Buy a pair of TOMS shoes for Christmas

My good friend Blake Mycoskie and the team at TOMS Shoes are looking to give away 30,000 pairs of shoes this Christmas. Get involved by buying a pair for a child in need. Instead of getting yourself a new pair of socks or a sweater you'll never wear, buy a cool pair of TOMS shoes and be part of something significant. And for every pair you purchase, TOMS is providing another pair to a child in need. One for One.  [youtube=]

Championship Time

Oklahoma vs. Missouri, Florida vs. Alabama, Virginia Tech vs. Boston College, Tulsa vs. Eastern Carolina.  This weekend will crown several conference champions, and it is safe to say that the winners of these championship games are then able to look at their season as a success. Being a champion makes you a winner, makes you a legend, makes you able to identify all the hard work and dedication with a very visible payoff- a ring, a trophy, a picture, a moment. Tangible expressions of a champion. 

How should we in the business world, corporations, churches, organizations measure our success? We don't have conference or national championships, so sometimes setting goals and being able to reach those goals is a bit fuzzy. 

Maybe we should have conference (industry) championships between organizations? Not sure what the championship game would look like, but could be fun. Maybe it's time for a BCS system for businesses.... but let's leave the computers out of the equation.....

Mid Week Update

- as you can tell from the pics from previous posts, was in New York yesterday. Met with some of the team from Random House, and good friend Michael Palgon who leads the Doubleday Publishing Group within the Random House family. Working on ways to get more content out to our community in different and unique ways. Their office is on Broadway just up from the Late Show with Letterman theatre and Radio City Music Hall.  - had lunch with Jon Tyson, an Aussie, church planter in New York City, and a great strategic thinker. He's working on things right now that the average church leader won't see as routine until 5-10 years from now. 

- caught up with Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, who is in NYC this week to speak at a major event being put on by the UN, State Department, and MTV, all around the topic of social networking. Jamie is having incredible influence in major major circles of cultural influence. 

- looking forward to our first big brainstorming meeting tomorrow regarding Catalyst 2009 (east) in October. We're 10 months out and the engine is cranking up. 

- Went to the Hawks game tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. There were probably 3,000 people there at most. But the Hawks are talented. And will be a playoff team again this year. 

- Tired of hearing all the griping about how Texas should be in the Big 12 Championship game instead of OU. Everyone agrees that the system is flawed, but I can't help that the computers and the coaches placed OU ahead of Texas.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The 34 days between Thanksgiving and New Years are considered the Holiday season. A festive time of food, parties, gifts, giving, and all around good cheer. A GREAT time of year. But they are also the most unproductive time of year for most businesses. Everyone puts off decisions until January, freezes spending, procrastinate, and spend way too much time on or Drudge Report. It's usually hard to get anything done in the month of December. Folks use up all their remaining vacation time, and it is just really hard to be motivated. 

What to do? Embrace the realities, and use these 34 days for catching up, studying up, refining your product or service, and lapping your competitors. This is the best time of the year to truly make up lost ground and to get out in front for next year. 

Hit the ground running now. Keep the momentum in place during the December down time. This is a GREAT time of year. And January will be here before you know it.

The Fine Line Tour stops here

0310285453 Have you heard about Kary Oberbrunner and his soon to release book The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap Between Christ and Culture? It is a bold look at how we as believers, and specifically the Church in America, have lost our understanding of how to be in the world, but not of it. And gives real examples of what Kary labels Transformists, those who are living in balance between the worlds of Faith and Culture, and impacting those around them in incredible ways. 

Kary is doing some great things, is a great friend of Catalyst, and it seems has struck a chord with this soon to release book and the message it contains. 

Check out the blog tour that has been happening the last several weeks in leading up to the release of the book on December 5. Glad to be part of the tour. Will have a short interview with Kary in the next couple of days to post here.

The Genius behind Steve

Great article in the most recent issue of Fortune on Steve Jobs #2 at Apple. Tim Cook is currently the Chief Operations Officer at Apple, and the questions continue to be raised of whether he will one day replace Steve Jobs as the CEO. It is always such a difficult task to replace a Founder and icon such as Jobs, so the jury is still out on how the Apple board will handle the issue of succession.  In the same issue of Fortune, Patrick Lencioni (past Catalyst speaker and friend) is listed as one of the "ten gurus you should know" when it comes to leadership and management. Nice.

Young Influencers List- November edition

Here you go, the November edition of the Young Influencers List. You can also view past ARCHIVES of the list.  1. Cathleen Falsani- award winning Religion columnist for the Chicago Sun Times. Her recent book Sin Boldly is a refreshing take on faith in today's culture. Love her humor and wit. 

2. Kevin Palau- EVP of the Luis Palau Association. Among his many duties, Kevin spearheaded the Portland City Fest, which has helped churches, schools, the mayor's office, businesses, and local government all collaborate on service projects in the city of Portland. Amazing work. 

3. Santino Stoner- Partner with Dot Cross. Also Film Director on the very popular NOOMA series. 

4. Jay King- A and R guru at Integrity Music. Jay is one of the good guys in the music industry. He is out constantly finding new talent as well as handling current artists such as Hillsong United. 

5. Brian Pirkle- COO of BigStuf Events. You will usually find Brian with a headset on calling a show from the production area. 20 years from now will be the creative/technical producer for the Grammys, or the Oscars, or the Presidential Inauguration!

First Catalyst One Day

On the way back to Atlanta from Granger, IN after finishing our first ever Catalyst One Day event at Granger Community Church. Over 1,300 leaders from around the midwest were in attendance to hear from Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel. The day was great, and can't wait for the next One Day in Atlanta at North Point Community Church on February 26.  Pics will be posted later today. And more highlights to follow.

Pre work at Granger for Catalyst One Day

A few pics from Granger, IN and Granger Community Church. We are preparing for the Catalyst One Day event tomorrow here. PLEASE check out the picture below from the walls of the lobby of Granger Community Church- in a newspaper clipping from several years back.... Tim Stevens in a suit with a major mullet. Wow, how things have changed! [gallery]

A Great Friend and Great Organization

Got to hear my good friend Chris Heuertz speak in Atlanta last night at All Souls Fellowship. Chris is the International Executive Director of Word Made Flesh, an incredible organization that serves the poorest of the poor in incredibly difficult environments in cities around the world. The work that Chris and his wife Phileena are involved in and are able to inspire an entire community of workers and volunteers to be a part of is such an inspiration. I really don't know how they are able to do it. Hearing the stories from Chris last night for an hour of teaching was challenging, convicting, inspiring, and freeing all at the same time. 

If you are looking for a place to invest time, energy, and resources, I recommend Word made Flesh. They do the work no one else wants to do, but everyone knows they should do. 

Chris has a recent book that is incredible. Simple Spirituality. Highly recommend it. Buy it. Then buy it for your friends.

More Fun from the Catalyst office

Typical stuff in the Catalyst office, plus a review of the West Coast event brochure. Very nice.  Watch until the end for the West Coast brochure reveal. And I apologize in advance for the rude segment in the video.... you'll know what I mean after watching. 

[vimeo 2249902]