PUSH Yourself

As leaders, sometimes we become so focused on pushing others, that we forget to push ourselves. Being self-disciplined and willing to push yourself is a key attribute of successful leaders. And especially successful entrepreneurs.

Don't be like a wheelbarrow, that only goes as far as it is pushed. If you are relying on someone else around you or above you to push you to get things done or to grow as a leader, it's time to step up and push yourself.

Someone once said: "There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who MAKE things happen. Those who WATCH things happen. And those who say 'WHAT HAPPENED?"

Which kind of leader are you?

Interview with Greg Russinger, co-founder of Just One

LV Hanson, the Catalyst ambassador, recently chatted with Greg Russinger, a great young leader from Portland who is the co-founder of Just One and Laundry Love. Greg co-founded these great projects with Charles Lee, founder of IDEA Camp. Some great thoughts from Greg. [vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/7705671[/vimeo]

5 Great Recent Blog Posts

1. Seth Godin writes on how you can still make you or your organization competent in social media. It's not too late. 2. Mike Hyatt writes about 10 mistakes when you blog and how to avoid them.

3. Tripp Crosby starring as Brad Wiggins in several shorts he is doing on his blog. Check the latest one out here and see several of the recent episodes.

4. Perry Noble writes about Five Mistakes He Made as a Young Leader.

5. Pete Wilson writes how Information does not equate to transformation.

What's Your Tone?

Tone is incredibly important in music. Bad tone, bad music. In leadership, tone is also incredibly important. Tone of your conversation, tone of a meeting, tone of your reprimands, tone of your encouragement, tone of confrontation, etc.

Let's be clear- I stink at this. And lots of us who are intense Type A's need to work on this. The ENTJ in me many times doesn't care or even think about what my tone might be saying or in some way impacting those around me. Too many times I am completely tone deaf.

So think about your tone. Be it in what you say, how you say it, what your posture is when you say it, or even the way you don't say something.

It is saying much much more than we might think. Just ask those around you.

Young Influencers List- November edition

Here you go, the November edition of the Young Influencers List. Link to all past issues here: 1. Aaron Cohen- human rights activist, founder of  the Abolish Slavery Coalition and author of the book Slave Hunter.

2. Jaime Colman- 18 year-old who started the initiative "Shoes for Karogoto" and delivered 4200 pairs of shoes to friends in Kenya through 410 Bridge. Story is here.

3. Stephen Hunton- great photographer. Check out his site. Enough said.

4. Lecrae Moore- hip-hop Christian artist with Reach Records, speaker, activist and entertainer. He's really good.

5. Jeanne Stevens- speaker, author, mom, pastor, and now church planter of Soul City Church in Chicago.

Have recommendations for upcoming months? Leave them here.

How many Leaders does it takes to put on Catalyst?

It takes around 500 folks every year to put on our large Catalyst event in Atlanta the first week of October.

Our Catalyst full-time team consists of 12 people. So that means 488 "other" folks are involved in the process of creating and delivering the best experience out there for Next Generation Leaders.

I would love to list all 500 folks. But not enough room here. However, all 500 are listed on the bonus edition as part of the event DVD set.

In the meantime, here is a list of some of the key folks involved and their role:

Melissa Kruse - Project Manager and Assistant Event Director

Jason Haynes - Project Manager

Courtney Fahey - Executive Assistant/Project Manager

Sally Heffner - Marketing

Chad Johnson - Senior Concierge

Aaron Foster– Concierge

Stan Johnson- Concierge

LV Hanson – Roadtrip and National Tour Coordinator

Jesse Phillips –Special Projects Ninja and Web content manager

Brian Cole - Producer

Kevin Lee - Production

Cristin Serio –Concierge

Lanny Donoho- Emcee and Creative team

Reggie Joiner- Emcee and Creative team

Ken Coleman- Emcee and Creative team

Jeff Shinabarger- Creative Producer

Kevin Sterner- Brandpoet; design and creative team

Carlos Whittaker- Backstage and Pre-show Host

Tripp Crosby- Videos, Pre-show host, and funny guy

Tyler Stanton- Videos, Pre-show host, and funnier guy

Jonathan Bostic- Opener, Motion Graphics, Title Treatment, sweet animation

Brian Pirkle- Technical Director/Producer and creative team

Ansley Lawhead- intern

Shawn Behan- intern

Danielle Durst- intern

Jon Hindson- Event Coordinator

Amanda Hindson- Event Coordinator

Akemi Cole- Volunteer Coordinator

Amberly Sykes- Registration

Chris Ediger- Web

Cathy Leeke- Resources

Craig Canfield- Vendors

Jill Walker- Shipping

Dustin Ahkuoi- Customer Service

Steven Donnelly- Accounting

Anne Jackson- Backstage host

John Saddington- Backstage developer and producer

Kristen Etzel- Backstage production and switcher

Tim Willard- podcast interviews and GroupZine editor

Beth Nelson- GroupZine Managing Editor and food

Mike Foster- podcast interviews

Tim O’Mara- special projects

Michelle Hoeft- special projects

Skye Jethani- Lab Host

Stephanie D’Herde- Lab Host

Richard Chancy- Lab Host

Dave Ferguson- Lab Host


Daniele Valadera

Chris Toews

Tyler Reagin

Gisele Nelson

Mack Kitchel

Jonathan Golden

Eric Flickinger

Mike Nienaber

Ginny Reddick

Jay Hardwick

Jonathan Merritt

Brad Horton

Rebecca O’Mara

Diane Grant

Sarah Molchan

Brad Jones

Mark Cole

Chris Oakley

FEE Band:

Steve Fee, Matt Adkins, Heath Balltzglier, Brandon Coker

Aaron Keyes Band:

Aaron Keyes, Jon Duke, Lee Worley, Austin Booth

Worship Leaders:

Eddie Kirkland

Todd Fields

Kari Jobe

Christy Nockels

Miriam Ahkuoi

Rudy Vaughn

Zach Williams

Chrystina Fincher

Mac Powell

House Band:

Reid Greven, Ashley Appling, Pat Malone, Brad Avery, Steve Thomasson

Vocalists, Artists, Cover Songs, and Everything else:

Amena Brown

Ryan Stuart

DARAJA Children’s Choir

RoseAngela Merritt

Dustin Ahkuoi

Steve Florczykowski

Chieula Hawk

Tan Smith Pettigrew

Jon Goode

Darren Whitehead

DJ Maximillian

The Overtones

Professor Splash


Garrett Rutherford, Beverly Petty, Joshua Symonette, Ryan Sisson


Assistant Producer- Colette Taylor

Screen Control/Video Playback- Brad Weston

Video Director- Brendon Petty

Camera Engineer/Shader- Marc Shroyer

Video Animation Design/Playback- Jonathan Bostic

Audio (A1) - FOH Engineer- Dustin Whitt

Audio (A2) – Monitors- Jayce Fincher

Audio (A2) – Assistant- Luke Roteman

Stage Manager- Chuck Phillips

Stage Manager- Patrick McEwen

Pro Presenter- Leah Case

Pro Presenter- Kristin Eichler

Ryan Bates- Majestic Productions

Bobby Browder- Majestic Productions

Kirk Baggott- Visicor Media

Kevin Baggott- Visicor Media

Amy Baggott- Visicor Media

Rob Mottola- Weathers Studios

Jennifer Mottola- Weathers Studios

Carmen Vaught- Photography

Chris Davis- Photography

Daley Hake- Photography

Ken Hawkins- Photography

Mary Anne Morgan- Photography

Stephen Hunton- Photography

Jason Locy- Fivestone Design

Patricio Juarez- Fivestone Design

Shelley Moore- Fivestone Design

Blake Howard- Matchstic Design

Craig Johnson- Matchstic Design

Dustin Britt- Matchstic Design

Alvin Diec- Matchstic Design

George Lawrence- Lawrence Printing

Darren Phillips- Lawrence Printing

Doug Gattis- Data Supplies Inc

Jeff Lucas- Professional Sound Images

JJ Lucas- Professional Sound Images

Monica Lucas- Professional Sound Images

Chance Mason- 316 Networks

Terry Storch- You Version Live

Tony Steward- You Version Live

Scott Magdalein- You Version Live

Kent Shaffer- You Version Live

Micah Davis- ParaTweet

Chris Capehart- ParaTweet

Stacy Coleman- Conexus Group

Tracy Polson- Conexus Group

Interview with Scott Harrison from charity: water

Check out this great interview with Scott Harrison, the founder of charity: water, discussing the work of the organization and why clean water is so important. Scott also shares a compelling vision for the Church to raise 2 billion dollars on one Sunday, and what that could accomplish in the fight globally for clean water.


A Leader must be.....

1. Ready to take the fall. 2. Willing to have to sacrifice.

3. Always informed enough to make the tough decision.

4. Constantly learning.

5. In touch with reality.

6. Able to plan for the future while leading in the present.

7. Quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. (Yikes!)

[feel free to add more to the list]

Why read your tweets?

Five reasons why I read/subscribe to some tweets and not others: 1. You give me value. Maybe a great link, a quote, a stat, new website, etc.

2. You don't constantly pimp yourself. You are gracious and willing to talk about others.

3. You make me think. You make me laugh.

4. You tweet in moderation. No overtweeting. A nice steady stream of tweets.

5. You provide a personal connection, and because of that, I actually want to meet you in person.

Helpful Travel Tips, Part One

1. On a Road Trip, and in need of a bathroom? Look for hotels, not gas stations. Hotel Lobby bathrooms are always clean, quiet, and restful, since no one who is staying at the hotel uses them. 2. Always ask. Renting a car? Ask for a free upgrade. Flying? Ask for an exit row seat for more legroom. Hotel room? Always ask for a king bed. Most of the time, if you are friendly, whoever is helping you will be friendly and helpful in return.

3. Snacks are crucial. Make sure you incorporate snack items into your travel at all times, especially on a long flight. Bring items with you, as very few airlines still offer good food anymore, even in first class. In part two I'll list my top ten favorite travel snacks.

4. Always carry on your luggage. This is a big one for flying. Allows for a quick exit from the airport, as well as flexibility in jumping on an earlier flight. If you pack sensibly, you can travel for several days with just a carry on.

Cornhole on the National Mall

On Tuesday, the Catalyst team and the National Community Church team squared off on the National Mall in DC for a showdown for the ages. A classic game of cornhole. Two rival teams both at the top of their game..... both ranked in the top 10 of all cornhole teams in the country. What you might call a slobberknocker..... Well, once the tally was in, it was clear who was the better bean bag throwers..... NCC dominated. And Mark Batterson actually beat me 21-1 in a mano e mano showdown. I had no chance. He is the Lebron James of Cornhole. At the top of his game. And it showed.

A rematch is in order at our place. Where we have low ceilings and different rules. But for now, NCC can hold the trophy. Congrats.

What a backdrop for a game of cornhole!!!!

Catalyst & NCC

Who needs you to reach out?

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.

Five Good Quotes

1. "leadership functions on the basis of trust. When trust is gone, the leader soon will be."  - John C. Maxwell 2. "you miss 100% of the shots you never take."  - Wayne Gretzky

3. "he who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else."  - Benjamin Franklin

4. "no man ever listened himself out of a job."  - Calvin Coolidge

5. "my God-given talent is my ability to stick with something longer than anyone else."  - Herschel Walker

Another Power of "Tribes" story

Eugene Cho recently launched One Days Wages, a Movement of People, Stories and Actions of Compassionate Justice to Fight Extreme Global Poverty.

He and the movement of One Days Wages are featured today in the NY Times.

Another great example of a "tribe" making a difference and leveraging influence for good.

Sideways Energy

I posted this over a year ago, but wanted to bring it back. The next 45 days can be the most unproductive of the year. Sideways energy can be rampant in your organization during this time. Now let's be clear, sideways energy is not the same as creating margin or "taking a break" during the Holiday season. Those are two different things completely. So let this be a reminder and a caution to keep your organization "sideways energy free."

Are you busy but not intentional? Do you feel like you are just spinning your wheels and not getting any traction? Could be you are dealing with way too much “sideways energy.” There is good energy and bad energy- and bad energy usually shows up as sideways… not because it is necessarily bad, but because it is usually a distraction.

- Sideways energy is showing up to work but spending two hours talking about what you should have done an hour and a half ago.

- Sideways energy is gossiping about your boss or co-workers. Sideways energy is procrastinating.

- Sideways energy is the same meeting eight times in a row regarding the same idea that still has yet to be implemented.

- Sideways energy is having three sales to close and not calling them back because you are asked to help clean up the office for the Christmas party .

- Sideways energy is an organizational or personal system that takes 4 weeks to move a sale through the process because there is too much bureaucracy.

- Paper shuffling is sideways energy. Dealing with the same problem multiple times is sideways energy. Too many cc’ed emails is sideways energy. Creating new policies for the company that everyone knows will never be implemented is sideways energy. Micromanaging is sideways energy. Lack of trust is sideways energy.

And many times, the reason sideways energy becomes such a regular happening is because there is pressure coming from all sides with an organization- the very top, your boss, and those who you are leading. And the side seems to be the only place to find some relief and maybe focus on something, even if it is not the right thing to be focused on at the time. And growth can cause pressure that facilitates MORE sideways energy. Ultimately, this all leads to a lack of focus, which causes pressure because you choose not to deal with reality and instead want to focus on things that ultimately don’t matter.

How to combat sideways energy? First, realize it exists and will paralyze an organization. Second, identity it and deal with it. Third, measure your productivity and create a system that will help you determine how much sideways energy you are creating, both for yourself as well as for your team. And finally, be clear on your goals and what the right kind of energy looks like for your team- if you model the right kind of energy, your team will follow in the same direction.