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Leadership

Thoughts and insights on how to be a better leader.

Prove or Improve

By Leadership
What is the difference between an average leader and an exceptional leader? It's the same as what separates a good teacher from a great teacher - or a decent athlete from a champion. The difference lies in the way they think. And the way they think influences the way they act. So, how do the top-performers think differently? According to researchers Carol Dweck and Heidi Grant, it's approaching a challenge with a “performance improve” mindset instead of a "performance prove" mindset. But what does that mean? A salesperson with a "performance prove" mindset has to win - nothing else is acceptable. They are only focused on the outcome. Whether or not they learn from the process isn't important. It's all about winning. Contrast that with a salesperson who also wants to sign the deal but approaches the situation with a "performance improve" mindset. They analyze, debrief, deconstruct, and reflect on...
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Recharge Reinvent or Resign – Part Three

By Leadership
Recharge, Reinvent, or Resign - Part Three Leaders in every generation have faced challenges. In the early days of the Jesus movement, church leaders were thrown to the lions (literally!) by Roman emperors. In modern times, leaders have navigated civil wars, civil rights, and economic depressions and recessions. Those are the large, public challenges. Then there's the personal ones: depression, discouragement, stress, critics, and fatigue. As I survey the leadership landscape at the end of 2021, I believe it is the most challenging extended season of my 30+ years of leading organizations. I will be addressing three ways a leader can approach this season of life and leadership. Each of them are equally valid, depending on your situation and the needs of your organization. If we lead long enough, we will likely experience all three. Click here to read the first post or second post. Resign Your Leadership Ouch! Just...
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Recharge Reinvent or Resign – Part Two

By Leadership
Recharge, Reinvent, or Resign - Part Two Leaders in every generation have faced challenges. In the early days of the Jesus movement, church leaders were thrown to the lions (literally!) by Roman emperors. In modern times, leaders have navigated civil wars, civil rights, and economic depressions and recessions. Those are the large, public challenges. Then there's the personal ones: depression, discouragement, stress, critics, and fatigue. As I survey the leadership landscape at the end of 2021, I believe it is the most challenging extended season of my 30+ years of leading organizations. I will be addressing three ways a leader can approach this season of life and leadership. Each of them are equally valid, depending on your situation and the needs of your organization. If we lead long enough, we will likely experience all three. Click here to read the first post. Reinvent Your Leadership I love our country for...
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Recharge Reinvent or Resign – Part One

By Leadership
Recharge, Reinvent, or Resign - Part One Leaders in every generation have faced challenges. In the early days of the Jesus movement, church leaders were thrown to the lions (literally!) by Roman emperors. In modern times, leaders have navigated civil wars, civil rights, and economic depressions and recessions. Those are the large, public challenges. Then there's the personal ones: depression, discouragement, stress, critics, and fatigue. As I survey the leadership landscape at the end of 2021, I believe it is the most challenging extended season of my 30+ years of leading organizations. Starting with this post, I want to address three ways a leader can approach this season of life and leadership. Each of them are equally valid, depending on your situation and the needs of your organization. If we lead long enough, we will likely experience all three. Recharge Your Leadership Here comes what I know will be an...
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Counting and Measuring

By Leadership
As senior leaders, we are responsible for shepherding the overall health and wellbeing of our organizations and teams. To do so effectively, we must have access to good information. Without good information to guide our decisions, it's easy to pursue priorities and projects that may actually be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of our organization. At lower levels of leadership, this access to good information is often first-hand -- it's right there in front of us. If you lead a single team, you can assess fairly quickly how that team (and individual team members) are doing. But as you move up the leadership level, your access to first-hand information becomes less and less. You become more dependent on others to provide both the information itself and the interpretation of that information. But all information and its subsequent interpretations aren't equal. While the information may be accurate, how it is...
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