Leadership Posts

Catalyst One Day Conference Notes

Andy and Craig - Catalyst One Day EventToday a bunch of us from Central attended the Catalyst One Day event in Glendale. It is 4 sessions with Andy Stanley (Northpoint) and Craig Groeschel (Lifechurch.tv). Here are some of their ideas that stood out to me:

“What you become aware of drives your discontentment.” Andy Stanley

“The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be is the painful decisions you are unwilling to make.” Craig Groeschel

“Design your ministry around your values, not the other way around.” Craig Groeschel

“You can ‘how’ a ‘what’ to death.” Andy Stanley

“God also guides by where He does not provide.” Craig Groeschel

“The more you need to know [in your organization], the more you’ll limit what God can do through you.” Craig Groeschel

“Over time, sustaining the model can become the mission.” Andy Stanley

“Where are we manufacturing energy? (What are we pretending is awesome that we know isn’t?)” Andy Stanley

“‘Make disciples’ is the mission. It’s not ‘keep the Christians happy.'” Andy Stanley

The Tension of an Emerging Leader

I recently wrote a blog post for Clark ProMedia’s website about being a young leader in the church today. Please check it out and I’d be very grateful if you’d leave a comment on their site in response.

Clark ProMedia

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Here is another great talk from the TED conference. In it, Steven Johnson unpacks some of the great ideas of history and tries to trace them back to where they actually originated. At first, this may seem like a tangent of a project, but one of his examples in particular shows how critical this is.

Johnson talks about a problem in developing countries where they were given a $40k piece of medical equipment, like a baby incubator for premature babies, that work fine for a couple of years but then usually break somehow. Because the developing country can’t afford the replacement parts, and doesn’t have people trained to know how to fix them, these devices were rendered useless. But then someone came up with the great idea to build one of these out of car parts, since cars are readily available even in poorer countries. Thus the neonurture car-parts incubator was born and has been saving countless lives since.

neonurture car parts incubator

Here’s how the National Design Triennial described the invention:

“Four million babies, mostly from the world’s poorest regions, die within a month of birth every year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if a working incubator were available. Currently, neonatal incubators donated to developing countries last less than five years, some due to electrical surges or brownouts, others from lack of training on how to use them. The nonprofit organization Design that Matters teamed with the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology, a global-health consortium, to address this urgent need to produce Neonurture, a durable, low cost neonatal incubator and isolation unit.

Understanding the system in which the incubator would be produced, used, maintained, and distributed was fundamental. Doctors in the field noted that the small trucks, cars, and motorcycles used by aid agencies could be found in the remotest of locations, along with distribution chains for replacement parts and the mechanics to repair them. A modular prototype incubator was developed using these vehicle parts: headlights to generate heat, filters for clean air convection and filtration, alarms to alert caregivers, and a motorcycle battery for power. Plans are to train mechanics to be medical technologists and to conduct clinical trials with the next-generation model, with the ultimate goal to create regional manufacturing systems to build local infrastructure and clinical skills.”

What good ideas are you working on?

Never Be the Smartest Guy in the Room

Here is a terrific article from a guy named Phil Johnson about surrounding yourself with a team of people smarter than yourself. This is hard for the typical leader to do, but it probably is the biggest factor in taking you beyond where you are.

Here’s one of the things Phil says in the article:

“Look for people who have accomplished a goal, or solved a problem, that you personally aspired to achieve and couldn’t. Make them tell you how they did it. Put your own convictions and beliefs on the table. Ask them to convince you of something new or, better yet, to change your perspective. Find out their sources. What do they read? Who do they admire? Where do they look for inspiration? I like to see people making connections that would never cross my mind.”

Drive pt. 2

Here is a great add on from my post yesterday. It is a video of Daniel Pink explaining the concept of his book in a super creative format. Profound content + creative presentation = potential for change.


Daniel Pink - DriveI recently finished Daniel Pink’s book called Drive along with a handful of the leadership team at Central. I absolutely loved the counter-intuitive nature of the content and how much it reminded me of a good Malcolm Gladwell book. If you lead anybody, employees or kids or anyone else to who you have influence, this book is a must read. Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me:

“Harlow offered a novel theory–what amounted to a third drive: ‘The performance of the task,’ he said, ‘provided intrinsic reward.'”

“Companies that typically rely on external rewards to manage their employees run some of their most important systems with products created by nonemployees who don’t seem to need such rewards.”

“Partly because work has become more creative and less routine, it has also become more enjoyable. That, too, scrambles Motivation 2.0’s assumptions. This operating system rests on the belief that work is not inherently enjoyable–which is precisely why we must coax people with external rewards and threaten them with outside punishment.”

“Human beings have a innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

“In a ROWE [Results Only Work Environment] workplace, people don’t have schedules. They show up when they want. They don’t have to be in the office at a certain time–or any time, for that matter. They just have to get their work done. How they do it, when they do it, and where they do it is up to them.”

“We forget sometimes that ‘management’ does not emanate from nature. It’s not like a tree or a river. It’s like a television or a bicycle. It’s something that humans invented.”

“The opposite of autonomy is control. And since they sit at different poles of the behavioral compass, they point us toward different destinations. Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.”