Week Review (or start)- Highlights

A week in review. Highlights. Bullets. 

– got to hang with my friends earlier this week from Hillsong United who are currently on a tour in the US. Their new album Across the Earth: Tear Down the Walls has been in the top five on itunes all week. Among all albums! Go buy it now if you haven’t already. 

– the Hillsong United concert on Wednesday night was amazing. We took our entire Catalyst team- 15 seats! Thanks for the hook up Luke Webb!! Luke is the incredible Manager for Hillsong. Plus, it seemed like every musician in Atlanta was there. Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Steve Fee, Christy and Nathan Nockels, Carlos Whittaker, and probably tons of others who I didn’t see. 

new Catalyst podcast episode is up, featuring an interview with best-selling author Andy Andrews. Ken and I also talk about my trip to Rwanda. Stream on the Catalyst website or download from itunes

Dustin Ahkuoi and the team at 12 Stone Church did Bohemian Rhapsody during the service this morning. It was off the charts. Dustin can flat out sing. If you haven’t seen Dustin perform, check this out. 

– Attended Eddie Kirkland’s CD Release party in Buckhead on Thursday night. This album is unique. Very Keane-esque. You might have heard Eddie at Catalyst or North Point or Orange or other events. This album has been on my play list for the last couple of weeks. Buy his album here

Swatch and MTV have teamed up for a unique creative contest being hosted by Behance, the network of creative professionals created by Scott Belsky. Scott is speaking at Catalyst Labs this October. Check out this unique project

– Mike Hyatt had a great post last week on “Leadership 2.0” and how the next generation of leaders are different. 

– The Catalyst interns are officially here for the summer. This was their first full week. I need to think of some more pranks to pull on them. 

– Catalyst East programming meeting earlier this week with Lanny, Reggie, Ken, Jeff, Brian, Melissa, and others. We’re cooking up some pretty cool stuff for October. Let’s just say that “On Your Mark” as a theme offers lots of opportunities for some fun creative elements…..Plus, the best speaker line-up we’ve ever assembled. Andy, Louie, Ramsey, Tony Dungy, Malcolm Gladwell, Rob Bell, Swindoll, Matt Chandler, Shane Hipps, Francis Chan, and many others…. Are you kidding me????!!!!!!!

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Most Creative People in Business

Check out Fast Company’s most recent cumulative list highlighting the 100 Most Creative People in Business. This is a good list to check out for several reasons:

1. know who these people are; they are the ones leading conversations and setting trends.

2. call them and ask them if you can learn from them; in some cases, you can hire them to consult with you.

3. read their blogs and tweets and listen to their talks; friend them on facebook; reach out and become a friend.

It’s one thing to just read an article or list and be aware. It’s another to take action and reach out.

The Next Wave. Wow.

I usually wouldn’t post a link to a video that is over one hour in length, but this is monumental and a presentation of a product that will redefine the way we communicate through email, IM, SMS, blogs, and other means. Meet the product known as GOOGLE WAVE, the next big thing. Wow. 

The engineers working on this product also developed Google Maps, so they’ve got some experience in rolling out a major life-changing application. 

If you want to be aware of where online communication is heading, watch this. It will be rolled out in the next several months. 

Hillsong United

Yeah it is on in the ATL. United is here from Sydney rockin the house.

Vote for Rudy Vaughn- Battle of the Bands!

My friend Rudy Vaughn and band (which includes Catalyst’s own Dustin Ahkuoi) recently entered Hard Rock Cafe’s Ambassadors of Rock Battle of the Bands contest. After 3 rounds the band has made it to the top 5 in the country. There is one final round and it is an online vote. Please vote for Rudy Vaughn! The winning band gets to perform at the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London with Bruce Springsteen, The Killers, Dave Matthews and others. 

Rudy has been a musician the last two years at Catalyst, and also was part of the band at Orange Conference this year. He is a music leader at 12 Stone Church. 

Over 150 bands entered this year’s Battle of the Bands at Hard Rock Cafes all over North America. 

Again, please vote for Rudy Vaughn’s band. Thanks for helping out! 


Succession: Transitioning Leadership

Succession, simply the transition of leadership or power, is very difficult for most companies or organizations. Whether a Fortune 50 like GE, Wal-Mart, or Apple; a non-profit like the Red Cross, Focus on the Family, or World Vision; a small startup or family held business; in any case this is a tough one to get it right. 

Large companies put millions of dollars into making sure succession is smooth and seemless. Look at Apple– succession from Steve Jobs to whoever the next CEO will be could literally cost the company billions of dollars in market capitalization, and even more in brand equity. It is a huge issue for the long term health of the company.

Family held businesses or “founder-driven” organizations are really at risk of bad succession plans. Most founders of organizations can’t let go, and drive everyone crazy around them. Especially in companies that are highly missional- founders are great at starting and building, but usually terrible at letting go and allowing the organization to grow without them. 

Here in America, we do a really good job of succession when it comes to our President. It is a civil and democratic process. Not the case in other parts of the world, especially in third world and developing countries. Leaders hold onto power and do everything they can to stay in the seat of President or Prime Minister way long after they should be there. Usually because the power of their position corrupts their realities at the deepest levels. I believe this is one of the major issues for these countries- bad succession leads to internal strife, violence and disruptions in growth. These leaders not only hold onto to their power, but fail to develop any other leaders around them to take over. Paul Kigame, the President of Rwanda, however, is an exception to this. Even though Rwanda is still a developing country, President Kigame has been influenced by western business and governmental leaders, and is building a strong infrastructure around him of young leaders who will be able to step in. 

What about you? Are you currently leading? Whether a team, a company, a non-profit, or a Fortune 50, you should be thinking about succession. How are you replacing yourself? If you are not thinking about this, you are neglecting a core part of your responsibility.

The Future of Work

Interesting article recently in Time Magazine on the future of work, and specifically what the workplace and work environments will look like for Gen X’ers and Gen Y over the next 20-30 years. 

As the article mentions, think of how much the workplace has changed in the last 10 years. And especially the last 20 years! Personal computers for everyone, the rise of the internet, social media, free-agent workers, telecommuting, facebook and twitter, etc. 

I am sure as more and more Gen X’ers take over companies, there will be a strong move towards working from home and major freedom for employees. Plus, you’ll continue to see a rise in the amount of socially “conscious” companies. 

What else do you think we’ll see or experience in the next 10-20 years with the future of work?