New Interview with John Maxwell & FREE webcast

Listen to my recent interview with John Maxwell, best selling author and leadership guru, on the latest edition of the Catalyst Podcast. We talk about his latest book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential. You can listen HERE. You can also enter to win a copy of John's new book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by leaving a comment below with your name and address and a short explanation on why you should receive the book. I'll pick the winners TODAY, so leave a comment by 7 pm EST.

Also, don't miss the FREE webcast tomorrow. John will be teaching on the 15 Laws of Growth Tomorrow (Tuesday), October 9th. It's a free webcast from 7:30 - 9:00 pm EST and you can register here. You will also be able to access the webcast for 30 days on demand, so go ahead and register for FREE to participate even if you can't watch LIVE.

If you live in the Atlanta area, you can attend the webcast LIVE tomorrow at 12 Stone Church in Lawrenceville from 10 am - 11:30 am. More info here.

16 Things to Know about Catalyst Conference Atlanta 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, or maybe 13th in a row!!. Hopefully these are helpful and allow your Catalyst experience to be the best ever! 1. Arrive early. Especially on Thursday morning Oct 4. 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 3rd, and are a great way to dive deeper into practical topics. We still have a few tickets left for LABS (and pre-labs with Reggie Joiner and Perry Noble on Wednesday morning), so you can register online or walk up. Labs officially start at 11:30 am on Wednesday with the opening session featuring Bob Goff. Can't wait.

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 will want to hear:

** Lynne Hybels, Joel Salatin, Rashid Nuri, Charles Jenkins, Eugene Cho, Esther Havens, Dhati Lewis and Sho Baraka, Jonathan Merritt, Herbert Cooper, Nick Vujicic **

3. Listen to the Catalyst Podcast Roadtrip Edition on your way to the event. The episode includes a special interview with Perry Noble, as well as helpful tips, entertainment, and even recommendations on how to MAKE your roadtrip experience even more memorable. Download here.

4. 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.

5. Attend the evening session on Thursday night. Do not miss Thursday night! Francis Chan, plus the Gungor 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!

6. Download this special APP to be part of the CATALYST experience!! Download the Dan Deacon App from itunes to your iphone or other smartphone. Just do it! Download here. We need your help!!

7. 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!

8. 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. Stand up, Hands held high and voices raised.

9. Catalyst Backstage- if you can’t attend, no worries. Join us on CatalystBackstage starting on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 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 several LIVE look-ins for some of the sessions.

10. 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. And it will be a bit chilly in the mornings this week, so you'll need a new tee or jacket anyway!

11. Bring items to give back and help others. In partnership with ATLANTA MISSION and CONVOY OF HOPE, we are asking EVERY Catalyst attendee to bring Deodorant, Underwear (men's, women's and children's), Razors, and Pillows and Pillow Cases to give back to those in need in the city of Atlanta. 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 from Gwinnett Arena if you forget!

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 #CATALYST. And follow Catalyst on Twitter @CatalystLeader. 

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. 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. Many of us 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 Laugh. Listen. Sing. Pray. Engage. Connect.

Can't wait to see you there!

Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel in Seattle and Sacramento this fall

TODAY is your last chance to get the best rates on these 3 exciting Catalyst events coming up later this fall. Register your team today. CALIBRATE on Wednesday, October 24 - will include Mark Driscoll, Judah SmithBrenda Salter McNeilRyan MeeksRick McKinleyEugene Cho, and Jo Saxton, all teaching and presenting on Missional Leadership, specifically as it relates to the Pacific Northwest.

CATALYST ONE DAY SEATTLE on Thursday, October 25 - will feature Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel focusing on the topic of Healthy Organizational Culture. This practical leadership experience includes multiple sessions of content, Q and A, dynamic music, and a day of practical insight from two of the principal voices on leadership in the Church today. Whether you are a pastor, non profit leader, business professional, or entrepreneur, the leadership principles you'll hear taught by Andy and Craig apply to all of us in whatever leadership capacity we serve in. So pastors- bring your business leaders with you!

All of these leaders together over 2 days at The City Church in Seattle October 24-25. A can't miss leadership experience! You can register for both of these events today. 


CATALYST ONE DAY SACRAMENTO on Thursday, November 29 - Catalyst is finally venturing into Northern California!! Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel will be teaching on the topic of Healthy Organizational Culture. Rates as low as $79 still available.


Again, register TODAY for any or all of these events coming up later this fall to take advantage of the lowest discounted rates available. Use Rate Code FOB when registering for additional savings.

If you have additional questions, feel free to call our Catalyst Concierges at 888.334.6569.

Hope to see you there!

Will someone PLEASE LEAD us?

Our United States Senate and House of Representatives adjourned on Friday of last week for what many are saying is the least effective congressional session ever. Not really something for our elected officials to write home about and be proud of. They are taking the next 7 weeks "off" to go and hit the campaign trail, instead of dealing with pressing issues waiting to be resolved and decisions that need to be made right now.

The recent approval rating for this Congressional session was the lowest EVER recorded. Not something to write home about or be proud of.

I don't know about you, but I'm fed up with this. I've lost total confidence in our elected officials to actually LEAD. It's frustrating. I'm trying to maintain a positive outlook and provide solutions rather than just gripe about the problems, but I'm not sure what the answer is. Everyone is dug in deep to their trench of political persuasion and not willing to compromise or collaborate. The 112th Congress seems to be best known for monumental procrastination.

As I think about what is happening right now, there are several things going on in Congress that seem to be a mirror of consistent momentum killers in any kind of organization or team environment, across all industries.

So here you go, examples of NOT LEADING and killing momentum would be the following:

1. Pointing fingers.

2. Blaming others.

3. Wrong priorities. Sideways energy on this one.

4. Making decisions based on whoever pays you the most.

5. Making decisions based on whoever screams the loudest.

6. Counting on someone else to make a decision, other than yourself.

7. Allowing bureaucracy to be an excuse for getting nothing done.

8. Putting your own personal goals ahead of the team, or the greater cause at play. In this case, the good of the country takes a backseat to you keeping your Senate or House seat.

9. Putting things off so that someone else will have to fix them later. Congress did convene last week to basically put a short term plan in place to avoid a complete government shutdown. Ridiculous.

10. Arguing constantly, vs listening and looking to create collaboration and areas of common ground.

What other things have you seen being acted out that remind you of how NOT to LEAD? 

8 Key Leadership Qualities of Joseph

Joseph is one of my favorite personalities in the Old Testament. The story of Joseph in Genesis is one worth reading again and again. In regards to Joseph, here are some leadership qualities I admire in him:

1. Principled- he had character and integrity. He was honest. He was tempted at multiple times, and he resisted.

2. Humble- the power and prestige of his position working for Pharaoh never changed him.

3. Disciplined- Joseph had the proper long term perspective, even while in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

4. Faithfulness- while in jail and throughout all of the turmoil, Joseph remained faithful to God and never wavered from his commitment to follow Him.

5. Grace- Joseph showed grace and mercy to his brothers, even though they had sold him into slavery.

6. Competence- he did his job with excellence. Whether as a servant, or the interpreter of Pharaoh's dream, or as the manager of the family sheep flock.

7. Wise- Joseph was wise beyond his years. He was 30 when he stepped in to help set up Egypt for the famine, and demonstrated a seasoned perspective with decision after decision.

8. Strategic- Joseph was a planner. He instructed the officials to prepare for a famine, even though it was years away, gathering up food to store up, even during the seven years of "plenty."


Young Influencers List, September edition

Here you go, the September edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past episodes and lists here. 1. Nicole Reyes- pastor, teacher, and director of ministries at Oasis Church in LA.

2. Harris III- sought after performer and master illusionist.

3. Matt Maher- songwriter extraordinaire, worship leader, and artist of most recent album The Love in Between (releasing tomorrow!).

4. Annie Downs- Nashville based author, speaker, blogger, and freelance writer.

5. Mali Music- Savannah based Jamaal Pollard, gospel recording artist and musician.

6. Becky Straw- chief adventurist and co-founder of The Adventure Project, helping support social enterprises around the world.

7. Losiah Whittaker- Los Whit Jr. He's really young. Only 6 yrs old, but more influence than most of us.....If you haven't seen this video, you've been hiding under a rock....!


20 Social entrepreneurs you need to know

Check out the work of these social entrepreneurs and innovators. This is NOT a top 20 list, but just 20 friends who I recommend you check out and learn more about their stories and the work of their organizations. They each inspire me! Scott Harrisonfounder of charity: water.

Eugene Chofounder of One Days Wages.

Laura Waters Hinson- director of the movie As We Forgive.

Mike Foster- founder of People of the Second Chance

Jamie Tworkowskifounder of To Write Love on Her Arms.

Tad Agogliafounder of First Response Team of America.

Matt Chambersfounder of Safe World Nexus.

Jonathan Olingerfounder of Discovery the Journey.

Rani Hong- founder of the Tronie Foundation.

Tyler Merrick- founder of Project 7.

Jeff Shinabarger- founder of Plywood People.

Jonathan Golden- founder of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee.

Hannah Song- president of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK).

Neil Blumenthal- c0-founder of Warby Parker.

Peter Greer- president of Hope International.

Shannon Sedgwick Davis- president of the Bridgeway Foundation.

Blake Mycoskie- founder of TOMS Shoes.

Charles Lee- founder of the Ideation Conference.

Jena Lee Nardella- ex director of Blood:Water Mission.

Kohl Crecelius- co-founder of Krochet Kids Intl.




Catalyst One Day is coming to the NorthEast!

4 Important things to know Today! 1. Catalyst One Day Pennsylvania- that's right, Catalyst One Day with Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel is coming to Pennsylvania on Thursday, November 15, 2012!

Catalyst One Day Pennsylvania will be happening on Thursday, November 15 at LCBC in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Leaders from all over the Northeast US will be joining us. New York, DC, Philly, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Baltimore, Boston and more.

Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel will focus on the topic of Healthy Organizational Culture. This practical leadership experience includes multiple sessions of content, Q and A, dynamic music, and a day of practical insight from two of the principal voices on leadership in the Church today.

Whether you are a pastor, non profit leader, business professional, or entrepreneur, the leadership principles you'll hear taught by Andy and Craig apply to all of us in whatever leadership capacity we serve in. So pastors- bring your business leaders with you!

TODAY is the super early registration deadline, so make sure and register NOW if you plan to attend. (You can get tickets as low as $79). Use discount code FOB when registering for additional savings. 


2. Catalyst One Day Seattle and Calibrate- Also, this fall, we'll be in Seattle on October 24-25 for the combination of Catalyst One Day Seattle and CalibrateBest rates for these two events expires September 27, so make sure and register today

As a reminder, Calibrate on Wednesday, October 24 will include Mark Driscoll, Judah SmithBrenda Salter McNeilRyan MeeksRick McKinleyEugene Cho, and Jo Saxton, all teaching and presenting on Missional Leadership, specifically as it relates to the Pacific Northwest.

All of these leaders together over 2 days at The City Church in Seattle. A can't miss leadership experience! Again, register for either or both of these events now.


3. Catalyst One Day Sacramento- we'll also be in Northern California later this fall on Thursday, November 29, at Bayside Church in Sacramento, CA. So all of you leaders in southern Oregon, California, Nevada, the Bay area, and even Idaho and Utah, we're coming to you! Andy and Craig will be sharing on Healthy Organizational culture.

You can register for Catalyst One Day Sacramento here.


4. Catalyst Conference Atlanta- still time to register for Catalyst Atlanta (East) coming up on October 3-5, 2012, at Gwinnett Arena. 13,000 leaders together. It's gonna be epic! And if you're already registered, don't forget about Catalyst LABS on Wednesday, October 3, featuring David Platt, Bob Goff, Mark Batterson, Lysa TerKeurst, Michael Hyatt, Jon Acuff, Nick Vujicic and many others.


Make plans now to attend any or all of these Catalyst One Day events, Calibrate, or Catalyst Atlanta.

If you have additional questions, feel free to call our Catalyst Concierges at 888.334.6569.

Hope to see you there!

12 Keys to Authentic Leadership

Here are 12 points on the importance and practice of being Authentic as a leader. Authenticity rules. Some best practices I’ve found helpful: 1. Be real in all mediums. Digital age makes it easy to be inauthentic. Although we are always “on,” ultimately we can create a fake persona behind a profile on Facebook or a twitter account. It's easy to live a secondary life and feel like we are someone we aren’t. Have to be authentic across the board.

2. Constantly turn the rocks over in your life and in your leadership. Uncover the areas that need to be made clean. Big things are at stake. It’s exhausting to not be the real you. It's easier and less work to be who you really are.

3. The more successful you become, the less accessible you are. It’s reality. More people clamor for time with you, but it’s not possible to be available to everyone. Be wise and discerning, but also open to helping where you can. As Andy Stanley says “do for one what you wish you could do for many.”

4. Learn to open up. You can impress people more easily from a distance, so many leaders keep others at arms length. For example, we often prefer digital interaction to life-on-life exchanges. This insulates us and prevents others from uncovering our weaknesses and flaws. But it also reduces our ability to influence others.

5. Ask great questions. Great leaders I know solve problems and create solutions through the questions they ask. Questions many times reflect your values.

6. Invite direct reports to do a 360 degree review of you on a regular basis. It’s uncomfortable, but also helpful. As Rick Warren has said, “You can’t love people and influence them unless you are close to them. Up close means you can see my warts.”

7. Accept a better standard. The goal of every Christian is to become more like Christ, but often our standard becomes some “great” leader who we admire. When we exalt fellow influencers, we try to dress like them, talk like them, pray like them, tell jokes like them, and achieve like them, it's dangerous. By emulating them we hope to someday become like them. This never works, and a painful side effect is that deep down we end up feeling like a cheap knock-off.

8. Be interested over interesting. Start with leaning into others and caring about them vs. only worrying about yourself.

9. Be accountable to those who know you best. Know your blind spots in your leadership. We all have areas of weakness. Know what they are and give your team, your family and your friends permission to call you on them. Are you comfortable enough in your leadership that those around you have the freedom to tell you the truth without repercussions?

10. Authentic leaders make more of those around them, and less about themselves. They are servant leaders and willing to be less in order for others to be more. Authentic leaders seek to serve and understand the power of putting others first. And great leaders attract great people to their team. Like attracts like.

11. Actively Build a Support Network- Beware of CEO disease, the temptation to surround yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear. Keep honest people in your life so that you can stay grounded in the reality of your experiences. Don't ever think you've arrived. Don't take yourself so seriously. You're not a big deal. Seriously. I don't care who you are. Humility is way more attractive than arrogance.

12. Be who you are. Authenticity requires true honesty, self awareness and a selfless approach to leadingOne of the challenges in organizations today is actually creating space for leaders to admit and share their challenges. We need to create community where you can talk about the things you are dealing with without getting arrows in the back. Be willing to share your struggles. Create and find environments where we can deal with things and be honest and real.


Transparency is king

Heard a great presentation a couple of weeks ago at Plywood Presents from Neil Blumenthal, one of the co-founders and co-CEO's of Warby Parker. If you're not familiar with Warby Parker, get to know them. They are on the cutting edge of innovation, social entrepreneurship, and the new era of corporate responsibility and culture. They sell designer glasses at an affordable price, mainly online. They adopted a "buy a pair, give a pair" model from the beginning of their company. And they allow you to try glasses on at home, no strings attached, by shipping you up to 5 pairs of glasses, and then you choosing which frames work best. But the thing I love most about Warby Parker is their honesty, transparency and authenticity as an organization.

And one of the main points Neil made in his talk was how important Authenticity is in today's corporate environment. Authenticity is not only expected, it is required. Authenticity rules.

Transparency is king.

Customers expect a great product, but in today's corporate environment, they also expect an honest and transparent company. It's not about hiding stats or trying to bury the numbers in an annual report where no one can find them. As an organization, you are better off to let your customers, your tribe, your fans get to know you, including the things you do well and the areas where you are still learning and growing.

Warby Parker has taken a different approach. Putting transparency and authenticity at the top of the most important list.

They even created a "Making of" their annual report that provides substantial information about the company. Check out the video below.



7 important roles of a Board of Directors

Many of us deal with a board of directors, especially in the non profit arena. I serve on a couple of boards for ministries I am involved with. Being on a board can be a great experience, both for the board member and for the executive director/president. It can also be incredibly frustrating and taxing, especially to the leader in charge of the organization. So thought I would provide a few points here on the role of a board member and overall the role and responsibility of a Board of Directors, specifically as it relates to non profit charities or ministries:

1. Give, get, or get off- give money, go get some money, or get off the bus. You have to help the organization thrive financially.

2. One employee, one customer- sole focus of the board is the role and responsibility of the executive director/president of the organization. Don't mess with the rest of the team. It's not the role of  the board.

3. Health and stability- take care of your executive director and make sure they are healthy and stable. Their sense of well being is your responsibility.

4. Carry the vision-  own the vision of the organization. It can't just be owned by the visionary or founder.

5. Stay in your strengths- make sure the board members are operating in their areas of strength. In their areas of interest and focus. Not just serving on a committee just for the committee's sake.

6. Make connections- leverage your relationship network and folks you know for the good of the organization. Connect your friends, family and business associates.

7. Replace yourself- find other potential board members who can take your place. Succession and legacy are critical.

8 Points on great Customer Service

I've worked on some great teams over the past several years, and seen great customer service in action. One of the places I learned the most about great customer service was Lost Valley Ranch, an incredible 4 diamond guest ranch in Colorado. Serving the guests was part of the DNA of the staff. We took great pride in our ability to create a great experience for our guests through unmatched excellent customer service. Here are a few of the ways we did that: 1. Treat someone like you would want to be treated- the Golden Rule. It really does work. And it makes sense. Common sense. Use it.

2. Remember someone's name. Always. Especially when you've met them before or talked with them before.

3. Let your actions speak way louder than your words. Don't just talk about it. Make it happen. Your work can be a great example of your attitude and commitment to service.

4. Anticipate. Stay a step ahead of your clients or guests. Don't wait for them to ask for something. Be proactive. Figure it out before they even need it.

5. Go the extra step. Have a "+1" type of attitude and demeanor. Not just anticipating, but actually doing more than what is expected or required of you. Make memories for your client or guest by wowing them with the "above and beyond."

6. Engage in meaningful conversation. Serving creates opportunity for impact- it builds a bridge. So make sure to connect with your guests or clients through conversation when it's appropriate. Understand who they are by understanding what they read, what they watch, where they travel and what their interests are. If you deal with families, learn their kids names and hobbies. And look them in the eye when talking. Little things add up.

7. Give permission. Make sure your entire staff and everyone in the organization feels empowered to respond immediately to a customer service issue. Empower your employees at every level in the organization to respond and resolve.

8. Own the relationship, and the result. Your answer should never be "that's not my job." Take initiative to see the problem or the issue through to the very end. IF you have to hand the relationship off to someone else, make sure you literally walk them to that other person, introduce them, and hand them off well. If over the phone or through email, the same applies. Constantly make sure you are "walking" with that person through the process.

No to Good, and Yes to Best

"Learn to say no to the good so you can say yes to the best."  - John C. Maxwell I love this quote, but I struggle constantly with implementing it. It makes total sense, but as a persuader, my leadership style is to include and to invite more and more into the conversation and the huddle. I have a hard time saying no, because for me that feels like I am excluding someone. I've learned how to do this, but it still goes against my natural leadership style.

But as leaders, we have to be willing to say no in order for our time and energy to be spent on the things that only we can do, as well as the few ideas or projects that will end up being the "best."

Reality is, the more influence you gain, and the more your organization grows, the harder it is to say no to the good. And with more influence, you have more opportunities. With more and more opportunities, the more we have to make decisions on what we will focus on and where we will expend our time, energy and resources.

The key is to know what you do really well. The areas you are great. Spend your time and energy on those things. Be focused.

Remember, saying no doesn't mean you don't like someone or something. It's not personal. You have to be disciplined and focused on a few things to be great.

Take the first step

Reach out First. Take the first step. Most of us aren't "experts" at relationships. Whether dealing with family, friends, co-workers, new acquaintances, or team members, we are all guilty of coming up short. It seems like every day I goof up in the way I relate, communicate, and lead.

I'm sure this scenario applies to you right now, or will soon. A business deal gone bad. A conversation that was really tense. A mis-spoken word or hurtful phrase- either directed towards you or from you. Gossip behind your back that you know about, and so does the person who said it. Disagreements turned into frustration and now no communication.

Are there folks in your life right now who you are at odds with? Here are two thoughts on how to "restore" healthy and harmonious relationships with those around us.

1. Reach out first- don't wait on someone else to move toward you. Go ahead and confess, apologize, bring it up, or start the conversation. Even if you are not at fault. You need to lean in and reach out and move across the "center aisle" and intentionally make amends.

2. Move on- Don't hang on to something just so you can hold it over someone's head. Let it go. Restore the relationship, and restart the relationship immediately.

8 Mid Week Thoughts for Leaders

1. 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. 2. Being an "expert" is quickly fading in the current culture. Everyone is an expert these days because of technology and connectivity. Don't put your hope in being an expert, since now more than ever there is someone else who knows way more than you do. Just constantly get better. Improve daily.

3. 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 Scripture.

4. Humility rules.No explanation needed.

5. 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.

6. Put the Xbox up, turn off facebook, get out a book (or your iPad), and start reading. Seriously.

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

8. Embrace your role. No one said leadership is easy. Your job is to make decisions, including the difficult ones, and carry more responsibility than the rest of your team.

10 Churches under the Radar

Here are a few churches with lots of influence in their communities, and definitely worth checking out in terms of the way they are doing ministry and reaching their cities. But may not be as well known to other leaders around the country. 1. Transformation Church- Indian Land, SC; Derwin Gray

2. Cross Church- Springdale, AR; Ronnie Floyd

3. Renovation Church- Atlanta; Leonce Crump

4. Kingdom Church- Ewing, New Jersey; Dharius Daniels

5. Soul City Church- Chicago; Jarrett and Jeanne Stevens

6. Moment Church- Orange County, CA; Tony Wood

7. The Summit Church- Durham, NC; JD Greear

8. Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas- Rogers, AR

9. Higher Dimension Church- Houston; Terrance Johnson

10. Grace Community Church- Clarksville, TN; Chad Rowland

Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Judah Smith, and Mark Driscoll together in Seattle

All together in Seattle on October 24-25! Really excited about Catalyst One Day Seattle and Calibrate coming up on October 24-25 in Seattle. Best rates for these two events expires tomorrow on Thursday, August 16, so make sure and register today

Catalyst One Day Seattle on Thursday, October 25 will feature Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel focusing on the topic of Healthy Organizational Culture. This practical leadership experience includes multiple sessions of content, Q and A, dynamic music, and a day of practical insight from two of the principal voices on leadership in the Church today.

Whether you are a pastor, non profit leader, business professional, or entrepreneur, the leadership principles you'll hear taught by Andy and Craig apply to all of us in whatever leadership capacity we serve in. So pastors- bring your business leaders with you!

AND... Calibrate on Wednesday, October 24 will include Mark Driscoll, Judah Smith, Brenda Salter McNeil, Ryan Meeks, Rick McKinley, Eugene Cho, and Jo Saxton, all teaching and presenting on Missional Leadership, specifically as it relates to the Pacific Northwest.

All of these leaders together over 2 days at The City Church in Seattle. A can't miss leadership experience!

Again, register for either or both of these events by tomorrow, Thursday August 16 to take advantage of the lowest discounted rates. As low as $79 per ticket. Use Rate Code FOB when registering for additional savings.

Make plans now to attend this combination of great leadership training on Wednesday and Thursday, October 24-25 in Seattle.

If you have additional questions, feel free to call our Catalyst Concierges at 888.334.6569.

Hope to see you there!


Young Influencers List, August edition

Here you go, the August edition of the Young Influencers List. You can check out all the past month's lists here. 1. Ryan Edgar- singer, songwriter and musician out of Dallas.

2. Scott Tanksley- founder of Meals with a Mission

3. Nikole Lim- storyteller through photo and film, and founder of Freely in Hope.

4. Al Gordon- pastor at Holy Trinity Brompton in London and co-founder of Worship Central.

5. Josiah Bell – singer, songwriter, and producer in LA signed to Capitol Records.

6. Chido Govera- young Zimbabwe leader who is founder of Chido's Mushrooms and author of The Future of Hope.

7. Andy Brophy – Atlanta-based photographer who launched Love Gives Way.

8. Glenn Packiam- worship leader, exec pastor of spiritual formation, New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and author of Lucky.


Have someone who should be considered for upcoming editions of the Young Influencers List? Leave a name in the comments below. 

A big land mine for Leaders

Leaders: Who are you accountable to? Who speaks truth into your life? Your spouse? Your best friend? Your boss? Your co-workers?

Who has the right to honestly tell you when you are wrong, and make sure you stay in touch with reality?

Who is asking you the difficult questions that everyone else around you may be thinking but don't want to bring up?

Do you have someone, or a group of people, who will challenge you, tell you when you are wrong, confront you on the tough issues, make your aware of areas where you might be missing the mark?

If not, figure this out. Quick. If you are surrounded by only yes people, you're probably unaware of things that could be jeopardizing your leadership. This is a major land mine for leaders.

We all have dysfunctions. Every leader does. But our healthy response to our own dysfunctions depends on how much we let others "in" and give them full access to pushing back and kicking us in the tail if we are off base.

For many leaders, the greatest threat to our influence right now is our tendency to read our own press clippings, and continually put a "wall" up around us that protects us from any kind of honest feedback.

Don't do this. Avoid the temptation to "remove" yourself from healthy accountability. Refuse the impulse to start surrounding yourself with people who are there only to protect you from reality. Insulation itself is not bad, but too much of it will allow reality deprivation to set in, which can be costly.

We need people around us who will tell us what we don't want to hear, when we don't want to hear it. Identify these people in your life, and give them full access to keeping you in check.

So, my question to you.... who is this in your life? 

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

We all have our comfort zones. Your home. Your office. The seat in the back right on the last row at Church. A certain restaurant you always go to. The same songs over and over again you listen to in the car. The same treadmill at the gym. Might be a group of friends that has been the same since high school or college. That favorite uncle you always play golf with on Saturday morning.

Whatever it is, we need to be leaders who take risks. And step out of our comfort zones. On a regular basis. This can be incredibly big life decisions, but many times it may just be a small decisions, or a small change in our usual routine, that can provide the momentum we need to consistently Step Out of our Comfort Zones.

Reality is, most of us by nature enjoy the same old routine, the luxury of the known, the safety of the convenient. Ultimately, it takes extra effort to step out, but if we're not risking and pushing ourselves out of the normal and routine, then we can't expect others around us who we lead to do the same.

Here are a few examples to get you thinking on how you can this week step out of your comfort zone.

1. Attend a weekend service of a completely different religion than your own.

2. Visit a local homeless shelter or soup ktichen.

3. Walk somewhere instead of driving. Or ride a bike.

4. Leave the TV off for one week straight. Or at least one night.

5. Read a book and download a song that you never would have before.

6. Call an old friend and get reacquainted.

7. Ask your neighbors how you can help them.

8. Take someone to lunch from your office who you've never had a conversation with before.

9. Go fishing, hunting, camping, or hiking. The key is outside.

10. Visit your local police station and fire department and take them food.

11. Start a conversation with the person at the register at the gas station or the cleaners or somewhere else you visit frequently.

12. Write an article about your area of expertise and submit it to a local paper, magazine, or leading website.

What are other simple ideas that help you step out of your comfort zone?