5 for Leadership-December 19th


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


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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!


5 for Leadership-November 7th


William on Flickr

5 for Leadership this week contains posts on vital leadership perspective, a list of 17 role models that you won’t want to miss, the need for brave leadership, leadership lessons from Walt Disney, and how to overcome discouragement in leadership. Leading is exciting and challenging–all at once. My hope is that you find something here today that will encourage your leadership.

Brave Leadership

“Most people would agree that good leaders are brave leaders. But our definition of brave may vary widely. For some bravery could mean facing a tough personnel decision or making investment decisions to enter a new market. And while those decisions can often be brave, I contend that the highest form of bravery in an organizational context is keeping at bay the opposite of bravery; fear. This comes from Darrin Murriner on the Great Leadership blog.

17 Leadership Role Models Who Get Results That Last

“Who is your favorite leadership role model? This month, as Frontline Festival authors were submitting their posts, I asked them to consider the 7 Results That Last roles, and identify one role model who exemplified the values and behaviors inherent in that role. I loved the responses, and enjoyed the overlap across some of the roles.” Karin Hurt share some great insights from others on the Let’s Grow Leaders blog.

Three Business Lessons From Walt Disney

“Walt Disney has been a major influence on my approach to business. Having turned a small animation studio into one of the world’s most recognized brands, there are many lessons to learn from “Uncle Walt.” Here are three lessons that have stood out for me, and that every businessperson should take to heart.” Rick Caruso shares some practical principles for any leader.

7 Effective Ways To Embattle Discouragement In Leadership

“If you talk to most leaders long enough to get a real answer to ‘So how’s it going?” you will quickly discover that a surprising number of leaders are disheartened. Even discouraged.” Carey Nieuwhof has some hope-filled principles for leaders in ministry–or any leader seeking to follow Christ in their leadership.

4 Steps To Regaining Perspective As A Leader

“What’s your motive for leadership? I’ll admit. I easily fall into the trap of desiring leadership because I want the attention and the accolades that I perceive come with it. But that’s not what leadership is about.  There will never be enough attention, accolades or praise to satisfy the sacrifice that leadership requires. We have to be willing to lead because it matters.” Read more of what Jenni Catron has to say on this important topic. Also take note of her new book coming out in December!


5 for Leadership-November 1st


David on Flickr

Here is a new 5 for Leadership. There are posts on Reformation Day, pseudo leadership, leading at your best, the loneliness of leadership, and what Robert De Niro can teach you about leadership. There is something here for you.

Overcoming The Loneliness Of Leadership

“Over the past 20 years, Americans have faced a crisis of community. As Robert Putnam documented in his famous book “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital,” we’re spending less and less time with each other. As technology connects us, it changes the types of relationships we have. We have more “friends” than ever, but we lack the deep bonding we yearn for.” This comes from Bill George on Linkedin Pulse.

Beware The Pseudo-Leader

“Holding a position of leadership doesn’t make you a leader.” Joel Peterson teases out the differences between position and title–real and pseudo.

Reformation Day: Jesus Came Knocking

“Sometime around A.D. 95, Jesus, through the apostle John, came metaphorically knocking on the door of the church in Laodicea with an unsurpassed invitation: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.’” (Revelation 3:20) Jon Bloom makes a great analogy on this important day in history.

Lead At Your Best

“When we think of leadership, we often focus on the what: external characteristics, practices, behavior, and actions that exemplary leaders demonstrate as they take on complex and unprecedented challenges. While this line of thinking is a great place to start, we won’t reach our potential as leaders by looking only at what is visible. We need to see what’s underneath to understand how remarkable leaders lead—and that begins with mindsets.” Barsh and Lavole write a very insightful piece that every leader should read.

What Robert De Nero Taught Me About Leadership

I’m always surprised by what I learn at the movies. I go to be entertained. But many times I walk out of the theater with insights I can put to work in my life.” Michael Hyatt shares some wonderful insights from the movie The Intern.

There are the 5 for this week. Aim to finish the year well.

Dr. Noel Castellanos-Movement Day 2015


This past week I attended Movement Day 2015 in New York City. One of the plenary speakers was Dr. Noel Castellanos, CEO of the Christian Community Development Association.

The theme of Movement Day this year was “Bridging the Great Divide.” This relates to one of the great challenges in every major city–how to we bridge cultural, economic, and racial divides for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Dr. Castellanos addressed the issue of crossing the economic divide and made some very interesting remarks from the book of Nehemiah.

We find the beauty of the incarnation in John 1:1-14. In The Message, Eugene Peterson translates this verse as “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” But what kind of neighborhood did Jesus come from and move into?
Jesus came as a Galilean Jew. He came in poverty. He was dedicated with the offering of the poor. He was a laborer, a carpenter by trade. Jesus came out of the margins of his time and place and he entered the world as 100% God and 100% Galilean man. God launched his whole missionary endeavor from the margins of the world.
We find a model of how to bridge the economic divide through the book of Nehemiah. Most agree today that there is income inequality in our society. The rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming more poor. How do we as the Church enter into this setting?
1. We must have a new burden. The burden is to be broken enough to actually be present. When Nehemiah heard of Jerusalem’s plight he was broken and burdened for the state of his city. Nehemiah asks permission to go to his city and be present there–he incarnates into the situation. He becomes present.
2. We must have a new leadership approach. Nehemiah could have entered with great fanfare and privilege. He was a representative of the king. But he does not enter this way. He rejects privilege and perks. He was there for the sake of his city and not for himself. He was there to benefit his city and not himself. He rallied all of the citizens to contribute to the rebuilding of the wall for the sake of the city.
3. We must have a new partnership. If we read the companion piece to Nehemiah, Ezra, we see a partnership between Nehemiah and Ezra. Nehemiah focuses on meeting the physical needs of the city by building the city walls. Ezra focuses on building the spiritual lives of the people and calling them back to God’s covenant. There is always a clear link between spiritual vibrancy and economic restoration. We have to take the long view. Nehemiah spent the better part of 12 years seeing this restoration all the way through.
4. We must have a new sustaining presence. In Nehemiah 11 there is a “drawing of straws” to see who will actually move into the city for the sake of its sustenance. The ability for the Church to enter and remain in our city centers is critical for spiritual vitality and economic restoration.
Are we convinced that putting the poor in the center of our mission and concerns match the priorities of Jesus? Will we take these steps to help cross the economic divide?
What are your thoughts on Dr. Castellanos’ message?

Dr. Timothy Keller-Movement Day 2015


I am blogging from Movement Day 2015 in New York City. The first plenary speaker was Dr. Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

The theme of Movement Day this year is “Bridging the Great Divide.” This relates to one of the great challenges in every major city–how to we bridge cultural, economic, and racial divides for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Dr. Keller shared his perspective from Ephesians 2:11-22.

If we are going to bridge the cultural and spiritual divides of our cities we, as the body of Christ, must supplement our words with deeds.

Ephesians 2:18-22 speaks to why we can bridge these divides.

  1. We are fellow citizens. This is the most fundamental thing about us. As followers of Christ, we are first and foremost citizens of heaven–kingdom citizens. We are part of a new nation and we must live somewhat differently than those around us. Yet, a king lives in the same country as his citizens.
  2. We are members of the same household. As members of God’s family we are all siblings, children of God. We should be accountable to each other. We should live open lives with each other to become more like Christ. A father lives in the same household.
  3. We are a holy temple. We are each building blocks that helps to make up the temple of God in our communities and cities. This is where the Holy Spirit inhabits his people. We are cemented together as building blocks.

Each description becomes more intense. These things are true of is as a child of God. Because we share these marks of unity we can bridge the divides–but how?

Ephesians 2:11-17 speaks to how we can bridge the divides:

What was dividing the Jew from the Gentile in the passage was the Law. The Law was a good thing–Jesus came to fulfill the Law. It is our assets that always divide us–those things that are good about us. They become identity factors. We use our differences to bolster our sense of identity. Therefore our identity becomes a source of pride and self-righteousness.

There is a two part cure rooted in the gospel:

  1. Those who are near and those who are far are no different. Those who are trying to live good and those who are not both need the gospel. Both are sinners. In the gospel, there s no pecking order. The very essence of sin is to be your own savior. This realization humbles you forever. This is our humility.
  2. On the cross, Jesus was treated as we deserved to be treated. He was slain for our hostility. When we understand this it slays the hostile feelings in our heart. Our true identity is received, not achieved. This is our security.

We can combine humility and security through Jesus and overcome our divides.

What do you think?

5 for Leadership-October 24th


Totororo.roro on Flickr

This week in 5 for Leadership there are posts on servant leadership, how to deal with anxiety, the difference between careerism and leadership, leadership lessons learned, and important leadership trends. Take a few minutes during this fall day and stretch your leadership.

Top 12 Trends in Leadership Today

This is a great, quick read from Brad Lomenick that will keep you thinking. These are trends that merit your attention.

Are You A Serving Leader? A 5-Point Checklist

“Ken Blanchard believes there is one fundamental question all leaders need to ask themselves:  Is the purpose of my leadership to serve—or is it my expectation to be served?  A leader’s answer is important because it leads to two fundamentally different approaches to leadership.” This comes from Terry Watkins on the Blanchard Leadership blog.

The Surprising Difference Between Careerism and Leadership

“Are you leading with purpose or just trying to get ahead? Do you actually believe in something larger than your compensation, your career trajectory or your next success? I often tell young leaders, if their work has no meaning or satisfaction, they are better off quitting and sitting on the beach until they decide what they want to do.” This comes from Bill George on Linkedin Pulse.

What My Boss Taught Me About Leadership

“Let me set the scene. My career was plateauing. I had done well, but things had started to get a bit stale. Then, I had a meeting/interview with Neil Hobbs. Neil would have the biggest impact on my professional life.” Colin Shaw shares some poignant principles on leadership lessons learned–on Linkedin Pulse.

Anxiety & Prayer

Finally, I offer this brief, 2:43 video on anxiety and prayer by Crawford Loritts. All leaders face anxieties on a daily basis. What is your solution to dealing with them? Dr. Loritts provides the secret.

5 for Leadership-October 17th


Susanne on Flickr

5 for Leadership this week includes posts on leadership prayers, leadership possibilities, leadership discomforters, the need for coaching, and leadership effectiveness. Take a few minutes and be inspired.

10 Principles of the Thorn

“Comfort isn’t a solution. Recurring problems fester when comforters win. But, if you allow pain to escalate, change eventually becomes necessary. Discomfort motivates change.” This is Dan Rockwell at his best.

Leading From The Land of Possibilities

“Whenever you launch a business or organization, launch day is a big day. It’s exciting and possibilities are endless.” Joseph LaLonde captures some powerful thoughts from Jeff Henderson at the Catalyst conference.

3 Indisputable Reasons Why Everyone Needs a Coach

“Everyone needs a coach. But, not everyone wants a coach or wants others to know that they need a coach.” Marshall Goldsmith Lays out some great principles for the value of coaching.

4 Components of Leadership Effectiveness

“When one talks about being successful at leading people and resources, they really mean being effective. It’s impossible to have one without the other. So the natural question arises; how do you truly know if your leadership is effective?” This comes from Christian Knutson on the General Leadership blog.

10 Good Prayers of an Effective Leader

Ron Edmondson gives us a list that may be the most important thing we read today–and pray.

There are the 5 for this week!

“Why” for Leaders


La Ciudad Visible on Flickr

“What” is for followers.

“Why” is for emerging leaders.

I have often commented that the greatest task for every leader is the responsibility to raise up more leaders. This really should be a leader’s first and controlling thought.

But most leaders treat those that report to them as mere laborers. They only delegate tasks. They focus on the “what” of a job and forget to explain “why.” To merely tell someone what you want them to do is to focus more on the task than the development of the emerging leader. To tell them “why” is to help them understand the leadership principles behind the task you want them to complete.

“Why” points to the overall direction behind a decision.

“Why” lays the philosophical foundation for the task at hand.

“Why” helps an emerging leader in how to think–so that next time they can make a great decision.

It is best to ask an emerging leader “why.”

But you can also tell an emerging leader “why.”

Education will leave its mark.

Personal discovery will last a lifetime.

Listen to some of the questions of Jesus:

“Why are you anxious about clothing?”

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?”

“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”

“Why do you think evil in your hearts?”

“Why do you question in your hearts?”

“Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

“Why put me to the test?”

“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?”

“Why” gets to leadership motives.

Lead well!

5 for Leadership-September 26th


Tristan Martin on Flickr

Here is a fresh 5 with topics like the need for leadership rest, why teams fail, the power of truly listening, what VW missed about the nature of trust, and the need to rethink ministry calling. There is great variety here and something just for you!

8 Reasons Why Teams Fail

“We use the word team so often that it has almost become a garbage can word. Everything is a team. Because we use the word so frequently, we think we know how to work effectively with teams. Unfortunately we do not. Teams are complex dynamic systems that face many challenges. In fact 60% fail to reach their potential.” This comes from the Lead Change Blog and is worth the read.

When’s The Last Time You Rested?

“Why did I push rest to the back of my life? I never really did. I let it slip to the background and forgot about it. This is what so many people do. We get our projects. We get our hobbies. We get our busyness. And we forget to rest.” Joseph LaLonde highlights through his own experience our need for rest from the churn of leadership.

What Happens When We Really Listen

Karin Hurt shares some wonderful insights from one of her most popular blog posts ever! Take a few minutes and learn from her experience.

What VW Didn’t Understand About Trust

“The ripple effects of the Volkswagen scandal go well beyond the 11 million cars affected, the CEO’s resignation today, and the steep fines the company is facing. Though the story is still developing, there are a few big, interconnected lessons to be drawn from what we know so far.” This comes from Andrew Winston and the HBR.

Why Its Time To Rethink What It Means To Be Called To Ministry

“Chances are you’re likely struggling with the same issue almost every church leader is—a lack of truly great leaders for ministry. Whether I talk to megachurch leaders or leaders of churches of 50 people, they say the same thing: they just can’t find enough capable, gifted leaders who want to serve in a church staff role.” Carey Nieuwhof provides some great perspective and thoughtful principles for what it means to be called into ministry.

There are the 5 for this final week in September. It’s bound to get cooler here in Austin sometime.