5 for Leadership-September 19th


Anne Elliott on Flickr

Here is a new 5 for this 3rd week in September. The summer heat is finally waning and the fall season is just around the corner. Take some time to strengthen your leadership. The topics cover Ben Carson’s success secret, the leadership language of pronouns, what mature leaders look like, differing kinds of feedback, and how to minister to women in crisis. There is something here for you.

7 Attributes of a Maturing Leader

frequently say to our church I’m less interested in where a person has been and more interested in where they are going. I would make that statement about leadership also.” This is Ron Edmondson with some very applicable principles for every leader to consider.

The Secret Language of Pronouns: How to Drive Ownership and Accountability

“The pronouns we use reveal a lot about our ownership, accountability, and relationships with others. And words like I, my, we, us, our, you, your, they, them, and their not only show where we think we stand, they also tell our listeners or readers where we think they stand.” This comes from Jesse Lahey on the Engaging Leader blog.

12 Flavors of Feedback

“There are many flavors of feedback. Here is a list of some of the most common types, with good and bad sample word tracks for each. They are ranked ordered from easier to harder.” This is a very practical post that can broaden your feedback skills from Dan McCarthy.

5 Ways To Minister To Women In Crisis

“Cancer strikes. A spouse is unfaithful. Abortion haunts. Sexual sin is exposed. A baby is stillborn. These tragic experiences are regular occurrences in our fallen world. Women we know are in these situations right now, and we must care for them in their trauma.

But how? I often feel at a loss for where to begin ministering to sisters in such situations. I don’t know enough Bible or have enough wisdom. The situation may be so far beyond anything I’ve experienced personally. I listen, trying to appear calm, but inside I’m panicking, fearing I’ll have nothing to offer this sister.” This is a timely post by Kristie Anyabwile–with some very practical advice.

The Secret To Ben Carson’s Success

It’s been fascinating to watch Dr. Ben Carson’s recent rise in the polls. Whatever your political bent, he deserves attention. What’s his secret?” This comes by way of Michael Hyatt and may surprise you.

There are the 5 for this week. Take advantage of the wisdom and principles that are offered through these great thought leaders.


5 for Leadership-September 12th


Mario Donati on Flickr

5 for Leadership is a weekly collection of posts on the topic of leadership. Some posts are from a faith-based perspective and some are simply practical leadership teaching for leaders from any vantage point. This week there are topics ranging from how to fight your leadership bias to how to do an excellent SWOT analysis. There is something here for you.

An Essential Guide to SWOT Analysis

This SWOT guide by Gomer and Hille is a great resource for doing solid evaluation with your team towards any plan or project. This is a great tool!

6 Ways To Keep Good Ideas From Dying At Your Company

“Anyone who has worked inside a large organization can rattle off a lengthy list of the things that regularly kill promising ideas: conflict with existing businesses, naysayers, management turmoil, insufficient resources. And yet when companies suddenly decide to “get more innovative,” starting hackathons, idea competitions, and accelerator programs, they typically forget to address all those things that kill perfectly good ideas after they hatch.” This comes by way of Scott Kirsner on the HBR website.

How To Avoid 3 Big Mistakes About Being Biased

“Done intentionally and constructively, not self-destructively, giving your actions one last loving look before moving forward is a good thing – for you, your colleagues, company, community, and workplace culture.” Jane Perdue offers this sage advice on The Lead Change blog.

How To Give Effective Staff Evaluations 

For years I’ve used this form below when I perform my twice-annual staff evaluations. I have every staff person complete the form on themselves and attach their goals for the previous and upcoming year.  These documents provide the talking points for the evaluation. Afterward, I compile a one-page written evaluation I give to them.” This is a really good, practical tool–from Charles Stone.

Leadership 101-Leading By Example

This comes from a new blogger for me–Tiffany Cooper. Her blog is called Leading & Loving It. She writes from a faith perspective and does so very well.

There are the 5 for this week. In the same week, we have celebrated Laboe Day and remembered 9/11. Both reflect our need for character based, godly leadership. Let’s strive to be that person.

5 for Leadership-September 5th


Kelly Hackney on Flickr

This week in 5 for Leadership we have your Labor Day specials. There are posts on limiting leader beliefs, leadership strategy questions, the right ingredients for every team, biblical principles of work, and leadership vulnerability. There are some worthy topics for your extended weekend.

On Leadership and Vulnerability

“True leadership is achieved when a team identifies with their leader as a real human being, and that includes faults, fears, shortcomings, and of course, vulnerability.” This comes from Anil Saxena on the Linked2Leadership blog.

5 Strategy Questions Every Leader Should Make Time For

“If you can’t find time to think, it probably means that you haven’t organized your firm, unit, or team very well, and you are busy putting out little fires all the time. It also means that you are at risk of leading your company astray.” Freek Vermeulen offers this insightful post on the HBR blog.

Missing Ingredients: Finding the Right Team Recipe

“The dynamics and culture of a business are certainly different than what you might find in a government agency, a community organization, or a non-profit. But the elements that make a great team and create an environment for success are similar in all of these cases.” This comes from Robbie Bach on the Leading Blog.

Labor Day: 8 Biblical Principles of Work

“Some people hate to do it. Some love to do it. Some go to great lengths to avoid doing it. Some do it too much. While there are many different attitudes toward work, one thing remains constant: work must be done. Since the Garden of Eden everyone has worked or depended on someone else’s work for their survival. Work sets a person’s lifestyle—where you live, when you sleep and eat, the time with family, even your dress.” I wanted to share this perspective in light of Labor Day–from James Eckman–take a look.

5 Deadly Beliefs That Limit Leaders

“Action begins with belief. Wrong beliefs result in wasted effort. Ineffective leaders believe wrong things about themselves, others, situations, and organizations.” Dan Rockwell shares some very important perspectives that no leader can buy into.

There are the 5 for this Labor Day weekend. Time to watch some college football–right after you click on one or two of the links above.

“Flee & Pursue” Leadership


Timothy was Paul’s protege.

Timothy was placed in charge of the house churches of Ephesus, arguably the most precious ministerial work Paul ever did. 

In 1 and 2 Timothy Paul instructs and exhorts his young protege in how to lead the church.

1 Timothy 1:2 Paul states, “To Timothy, my true child in the faith . . .” 

We first learn about Timothy in Acts 16. Paul was at the beginning of his second missionary journey and stops in Derbe and Lystra. He picks up a disciple named Timothy, who was the son of a believing mother, but most likely not the son of a believing father. For all practical purposes Paul became Timothy’s spiritual father.

I actually see 2 Timothy 2:2 as leader multiplication strategy more than a general discipleship strategy. Paul is challenging Timothy to rasie up more leaders for the Church. But he knows there is one besetting sin that will always be the likely one to render a leader ineefective for the cause of Christ. This is the issue of sexual immorality.

With the revelation of the Ashley Madison scandal it has become evident that possibly hundreds of pastors or other church workers were engaging in extra marital affairs. The total fallout is till to be revealed. In 2 Timothy 2:20-21 Paul reminds Timothy that there are vessels for honoable use an dishonoarble use within God’s kingdom. It is only the clean vessel that is able to be used fully by God. This teaching is followed by a double command, to flee and to pursue.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith , love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

These are present tense commands. Paul fully intends for Timothy, and those emerging leaders around Timothy, to flee youthful passions and keep on fleeing every day of their lives. Paul fully intends for Timothy, and those emerging leaders around Timothy, to pursue righteousness and keep on pursuing every day of their lives.

To flee means to shun or avoid something abhorent. It is to escape a trap. It is to be saved by flight.

To pursue means to intensely strive after something. It is to do something with intense effort with a definite purpose or goal.

Paul declares that one should flee youthful passions. The notion is to not covet or desire what is not yours. The context implies immoraltity. To have an affair is to always over desire something that does not belong to you. This was King David’s problem even though he had been warned. David committed adultery with Bathsheba. It was David’s servant that keenly reminded David that Bathsheba was another man’s daughter and another man’s wife (see 2 Samule 11:3). Bathsheba was not his to pursue. He was to flee in every sense of the word.

Paul also provides the remedy. Every leader is to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. And we are to do so in community–so as not to become islolated alone with our lusts. Every virtue and vice is rendered more powerful with an object. Lust leads to sin when it finds it’s next. Righteousness, faith, love, and peace find their true fulfillment among others within the body of Christ.

Tim Challies provided a timely and strong exhortation via his wife for all Chrisitan leaders to cease from sexual sin in My Wife’s Plea to Christian Men. You need to read this pleading post. You and I need to heed her exhortation and the exhortation of Paul to Timothy. The very future of the Church depends on it.

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5 for Leadership-August 29th


This week in 5 for Leadership we have topics ranging from the NFL to important questions–like Where did all the good leaders go? and What are your hidden strengths? There are also great posts on exceptional leader traits and strong advice for young leaders. Take a look at one or several.

7 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

“Launching and leading a successful small business requires much more than a great idea. Effective and highly successful businesses have highly effective and successful leaders at the helm. And, let’s face it, not every entrepreneur is a natural leaders. The good news is that just like any other entrepreneurial skill, leadership must be cultivated and trained for. Those who train, lead better, live better and experience greater returns in their business.” This comes by way of Entrepreneur online–take a look.

Hard Advice For Young Leaders

“I have some hard advice for young leaders. Before I share , I feel the need to be clear — in case you’re a new reader — to assure you I’m a supporter of young leaders. Ask anyone I work with, or look at decisions we’ve made as a church, or the personal investments of my time into young leaders and you can clearly see I believe in the next generation of leaders. I only build my case of support, because this may be a hard word to receive.” Ron Edmondson shares some timely words for all of us.

Where Did All The Good Leaders Go?

Have you looked around lately? If you have, you might have been surprised to see a shocking lack of good leaders. We see leaders failing all around us.Leaders are failing in their marriages. Leaders are failing in their willingness to speak up for what is right. Leaders are failing in taking care of those they lead. Leaders are failing in their push for more.” Joseph LaLonde makes a strong case for the need for better leaders–and what leaders must pay attention to now.

What Are Your Hidden Strengths?

I am a big proponent of strengths-based leadership. As a matter of fact, I am certified in a tool that helps leaders become the best of who they are and meant to be. That is why I was fascinated by this blog post title on hidden strengths. This comes from Leading Blog. Take a look and see what you think of this premise.

Leadership Styles: 3 Things You Can Learn From The NFL’s Top Coaches

“With the start of the American National Football League (NFL) season around the corner, I thought it would be good to talk two of my favorite topics; leadership and football.” See what else Tommy Shavers has to say on the Linked2Leadership blog regarding NFL coaching and leadership.

There are the 5 for this week. Football season is right around the corner–that means fall is too. This is a good time to retool your leadership.

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Leading Up When Team Leaders Mess Up


No team is perfect.

No team leader is perfect.

If you are part of a team you will encounter dysfunction at some point. But how should you respond as a team member when your team leader makes a significant mistake?

Let’s create a typical scenario that might aid our learning in leading up. Let’s say that your team leader makes a unilateral decision to add a new member to the team. (We will assume that if you are a team leader you would never do this!?!) And let’s also assume that this truly is a team–not a committee or a working group–but a bonafide team with an agreed upon team purpose, clear team roles, and a common objective. And to further this dilemma let’s also say that you found out about the addition third hand–some member of the constituency that you are striving to serve informs you about this new hire.

Got the picture?

Is your frustration factor rising just a little?

Is this calling anything to mind?

3 Important Aspects To Your Approach

  1. Assume the best in your leader.  It never does any good for you or your team leader if you approach the issue with suspicion and distrust. You will only add anger to your frustration and anxiety. Assume that the team leader had the team’s best interest at heart. Assume that the team leader saw value in this new member. Assume that this new team member has something valuable to add to the makeup and function of the team. Assume the best.
  2. Inquire, don’t condemn.  If you have already failed the first assumption you will probably fail the second one. These assumptions follow a logical progression. If you are able to gather yourself and assume the best, then you will be in a position to make inquiry rather than initiate by way of words of condemnation. You might use phrases like, “Would it be possible for us to revisit the decision-making process that led to this new hire?” Or, “Can you walk us through your thought process that led you to this decision to hire Susan?” It takes a good amount of courage to assume the best and make the inquiry. It takes nothing to explode and condemn. Worse yet, it will be severely damaging if you say nothing at all. Genuine questions raise pertinent issues and invite understanding and solutions. Condemnation creates further distrust and the possible loss of your credibility and role on the team.
  3. Be solution focused.  Don’t simply raise the problem at hand without thinking through possible remedies for next time. Anyone can complain and point out the problem at hand. It takes leadership thinking to propose alternatives to the mess. Reflect, consider, and choose to be solution oriented as you approach your team leader with the mess. You may not be able to remedy the current scenario, but you can set the stage for next time. Lessons can be learned and new principles applied.

3 Important Team Issues at Stake

  1. Team Communication.  Trust is the lifeblood of any well functioning team. Good communication is the foundation and guardian of trust. Discuss this as a team. Help the team leader and the whole team better understand that internal communication is essential. To be surprised by a third party constituent creates an awkward situation and does not allow you to defend the decision well. It can cause you as a team member to look ignorant and create a lack of credibility for the whole team. Every team member needs to be informed about important decisions to be able to represent those decisions well. Better yet, important decisions should be informed by the team for greater ownership and understanding. Leaders ignore internal communication and consensus decision making at their own peril.
  2. Team Dynamics.  Every time a person is added or subtracted from a team the team dynamics are significantly impacted. Team leaders must not be naive to this reality. You must not only assess the qualifications of the potential new member, but also the impact on the team and the collective effect toward those you are serving.
  3. Leader Motivation.  Ask the leader why they thought this person would be a good addition to the team. Ask them what value this new member will bring. Ask them what deficit they saw in the team that required an additional member. These are all relevant questions. Ask them with a genuine desire to understand–not simply in a backhanded way to dig at the leader. The team leader needs to realize that “why’s” matter.

All three of these team issues are important elements for teams and team leaders to consider and resolve when a poor decision has been made–or a good decision has been made poorly.

Team leaders, don’t simply act and inform. That only works well in time of crisis. Otherwise, be sure that every important stakeholder has been brought into the process.

Team members, learn to lead up well.

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5 for Leadership-August 22nd


Here is a new 5 for Leadership for your leader learning. The topics cover solution-based leadership, leading in the wild, best leadership books of 2015, what to do when your church does not fit your community, and how to attract and keep good leaders. There are some quality posts here–take a look at more than one.

Leading in the Wild

“The classic tenets of what it means to be a leader originated in an era of “cage” employees. Employees punched in, went to their workstations, did their tasks all day, and punched out. New employees hoped to avoid getting a bad boss and stayed worried about their pay raises and performance reviews. They learned to keep their heads down; mouths closed and just get the job done.” All that has changed dramatically–read on to discover leadership in the 21st century.

The Best Leadership Books of 2015

This comes from Paul Sohn. Enough said–take a look!

3 Questions to Consider When the Church No Longer Reflects The Community

“The question was: How can we grow now that we don’t represent the demographics of our community?” Ron Edmondson does a great job of providing insight to answer this tough question.

Beyond Thank You–5 Non-Financial Keys to Attracting and Keeping Great Leaders

“Whether it’s staff or volunteers, you want to keep people engaged, motivated and committed to a common cause. While there’s a variety of ways to do that, there’s one truth underneath it all that often gets missed.” Carey Nieuwhof shares some great insights on this very important topic.

Solution Based Leadership

“Leadership thinker Brian Tracy makes the following comment about leaders and followers:

Leaders think and talk about the solutions.
Followers think and talk about the problems.

This quote reminds us that leadership effectiveness is not just about skill and capacity; it is also about a leader’s focus.” This comes from Justin Irving on his blog Purpose in Leadership.

There are the 5 for this week. Summer is rapidly coming to an end. Take advantage of your last summer days to do a little leadership reading.

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5 for Leadership-August 8th


Here is a fresh 5 for Leadership with some fascinating topics, including the value of reading for leadership, why coffee drinkers succeed, ethnic diversity in leadership, walking meetings, and the real work of leaders. This is worth your time.

10 Reasons Why People Who Read A Lot Are More Likely To Be Good Leaders

“Reading is currently on a global decline. The statistics and polls behind this pattern are frightening because the shortage of readers means there will be a shortage of leaders. There is no disputing it: reading offers you the platform to become a leader. Famous leaders from Steve Jobs to Elon Musk engage in a lot of intellect-building by reading books. This is what reading offers when it comes to leadership.”

8 Reasons Why Coffee Drinkers Are More Likely To Succeed

“Most times what you need to get plugged into a project is that shot of caffeine. Coffee does it for me, from the smell to the flow into the cup and that intense swallow. It gets me on the drive. While others are worried about the intensity, for me it’s perfect. I get energy only coffee can provide. I can’t help but remind the worriers of the wonders coffee does to their chances for success. Read this article if you’re hesitant about coffee, and consider all the benefits you stand to gain.”

Dear White Leaders: Ethnic Minorities Excel at More Than Just Minority Ministry

“As a white male in ministry who has had the privilege of getting to know many of my ethnic minority colleagues over the years, I’d like to dispel a notion that has crept into the psyche of many of us white leaders. A number of us have come to live as if ethnic minorities are only good at reaching their own people.” This is an excellent post from missioeric and posted on The Future of College Ministry site.

How To Do Walking Meetings Right

“A walking meeting is simply that: a meeting that takes place during a walk instead of in an office, boardroom, or coffee shop where meetings are commonly held. Nilofer Merchant wrote in HBR about her own transition to walking meetings after realizing that, like many Americans, she was sitting way too much while working.” This come by way of the HBR Review.

The Real Work Of Leaders

“Leading begins when the performance of others becomes a top priority.” This quality post is by the Leadership Freak, Dan Rockwell.

There are the 5 for this week. Take another look.

Leader Development or Leadership Devlopment


The leadership culture has changed.

We live in a “postheroic” era.

People attribute authority to those they trust . . . those with proven integrity.

Titles no longer matter as much as character.

People want to be inspired into action, not driven.

The top three leadership traits that are needed for a “postheroic” era are the abilities to network, collaborate, and have influence without authority.

But these are not traditional leadership skills that universities teach. These topics rarely form the core subject matter of the next leadership conference.

These skills have much more to do with social capital than human capital.

Some thought leaders have begun to differentiate between leader development and leadership development.

Is there a noteworthy difference–or is this semantics?

Maybe both.

David Day, a scholar at the University of Western Australia, makes the case that there is a need to consider both kinds of development for the 21st century leader. He separates leader development from leadership development and says both are necessary.

Day makes the distinction in the following way:

Leader Development

  • Focus on Human Capital
  • A Model of Individual Personal Power, Knowledge, and Trustworthiness
  • The Competence Base is Intrapersonal
  • Necessary Skills:
    • Self-Awareness
      • Emotional Awareness
      • Self Confidence
      • Accurate Self-Image
    • Self Regulation
      • Self-Control
      • Trustworthiness
      • Personal Responsibility
      • Adaptability
    • Self-Motivation
      • Initiative
      • Commitment
      • Optimism

Leadership Development

  • Focus on Relational Capital
  • A Model of Relational Commitments, Mutual Respect, and Trust
  • The Competence Base is Interpersonal
  • Necessary Skills:
    • Social Awareness
      • Empathy
      • Service Orientation
      • Political Awareness
    • Social Skills
      • Building Bonds
      • Team Orientation
      • Change Catalyst
      • Conflict Management

Most would agree that all of the above competencies are needed to effectively network, collaborate and and have influence without authority. Leader development focuses on the individual and can be accomplished in an individual training context. Leadership development focuses more on the team and is better accomplished in a cohort or team context.

Consider these principles for your development of leaders:

  • Development needs grounding, a base from which to establish character and integrity.
  • Development is best done in the context of the mission–the actual work of the organization.
  • Holistic development requires both “hard” trait oriented skills and “soft” people/social oriented skills.
  • Leader development can be done in a one on one training context.
  • Leadership development is best done in a cohort/team environment.

In a “postheroic” era a premium will need to be placed on leadership development with a grounding in the leader development necessity of self -awareness, character and integrity.

What are your thoughts?

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5 for Leadership-August 1st


Here is a new 5 for Leadership for this first day of August. As you finish up your vacation season and prepare for the fall take some time to refresh your leadership for the fall. There are topics on leadership influence, leadership lessons, toxic leadership, an infographic on the change process, and a top 30 list of great posts from this past month. There is something here for you.

Sketch Note: How To Influence Without Authority

Jesse Lyn Stoner is one of my favorite leadership bloggers and her post “How to Influence Without Authority” offers useful guidance on the what she calls as “8 Portals of Influence”. It is also one of the most loved posts on her blog! Whether you lead backed by a formal authority or you lead without a title, these ideas should help you build influence. Here is a sketch note version encapsulating some ideas from her post. Read the full post here.” This was posted on Tanmay Vora’s site. Check out some of his other posts–it will be well worth it.

Sketch Note: 6 Leadership Lessons from Dr. A.P. J. Abdul Kalam

I decided to give you a second post from Tanmay Vora. He is a new thought leader for me and I want to introduce him to you. It is great to gain insight from different ethnic perspective and through a different medium like Sketch Note. This may be one you will want to copy and display near your desk to be reminded every day. Enjoy.

Top 30 Must-Read Posts on Leadership for July 

So here’s my top 30 curated leadership tweets you might have missed in July 2015.” Paul Sohn–take a look–there is a treasure trove here.

Communication Framework for Change Agents-Infographic  

“While organizations thrive on change, people often don’t. We don’t all embrace change at the same rate or pace (and a few even reject it outright). How new ideas are communicated can hinder or accelerate adoption. If you’re an innovator, it’s tempting to think that conveying your enthusiasm and excitement will accelerate others’ acceptance—it turns out, that won’t work most of the time. Effectively communicating the need or reason to change is an important skill for change agents and a big factor in innovation velocity.” This comes via the StrategyDriven site.

The Toxic Leader Score

“Your Toxic Leader Score* (TLS) is the level of unnecessary irritation you cause others. If you occasionally irritate colleagues by arriving late, you’re a 3 on a range from 1 to 10. If you frequently irritate colleagues, but don’t realize it, your TLS is 9. The worst leaders don’t know they’re toxic.” Find out more about where you stand–from Dan Rockwell.

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