Will You Lean Into Momentum?

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One of the things that has shocked me was how old I was when I first read John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. I’m ashamed to admit that it was only a couple years ago. As I read about each law, so many of them made sense, but a few went further than that.

For example, Law 16 is the Law of the Big Mo. Simply put, Maxwell says, momentum is a leader’s best friend.

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering this law lately. We are starting to see some momentum building in our ministry, and so I’ve been asking myself how I can make the most of the momentum we are sensing. Is there some way to take the momentum and curtail it into growth? Is there some way to replicate the momentum down the road? How long should I wait to act?

I’m starting to see momentum all around me. The way things progress and grow (momentum building). The way things slow down (momentum waning). The way I handle things in those moments–my response, my actions, my inaction.

So today I have two questions for you: Where is the momentum around you? And how can you make the most of the natural momentum you’re seeing?

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Can Bad Ideas Be Good For You?

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I truly love working with teenagers. More often than not, I’ll listen to a kid preparing to share a wild idea they’ve had, and simply be filled with glee. Most of the time they know their idea is a stretch, but there’s always hope.

I’m the same way. Sometimes I toss out a bad idea just because I know it’s a bad idea and because I want some creative juices to start flowing. An outlandish statement helps me find my grounding principle.

I think we need to learn to sift through bad ideas in order to find the good ones. In fact, isn’t that the balance? We don’t know a good idea when it’s presented if we haven’t discovered bad ideas along the way.

When I share a bad idea with someone and they tell me so, it pushes me to keep thinking. I evaluate what makes it a bad idea. I try to tweak it, or decide to move on completely. At the end of the day, though, none of us are immune.

When someone shares a bad idea with me, it sparks my creativity. Is there a tweak to change the bad idea into a good one, or do we need to move in a different direction? It gets me thinking. It challenges me.

So today I want you to lean into your bad ideas. You don’t have to pursue them, but as you think through the situations you face, acknowledge your bad ideas in the process. I think it will help you know the good idea when you see it. But be gracious with yourself and with those around you.

Or, who knows. Maybe I’m wrong and this post was a bad idea…

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Do You Hate Saying Yes?

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I’ve been reading through the book Hero Maker with a couple friends. There have been some interesting concepts that have jumped out to me along the way, and a few that have popped in to mind in key moments.

One of the points the author (Dave Ferguson) makes in the book is learning to say yes. I realized a while ago that my default is no, but I can often be talked out of that no.

I don’t think that I’m a negative person, but I do have a tendency to see potential roadblocks. Okay, maybe that makes me a negative person. But sometimes I will point out a roadblock with the singular intention of solving it.

But when push comes to shove, as a leader, am I willing to say “yes”?

I can think of two situations with students within the past few days where my default would have been “no”, but am instead trying to lean into a “yes”. And for the first one, I’m so grateful I was able to do whatever possible to help. The second one is another strong idea, and something I’m hoping will turn out really great as well.

But it’s not without hesitation deep inside of me. I want to save the day. I want to prepare them for the hiccups and protect them from disappointment. But at the end of the day, the struggle is what makes the end profitable.

So, what about you? To whom do you need to say “yes” today? What do you need to let go of, personally, in order that someone else may thrive and grow? What are you waiting for?

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Make the Next One Even Better

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Do you have something that you enjoy doing, but it takes a lot of energy to convince yourself to do it? Maybe it’s exercise, eating healthy, or following up on a conversation you had previously.

For me, I love when I’m finished reviewing an event. Not just pulling the event off, but actually sitting at the finish line and working through the process that got me there. Unfortunately, in spite of the joy I find in having finished it, I have to spend a lot of time convincing myself to do it.

Why do I love the finished product? Because I have a terrible memory, and when I can take notes on something I’m able to write down the things I don’t want to forget.

For example, this week we are doing a fund raiser at our church. Because of COVID, this is only the 2nd time we’ve done this fundraiser in my 25 months at this church. To spell it out even more: we haven’t done this fundraiser in 2 years. Now, my memory is pretty bad most of the time, but when I have to remember the minutia of an event 2 years ago, all hope is lost.

That’s why I’m grateful I took notes two years ago. I wrote down the process, what worked, and changes I needed to make. This way, I don’t have to re-apply the energy it takes to make a decision, and I can even make the event itself better.

As John Maxwell says: “Experience isn’t the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher.”

What do you need to review? It’s like writing a love note to yourself that delivers down the road. You’ll be grateful.

Finally, because I love practical elements, here are the questions I use to evaluate. Enjoy!

The Pain of Letting Go

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One of the most difficult things to do in leadership is to watch something grow, and then to let it go.

If you’ve been in a leadership role for very long, you have had the opportunity to oversee something. Maybe a project, or a program, or even a person. You pour time, resources, and emotions into making your something the best it can be.

But, inevitably, if you’re going to grow as a leader, there comes a point where you have to step back and let it go.

Letting it go could mean inviting someone else to play a key and critical role, thus begging the question, “Will they do it as good as me”?

Letting it go could mean launch day, thus begging the question, “Did I cover my bases”?

Letting it go could mean releasing a leader (or student leader) to oversee a project or program, thus begging the question, “Did I train them well enough”?

All of these things are painful. But that does not mean they’re not the right move. Simply put, if we never let go, we will never grow.

If we want our own leadership to grow, we have to let go.

If we want the people around us to grow, we have to let go.

No one has learned to sustain themselves by being spoon fed all along the way.

What are you holding onto today? What can you let go? Who can you invite to step up as you let go?

Our leadership influence grows as those around us grow. Push through the pain today. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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