“I was just another believer. I believed all the right stuff—that Jesus is the Son of God, died and rose again. I had become a “believer,” but I had no idea what it means to be a follower. People had taught me what Christians believe, but no one had told me how Christians live.”—Shane Claiborne The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (Kindle Locations 292-294). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
#CreativeCoaching Session 003: w/ @LosWhit - What I Learned
Yeah, I took another prayer screen shot… : )
It’s that time again. I threw on my #BeatsbyDre and popped into #AdobeConnect to meet up with a group of people that I can say I’m truly starting to connect with. We began by talking through some of our creative projects and how they are progressing.
We laughed about how uncomfortable we each were. We saw some awesome bonsai tree growth and gave updates on life, love, and other mysteries (Point Of Grace anyone?)
After some laughs we dug right into our topic for the day… #EVALUATION.
It’s obvious that we should constantly evaluating. We need to evaluate our spiritual lives, our home lives, our ministries, our hobbies, our volunteers, our environments… you get the idea. If we don’t evaluate we can’t learn and we can’t get better.
So how good are we at evaluting ourselves? Do we look at both the good and bad? Are we honest? I’ll say this is something that, I feel, NewPointe does very well. Carlos even mentioned the #360PeerEvaluations as a useful tool for personal evaluation.
Before we dug to deep into ourselves we looked at the past. Part of evaluating means looking at others from the past, present, and future that we can learn from.
We looked at the past generations of Billy Graham and asked about what we could learn from them. One of my initial thoughts is that we don’t pray like Billy did. Sometimes I feel like we pray to fill time and transition or just to say that we have. I don’t want to be guilty of getting by on my own strength and not living in the faith/trust/risk of following Jesus with everything.
Carlos shared a quote from Matt Chandler of The Village Church on that same thought:
"There are so many churches who are pulling off church without Jesus…"
I never want to be guilty of that.
As part of our own self evaluation we were tasked with creating a “My Day Yesterday” video. This is a 90 second video made of up quick shots from your day. There’s not fancy editing and no added background music. It’s simple. But it gives an idea of what you actually spend your day doing.
I’m learning a lot in these sessions and am super excited to continue to grow and stretch.
Kristin knows what she thinks of things. She has a strong will and is opinionated. That may sound bad but it’s not. She sees things most often in black and white and holds her ground on her beliefs.
I’m not the easiest person to live with. Kristin and I often have different thoughts on how to do something. I’m also very easily distracted and zone out frequently and she has to repeat things multiple times. While she sometimes gets frustrated with me most of the time she is calm and patient with me.
Kristin is a processor if there is a task at hand she has a step by step list on how to accomplish the goal.
Along with having step by step lists Kristin thinks of things well in advance. She plans out meals weeks ahead and even thinks about calorie counts for me. It’s a little thing but it helps me out a whole lot. She also has loads of things on her mind all at once. How she keeps from going crazy I am not sure.
BURDENED FOR THE HUNGRY
As long as I have known Kristin she has had a desire to serve the poor and needy. If there is a service project for her to get involved with she will. It’s her favorite ministry to be a part of and I think she considers it her most genuine act of worship.
DESIRE TO GROW
Kristin is willing to stretch herself to get better at just about anything. Working out, being a mom, a better cook, a better wife, a better follower of Jesus. Her hard work ethic and determination are an excellent combination in her quest to grow.
Kristin is very driven and passionate. She thinks through things and has a good idea of what she is looking for in a situation and in life. She doesn’t do anything halfway.
Kristin values and exemplifies honesty in all she does and says. She’s not one to stretch the truth even a bit. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her lie.
UNDERSTANDS ME MORE THAN I DO
I don’t have to say a thing for Kristin to know what I’m thinking or feeling. She knows me very well and can often point out how the root of my feelings before I can. If I am having a problem or struggling to figure something out she can normally pinpoint an answer.
Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud - Book Review
Necessary Endings was tasked to me by our creative director at NewPointe Community Church in order to help stretch me as a leader and I can see why. I don’t like conflict. I have never liked it. I back down from fights. I like to be friends with everyone. I’m fairly social. I don’t like making people mad. All of the things that I just said are things I need to conquer as a leader.
The book Necessary Endings stresses the importance of a healthy organization that comes from “pruning”. He uses the analogy of a rose bush and how if you let it get over grown and never cut off the old growth, new growth can never happen.
Dr. Cloud encourages the reader to view their business/relationships/life with this “pruning” model in mind. What things/people/environments/products are in your business right now that are not sustainable, that are old growth, that need to be pruned?
There’s obviously tension when it comes to pruning… and I don’t mean how your toes get “pruned” in the bathtub if you sit in there too long as a kid. I mean the tension that comes from the hard conversations that come with “pruning”, the people who will be hurt, the anger that will likely rise to the surface, and the other changes that will occur as a result of your pruning.
Pruning is a form of change. Change causes tension. Tension brings growth.
Necessary Endings is about how to best determine what things in your business/relationships/life need to be ended and how to end them well.
This is a must read book. Still gleaning lots as a I continue to go through my notes.
At #SEEDSCONF this past spring I was recommended this little book by Andrea Vibe to help with vocal warm-ups and technique. This is something I’m wanting to grow in as a musician/creative/worship leader and decided to take the plunge and grab the book.
I’ve been singing for a number of years and have never taken the time to do vocal warm ups. It’s starting to show. I’ve never really learned how to sing properly. So it was a welcome adventure diving into this book and these exercises. The book comes with a vocal exercise CD with tracks for both male and female vocalists. I’m planning on using these with my team during vocal rehearsals from now on.
Within a few moments I was learning things I had never known. Did you know that swelling of the vocal cords from voice misuse is called edema? Tension in your life can also lead to poor voice technique. You sing your best when you are relaxed. That means you have to be able to rid yourself of mental and physical tension. Andrea gives some amazing tips on how to do just that. Everything from mental preparations to stretches help relax the vocalist so he/she can focus on performing well.
My biggest criticisms of the book is that it seems like you pay a lot for what you get. $25 for a 95 page books seems steep. Don’t let the price worry you. The tools and knowledge I gained from this book are worth far more than the cost of the book. While it only took one sitting to finish this book, it’s not designed to read once and ignore but rather a tool to daily go back to.
If you’re wanting to grow in your singing ability this book is a great resource.
I had the privilege of hearing Lee Cockerell speak at this past years #SEEDSCONF in Tulsa Oklahoma at Church On The Move. He spoke with such passion about #Disney and the pride he takes in those he leads. I bought his book on my iPad 2 about mid-way through his talk. I’ve not regretted it.
If you’re anyone, anywhere in the world, you’ve heard of Walt Disney and Disney World. Mickey Mouse is an international symbol for family, fun, and excitement. Disney has come to be a face for innovation and creativity. This emanates from every page of this book.
Lee shares personal stories from his early years and present victories and struggles in the business world. He offers advice to leaders on various strategies in order to help your business succeed. The reality is that the way your business succeeds is if your employees succeed and your employees succeed if you succeed. So much of this book is about how to interact with and value people, not just the consumer but the employee as well. He begins with these insights to that thought:
It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic.
Take care of your people, and they will take care of your business, not just because they have to but because they want to.
Whenever everyone matters and everyone knows he or she matters, employees are happy to come to work, and they’re eager to give you their energy creativity, respect, and loyalty.
RAVE: Respect, appreciate and value everyone.
Become a COACH: care, observe, act, communicate, help.
Lee promotes a top down leadership approach to life. If your own personal life is balanced and in check then it’s more than likely your other areas of influence will benefit from this balance. He speaks often in the book of constantly growing and bettering yourself as a leader:
One reason I did so well was that I made self-improvement a regular part of my routine.
I was constantly listening to tapes and reading books about management. But what proved even more valuable were the vital life lessons I learned on the job.
In the long run, balanced people with lives outside work were usually the best employees.
Leaders who demand excellence need to model excellence, or else they have no credibility.
Great leaders need to be lifelong learners. In today’s ever-changing world, keeping up with the times is absolutely critical. No matter what business or industry you are in, if you don’t stay current with what’s going on - from social and cultural developments to technological breakthroughs to world news - your competition will zoom ahead of you, your customers will abandon you, and you won’t be able to meet the responsibilities of leadership.
Be a knowledge sponge.
Creating Magic reminds the reader of the necessity to love what it is you do and feel passionate about it. What you “do” should be part of your life, not just something you do to make money. If you don’t love what you do it will always feel like hard, busy, pointless work.
Near the close of chapter 12, Lee makes a statement that I feel summarizes the message of this book. It strikes deep:
At the end of your life, no one will care what titles you once held, or how much money you made, or what big shot you thought you were. If you really care about your legacy - and you should if you want to be a great leader - then take a long, close look at your values and the principles on which they are based. If your character is strong, and you build your actions faithfully on that foundation, you will be remembered as a leader worthy of being followed.
Fairness, honesty, respect for others, cooperation, integrity, courage, caring: These and similar virtues are what give you moral authority, and that is the strongest most lasting kind of authority a leader can have. When you have that moral authority, people will trust you and and believe in you, and then you can accomplish anything you dream of.
Creating Magic is an amazing book on the heart of what it takes to be a strong and successful leader in business and in life. It’s a good read and has many practically applicable principles.