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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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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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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