Gut check moment

Are you going to do it or not? You have that idea you’ve been thinking about. That dream that won’t leave the back of your mind. That vision that you’ve only shared with a few close friends. So, are you going to do it or not?

There will come a point that the dream will either fade away or you’ll take a deep breath and jump. With every idea, dream or vision there will come a gut check moment.  And in that moment you find yourself asking:  am I going to do this or not?

In that moment you write the check, say yes to the new opportunity, resign you’re safe job or complete the registration form. That is a gut check moment. That’s the moment you make the commitment. You’re in. No turning back.The gut check moment shows you how much you believe in your own dream. It’s in that gut-check moment you either jump or walk away.

So are you going to do this thing or not?

The Upside of Leadership Challenges

I don’t like facing leadership challenges. They get in the way. They create distractions.  And to be honest they sometimes wound my sense of leadership confidence.

But I have to confess once they’re over I’m thankful for them.  I’ve discovered I grow the most as a leader when I’m in a position of total dependence on God. When I look to Him for perspective and wisdom He uses the leadership challenge to deepen my insight, sharpen my skills and enrich my understanding of HIs character.

So if you’re facing a challenge today.  Remember this equation. Challenge + Dependence = Growth

What lessons have you learned through your leadership challenges?

How You Lead Today Matters Tomorrow

How you lead today will determine your legacy tomorrow. So what legacy do you want to leave through your leadership?

What attitude are you displaying today? What wise decisions are you making today? How are you treating people today? What are you doing to grow your team members strengths and skills today? How are you modeling godly character today?

Whatever your answer is to those questions today will likely determine your leadership legacy tomorrow?

Lead today in the way you want to be remembered tomorrow.

12 Great Leadership Questions

Years ago I heard leadership coach and author Bob Biehl say that he loves to collect questions.  That thought intrigued me.  So since that time I’ve been a student and collector of questions.

Lou Holtz once said, “I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.” Questions challenge us to see things from a different perspective and guide us to breakthrough behaviors.  You can be stuck and discouraged in one moment but with the aid of the right question, an instant later you’re flooded with fresh ideas and motivation.

Here are 12 of my favorite questions.  Chew on a few of these today and see what new insights or direction you might discover.

  1. What would a great leader do in this situation?  (Bill Hybels, Pastor Willowcreek Community Church)
  2. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done, will fundamentally change my business? (Joel Barker, author of Paradigms)
  3. What is the wise thing to do?  (Andy Stanley, Pastor Northpoint Church)
  4. What is the single best measurable indicator that I am making progress toward my dream? Bob Biehl
  5. What are the “elephants” in my schedule? (Pareto said, “If you’re Noah, and your ark is about to sink, look for the elephants first.”) (Don’t know who asked this one but I like it)
  6. How can we become the company that would put us out of business? (Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group)
  7. What counts that we are not counting? (Chip Conley, head of global hospitality for Airbnb)
  8. What should we stop doing? (Peter Drucker, management expert and author)
  9. What are the gaps in my knowledge and experience? (Charles Handy, author and management expert)
  10. If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? (Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel )
  11. What advice would you give you if you were in your situation? (Came as a result of me having a pity party about my own situation several years ago)
  12. What questions do you have that you’d like answers to?  (From Action Learning Method)

Here’s one more bonus question, undoubtedly the most important question you can answer, “Who do you say I am? (Jesus, Mark 8:29)

What great question do you like to wrestle with?



Leadership Thoughts I’ve Been Thinking: December

Here are a few of the leadership thoughts I’ve tweeted throughout December.  If you would like to follow me on Twitter you can find me at

  • Dec 30, 5:03pm To maximize your leadership potential you cannot depend solely on development from others you must develop the habit of self-development
  • Dec 29, 4:47pm So what do you do when everything you’re doing isn’t working? More of the same is not the answer
  • Dec 28, 4:39pm People avoid that which they’re afraid of. That may explain why some of your staff are not developing leaders #LeadershipDevelopment
  • Dec 17, 6:03pm When you have a mindset of succession you will have a regular practice of multiplication
  • Dec 16, 2:38pm Reading daily will make reading a discipline #personalgrowth
  • Dec 16, 2:20pm Leadership development is about changing the leadership beliefs and behaviors of those your training
  • Dec 13, 9:28am Leadership development should always be done in a way that can be reproduced by the one you’re developing so they can develop others
  • Dec 12, 10:13am What you give ATTENTION to will ADVANCE #leadership
  • Dec 07, 11:31am People value what adds value to them #leadershipdevelopment
  • Dec 05, 1:21pm Collaboration makes you wiser, your team stronger and your organization more effective #leadership
  • Dec 04, 7:38pm There is a talent war raging. Is your organization winning or losing?
  • Nov 26, 8:59am Great intentions don’t produce growth, discipline does. #selfleadership
  • Nov 12, 6:10pm What would you tell you if you were in your situation? #selfleadership

The Big Responsibility of Big Results

Leaders are visionaries.  They think big, dream big and plan big.  But sometimes the “big” doesn’t happen the way they envision.  So they experience a “big” disappointment.

I don’t want to imply that big is bad, hey I don’t want to follow a leader that doesn’t think big.  But one of the sides of big we don’t think about very often is, big results come with big responsibility. And big responsibility must be stewarded by someone with big character and big competencies.

If a pastor prays that his church will grow to one thousand people then he better have the competency and character it requires to lead a church of level of complexity.  If an entrepreneur wants to expand his business from 1 to 5 franchises then he better have the character required to handle the added pressures and the competency to scale to that size.

Sometimes I think God doesn’t give us “bigger” results because we don’t have the character or competency yet to steward the bigger responsibility. Don’t get in too big a hurry to get to big. And make sure you’re focusing on growing yourself as much as you are growing your organization.

Eight Statements that Indicate You’re a Dangerous Leader

What do you think of when you hear the term “Dangerous Leader”?  If you’re a visionary leader you probably think of someone who has a big vision and pushes back darkness.  One who dares to dream great dreams. One who moves forward toward great things despite fear and opposition.

But for others the term “Dangerous Leader” stirs up thoughts of being beaten down, discouraged and unappreciated.  This type of dangerous leader destroys their team members confidence and commitment.

My life verse is Psalm 78:72 which talks about David’s leadership style.  It says, “David shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with skillful hands.”  In other words, David had leadership spirit and leadership skill.  He may have been a dangerous leader for the Kingdom sake, but he wasn’t a leader who demoralized his team.  His spirit and skill as a leader emboldened his people’s confidence and commitment.

Continue reading “Eight Statements that Indicate You’re a Dangerous Leader”

Leadership Thoughts I’ve Been Thinking in August

Here are a few of the leadership thoughts I’ve tweeted throughout August.  If you would like to follow me on Twitter you can find me at

  • Leadership competencies determine what we can do; character determines the spirit in which we do it.
  • When you lead with character you win the confidence of the people you lead
  • The leader who refuses to acknowledge they’re running on empty puts the entire organization at risk.#refresh
  • Good senior leaders focus on raising up more leaders; great senior leaders focus on raising up more leader developers
  • Leaders are readers. If you’re not developing your team to be readers then you’re probably not developing them as leaders
  • The most effective way to get rid of fear is to take a step forward in faith
  • Information without application doesn’t produce transformation #leadershipdevelopment
  • A big part of the leadership development problem in US church today is we invite people into leadership but not into a relationship.
  • The reason we don’t see a multiplication of leaders is because we don’t have a reproducible system for developing leaders
  • Insecure leaders insist that people follow, secure leaders inspire people to follow #leadership
  • Young leaders, don’t label your weaknesses to early in life. What you view as a weakness may be an undeveloped, undiscovered strength
  • There’s a difference between acknowledgment & encouragement. Acknowledgment says “good job”. Encouragement is specific about what made it good
  • Small, daily steps of growth take you a long way over time. #personalgrowth
  • The right opportunity + your giftedness = fruitfulness & fulfillment
  • The greatest joy for a mentor isn’t delivering a truth but watching their student discover a truth for themselves

Five Tips for Getting Better Faster

Do you ever find yourself wanting to get better at a skill, ability or talent, but you can’t seem to make any progress?

You don’t have to struggle your way blindly through mediocrity there are actually things you can do to get better faster. Here are five tips that might help.

Tip #1. Exposure -Get exposure to experts

I just finished reading Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon. (Check out his TED Talk)   To refine a skill he recommends you find an expert and exhaust yourself studying that one person. Hey says, “If you try to devour the history of your discipline all at once you’ll choke. Instead, chew on one thinker- writer, artist, activist, role model – you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people that thinker loved, and find out everything about them.”

Tip #2. Goal Set: Write two to five goals

Establishing a few goals will cause your mind to focus on progress. Think through why you want to learn this skill? What would it look like if you perfected it? How would it benefit you and those you lead? Picture what good performance looks like and then set a few goals you can strive toward. When you write down goals it makes you more accountable especially if you make the goals public by sharing them with a friend or small group. Continue reading “Five Tips for Getting Better Faster”

7 Factors to Keep your Leaders Engagement Level High

Wouldn’t you love to get inside the mind of your leaders to know what they’re thinking? You know what you think about them, but what are they thinking about you? What are they thinking about your organization?

Are they fulfilled in their current role or are they secretly thinking about quitting? Do they feel sure about their work or are they increasingly losing confidence in their role? Do they feel you’ve adequately prepared and resourced them or are they resentful that they’re ill-equipped?

It’s important to know what your leaders are thinking because what they’re thinking determines if they are highly engaged or progressively disengaging from the mission of your organization.

So what’s the secret to knowing what their thinking? Ask them.

Let me give you two ways you can ask: First you can ask in a conversation.

Continue reading “7 Factors to Keep your Leaders Engagement Level High”