Being Made Over Time – Jon Acuff

How do we not confuse making with achievement? In his (too brief) talk, Jon used the story of the Prodigal Son to explore what it looks like for God to make us.

Click here to visit Stuff Christians Like1. Remember Who You Are

You are not the things you make. Your identity isn’t wrapped up in things.

God doesn’t make things better. He makes things new.

The prodigal planned to return to his father and declare himself a slave. The prodigal could misname himself when he wasn’t in the father’s presence. But not when he fell at his father’s feet he couldn’t. Because his identity was set: he wasn’t a slave, he was a Son.

2. Remember who God is

God will not be handcuffed by your failures or handcuffed by your successes.

God solves problems by throwing parties.

The older brother missed the party because he was working in the field. The older brother insisted on being a slave. He denied his identity: he’s also a Son.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

I spent way too long trying to become an extrovert instead of harnessing my unique powers of my introversion.

Click to buy Quiet on AmazonAs most introverts do, growing up, Susan received implicit messages about the insufficiency of introverts. But the truth is, we need introverts. When introverts don’t be introverted, everyone loses.

We should be thinking much more often about temperament pairings in leadership.

Temperament informs our person as deeply as does gender. And while to some degree, we’re all “Ambiverts” (there’s no such thing as a pure introvert or pure extrovert), we need to learn how to harness the power of introversion.

Introversion describes how you react to stimulation.Continue reading

The Making of a Leader – Andy Stanley

Click here to buy Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley
Many of these ideas are in Andy’s most recent book, “Deep & Wide”. Click here to buy it!

Information and Insight alone do not make a leader. What makes me into a leader is how I respond to

  1. Unexpected Opportunity
  2. Unavoidable Adversity
  3. Undeniable Calling

The leader is not the first to SEE an opportunity. They’re the first to ACT.

My response needs to be a story worth telling. The younger you are, the more important this is. But less significant this feels. Be careful!

Andy illustrated his thesis through several autobiographical stories:Continue reading

Andy Stanley (pt. 2)

These are my summary reflections from the Catalyst East Conference in Atlanta, GA.  The theme this year was “The Tension is Good”, so the speakers mostly used their talks to explore various tensions we all feel in Leadership.  I don’t summarize every speaker.

Andy always speaks twice at Catalyst – opening and closing.  His closing talk is always hardcore, nuts-and-bolts leadership, and is always among my favorite of the conference.  This year proved no exception (though I was disappointed to learn that he’d already given this talk at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit).

Andy used the opposable thumb to great effect: because we have an opposable thumb, we can leverage tension to create and progress far beyond the rest of the animal kingdom.  Tension is actually necessary for any organization that wants to make progress.

Every organization has problems that shouldn’t be solved and tensions that shouldn’t be resolved.

If you “resolve” any of these tensions, you only create new tensions elsewhere, and you’ll create barriers to progress.  Progress depends not on the resolution of the tensions, but on the successful management of those tensions.

Examples: Evangelism vs. Discipleship.  Building vs. Giving. Music vs. Sermons

To distinguish between problems to solve and tensions to manage ask the following:
  1. Does this problem/tension keep resurfacing?
  2. Do both sides have mature advocates?
  3. Are the two sides actually interdependent?
The role of leadership is to leverage the tension for the benefit of the organization.  How?
  1. Identify the tensions to be managed.
  2. Create new terminology.  Vocabularize what you’re doing so everyone can be on board.
  3. Inform your core team.  Make sure everyone is in on the conversation.
  4. Continually give value to both sides.
  5. Don’t weigh in too heavily based on your personal biases.
  6. Don’t allow strong personalities to win the day.  It’s not a win when somebody wins.
  7. Don’t think in terms of balance.  Think in terms of rhythm.

My job is to make sure the important, progress-critical tension never drop out of sight.

We need passionate people who will champion their side and mature people who understand tension.

As a leader, on e of the most valuable things you can do for your organization is differentiate between tensions you organization will always need to manage and problems that need to be solved.

T. D. Jakes

These are my summary reflections from the Catalyst East Conference in Atlanta, GA.  The theme this year was “The Tension is Good”, so the speakers mostly used their talks to explore various tensions we all feel in Leadership.  I don’t summarize every speaker.

The Bishop T. D. Jakes leads the famous Potter’s House down in Texas, and is well-known as a preacher and author.  He’s wild and energetic, and embodies the best of the black preaching tradition.  So I knew whatever he was going to say, it was going to be a lot of fun.

Leadership is foresight and vision.  It’s not about catching up or keeping up.  It’s about being ahead of the curve.

Jakes remembered his childhood; his older brothers would go hang out ‘on the corner’ where shady things went down.  Jakes wouldn’t elaborate so as not to offend our ‘delicate sensibilities’.  When he turned 16, his mother forbade him from going down to the corner.  When he argued that he was old enough, she replied that she ‘didn’t raise him to live on the corner.’

People who hang on the corner think the whole world is the corner.

Our responsibility is to speak to all people, and you can’t change the world from the corner.  This is