Think You Have a Great Idea…Sleep On It

Think you have a great idea….sleep on it…

If you read this blog regularly, surely you have learned that I’m a risk-taker by nature. I love to encourage big dreams and I want to be a catalyst for idea generation and innovative thought. I’m even a church planter!!! Talk about risk…

In spite of that tendency in me to act quickly, I have learned one principle of leadership by personal experience…this is one of those wisdom learned by mistake kind of things…so listen closely…

When you get the next great idea…don’t act on it immediately…even as great an idea as it may be. Sleep on it…for a day…a week…or a season…(depending on the size of and type of the idea)…before you take action towards it. (Now if you are absolutely certain it’s a “word from God” then move immediately, but in my case I have mistaken His voice for my own ideas a few times…so you might keep reading…)

I know…I know…that seems to contradict some of what you have been taught. If you don’t act immediately, someone else will steal your idea. If you don’t act immediately, you may lose valuable momentum. If you don’t act immediately, you might miss out on an opportunity.

I’m not trying to kill ideas, I’m trying to help you make better ideas. Before you throw stones, consider my rationale…keep this in mind…here’s why this is important…

You want to make the decision you are making is not based solely on emotion. You want time for emotions to subside (if they are going to) before you invest the energy and resources into the idea.

Still questioning? Consider this…

You wouldn’t advise someone who is experiencing negative emotions to make immediate decisions…would you? If someone loses a spouse, you wouldn’t encourage him or her to make a random and sudden decision to sell everything and move where they know no one…would you?

Why are positive emotions anymore trustworthy?

Remember, you don’t have to act immediately to act quickly. I realize there is a great balance here between stalling out and pausing, but don’t allow your emotions to cause you to react too quickly and regret your decision later.

Pause, get wise counsel, make sure rationale is equal to emotion…then you can and should move fast…you’ll be glad the emotion is still strong…

Share your story…

Have you made too quick of a decision you later regretted making?

What did it cost you?

40% of Professionals Ready to Quit Work

According to a recent survey, 40 percent of professionals want to quit their job. I’m curious, is that higher than you would think? I’d love to know what percentage on our staff feels that way….(hopefully not that high!)

As one who studies and writes about organizational health, these numbers frustrate me. What can be done to improve job satisfaction? I love the interview Brad Lomenick did recently with Tony Hsieh of Zappos about their corporate culture. Check it out HERE. Zappos appears to be a place people want to work and one that is remaining very profitable.

According to the Nashville Business Journal, here is a list of reasons U.S. professionals cited for wanting to quit their jobs this year, accompanied by the percentage of respondents who cited the reason:

• Lack of communication and involvement by top management, 40 percent
• Lack of promotion despite good work results, 37 percent
• Overwork, 34 percent
• Lack of company “vision,” 31 percent
• Lack of belief in colleagues’ competence, 28 percent
• Lack of administrative support, 26 percent
• Rude colleagues, 21 percent
• Boss takes credit for their work, 20 percent

Read more: Survey: 40 percent of U.S. professionals want to quitNashville Business Journal

What do you think? Should the number be that high? Would you have thought it would be lower of higher? If you are brave, share which side of the percentage you are in today. Are you ready to quit…or loving your work?  If you did, which would be your reason for quitting?

(Be sure to read the recommended posts associated with this one.)

Name One Non-Negotiable Leadership Characteristic

I tweeter recently a question. What is one non-negotiable characteristic of a leader you are willing to follow?

Here are some of the responses:

@JohninColorado Passion for the lost
@KevinDeShazo Honesty
@TN_SmartGirl Humility
@HireLianne Attentiveness to every rung of the ladder below him/her.
@John4Him Honesty
@Christfollower an integrity rooted in profound sense of dependence on God
@danscott smokes what he sells
@strategicsense Empathy
@RobertBlas ability to admit when wrong.
@TeriSWillis Healthy marriage
@dwaynehutchings Integrity
@Jill_Shaw Trustworthy
@taylors2belgium Integrity
@DistantLShaw Sticks close to God especially when it’s tough & when it’s good.
@elissekipe Integrity
@LAHSWORLD Integrity
@ericwschmidt Godly humility
@ YvonneMcLaren Integrity

@NoNameHere Must be a Twitterer (But he was just joking….see I didn’t sell you out…actually he gave a serious one above)

Keep in mind these were answered quickly, so answers may have been expanded or even changed had they had time to think about their answer more, but I think these are heartfelt responses.  I see a few trends and similarities in the answers…do you?

I think as leaders we should pay attention to things like this. Granted your staff may be different, but I suspect this is representative in many ways. As a leader, it’s important to know what is important to the people you want to lead. Sometimes we focus too much of our attention on things of lesser importance.

What do you think is one non-negotiable characteristic of a leader you are willing to follow?

BTW, this will give you a few more people to follow.

John Wooden on What is True Success: Ted Video

I love exploring for exceptional videos. I don’t get to very often, but when I do, I find great stuff.

Here’s one you should consider watching. It’s about 17 minutes long, and honestly he rambles at times, but you’ll get some great wisdom and reminders from a great man. Here’s John Wooden on the subject “What is True Success?”

Do you agree with Wooden’s definition?

What Does the Term Expert Mean?

Someone used the term “expert” in regards to a person and social media recently. It sounded good at first, but then I started thinking. Is anyone really an “expert” in a field that is barely five years old and changes literally every day?

One definition of the term expert reads: a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area. I guess someone could qualify under that definition, but it also seems to me that as soon as one gains authoritative knowledge about the field of social media that everything changes. Everyone involved with social media must be in a constant learning mode.

It does seem, however, that we are living in a day where the term expert is coined much faster than in days past. I know people in ministry who have been serving less than five years who, mostly because of their online experience or because they wrote a book, are considered “experts” in ministry. I’m not saying this is right or wrong, I’m just questioning the meaning of the term these days. Has it changed?

What do you think? How do you define an expert? Whom would you call a social media expert?

Doodling Turns Into Masterpiece: Turning Random into Success

This is a silly post with an important principle…

The other day I was on a Skype call with missionaries from Costa Rica. I serve on their ministry board and this was a board meeting. As with most meetings, I get bored easily, so I began to doodle on a piece of paper in front of me…actually the ministry budget. What started as doodling with no intended purpose turned into a masterpiece…as you can see from this picture.

Okay, so it’s not a masterpiece. It is cute though, don’t you think?

It did remind me, however, of an important leadership principle. Don’t quickly dismiss:

  • Random thoughts
  • Chance encounters
  • Informal brainstorming
  • Unformed ideas
  • Impossible dreams

Some of the best long-term ideas for an organization originate outside the traditional and formal settings. Don’t shy away from ideas, which can’t easily be figured out or seem incomplete at the time. You may just stumble on a masterpiece.

BTW, what should I call my new character?

Leading One Who Wants to be Led vs. One Who Wants to be a Leader

There is a big difference the way you lead someone who wants to be led and how you lead someone who wants to be a leader.

It requires a different approach.

The person who wants to be led desires structure. They want to follow the rules. They need someone to tell them how to do what you want done. He or she needs specifics and details, not ambiguities. They stress more during times of uncertainty.

The person who wants to be a leader needs space to dream, freedom to explore, and permission to experiment. He or she desires less direction and more encouragement. They continually need new challenges. They get bored easily.

There is nothing wrong with either person. Most teams need both types of team members. Know your team.

Do you see the difference? Which are you? What would you add to my descriptions?

Read THIS POST and THIS POST for similar thought processes.

The Power of 7…Popular Blog Posts

I have found 7 to be a popular number with blog posts. This week I even did an experiment. I posted four posts in a row with 7 principles in each. It prove to be a very successful week, with more interaction than usual. Seven is a Biblical number of completion. I’m not suggesting there is something to that trivia here, but I do believe there is something at work here. What do you think?

Here are my 15 most popular “7″ posts:

7 Ways I Protect My Heart and Marriage from an Affair

7 Reasons You Need Social Media as a Christian Leader

7 Dangers of Leading in Isolation

7 Actions for the Times God is Silent

7 Pieces of Wisdom for the Disappointments of Life

7 Reactions to Fatigue (What Happens When I’m Tired)

7 Tips for Healthy Marriage Communication

7 Ways to Keep a Leader on Your Team

7 Reasons Leaders Quit Your Organization

7 Values Of Brokenness

7 Tips For Surviving The Terrible Threes Of Parenting

7 Ways To Recover After A Major Failure Or Mistake

7 Things I Should Have Taught My Sons

7 Top Needs of a Wife

7 False Beliefs of the Leadership Vacuum

The titles speak for themselves. Which do you need to read or read again?

Do you think there is any significance to the number 7 in a post?

BTW, Thanks so much for being a reader of this blog. You can always help by linking to this post on your site, adding it to your reader, or telling your friends.

7 Reasons You Need Social Media as a Christian Leader

So maybe “need” is too strong of a word. Perhaps you can do everything I will suggest as reasons to be involved with social media without social media (Although I would question how well you can these days) but I don’t think anyone could argue social media is not a large part of our culture today. Because it is such an influence, today’s successful leaders, including those in the church, must figure out how to make it work for them and make their ministries even more successful.

For me that currently means Twitter, Facebook and blogging. Not everyone has to do all three, but I have found them to each have unique benefits in my ministry.  (I have written about how I use these tools HERE and HERE.)

Here are 7 reasons you should be using social media:

Networking with people who are making a difference. I get to interact with and learn from church leaders who have already walked where I am walking. Most of these connections would never be possible apart from social media.

Go where people are. The number one way my church contacts me is through Facebook. The people I’m trying to reach and minister to spend more time on Facebook than they do in the church on Sunday.

You’ll meet great friends. I have met some of my closest friends in ministry these days through social media. No, we don’t keep the friendship to an exclusive online friendship, but the friendships did begin online.

Keep updated on breaking news. Although I have limited time to keep up with all the latest fads, by following the right people and blogs through Twitter, I know quickly what is taking place around the world in the fields of politics, technology, and ministry.

Wise use of time. People think the opposite is true, but the reality is that social media makes me more effective. I have a heart to influence people for good. As pastor of a large church I’m expected to minister to large groups of people. Social media allows me to make a difference more efficiently.  You are reading this, aren’t you?  (BTW, if my social media activity is influencing you, I’d love to hear about it.)

Breaks down barriers between people. It seems harder to get to know people today. They are more guarded and less trusting. When I Tweet (which updates my Facebook) People get a glimpse into the real me and I become more personal to the people in my church and online community. In turn, people are more likely to allow me into the deepest parts of their life when they see me as authentic and approachable.

Stay current with culture. Like it or not, culture determines much of how we are able to reach people. People are doing social media. To continue to allow culture to work for Kingdom grown rather than against it we must remain current with social media.

That’s some of my reasoning. Why and how do you use social media?

7 Dangers of Leading in Isolation

I sat with a new pastor recently trying to hold a church together long enough to help it build again. The previous pastor left town, after a series of bad decisions; some the church is still finding out about each new day.

Sadly, I see it all the time. This pastor suffered from the same temptation any pastor faces. His number one problem in my opinion: He was leading in isolation. He had no one on the inside of his life who knew him well enough to know when something was wrong and could confront him when necessary.

Leading in isolation is displayed in numerous ways to the detriment of the organization. I see 7 clear dangers of leading in isolation:

Moral failure – Without accountability in place, many people will make bad decisions because no one appears to be looking. We are more susceptible to temptation when we are alone.

Burnout – There is an energy we gain from sharing life with other people. When the leader feels he or she is alone the likelihood of burning out, emotional stress and even depression increases.

Leadership Vacuum – The leader is clueless to the real problems in the organization and is fooled into believing everything (including the leader) is wonderful. (I wrote about the leadership vacuum HERE and HERE.)

Control Freak – The leader panics when others question him or her. He or she tries to control every decision.

Limits other people – The leader in isolation fails to communicate, invest, and release, which keeps others leaders from developing on the team.

Limits leader – The isolated leader never reaches his or her full potential as a leader, because he shuts out influences, which would help him or her grow.

Limits organization – In the end, the leader who leads in isolation keeps the organization from being all that it can be. Because the leader sets the bar (read more about that thought HERE), if the leader is in isolation the organization will suffer.

Leaders, are you living in isolation? Do you need to get out of the protective shell you’ve made for yourself? The health and future success of your organization depends on it.

(I realize many pastors of smaller churches feel they have no option, but to lead in isolation. You feel you have no one you can truly trust in your church and you have isolated yourself, for various reasons, from others in the community. As hard as it may seem, and as great as the risk may appear, you must find a few people to share your struggles with to avoid these dangers. If you need help, please email me today.)

What would you add to my list as a danger of leading in isolation?