Followers vs Fans

Follower vs. Fan.Is there a difference? 1. Followers are committed. Fans can be fickle.

2. Followers trust their leader. Fans trust in their leader only when it benefits them.

3. Followers want a vision. Fans want a show.

4. Followers ask "what have i done for you?" lately. Fans ask "what have you done for me lately?"

5. Followers are in for the long term. Fans are in for the short term.

6. Followers have an intrinsic connection; it's not about wearing a t-shirt. Fans have an extrinsic connection; it's ALL about wearing a t-shirt.

Are you a follower or a fan?

10 Best Worship Songs

A few weeks ago I shared what I think are the top ten hymns of all time. So now another list...What are the top ten modern worship songs?

When I say "modern," I mean during the last two generations, so basically the last 25 years, since 1985.

Lots of folks are going to have a different top ten list than I do. So lots of potential discussion on this. But I wanted to throw this out there and get the conversation going. You can listen to Ken Coleman, Carlos Whittaker and me banter about this on the latest Catalyst Podcast.

Here you go:

1. Shout to the Lord

2. How Great is our God

3. Mighty To Save

4. Lord I Lift Your Name on High

5. I Could Sing of Your Love Forever

6. Holy is the Lord

7. God of Wonders

8. Our God is an Awesome God

9. Agnus Dei

10. Salvation is Here

Honorable mention:

How He Loves, Our God, Majesty, Sweep Me Away, Not to Us, Everlasting God, You Are My All in All, You're Worthy of My Praise, Sing to the King, With Everything

What did I miss?

West Coasters... Catalyst One Day in Orange County

For all the Leaders in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and the Bay area.... I want to make sure you know about Catalyst One Day on Thursday, October 27 at Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA.

Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel will be speaking on Healthy Organizational Culture. And special guest Rick Warren will be joining in for the event as well.

Please make sure and register TODAY as the best rates on tickets expire today, September 22.


and.... for everyone in the Chicago area, we'll be at Willow Creek for Catalyst One Day Chicago on Thursday, Nov 17 with Andy, Craig, and Bill Hybels.

Characteristics of good employees

Here you go, 5 points on Monday to help you be a better employee, partner, or peer to others in your organization. 1. write everything down- never show up to a meeting without something to write with and something to write on. And write it down. Everything. Otherwise you'll forget. I don't care who you are.

2. honor people's time- show up early and finish on time. Actually finish early if at all possible.

3. come with solutions, not just ideas- this is crucial. move towards completion, not away from it.

4. learn how to anticipate- always be one step ahead. Do something every day you weren't "asked" or "told" to do, but know you should do.

5. be a disciplined learner- understand it's your role to be an expert, no matter what level or role you play in an organization. Don't just be one step ahead of your boss in being skilled at your job.... be an expert.

6. create corporate culture, don't just consume it- help set the standard in your organization, don't just reflect it. Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.

7. be a servant- much harder said than done. Much of this perspective comes from having a great attitude.


A few videos worth watching

Take a few minutes today and laugh or be inspired........ Here you go:

1. An elderly couple who just got their first laptop ever, complete with a built in video recorder......and that is where the fun begins:


2. This is just funny. Thanks to Ken Coleman and Bill Hampton for introducing this:


3. A great video from Chipotle entitled Back to the Start. Good friend Jonathan Bostic turned me onto this:


4. This is why I love my good friends from Gungor. Because they create amazing music:



Young Influencers List, September Edition

Here you go, the September edition of the Young Influencers List. You can find past month's editions HERE. 1. Bubba Watson- PGA Tour golfer and Georgia grad. A great follow on Twitter.

2. Angie Smith- Über blogger and Women of Faith speaker. Wife and mom and writer. Amazing story of God's grace.

3. Josh Garrels- musician and songwriter from Portland. Recent album is Love and War and the Sea in Between. Download for free.

4. Tim O'Mara- founder of Beltline Bike Shop, a community project/initiative in Atlanta.

5. Peter Ahn- founder of Metro Community Church and Zimele, a ministry in South Africa that won the Courageous Leadership Award in 2009 at the Leadership Summit.

6. Heather Larson- Compassion and Justice Director at Willow Creek Community Church.

7. THI'SL- songwriter, artist and rapper.

Who I want to meet in the next year

I know, I know, most of these are a total stretch, and might even be considered random. But just putting it out there. If you believe it, you can achieve it! 1. Denzel Washington

2. John Lasseter (Pixar)

3. Bill and Melinda Gates

4. Chris Martin (Coldplay)

5. Tom Brady

6. Chris Anderson (TED Conference)

7. Oprah Winfrey

8. Will Smith

9. Steve Jobs

10. Tony Hawk

The reason to meet all of these folks- I believe they are the best in the world at what they do, whether acting, performing, directing, coaching, leading, or singing. People at the top of their game who are incredibly excellent at their craft or profession have learned something about greatness, otherwise they wouldn't be where they are. And I love to learn from those outside of my "normal circle" of influence.

Who's on your list?


End of Week Links of Interest

- Check out the new Catalyst Podcast episode featuring an interview with John Ortberg, as well as Matt Chandler interviewing Tony Romo at Catalyst Dallas. - Proud of my good friend Blake Mycoskie and his new book Start Something that Matters, that just released earlier this week and is already a best seller.

- Happy 5th Birthday to charity: water. Scott and his team have impacted millions, and changed the conversation around charity and philanthropy.

- Do yourself a huge favor and listen to Andy Stanley's free Leadership Podcast, and specifically the current series on Enemies of the Heart. Incredibly helpful and practical for leaders.

- A new band that should be on your radar- Bellarive out of Orlando. Great guys. Got to meet them earlier this week and was very impressed. They are creating some great music. Got their songs on repeat right now.

- check out this great moment a couple of weeks ago - setting a world record for the world's largest water balloon fight:


Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel and Bill Hybels together

Really excited about Catalyst One Day Chicago this fall on Thursday November 17 at Willow Creek Community Church. Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel will be teaching on the topic of creating Healthy Organizational Culture. And Bill Hybels will be joining in for this One Day event, so this is a can't miss gathering for leaders!

Register TODAY to get the lowest prices on tickets, as low as $79. The super early bird registration deadline expires TODAY September 8.

Visit the website for more information. Hope to see you there!

What are your top ten hymns of all time?

I grew up attending the Church of God in Bristow, OK. Shout out. We sang hymns every single Sunday. And Sunday night. And Wednesday night.... minus the occasional special song from the Baker Trio or the Men's Quartet! And to this day, I LOVE singing Hymns. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about modern day worship songs, but there's something special about the classic hymns.

Ken Coleman and I recently asked our listeners on the Catalyst Podcast what their favorite hymns of all time were, and we got a lot of responses. Lots of different responses.

So I wanted to bring it up here as well... What are your top hymns of all time?

Here's my top ten:

1. Nothing But the Blood

2. Amazing Grace

3. It is Well With My Soul

4. Jesus Paid it All

5. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

6. Victory in Jesus

7. Blessed Assurance

8. All Hail the Power of Jesus Name

9. How Great Thou Art

10. a. Come Thou Fount

10. b. Holy Holy Holy

And if you are looking for a GREAT album that includes the classic hymns, check out Page CXVI and their collection of songs. Highly recommended.

How about you? What are your favorite hymns?


Beware of Shortcuts

I admit, I get a bit impatient at times..... Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration.....I get very impatient at times! Lately, I've noticed a ton of impatience in my driving. Now it's not road rage (not yet!), but getting close. It's not just that slow drivers get in the left lane, but more that I seem to think I now know every shortcut in the greater metro Atlanta area. So my solution for impatience on the roads is that I get frustrated and try to find shortcuts or alternate routes to get somewhere. Only to find that these shortcuts end up taking longer and actually don't get me to my destination at all.

We're all like this at certain times in life. We look for shortcuts, for alternate routes, for the easy road, the road less traveled but quicker to the destination. Or so we think.

So here are a few thoughts on Shortcuts that hopefully are helpful.

1. shortcuts aren't bad. Most shortcuts are valuable and helpful. But beware of constantly looking for them.

2. little strategy goes into shortcuts. many times shortcuts haven't been planned out, and actually lead you to a different destination, or worse off, just get you lost.

3. being impatient is not always a good thing. shortcuts are usually due to impatience and frustration, vs. relying on a system that has proved worthwhile over time.

4. there's value in the journey. the longer route may be better for you in the end. You'll see or hear or learn things that you wouldn't have otherwise. And maybe see more scenery, and find that it's intentional and on purpose.

5. quality may suffer. in organizational life, shortcuts may end up leading to a lack of excellence.

6. short term gain vs long term rewards. Shortcuts are usually tied to short term gain. Again, not bad, but long term perspective and long term goals are what vision and legacy are built on.

So next time you think you see a shortcut, and you're convinced it's the better road to take, beware.

What Happens When Someone Drops the Ball

The Power of Accountability. Sets the tone in any organization. So what about when someone completely drops the ball? We all have experienced this as leaders. How do you respond?

You give a big assignment or project to someone on your team, and they lay an egg- totally drop the ball and don't get it done. We've all been there. I know I have.....both as the goat who goofed up, as well as the one in charge trying to figure out how to handle the situation.

So how do you handle it? Let's look at this situation from both sides, both the one who dropped the ball and the one in charge.

1. As the one who dropped the ball, just own up to it. Don't make excuses. Be self-policing and self aware. Be accountable. And be mature. And realize that your leader or your boss or the person in charge is trying to figure out how to deal with your mistake or lack of action- lean into that and bring it up first and tell them it won't happen again. Don't wait on them to have to confront you. Be proactive. Leaders would always rather find out from you that you laid an egg, vs. finding out from someone else, many times when it's too late to do anything about it.

Own up. Grow Up. Shut up. And don't be the goat again.

2. As the leader, four things to think about: 1. confrontation; 2. conversation; 3. restoration; 4. affirmation. Got these from Kevin Myers in a talk he did a couple of years ago at 12 Stone Church. The key on this- confront, and then move on. Get through the confrontation and onto to the conversation and restoration as quick as possible. If you have the right kind of person on your team, they feel terrible anyway, so spend very little time confronting, and way more time on restoration and affirmation.

Reality is, a majority of accountability, both with individuals and with teams, should be built around conversation and affirmation. This is not just telling people they are great. That's part of it. But instead, affirming this person and your team about where you are going as a team, how you are going to get there, how you are winning, and how they are incredibly important to the success and accomplishments of the team, and accomplishing the mission and vision of the organization. Being accountable to the Vision.

As a leader, DO NOT withhold affirmation. This is so hard. I struggle at this constantly, making sure I am affirming our team and not just confronting.

Assuming you've established trust, a strong level of commitment, and a proper corporate culture, then ultimately affirmation is the greatest power and source of strength for team accountability. If all you are doing is confronting and not moving towards conversation and restoration and affirmation, you'll struggle with team accountability and a culture that is committed and loyal and willing to conquer the hill.

Tough to do this, especially for type A hard charging leaders.

40 Great Leadership Books to Read

I love leadership. And I read a lot. So I wanted to provide you with a list of some of the books I recommend. These are not the only leadership books you should read. There are hundreds of others that are great. But these are just simply 40 of my favorites.

So here you go. And please share this list with your friends, team, and other leaders who might benefit.

40 leadership books to read:

1. Good to Great- Jim Collins

2. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership- John Maxwell

3. Courageous Leadership- Bill Hybels

4. The Next Generation Leader- Andy Stanley

5. Now, Discover Your Strengths- Marcus Buckingham

6. Love is the Killer App- Tim Sanders

7. The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell

8. Tribes- Seth Godin

9. It: How Churches and Leaders can Get it and Keep it- Craig Groeschel

10. Integrity- Henry Cloud

11. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership- Henri Nouwen

12. Axiom- Bill Hybels

13. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day- Mark Batterson

14. Five Dysfunctions of a Team- Patrick Lencioni

15. Visioneering- Andy Stanley

16. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us- Daniel Pink

17. Silos, Politics and Turf Wars- Patrick Lencioni

18. Linchpin- Seth Godin

19. How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie

20. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization- John Wooden

21. Leadership is an Art- Max Depree

22. The Leadership Challenge- Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes

23. Leading with the Heart- Coach Mike Krzyzewski

24. unChristian- Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman

25. True North- Bill George

26. Built to Last- Jim Collins

27. Execution- Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy

28. In Search of Excellence- Tom Peters

29. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen Covey

30. The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork- John Maxwell

31. What the CEO Wants You to Know- Ram Charan

32. Rework- Jason Fried and David Hansson

33. The Experience Economy- Joseph Pine and James Gilmore

34. Made to Stick- Chip and Dan Heath

35. Blink- Malcolm Gladwell

36. Making Ideas Happen- Scott Belsky

37. The Effective Executive- Peter Drucker

38. Emotional Intelligence- Daniel Goleman

39. On Becoming a Leader- Warren Bennis

40. Leading Change- John Kotter


***and I'll add my book The Catalyst Leader as a bonus.


What would you add? 



Tuesday recommends

1. Books I'm reading: Onward by Howard Schultz. This really is a great book, and lots of practical leadership stuff included.

Torn by Jud Wilhite. Jud is one of my favorite authors, and this is his newest.

Rumors of God by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson. Inspiring, hopeful, and challenging.

2. Songs I'm repeating:

Unending Love from Hillsong Live. Anthem song.

Pumped Up Kicks from Foster the People. New band with great music.

10,000 Reasons from Matt Redman. Instant classic.

3. Blogs I'm visiting:

Mashable- seems like I'm always recommending them, but from a tech standpoint, the best out there.

Perry Noble- great stuff recently.

4. Articles I'm reading:

A Lifestyle of Enough, by Eugene Cho.

5. Video I'm watching:

Adele from the VMA's a couple of days ago. Epic performance.


The Essence of Teamwork

I love the book of Philippians in the New Testament. The entire book is one of Paul's greatest letters. Specifically, chapter 2 is a gem. Paul lays out some strong language regarding teamwork and working together.

Verse 2-5: "Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." (New American Standard)

These verses are not just related to your specific team, but also the "team" you work with in impacting your city, your region, and the global large C Church. So try these virtues on for size!

1. Be like-minded.

2. Be loving.

3. Be united.

4. Be focused (on one purpose).

5. Be selfless.

6. Be humble.

7. Look out for others before yourself.

8. Have a great attitude.

9. Be Christ-like.

Teamwork 101.

A simple call to action from Paul but incredibly difficult to put into action.

My favorite athletes right now

A few athletes I love cheering for and enjoy following: 1. Bubba Watson- PGA Golfer

2. Landry Jones- quarterback for the OU Sooners

3. Kyle Korver- shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls

4. Derek Jeter- Yankees

5. Tony Romo- quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys

6. Phil Mickelson- PGA Golfer

7. Ryan Broyles- wide receiver for the OU Sooners

8. Josh Hamilton- outfielder for Texas Rangers

9. Sam Bradford- quarterback for St Louis Rams

10. Albert Pujols- 1st baseman for St. Louis Cardinals

11. Rickie Fowler- PGA Golfer

My thoughts on BE PRESENT

I'm so excited about Catalyst Atlanta and our theme of "Be Present."

So what does Be Present really mean to me?

- Focused and Undivided. Focused on what is right in front of you.

- Engaged In Your Community.

- Focused on Your Family & Marriage. In the mess.

- A Close Community of Accountability & Friendships.

- Leading where you are. Staying in the moment and not losing focus on the here and now.

- Embracing the role and opportunity God has given you right now where God has placed you for this season, vs. focusing on what’s next.

- Creating margin that allows for interruptions and moments of inconvenience, which can be moments when God does the greatest work through us.

- Having consistent connection with your organization, team, and staff.

- Being consumed by Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Because He is Present.

- Balancing a culture of distraction and consumption with a commitment to solitude and thinking.

- Being vs Doing. What should I do? The tension of a cause driven culture saying do something now vs. the contented state of "being."

- In the TODAY. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is on it’s way. But today is the present. Focus on Today.

- It's about staying. Showing up and not leaving. Having a presence in a place, a location. About context. Connected to an address, neighborhood, city, zip code.

- Where you are. Wherever you are, be all there. It’s our responsibility to embrace what God has put squarely in front of us. Take action right where we are. Being fully present in one place.

Be Present. We get caught up with what happened yesterday and preoccupied with what will happen tomorrow. We live in a constant state of being plugged on, plugged in, status updates, requests, and real time perspective. Is this really the real you though? What if the people in your life knew the real you? What if you stripped back all the layers of fake, and fluff, and façade? What would people see? What would people think? To know this purpose, we must first know Him, Jesus, and living life fully in who He has called us and created us to be.

Let's strip away all the "stuff" and be real. Aware of what is happening around us, within us, and through us. Be Present.

And we want you to BE PRESENT with us this October for Catalyst. Register by tomorrow Thursday, August 25, to still get the discounted rates on tickets. After tomorrow, prices go up. So don't delay in registering you and your entire team! It's going to be an amazing time and I hope to see you there.


The Way I Get Things Done

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. 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. 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 entourage. Right now I have around 75 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 three folders on 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 entourage once a week at least.

4. Email inbox- I 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 my assistant 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. 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.

(portions of this post were taken from a previous post in 2010)

7 Thoughts on Collaboration

Collaboration is crucial to getting things done. Lots of individuals and organizations talk about how they are great at partnering and collaborating, but most really don't do this well.

So here are some keys to collaboration from my perspective, that you can hopefully put into practice:

1. It's about us, and we; not I, or me. Personalities and personal agendas have to be set aside. Organizations built around personalities usually don't partner well. Keep this in mind.

2. The true leaders have to model collaboration. If the influencers lead the way in collaborating, then others will jump in and follow. The industry leaders have to be "first in the water" and lead out on this. Influencers influence.

3. It's about creating win/wins. Have to create win/wins. Ultimately, partnering well means combining efforts to achieve something greater than what can be done separate or apart from each other. And both sides have to see the collaboration as a win, not just one.

4. Generosity is the new currency in our culture. Sharing is in. The business world and our culture in general continues to move towards open source, generosity, shared influence and collaborative projects. Collaboration and partnership and open source are defining where we're going.

5. Collaboration means you are giving up something. True collaboration can and many times does involve pain of some kind. If you are a true collaborator, you don't always get your way and might have to give up something. Unity and collaboration are different in this way. Unity is more about agreement, collaboration is more about achievement.

6. Appropriately understanding the scale of your impact and influence. Many churches and Christian ministries refuse to collaborate with others in their community because they feel so strongly about their own vision, and end up inadvertently neglecting the greater vision of the global Church and larger agenda happening in their communities. Understanding the scale of your vision vs. a bigger vision is incredibly important. In this case, Large C church vs. the small c church. For example, does an incredible job of collaborating, and seeing their church's vision in partnership with others, both in their community and around the world.

7. Define the wins, and create clear expectations and agreements. Make sure all parties involved are clear on what is expected, and what looks like success. It's always easier to clearly define the expectations before you start instead of once involved in a partnership.

Bill Hybels explains Summit change

Many of you may have already seen this, but wanted to post it here in case you haven't. I understand the tough situation that Willow and Leadership Summit had to manage last week regarding a late cancellation of one of their speakers. Bill explained the situation and talked about how best to respond, both as Christians as well as Leaders.

His explanation was graceful, honest and appropriate. While it was unfortunate that Howard Schultz had to cancel, what could have been a really awkward and unproductive moment turned into a chance to be the Church.


I'm proud to count Willow Creek Community Church, the Willow Creek Association, and the Leadership Summit as partners and co-laborers with us at Catalyst. We will be there on November 17 at Willow Creek for our Catalyst One Day event featuring Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, and Bill Hybels. You won't want to miss it.