Archives For Leadership

I recently published a new book, Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve,  and I wanted to share four of the important leadership questions addressed in the book.

The answers to these leadership questions include excerpts from the book.

1. How can leaders faithfully steward the authority they’ve been given?

We must be able to see ourselves as both servant and leader. Some days we’re taking out trash; other days we’re in charge of the most critical project of the year.

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When you work in a group long enough, you’re going to run into it. Politics can become an inherent part of some cultures, integrated so deeply that the politics are impossible to set aside, even for the sake of getting necessary work done. When left untended, politics can choke your organization.

Some symptoms of office politics to watch out for:

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When I hire someone to do a job, I want it done the right way, right away.

I’m always in a hurry (some may say impatient), so my expectation at the outset is simple; defy gravity, stop time, get it done. Am I alone? I don’t think so. From remodeling the kitchen to developing a new online strategy for their business, people tend to want instant results, and they don’t want to wait for the payoff.

Most projects have two types of people involved: visionaries and implementers.

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This post was adapted from my book Authority: The Leader’s Call to Serve.

Leadership doesn’t exist without service. Understanding how to lead through service is imperative for your family, team, or organization. If you’re a leader (of anything) or an aspiring leader, the path to maturing as a leader is service. It is counter-intuitive to our romanticized view of leadership, but it’s the truth. A leader may be in charge of something on paper, but that doesn’t mean their leadership is fruitful.

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This post is part of the Maintaining the Balance series. See my future post on Speed and Stability.

I’m a pretty simple person and I like simple pictures. I find sometimes a simple picture or illustration can communicate a point most effectively. I especially like 2×2 charts that deal with the tension or cooperation of two important organizational realities.

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Just the Beginning

January 1, 2013

Life is full of opportunity. Leadership is about taking those opportunities. Legacy is what you will leave behind when you do.

Why am I writing?

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Traffic is bumper to bumper on the “good enough” highway.

Leaders, creatives, and difference-makers don’t take the same route as everyone else. They exit off the busy highway and seek an alternate route, it takes them through villages, over countryside, even off the pavement altogether, forging a path all their own.

What’s it take for you to get sick of the status quo? At what point is the “good enough” highway no longer good enough? Where are you letting the answer, “It can’t be done,” stifle your creativity? What innovative idea is too radical? Where is your leadership stagnant or paralyzed? What are you afraid of? We all have our excuses, I know I do.

But… instead let’s dream, create, fail, try again, lead.

Be different.

Envy Will Paralyze You

December 31, 2012

You ever look over your shoulder at the next guy? Maybe you were at the parking garage, getting into your car just as someone else was setting their car alarm and walking away. The thoughts start rolling: “His car is worth more than mine. I wonder what he does for a living? I should be driving a better car.” What began as just a trivial glance quickly becomes an assessment of your success or failure as a person. 

We all can be driven by envy.

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You Can’t Teach Hustle

December 31, 2012

Hustle can make up for a boatload of flaws.

If you’ve ever followed basketball, whether pro ball or college, you’ve probably heard a losing coach say (at least once every season), “we got out-hustled.” Some of the most talented teams have lost simply because they didn’t move like they meant it. A championship contender can lose to a run of the mill team because of hustle alone. Basketball is a sport that demands hustle. Talent and flashy moves look great, but if the other team is outrunning you, out-rebounding you, and gets to the ball faster than you, you won’t win.

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