What is your song right now?

We’ve always got one song that we seem to hit replay on over and over again.

Right now, for me it is With Everything, by Hillsong. Amazing song.

Farming and Leadership

I’m an Oklahoma boy. Always will be. Grew up in Oklahoma just outside of Tulsa (Bristow- ever been there?)

When you grow up in Oklahoma, especially as a boy, you learn about farming at an early age, even if you don’t live on a farm. It’s just in the DNA of your childhood in small towns in Oklahoma. 

It’s hard-wired into my DNA. My grandparents were farmers/ranchers. I learned a lot from them- many things that now are life lessons and have shaped me as a leader, but at the time seemed unimportant. 

Now as I look back, especially when it comes to leadership, there are a number of lessons from Farming that apply to my world as a leader- and I believe are applicable to all of us as leaders. Here are a few: 

1. Farming, just like Leadership, is both an ART and a SCIENCE. If you focus on one over the other, you’ll mess it up. 

2. Farming and Leadership require intuitiveness– the right hunches at the right time. Making the right decision is many times not about being “right” but instead just making a decision. 

3. The idea of “seasons” is incredibly important to a farmer; leaders also have to understand the concept of a season, especially as it relates to the season of a project or your team and the rhythm of your year. If you don’t allow your team to rest from a season of intensity, you’ll burn em out- same with a field; it’s called crop rotation. 

4. Cultivating a great harvest takes a lot of work. You don’t just plant a seed and it automatically turns into fruit. You have to do the work “under the soil” to get the fruit “above the soil.” Patience. 

There are more, but we’ll save those for Part II next week.

A father, son, friend and IJM

This is a great story. LV Hanson sits down with some Catalyst friends in the DC area recently as part of the Catalyst National Tour. Pastor T.L. Rogers and his son Pastor Perrin Rogers and Joshua Symonette share a story of their connections, how they got to know each other, and now their connection and involvement with IJM

You can watch part 2 of this video here.

Programming meeting

We are three weeks away. Now in the refining stage. A few shots from this mornings meeting. Los and Shinabarger and Lanny were MVP’s of the morning.

Best College Football Coach of the Decade

So there’s been lots of discussion over the past year regarding my Best College Team of the Decade post. After last year’s win by Florida over Oklahoma, I would probably have to add Florida to my mix of USC, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. 

But what about the best coach of the Decade? Well, here is my current top five: 

5. Mack Brown- he leads the big rival school at Texas, but he’s a heck of a coach. And probably the best recruiter in the country.

4. Jim Tressel- classy, traditional, and a great fit at Ohio State. He’s been a winner everywhere he’s coached. 

3. Bob Stoops- even though he’s having a hard time winning the big games lately, he’s still built a great program at Oklahoma. Top Five team consistently since he started. 

2. Pete Carroll- great leader and probably the best program the last 10 years at USC. Players love to play for him, and he’s a guy you’d love to hang with. Love his style. 

1. Urban Meyer- this guy’s a winner. Built an amazing program at Utah, and has two championships in the last three years at Florida. And plays in the toughest conference in the country. 

Let the conversation begin. Who you got? Who would you put #1?

To Do’s and Not to Do’s as an author, blogger and thought leader

A couple of months ago, I had dinner with Jon Acuff, the uber popular blogger and soon to be author of Stuff Christians Like. We had a great conversation on several issues, and Jon asked some great questions- one of which was “what should I be aware of as a soon to be first-time author?” 
I really respect Jon’s willingness to learn from others, and to seek out folks in his life that can keep him grounded. 
So here were the five big points I gave him on the issue of becoming an author and being a thought leader. But these points I think are applicable to any of us as leaders. Here you go: 

1. Actively Build a Support Network- Beware of CEO disease, the temptation to surround yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear. Keep honest people in your life so that you can stay grounded in the reality of your experiences.

2. Don’t think You’ve Arrived- Banish the phrase, “I’m done” from your vocabulary. The best leaders never stop learning and see every opportunity, success or failure, as a learning opportunity.

3. Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re not a big deal. Seriously. I don’t care who you are. Humility is way more attractive than arrogance. 

4. Celebrate Your Rivals- Jealously is natural, but how you respond to it is not. When you find yourself tempted to speak ill about a rival or secretly wrestle with jealousy, flip that emotion on its head. Find ways to celebrate your rivals and when you run into a new one, let the first question you ask yourself be, “How can I help this person win?”

5. Flow between the five stages of creative development, don’t get stuck in one. Taken in concert, these five stages can be healthy, important parts of growing any creative endeavor. Isolated and obsessed on, any one of these stages can cripple your best intentions. Focus on moving between them. The key is to not just hang out in the “caretaker” stage, where you protect and defend everything you’ve developed, instead of returning to the “craft” stage. 

– Craft – You create something out of passion for the art of it.

– Crowd – An audience discovers you’re good at your passion.

– Commission – You earn money for the thing you love to do.

– Career – You turn a passion into your profession.

– Caretaker – You protect and nurture the thing you’ve created, and do everything you can to “defend” your turf. A dangerous phase.

Interview with Andy Stanley

Recently had the chance to sit down with Andy Stanley, founder of North Point Ministries and Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church. As you probably know, Andy has been involved with Catalyst since the very beginning in 2000, and is one of the greatest communicators on the planet, period. And when it comes to leadership, I don’t know anyone else better.

In this interview, we discuss at length his own personal leadership process, talk a bit about North Point Online, and also get a glimpse into a typical day/week for Andy. 

You can listen via the Catalyst website or go to itunes and subscribe/download the interview.