5 for Leadership (8/9/14)

small__7346703122Here is a fresh 5 for Leadership. This week we have posts on thankfulness, team questions, leadership courage, the leadership brain, and how to better prepare students for a world of unpredictability.

The Six Attributes of Courage  “Courage is something that everybody wants — an attribute of good character that makes us worthy of respect. From the Bible to fairy tales; ancient myths to Hollywood movies,our culture is rich with exemplary tales of bravery and self-sacrifice for the greater good.” See what else Melanie Greenberg has to say. There is a valuable application section at the end of the post. 

3 Valuable Insights Leaders Can Learn From Neuroscience  “If you’re trying to instill organizational change in your company, then you face not just a logistical shift, but a cultural challenge as well. Employees will have to think differently, see people differently, and act in new ways.” Tanveer Naseer makes some great connections between neuroscience and culture change.

Four Moments I Am Preparing Students To Face  “As I listen to and observe the faith journeys of former students and young adults, I often see pivotal moments along the way that constitute “make or break” tests of their faith. Discipling my students, I am preparing them for these four moments.” This is a great post by Cameron Cole for all who work with or are raising students.

25 People You Should Say Thank You To Today  “Thankfulness is a virtue that we often ignore. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own little world that we forget to thank the people who have helped us the most. Then there are people who just simply need thanking to help them feel better about their own situation. Everyone likes to be appreciated.” Check out Ron Edmondson’s list–maybe there are some people on this list you need to thank. 

10 Questions Your Team Is Afraid To Ask  “You team has questions they’re afraid to ask. They’ve got limited information, but they figure if you wanted to tell them you would. They worry that raising the issue will look like insubordination, or somehow make them look less in your eyes. Maybe you can share, maybe you can’t. But that doesn’t make the questions go away. There is value in anticipating the questions that may be on people’s minds and to start the conversation.” This is great post from Karin Hurt that can definitely affect the culture of your team. 

There are the 5 for this week. Click through and learn something new and practical.

(photo credit)

5 for Leadership (7/5/14)

lightstock_145564_medium_user_6473945Here is a fresh 5 for your Independence Day Weekend. We have posts on being a crabby leader, a communicating leader, a courageous leader–one post on fun facts about Independence Day, and an incredible video from a drone’s perspective during some fireworks. Enjoy!

Somebody Flew A Drone Into A Fireworks Display And This Is What Happened  I saw this posted on Paul Sohn’s (link to his blog) FB page and thought it was incredible. Take a look!

On Leadership and the Personal Courage Required to Be a Leader  Earlier this week I wrote a post on Two Types of Courage. Here is another take on this valuable leadership trait by Chris Stricklin on the Linked 2 Leadership blog. “To be successful, a leader must display both moral and physical courage. This is accomplished by showing a willingness to take calculated risks, acting independently, and demonstrating personal responsibility for their actions.”

7 Ways Not To Be A Crabby Leader  In what ways does our leadership pull down and prevent others from standing out of the crowd? Here are some ways to prevent being a ‘crabby’ leader.” This comes from a new blogger for me, Paul LaRue. Check out some of his other posts on his blog The UPwards Leader

Just Communicate-8 Communication Musts For The Modern Organization  “There is nothing quite as frustrating as not knowing. Especially when the not knowing is not knowing what should have been communicated. In every organization, there are moments when a person hears or reads a piece of information and they say, ‘how come I did not already know about this?’. Every such moment is a signal that there has been a failure to communicate.” There are some great principles here for any leader or organization.

9 Things You Should Know About Independence Day And The Declaration Of Independence  “July 4, 2014 will be America’s 238th Independence Day, the day Americans celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. Here are nine things you should know about America’s founding document and the day set aside for its commemoration.” Here is great post to provide you some final Independence Day reflection. 

There are the 5 for this week. Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!


Two Types of Courage


Joshua Davis on Flickr

Courage is a valuable trait in a leader.

Merriam-Webster defines courage as the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous. Real leadership deals in the currency of courage on a daily basis. Yet there are different kinds of courage. Some forms are more valuable than others.

One of the most epic stories in the Bible is the narration of Israel, not only becoming a people, but becoming a nation by inheriting the promised land. In Genesis 12, God chose Abraham to become the progenitor of a people who would become Israel. After some 400 years of slavery in Egypt, God led over a million Israelites out of bondage by the hand of Moses. It was time for Israel to have a land of its own. But by the end of the book of Deuteronomy, there was a necessary leadership succession. Joshua, the ever present lieutenant to Moses, was to be installed as the next leader of the people of Israel. It would be Joshua who would move to the front in taking this rag-tag group of people across the Jordan River and dispossess those who resided there. Moses had been God’s chosen instrument to fulfill the promise of redemption from slavery. Joshua would be God’s chosen instrument to fulfill the promise of possession of the land.

Joshua 1:1-9 provides us with God’s charge to this new head of state. Moses was dead and it was time for Joshua to lead. Three times in nine verses God tells Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” Verses 2-6 define the first type of courage that Joshua would require. Verses 7 and 8 define the second type of courage that Joshua would need. Verse 9 provides the foundation for the two types of courage that God called Joshua to exhibit.

Strategic Courage

Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. (v.2)

Throughout the Bible God chooses different individual leaders to move his salvation history forward. Joshua was to be God’s leader to take the people of Israel into this great land. The borders were predefined. The promise of victory was already given. The reality of God’s presence was assured.

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. (v.6)

To possess the land would require great strength and courage. To settle 12 tribes of people in a land that was already settled by others would require planning, insight, and right steps. Strategic courage was necessary. It was what the people of Israel, led by Joshua, were to do.

Moral Courage

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (v.7)

The law that was given to Moses was God’s moral code for the people of Israel. It would mark the Israelites as God’s people and make them distinct from all the other people on earth. Strength and courage would be required again. The people who Israel would dispossess worshiped false gods–idols. There was the opportunity for Israel to turn away from the one true God and fall into pagan ways that were incredibly destructive. The word “success” in verse 7 refers to the idea of wise living. If Israel followed God’s moral code they would have real success, not just material prosperity based on superstition. It was what the people of Israel, led by Joshua, were to be.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (v.9)

There would be many opportunities to be afraid or to be discouraged. Strategic courage and moral courage, leading by “doing” and leading by “being,” brings on many challenges. That is why leadership is difficult and dangerous. The final charge to be courageous is anchored in the sure knowledge that God’s “withness” is real and always present.

May I suggest that “being” always precedes “doing.” Moral courage is in short supply today. There is no lack of perceived strategic courage. But if one wants to lead others into circumspect thinking and wise living, one must be wise and display true character. Moral courage and strategic courage, based on God’s principles and his strong presence, will display God’s goodness and wisdom to a world in desperate need.

Don’t miss that this is covenant stuff. The Law and the Land were critical aspects to the Old Covenant. But in v.9 there is also the foreshadowing of another who would not only be “with you” but “among you” and “in you.” The New Covenant inaugurated in Jesus was coming–and is here!

5 for Leadership (3/8/14)

small__5780056202Here is a new 5 for Texas Spring Break! I hope it is warming up wherever you are. This week we have leadership thinking on the role of courage in vocation, insights from Karin Hurt on Seth Godin, decision making, and a report on the Bible in American Life. Enjoy.

Making Decisions Like Global Citizens  This video post comes from Linda Fisher Thornton, whom I have highlighted before. Here is how she introduces this two minute video, “Character is important, but leading ethically in the fullest sense requires much more than just demonstrating good character. In this 2 minute video, I describe 7 different perspectives that you may hear around the table as you discuss ethical dilemmas in your organization. Instead of being competing perspectives, each one is an important element of the full picture of what it means to lead ethically in a global society.”

Today’s Leaders: Compassion Without Courage  “Today’s leaders have come a long way from the autocratic, compassionless O’Shea’s of yesteryear. But too many leaders have miles to go to demonstrate the courage needed for today’s complex times.” This is a quote from the end of Chip Bell’s post. See his thought process in arriving at this conclusion.

My Saturday Afternoon With Seth Godin  “Real leaders light people up through genuine connection and intrapersonal inspiration.” Karin Hurt provides us with some rich insights that she has gleaned from Seth. Take a look.

Why Work Is Lonely  “I have a name for this cocktail of deference, conformity and passive aggression that chokes people and teams. I call it violent politeness.? Did that quote get your attention? You have to read more to get the rest of the story.

Report: The Bible In American Life  “Surveys have found that nearly eight  in ten Americans regard the Bible as either the literal word of God or as inspired by God. At the same time, other surveys have revealed—and recent books have analyzed—surprising gaps in Americans’ biblical literacy. These discrepancies reveal American Christians’ complex relationship to their scripture, a subject that is widely acknowledged but rarely investigated. To understand that paradox, the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture conducted the first large-scale investigation of the Bible in American life.” These metrics are worth your consideration.

There are the 5 for this week. Are you getting your bracket hat on????