How Big is the Obstacle in Front of You?

Share this:
Share

I issued a challenge to my daughter at the beginning of the year. A few weeks ago we started talking about the progress she has made (or not made). As she started listing some challenges that kept her from getting started, I saw an opportunity.

First, let me just say, I don’t spout leadership learning to my children every step of the way. I try to be very conscious of the sheer volume of information I impart on them, and the last thing I want is for them to grow deaf to my voice. But this opportunity was one of the times where I felt like I could speak up.

So, back to the pickup ride. She was listing all the possibilities and all the hang ups why those possibilities may not work. She wasn’t making excuses, but I could recognize some paralysis of analysis taking place. So I offered an image for her to consider: are these obstacles a speed bump or a wall?

Speed bumps are designed with one purpose: to slow people down. Now, you do have some wild people who use speed bumps as an opportunity to create a little havoc in their car, but most people slow down to an acceptable speed, or at least slow down while they swerve around the speed bumps.

Walls, on the other hand, are harder to navigate. Depending on height, location, purpose, construction, and other factors, walls don’t cause us to slow down, they cause us to stop. Very few people get to drive through walls, except for my brother-in-law who did that one time, on accident.

Speed bumps are not meant to stop us in our tracks. Speed bumps are meant to slow us down. In decision making, speed bumps are those things that give us hesitation, but ultimately cannot stop our momentum unless we choose to let them. Walls, on the other hand, stop us where we are. They prevent forward momentum. We can climb over a wall, or break it down, but it takes considerably more effort to do so.

In regards to the Three Questions, some people do not naturally ask the first question – What Needs to Be Done (Awareness). People who struggle with Awareness are faced with the choice as to whether they will allow the first question to be a speed bump or a wall. Will it be something they choose to push through, or will it be something that keeps them from making any progress whatsoever.

For others, the third question (Who Can I Get to Help – Leadership) is the most challenging. I fall into this category. I love accomplishing things, and feel terribly guilty when I ask others to help. So, if you’re like me, the decision we have to make is whether the third question becomes a speed bump that we push through and pass, or does it become a wall that stops us in our tracks.

Today, you’re going to face something you’re not excited about doing. You’re going to have a reason why you can’t or shouldn’t do something. Before you make your final decision, ask yourself this question: is this a speed bump or a wall? Then see what happens.

Is This What’s Missing In Your Leadership?

Share this:
Share

Is leadership that is not expanding truly leadership?

Bear with me for a minute.

If I’m teaching students to ask and answer the three questions but it stops there, is my leadership influence growing? Even more pointedly, if the students I’m leading are stopping short of answering the third question, aren’t we missing the point completely?

Leadership influence expands when more people fall into that influence. That means I can teach 10 people to grow their influence, or I can teach 10 people to grow their influence who in turn grow their influence by teaching 10 people each. At that point influence isn’t growing, it is multiplying. Like chills in the movie Grease.

Let’s get specific: if I pour into a leader who never into another leader around them, am I really pouring into a leader? Leadership influence is most efficient when we first lead ourselves and then lead others. And leadership influences multiplies when the people I have led begin to lead others.

But secret expectations are rarely met and almost never healthy. You know this. I know this.

How are you equipping those you lead to truly lead others? How are you inviting them to repeat the process?

Let me challenge you today. If you are a regular reader, find one person this week in whom you can start investing. It could be a student. It could be an adult. It could be your child, your spouse, or your neighbor. Teach them the three questions, and then add a fourth: who can I teach the three questions?

Don’t settle for addition. Aim for multiplication.

Permission to Multiply

Share this:
Share

Today, instead of sharing an old post, here’s a fresh one.

Each week, following our Wednesday night program, I sit down with our student leadership team to evaluate the night. My wife usually hangs around until we finish to make sure kids are getting picked up and other assorted duties.

We’ve recently added a new volunteer, a young man who is excited to help where he can. In addition, I have our summer intern who lives in town and helps on Wednesdays nights as well, and someone I’ve been meeting with weekly for the past year.

A few weeks back, while I was meeting with student leaders, my wife shared this observation. My former intern was putting things up, making trips to and from our “base of operations” (we are essentially a portable ministry within our building for this current season). After he finished about two of the steps, he realized our new volunteer was nearby, and a light bulb went off. He showed the new guy how to do what he was doing, so the next time either of them would be equipped to do the job.

Actually, the conversation was more like this: “Shoot, has Wes taught you the three questions yet? No? Okay, he will, but until then, let me show you what I’m doing.”

And that’s the power of the third question. It’s an excuse to invite someone to join you. If you (or the people you lead) are not naturally gifted at asking for help, the three questions give a framework for expanding leadership influence.

That influence expansion begins with cleanup after a program, but very quickly, as the muscle is developed, it grows into leveraging influence to lead others in accomplishing a goal.

Someone around you needs permission to ask others for help. Teach them the three questions and see what happens!

Like this? Subscribe here to get 3 Question Leadership posts in your inbox.

Do You Ever Forget Things?

Share this:
Share

Sometimes I forget. During the 2020 calendar year, I’ve been working with a group of students to help them grow as leaders.

One of my favorite things to do to help students grow is to evaluate regularly. We do this a couple of ways, one of which is having a quick follow up meeting after our midweek program.

We had a workshop back in September, and ever since, I would start our meetings by asking how they made the room better. And the answers I was getting were not what I was hoping.

Don’t get me wrong, they were trying to make a difference, I was just asking a bad question. A question that put them on a path other than I wanted them to evaluate.

Then it hit me: what if there were some questions I could teach them to ask and answer each week? Questions that would almost instinctually walk them through what it looks like to be a leader?

Oh. I have those. And I’ve trained them on those. But I stopped at the training. And that was my first mistake.

The 3 questions are a great training piece. They are remarkable to consider. But their true worth isn’t in the theory or intellect behind them. The power of the 3 questions is when they are put into practice.

So I made a change. I started asking how they answered the 3 questions because I want them to start to ingrain those questions into their minds and let them become who they are and what they do. Not because I developed the questions, but because I think the power they provide to influence a room is remarkable.

Sometimes, the tools we need are at our disposal. It’s just a matter of not forgetting.

Let me challenge you today, point blank. If you lead a group of people: teach them the 3 questions and then hold them accountable to answer them on a regular basis. No shame. No guilt. Only accountability to make a difference around them. Then, let me know how it goes!

Well, This is a First

Share this:
Share

A few months back a friend of mine started a podcast called “2 Dads 1 Mind“. They are now in their second season, and as part of their 2nd season, they chose to interview different people. Today, they scraped the bottom of the barrel and are airing an interview they did with me.

I’m joking. I was very honored they asked me to join them, and I had so much fun sharing my heart for leadership and parenting with them.

I’ve embedded the podcast below, but let me encourage you to go check them out (& subscribe) on your podcast player (Apple, Spotify, Google, etc), or click here to see their show page. I really enjoy their format, and their chemistry together is solid.

I hope you enjoy the episode!

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com
%d bloggers like this: