Links for Your Weekend Reading

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Patrick Lencioni on The healthiest organizations win.

A healthy organization is one that maintains a cohesive leadership team, establishes clarity about what it stands for, communicates that clarity repetitively, and puts in place processes and systems to reinforce that clarity over time.

 How one church is using orderliness to attract millenials.

Jen Wilkin on Daughters and dating and how to intimidate their suitors.

Here’s the problem with shotgun jokes and applications posted on the fridge: to anyone paying attention, they announce that you fully expect your daughter to have poor judgment. Be assured that your daughter is paying attention. And don’t be shocked if she meets your expectation. You might want to worry less about terrorizing or retro-fitting prospective suitors and worry more about preparing your daughter to choose wisely. And that means building a wall. Instead of intimidating all your daughter’s potential suitors, raise a daughter who intimidates them just fine on her own.

The #1 lie parents believe about social media.

The #1 lie parents believe about social media is that that they have to be as tech savvy as their kids. Why is that a lie? Because you will NEVER be as tech savvy as your kids.

Thom Rainer on 10 tips to becoming a more productive pastor.

Pastors are thus expected to “run the race” constantly. But how can a pastor keep the pace in this marathon of ministry without burning out? How can a pastor remain productive with such demands? Allow me to offer ten tips to becoming a more productive pastor.

6 Tips to getting a better night sleep.

OK GO new song (Always blown away by the creativity of this band and this is incredible)

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Being a Leader People Want to Follow

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I love the way Mark Miller writes. He is very similar to Patrick Lencioni in writing business/leadership fables. His latest book The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People want to Follow (kindle version) is no different.

Here are a few things I highlighted:

  • If your heart is not right, no one cares about your leadership skills.
  • I’ll let you in on a little discussed fact about leadership: As important as the skills are, lack of skills is not what derails most leaders; skills are too easy to learn. If you want to predict people’s ultimate success as leaders, evaluate not their skills but their leadership character.
  • There is a lot more to leadership than great individual work
  • You can lead, with or without, a title. If you wait until you get a title, you could wait forever.
  • Ninety percent of our success as leaders will be determined by what’s below the waterline. It’s our leadership character that ultimately drives what we do, and why. It is a true reflection of who we really are as human beings.
  • Leadership character is the primary driver of your success as a leader.
  • The lack of skills is not what derails most leaders—skills are too easy to learn. It is ultimately leadership character that determines our opportunity for influence and impact.
  • When leaders fail to thrive, the culprit is often their leadership character, not their lack of skills.
  • The servant leader constantly works to help others win.
  • Don’t confuse opportunity with leadership.
  • Get ready to lead and opportunities to lead will not be your problem.
  • Many people in the world see events as they are; leaders are different in that they see things that could be. And the future they see is always a better version of the present. We believe we can make a difference; we think we can make the world, or at least our part of it, better. Leaders are generally more optimistic than nonreaders.
  • People generally rise to the level of expectations placed on them.
  • When faced with a challenging or difficult situation, the best leaders most often respond with courage; less mature leaders, or nonleaders often choose another path—a path with less risk, less conflict, and less personal discomfort.
  • Leaders usually don’t wait—they initiate.
  • Leaders get what they create and what they allow.
  • Leaders respond with courage when they: Articulate the vision for the future. Build relationships with challenging people. Challenge people to grow and change. Mend broken relationships. Confront difficult problems. Make hard or unpopular decisions.
  • When leaders lead well, not everyone is going to be happy.
  • If there were no challenge, there would be no need for courage—or leadership.
  • To blame others is not the path leaders take. Leaders accept responsibility, in part, because they are sold out to the vision.
  • Leaders are different. They see the world differently and they cultivate different character traits.

If you are a leader and you are looking for a quick, insightful leadership book to read, this is it.

If you want to see some of the past books I’ve reviewed, go here.

Creating a Personal/Family Mission Statement

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Yesterday, I talked about how to create a lasting, worthwhile legacy as a man and family. Many people took the next step of “creating a personal/family mission statement.” This can be a daunting, overwhelming task.

Katie and I went through this practice last year. To help us, we each reach through Patrick Lencioni’s book Three Questions for a Frantic FamilyYou can read my review of the book here.

You need to know this up front:

  • This process is incredibly freeing.
  • There is no right or wrong mission statement. It is your life, your family, you get to define it. So don’t compare to others.
  • Lastly, future generations are affected by this statement. This will define how you spend your time, your money, who you are friends with, where you will worship Jesus, etc. Your grandkids will feel the affect of this statement and if you don’t have one.

Why do this?

If you don’t do this, your family and you personally wander around aimlessly. How do you make a decision when both options seem good? Without a mission statement you guess and hope you are right. With a mission statement, decisions become easier. You are also able to evaluate things more clearly.

Let’s get started.

Start by listing all the things that describe your family. Not what you hope your family or life is, but what you really are. What is important to you? What matters most? What things will you fight til the death on? This list should be exhaustive. You are listing everything you can think of.

Now, start paring it down. Are there words that mean the same thing or can be combined? You are looking for about 5 words to describe your family or you personally. You want it to be short enough to fit on a T-shirt so you remember it.

Now that you have your statement comes a great addition that Lencioni calls “The rallying cry.” This is what you is the most important thing for your family to accomplish in the next 2-6 months. Maybe it is debt, a health issue, a learning issue for a child, your marriage. It is, outside of the normal things your family does, the one thing you have to do in the next 2-6 months for your family to go to the next level. Accomplishing this, would mean a whole new ballgame for your family.

One you have your “Rallying cry” what do you need to do to accomplish this? List all the things it will take.

Got it.

Okay, now share it with a close friend or two. This can be incredibly scary. Ask them to listen as you read it and give feedback. Are the words you used to describe your family, what your family is? Do they see a different value system than you do? You want to pick close friends for this.

Once you feel confident, put the mission statement and the rallying cry in a place where you will see it on a regular basis to remind you and keep you on track.

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Getting Naked

Over the weekend, I read Patrick Lencioni’s book Getting Naked: A Business Fable about Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty (kindle version). Admittedly, of all the book by Lencioni that I’ve read, this is the one that is the least applicable to most leaders. But, what is in here is still solid gold.

He talks about consulting a lot in this book and how to help clients. What keeps leaders from helping those they work with or lead are 3 fears:

  1. The fear of losing business (or followers)
  2. The fear of being embarrassed
  3. The fear of feeling inferior

In the end, this book is all about building trust and credibility as a leader.

For me though, I saw a ton of applications for pastors. Not only when they lead, but in their preaching.

Too many pastors are scared to say certain things. They are scared to hit difficult topics like sex, divorce, homosexuality, or any sin for fear of offending people. They struggle with saying, “You are sinning and choosing a lesser life.” Because, they don’t want to lose anybody. There is also an idea that pastors, because they are shepherding don’t every say hard things or offend people. Now, the goal of preaching is not to offend people or to hurt people. But, pastors should say hard things. They should lovingly challenge a man who wants to leave his wife. They should challenge a mom who is choosing her career over her children. They should challenge someone who is choosing to not trust God with their finances. They should challenge the idols of the heart in people’s lives.

And they should do all those things without fear of losing people.

Pastors should not fear being embarrassed or inferior. They should be willing to throw crazy ideas, ask hard questions, even dumb questions. They should be willing to say “I don’t know the answer to that.” This gets at their willingness to be vulnerable. To admit weakness, to admit failure.

Overall, it was a fast read. Interesting and made some good points. For pastors, this is one of his weaker books, but still worth reading.

My Notes from the WCA Global Leadership Summit

So many great leadership nuggets at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last week. If you missed it, or a session, here are all my notes from it.

What was your biggest takeaway from the summit?

For me, it was the 6X6 idea from Bill Hybels, game changing.

My Notes from Day 2 of the Leadership Summit

In case you missed them, here are my notes from day 2 of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit.

What was your biggest takeaway from day 2 of the summit?

Leadership Summit Session 5 | Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni kicked off day 2 of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit with a talk titled “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else.” Based on his book The Advantage

He is the founder and president of The Table Group, a leading organizational consulting firm that advises clients with ideas, products and services to improve teamwork, clarity, employee engagement and overall organizational health.

He’s the author of numerous books including The Five Temptations of a CEOThe Five Dysfunctions of a Teams, The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, Getting Naked, and  Three Signs of a Miserable Job

Here are some highlights I grabbed from his talk:

  • People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.
  • Most organizations think it is beneath them to build a healthy organization.
  • Organizational health is the single greatest competitive advantage in business.
  • In order for an organization to maximize success, it has to do 2 things:
  1. It has to be smart. Good at finance, strategy, marketing.
  2. It has to be healthy. It has minimal politics and confusion, high morale and productivity. Love turner among the best people.
  • Great companies are great because they use every bit of knowledge at their disposal.
  • Four disciplines of healthy organizations:
  1. Build a cohesive leadership team.
    1. They need to behave in a way that is unified and cohesive.
    2. Create clarity in our organization.
      1. They have to be on the same page behaviorally and intellectually.
      2. A mission statement is not a good way to get clarity in an organization.
    3. Over-communicate clarity
      1. You must hear something at least 7 times until you believe it
      2. If you’re people can’t do a good impression of you when you aren’t around, you aren’t leading
    4. Reinforce clarity
  • Questions for clarity for an organization:
  1. Why do we exist?
    1. When you know why you exist, it makes decisions easier to make.
    2. How do we behave?
      1. A core value is something you are willing to get punished for.
      2. A core value is something you will do, even if the market goes against it, even if it is hard to keep.
      3. Permission to play values is minimum requirements to work there.
    3. What do we actually do?
    4. How will we succeed? What is our strategy?
      1. Every decision you make is part of your strategy.
      2. Every time we make a decision, it needs to fit into our anchors (help 20-40 year old men find their way back to Jesus, will it keep us simple)
      3. Trying to be all things to all people means you are nothing to no one
    5. What is most important in our organization, right now? Rallying cry.
    6. Who must do what?

What was your biggest takeaway from this session?

Global Leadership Summit 2012

Love this conference. Every year I walk away with so many new thoughts on leadership.

I’ll be live blogging all the sessions, so if you don’t want to take notes or can’t make, be sure to check back on Thursday and Friday so you don’t miss all the great stuff.

Which speaker are excited to hear? For me it’s a tie between Jim Collins and Patrick Lencioni. They always bring the leadership wisdom in their talks.

The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family

Recently, Katie and I spent some time reading through Patrick Lencioni’s book The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family and I can’t say enough good things about it. Like almost all of Lencioni’s books, it is written as a fable with the principles woven into the story. It is a fast read, easily done a couple of evenings.

The point of the book is: families run from one thing to the next and they aren’t sure why. Very few families are focused and intentional about how they spend their time, how they spend their money, what they pass on to their kids. The one character in the book said, “If most companies ran themselves the way families run themselves, they’d be out of business.”

Katie and I took the 3 questions and worked through them for our family.

By the end of talking through it, we’ve been able to articulate a mission statement for our family, the core values of who the Reich family is, what we will embody, give our time and money to, what we will pass on to our kids. It also helps you to articulate what you will spend your time on as a family in the next 3-6 months. Answering this question, “If you as a family accomplish only one thing in the next 3-6 months, what would it be? What 5 things do you need to do to accomplish that?”

If you are married, whether you have kids or not, you are probably too busy and unfocused in how you spend your time. This book is well worth the time to work through as a couple.