Archives For Books


I am reading the book, Leading With A Limp by Dan B. Allender, and I had to share 4 quotes from this chapter on how our imperfections and failures help us succeed as leaders.

TAKE-A-WAY: We all need to see someone we respect lead in a way that stimulates a picture of what could be in a situation.

Leaders are not born, nor are they trained. They are imagined. Indeed, some leaders seem to slide from birth into positions of power, and training can enhance such a person’s leadership capacity. However, the guts to lead, fail, and grow come from seeing someone else do what you could not have imagined, but now can. (Kindle loc 993)

TAKE-A-WAY: Failure is inevitable. Don’t brace yourself for it. Embrace it.

No one can enter the tough terrain of leadership and not fail…

Lead in a way that requires grace to be more real than competency. (Loc 999)

TAKE-A-WAY: Live a story and then lead a story by sharing your story.

God calls leaders to tell a story of redemption through their lives as they lead others in the redeeming story of God. Leaders are primarily storytellers and story makers; and troubled people are called to be leaders because they create and tell compelling stories. (Kindle loc 1009)

TAKE-A-WAY: I can’t lead people to experience something I don’t depend on daily.

Troubled leaders live with their weakness on their sleeve, and it is through their weakness that grace comes to be magnified. Weakness is the big idea of the gospel, which makes it good news for us-who are not terribly healthy, happy, or holy. God’s servant leaders are intended to call God’s people to repentance and faith. And what better way for God to do so than to first transform the leaders, who are the people who need grace even more than those they teach, encourage, and guide? (Kindle loc 1014-1015)

Opened my new Kindle Touch Wifi yesterday. My wife bought it for me as an anniversary gift since I broke my previous Kindle screen. Below is the video of me opening it – I know… a cheesy thing, but hey it was fun to do!

Here are my first thoughts on the Kindle Touch.

Ad Support

We bought the cheaper with the ad support. Don’t know if I like that idea yet. I might of shimmied up the extra bone$ to get the non-ad version, but they might become less obnoxious as the days transpire.

There is an ad on the main screen when the Kindle Touch is asleep. There is also a small banner ad at the bottom of the “home screen.”

I had hacked my previous Kindle to show my own images and not the preloaded images. I do miss that. The ads aren’t as pretty as my wife. I wish they would not have the ad on the bottom of the homescreen. I feel defrauded as I thought the ads would only be on the sleep screen.

Touch-“ability”

I am spoiled with the iPhone’s ecosystem of touch-ability, so I was a little skeptical as to how they could pull this technology off on an e-ink reader.

To my surprise, the touch technology is easy and accommodating.

To access the “menu” you touch the screen at the top and it brings up the navigation options.

To turn a page you can touch the right/left side to go to the next/previous page.

To advance to the next chapter you can swipe up the screen or swipe down to go back a chapter.

To highlight, touch the word for a sec and then drag your finger to the end of the highlight. I don’t know how to highlight if the passage continues to the next page. Any hints you have would be welcomed.

To look a word up or add a note, touch the word for a sec and the menu options will appear.

The keyboard is accurate and responds quicker than I anticipated.

Overall Response

I think this is a great buy for the avid reader, but you will need a new case! The Kindle Touch has the same screen size but because it doesn’t have a tactile keyboard, so its a couple inches shorter.

Change is necessary when a discrepancy occurs between an actual set of events-something that is happening right now-and a desired set of events-what you would like to happen.
– From “Leading From a Higher Level” by Ken Blanchard

We all hate change, but change is imperative if we are to grow in our relationships, our business success, as leaders, as parents, and as Christ-Followers.

Have you asked yourself:

  • Am I where I want to be in 5 years?
  • Am I the type of parent or spouse I need to be?
  • Is my business where it should be?
  • Am I the type of Christ-follower God wants me to be?
  • Am I in the physical or emotional shape I need to be?
If your answer to these questions are “no,” then change is in your future. That’s not a comforting thought, because as humans, we don’t like change because change causes friction and discomfort. But change is necessary to get us from where we are to where we want to be or where God wants us to be.
When you apply change at an organizational level, the reverb of that change can be devastating on how a leader goes about leading the change.  Your organization could be a company of people you lead or it could be your family or school committee. Most all of us will be in a position to lead others through change.
In the book “Leading From a Higher Level,” the Blanchard team addresses 15 Reasons why change efforts fail. Here they are as they are listed in the book.
  1. People leading the change think that announcing the change is the same as implementing it.
  2. People’s concerns with change are not surfaced or addressed.
  3. Those being asked to change are not involved in planning the change.
  4. There is no compelling reason to change. The business case is not communicated.
  5. A compelling vision that excites people about the future has not been developed and communicated.
  6. The change leadership team does not include early adopters, resisters, or informal leaders.
  7. The change is not piloted, so the organization does not learn what is needed to support the change.
  8. Organizational systems and other initiatives are not aligned with the change.
  9. Leaders lose focus or fail to prioritize, causing “death by 1,000 initiatives.”
  10. People are not enabled or encouraged to build new skills.
  11. Those leading the change are not credible. They under communicate, give mixed messages, and do not model the behaviors the change requires.
  12. Progress is not measured, and/or no one recognizes the changes that people have worked hard to make.
  13. People are not held accountable for implementing the change.
  14. People leading the change fail to respect the power of the culture to kill the change.
  15. Possibilities and options are not explored before a specific change is chosen.

Response

The response of someone from the paradigm of one who change is being implemented on will look at these change killers and say “yep…seen those reasons for change not happening in my world.”
Someone who is the role as the change agent might look at this list and feel overwhelmed.
The Blanchard team says that if you can effectively address the first 3 reasons the rest will follow suit.
As Andy Stanley put it: Direction, not intention determines your destination. In life, our direction will have to change in order to arrive to our desired destination. When we are not on a path to take us to that destination, change is necessary.

I’ve been reading “Sun Stand Still” by Steven Furtick this weekend. He mentions 4 comparisons worth taking a look at.

The opposite of pursuing  God’s vision for your life is survival mode.

The opposite of impossible is ordinary.

The opposite of audacity is complacency.

The opposite of audacious faith is passive unbelief.

Extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.

I don’t want to live in survival mode. I don’t want to be ordinary. I will not be complacent. I want God to help my unbelief. I want to obey God in what He has for me each day. I will pursue, not survive.

I don’t know how long Lee Strobel’s book, the Case for Christmas will be free, but you better get it while you can.

I recently finished Linchpin, by marketing and internet genius Seth Godin. Here is my brief overview the book:

Godin dismantles the modern theory of work with a very post-modern view of where the society is currently going. The principle of his book is based on the premise that everyone is an artist and we have a gift to give and bring to society and that gift is our art.

He rolls out the concept that our work and job are two separate things. Godin describes our job as what we do and our work as how we do it. The art of what we do makes us the “Linchpin” in our job. Every “Linchpin” adds “emotional labor” to their work, which enhances what they do on their job.

You get paid to go to work and do something of value. But your job is also a platform for generosity, for expression, for art.

– Linchpin (p. 57)

 

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does. (83)
Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another. (84)

Linchpin explains an artist gets joy when he/she gives away her art.

We are to do our job, but the work we do… the art is our gift to those around us. When we give our art away, we become indispensable. We become Linchpins.

This book is a great read for anyone wanting take it to the HNL (Hole-Nother-Level)

The only beef I have had with the ebook readers is the fact that you can’t share a book. But the Nook from Barnes & Noble has figured that out. So my desire for an eBook has now changed leaders. All Hail the Nook!

This book will transform the way you make decisions. I recently read The Best Question Ever for my third time as our Life Group studied it together. Here are some highlights from Andy Stanley’s book.

The Best Question Ever (By Andy Stanley)

In light of my past experience, current circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do?

Nobody plans to mess up their life. The problem is few of us plan not to. That is, we don’t put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure a happy ending.

We are good at deceiving ourselves… We can make a bad decision look and sound like a good decision.

Without a stationary reference point, it is impossible to ascertain where you are, where you aren’t, and where you ought to be.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

We rob ourselves when we make decisions in the moment with no thought of how these decisions will impact our future.

The future is what brings today’s choices into proper focus.

The wrong questions:
Can I afford it?
What will the monthly payment be?
How much can I borrow?
Is it on sale?
How much available equity do I have in my home?
Is it cheaper to lease?

Five things we do with our money:
1. Spend it
2. Repay debt
3. Pay taxes
4. Save it
5. Give it

Two things govern how much of your money goes toward each of these five categories: Priorities and Self-Control

God responds to generosity.

Nothing has stolen more dreams, dashed more hopes, broken up more families, and messed up more people psychologically than our propensity to disregard God’s commands regarding sexual purity.

Our greatest moral regrets are always preceded by a series of unwise choices. (114)

To leave yourself no margin for error morally is about the most insensitive thing you can do to those you love. (128)

Top 5 environments in which the seeds for moral failure are sown in the life of a married person:
1) Chatting online with members of the opposite sex.
2) Dinner after work with members of the opposite sex.
3) Working with a personal trainer of the opposite sex.
4) Counseling with members of the opposite sex.
5) Ladies night out dancing while husbands stay at home. (131)

You need to pre-decide about what are and what are not appropriate environments. (138)

Wise people know when they don’t know and are not so foolish as to pretend they do know.

Wisdom seeks counsel (152)

which_way_do_I_go

We have been going through “The Best Question Ever,” by Andy Stanley, in our Life Group. Last night we talked about “what we do when we don’t know what to do.”

Have you ever been there? Had multiple choices that all appear right.

We discussed several things in the group and reinforced them with what the author of the book teaches. Here are a couple of the things we discussed when we don’t know what to do:

  1. Ask for Wisdom: (James 1:5)
    Sometimes when we go through something life throws at us, we need to just stop and ask God to give us wisdom.
  2. Do Nothing: That seems illogical, but sometimes that’s the wisest approach.
  3. Seek Counsel: Proverbs 15:22 Says “Plans fail for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”

What is your next step as you face the decision you are at an impasse?

Do you need to ask God for wisdom?
Do you need to just do nothing?
Do you need to find someone who is knowledgeable in the area of your decision and ask them what they would do?

For those looking into starting multiple campuses or wanting to entertain the idea, this book is a good starting point. The authors wrote this after conversations and trips to several churches in the world who are pioneering the campus model.

A Multi-site Road Trip

by Geoff Stuart, Greg Ligon, Warren Bird

Relationships are what hold churches together. (13)

Seacoast Church

IPOD
Initial – non-negotionable standards
Priority – standards to be implemented within the first year
Optional – ideas that might work across campusses but are not necessary
Discouraged – not allowed. (30-31)

Community Bible Church

Key Factors when Choosing a Location
1. Positive community image.
2. Location accessibility
3. Facility accessibility
4. Room for growth
5. Noise tolerance
6. Decent rent or purchase price
7. Room for storage.

What makes a great campus pastor:

1. Catalytic Leader: high energy, self starter, able to male new things happen
2. Multi-Tasker
3. People Magnet
4. Team Player/Builder
5. Communicator
6. DNA Carrier

Traits not conducive for a campus pastor:

1. Person who feels compelled to preach
2. Independent-spirited entrepenuer
3. Someone with an agenda other than reaching people

Risk involves Release (179)

The personnel and managerial challenge involves both paid staff and volunteers. If the church’s staff has a strong-performance track record and embraces a churchwode value of training others for ministry, it is usually able to handle the demands of rapid deployment of many volunteers. But if training leaders is not a core value of the church, be prepared! (183)

How can we identify, equip, and deploy leaders as rapidly as necessary to meet the demands associated with the huge opportunities that God is placing in our path? (190)

Always look for leaders. (190) Ephesians 4:12

Leadership Development

Discover > Connect > Train > Resource > Coach/Mentor > Celebrate

How to get Grandchildren (3rd generation churches)

1. Loosen your grip.
2. Build into your DNA.
3. Find a way to fund it.
4. Affirm what happens

What can kill a multi-site:

1. Poor choice of campus pastor
2. Not the senior Pastor’s vision
3. Not the board’s vision
4. Not enough preparation time
5. Worship that doesn’t matchthe target population
6. Bad attitudes within the congregation
7. Inadequate resources
8. Poor choice of location (231-232)