Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Critical Questions

From the Global Leadership Summit:

5 Critical Challenge Questions for Leaders (Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church)

1. What is your current challenge level at work?

All people fall into one of the three categories above. The under challenged do not have enough interesting work to keep them engaged. They are not provided with enough work to do. The under challenged usually leave organizations for a more challenging position. The appropriately challenged usually have just the right amount of work and task to accomplish. However, they are not being stretched and are only maintaining, not creating. The dangerously over-challenged are working themselves to death, often at a high cost to themselves and those around them.

Most employees fall into the upper under challenged/lower appropriately challenged area (see yellow box). People's best work is accomplished when they are working/functioning in the lower third of the dangerously over-challenged level (see red box).

As leaders - are those who work under you being challenged enough? What can you do to bring them up (or down) to the appropriate challenge level?

As employees - what are you doing for yourself? It is your responsibility to get yourself to the appropriate challenge level. If under challenged, create something new, start an initiative, launch a new venture, etc. If over-challenged, get help.

2. What is your plan for dealing with challenging people?

The Line Exercise

As a leader, how long do you tolerate bad attitudes?

As a leader, how long do you tolerate poor performance?

As a leader, how do you tolerate a good/loyal/hardworking employee when the organization outgrows the employees capacity?

Your organization should have a plan, and the plan should be followed, in order to effectively deal with these challenging people.

3. Are you naming, facing, and resolving problems in the organization?

When issues and problems arise, are you identifying them as such, or are you calling them something else besides problems? Call the issue/problem what it is, do not try to run or hide from it, face the problem and resolve it.

4. When was the last time you re-examined the core of your organizations purpose?

Do you remember why you do the work you do? Do you know what your organization exists for?

List five things that your organization is about (without using terms associated with your industry). Working through this exercise, will help bring you back to the core purpose of your organization.

5. When was the last time your leadership bell was rung?

What was the last book you read, or conference that you attended, or interaction with other leaders that you had that made you see something new, or gain a new view of your leadership? If your leadership is lagging, perhaps it is time to seek out a "bell ringing" opportunity.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Global Leadership Summit 2011

This past week I had the opportunity to take part in the Willow Creek Association's Global Leadership Summit.  Each year the GLS brings together an amazing faculty of spiritual, business, and political leaders to share what they have learned about leadership with others.  This years Summit featured:
  • Bill Hybels, Founding/Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
  • Len Schlessinger, President, Babson College; Action Trumps Everything
  • Hon. Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
  • Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter Mcneil, Speaker, Thought leader
  • Seth Godin, Author, Marketing Blogger, Poke the Box
  • Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor, Elevation Church
  • Mama Maggie Gobran, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Founder of Stephen's Children Ministry
  • Michelle Rhee, Fmr. Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, Founder of
  • Dr. Henry Cloud, Psychologist, Author, Necessary Endings
  • John Dickson, Director at the Centre for Public Christianity, Humilitas
  • Patrick Lencioni, The Table Group, Getting Naked
  • Erwin McManus, Activist, Filmmaker, Founder of Mosaic, Chasing Daylight
This was an amazing experience, and an awesome opportunity to hear from these leading experts on thought and leadership!

One of my passions is to equip other people to be great; I love to pass on valuable information that more than just me can benefit from, to that end, the next few blog posts will feature some of my Evernote notes from this event. 

If you attended, what are some things that you took away from this event?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me; Ian Cron

I am never gravitate toward the memoir style book. However, Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson publishers, in his blog, stated that Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: a Memoir...of Sorts by Ian Morgan Cron  was the best book he has read all year.  Based on this recommendation I had to read this book.

I was not disappointed.  Ian Cron is a gifted writer, the words on the page flowed seamlessly in an almost poetic manner.  Ian chronicle his life, or the way he perceived it to be, starting with his dad's funeral and then going back to the time of his childhood.  He bares his heart when talking about his alcoholic father, that seemed to be barely present in his life, even when he was home.  He shares his experiences, feelings, and thoughts from what it was like to be raised Catholic.  He delves into his years long battle, and seemingly constant struggle with alcoholism. He ends the book sharing his joys of being a father, and a person that has experienced true freedom in Christ!

You can read his blog at

Monday, August 08, 2011

Hillsong United

I have never really liked, or approved of, "worship" artist concerts.  I never liked going to see a Third Day, Chris Tomlin, etc. type of show.  The reason (read the post, Worship Entertainment) is that it seems that on Saturday I'm at the concert partying, hanging out watching someone perform, having a great time; Sunday, I go to church and am expected to sing the same songs but with much revere.  Hillsong United changed all that!

This Saturday my wife and I, along with several of our friends, attended the Hillsong United concert in Miami.  Before they even come out to play, they inform you that we are not here to be entertained, but that we are here to worship God and experience Him afresh.  That is exactly what happened! Thousands of people worshiping the living Creator! Worship is supposed to be exciting, supposed to be fun.  In Heaven we are going to be joining countless numbers of others as we worship our Lord.

The interesting thing about Hillsong is that the people I saw performing at this show, probably will not be the same people next year.  The band was never introduced.  Hillsong understands, and wants the worshipper to understand, that it is not about them.  It is about Him!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Mission Belle Glade 2011

I just spent an amazing week in Belle Glade, FL!  I was there with over 400 students and 150 adults serving this community.  The students put on a sports camp, vacation Bible school, and did several service projects includind, painting, landscaping, and feeding people.

Read all about it at

Read the day to day impact of one life at Nicole's Life Surprises.