6 Ways to Become Skilled at the Follow Up

in leadership,Leadership Rules. 1 Comment

Leaders get things done. They are action oriented and always moving towards the finish line.

As all of us know, when dealing with other people, other organizations, and other teams, many times the project or initiative bogs down because “you haven’t heard back from him” or “she never emailed me to confirm” or “I’m still waiting on them to send over a fax” or “I called and left a message, but don’t want to bother them again.” When other people get involved besides us, things get more complicated.

If you want to truly get things done, you have to become skilled at the follow up. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years:

1. It’s always your responsibility to initiate. Obviously if you are the one asking for something, then you have to initiate. But even if you’re just part of the project or one of the steps in the project, you need to always feel responsibility to initiate.

2. We’re all busy. Never take offense or get your feelings hurt because someone hasn’t responded to your initial invitation or request. Very rarely is a lack of response personal. It’s just because people are busy.

3. Figure out how best to get an answer. Many people don’t return phone calls anymore, but if you text them, they’ll get right back to you. Be smart. Customize your communication if you want a quick response.

4. Make it easy to get a response. Make sure it’s one step to confirm or respond or get you the information you need. Don’t make folks jump through multiple hoops in order to get you what you need. Remove all the barriers.

5. Create a deadline. Make sure you are very clear in your initial request and in your follow up what you are asking for, as well as when you need it. Sometimes we forget to create urgency and expectations alongside the request.

6. Aggressively pursue until you get a yes or no. If it takes 5 emails, then send 5 emails. If it takes 3 phone calls, make 3 phone calls. Get it to the finish line.

What are some of your secrets in regards to following up and getting things done?

10 Must Haves for Leaders

in Misc. No Comments

1. Community- can’t be isolated. Friends and people you can do life with are paramount. Surround yourself with friends and team members who aren’t impressed by you.

2. Credibility- you must be believable. And a leader who is trustworthy. Above reproach and constant integrity. If you say you’ll get it done, you will. Your word is your bond.

3. Hunger- leaders are learners. And always want to get better. Constant posture of improvement.

4. Hope- vision for tomorrow. A belief that tomorrow will be better than today. And constant encouragement to those around them, giving them hope to tackle what’s in front of them.

5. Self- awareness- know who you truly are. And lead from that authenticity. Do all you can to understand the true you.

6. Confidence- confidence, not arrogance. In a shaky, insecure world, you must be confident and secure. Thanks to Louie Giglio for this one in a recent message.

7. Humility- understand and realize that it’s not about you. A bigger story is going on. Always make it about someone else on your team. Hand it off. Pass it on.

8. Competence- be the best in the world at what you do. A level of excellence. The expert in your field/industry/niche.

9. Passion- Jesus focused. A contagious love for what you do, and overall passion for life. You are your best customer, and would actually purchase or attend or be part of whatever you are creating.

10. Courage- leaders take risks. And are willing to step out in front when no one else will. And make constant decisions. Bringing certainty to uncertainty.

 

30 Key Movements happening in the Christian community

A lot of leaders ask me what “movements” or networks within the Christian community they should pay attention to.

Here are 30 of those, in no particular order of importance or priority. These aren’t the only 30, but 30 I think you should be aware of.

Feel free to add others we should have on the radar in the comments section.

1. Hillsong

2. Passion

3. Catalyst

4. Jesus Culture

5. Exponential

6. Worship Central (London)

7. Verge/Austin Stone

8. Q

9. IF Gathering

10. Reach Records/Lecrae

11. Leadership Summit/Willow Creek

12. Misfit/Christ Tabernacle

13. Compassion

14. Orange

15. North Point Ministries/Drive Conference

16. LifeChurch.tv

17. ARC

18. Resurgence

19. FPU/Dave Ramsey

20. Rick Warren/Saddleback/PEACE

21. Gospel Coalition

22. HTB/Alpha Course

23. Leadership Network

24. Thrive Conference/Bayside Church

25. Luis Palau Association

26. Women of Faith

27. Send North America

28. The Bible Series/Son of God Movie/Mark Burnett and Roma Downey

29. Relevant Magazine/Media Group

30. PlanetShakers

 

 

 

8 Characteristics of Great Teammates

in leadership,Leadership Rules. No Comments

Great teams are a joy to watch. OKC Thunder, Miami Heat, Seattle Seahawks, and more. And of course my beloved Oklahoma Sooners!

Reality is, we are all part of some kind of team, wherever we are in life. Family, church, volunteer, sports, business, community, social. As Leaders, it’s equally important for us to know how to follow and be a great team member as it is how to LEAD and be a team leader. In fact, many believe to be a good leader, you must first be a great teammate. And I would suggest that great leaders are equally in tune with how best to be a teammate, along with how to lead well.

So here are a few thoughts on being a great team member:

1. Good teammates are great finishers. They get the job done. They take projects across the finish line.

2. Good teammates anticipate. They understand what needs to be done next before others, and are always looking for ways to make the process better.

3. Good teammates criticize their leader in private, and praise in public. Enough said on that.

4. Good teammates are trustworthy. When given an assignment, a leader can be assured that it will get done. This is incredibly important.

5. Good teammates are vision copycats. They take on, embody and live out the vision and mission of their leader, and of the organization.

6. Good teammates make their leader better. They push their leader, and know how to lead up appropriately and intentionally.

7. Good teammates make their other teammates better. They know how to lead their peers and lead across in an organization, and don’t rely on the leader to be the only one motivating the team, as well as holding the other teammates accountable.

8. Good teammates lead themselves. They don’t need to be managed, and aren’t needy. They don’t need all the attention from the leader.

9 Ways to Truly Connect in a Conversation

in Leadership Rules,Misc. 1 Comment

Connecting in a conversation is very important. Whether someone you are meeting for the first time, or everyday greetings in your office, close friends.a follow up meeting, or a longtime business associate, it’s important to properly connect.

So here’s your cheat sheet for connecting in a conversation.

1. Start with a proper greeting- We’ve talked about this before. Handshake, bow, hug, etc. Figure out what is appropriate and then stick to that.

2. Look them in the eye. It’s amazing how many folks still can’t do this. Here is a post with more about this.

3. Listen more than you talk. Ask more questions than you give answers. Listening is an art.

4. Find at least one area of common interest. Look for the area you all have common interests in. Food, cooking, sports, church, family, hobbies.

5. Make at least one valuable connection for them. Might be that you commit to introducing them to a friend of yours, or you heard about a business opportunity they might be interested in, etc.

6. Create one simple action item. Could be a follow up call, another meeting, an email they need to send, an email you need to send, or a simple reminder to connect again soon.

7. Ask great questions. Here are a few:

What are you learning lately?

Who has had the greatest impact on you?

What gets you up in the morning and keeps you awake at night?

What do you love most about your family?

What do you love most about your job/profession?

What are you most excited about right now? 

8. Look for opportunities to provide encouragement. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to be encouraged. Find places in the conversation where you can provide some “ego biscuits” (as my good friend Steve Graves always told me).

9. Give plenty of “conversation exit ramps.” Always give opportunities in a conversation with someone new the ability to exit quickly. Options to jump out of the conversation and into another one. This is paramount in environments where there are lots of other folks- dinner parties, weddings, social gatherings.

12 New Books You Should Read

in Favorite New Things,Friends and Links,leadership,publishing. 2 Comments

Here are 12 new books I recommend, in no particular order:

1. The Locus Effect- by Gary Haugen, president and CEO of International Justice Mission

2. The Truest Thing About You- by Dave Lomas, pastor of Reality San Franciso

3. Leaders Eat Lastby Simon Sinek, author, speaker, and thought leader (speaking at Catalyst West in April)

4. The God of Yes- by Jud Wilhite, pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas

5. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook- by Gary Vaynerchuk, speaker, entrepreneur, and founder of Wine Library TV

6. Crash the Chatterbox- by Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte

7. Clout- by Jenni Catron, blogger, author and pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, CA

8. Fight- by Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma City, OK

9. Beating Burnout- by Anne Marie Miller, author, speaker and blogger.

10. Flesh- by Hugh Halter, author, pastor, speaker, and missional church specialist

11. Passion- by Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church and founder of Passion Conferences

12. Restless- by Jennie Allen, speaker, author and founder of IF Gathering

Young Influencers List January Edition

Here you go, the January edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past monthly lists here.

 

1. Ben Peays- executive director of The Gospel Coalition and from what I hear an established hunter!

2. Hillary DeMeo- student Dean at Southeastern University in Florida

3. Ally Vesterfelt- writer, speaker, blogger, and author of Packing Light

4. Charlton Cunningham- entrepreneur, ideator, former Catalyst intern, and founder of HIVE Atlanta

5. Natalie LaBorde, assistant Executive Counsel for Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, and founder of Tigers Against Trafficking.

6. Joseph Sojourner- host, musician, creative artist for Opposite Entertainment, and former high school ministry director at Browns Bridge, a campus of North Point Community Church.

7. Taka Iguchispiritual development pastor at Rockford First outside of Chicago, and Executive Director of Focus One

Great Leaders always Write it Down

in leadership,Leadership Rules,Next Generation Leadership. 3 Comments

Young leaders consistently ask me: “what’s one practical piece of advice for becoming/being a leader who gets things done?” A leader that is trustworthy and reliable. The kind of leader when you ask them to get something done, you have complete confidence that it will happen.

My answer is always the same: Write It Down. Always. What do I mean?

1. never show up to a meeting without a pen and a notebook. My preference is a sharpie and a moleskine notebook. But doesn’t matter whether it’s a legal pad or a Red Big Chief pencil, Or your iphone or laptop. ALWAYS show up to a meeting ready to record thoughts, ideas, takeaways, and action items. I tell my team this all the time, whether we are having a group meeting or individual meetings.

2. carry a pen and notebook with you wherever you go. If you have a thought, write it down. Remember a task that needs to be completed while in your office, capture it in an email or in a running to do list on your desktop or in Evernote. In the car?…. capture it on your iphone audio memo or on a dictation machine. Great ideas seem to always hit us at random times. But always make sure it is captured somewhere. Always.

3. create a system for organizing your ideas and thoughts. I did a blog post a while back about this entitled The Way I Get Things Done. Highlighting how and where I capture ideas and the way I organize them on my computer and in different email folders and notebooks.

BONUS thought: One of the most important, if not THE most important person in the room during a brainstorming or creative session is the notetakerAnd if you don’t have a notetaker for these meetings, find one. Don’t have another meeting without one. It has to be someone who is really good at listening, filtering, and capturing. It CAN’T be someone who is actively engaged in the creative or brainstorming elements.

By doing these things, it frees you up to have energy to be creative, think outside the box, dream, and ultimately have a list that works and a way to keep a running account of what items are on your list to get done.