We will lead at a higher level, when we serve at a deeper level.
But what does it mean to serve?
You could probably think of a bunch more to add to that list.
For now, let's agree that leadership isn't something we arrive at,
rather it's a lifestyle of service to others that we commit to.
When we look at our feet in the mirror,
are we leading in a way that leaves a clear path worth following?
The expectant life.
We have the expectation part down cold.
We don't have to be taught to want more.
That's effortless for all of us.
But we are missing something when all we do is expect more,
without doing something that will make it happen.
Where is it found?
An expectant life starts with embracing a sacrificial lifestyle.
We can't expect more, expect change, expect progress...
without embracing a sacrificial lifestyle.
Until we've given something up for it,
we haven't really committed to it.
I'll go first.
Since my college soccer playing days, I haven't taken care of my body.
I'm not overweight, but I'm out of shape.
I have back pain on a daily basis.
And it's correctable.
For the past couple of weeks I started doing something about it.
I've seen progress.
And to see more, I'm going to have to sacrifice more.
I want to today. It's a good day.
I might not want to tomorrow. I might be sore.
But I'm all in.
I can't expect to feel better about myself, if I keep giving in to what's easy.
What do you need to sacrifice so that you can realize the expectations you have?
The expectation that comes from a sacrificial lifestyle,
creates a contentment that is undeniably incredible.
Because it's not just about us.
It's about others.
It puts us in the position to care for,
and pour into other people's lives.
And that, my friends, is a life clicking on all cylinders.
If you leave enough change behind...
eventually you'll hand your future to someone else.
Small change becomes a sizable deposit at some point.
Change is here. It's all around us.
It's either going to be in your future, or someone else's.
What change will you make, based on the challenge(s) you face?
Don't leave your opportunity on the table for someone else to take.
Invest in yourself...your team...your future.
Start your week with a purpose...on purpose.
Embrace the change that is in your hand,
instead of leaving it behind in fear.
Your future will thank you for it later.
Passion: If you aren't bleeding the vision of your organization, how can you expect anyone on your team to? Actually…I once heard it said that "the leader has to hemorrhage in order for the people that follow to bleed". Sounds kinda gross…but makes a great point. You can't sit back and send your team to the front lines to fight for you all day as you sit in your silk robe in a castle far away. Roll your sleeves up…teach them, speak into them, go with them…show them the way.
Patience: There will be days when it feels like you are on a treadmill instead of an actual run where you can see progress. Everything seems stationary at best. If you lose your noodle in frustration in this moment, you'll lose your people in indifference soon. Instead, realize that the "treadmill days" are still doing something very important. They are creating a culture of endurance. Even though you can't see progress today, you are preparing people who are willing to keep running anyway. That is a culture that will be ready for a marathon on a moments notice.
Persistence: This is beyond treadmill time. This is when the treadmill is broken, coffee pot breaks, half your team is late and the other half is playing candy crush on their phones. If you get to this point, it's time to hit mental rewind as the leader. Go back to day one and ask yourself "WHY did I start this?" Not in a pity party kind of way, but in an honest, heart-level look at your purpose. Once you've dialed into that, go back to leading with passion and preparing to be persistent to do whatever you need to do to get your team back on track.
These 3 leadership reminders aren't magic fairy tale dust. Leading always requires hard work, consistency, transparency, authenticity, and a willingness above all else to be teachable.
Grab on to these 3 things as a quick mental exercise to see if where you are, is where you should be. If it is, way to go! Keep at it! If not, now you've got a little nudge to take care of what needs to be fixed. Get at it!
As always…thanks for stopping by! It's always humbling to know you chose to be here. I appreciate your time, and wish you all the best as you lead your team…wherever you may be!
How to have engaging conversations that connect you, not uncomfortable confrontations that divide you.
They all share the same commonality.
It's a daily struggle for all of us to communicate with those closest to us, avoiding the collision of emotions that causes those people to feel far from us.
Try this little exercise to reset your perspective...
You have two ears and one mouth,
so listen twice as much as you speak.
You have two eyes and one mouth,
see things from someone else's perspective before sharing your own.
You have two feet and one mouth,
walk in someone else's shoes before telling them why your way is better.
You have two hands and one mouth,
serve someone with them before you serve yourself by speaking.
You have two knees and one mouth,
your posture to kneel in the presence of God matters more than
posturing yourself as someone who knows it all by speaking too quickly.
As the old saying goes…
I'd rather be wrong and keep my mouth shut ,
than open it...act like a fool, and remove all doubt.
As you navigate all of your relationships today look for the opportunity to do almost anything first, and speaking second. You'll connect better with people around you. They'll sense you care for them.
Together you will gain access to a level of trust in your relationship that previously went untapped.
That's how we end up having engaging conversations that connect our relationships,
rather than uncomfortable conversations that place a division between us.
The first is about the value we place on the people around us,
the latter when we make it all about us.
That's a perspective that will bring joy.
That's an opportunity to live a life of purpose, on purpose.
That's a reminder I need., everyday.
I hope it's a reminder that is an encouragement to you today, wherever you may be…
to help you get to wherever you may be going.
Have a GREAT day!
Thank you for stopping by the blog.
It's an honor you chose to spend some of your valuable time here.
You've been asked to do something incredibly important,
but fear it won't work out in the end?
You've been incredibly inconvenienced,
because this moment wasn't something you had planned for?
You've been confronted with an easy way out,
knowing full well it won't end well?
There will come a time in your life when you will come face to face with something of great importance. But that won't be the challenge. That is found in the fact that it will be inconvenient, unknown, and have a built in escape hatch if you want out.
You'll come face to face with a life altering decision.
And here is the rub…
It will likely not have as much to do with you as you think.
It will very likely have to do with your ability to effect positive change in the lives of others.
Are you ready for that?
Have you decided ahead of time how you will respond to that moment?
We will all face a "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN?" moment in our lives.
Maybe more than one.
So the next time you are feeling the weight of great importance and inconvenience,
think twice before you take the easy way out.
It's very likely a legacy moment for you.
It's very likely a game changer for those around you.
Don't say no to the challenge, because you don't know what will happen.
Perhaps it's time to double down,
and beat "logic"…
Have you ever felt stuck?
I mean the good-ole' fashioned "paralysis by analysis" kind of stuck. If you have, then you are in some pretty good company. We've all been there.
"Paralysis by analysis" is the enemy of progress.
Don't give into it.
Plow through it…
with these 5 tips on how to choose well.
1. Leverage your past experiences: Turn around and stare the options you have in front of you. Ask yourself which ones will enable you to teach from your past experiences so that you multiply your future growth. Teach from what you know.
2. Leverage your current platform: Stop wishing you were someone else, with more contacts, followers or admirers. Start doing what you can, with what you have, where you are. Turn the door knob on the opportunity that allows you to be you, and walk away from the ones where you are trying to be someone else.
3. Double down on commitment: Walk towards the option that allows you to invest your efforts into what you believe in. No matter how attractive, resist the choice that has the potential to make you easily distracted.
4. Leverage your propensity to act: Something makes you want to get up everyday. What is it? Chase it. Do everything you can to make time for it. Any other door you choose is a combination of distraction from your calling and depletion of the energy you have to offer anything you put your effort into.
5. Go all in: Finally, choose the door that you will give 100% of who you are to. That doesn't mean you need to know all the answers now, just that you will give all you have ahead of time, to make it happen all the time.
These 5 things should make turning the right knob a little easier, so that the hard work of doing something meaningful is empowering…not exhausting.
Enjoy the journey, my friend!
Until next time,
Eventually your team is going to face difficult moments.
And as crazy as this may sound, it could even be an indicator you are about to accomplish something incredible as a result.
There is a fine line between that being the case, and chaos being the result instead.
Here is another way to look at it...
When something gets hard, our nature is to do these 5 things.
1. Look for the excuse
Give up because you didn't have a vision guiding you.
Giving up for the vision so that hard moments energize you.
2. We make the excuse
Give up because it's just too hard to do.
Giving up our personal preference to honor what we do.
3. Act like it’s no big deal
Give up because our approach didn't work.
Giving up our resources to double down on building stronger relationships.
4. Make it all about ourselves
Give up because of pride.
Giving up so humility could take root.
5. Lash out at others
Give up and walk away because we think we know better.
Giving up our wants to create an environment that takes care of others needs.
Have you seen the difference yet?
When we GIVE UP it's all about excuses, whining, comfort, stuff, and pride.
When we change our posture to GIVING UP it's all about decisions, sacrifice, relationships, humility and service.
The next time your team faces a challenge,
look at these 5 things, and ask yourself one question…
Are we about to GIVE UP,
or are we willing to start GIVING UP?
It's the difference between quitting and conquering,
stopping and doubling-down,
throwing in the towel and going all-in.
You are passionate about what you are doing.
That's awesome. That's a solid start. You may just be on your way to doing something really remarkable.
Then why do some days feel so frustrating?
Because filling facilities with people and registers with money is a deceiving and unhealthy measuring stick of progress.
If you want to grow as an organization you have to understand the difference between building relationships and treating people like a transaction.
You have to stop chasing numbers.
It's a race that will wear you out, and turn people off.
This one simple question will tell you more about the health of your organization than almost anything else.
Do you get more excited about statistics or conversations?
You can accomplish more with 5 people who are sold out to who you are and why you exist, than 50 people who came because they heard something cool was going on….and leave when they realize the show to get them there had more depth than the people who invited them.
It's possible you may just have a really large group of really curious people. And curious isn't something you build on.
HOW do we shift from counting heads
to building relationships?
Here are 3 things that will help you start doing it.
1. Being ok with the fact that not every person that walks through your doors is meant to be on your team. (vision matters)
2. Give up what you want, and use it to meet what others need. (serving matters)
3. Care less about your title, and more about how clean the toilet seat is that your guests will use. (details matter)
I want to be clear.
Your desire to grow isn't a problem.
Your addiction to statistics may be.
Movements don't start with masses.
Movements start with relationships.
Pour into. Raise up. Send out.
That's how you'll end up growing. And before you know it, you will have a critical mass of people sold out to an incredible vision that is changing the world doing what you do.
We've all heard the phrase…
"Here's my two cents".
I was spending some time in study and personal reflection earlier today
and I stumbled into something.
Look at this word:
Does anything in particular jump out to you?
Here is what I saw earlier today:
And here is what stuck with me:
There is a COST in our CALLING.
And the only way we can experience success is clear:
We must be consistent.
We must stay the course.
Even when it's hard.
Even when it seems like no one notices the work we do.
Even when the hours are long, and the reward a long way off.
Embracing the cost in our calling breeds consistency.
And consistency breeds success.
That's my two cents on…
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.