There's no Way.....

How many times do you hear that? From your team, your friends, your family, the organization you work for, your church, your kids, etc. "There's no way I can do that!"..... "Our team could never pull that off!"..... "Well it's easy for (so and so) to accomplish that kind of game changing project, because they have a massive team and lots of money"......"I'm not that smart or that connected to pull the right people together....." And on and on and on.

STOP using this as an excuse. As believers, as followers of Jesus, if we're not chasing after something that is so much bigger than we are, and there's no way we could ever accomplish it without God, then we are playing it too safe.

Is there currently something you are working on, organizing, idea crafting that is so big that everyone around you says "There's no way!!" If not, it's time to think big. Get outside your comfort zone. Dream about accomplishing a project so out of your abilities that it keeps you up at night.

God calls us to think big. If we are only working on something that we can accomplish on our own, with our own strength, I'm not sure that's good enough.

So what's on your heart or stirring in you that you keep pushing back because it just doesn't seem possible? Whatever it is, put it on the table. Stretch. Pursue it. "There's no way" those around you will say. But there is a way. God can accomplish what seems impossible to us. With our sweat. And our work. Through His power.

There IS a way WE can do that......

9 start of the week thoughts for Leaders

1. Hustle today. Get there faster, get it done quicker, be more intentional than normal, and make those around you better. 2. Learn it, relearn it, and then learn it again. Just because you are out of school doesn't mean you quit learning. Be a lifelong learner.

3. Be the best in the world today at whatever you are working on. If making copies, be the best in the world. If mixing up a mocha at Starbucks, be the best in the world. If negotiating a new contract, be the best in the world. If planning an event, be the best in the world. You can be great at one thing.

4. We have to reclaim a sense of Biblical understanding, wisdom and practice. Our Biblical illiteracy as a generation is staggering, sobering and frustrating. Gotta get back in the Word. This starts with pastors and Christian leaders embracing and constantly teaching the Scriptures.

5. Humility rules. Just a reminder today. The world doesn't revolve around you.

6. As always, making it happen and "shipping" as Seth Godin says is still an incredibly fashionable attribute. If you can execute on a project... if you can get things done.... if you can take an assignment and drive it to completion.... You're still valued and incredibly needed.

7. Put the Xbox up, turn off facebook, get out a book (or your iPad), and start reading. Stimulate your brain, and educate yourself.

8. Understand what you are FOR. Don't be defined by what you are against, but instead by what you are for.

9. Talk less, and listen more. Gaining influence is as much about asking great questions as it is about giving great answers.

Young Influencers List, September edition

Here you go, the September edition of the Young Influencers List. You can find all the past month's names here.  

1. Kristen Wolfe- speaker, model, host, former Miss USA 2009 and editor of She is More.

2. Ian Elliott- marketing guru and partner at SEW Creative, and former global marketing manager for Quicksilver.

3. Grace Kim- director of partnerships and strategy for Good Magazine, founding member of Good/Corps.

4. Brad Cooper- NewSpring Church pastor, heads up Fuse, NewSpring student ministry.

5. Ben Habeck- CEO of Dime, accounting firm I highly recommend (they work with hundreds of musicians, non profits and churches, and me!)

6. John Onwuchekwa- lead teaching pastor for Blueprint Church in Atlanta, GA

7. Sarah Buchanan- co-founder and Executive director of the Kula Project, working to equip local farmers in Kenya with innovative farming methods to create sustainability.

Are you a leader of Action?

Are you a Kinetic Leader, or Potential Leader? Remember from science class in 9th grade? Kinetic energy is energy in motion. The energy created by forward motion.

The opposite of Kinetic energy is Potential energy. Potential Energy is energy that is stationary and not moving. Actually Potential energy is defined as "stored energy of position." Basically energy that's not accomplishing anything. Huh, know anyone with "stored energy of position???"

Unfortunately, lots of leaders I know have great Potential, but nothing is happening. They have great intentions, but end up at the starting line stuck with great ideas.

Water in a glass is Potential energy. Water being poured out of a glass is Kinetic energy.

A car parked is potential energy. A car going down the road is kinetic energy.

Mentioning you should do something about the culture in your organization is potential energy. Actually doing something and proposing a new set of core values is kinetic energy. 

Leaders are either kinetic or potential.

We all know Leaders who have tons of Potential Leadership, and potential influence. Plenty of opportunity, plenty of talent, plenty of talk, but no action. No movement. No accomplishment. No completed projects. Just lots of hype.

But Kinetic Leadership is all about moving things forward. Getting things done. Leadership in motion. Action. Making it happen. Moving the ball across the finish line.

I want to be a Kinetic Leader. We all should. So whatever is potential today, turn it into Kinetic. Make it happen.

The 12 People I try to avoid when Flying

Power to the flying people on this one. One of these days I hope to write a good coffee table book about this and many other flying funnies. So here you go: The Top Twelve people I try and avoid when flying......

1. Marvin the middle armrest hog- here's the deal, middle seat boy always gets first right of refusal on armchair left and armchair right of their seat. If someone is sitting in the middle, the least you can do is allow them to have elbow space. Leaner Larry sitting in the aisle seat has no right to invade your space, nor does Window Wally.

2. Quick draw cellphone Chad- seriously, this annoys me to no end. Wheels down and cellphone on. Can you wait at least a few minutes before getting on your cell phone and talking as loud as possible so that you seem somewhat important to those around you, when we all know that all you did was just call the person most likely to answer so that you could act like something was incredibly important and couldn't wait. Give me a break. How about 5 minutes of downtime before you jump back into cell phone land- and start making calls once you are off the plane.

3.  Can't quit chatting Cathy- is it really necessary that you talk on your phone until the flight attendant has to tell you to turn it off, at which moment you act like you are done and then jump right back on the same phone call. You are such a rebel.... Stop it. Whatever it is can wait. Stop it now.

4. Move forward 1 or 2 rows when you are in the back Bobby- there is an unwritten rule in airplane etiquette- upon arriving at the destination, once the seat belt sign goes off and everyone is allowed to get up out their seat, you cannot advance more than one row past where you were sitting, unless previously allowed through announcement or special circumstances authorized only by the senior flight attendant or captain. Otherwise, stay in your row, and beyond that, just stay in your seat. Is it really that important that you save 7 seconds by moving forward and hacking everyone off? Foreigners are the typical culprits on this one.... there needs to be an international handbook on etiquette written immediately, if not sooner.

5. Nothing to read, write, or do Danny- honestly, you are on a three hour flight and brought nothing with you to work on, watch, read, write, or listen to. Are you serious? So the entire flight you try to sleep, but can't, so instead you just annoy everyone around you. Buy an ipod, or a walkman, or at least a newspaper.

6. Tommy Turnaround- the guy in front of me on a number of occasions actually turned around and sat on his armchair facing me, sitting high and looking over the back of his chair. He was reading a book, but it was still creepy.

7. Larry the shoulder Leaner- Larry is in the middle, I am in the aisle, and he leans on me as he falls asleep. All over my shoulder. Actually all over me in general. Multiple elbows, throat clears, and side swipes don’t seem to alleviate the issue.

8. Wrong Way Wes- so you know how everybody stands up when the plane gets to the gate, even though you still have 5 minutes before you are even thinking of exiting the plane. So Wes decides to stand up, and then instead of facing towards the front of the plane like everyone else, he decides to stand and look in my direction, towards the back of the plane. Multiple minutes of trying to avoid eye contact at close range is a difficult task!

9. Pulls on my seat to get up Paul- this guy kills me. The headrest part of my seat is not designed for you to grab when you are getting up out of your seat behind me. And it's also not meant to grab when you are walking down the aisle to the bathroom.

10. Butt in my face Barry and Carry on Carrie- Usually they are together, or even the same person. Can you please be conscious of where your rear end and other parts are being placed when you are lifting that 100 lb carry on bag up into the luggage bins. And while I'm at it, your carry on is supposed to fit neatly in the bins above, not fitting by spending 15 minutes cramming it in using all possible means necessary, along with two flight attendants with hammers and wrenches.... And finally, your carry on luggage is not meant to be rolled down the aisle like you are in the Airport lobby. Pick it up and carry it. You hit everyone in the knees and the feet on the way down the aisle and also catch the carry on bag strap 13 times on the arm rests.

11. My kids are your kids Kelly- you know this one, right? The parent who changes the dirty diaper right next to you, as well as naturally feeds their children in clear sight, and also allows them to basically make your flight a complete living hell for 3-4 hours because of screaming, crying, crawling, grasping, and sucking all life out of you.

12. No touch Norm- a simple problem. Norm thinks that by pushing much harder on the monitor display (on the back of your seat) with his fingers, that somehow the channels will change quicker and the volume will adjust easier. He also fails to show any sense of touch when readjusting his trayback table into the back of your seat.

Who else would you add to the list? 


Be Better than Average

Are you just being average? In your job? In your family? Your friendships? Your community? Your organization? Your Church? Your passions and hobbies? Your leadership? Are you typical? common? ordinary? all right? fair? everyday? commonplace? decent? moderate? customary? general? mediocre? run of the mill? tolerable? usual? All common synonyms of average. Yuck.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be mediocre or tolerable or run of the mill. And let me clarify- we're not talking about whether you were a C student in Calculus or Chemistry or English class in high school, or being an athlete, or an amazing communicator, or an orchestra singer, or a world renowned pianist. There are certain gifts or wirings or strengths areas where I'm going to be average at best, regardless. For example, I'm an average (maybe more below average!) basketball player. I'm never going to be better than average at basketball, no matter how much I practice and work out. Same thing with singing. I'm average, but I sing with the confidence of a world renowned vocalist!

I'm referring to the things in life and leadership that we CAN control. That we can get better at. Things we can constantly improve in. That require intentional focus and a mentality that says I'm not going to settle for just being okay. Areas where my competence can continue to grow.

Parenting. Leadership. Being a friend. Your job. Being a neighbor. Your walk with Jesus. Marriage. etc. These are the areas we should strive daily to be better than average.

Don't be that person who just does enough to get buy and keep your job for one more day. Don't be that person who everyone says, "yeah, it was an ok presentation, nothing out of the ordinary." Don't be the that leader who simply is trying to "not rock the boat" and hold on for as long as possible without stirring things up. Don't be that person who is the last option when it comes to helping out or volunteering because you have a reputation for just showing up but not helping. Don't be that person who your boss or employer has to painstakingly consider every quarter whether to have a sit down conversation about your performance.... "I like you Bob, but your performance and contribution to the team is just average." Don't be that person who no one wants on their team because they know you won't contribute anything to the conversation or to solving the problem. Don't be that.

There are way too many average people right now in the world. So... Right now, get up, straighten up, stand up, and do something extraordinary. Decide you want to be excellent. Do Something outstanding. Make today remarkable.

Being average is ..... just average. Be better than that.


5 Short but powerful Statements for Leaders

Needed statements from leaders. Hard to say, but very powerful. 1. Thank you.

2. I'm sorry.

3. That was My fault.

4. I trust you.

5. Great job.

These seem simple enough. But I know for me, sometimes these can be the hardest statements to actually articulate.

Put these into practice this week. I'm trying my best to.

Beware of being a "Used to" Leader

We all know leaders who live in the past. Your leadership needs to be all about the present and the future, and not focused on the past. Don't be a "used to" leader! 

"Used to" leaders are inconsistent.

A "used to" leader is someone who lives in the past, and has drifted away from commitments you once made.

"Used to" Leaders are always talking about how.....

I "used to" workout.

I "used to" have a regular prayer time.

I "used to" be a hard worker.

I "used to" date my wife/husband on a regular basis.

I "used to" be a learner and read consistently.

I "used to" read the Scriptures daily.

I "used to" have fun with my kids.

I want to be an "I AM" leader. I want to be an "I Will" leader. Making it happen today. Making it happen tomorrow. Focused on today. Being present.

Don't be a "used to" leader.

7 Ways to create a Courageous Organizational Culture

Courage is not just a personal trait. It's an organizational trait as well. And we all want, in some way, to be part of an organization and team that demonstrates courage. That is willing to push up the hill, against the odds, beyond all doubts, to achieve results and impact that most thought not possible.

So here are a a few points about creating a courageous organizational culture:

1. Allow for Failure. The road to success is many times put together through multiple failures.

2. Reward Innovation. You reward what matters most.

3. Take bold risks. Bold vision is inspiring, and creates bold team members.

4. Pursue the right opportunities. Aggressively pursue a few things that make sense. Less is more in this case.

5. Say NO often. While it's important to take bold risks and pursue the right opportunities, it's also conversely important to say NO to almost everything else. Being focused on doing a few things great is way better than doing a bunch of things average.

6. Liberally pass on responsibility and authority to your team. If you want your team to be courageous, give them the chance to lead.

7. Set standards that scare you. Your level of excellence and expectation for your product or service or experience should almost be something that is unattainable.

15 Leadership Blogs I read every day

1. Michael Hyatt 2. Seth Godin

3. Mashable

4. Fast Company

5. Perry Noble

6. Dan Pink

7. Simon Sinek

8. TED

9. Catalyst

10. Ron Edmondson

11. Leadership Freak

12. John Maxwell

13. Pete Wilson

14. Tom Peters

15. The Aspen Institute

*** bonus: American Express Open Forum

THESE ARE NOT THE ONLY BLOGS I READ EVERY DAY. I read way more than 15 a day, but only including these this time. Just to clarify!


Last chance for Best rates on Catalyst Atlanta

Today is your last chance to get the best discounted rates on tickets for Catalyst Conference in Atlanta! Make plans to join us for the Catalyst Conference October 2-4, 2013 in Atlanta, GA, where 12,000 young leaders from across the United States and around the world will converge for the leadership experience of the year. See below on how you can register today and save $!

This year’s event will focus on the theme of KNOWN: leading from who you are. Identity, Calling, and Legacy as a leader. A leader worth following.

Hear from leadership authorities including Andy Stanley, John Piper, Lecrae, Priscilla Shirer, Jud Wilhite, Reggie Joiner, and Judah Smith, along with several innovative thinkers and practitioners like best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Award Winning Journalist Malcolm Gladwell, Newark, NJ Mayor and TIME 2011 Most Influential People Cory Booker, Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women and CEO of Burberry Angela Ahrendts, NYT Bestselling author and blogger Jon Acuff, Filmmaker and co-founder of Invisible Children Jason Russell, and music from the Passion Band, among others.

Plus, Catalyst Labs will feature innovative thought leaders like Mark Batterson, Ann Voskamp, Henry Cloud, Shelley Giglio, Claire Diaz Ortiz, Propaganda, Tim Elmore, Bob Goff, Lysa Terkeurst, Carlos Whittaker, Rebekah Lyons, Bianca Olthoff, Andy Crouch, Kara Powell, David Kinnaman, Rachel Cruze, Eugene Cho, Bryan Loritts, Amena Brown Owen, Jo Saxton, Leonce Crump, Jen Hatmaker, Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, Peter Greer, Bethany Hoang, Hannah Song, Leroy Barber, Jeff Shinabarger, Jenni Catron, Sherry Surratt, and more. Gonna be epic!

Make sure and Register TODAY, THURSDAY, August 22nd. A special registration rate of $219 is being made available to you (over $100 savings). Enter or mention rate code FOB to take advantage of this exclusive offer for you and your team. Call 888.334.6569 to speak with the Catalyst Concierge team, or register online and use RATE CODE FOB to secure your spot today!

Again, this rate expires Today on Thursday, August 22nd, so make sure and register now. Hope to see you there!

12 characteristics of "All In" Leaders

Are you a leader who is "ALL IN?" I want leaders on my team who are "all in." Coaches want players who are "all in" on their teams. Every organization out there wants employees and team members who are "all in."

Being ALL IN as a leader means:

1. You don't look at the clock, and you're not punching a time card. Your role is not defined by 9 - 5.

2. You get it done no matter how long it takes. You are "managerless," meaning no one else has to worry about whether you are getting it done.

3. You realize you are part of something bigger than yourself, and humbly accomplish the goals because of a larger motivation than just you.

4. Giving just the "minimum" amount of effort required to get by without "getting in trouble" doesn't even cross your mind.

5. Your hard work and excellence is done with pure motives. You are not worried about climbing the ladder or impressing anyone.

6. We is much more important than me. If I win, the team wins. If the team wins, I win.

7. You are willing and motivated to improve daily. Getting better at what you do is not a choice, it's a requirement.

8. You maintain a high standard of excellence because the team/organization/brand demands it. You don't want to let anyone else down on the team.

9. The vision compels you to greatness. Not the opposite- "your greatness compelling the vision." Many leaders get this backwards.

10. Your intentions and goals are clear. I know what I'm getting, and I'm never concerned about any alterior motives.

11. You are trustworthy. 100%. Always with no exceptions. I know I can count on you.

12. Constant pursuit of the extraordinary, not ordinary. Constant pursuit of unusual, not usual. Constant pursuit of being the best, not average.

Young Influencers List, August edition

Here you go, the August edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all of the past month's editions HERE. 1. Colt McCoy- U of Texas legendary QB, co-author of The Real Win, and now part of the San Francisco 49ers. Listen to a recent interview I did with him here.

2. Sarah Pulliam Bailey- reporter/editor for Religion News Service, and previous online editor for Christianity Today.

3. Jedidiah Jenkins- idea maven at Invisible Children with a great Instagram account!

4. Myron Butler- grammy nominated artist, gospel musician, songwriter, and minister of music at The Potter's House Church in Dallas.

5. Elena Bondar- founder and CEO of Two Wings, helping at risk youth and survivors of sex trafficking in Southern California area.

6. Justin Miller- founder and Ex Dir of Care For Aids, partnering in Kenya with local churches to operate centers for those living with HIV/Aids.

7. Chris Carson- director of events, Coalition for Christian Outreach, leading the charge on the Jubilee Conference.


Any recommendations for future Young Influencers List? Leave in the comments section.

Beware of the "They" Mentality in your organization

I hear this all the time. In organizations, on the street, coffee shops, stores, and seems like always at the airport! I was waiting on my baggage the other day at the airport, and overheard a conversation between several airport employees, who were griping about a number of things wrong with the company they work for. Their conversation was centered around "I can't believe THEY decided to make that decision.... they are asking us to show up early but they don't understand. I can't wait to tell them what I think. Maybe then they will give us a chance to succeed. I really deserve a raise but THEY are holding me back....." And the list goes on.

Who is They?

We've all experienced this. You hear it all the time.... "they" don't want me to get a promotion. "they're" the reason the project is failing. It would have worked if "they" wouldn't have messed things up. It wasn't my fault- "they" were supposed to take care of that. "They" can figure it out because I don't care anymore.

As leaders, most of the time, we are the "they." And we need to constantly be aware that the idea of "we" and "me" instead of "they" should be our compass. Passing the buck to an unknown entity like "they" just causes confusion and frustration in an organization. It's easy to put all the blame on "them" because "they" don't have a name or face or personal connection. The onus is on US, WE and ME, not THEM or THEY, whoever those folks might be.....

Possessive language is what you are looking for on your team, with your project, and in your company. Challenge your team to get rid of the "they" mentality. From the top to the bottom. It starts with you setting the tone. So next time you have the urge to say "they", change it to "us." All of the sudden, the rules change.

Your Best Marketing Tool is....

Marketing has changed in the last 10-15 years. Used to, if you had a good ad campaign, eye catching design and a well-written tagline, people would notice and take action. Not necessarily anymore.

In today's economy, your best marketing tool is a great product.

With so many things vying for our attention, getting noticed and standing out among the crowd is incredibly difficult. Thousands and thousands of marketing messages are all around us. On a constant basis.

To assure people buy your product, use your service, become part of your church, attend your event, interact with your website, subscribe to your blog, shop at your store, eat at your restaurant, purchase your art, or read your book- create something excellent!

Create something that people talk about. That stands out regardless of how much noise is occurring in the market. The kind of service or product that everyone wants their friends to experience up close.

A few great products that come to mind:

- Apple stuff

- U2

- Cirque du Soleil

- Pixar Animation

- charity: water


- Bob Goff

- Disney World

- Seth Godin

What other GREAT products or services come to mind that don't need a bunch of marketing because they are so incredible??

12 Simple Rules for Greetings

Hello. How are you? What's up? Hey. All of us greet differently. There is no right or wrong.

These are a few of my thoughts on Greetings that might create a few laughs. Most of these are related to greetings within the office, but a few are appropriate anywhere.

Enjoy these and add more below in the comments section!

1. If I don't know you, and we've never met, we're probably not going to hug. Let's stick with a firm handshake for the first introduction. And no fist pumps if we don't know each other.

2. If I've already seen you that day, we don't have to regreet each other. Regardless of in the office, at an event, or at a social gathering, we've already established a connection, so no need to have to re-establish that. Stick with a simple head nod or a thumbs up, or just walk by like gunslingers in an alley.

3. When greeting, avoid using nicknames that you think are funny and the other person doesn't. Not necessarily a good way to build a bridge.

4. When greeting, DO use nicknames if you and the other person thinks it's funny. Nicknames are a great way of showing connection. I LOVE giving nicknames.

5. For greeting those you know, I prefer the clasp and hug, not just the straight hug. Straight hugging can get awkward, but when you go to the clasp handshake first, it establishes a point of contact to then hug from.

6. When in doubt, the high five still works. Especially for those you know well or work with. No words, just a high five. The fist bump can also be substituted in here.

7. Unless you really want to know, don't ask me how I'm doing. Just make a statement instead, a statement that stands on its own, that doesn't require a response from me. Something like "today's the day" or "there he is!" or "you're the man!"

8. Greet with a compliment whenever appropriate. Such as "I really like that shirt!" or "I appreciate you!" or "that jacket looks great on you!" Those who greet with compliments are always remembered and someone you always like seeing.

9. If we are just exchanging friendly passerby greetings, don't ask me something deep, or something that requires me to necessarily stop for a complete conversation. Again, I love conversations, but if we're passing by, that probably means we are both on our way somewhere.

10. If I know who's calling me on my phone, because of caller ID, I'll usually greet them with a customized greeting vs. a standard greeting. You should do the same. If I am confident of who is calling, I don't need to say "This is Brad." But maybe "what's up bigtime" or "where are you?" or "you ready to go?" or "hit me money" or just simply "dude." Feel free to say the other person's name in your customized greeting.

11. The holy kiss only works in the following scenarios: 1. family, 2. much older women or men, 3. spouses of close friends as long as the close friend is present. Always on the cheek, never on the lips.

12. When greeting someone from another race, nationality, area of the world, or even cultural difference, don't get too far out on a limb. Stay with what you are comfortable with. Trying to speak a different language or arrange a cultural phrase is risky!

My system for getting things done

To start with, I'm a big fan of David Allen's Getting Things Done, and Scott Belsky's Making Ideas Happen, and Michael Hyatt's tips on his blog. Over the years, I've established my own system that seems to work for me. Thought I would share it. Let me admit- I don't necessarily recommend the system I've instituted for myself. I would recommend implementing a system the experts recommend, and ultimately just some kind of system, whatever it looks like.

Again, whatever your preference- just establish some kind of system! That is the key in my opinion... having a system that works. For you.

But for me, the following system works.

1. I keep a "to do" list in my drafts on my outlook (for Mac). Right now I have around 125 items on this list. This is where every task, to do item, action item, or follow up is recorded. If not at my computer, I will record in my moleskine or iphone and then put in the to do list once a week.

2. I keep at least three folders around my desk - Action items folder, Reference folder, and Backburner folder. This is taken directly from Scott's book and his methodology. These folders are for papers, documents, printed emails, etc that need to be kept in physical format, not just digital format.

3. Moleskine for capturing ideas, taking notes and thinking/dreaming. Any to do items are transferred to my to do list on my computer once a week at least. The key on this is capturing big ideas and thinking/dreaming- have at least one place you capture those kinds of ideas.

4. Email inbox- I try and keep my inbox to under 20 emails daily. If it gets to be more than that, it becomes too much of a distraction. I don't use my inbox as a "to do" list. Anything that can go on a "to do" list goes on the "to do" draft in #1 above.

5. Evernote to capture notes from meetings, cool websites, videos, etc. Mainly use evernote for capturing things from the web.

6. I receive all of my email. But in terms of responding to email and other requests, I try to forward as much as possible to my assistant. Not because I don't want to respond personally, but more because it frees me up to focus more of my time on items that only I can do- speaker selection, programming, strategy, planning, new business development, strategic partnerships, etc.

7. I keep a very detailed system of folders in my inbox. But more for reference, and not for follow up or action. Emails only go in these folders once they have been completed or followed up on. But having them in folders for reference is incredibly important, especially when trying to remember what's been done in the past.

8. One excel spreadsheet that is a "catch all." Your name is probably on it!! I have a spreadsheet for capturing names, speakers from the past, speakers for the future, bloggers, influential leaders, young leaders, etc. It drives Michelle my assistant crazy and our entire team crazy, but it works for me, as this is the place where I can braindump every name or idea or new relationship.

9. Creative boards for planning and programming. I've mentioned the creative boards before. They are instrumental in programming events, as well as planning for the future. Provides a visual strategy that is easily changeable.

10. A few Physical Folders around major areas of organizational focus. I keep a few folders in my office tied to different projects, events, and areas of organizational focus (for example, "staff reviews"), but try and limit these folders as much as possible. The goal is digital storage whenever we can.

11. Our team does very FEW meetings. We don't meet "just to meet." We meet only if needed. This helps tremendously in allowing time to move things towards completion and ultimately getting things done. I've found that many organizations put meetings on the schedule just because it's been done that way before. Not with us.


How about you? What is your system for getting things done? 


What NOT to do as an emerging leader

As an up and coming emerging leader, DON'T DO THESE: 1. Believe that you are "the answer."

2. Stop honoring those who've laid the groundwork before you.

3. Write off all the folks who finally helped you "arrive," who might suddenly seem insignificant or unimportant.

4. Remove yourself from reality by surrounding yourself with "handlers" and those only interested in being "yes" men and women.

5. Regard yourself as crucial, and ultimately more important than all others, in connection to the success of the organization or project.

6. Stop learning since you now know everything.

7. Make the mission of the organization all about you instead of truly about the mission.


Young Influencers List, July Edition

Here you go, the July edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month's editions HERE. 1. Lusi Fang Chien- Harvard grad, Stanford business school, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of 4Soils.

2. Ben Fielding- songwriter, worship leader and pastor with Hillsong Church in Australia. Co-written classics like Mighty to Save, Stronger, and Anchor.

3. Lizzie Wirgau- founder and CEO of Market Colors, a non profit that equips Africa men/women through selling of their handmade crafts.

4. Joe Sumrall- director of major gifts at Atlanta Mission, former advisor to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, and husband to Sally Sumrall!

5. Andrew Wilson- pastor, writer, blogger, and elder at King's Church Eastbourne in the UK.

6. Tammy Sevcov- associate pastor at The Rock, Anaheim Foursquare Church, speaker and author of Single for Now.

7. Chinua Hawk- singer, songwriter, worship leader, amazing vocalist, and part of Catalyst house band the past several years. Check out album on itunes.

News flash: It's not about You

I am always bothered by the person who continually just talks about themselves. The person who thinks that the world literally revolves around them. The person who constantly is only worried about how things will affect them personally. They pretend to be interested in others, but really are only concerned with furthering their career or pushing their agenda or making a bigger deal about themselves. It's Not about You. Really. It's Not.

So here are a few thoughts on combating the "You" paradigm:

1. Be Selfless. Being Selfless is Biblical. It's Jesus focused, Jesus centered and Jesus honoring. And it's a lifestyle. You can't just turn the selfless button on and off. You have to embrace it fully.

2. Fight against pride constantly. Pride is a Killer. It's a collaboration killer. It will corrupt a team. And it will corrupt your own leadership growth. It is deadly when given the chance to flourish. Many times, pride is induced not by leaders, but more by those around them who feel a burden to make their leader so elevated that they end up furthering the problem instead of helping squelch it.

3. Be generous. This is a great way to combat your tendency to think that you own it, and everything is about you. Especially with money or possessions. When you sense in your life a strong pull towards hoarding, just intentionally be more generous than normal.

4. Honest friends. A crucial component in fighting the "You" paradigm. Surround yourself with friends who will be brutally honest, and will tell you when you are being selfish and too "you" focused. Us is way better than me or you.

5. Ego Leak about others. If your ego has a hard time being contained, then let it leak about others. Puff others up, and make a big deal about others around you. Let your ego leak toward those around you.