5 for Leadership (1/24/15)

medium_2115303614Here is a new 5 for Leadership with some excellent posts on MLK, Winston Churchill, leadership priorities, simple leadership and the future of leadership. There is something here that will enhance your leadership . . . I promise.

3 Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill  “This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. We might draw many lessons from Churchill’s life, and not all of them salutary (his views on religion, women, and alcohol come to mind). Nevertheless, Churchill was an inspiring and effective leader in a time of crisis, and it is appropriate to consider what he might teach us today about leadership.”  This comes from Gavin Ortlund and contains some great insights and foundational principles for leadership.

What Are Your Leadership Priorities? 5 Areas to Target  “During a recent 360 feedback interview, the client I was working with said something that caught my attention. I’ve been thinking of it since then, and it’s having an impact on what I am identifying as my priorities and targeted behaviors for this year. My client said there are five things you can never be too good at and always need to develop.” This is from Linda Miller on the Blanchard Leader Chat site.

Simple Leadership  “If you are anything like me, the never-ending books, articles, biographies, and latest best practices of leadership are both overwhelming in their volume and confusing in their analysis. So allow me to cut through the unnecessary esoteric complexity of today’s often convoluted approaches to leadership and share a profoundly simple yet powerful system for effective leadership. There are six essential skills of simple leadership.” This is by John Barney on the Business Timezone Blog.

Imagining the Future of Leadership  Linda Fisher Thornton participated recently in the #LeadWithGiants Tweetchat. Here is her lead in: “During the Tweetchat, inspiring global voices weighed in on big questions, including these:

  • What will the future of leadership be like?
  • What is the best case scenario for the future of leadership?
  • How will we individually and collectively reach that best case scenario?”

MLK and Jesus: No Romanticized Kings  “Next to Jesus and the Apostle Paul, no leader has influenced me like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and legacy we honor annually during this time of year.” Natasha Sistrunk Robinson shares a striking post in honor of MLK Day from her blog, A Sista’s Journey.

There are the 5 for this week. I hope your 2015 is off to a great start. Lead well.

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5 for Leadership (1/17/15)

medium_7419220612This week’s 5 for Leadership includes posts on an important movie for leadership, a collegiate quarterback on leadership, empowering leadership, future leadership, and women in leadership. Take a few minutes and grow your leadership.

What Marcus Mariota Teaches Us About Success  “But how do people like Mariota become so successful? Are there certain characteristics these people share that set them apart?? See what Michael Lee Stallard has to say about the outstanding quarterback of the Oregon Ducks.

Let Your Leaders Lead  ‘If you want a great culture in which leaders are excited, then do six simple things.” This is a guest post on Ron Edmondson’s blog by Tim Stevens. This is an important piece on empowerment and raising up more leaders.

2015 Leadership Predictions: 7 Big Changes Every Leader Wants to Know About  “Every leader knows the importance of being strategic.  Being strategic means looking into the future and identifying trends, opportunities and threats.” See what Dense Corcoran has to say as she peers into the future of leadership.

Women In Leadership Is Not A Zero-Sum Game  “When it comes to discussions on the state of today’s leadership, one topic that understandably comes up is the issue of women in leadership. Specifically, why there continues to be so few women holding senior-level leadership positions in both the private and public sectors.” This is really two posts in one. Tanveer Naseer rekindles the need we have to value women in leadership. Chelsea Berler shares her great learning in being a woman CEO of her own marketing firm. This is a great read.

‘Selma': American History, Raw and Honest  Leaders need to be aware of current events as well as historical realities to lead well. Jason Collins provides some great insight through this post on the current movie Selma. Hope should always be a valued currency in the expression of leadership.

There are the 5 for this week. Prepare for next week by reading a few of the posts featured here.

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5 for Leadership (1/10/15)

medium_2411807740Here is the first new 5 for Leadership for 2015. There are posts on busyness, mindfulness, integrity, having digital influence, and trust building. There is something here for you!

On Leadership and the Integrity Test  “All of us, at one time or another, have been asked to do something that made us pause for a moment before proceeding.” This comes from Eleanor Biddulph on the Linked2Leadership blog and serves as a good heart and head check about this most important trait.

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain  “The business world is abuzz with mindfulness. But perhaps you haven’t heard that the hype is backed by hard science. Recent research provides strong evidence that practicing non-judgmental, present-moment awareness (a.k.a. mindfulness) changes the brain, and it does so in ways that anyone working in today’s complex business environment, and certainly every leader, should know about.” This comes from the HBR blog and provides more motivation for mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

30 Influencers Behind The Brands We Love  “These influencers are people that work daily on strategy and execution for their brands; the study looks past lists and rankings and strives to view the influencers behind their brands as real human beings.” Here is a fascinating look at digital brand influence . . . and maybe some key people to follow on your Twitter account.

3 Ways Leaders Build Trust  “Effective leaders know that there’s a lot to be gained (and learned) from listening, but they don’t always have the time to “go there.” Three questions make it easier to build trust at work.” This comes from someone new to me . . . Jason Womack. This post offers some very practical, instantly applicable advice.

4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Busyness  “I’m a busy person. I interact with busy people all the time. Chances are, you’re a busy person (which is why you’re not even reading this introduction . . . you’re already skimming my four points below). Busyness is in the air. Not many of us like it, but few of us have managed to escape it.” J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in North Carolina, provides us with some quality advice and biblical perspective on dealing with this common enemy.

There are the 5 for this week. Enrich your leadership life by looking at more than one of these great posts.

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Top 10 Posts for 2014

medium_96228072Here are the 10 posts that you made the most popular during 2014. Thank you for helping to make this past year such a success for me and The Leadership Crossing blog. Lead purposefully and effectively into 2015.

Delegation vs Empowerment  “To delegate means to choose or elect a person to act as a representative for another. To empower someone means to give power or authority to someone else. Do you hear the difference?”

Winston Churchill on Leadership  “Winston Churchill was certainly one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. But it was not without trial nor failure. His leadership character was forged in the crucible of suffering and fatigue.”

3 Types of Leadership Decisions  “This is the 2nd post on the topic of leadership decisions. In the first one I discussed the nature of leadership decisions and offered some diagnostic questions to help you in thinking through every leadership decision you make. In this post we will look at three types of leadership decisions.”

3 Marks of Leadership Maturity  “One aspect of leadership I have been pondering is how Christ-centered leadership matures. As I have looked back over my own leadership life it is clear that there have been seasons marked by immature leadership–leadership that was more focused on self than on Christ and others.”

4 Critical Questions for Strategic Planning  ““Strategic planning” has become buzz terminology in the past ten plus years. There are several varieties of strategic planning approaches. All are designed to help teams and organizations focus on the most critical aspects of reaching a desirable future.”

Monty’s List of 7 Necessary Leadership Qualities  “Taken from his Memoirs, here is a list of what Monty believed to be seven necessary qualities for a military leader. I would suggest they would stand well for any leader, and certainly spiritual leaders who realize they are ultimately in a spiritual battle.”

A Leader’s Prayer-Judges 5  “The period of the Judges in the Bible was a tumultuous one. During this time, Israel as a nation entered into cycles of sin that constantly required a deliverer  in the form of a judge.”

Courage and the Next Leader  “In this case Joshua is succeeding an icon in the man Moses. Yet it was Joshua’s task to take this million plus people  across the Jordan River and into Canaan. Four times in eighteen verses Joshua is exhorted to be courageous. You would need a healthy dose of courage too if you were leading over a million people into a hostile land.”

Finishing Well  “Recently, I was part of an energizing time of leader development with all of the staff of our church here in Austin. While I was upfront making a brief presentation on the framework that we would be using for development, a critical question was asked by one of the participants. I had made the comment that I think it is difficult to finish well as a spiritual leader. The question was asked, “How does one finish well?”’

The Principle of Focus  The key to complexity is not simplicity, but focus. “I have often made that statement about leadership and stand by it.  I usually preface that statement with the idea that if you are not dealing with some level of complexity then you are not really leading anything of significance.”

5 for Leadership (12/27/14)

medium_7720962Here is a new 5 for Leadership as we stand between Christmas and the New Year. There are posts to help you prepare for 2015, how to be miserable as a leader, and the best leadership books of this past year. Take a few minutes and take a look.

The Best Leadership Books of 2014  “As leaders we must learn and grow. We must be creative and innovative in our organizations but perhaps more importantly, in working on ourselves. The context we lead in requires nothing short of radical personal development. All of the following titles cover an aspect of this need.” This comes from the Leading Blog and may open your eyes to some titles you missed.

70 New Years Resolutions for Leaders  “With only about a week left of 2014, it’s time to select your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015. To get you started, how about selecting one or more of these 70 New Year’s resolutions for leaders?” This comes from Eric Jacobson and will get your thoughts flowing on what to change and improve for 2015.

Leaders As Curators  “Your role as the day-to-day leader in an organization is to be the curator of content. You must bring other voices to speak to the issues your team needs to hear. You can’t say it all and they won’t listen to you all the time anyway.” See what else Jenni Cartron has to say about this unique perspective.

How To Be A Miserable Leader  “Each morning, as soon as you awake, recite these few lines to be a miserable ministry leader:” That should get you going. This is a pithy, brief post–and worth your time–from Scott Couchenour.

10 Ways To Build Success in 2015   This last one comes from Dan Rockwell–need I say more? These leadership principles will also get your juices stirring for what you need to do in 2015.

There are the 5 for this week. Take some time in the next few days and prepare for the year ahead.

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The Leadership Mandate

medium_5533558309I believe the primary role of every leader is to raise up more leaders.

Leadership is always a leveraged form of influence and it always works. That means when you seek to have intentional influence, you will–either for good or for bad–and in greater measure. Leadership is in short supply these days, no matter what sector of society you survey. This is just as true about spiritual leadership. It is imperative that we as Christ-centered leaders see our primary task as raising up more Christ-centered leaders.

The Apostle Paul penned three letters in the Bible that are aimed at two emerging leaders. The book of 2 Timothy is one of those letters. Timothy had been entrusted with the leadership of all of the house churches in Ephesus. Arguably, these were the people most dear to Paul. He spent more time in Ephesus than any other city on his missionary journeys. In this letter Paul is giving Timothy practical instruction on leadership.

In 2 Timothy 2:1-7 Paul places an emphasis on leader multiplication. In this brief passage there are three commands:

Be Strengthened-It will only be by the grace of Christ that Timothy will be able to multiply his life and multiply the leaders.

Entrust to Faithful Men-Paul is charging Timothy to make a deposit of instruction into the lives of those who are able and willing to pass it on to others. That deposit is the gospel itself in all of its fulness.

Share in the Suffering-The mission is not safe. We are deceived to ever think that it is. The mission includes spiritual warfare. Therefore it behooves us to see ourselves as soldiers. And soldiers suffer. This is the first of three metaphors Paul will use to give Timothy understanding about the nature of multiplying the leaders.

Paul then adds three attitudes that are critical to succeeding as a multiplier of leaders.

Devotion-Paul goes on to speak about the nature of soldiering. He states that a soldier’s sole desire is to please the one who enlisted him. In the 1st century there was no volunteer army. The king commissioned who served and who did not. A soldier commissioned is a soldier devoted to the king of his country. We can take that analogy to heart as we have been commissioned by the King of kings.

Discipline-Paul also uses an athletic analogy in this passage, which Paul famously does in several other letters he has penned in the New Testament. The only athlete who wears the victor’s wreath is the one who competes according to the rules. He disciplines himself or herself to do nothing less. There is a required discipline to seeing leaders multiplied towards Kingdom influence. There is a proper way to disciple. We ground them in core doctrine and we equip them well.

Dedication-Finally, Paul uses the farmer as the final analogy for what he has charged Timothy to do. A farmer has to plant and wait. Even when the crops begin to appear he must remain vigilant to nurture the shoots and protect them from ravenous insects or searing drought. That is dedication, all in hope of a future reward. We too must apply dedication, determined diligence, to the discipleship process that will multiply the leaders necessary for God’s kingdom to be expanded.

Our task is to multiply the leaders.

We must do so from a foundation of grace.

We must do so making a faithful deposit of the gospel to those who are qualified and ready.

We must do so knowing that we will suffer along the way.

It will require strict devotion, a focused discipline, and great dedication.

But the cause is great and the Master is worth our very best efforts–and He will cause the increase.

This is our leadership mandate.

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5 for Leadership (12/13/14)

medium_2249355370Here are 5 new posts on the topic of leadership. The topics cover digital media and leadership, the importance of time, ethical leadership, leadership and the battle for civil rights, and whether you have what it takes to lead. Take a few minutes and grow your leadership.

7 Traits That Indicate You Might Not Be Leadership Material  “Being an effective leader is a task not everyone can do. At least not without guidance from mentors, experience, desire to think of others first, and the will to absorb his or her staff’s positive and negative traits. Are you leadership material?” See what else Rosalinda Randall has to say on the Great Leadership blog.

Making Time For Time  “Time is a non-renewable resource; a fixed asset. If you’re diligent, you can earn more money—but time, once it’s spent—is gone.” Brian Sooy gives us four priorities when considering the stewardship of time–on the Lead Change Group blog.

Digital Media and the Future of Your Leadership  This is a six and half minute video that walks through the power of digital media for leadership in the 21st century. A full transcript is provided within the post also. This will get you thinking.

9 Questions for Ethical Leaders in the New Year  “As we head into the New Year, use these questions to plan how you will transform your leadership, your workplace and your world. Ethical leadership is not something we will ever “finish” or check off a list. It’s a lifelong quest. Take the time to plan now for your ethical success in 2015. Get ready for the future of ethical leadership.” Lind Fisher Thornton gives us some great evaluative questions to grow our leadership.

The Final Civil Rights Battle: Ending Police Brutality  If you don’t think recent issues surrounding Furguson and the Eric Garner case are not leadership issues you would be wrong. Leaders, especially majority culture leaders, must be aware of the deeper narrative that this issues reveal. Thabiti Anyabwile writes a powerful post that every leader should read.

There are the 5 for this week. There is something here for you–maybe more than one post will inform your leadership.

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5 for Leadership (11/22/14)

medium_10422357596Here is a fresh 5 for Leadership for your Thanksgiving Week. There are posts on defining leadership, the two faces of leadership, the proper place of leadership, and some important rules of leadership. There is some great content this week–take some time and be inspired.

The 10 Golden Rules of Leadership  “Michael Soupios and Panos Mourdoukoutas have reviewed the writings of the Classical philosophers and selected ten ideas that will positively impact our leadership effectiveness in The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership. Not surprisingly, the philosophies of classic figures remain relevant in today’s workplace.” This was found on the Leading Blog and is a testament to rules of antiquity still being relevant today.

The Two Faces of Leadership  “Too many leaders are out of balance – focusing primarily on the future or primarily on their organization. If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you lead? If your followers aren’t able to follow, who are you leading?” This comes from Jesse Lyn Stoner, who always has quality content.

What Is Leadership? 30 Definitions  “Leadership has always been an elusive concept to define. Perhaps that’s why it’s so hard to learn and great leaders are in such short supply. There really is no one “right” definition of leadership – so instead, here is a collection of my favorite definitions, from both the famous and not-so-famous.”  This comes from Dan McCarthy and will stimulate your thinking about the essence of leadership.

You Can’t Lead From Behind  “As a leader, your place is in front of your team. Think of a lead sled dog, a Drum Major for a band or the leader of a 4-ship of F-15s. Does it mean you always have to be physically in front of the herd? No. But you have to be with your team, experiencing the same situation, to understand the issues and know how to guide your team.” This comes from the General Leadership blog, which I have referenced several times before–and always has thought provoking content.

The Definition of a Great Leader  “Everyone has an idea in their heads of what a great leader looks like. They have the picture-perfect image in their minds. Sometimes this idea of a great leader is easy to express. Other times, words are elusive and you just can’t pinpoint what makes a great leader.” See how Joseph Lalonde defines leadership through a number of leadership traits.

There are the 5 for this week. Have a great Thanksgiving–and truly give thanks!

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5 for Leadership (11/15/14)

small__136782490A new 5 for Leadership is out for this 3rd week in November. There are posts on servant leadership, leadership trust, distracted leaders, a leadership metaphor, and leaders as dreamers. Take a few minutes and grow your leadership.

A Leadership Secret for Today’s Distracted Leader  “Now I cannot remember the person who said this many years ago. But, I will never forget writing down the words in my notebook when I heard the speaker declare them from the platform, ‘When you’re in the room, be in the room.'” This comes from Roy Saunderson on the Switch & Shift blog.

Trust As The Differentiator  “82% percent of people don’t trust that their leaders tell them the truth. This statistic is sobering, sad, and at the same time an amazing opportunity for those leaders who want to differentiate their organizations on the basis of trust – both with employees and with customers. What if transparency and trust were truly seen as differentiators in the workplace?” This post comes from Jim Haudan, also on the Switch & Shift blog.

One Metaphor That Taught Me Everything About Leadership  “Who is a better leader? A clock builder or time teller?” Paul Sohn reflects on some timeless principles from Jim Collins and amplifies them. Take a look at three truths that will transform your leadership.

Great Leaders Are Dreamers  “We were all taught in Supervision 101 that managers are directors of stuff—policies, materials, numbers, and systems; while leaders are influencers of people. People have hearts and souls rather than programs and sums; people are emotional, not just logical. And, that is where the dream part comes in.” See what Chip Bell has to say that relates directly to self leadership.

Servant Leaders Are Authentic-Acronym Model   “The next principle in the SERVANT Leadership acronym is Authentic. Authenticity is all about transparency. A great leader is the same in private as they are in public. What they speak behind closed doors matches what they say on stage. The authentic servant leader is consistent in message and transparent in intent.” This is number 5 of a 6 part series on what it means to be a servant leader. After you read this one, link to the previous four.

There are the 5 for this week. Take some time this weekend to strengthen your leadership.

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5 for Leadership (11/8/14)

medium_5936900121Here is a new 5 for Leadership. There are posts on calling and purpose, leadership disciplines, toxic leaders, the heart of a leader, and the ultimate test of leadership. Take a few minutes and restore.

The Four Disciplines of the Heart  “Recently, I met with a leader who was in the process of losing heart. I have seen the look in his eyes a hundred times before. (I had seen it in my own mirror on more than one occasion.)” Michael Hyatt shares some necessary leadership practices for all of us.

How To Recognize Toxic Leaders  “There are good leaders, excellent leaders and, sad to say, there are some really bad leaders. How would you know what to look for to recognized a really bad leader?” Dave Kraft shares some insightful words from Thom Rainer on this important topic.

The Ultimate Test of Leadership  “The ultimate test of leadership is this: Do you as a leader have the ability to help common people achieve uncommon performance? Can you help a follower or a weak leader become a strong leader?” This comes from the LeadToday blog and will certainly get you thinking about the effectiveness of your leadership.

4 Surprising Disciplines a Leader Must Master  “Some of the best leadership advice I have ever received was on what I was doing when I was not leading. What was my pace of life? Was I resting well? Did I have moments of fun with family and friends? These items release pressure and breathe life into a leader.” J.T. Ayers provides some great advice for every leader–and it may not be what you think.

Change Your Circumstance, But Not Your Calling  “How do you connect the dots between your daily actions and your greatest calling or purpose? Do your daily actions and responsibilities force you to be something you are not? Or do they line up with your purpose?” Mike Henry, on the Lead Change Group blog, gives us sound advice and the example of his own life to spur us on.

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

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