can’t believe all the gear that you “need” to run a triathlon, it’s a complete grocery list! Shorts that you can swim, bike and run in. Shoes that you can run in and another pair that clip into your bike. A helmet for your bike ride (we didn’t wear helmets when I was a kid…just saying). Oh yea, gotta have a bike, and I’m not talking about the BMX bike you had as a kid. A special watch for training where you can measure you distance, pace, calories spent and will probably tell you what time it is on Mars at any given moment. You get it. But why don’t young leaders get that there are real leadership skills that can be and need to be acquired and honed over time? If you’re a young leader and aren’t being developed where you are, then you need to take responsibility for your own growth. Listen, the majority of talented and experienced leaders out there aren’t going around looking for people to invest in. They’re up to their elbows creating the future! You’re going to need to find a leader who has what you want and chase them until they catch you. Remember leaders press into people who press into them.

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Posted in Leadership

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leadership lessons i was reminded of on vacation

This past week I took some time off to come up for air and hang with the kids while they were on their fall break. We had a great time watching movies, wrestling, playing games, doing yard work (yes I love doing yard work), sleeping in, having fires, fishing, hiking and camping (yes for real tent camping). Below are a couple of leadership lessons I was reminded of while I was relaxing with the family!

A Change of Scenery can Change Your Perspective

It was great getting out of the desert for a bit and hanging out in the trees up at Woods Canyon Lake! It’s funny how many times we forget this simple lesson as leaders but it’s essential to remain healthy and creative as a leader to put ourselves in different environments to keep us looking at things from a fresh perspective.

Enjoy the Journey

It was eerie being woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of elk bugling in the distance (they sound like whales). But that morning when I came out of the tent to get the fire going I was met by 3 elk about 50 yards from our tent. I quickly got the kids out of the tent and we just sat there taking it in for a few minutes before breakfast. If you can’t enjoy the scenery along the journey, you’ll never enjoy the destination once you get there (if you do).

The Right Work can be Refreshing and Gratifying

I know it’s weird, but I love doing yard work. I got to trim the pygmy date palms, overseed the yard and get rid of the weeds in the decomposed granite (all of my friends in the desert understand). When you’re playing the role on the team that you were created for all of the sudden your work becomes satisfying, refreshing, and meaningful.

Always have a Plan-B (and C, D, E, & F)

We ended up leaving the campground a day early due to the weather report; I actually had 1 bar (big shout out to Verizon). Good thing we did because our friends who stayed up there in a RV said they woke up to hail and ice on the ground. Sometimes as a leader you’ve got to know when to go to plan-B, be flexible, and sometimes even call it quits.


Posted in Family, Leadership