Friday Fives

Twitter folks to Follow: 1. Craig Groeschel- @craiggroeschel

2. Chris Anderson- @tedchris

3. Ron Edmondson- @ronedmondson

4. Jon Chu- @jonmchu

5. Lindy Lowry- @lindylowry

Books to Read:

1. Permission to Speak Freely, by Anne Jackson

2. The Power of a Whisper, by Bill Hybels

3. Drive, by Daniel Pink

4. Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh

5. Radical, by David Platt

Bonus: The Gospel According to Jesus, by Chris Seay (releases on September 28)

Links and other Fun Stuff:

1. Amazing website by Arcarde Fire. You have to check this out.

2. New "One Question" site that features one question, one answer from some of today's top leaders. Coach K, Seth Godin, Tony Dungy and others.

3. Don't forget to register for The Nines online leadership event. Next Thursday, September 9. It's free. Over 100 speakers.

4. Thought provoking post from Russell Moore regarding "God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck." Worth the read.

5. Great conversation between Francis Chan, Joshua Harris and Mark Driscoll.


Interviews Galore

As many of you know, we've been doing the Catalyst Podcast for several years, and interviewing all kinds of great leaders from business, the Church, not-for-profit world, best-selling authors, etc. Well, we continue to have the opportunity to sit down with tons of great leaders, even more than we ever imagined. So instead of saving all these interviews for a future episode of the Catalyst Podcast, we've decided to start putting them up on the Catalyst website and let you hear them NOW.

So check out the new "CONVERSATIONS" section that we've created. You'll hear interviews with Dan Kimball, Miles McPherson, Eboo Patel, Mark Merrill, Laura Waters Hinson, Dino Rizzo and many others. We are adding new interviews to this section on a regular basis.

Hear their stories, be inspired by what they are working on, receive practical leadership application, and broaden your scope of organizations to support and leaders to follow.

So continue to subscribe/listen to the Catalyst Podcast, as well as visit the CONVERSATIONS page for continual learning from great leaders.

We vs. Me, and Us vs. I

It's not just you on your team. There's a team. Besides you. Other incredibly important staff crucial to the success of you accomplishing your mission and vision as an organization. So next time someone says "How have you all accomplished this?..." or "What do you plan to accomplish the rest of this year?...." or "Who is involved in making things happen within your organization?..." "Or talk about the keys to success for you?...." Make sure you start your answer with "WE" or "US" or "OUR."

Not "ME" or "I" or "MY."

It's easy for us to get comfortable with the notion that "I'm" the reason for the success, or because of "my" willingness to stay late, or that new business deal is because of "me."

But even if it is, honor your team by choosing WE vs. ME.

Are you Overwhelmed?

As leaders, many times we take on way more than we can handle. We intuitively know it's not healthy or the best solution, but we feel like it's "our duty." Anyone with me on this??? We feel the responsibility, so therefore we are willing to roll up our sleeves and take on more. This ends up affecting our families, our own personal life, our team, and organizations. Now don't get me wrong.... there are seasons for carrying the weight and burning the midnight oil. But if this becomes the "norm," then it's not healthy. But many times we still don't know how to manage and juggle all of the things on our plate, especially if we are leading a smaller organization, a start up, or several major projects/initiatives at one time.

This is not an exhaustive list, but here are a few thoughts from my perspective:

1. Hire a great assistant- I've found this one to be crucial. A great assistant can really make all the difference in the world. Not in the old school fashion of getting coffee and picking up your laundry. Please. But as a project manager, a taskmaster, and ultimately an extension of who you are.

2. Make progress daily- if you are trying to tackle a big project, or multiple projects at once, this is always my approach. Many times a project is so big it just overwhelms you. But if you can see progress being made, even if it's small, it creates momentum and keeps things moving forward. Figure out what a win looks like on a daily basis, and then shoot for that.

3. Find interns/volunteers- Interns can be a great addition to your team. Not only can they relieve capacity issues you might have, but it's a great way to "test" out new hires before making them official.

4. Delegate- this is the one most often we forget. And not just delegating things we don't want to do. Or just handing over everything and wiping your hands clean, but then quickly jumping back in because it's not going the way you envisioned. Strategic delegation is the key- look at your project list and determine what can divided up among your team in three areas- 1. total handoff and no involvement from me needed; 2. handoff of project but I'll still be involved at certain points; 3. I'm leading the project but need help on certain tasks.

5. Ultimately, less is more. If you are overwhelmed, it might be time to cut some projects or new ideas from the list. Better to be great at a few things than to be average at several.

Thoughts on Creating Great Partnerships

Collaboration is crucial in today's culture. Great organizations seem to always have a strong ability to partner well. Partnerships are not always easy though. Teaming up with one another can result in true synergy. Or many times can result in ultimate failure.

Here are a few thoughts on why creating Great Partnerships is a must for you and your organization:

1. Partnerships allows you to share risk and reward. Creating less downside, and potentially way more upside always make sense.

2. Partnerships create innovation, breakthrough and discovery. Working with others allows for input from outside your "normal" circle of staff or key team members.

3. Ministries and Churches have to work harder to create partnerships. Partnerships are very common in the business world, but for some reason in the not-for-profit world it's difficult to work together. Ministries and churches don't partner well, but when they do, it can be revolutionary.

4. Kingdom building. If we truly wish to reach our mission with the greatest velocity possible, we have to work with others. Achieving our vision and mission is much more possible when working together.

5. Good partnerships start with a deep knowledge of the other. Know your partners well before entering into one.

6. Transparency is crucial. Authenticity and honesty make for long term impact.

7. Strength/Strength. Build partnerships on each other's strengths, not necessarily on trying to improve a weakness.

8. Good fences make for good partnerships. Many times we don't take time to spell out all the details of a partnership in full disclosure. It is crucial to put everything on paper, in an agreement, and make sure all the details are spelled out.

A Challenge for Worship Leaders

I've got to speak up. I'm not on staff at a church. I'm not a worship leader. I'm not a creative arts pastor. None of those things.

But I've got speak up and ask for a favor. Make a challenge. To those who lead, stand up, speak, sing, make announcements on Sunday mornings.

I've got a challenge for all my brothers and sisters who are leading millions of folks in congregations around the world......

Please make it ALL worship. Not just the singing.

When you say "Now it's time to worship" or "Let's stand and worship" or "Wasn't worship great!" and you are only referring to the singing, I think we've missed something. Does that mean the rest of the Worship service we are part of is not really worship? Only the singing part?

It's all worship. Monday through Friday. Saturday. Sunday. The singing. The giving. The teaching. The praying. The confession. The community. The Bible reading. The relationships. The small groups. It's all worship.

I think we are all on the same page, we just have to change our vocabulary.

So this Sunday- how about we all say "Let's CONTINUE in worship through singing." And at the start of the service, when someone gets up and does announcements, let's say "We are glad you are here to worship with us today through teaching, giving, singing, connecting, reading. It's ALL Worship. Let's celebrate together."

It's ALL Worship. Even the BAD singing....

Monday Mania Top Five

Here are 5 things worth considering at the start of this week: 1. Brand new feature to the Catalyst website- A "Conversations" section where we will have tons of interviews with all kinds of leaders. Currently on the page are Dan Kimball, Cue Jean Marie, Laura Waters Hinson, Eboo Patel, Dino Rizzo, Miles McPherson and more!

2. Vote for my friend and Catalyst speaker Tad Agoglia, the founder of the First Response Team of America, to win the "Best Man, Best World" Contest with GQ. You can vote here.

3. Good friend Tim Elmore's brand new book Generation iY is now available. This book is a must read for parents, student pastors, teachers, coaches and anyone else leading the generation born after 1990. It is eye opening insight and practical tools for understanding this next wave of leaders who are now starting to enter the workplace.

4. My current music recommendations for you: Satellite, Horse Feathers, Civil Wars, Unhindered.

5. Do you have a September birthday? If so, plan to get involved with the charity: water September birthday campaign. Watch this video to find out more:


Behind the scenes interview with Kay Warren

The latest edition of the Catalyst Podcast features an interview with Kay Warren, co-founder of Saddleback Church and best-selling author of Dangerous Surrender. In the interview Kay discusses leadership, her role over the years with Saddleback, the realities of leading a church, tips on staying grounded, women in leadership, and the idea of balance. We also catch up with Carlos Whittaker on his crazy adventure driving his family across the country in their 2005 Hyundai, and realities of car trouble has them stranded in Gallup, New Mexico.

You can listen here, or better yet download from itunes as a full-time subscriber.

My Pre-season Football Predictions

I always like to put something in writing around this time of the year regarding the upcoming Football season and who I think will emerge as Champions. NFL: The Superbowl will be Minnesota and New England. I think the Vikings beat the Patriots in a great Super Bowl matchup and Brett Favre will finally retire.

College: The National Championship will finally feature a non-BCS team.... Boise State will play Oklahoma in the national championship. Oklahoma will get revenge for the loss in the Fiesta Bowl on the trick play three years ago and claim its Eighth national title. BAM!

Who you got in the Super Bowl and National Championship???

Chris Heuertz- A Leader You Need to Know

Excited about the next interview in the "Up Close" Series - a chance to catch up with Chris Heuertz. Chris is the International Director of Word Made Flesh and the author of Simple Spirituality and his most recent book Friendship at the Margins. He's a great friend and has rich and deep experiences from around the world that have shaped his thoughts on leadership, faith, community and friendship. In this interview we discuss his latest book, what really should be our role in living in community, the margin between the rich and poor, Nebraska football, and the shift of missions over the last 30 years. Really good stuff.


You Don't really own it

I get asked all the time by young leaders "how do you handle the responsibility of leading something like Catalyst?" Good question. Reality is, anyone who leads a Church, leads a company, leads a community, leads a non-profit ministry, leads a team, or even a family feels and knows the pressure of responsibility. And Responsibility is part of Leadership. Always. You've heard this before....."You're responsible for what happens.....Don't screw up!" Right!!! We hear this all the time from our parents, from our boss, from our boards, from our friends, from our spouses.

So how do I correctly live with the pressure of Responsibility and Leadership? For me it always begins and ends around the issue of stewardship. The whole idea of stewardship relates back to the concept of watching over something for someone else. Taking care of something you don't own. Ultimately, stewardship begins and ends with a very clear understanding of how you view your role. Are you the owner, or simply the steward for the owner? Is this mine, or am I just taking care of it while the owner is gone? This will help you shape the framework for what correct Biblical stewardship looks like. Whether it's your role in managing your time, your role in cultivating a dream, your role in leading an organization, your role in managing your money, and more.

So here are a few thoughts on Stewardship, and how it relates to leading whatever movement or organization or community or tribe that you've been currently given.

1. Hold things with an open hand, palms down. Picture that one in your mind. Versus the mindset of holding things with a closed fist, palms up.

2. You don't really own it. God does. All of it.

3. You don't deserve the credit. It's not you. God deserves the credit. All of it.

4. Don't be naive. You are NOT the reason for the mission and vision of the organization or community you are leading. Those who you are serving are. Embrace that one.

5. Be others focused. Always. And not just when it helps you. Creating wins for others is more fun, and ultimately very strategic.

6. Building a movement is not your job. That's the work of God. Your role is to be prepared to lead one if God sees fit. Thanks to my friend Perry Noble for this nugget.

7. You are not the first. And you won't be the last. Others have done this before, and there will be others after you. Understand your role in the generational impact chain.

Greatest Leaders from the Past 10 years

My original post of The Greatest Leaders from the Past 100 years continually stirs up more interest than any other list I have ever posted. 100 years is a long time. And there are lots of people that can be missed on a list covering 100 years. For example, John Wooden should probably be on that list. He is a leadership legend.

So let's think more current day. More present generation. How about the Greatest Leaders from the past 10 years? 2000-2010?

Here are my thoughts. Obviously it's really hard to narrow it down to 10 people. And this is only my opinion, granted. Please add your thoughts and more names to the conversations.

1. Steve Jobs

2. Condaleezza Rice

3. Bono

4. Bill and Melinda Gates

5. Rick Warren

6. Chris Anderson- Curator of TED.

7. Tony Dungy

8. Seth Godin

9. Jim Collins

10. David Petraeus

also should be considered:

George Bush

Oprah Winfrey

Paul Kigame- president of Rwanda

Mike Krzyzewski- head basketball coach at Duke

Jeff Bezos- CEO of Amazon

Warren Buffett

Young Influencers List, August Edition

Here you go, the August edition of the Young Influencers List. You can find past months' editions here. 1. Darren Whitehead- teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. And Australian....

2. Josh Cox- elite runner and US record holder in 50 K. Part of Team World Vision raising money through marathon sponsorships.

3. Allison Trowbridge- Communications Director at Not For Sale, fighting human trafficking and slavery.

4. Dave Morin- Co-founder and CEO of Path. Co-inventor of Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect.

5. Stephen Cole- songwriter and worship leader at Northwest OKC campus of

6. Jake Harriman- CEO of NURU International, a global poverty relief organization.

Interview with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

The most recent Catalyst Podcast features an interview I recently did with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and best-selling author of Delivering Happiness. In the interview Tony talks about the Zappos story, customer service, why corporate culture is so important, humility, and the power of risk taking.

You can listen on the Catalyst website, or download from itunes. The interview is around 7 minutes into the Podcast episode.

Learnings from my 30's I wish I would have known in my 20's

1. I don't know it all. I never will. And don't have to. Whew! 2. I must surround myself with those who are smarter than me. I thought I might be pretty smart by the time I was 35, but I'm still learning. And will continue to do so. But I don't have to be the expert in every area.

3. I can't do it all. A team around you is crucial. And as a leader, allowing others on the team to take things off your plate is sometimes the hardest thing to do. But one of the most important things you can do.

4. Career is a season, not a lifetime. I don't have to have my "career" figured out. I thought in my 20's if I didn't have my career plan figured out by the time I was 25, I was sunk, Not so.

5. At the end of the day, a humble and authentic leader will "win" in the long run. Many times in our 20's, and in our culture, being "loud", aggressive, "win now", arrogant, and transactional will get you big results fast. But over the long term, people would much rather partner and work with leaders who are humble, authentic, relational, win/win focused, and not always thinking about themselves. Being real and being generous wins.

6. The more you have, the harder it is to give it up. Doesn't matter whether we are talking about money, possessions, toys, influence, team members, projects, or assignments. Especially with money and possessions- learn to be generous in your 20's with relatively little, and it's much easier to continue that generosity in your 30's when you usually have "more."

7. You are never really "ready" for anything. Some say that you should wait until you are "mature" enough to pursue certain things in life. But we're never really ready, are we? At 22, I didn't think I was ready. At 25, I didn't think I "knew" enough. As my friends from the UK would say..... "Rubbish!"

8. WHO you are working with is just as important as WHAT you are working on. One of the major things I'm learning in my 30's. The journey is much more fun when you are working and locking arms with those you love being around.

8 Points on the "social" side of Leadership

A few high level thoughts on the "social" side of Leadership to start off this week. 1. Social Media = Influence. Just gathered with several bloggers for the last 24 hours who all have major influence and are being sought out to help get the word out regarding new films coming out of Hollywood. It's a new era. Exponential influence in ways never seen before is happening through blogging, tweeting, facebooking. Digital mavens are shaping what we are listening to, reading, watching, and learning.

2. Social Entrepreneurs= A new wave of leaders has emerged. Leaders who combine business savvy with charitable endeavors. Scott Harrison, Charles Lee, Blake Mycoskie, Jamie Tworkowski, Laura Waters Hinson and Eugene Cho just to name a few.

3. Social Accountability- Leaders are constantly being evaluated in todays culture. You can’t hide anymore behind a position or title. Held to a standard never seen before because of constant media- video, flip cameras, blogging, twitter. Your leadership has constant real-time evaluation. Especially well-known leaders. And Authenticity is crucial. Being honest, genuine and real is important for continual influence.

4. Social Good- it's now in vogue to "do good." And society in general is taking notice. Celebrities gain more influence because of causes they're involved in. Businesses are "doing good" and focusing on the triple bottom line, which is now a normal measurement of success in business. Meaning what was our "gift back to society" and how did we "leave the world a better place." It's not just about making a profit anymore.

5. Social Politics in organizations is fading- Positional leaders doesn’t really matter anymore. Not about what position or title you hold, but more about what you are delivering. If you are executing and getting things done and creating value for the organization, your influence will have impact.

6. Creating a social "community" is now a norm, not an exception. A great example of this is Zappos, and the kind of culture that Tony Hsieh has created there. Employees enjoy being around each other, and take pride in a sense of family that exists within their company.

7. Flattening of the "social hierarchy of influence." I can learn from all kinds of great leaders in todays culture, and not know them personally. I can also connect with well known leaders much easier than in the past through technology and social platforms. Information and inspiration has never been so readily available to us. When you follow someone on Twitter, you feel like you know them personally, even if they have hundreds of thousands of other "followers."

8. A new generation of employees expect a "social workplace." This is a Reality of a new generation:

- Experiential- all about the 5 senses. Sensory engagement is critical and a reality in terms of what Millenials have grown up with and desire.

- Participatory- want an experience to be customized. Millenials have grown up in a participatory culture. Don’t just listen. Actually want to participate. This is very important in terms of creating a work environment/team culture that is attractive to 20 somethings.

- Image-Rich- all about pictures, video, large screens, large TV’s, high res pics on your phone, etc. Pictures/video are an incredibly powerful learning medium for Millenials, vs. just text. Especially in terms of memory.

- Connected- information is constant for Millenials. Text, facebook, twitter, phone, email. This can be both a positive and a negative.

End of Week links and thoughts

- Tim Schraeder has all the notes from Leadership Summit and the sessions up on his blog. - Bill Hybels has a brand new book out called The Power of a Whisper. I can't wait to read it.

- We had a great programming retreat for Catalyst Atlanta earlier this week. Got some fun ideas on the board for October. Don't miss out.

- I am DIGGIN the new EP from Satellite. Get it on itunes. Great music. Great guys from LA.

- Really enjoyed hanging with Darren Whitehead, Jon Tyson, Josh Cox, Reece Whitehead, Aaron Niequist, Shauna Niequist, Jake Smith, Jon Peacock, Paul JVR, and others this week.

- Not sure I agree with the College Football preseason rankings that just came out. Oklahoma is at #8. I would have to put them in the top 5, especially over Texas and Boise State.

- Have you registered for The Nines? It's free on September 9, and will include all kinds of great leaders and communicators talking about what have been the game changers in their lives, ministry and leadership. Register now. Catalyst is a sponsor and partner in the event.

- This is so cool! Ryan Meeks along with Eastlake Community Church in Seattle, WA have raised around $150,000 for charity: water in the past couple of weeks. All through what started as a campaign around Ryan's birthday and has now turned into a church wide money raising initiative. Read more here.

10 Social Entrepreneurs You Need to Know