I’m A Sucker for a Bargain

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Earlier this week, I saw a post from John Maxwell about a discount on his newest book: Change Your World.

Amazon has discounted the kindle version of the book to $5. I’m a sucker for a bargain, so I jumped on it. Plus, because it’s kindle, it doesn’t take up shelf space!

If you’re like me, you can click here to go purchase the book, but the price may go up pretty quickly, so don’t wait.

Also, if you’re interested in reading through it as part of the 3QLeadership Book Club, comment here or email me to let me know. The only restrictions for the 3QLeadership Book Club are you have to promise to read the book and join in the discussion. There are no limits for age, career, or experience. If you’re willing to learn and grow as a leader, you’re invited to join us!

Either way, spend a few bucks to invest in your own leadership development and see what happens next.

Leadership Growth Begins with…

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I’ve been on an interesting leadership journey the past 12 months.

It all started with an audio book. During the summer of COVID shutdowns, I had just finished our biggest event, and was looking to unwind a little bit. So, naturally, I stepped outside to my grill. As is my habit, I started listening to a book. But I didn’t want to just listen to a book, I wanted to engage with a book. So when the author talked about hitting pause and filling out an assessment, I did just that.

And I was shocked. So shocked, in fact, that I immediately bought the physical version of the book (because I know I engage better through a physical version). I invited a few friends to read through the book with me, and the five of us proceeded to know out a section per week for the next six weeks.

Running concurrently, I joined a leadership network with the intent of trying to grow in my own leadership. At some point, I got to jump on a call with the coach and he offered some insights that proved invaluable, practical, and inspirational.

And then I got intentional. Over the past year, I have walked side by side at least a dozen different leaders (most of them not even students!), seeking to invest in and inspire them. Some of these relationships are ongoing, and some are more seasonal. But in the process, I learned one thing: Leadership growth begins with me.

More specifically, my leadership growth begins with me.

If I want others to grow, I have to be willing to grow. If I want to make an impact in the lives of other people, I have to be willing to put forth the effort to grow myself.

The same is true for you. What are you doing to grow as a leader? What are you reading? To what are you listening? With whom are you surrounding yourself? What opportunities are you pursuing? How intentional are you being about growing? How intentional are you willing to be about growing?

At the end of the day, your greatest influence is always over yourself. What are you doing to lead yourself? What change do you need to make. What next step can you take to help?

I don’t usually do this, but if you’ve read this: I want you to comment your answer to one of the questions above. It can be on the blog, on Facebook, or a reply on Twitter. But I want to know what you’re doing, so that maybe it will help me grow, too. If you’re looking to make a change, I’d love to help encourage you along the way.

Say It Again and Again

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Have you ever gotten frustrated because you’ve had to repeat yourself? One of my biggest pet peeves is having to say the same thing over and over. But maybe, as I think about it, that’s a completely irrational pet peeve.

I write these posts for basically people that fall into one of two categories: 1) People, generally Youth Ministers, who desire to develop student leaders and value thought generation, and 2) People, generally Youth ministers, who want to grow their own leadership influence.

After doing this fairly consistently for 4+ years, much of what I write comes from in the moment experience. I see a situation I’m having to address in my own ministry or in my own leadership, and find a leadership principle to share. As a result, this blog becomes a time capsule of sorts-chronicling my own leadership journey and growth.

But even in the midst of the lessons and principles I try to extract from my current situations, there are a few ideas to which I always return.

And the redundancy of leadership may be one of my favorite and most central principles. I’ve written about it several times, which actually only makes sense. You can read some of those former posts here, here, and here.

But the idea is simple (and not original to me): Vision leaks. No one is as passionate about your mission and vision as you. As you seek to grow your leadership influence, impact your realm, and develop leaders around you, NO ONE is as passionate about your mission as you.

But there are people who are waiting to be invited into your mission. They want to help. They are begging to serve. But they need to be reminded.

And that’s where the redundancy of leadership comes in. Be prepared to repeat yourself. You’re going to have to do so. You are going to have to stand up time and time again and remind people of the target for which you’re aiming, because if you don’t help them know what to shoot for, they will pick their own target.

Few people love doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over. Redundancy gets a bad reputation because it’s boring. But redundancy is necessary.

So whatever vision you’re casting, whatever mission you’re trying to unite people around, whatever goal you’re striving for: Say it again and again.

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Big Change Takes Time to Chew

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I started the Three Question Leadership Blog 4 years ago. I thought I would spend the next few weeks sharing some of my first posts, in their entirety, here. Whether you’re new or have been with me all along, I hope you find these concepts applicable.

I fancy myself a thinker. I enjoy looking at situations and dreaming up next steps. As such, I spend a large chunk of my time thinking and considering options.

Along the way, I’ve learned an important leadership principal:

Big Change Takes Time to Chew

Just because I’ve spent countless hours thinking about a change I want to lead, does not mean the people around me and, more importantly, those from whom I need support in the change, have spent countless hours thinking about the change.

In fact, often times, I’m suggesting a change they may have never considered.

When I include other people in the planning and thinking process, three things happen:

1. They feel like part of the decision, because they are

When someone feels free to offer opposing views in a supportive way, solutions are more easily sought out and pursued. And with ownership comes buy-in.

2. They get to work through their hesitations

I cannot tell you how many times in my life I have initially bristled at a decision made by someone above me, only to realize the validity a little time later (sometimes hours, sometimes a few days). Time can help ease (or raise) doubts. 

3. They take ownership of the new direction

Decisions are implemented much more fluidly when leadership is on the same page. One body moving in the same direction proves more effective than chaos. 

One Final Disclosure

I am not saying you let the people around you determine the direction, but instead you bring them to the table and treat them like their thoughts and opinions matter, because they do. And sometimes, the collective wisdom will present a path you hadn’t considered previously.

I am far from the world’s best at this, and still regularly make mistakes, BUT I do know enough to say: do not let the people around you choke on the big changes, because big change takes time to chew.

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Adapt and Grow

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One of the things I admire the most about my dad is his ability to adapt. He has farmed all of his life, but he hasn’t done the same thing all the way through. Just in my memory he has raised cotton, hay grazer, wheat, milo, stocker calves, cattle pairs, feeders, and so much more, but never all at the same time.

I’ve heard him talk about trying to survive financially in the 80’s, and that he was doing everything he could to try to make money. The struggle made him better in the long run, but I’m grateful I was pretty clueless about it.

When we settle for a “this is who I am and what I do” mentality, then we miss a key element for growth–adaptation.

I think all of us would agree that new situations stretch us, and in turn, cause us to grow. But new situations are the easy example. How do you continue to grow when you’ve been somewhere for a while?

Continue to adapt.

I love leadership. I love helping students (and adults) grow in their leadership influence. I even have a pretty nifty framework to help introduce the concept of servant leadership. But even with all of that, if I stop adapting what I’m doing, then I will stop growing. And I never want to stop growing.

So, take a minute right now and think about your situation. What needs to be adapted? What changes need to be made? What adjustments do you need to address?

If you’re in ministry, what skill set do you need to strengthen? Organization? Time management? People skills? Teamwork? Beard trimming (looking at you, Youth Pastors)?

If you want to maintain a lifestyle of growth, then consistently be on the lookout for ways to grow. And grow.

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