10 Things that drive me crazy

A little Friday end of the week rant for you..... A few things that drive me crazy:

1. Slow drivers in the left hand lane. Seriously, get over.

2. Laziness. Get up and get going!

3. Gossip. No place for it. Especially in the Church and Christian community.

4. Human trafficking. Unacceptable. More of a problem today than in recent history. Angers me.

5. Excuses and always blaming others. Childish.

6. Arrogance. You're not as good as you think.

7. The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). Bureaucracy at it's best. Doesn't matter what state or city... always one of the most depressing places on earth.

8. Child poverty. We have to do our part to end this.

9. Settling for Average. God deserves our very best.

10. Current political climate. We need to get things done, not argue.



7 Questions with Dave Gibbons

Had the chance to catch up with Dave Gibbons recently. Dave is such an inspiration to me. He is the senior pastor of NewSong Church in Irvine and multiple campuses around the world; the CEO of XEALOT; a board member and advisor to several non-profits and for profit companies; a proven strategist, creative consultant and innovator; and the author of several books including his most recent Xealots.

In the interviews we discuss the new book, the global Church, his involvement with leaders all over the world, missional leadership, and what he sees as true community.




Which profession embodies leadership the most

For years and years, politics has been the de facto leadership profession. When people thought of leadership, they thought of politics. If you were destined to be a great leader, then you were probably moving towards the political scene in some form or fashion. Lately, I'm not sure that's the case. Seems the leadership landscape has shifted. But towards where?

1. Business- corporate arena.

2. Entrepreneurs- more leaders are just simply starting their own deal

3. Thought leaders, authors, writers and speakers

4. Technology- Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.

5. Education- teachers, coaches, and educators

6. The Church- pastors, musicians and full time church staff

What say you? Which profession do you think embodies leadership the most?

Hit the Repeat Button

A reminder on Monday as we start a new week: Repeat. Let me say that again.... Repeat.  One of the ways great teams become great is by repetition. Great sports teams thrive on repeating. Creating excellence through repetition. I can remember growing up around coaches, and I constantly heard "Run it again." Over and over and over. And then again. Even if we ran the play to perfection, we heard "run it again."

Think about the best communicators you know. They use repetition constantly to drive home a point. Think about great parents you know. They use repetition in disciplining and molding their children. Great coaches and great leaders and great communicators and great parents repeat.

Organizational leaders have to constantly repeat the vision for it to sink in. Sometimes we as leaders get too distracted, and bored, by repeating something. We think one time is enough. But great coaches, great leaders, and great teams have always seen the principle of "repeat" as something extremely important to success.

Consistency counts. Run it again.

Compassion trip to Ecuador

Back in May I had the honor of helping host a trip to Ecuador with Compassion. Amazing time. There were 10 leaders on the trip, and we got to experience the work of Compassion up close. The below video is a snapshot of the trip and more on why I believe in the work of Compassion, and why I'm so excited and motivated to work alongside Compassion in encouraging leaders to sponsor a Compassion child. Truth is- partnering with Compassion allows us to not only lift children and entire families out of poverty, but also help truly equip the next generation of leaders in countries all over the world. And every child is connected to a local church body and a local project to ensure development and community.

I highly encourage you to get involved with Compassion and sponsor a child today.



New articles from Mark Driscoll, Margaret Feinberg, David Kinnaman, and more

The October issue of Catalyst Monthly is now out, and includes some great stuff: 1. Article from Mark Driscoll

2. Video clip from Jim Collins


3. Article from Margaret Feinberg

4. Video from Derreck Kayongo- please vote for him for the CNN Heroes Award!


5. New article from David Kinnaman from his brand new book You Lost Me

6. Article from Shawn Lovejoy

Young Influencers List, October Edition

Here you go, the October edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month's lists here. 1. Derreck Kayongo- founder of the Global Soap Project, and CNN Heroes Award Nominee. Vote for him here.

2. Elizabeth Paul- part of the 3DM team, senior planner for The Martin Agency (advertising firm), and a church planter through The Eikon Community.

3. Kevin Olusola- cellist, beatboxer, composer, and contestant on The Sing Off. Plus touring with Gungor recently. Check out his uber popular YouTube video.

4. Eric Marshall- worship leader at Trinity Grace Church in New York, producer of their brand new Church Worship CD entitled We Sing As One (which I highly recommend!), and founder of the band The Last Royals.

5. Rich Halvorson- founder of the Global Fast project.

6. Micah Davis- social entrepreneur, designer and partner at Ovenbits. and co-founder of Paratweet.

Let me know if you have recommendations for future editions by leaving a comment below.

8 end of week things to know

A few links and items of interest: 1. New Catalyst Podcast features an interview with Francis Chan from backstage at Catalyst last week, plus a review/summary of the event. You can listen or better yet, download from iTunes here.

2. Great conversation between Gabe Lyons and Jim Daly, along with Esther Fleece, on the Focus on the Family radio show, talking about Next Christians and a whole new wave of young Christian leaders.

3. Check out this Article in the USA Today about Katie Davis, featured at Catalyst in Atlanta and author of the new book Kisses from Katie.

4. Music recommendations: Ryan O'Neal and Sleeping at Last. Melodic sounds at every turn. We featured their song "Outlines" in the opener at Catalyst last week.

5. If you were at Catalyst in Atlanta, please make sure and return your Compassion child sponsorship packet this week!!

6. Our good friend Paige Hemmis from Extreme Makeover Home Edition joined us at Catalyst last week to talk about their upcoming show where they will build 7 Homes in 7 Days. They still need volunteers for this next week starting on October 19. You can Volunteer here.

7. Speaking of Joplin, the Present: Hope Bike Tour was featured on the Weather Channel and CNN this past week. You can still get involved helping victims of the spring tornadoes in Joplin and Tuscaloosa here. A clip from CNN:


8. This is why I don't mountain bike in Africa:


Celebrate your "Rivals"

Winning. Competition. Rivalry. For all of us who are Type A Leaders, jealousy in the form of competition is always a struggle. You may call it something else (competitive spirit, goal-oriented, fast pace), but at the end of the day, we all struggle with being jealous or envious of others successes, especially when it is in the same industry, or same town, or same circle, or same customer base. In these cases, it feels like competition, and again for us Type A's, when there is a competition, we ALWAYS want to win. How do you view those you are "competing" against? Whether competing for attendees, or resources, or prestige, or members, or customers, understanding the proper posture towards your rivals is crucial to being a Collaborative Leader. Most leaders I know never get this right.

And in the faith community- whether a non profit ministry leader, pastor, church leader or, or parachurch organization director, this sense of competition and envy is rampant. Instead of jealousy and envy, collaboration and partnership should be the norm in the Church and faith-based community. We should be celebrating the pastor or leader across town, instead of finding ways to make them look bad or talking bad about them to others but making it look like we are bringing it up so as to "pray" for them.

Competition for customers, resources, time and money will always be a reality, but the question is how YOU deal with this. Jealousy is natural, but how you respond to it will prove your maturity as a leader. And as a follower of Christ, jealousy or envy is definitely not one of the fruits of the Spirit!

So, the best solution I've found to combating jealousy/envy and competition is Celebration. When you find yourself tempted to speak ill about a rival or you are secretly wrestling with envy/jealousy over someone else you are competing with, flip that emotion on its head.

Celebrate your competition. Your rivals. Whether the leader or the organization overall.

Speak positively about them. In public. and in private.

Encourage the leader or leaders of that "rival" organization. Send them cards or notes, call them, and even visit.

Look for the good in what they are doing and celebrate that.

Pray for them, both in public and in private.

Lean into them, and seek opportunities to partner together in your community or industry.

The question you should be asking is, "how can I help this person win?" Church leaders- we're all on the same team. We're fighting the same fight. Let's act like it.

You want Young Leaders on your team?

Let's face it- young leaders are the future of your organization. Whether you like it or not, they will soon take over and be running the show. Your show. My show. If you aren't attracting young talent, then the days are numbered for your influence and the legacy of your organization. So why are there certain organizations and certain leaders who always seem to attract younger leaders to their team? Whether a pastor, entrepreneur, CEO or non-profit Executive Director, there are certain leaders, certain teams and certain organizations that EVERY young and ambitious leader wants to be a part of.

What is it about THIS leader and the organization they lead that attracts young leaders? Such a draw that young guns are willing to jump on board with them and storm the castle. Regardless of pay, structure, environment, city, setting, or future opportunities, young leaders want to be around these types of leaders and be a part of what they are doing.

You want young leaders on your team? Here are a few traits I think young leaders are drawn to:

1. humility, combined with incredible passion and skill. Jim Collins writes about this as the key characteristic of a level 5 leader.

2. Unwavering commitment to reaching their desired audience and accomplishing the mission. Know the hill they are climbing and willing to fight to get to the top.

3. The IT factor- hard to explain, but easy to spot. Young leaders can sense it and want to be tied to leaders with IT.

4. Collaboration and not competition. A leader who celebrates others' victories along with their own.

5. Willing to give over responsibility vs. a "wait your turn" mentality- will allow young leaders to lead if they are qualified and can handle it.

6. Authenticity- They keep it real. Young leaders clamor towards authentic and honest leaders.

7. Open to change- a big deal. If you as a leader are not open to change, no one worth their salt will probably be willing to follow you, especially younger leaders. (thanks to Shinabarger on this one)

8. Can have at least a little fun. Like attracts like. It’s a reality= regardless of age, demographic, and style. The next generation wants a family environment that is fun and experiential.

9. Passionately create a culture that takes risksallows for failure, and thinks outside the box.

10. BIG vision. Young leaders want to change the world, and want to follow leaders who think BIG and dream big.

11. BEST at what they do. Regardless of industry or profession or organization, young leaders want to be part of a culture and organization built on excellence with a desire to be great. This is why Google and Facebook and Apple have hundreds of thousands of college graduates clamoring for a chance to be on the team.

What else would you add to the list of those leaders who are drawing young leaders to be part of their teams?

End of Week Links

Catalyst Atlanta is complete. What an amazing week! A blog post in reflection from the event and takeaways will happen later this week. But for now, a few links and notes of interest as we wrap up one of my favorite weeks of the year:

1. Great summary and picture essay from Mark Driscoll regarding his time at Catalyst.

2. You can see lots of great interviews from Catalyst at Catalyst Backstage.

3. You can see lots of great pictures from Catalyst here.

4. Check out all the post event items from Catalyst at the Catalyst Conference website. Including resources, justice partners, and ways to stay connected.

5. Great article on Ryan Meeks and Eastlake in the latest issue of Neue.

6. If you haven't heard or seen Rachel's story, check this out. We had Samantha Paul, Rachel's mom, with us at Catalyst, along with Scott Harrison from charity: water and Ryan Meeks. Great Catalyst moment.


7. Our friend Lecrae was with us this past week at Catalyst speaking, and he also recently sat down with I am Second to create this great video.


A few Catalyst tips for this week

A few tips for those of you attending Catalyst for the first time this year, or maybe it's your 2nd or 3rd time. Hopefully these are helpful and allow your Catalyst experience to be the best ever! 1. Arrive early. Especially on Thursday morning. The pre-show starts up around 6:55 am, so we'll try our best to entertain you while you wait for the doors to open around 7:50 am.

2. Attend LABS. LAB sessions occur on Wednesday, October 5th, and are a great way to dive deeper into practical topics. All of the LAB sessions will be great, and I recommend every session that we've created. But just want to give you a few names of some of the LAB speakers you may not know but we'll want to hear:

Lisa Borders; Nancy Duarte; Anthony Bradley; Bob Goff; Panel (with Mary Graham, Jo Saxton, Jeanne Stevens); Panel (with Charles Jenkins, Jim Reese, Lisa Sharon Harper);

3. Bring food with you. Because parking is free, and there is now plenty of it because of a new parking deck, you'll be able to get to your vehicle no problem at lunch and dinner. So with that in mind, plan to tailgate! Bring the grill, or just an ice chest and some extra food. It's really a pain to drive somewhere for lunch or dinner, so just hang out and soak up the sun! We will also have food for sale onsite outside, so that is also an option.

4. Attend the evening session on Thursday night. Do not miss Thursday night. Judah Smith, plus Joel Houston and Hillsong NYC band. It will be a great time. You'll be tempted to go back to the hotel room and turn on the baseball game or Thursday night college football, but stick around.

5. Meet other leaders. There is an incredible amount of wisdom and influence gathered in one place at one time, so take advantage of the other leaders who are present.

6. No reserved seating. Because there is no reserved seating, you'll want to arrive early. And if you are attending Catalyst with a big group, make sure you bring some 5 x 7 cards or paper (and tape) to be able to tape on the seat so that you'll remember where you are sitting!

7. Sing loud. 13,000 voices together worshipping our God is epic. Don't stand (or sit) idly by with arms crossed and lips closed. Join in.

8. Catalyst Backstage- if you can't attend, no worries. Join us on CatalystBackstage starting on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 pm EST, and then on Thursday and Friday mornings at 8:30 am EST. We'll have interviews with speakers, behind the scenes footage, and maybe even a live look-in or two for some of the sessions.

9. Purchase t-shirts and jackets early at the resource centers. If you plan on buying a t-shirt or jacket, purchase them at the first break. They sell out fast, so don't wait.

10. Bring items to give back and help others. We are asking EVERY Catalyst attendee to bring DIAPERS, CANNED GOODS, BLANKETS and TOWELS, and GIFT CARDS to give back to those in need. Please stop on your way into Atlanta and the Gwinnett Arena and pick up these items. We want the collection bins to OVERFLOW! There is a Kroger right across the street if you forget!

11. Bring a jacket and long sleeve shirt- Lows will be in the 50's this week, and if you've attended before, you know that the arena is pretty chilly inside. So bring a jacket and long sleeve shirt just in case.

12. Bring an extra bag for all the Catalyst swag. There are lots of great partners at Catalyst all around the lobby and concourse. Bring an extra bag to collect all the goodies.

13. Hang out in the Reflective Prayer Tent- allow yourself some time to hang out in the reflective worship tent. And, we'll have a prayer team available the entire conference that will pray with you, for you, and over you. Some of us just need a fresh dose of God's provision and goodness, so take advantage of this area.

14. If u tweet, use the hashtag #CAT11.

15. Purchase the Catalyst Experience Kit. Every year we try and put together the best of the best so you can take the Catalyst experience home with you. This year is no exception. You can purchase it before you get to the event and then pick it up onsite without having to mess with the lines. I highly recommend this! Includes all kinds of great stuff, including the talks from this event, plus a best of set from Dallas and West Coast earlier this year.

16. Engage. Many of us tend to go to leadership gatherings and conferences and never really connect. We get distracted by things going on around us. This year we want you to truly Be Present. Laugh. Listen. Sing. Pray. Engage. Be Present.

20 Points on Leading Millenials

A good friend asked me the other day my thoughts on how to lead the millennial generation, basically those born after 1980. We gather thousands of leaders who fit this category on an annual basis, and most of our Catalyst staff are under the age of 30. I have to admit- I don't always get this right. As a 100% Gen X'er, my tendency is to lean away from several of these points, and lead how I've been led over the years by Boomer and Busters. But I'm working on it....

So with that said, here you go, thoughts on leading millenials:

1. Give them freedom with their schedule. I'll admit, this one is tough for me.

2. Provide them projects, not a career. Career is just not the same anymore. They desire options. Just like free agents.

3. Create a family environment. Work, family and social are all intertwined, so make sure the work environment is experiential and family oriented. Everything is connected.

4. Cause is important. Tie in compassion and justice to the "normal." Causes and opportunities to give back are important.

5. Embrace social media. it's here to stay.

6. They are more tech savvy than any other generation ever. Technology is the norm. XBOX, iPhones, laptops, iPads are just normal. If you want a response, text first, then call. Or DM first. Or send a Facebook message. Not anti calls though.

7. Lead each person uniquely. Don't create standards or rules that apply to everyone. Customize your approach. (I'll admit, this one is difficult too!)

8. Make authenticity and honesty the standard for your corporate culture. Millenials are cynical at their core, and don't trust someone just because they are in charge.

9. Millenials are not as interested in "climbing the corporate ladder." But instead more concerned about making a difference and leaving their mark.

10. Give them opportunities early with major responsibility. They don't want to wait their turn. Want to make a difference now. And will find an outlet for influence and responsibility somewhere else if you don't give it to them. Empower them early and often.

11. All about the larger win, not the personal small gain. Young leaders in general have an abundance mentality instead of scarcity mentality.

12. Partnering and collaboration are important. Not interested in drawing lines. Collaboration is the new currency, along with generosity.

13. Not about working for a personality. Not interested in laboring long hours to build a temporal kingdom for one person. But will work their guts out for a cause and vision bigger than themselves.

14. Deeply desire mentoring, learning and discipleship. Many older leaders think millenials aren't interested in generational wisdom transfer. Not true at all. Younger leaders are hungry for mentoring and discipleship, so build it into your organizational environment.

15. Coach them and encourage them. They want to gain wisdom through experience. Come alongside them don't just tell them what to do.

16. Create opportunities for quality time- individually and corporately. They want to be led by example, and not just by words.

17. Hold them accountable. They want to be held accountable by those who are living it out. Measure them and give them constant feedback.

18. They've been exposed to just about everything, so the sky is the limit in their minds. Older leaders have to understand younger leaders have a much broader and global perspective, which makes wowing Millenials much more difficult.

19. Recognize their values, not just their strengths. It ain't just about the skillz baby. Don't use them without truly knowing them.

20. Provide a system that creates stability. Clear expectations with the freedom to succeed, and providing stability on the emotional, financial, and organizational side.

Thanks to the Catalyst team and our band of millenials for their input and advice on these points. James Wilson, Julianne Graves, Sabrina Esposito, Alyssa Raymer, Stan Johnson, and Ansley Lawhead. You guys provided great insight!


One of the great corruptors of Leaders

POWER. One of the great corruptors of leaders. We all deny it in public, but struggle with its pull over us in private.

If you recall, it was one of the temptations of Jesus while in the desert for 40 days. Actually the 3rd temptation he faced.

"I will give you all the kingdoms of this world in their splendor," the demon said to Jesus (Matthew 4:9).

Power is intoxicating. Throughout history, leaders have given in to the temptation of power- whether political, military, economic, or even moral and spiritual power- even though many continued to speak and lead and influence in the name of Jesus.

But when looking at Jesus, we see a different example. Jesus did not cling to power, but instead emptied himself and became as we are.

Henri Nouwen writes so eloquently in his classic leadership book In the Name of Jesus that the reason power is such a strong corruptor is "it seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life." BAM.

We are constantly confronted with the temptation to replace love with power. Ruling over vs. leading forward. Control vs. love.

Leaders are naturally given power when they are in charge of something. It comes with the territory in leadership. So it's a given that with leadership and responsibility, you are given the power to influence.

The question is "What do you do with it?" Do you leverage it for your own gain, or steward it for the benefit of others?

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.