What’s Wrong With a Temporary Fence?

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We have a great house and an even better backyard. We were fortunate to find it and made an offer the day it was listed, as did quite a few others.

But as with any house, there were a few downsides. One of them: only 3 sides of our back yard have a fence. It wasn’t a problem for the first year we lived here, because our dog was accustomed to not having a fence at our previous houses.

But then COVID hit and we decided we might be interested in adding a dog. But we needed a fence to close off our back yard.

But we also knew we had some work coming up soon. So this good ole farm boy did what he knows best–buy some T posts and get to work.

My fence is far from glorious, but it gets the job done for the time being. And best of all, it leaves our backyard accessible for work.

It was a temporary fix, not a permanent one. The permanent fence will come after the work is finished.

Leadership presents a similar issue. If you’re like me, I struggle to get started because I want permanent from the get-go. But sometimes temporary gets the ball rolling, and we add structure down the road.

Sometimes, however, your temporary fix ages out and you need to trash it completely or finish the job.

So, where are you today? Pick one area and ask yourself: do I need to just get the ball rolling and find a temporary approach? Or has my temporary approach outlived its usefulness and now needs to be rebuilt?

Whatever the answer, act on it today.

Two Repeating Threads for Leadership

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I’ve got two pivotal leadership thoughts bouncing around in my head today, so I thought I would try something a little different. Instead of trying to rewrite the thoughts I’m having, I’m going to intro the concept and link to posts where I wrote a little more in depth.

  1. The Redundancy of Leadership – I’ve come to realize leading is less casting the vision and moving forward and more casting the vision followed by casting the vision and casting more vision. This can be disheartening, but there’s something about embracing the redundancy of it all. You can read more about redundancy here or here.
  2. Communicate Expectations – I wrestle inwardly with this concept more than most (thus the 5 links below). Learning to not hold people to a standard I only have in my head has allowed me to extend grace to those I lead, and honestly helps limit self-generated frustrations along the way. You can read some of my thoughts on this topic here, here, here, here and here.

If you have time today, go check those out, but go ahead and brace yourself: you may see a fresh post on them before too long, talking specifically about how to put these concepts into practice.

Willingness Matters

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I feel like there are a few topics I come back to often here on the blog. But, my habit is to process what leadership lesson is on my mind, and today it’s what follows:

I would rather have a potential leader who is incredibly willing and somewhat talented than a potential leader who is incredibly talented and somewhat willing. Here’s why.

Willingness matters.

Someone, when asked to help or participate, who responds with trepidation, will move forward with trepidation. Someone who responds with enthusiasm, will move forward with enthusiasm.

So would you rather work with a hesitant person or an enthusiastic person?

The same goes for developing leaders. Enthusiasm is contagious, in a good way. Skepticism is contagious in a bad way.

This is true for students and for adults. Someone who is willing to serve will make a greater impact than someone who is hesitant.

Because willingness matters.

So what does this mean for you? Are you surrounding yourself with enthusiastic people? Are you looking for students to empower as leaders who are willing?

Do you agree with my initial thought? Is willingness more important than skill? How have you seen this play out in your life and experience?

One last thought, the ultimate jackpot is willingness AND talent. They are rare, but when you get to that point, leadership gets way more fun.

Well, This is a First

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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!

How Do You Stay Sharp?

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Three months ago I started talking to a few friends about starting a book club of sorts. The idea was we would read through a book, and once a week we would have a zoom call to cover what we read and how it applied to our context.

For someone who doesn’t have just a great habit of reading, it was quite a challenge. But it was so much fun.

Then, we finished, and I stopped reading. It was as though I kind of hit the brakes on that discipline. Fast forward from the end of book club to last week, and I realized something:

I’m better when I’m filling my head with thoughts and ideas on purpose.

Now, I know this is true with scripture memory. In fact, one of my favorite to statements to make when teaching on the benefits of scripture memory is nothing impacts my day more than when I’m intentional about memorizing scripture. And it’s true.

But this is different. These are the down moments. When I’m home and done for the day and my mind starts to wander, if I’m not intentional about what I’ve been putting in, the results can be pretty scary.

So, in an effort to remain sharp, I’m trying to continually build the muscle of reading more. I want those moments to be filled on purpose, not on convenience.

In fact, I’m getting ready to start up another book club. And this time, I’m going to open it up. If you’d be interested in participating with me and a few others, email 3questionleadership@gmail.com and let me know. Our plan will be to finish up before the end of the year. Our book hasn’t been chosen, but will deal with something in the realm of leadership.

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