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.

“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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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-July 18th


Here is a fresh lineup of great leadership posts. This 5 for Leadership covers such topics as 10 great theological online resources, accountability in leadership, Phil Jackson on leadership, leadership conversations, and the beauty of networked teams. Take a few minutes and grow your leadership skills and understanding.

Phil Jackson’s 11 Principles of Leadership

“Few people would be more qualified to talk about leadership than Phil Jackson in the sports arena. Jackson is considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NBA clenching 11 championship titles as a coach. Phil Jackson shares 11 leadership principles that have propelled him to become a championship leader.” (Paul Sohn)

Providing Accountability (Leadership Practice 9)

“I’m in a series highlighting 9 Effective Servant Leadership Practices. Servant leadership is not just a good idea. It works! The 9 effective leadership practices highlighted in this series capture core leadership dimensions that are correlated with effectiveness in the team context. This week we will take on the final of the 9 practices—Providing Accountability. (Justin Irving on Purpose in Leadership)

3 Conversations of a Leader

“At its core, leadership is about conversations. As a leader, the quality of the conversations that you have with your team, and those in your business circle, determines your outcome as a leader.” (Croft Edwards on General Leadership)

Make Your Team Less Hierarchal

“A company used to be able to dominate the competition if it focused on creating an effective group of verticals. But in today’s world, leaders using the network model can quickly outpace those who remain focused on winning individual battles.” (Chris Fussell in the HBR)

Online Theological Resources

“If you’re an avid online Bible student, you are probably already familiar with the ten resources I’ve listed below. But these are the ones that I find most helpful in my own personal study.” (Nathan Busenitz on Preachers and Preaching)

There are the 5 for this week. Now back to the British Open . . . if we ever get out of a weather delay.

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Servant Leadership & An African Church

church-congregation-servant leader

The congregation praying for us as we finished our time with them

According to Robert K. Greenleaf, “The servant-leader is servant first . . . it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first . . . to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.”

Last week I was in Uganda as part of an 11 person team from the United States to minister to a partnership church in Pader. The Ugandan pastor’s name was Enoch. He is not a man tall in stature, but he is certainly a man tall in heart.

He had asked a few of us to speak to the congregation on leadership, highlighting that this was a great need among his people. I was nervous to make my first presentation. The African culture has a long history of strong patriarchal leadership . . . almost always focused on one strong man at the top. Servant leadership has a different agenda, a different approach. But would that leadership teaching and style be accepted in this rural Ugandan church setting?

My fears were allayed when Pastor Enoch introduced myself and the rest of our speaking team as those who would teach on the topic of servant leadership. I was surprised and in awe of this culture breaking leader who wanted to see every member of his church better understand how they could have unusual influence through the concept of servant leadership.

Pastor Enoch not only espoused servant leadership . . . he lived it. Here are three attitudes I saw lived out through his life while we were in his midst.

1. Deference

Pastor Enoch briefed us before we began as to the needs and desires of the congregation. Each evening of our visit he would update us as to how the present day had gone and what we might consider teaching on the next day. Yet, he always wanted to know what we thought might be most appropriate as we taught principles of servant leadership. And he almost always deferred to our suggestions.

This was his congregation of some 200 people. He was the spiritual shepherd. He had to live with the consequences of our teaching . . . we could get on a plane and go home.

He was equally concerned for our well being as he was for the well being of is congregation. He bowed to the perceived expertise of our teaching team. He did not do so without consultation or without feedback . . . but he did do so. And it make our ability to stand and deliver so much easier.

2. Flexibility

Every day Pastor Enoch would adjust the schedule and the suggested content for the needs of his people. He would prayerfully assess their emotional and spiritual stability. He would change the pace, the breaks, the prayer times, and the meals to best ensure a listening and attentive audience . . . because he wanted them to benefit and be better people . . . better leaders.

This was not about him. Its always easier to run a routine program. The hard thing is to listen carefully, inspect closely, and make adjustments so that the deepest needs being met. That begins with a servant first orientation.

3. Inclusion

Pastor Enoch took a broad view of leadership. He strayed from the cultural norms by seeing men and women as people of great potential influence. He allowed my wife to speak on the topic of servant leadership . . . twice.

One evening we convened a dinner for leaders of the church. Pastor Enoch invited over 20 men and women to participate. There were young leaders and older leaders. There we committed members of the church and those who were only participating in our mini conference. He invited other leaders from other congregations. He included many that many more might be blessed. He was able to see beyond his own territorial borders to the broader needs of the community. Their well being was upper most in his mind.

I learned a lot from Pastor Enoch. My leadership improved by observing and experiencing his leadership.

“The servant-leader is servant first . . . “

servant leader

Pastor Enoch with my friend Brian


5 for Leadership-July 11th


I have returned from my overseas trip and here is a new 5 for Leadership. There are posts on leading young leaders, why you are not a leader, privilege and leadership, gut instincts, and signs of troubled team leadership. Take a few minutes and find something just for you.

10 Reasons Why You’re Not A Leader

Paul Sohn just relaunched his blog with a new brand. This is an older post by Paul, but is very insightful. “Do you want to make a difference? Change the culture? Turn the world upside down? Make a dent in the universe? Well, let me tell you that you won’t achieve this without leadership.”

Take a look at Paul’s new site!

How To Know If You Can Trust Your Gut Instinct As a Leader

“You have a gut instinct about almost everything that comes across your radar. Before you even say anything out loud, often you have an intuitive sense of whether you should move ahead or not, whether you should jump in or step back, or whether someone is trustworthy or not. The question is, how do you know if you can trust your gut reaction as a leader?”

Carey Nieuwhof shares 5 helpful tips on knowing whether to trust your gut instinct of not.

Short Conversations on Privilege and Leadership

“Last month, I had the chance to sit down with Tod Bolsinger (Vice President for Formation and Vocation at Fuller Theological Seminary) to discuss the intersections between privilege and leadership.”

This is a series of 9 short videos capturing a conversation with Christena Cleveland. Pick out a few, or listen to all of them . . . you will be challenged and enlightened.

5 Signs Your Leadership Team Is In Trouble

“I once heard John Maxwell say that “team work makes the dream work.” However, as I survey the leadership landscape, I believe the reason a lot of dreams are not working is because a lot of teams are way more dysfunctional than dedicated.”

This is a very practical post from Perry Noble. He first posted this back in March . . . it is worth the read.

7 Ways To Raise Up Young Leaders

talk to pastors and leaders my age and older who want to see a new generation of leaders. They claim to love investing in younger leaders. They recognize the huge need in churches and organizations. Our future depends upon doing so.”

Ron Edmondson writes from experience. These 7 principles will greatly aid you in investing in the next generation.

There are the 5 for this week. I hope you take some time to reflect and consider how you can be a better leader.

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5 for Leadership-June 20th


Here is a brand new 5 for Leadership, This week there are posts on leadership prayers by famous Christian leaders, how to have a less stress-filled life, the birth of Linked 2 Leadership, leading experts, and how to better navigate difficult conversations. There is some rich content this week. Take advantage.

A 4-Step, Simple Strategy To Have a Less Stress-Filled Life  “Are you ever stressed? Silly question, right?We can never remove all the issues of our life that bring us stress. We have to somehow learn to navigate our lives through stress. I have some easy suggestions. I have shared this strategy so many times. I hope you find it helpful.” This is from Ron Edmondson, who always provides something practical.

On Leadership, Authenticity and the Birth of Linked 2 Leadership  “Studies have shown that it takes about 10,000 hours to be an expert in something. Our studies show it only takes 10 minutes to read one of our expert interviews, where you learn from the experts!” This is a very interesting post about the beginnings of linked2leadership, which I have highlighted many times. You will gain even greater respect for Tom Shulte.

Leading People When They Know More Than You Do  How do you change leadership styles from being a specialist to being a generalist? There will come a day when you will lead people with more experience than you and more knowledgeable than you. Will you be ready? This is good post from the HBR.

Communication Mistakes To Avoid in A Difficult Conversation  “Some time or another everyone faces a time when a difficult conversation is necessary. It’s in those moments that your true leadership is tested.” Lolly Daskal gives us 5 solid principles for tackling this tough scenario.

7 Surprising Prayers by Famous Christian Leaders  Paul Sohn is on a blogging sabbatical, but this is a guest post on his blog from back in May that is worth reading. These prayers will challenge, comfort, and inspire you.

There are the 5 for this week. Summer truly begins tomorrow. Enjoy.

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5 for Leadership-May 30th


5 for Leadership for this final week of May includes posts on hurtful and helpful leadership beliefs, Lincoln on leadership, leaders vs Millennials, special ops leadership, and the important topic of pastors and porn. Take a look at more than one of these great posts.

Lincoln’s Leadership  This comes from a friend of mine named Jay Lorenzen. He is an avid Civil War historian, a good leader, and a student of leadership. You will want to read through and incorporate his 5 principles of leadership from the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Leaders vs Millennials-Who’s Changing Who?  “Attitudes toward work are changing. Younger people entering the workplace want different things than people did a generation ago. They expect different opportunities from their employers, and they want to work differently than their employers want them to. As leaders, we have to ask ourselves, will we change or will they?” This comes from Joanie Connell on the Lead Change Group blog and she does a good job at looking towards both sides of the issue.

13 Beliefs That Hold You Back  “If feelings were always right . . . failure would be extinct.” This is Dan Rockwell at his best again. He provides us with two categories of beliefs . . . those that will hold us back and those that will life us high . . . in 300 words or less.

Why Special Ops Stopped Relying So Much On Top-Down Leadership  “To succeed in this environment, today’s leaders must focus on using persuasion rather than direction to lead their own networks toward a common goal.” Chris Fussell does a great job of taking a look both at historical leadership and current day tactical leadership to make a case for the power of persuasion. This is a great read.

15 Ways That Pastors Ignore Their Porn Problem  “Most pastors struggle with porn. I was part of the first wave of men who got sideswiped by porn when the internet made that world instantly accessible. I still wig out a bit when I hear that dial-up tone from my old AOL days. I hit rock bottom in 1998 and still have the scars to prove it.” Matt Adair writes a very heartfelt and necessary post towards a critical need. This comes from his blog and web site called Gridiron. This post is for any leader.

There are the 5 for this week. I hope you are staying dry where you are . . . because it wont stop raining in Texas.

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