Unique

Unique

We are all a by-product of the lives we have lived up to this point.  I left a very dysfunctional home and decided to take a path 180 degrees from everything I had ever known up to the point of my salvation in college.  It wasn’t until I was married that I realized that the muscle memory of my life experiences would inexplicably and without intention, show up in my every day life.

One of the beautiful opportunities of our walk with God is that all of those experiences, even the worst ones, can be redeemed.  As redeemed, they are monetized into a currency that allows us to live more powerfully and have greater impact on others.

Architecture

Architecture

We’ve all heard the concept of the stage dad or mom.  That parent standing just off-stage, off the court, or even outside the classroom.  Their child’s success is somehow attributed to their success in life.  If the little “me” can somehow make it onto that team, make it into that college, or fit into that crowd, it somehow redeems the fact that I didn’t find the same success.  I think it can translate into repressed hopes, dreams, and desires of the heart as well. 

IKIGAI

IKIGAI

The organizations you lead and the roles you play there, should support and fulfill the purpose for your life, not the other way around.  More often than not, we see leaders completely unaware of their calling or purpose other than what their vocational role might dictate.

It is our contention that you are not only created for a particular purpose, but that your Creator desperately wants you to know what it is.  The clues are written on your heart, have been evident throughout your life, and are fully embodied in the things that bring you greatest joy, deepest pain, and get you out of bed in the morning.

Father

Father

The reality is that the first thing we understood about our true Father, came from how we knew our earthly one.  If God is the same “yesterday, today, and forever,” then the fact we all seem to know Him differently must point to the unique experience we have had with Him and our particular perspective of Him.

Turns out that the way we “learned” the Father not only affects the way we view Him and our relationship with Him, but also the posture we carry in our approach to life.  The “orphan spirit” we find in many senior leaders is closely aligned with the entrepreneurial spirit required for launching into life and uncertainty on their own.  One is the shadow effect of the other.

Incomplete

Incomplete

It was always intended this way, from the very beginning.  His plan is that His love would make all of us complete through His love.  That obviously implies that we were incomplete.

As a leader who resides in the United States at this point in history, how does that word “incomplete” hit you?  There is something in me that recoils at the thought.  An author I love says that we are all “unfinished” men and women.  I feel a little better about that word, but nonetheless, both imply that there is something lacking.  How dare they?

Tolerance

Tolerance

We live in a world where it is increasingly unpopular to have an opinion (or maybe just an opinion contrary to the prevailing enlightened opinion of the day).  Tolerance seems to be more contemporaneously linked to having no opinion than carrying any conviction about almost anything.

When I look at the life of Jesus, however, He seems to be wholly intolerant of many things, but unconventionally open to treating those who didn’t believe the way He did with dignity and grace.

Sonship

Sonship

What I didn’t realize was that my recovering legalism was far fresher than I knew.  Like an image in a rearview mirror that is closer than it appears.  But, a strange thing happened in the weeks before this scheduled feast that changed everything.  Our younger son, Gray, was involved in an accident and for a short period of time, we thought we might lose him.  The journey to his healing taught me a crucial lesson:

My children belonged to a different Father.

I was merely the privileged caregiver for whatever season it took me to hand them over to their true Father.  I had learned that God might be a replacement for a bad father.  What I now new was that God was the intended Father for every man, whether he had a bad father or good one.

Become

Become

When I look at the life of Jesus, for instance, He seemed to only do and say what the Father told him.  In fact, He routinely walked past the opportunity to do good, because He seemed to be called to other places and things.  Often that thing was simply spending more time alone with the Father.

As a Christian, it is hard to look past the opportunity to do good.  As a Type-A person who has spent a lot of time trying to do good things for God, I’ve had to come to the sobering reality that God would rather have me do a few things with Him than do a lot of good things apart from Him.

January Top 5

Why Leading By Example Isn't Always Enough
It takes more than just being a good person to inspire ethical conduct in employees.

7 Habits Of Parents Who Leave The Office At 5 P.M. Guilt-Free
Putting in late nights at the office doesn't always mean you are working harder. Here's how to structure your days to get everything done.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Practice Pessimism
Entrepreneurs are conditioned to tell themselves, "This will work. It has to work!" That might be a dangerous habit.

How To Optimise For Customer Delight
There are certain “givens” that customers expect, and they’re disappointed if they don’t happen. Then there are opportunities to create ‘magic’ which is where we often focus our customer service efforts. It’s natural to want to delight but we sometimes forget that focusing on the “givens” is as important as delivering the magic.

The Important Question Every Employee Should Be Able to Answer
One of the biggest things I wish I knew before starting a business is how to share with my employees the concept of purpose beyond profits. Over the years, I’ve found that both employees and leadership are often confounded with how to reconcile generating profits alongside fulfilling the purpose of the business. In other words, is the purpose of the business to produce a profit, or is it something entirely different? This is an important evaluation, because simultaneously optimizing both of these outcomes isn’t covered in the curriculum of even the top business schools.

Strategy

Strategy

It is the beginning of a new year and every intentional leader I talk to is hoping that 2016 will be different than 2015. They’re seeing the new year as a grand opportunity to chart a course toward a different future.  Believing that maybe this is the year where a sense of team emerges, their biggest challenges and frustrations get addressed, and they have a huge celebration at the end of the year to celebrate all they’ve accomplished.

Linger

Linger

The antidote for all of this is to live every day throughout the year as fully in the Kingdom as possible.  To build into our weekly schedule; rest, friends, fellowship, and celebration.  To live enough of a Kingdom life that Christmas isn’t so inconsistent with the rest of our year.  Where the Christmas season is simply more about having other’s join us in a broader circle, for what we are enjoying all the time.

Redemption

Redemption

I led a business offsite a week ago.  It was for a very interesting two person partnership.  One is in his sixties.  He is creative, passionate, and has built an incredible reputation for craftsmanship over the decades.  He is in that later stage of his career where he is wanting to establish some things, position himself, and better offer back to the generations behind him.  He wants his work to matter and impact the lives of as many people as possible.

December Top 5

How To Grow The Purpose-Driven Workforce
4 steps to creating a workforce that is devoted to making an impact.

Design For The Outcome You Want
When you design your business for the outcomes you want, you not only get them, but your customers and your teams thank you for lighting the way.

9 Things That Make Good Employees Quit
Few things are as costly and disruptive as good people walking out the door. Here's how to make it stop.

Read This Google Email About Time Management Strategy
A Google employee teaches his colleagues how to block out interruptions and set aside "make time."

The One Thing You Should Be Doing At The Beginning Of Every Meeting
In some workplaces, scheduling time for small talk can save lives. But with all teams, that act of building trust is crucial.

Testament

Testament

His account.  His testament of how the Father has shown up, provided, and spoken affirmation and specific direction for him, is holy.  It contains the truest things about him and the life the Father intends for him to live.  It is part of his holy canon.  It is his “good news account” and contains “doctrine, counsel, instruction” divinely spoken particularly for him to rest in and humbly testify to others.

Stories

Stories

Turns out that our brains are wired to seek simplicity out of all the complexity around us.  We are constantly sifting through the information, sights, sounds and confusion around us, trying to process everything in order to make sense of things.  Our brains don’t like to work too hard to figure things out.  When there isn’t clarity or we can’t distill what we are experiencing down to manageable ideas or understandings, we move on.

November Top 5 Reads

5 Habits Of Truly Disruptive Leaders
Disruption and leadership might seem opposing forces. Here's how the best leaders reconcile the two.

The One Thing Managers Aren't Doing That Could Cost Them Employees
Four reasons you should have career discussions with your employees.

5 Traits Every Young Leader Needs to Be Successful
The key to success for young leaders is not to focus, but to say “yes.” Yes to diverse opportunities, roles, and tasks. Research demonstrates that younger leaders need broad experience in order to develop their strengths, judgment, character, and identify their calling. That’s just one of five ways young leaders need to develop.

Do Your Actions And Story Align?
Everything, from the words you use in an automated email, to color of your packaging is your brand story. Every detail needs to be consistent with the story you want your customers to hear and believe.

Prepare, Plan, then Pivot
So what is core to the way your company does business? How does that inform how you plan? What are those most important things for your business to accomplish next year? And most importantly, what’s needed to do each of them? If you get specific with yourself, you’ve just given yourself the best chance at a successful year to come.

Restore

Restore

My father died far too young, his body beaten down by stress, worry, and exhaustion.  Somewhere in my subconscious, I always wished that he had not been so alone in his work.  That he had worked with partners or a leadership team, had clear vision, a solid plan, and had imagined a bigger and better future.  He deserved better than he got.  Owning his own company took decades off his life.  Just like every other small business owner I have encountered, he started his own business for freedom, margin, and the opportunity to have more control of his life.  And almost like every other small business owner I know, the business dictated his life and owned him.  He was looking for freedom and found the opposite.