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.

Check It Out: Redundancy

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There are a few leadership ideas and thoughts that have a way of resurfacing in my life from time to time.

I love routine. Once I find a good routine, I have an uncanny ability to stick with it.

Last year I wrote a post fleshing out this redundancy idea, and thought I would share it today. You can check out it out here.

Current Reads

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I read a really good post from Carey Nieuwhof at the end of last week on 12 books every leader must read. Feel free to click over and check it out.

I thought today I’d share a few books I’m reading through at the moment.

  • Growing Young – I looked up not long ago and realized I haven’t read a youth ministry related book in a while, so I texted a trusted friend and asked for a recommendation. He suggested this one, so it’s on my kindle being digested at the moment. It’s also free thanks to my Kindle Unlimited subscription!
  • Free to Focus – With a job transition, I thought I would try to make the most of the momentum and bought this book when it released not long ago. It’s one of the first books where I’ve worked through it chapter by chapter, actually completing the assignments at the end, which also means I abandoned the audio version for the kindle edition.
  • How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge – Speaking of audio books, I picked this one up on a sale a few months back and am working my way through it. The author actually read it, and has a unique delivery on some aspects. The content is solid, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
  • The Miracle Morning – I hesitate to write much about this because I took a back door approach to it (I actually read the version for writers to get introduced to the concepts), but the impact is there nonetheless. I’ll just say it’s been a game changer for me.

I’ve written about this before, but I tend to have book ADD. I have a difficult time sticking with a book once I start, but it’s a discipline I’m working to develop.

So, what about you? What books are you reading? I’d love to hear, so comment below!

rites of passage

Lessons from the Farm: Rites of Passage

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We’re continuing the Lessons from the Farm series today. Click here to read some of the previous posts, or click here to subscribe so you don’t miss what’s coming next!

My dad grew up 70 miles from where his operation is centered today and still has some land there. When I was growing up and when I moved back to work on the farm for a few years, we would spend a few days each month going back and forth to “the ranch” to take care of cattle and other things.

The things about owning lands in two different locations, separated by 70 miles, is sometimes you need something at Point A to be at Point B. This could be anything from a tool or part, to a tractor or herd of cattle. So, moving things across the 70 miles was simply a part of the operation.

But throughout all my life, I only had to move “the disc” one time. Now, it’s difficult to describe “the disc” to someone who doesn’t understand the world of farm implements, so I’ll over-simplify it: a disc was something we pulled behind a tractor to plow the ground. A disc is not a plow because it’s a disc, although it does the same thing as a plow, it just uses a different approach. Simple enough, right?

Our lesson today isn’t about the difference, but about one key part of the disc we had to move: when raised and ready to haul, the disc had three wheels side by side by side, which means one wheel was sandwiched between the other two.

In the field, behind a tractor, this was not a problem. But a tractor drives about 5-7 mph, so the wheels never heat up too much, and even if you need to change the wheel, you have the aid of the tractor.

On the highway, behind a pickup traveling somewhere between 55 and 65 mph, this sandwich became a problem.

The one time I had to move “the disc”, you can probably guess what happened–the wheel bearing on the middle wheel went out and needed to be replaced before we finished the trip.

Working on that wheel was one of the worst, most frustrating, and entirely exhausting tasks I had to do in my time back on the farm. Thankfully, I had someone else there to help.

Later, I made a comment to my dad about how frustrating that was and his response took me by surprise: “Yeah, but it’s just kind of a rite of passage.”

You see, he knew moving the disc would probably result in a 2 hour stay at the truck stop trying to fix it. He accepted it as part of life. It wasn’t neglect on our part. It wasn’t foolishness. It wasn’t stupidity. It was natural.

In your leadership, there’s something you’re facing (or have faced) that feels like changing that wheel bearing. You feel frustrated, angry, exhausted, and worn out as a result of it. The reality–you’ll never move forward without doing the hard work that needs to be done.

So today, this week, this month, or this year, know the struggle you’re encountering is something you need to work through, and once you get to the other side you will look back and say “there was no other way.”

Make the most of the time you have today.

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