5 for Leadership-February 6th

Central-Park-Leadership

fiat.luxury on Flickr

5 for Leadership is a collection of timely posts on the topic of leadership from this past week. Sometimes I will introduce you to new bloggers, sometimes I stay with tried and true. I always aim for quality and variety while staying focused on what leaders need.

Leadership Lessons From an NFL Exec

“You never know when someone is watching.”

“That could be Lake Dawson’s mantra, writes Poets&Quants’ staffer Jeff Schmitt. A personnel executive with the Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, and Cleveland Browns, Dawson once toiled in the shadows. He focused on mastering his craft and helping his team gain an edge – always probing deeper and never sugarcoating his true beliefs.”

The Horizontal Leader

‘As the world gets flatter and faster, there are three changes that challenge the assumptions that made those leaders of the yesteryear appear in our bookracks.” See what else Raghu Krishnamoorthy has to say about the nature of leadership in the 21st century.

5 Rookie Pastor Mistakes

“Finally, after all your training and praying and longing, you receive a call from your first church. You are elated—and determined to do a great job. Here are the five most common rookie pastor mistakes I’ve observed.” Hershael York offers some great insights for every first pastor.

8 Personal Qualities for Success: A Coach’s Perspective

“In my experience, there is no one thing that makes someone successful. I believe real success involves a combination of eight critical components—and that a person needs all eight of these qualities to truly succeed.” Madeleine Blanchard shares some timeless insights in this brief post.

The Courageous Leadership of Winston Churchill

Churchill’s significance extends beyond his political victories and historical influence. I have argued for many years that Churchill represents, in many ways, a model of compelling leadership, even for Christians.” Read Albert Mohler’s excellent piece on this important leader. 

There are the 5 for this first week in February–enjoy!

5 for Leadership-January 30th

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Joanna Poe on Flickr

5 for Leadership is a weekly offering of five quality posts from this past week on the topic of leadership. This week there are posts on leader accountability, life purpose and work, and interview with the grandson of Nate Saint, a perspective on introverts, and the most important question a leader can ask.

Always, Always Entangle Purpose with Life Work

“Have you ever picked up a book because of a few quick social clips you see? I have, and the latest one resonated within the prairies of my mind. When Breath Becomes Air is the story of a neurosurgeon who often thought about what career would deliver the most meaning with his life. Although he became a physician, he wasn’t certain. Being a writer was also calling him, as he felt the impact of literature on his life. As his story unfolds, it is disrupted by lung cancer. Now, the physician becomes the patient, and the person struggles with the question of what to do with his remaining time.” John Mertz brings a very interesting perspective on life and work–take a look.

Quit Focusing on Accountability and Follow These 5 Steps Instead

“I don’t like the word accountability. It’s always rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. I think it’s because it assumes the worst about people. When we talk about accountability, it always seems the assumption is a person is incapable of, or unlikely to, follow through on his/her commitments. So we spend a lot of time and energy creating systems, processes, or consequences to make the sure the person is held accountable.” Randy Conley offers these 5 principles to counter the accountability trap.

The Legacy of Nate Saint

I love reading biographical posts of great leaders. Nate Saint qualifies. Here is an interview with the grandson of Nate Saint–you won’t be disappointed.

4 Lies About Introverts

“I’m an introvert. Most people who don’t know me well wouldn’t guess this about me, but it’s true. On a practical level, being an introvert means I’m generally more energized by time alone than by time with people, and I have a preference for a less externally stimulating environment. I feel very alive in a quiet, empty room.” Aime Patrick writes a sensitive and very informative post . . . be sure and read the final point on leadership.

The Most Powerful Question a Leader Can Ask

“Yesterday, my 8-year-old son, Nolan, asked me a question about World War II. As I was explaining certain battles and what happened, he cut me off. “Dad, I know what happened, I want to know WHY they did it.” He had many questions and all of them dealt with why generals and leaders made the choice they did. That opened up a discussion about how to make hard choices and what he would do if he faced a hard decision.” This is a great guest post by Chris Turnley on Bob Tiede’s blog.

There are the 5 for this week as we close out the month of January.

 

 

5 for Leadership-January 23rd

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Matty Ring on Flickr

This week in 5 for Leadership we have posts covering a leader’s need for support that leads to courage, counting the cost of leadership, living for your resume or your eulogy, leadership promises for the rest of the year, and one woman leader in history you need to get to know. Take a few minutes and be inspired.

Why You Must Count The Cost of Leadership or Risk The Well-Being of Others!

“Do all of us count the cost when we accept the mantle of leadership? I mean do we really count the cost when weighed against the conflict, misunderstandings and ultimately the potential persecution from those we have a charge to “lead-well” while in our care. I believe many of us do not and move into a place of leadership ill-prepared and armed only with information from Universities, books, certifications and maybe even an internship or two.” Jason Carthen hits at the essence of leadership in this post and why counting the cost matters.

The Power of Asking for Support: Courage is Contagious

“Good leaders know that in order to spark and sustain change, support is a must have. Yet our society ironically holds “doing it on our own” in high esteem, even when it comes to leading and managing. We revere the strength it conveys to accomplish things alone, despite the often miserable journey. Why?” This is a guest post by Mala Grewal on Bob Tiede’s blog. While you are on Bob’s site . . . check some of his other posts. You will not be disappointed.

Should You Live For Your Resume . . . or Your Eulogy

This brief message from David Brooks reminds us that depth of character is more important than accomplishments.

52 Leadership Promises for Every Week of the Year

“A new year means a new beginning, and here’s a promise a week for 2016. Following them through will end up changing your leadership and your life.” Lolly Daskal provides us with a commitment roadmap.

A Women’s Ministry Pioneer You Need To Know

“There’s been a huge surge of interest in women discipling women in recent years. Books, conferences, blogs, and podcasts urge us to pray, study, organize, read, and counsel one another. For some, this seems like a new development. After all, wasn’t women’s ministry in the past just jam-making and missionary teas? Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Aside from the many godly women who discipled younger women, there were those who trained and organized them, transforming whole areas by God’s grace. Ellen Ranyard was one of them.” You will enjoy and be inspired from this brief biography . . . from the Gospel Coalition web site.

There are the 5 for this week. Stay warm.

 

Preventing Leadership Mush

Porridge-Leadership-Mush

Annti T. Nissinen on Flickr

Last week I participated in some national meetings with the team in which I serve. While discussing a particular topic, I mentioned the word “mush” tied to leadership. This caught one of the other team members off guard and quickly stated that I must blog about leadership mush. It became a common refrain for the rest of our three-day meetings. So this is for you Bob!

Mush can be defined as “a thick porridge made with cornmeal boiled in water or milk.” That is not what I am talking about . . . although I am sure there is a leadership analogy somewhere in that definition.

The secondary definition for “mush” is “something soft and spongy or shapeless.”

I am sure that definition has leadership implications.

One of the defining characteristics of leadership is the ability to make things clear. Let’s take the three elements of the dictionary definition to learn how to avoid leadership mush.

Soft. In leadership terms, this relates to direction and decision making. If the direction is “soft” it is difficult for those who follow to be certain they are on the right path. No one wants to have to guess about where they should give their best efforts. Followers want great clarity in both long and short term direction. Be relentless about pointing them towards “true north” on a regular basis and you will avoid the consequences of “soft.” It is also critical that your day-to-day leadership decisions support that directional clarity. Some leaders will wax eloquent about the overall vision, but the in time decision making does not reflect or support the stated vision.

If you want to avoid leadership mush be sure that your daily decisions don’t derail your overall direction and leave those you lead with “soft.”

Spongy. Regarding leadership traits, I believe this relates to key goals and objectives. You know how it goes when you punch a sponge, right? It simply bounces back . . . no imprint made. Those you lead want to know that they can make a difference in and through the organization. They want to make a clear contribution to the purpose of the organization. But if goals and objectives are left unstated, unclear, or lack accountability . . . it will be nearly impossible to know when true progress is made. And the motivation of those you lead . . . those you have entrusted with the execution of the overall plan . . . will wane.

If you want to avoid leadership mush be sure that you have stated, clear, and accountable goals and objectives in place. Don’t settle for “spongy.”

Shapeless. Shape is something you portray. Shape depicts form and function. If you lead a team of people are you leading according to their “shape?” You have to know your team well enough to lead according to their shape. You must be aware of their strengths, emotional intelligence, and ability to collaborate. To assume that any team will do is to be “shapeless.” You must shape the team and lead according to their shape. This will help you achieve maximum impact.

If you want to avoid leadership mush be sure you have the “right people on the bus” and lead according to their “shape.” Shapeless looks like everybody else.

By the way, one of the added descriptors for “mush” according to Merriam-Webster is “mawkish.” That is a new word for me . . . but you have to love the sound of it. It just seems to cry out “mush.” It certainly describes what “mush” can become . . . something “having an insipid often unpleasant taste.” Don’t let that become the leadership experience of those around you.

5 for Leadership-January 16th

Clock-Leadership

Maëlick on Flickr

This week we take a closer look at spiritual leadership for both men and women. There are topics related to the all important task of leading teams, dealing with fear, worrisome leadership profiles, and leadership discouragement. And you will be introduced to some new leadership blogs . . . take a strong look.

7 Questions That Measure Team Culture

“Do you know whether or not your team culture is healthy? Many churches don’t, and this eventually always comes at a great price. It’s pretty common for organizations to make plans for a new year without first gaining clarity and insight about the team that will actually be executing the vision. Churches can’t reach their full potential until they can positively answer the following questions . . .” See what else Jason Vernon has to say on the Tony Morgan Live web site.

5 Ways To Build Diverse, Inclusive Leadership Teams

“There is an increasing body of evidence that diverse teams of varying racial and ethnic makeup produce better results. They perform better financially, gain a competitive edge when recruiting top talent, experience less employee turnover, and offer greater benefits for those they serve. This is true in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, but is particularly important for nonprofits that serve communities of color, which is overwhelmingly the case in the education sector.” Molly Brennan gives us five practical ways to build diverse teams . . . and why it matters.

Stepping Out Of Your Fear Into Calling

“The non-denominational church I started wasn’t even a year old when a successful church-planter declared: ‘Your church will never make it!’ ‘Why do you say that?’ I asked, feeling instantly wounded.’Because you’re way too insecure!’ He thoughtlessly replied. Ouch. All these years later, I still feel the sting from his words.” Linda Wurzbacher describes a critical element of leadership through the lens of her own experience.

8 Questions Discouraged Leaders Need To Ask

“As leaders, we all face times when things are not going as well as we would like.  In those seasons, it’s important to remember that before we can ever re-energize the church we lead, we have to first be energized ourselves. ” Brandon Conner addresses this common leadership malaise head on.

15 Leaders Who Worry Me

“None of us is a perfect leader. I’m certainly not. For that reason, I’m always hesitant to critique leaders. Nevertheless, leadership is so important that I want to list fifteen types of leaders who worry me.” Chuck Lawless hits 15 leadership profiles to be aware of . . . may none of them be you.

There are the 5 for this week. Take some time to read more than one.

 

5 for Leadership-January 9th

Leader-Lock-Leadership

Sarah Joy on Flickr

Here is a fresh 5 for Leadership. The new year is still young and this is a great season to set some personal leadership development goals. Some of these topics may be just the thing to jump-start 2016.

God’s Cleaning His House . . . The Church

“God is cleaning house in the American Church. Through current events dealing with ethnicity, race, and systemic oppression, He is exposing our dirty laundry (the systemic segregation in our churches, interpersonal networks, and theological formation) because He loves us.” This comes from D.A. Horton . . . and is worth the read. He also includes a great reading list as a resource.

16 Keys To Creating The Year You Want

The title speaks for itself. See what Dan Rockwell shares about getting your year off to the right start.

How To Tell Who You Can Truly Trust in Leadership

“So who can you trust… mean truly trust in leadership? You’ve trusted people you thought you could trust, only to be disappointed or get burned (sometimes badly). You’ve decided not to trust someone, only to realize you were wrong and he or she was completely trustworthy, and you missed a great opportunity to grow your team. Trusting people in leadership can be a disheartening and confusing proposition.” Take a look at Carey Nieuwhof’s three principles for trusting leaders.

Best of Leadership Network Today-January

“Here’s a collection of interesting, thought-provoking articles from around the web from recent weeks.” There are a wealth of resources in this post . . . as Leadership Network always does.

The 25 Essential Books for Every Entrepreneur’s Library

“No matter what stage you’re at in the entrepreneur journey, whether you just launched your first startup or have started several successful businesses, you can always use the advice of people who have “been there, done that.’’ What better way to get advice than from the pages of a book?”

There are the 5 for this week. I hope your 2016 is off to a great leadership start.

5 for Leadership-January 2nd

Time flies-Leadership

Alan Cleaver-Time Flies-on Flickr

Here is the first 5 for Leadership of 2016! I always appreciate this time of the year to reflect and evaluate . . . and make changes. I hope these recent posts aid you in your preparatin time for leading in 2016.

The Power of Vision, Part 5

“As you look out the future, what is the picture of a preferred future both for you and your organization?” Justin Irving provides some very practical principles and steps to help insure you stay on track in 2016.

3 Box Thinking–Structuring Your Church for Innovation

“As you enter 2016 it is helpful to put everything you do in your church into one of three boxes.” This is a great post from Eric Swanson . . . and will help you immensely in getting off to a great start in 2016 . . . whether you are part of a church staff or not.

How Not To Make New Year’s Resolutions

About 150 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year. That’s a lot of disappointed people. A quarter of those people will abandon their resolutions in just a week. Fewer than half will still be on track by summer. Ultimately, only 8 percent will be successful.” See what Michael Hyatt has to say to help you not be part of the 92%.

Personal Disruption–The Force That Will Shape 2016

“Disruption has the power to transform organizations, communities, and well, the world — but it doesn’t start on that macro level. It starts with individuals. Companies and organizations can’t disrupt, if their people don’t.” Whitney Johnson does a great job at disclosing the truth of this concept and helping us understand its benefits.

20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Young Leaders

Leading is never an easy proposition. Add being young to leadership and you can easily feel overwhelmed. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I know I can turn to the word of God for a bit of encouragement. The good book is full of encouragement for young leaders (and people in general). If you’re not a believer, I strongly believe you can still find the words of the Bible encouraging. Let’s take a look at the 20 verses I believe can encourage young leaders.” Joseph Lalonde points to some thought provoking and practical parts of the Bible that will benefit any leader.

There are the 5 for this week–are you ready for 2016?

5 for Leadership-December 26th

Winter-5-for-Leadership

Lali Masriera on Flcikr

For the week between the holidays, here is a fresh 5 for Leadership. This week there are posts on leadership basics, leadership habits, best leadership reads from 2015, and making the best leadership decisions. There is also one great video presentation on colorblindness and culture consciousness. This is a good week to consider your leadership life . . . some of these links may help.

7 Basic Things Every Great Leader Should Know

“In a recent survey, only 3 percent said they have confidence in corporate executives. The news was equally dismal for others: 3 percent reported having confidence in government officials, 5 percent in reporters and journalists, 8 percent in small business owners, and only 11 percent in ministers and clergy.” I included Lolly Daskal again this week–take a look at these leadership principles as you start a new year

Develop This One Habit in 2016 and You’ll Be The Most Popular Person in the Room

“Decades ago, when a friend of mine and I were both young and ill-educated about the ways of the world, he said, ‘Betty, this is why guys and girls are so different. When guys have a problem, they want to hear solutions. When girls have a problem, all they want to do is have you listen to them on and on and they don’t want to hear solutions.’ He was both right and wrong. Wrong in his overall gender assumptions, but right in one very critical way.” Find out what it is . . . from Betty Liu on Linkedin Pulse.

The 15 Best Business Books I Read in 2015

“I’m pleased to share the fifteen books that I enjoyed the most in 2015 – they made an impression on me, and I think they’re worth reading (or listening as I usually do).” See what Chris Fralic recommends–and grab a few for your personal reading list in the new year.

Adam Edgerly: From Colorblind to Culture Conscious

Adam is a pastor and leadership consultant. We at Cru City have been engaging with Adam for over a year now and he has proven to be invaluable in helping us embrace change. If you have the time, this is an excellent video presentation by Adam at Biola Univeristy on this critical topic.

How To Make Confident Decisions And Stand By Them

“I’ve spent countless nights wide awake, mulling over a leadership decision. Did I do the right thing? Was the choice I made best for the ministry and everyone involved? Even when I feel confident making a decision, I often second-guess myself later.” Kristine Brown uses the narrative of 2 Samuel 6 in the Bible to provide us with some solid principles on decision making . . . found in Leadership Journal.

There are the 5 for this last week in 2015. Take some quality time this week to reflect on your leadership as you prepare for 2016.

5 for Leadership-December 19th

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Marcela on Flickr

This version of 5 for Leadership has some great topics that will inspire you and serve to equip you to lead better. The topics covered this week are leadership vision, leadership simplicity, reaching your goals, the virtue of reading through your Bible in a year, and eleven inspiring leadership quotes.

The Power of Vision

“As most leaders can attest, vision tends to “leak” in organizations. The vision is put forward for all the key constituents and everyone seems to be on board and excited. Then a few weeks, or even a few days, go by, and suddenly the demands of day-to-day life and organizational needs turn the attention of people away from vision.” See what else Justin Irving has to say about this critical leadership task.

10 Ways To Simplify Your Leadership

“Often our greatest hardships are those we impose upon ourselves. There are some who think that in order to be a great leader, we have to allow life to teach us the hard way—but in truth, if we are open to learning things can come with ease. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.” Lolly Daskal is always on point–take a look.

The One Quality You Must Develop to Reach Your Goals

What does it take to accomplish your goals? Some people think it’s mostly about luck, smarts, good looks, and social connections. Nope.” Michael Hyatt provides some very practical advice that could get you off to a great start in the new year.

Fruitful Vines: 7 Reasons to Read the Bible in a Year

“I spent last week cleaning up the remains of tomato vines from my garden. It’s easy work because once vines are dead, they lose all strength and break apart with little effort. While the remains of a tree can be made into a range of items from paper products to furniture, a detached vine crumbles to dust with the slightest touch. It has no use except kindle for the fire.” Melissa Kruger makes a great case for this important spiritual discipline–every leader needs to consider this.

The Art of Leadership: 11 Quotes on Leading Well

Jonathan Michael gives us eleven inspirational quotes to help us think about our leadership as we finish another year–and launch into another year of intentional influence.

There are the 5 for this week. Merry Christmas!

5 for Leadership-November 21st

pumpkin-patch-leadership

Liz West on Flickr

5 for Leadership is a collection of weekly posts focused on the topic of leadership. This week there are posts covering leadership gratitude, first-time leaders, knowing when your leadership time is up, an interview with Max Lucado, and what millennial women think of leadership sacrifice. There is plenty to ponder.

Millenial Women Question: Is Leadership Worth The Sacrifice?

“The real question is: do Millennial women really not want to be leaders? Or, have they recognized how great the sacrifices female leaders must make, and how many obstacles there are for them in the business, and chosen other paths?” This post comes from the Switch & Shift blog and contains a great infographic.

Take An 80-20 Approach to First-Time Mangement

“As an individual contributor, your focus is on doing the work, getting projects done, and meeting deadlines. But when you switch into a manager role, it means that you have to help others get the work done and ensure that they have the support, resources, and encouragement they need to be successful, both as individuals and as a group.” David Witt contributes a great post for anyone new to leadership or improving in their leadership–on the Blanchard Leadership Chat blog.

5 Leadership Questions with Max Lucado

This is a podcast on the Christian Leadership Alliance website. I think you will really enjoy this interview with pastor, leader, and author–Max Lucado.

10 Ways A Leader Knows It Is Over

“Leadership is temporary.  Our responsibility is to steward it well while we have it.  The fact our leadership responsibilities will one day conclude is a sobering reality that is in the back of all our minds.” This post is from Brian Dodd on his blog, Brian Dodd on Leadership. Brian takes some points from a recent USA Today piece on Peyton Manning and makes some great leadership applications.

What Is Leading With Gratitude?

“Each of us has many things to be grateful for in our imperfect personal and professional lives. Although it may be easier to look at what is not working, it is more empowering for leaders to identify what we are thankful for. As Thanksgiving approaches for many of us, let’s explore ways to show our gratitude.” Terri Klass shares 10 great ways to show leadership gratitude on her blog Terri Klass Consulting.

There are the 5 for your Thanksgiving week. Take some time to truly reflect on your leadership journey this week–and give thanks!