Friday, June 24, 2011

The Trial of Failure

** Reposted from Stirred Up Leadership, blog of the US Willow Creek Association.

Below is an excerpt from 2011 Global Leadership Summit speaker Seth Godin’s new book, Poke the Box.

“This will end up in crying” was the warning my mom would announce when she encountered a situation between my sisters and me, one that was fraught with sibling misbehavior. And that’s the way some people think about a career built on initiative.

Most things break. Most ideas fail. Most initiatives don’t succeed. And if you’re the one behind them, if you’re the guy who’s always starting something that fails, then it seems you’re doomed. After all, our society loves to do the failure dance. (The victory dance, not so much. The victory dance feels like bragging. But the schadenfreude of the failure dance—that’s just fine.) Watch a football game or listen to the analysis of a political campaign or read a magazine’s account of a failed business venture—it’s easy for us to point fingers, to find blame, to gleefully critique the things that went wrong.

Oprah has had failed shows, failed projects, failed predictions. She starts something every day, sometimes a few times a day, and there’s a long, long list of things that haven’t worked out. No one keeps track of that list, though, because the market (and our society) has such respect for the work she’s done that has succeeded. Mehmet Oz has lost patients. Mark Cuban has backed failed businesses. The more you do, the more you fail.

Let’s think about the sort of failure we’re talking about. Not the failure of disrespect, of the shortcut that shouldn’t have been taken or the shoddy work of someone who doesn’t care. No, we’re talking about the failure of people with good intent, people seeking connection and joy and the ability to make a difference.
No one is suggesting that you wing it in your job at the nuclear power plant, or erratically jump from task to task instead of studying for the upcoming SAT. Hard work is going to be here no matter what. The kind of initiative I’m talking about is difficult because it’s important and frightening and new.

If you sign up for the initiative path and continue on it when others fret about “quality” and “predictability,” you will ultimately succeed. The crowd won’t stop worrying, because worrying is what they enjoy doing. But that’s okay, because you’ll be making a difference and using your new found leverage to do more and more work that matters.

So… our question for you is: When will you start down the initiative path and start something? What’s stopping you from starting today?

Taken from Poke the Box by Seth Godin. Copyright ©2011 by Do You Zoom Inc.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Code Of Conduct To Develop A Culture Of Honour

Possibly the biggest challenge in developing a great church, community, staff team, marriage, family and social relationships, is that of providing a culture of honour to surround, protect and foster these important relationships. A culture of honour transcends position by safely allowing all people to appropriately acknowledge, celebrate, and give to each other, the gift of who they really are and what they can positively and uniquely contribute.

To develop a culture of honour there needs to be a commitment to seriously encourage, practice, and be held accountable for the following foundational qualities in all social exchanges. With additions or deletions, these qualities could be used as a social and relational covenant in a variety of settings. Each quality is both named and explained using a statement of commitment.

I will at all times seek to speak well of others and encourage them especially concerning their giftedness, roles, and ministries

I will, apart from seeking personal confidential counsel, always seek to first address my concerns by directly communicating with those my concerns are about. If a person speaks to me about their concerns regarding another person, I will encourage them to seek a meeting with that person and offer if necessary to go with them for that purpose

I will take the initiative to appropriately raise my areas of concern according to Matthew 18,  believing that in so doing I demonstrate the value I place on preserving and strengthening relationships and the value God places on us each and on kingdom community

Appropriate self-disclosure
I will share with those with whom I have concerns, appropriate content, feelings and meaning associated with my concerns

Non-defensive active listening
I am willing to listen to others’ concerns about me without defence so as to accurately understand and have verified by them that I have understood their concerns (content, feelings and meaning)

I am “for” those with whom I have concerns, not “against” them, and so will offer them my respect by my listening, looking, speaking, word selection, tone of voice, reasoning, style of approach, body language and responses

I will always strive to be open, transparent, and true to myself in my communication

I will make every effort to consider others and my motivations, needs, values, feelings and attitudes

I will not say and do anything that will cause bad attitudes or further complicate problem(s) and concerns

I will always strive to honour my word and any commitments I make

I will attempt to appreciate how those who have concerns about me feel and why they feel the way they do, believing that their needs are valid simply because they see them as such

I am committed to finding a workable solution/outcome to dissolve concerns of others

I am open to help and development as I discover aspects of my thinking, behaviour, and attitudes that need to change

An elegant outcome
I will always aim for outcomes from my interactions and negotiations with others that are mutually beneficial and fair

A culture of honour takes time to develop so these qualities need to be discussed, owned, and practiced until they become habitual. When such qualities are enthusiastically and seriously embraced into any culture, they take relationships and teamwork to a new level not previously experienced.

Ric Benson
Senior Pastor
Kenmore Baptist Church

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Quit (Part 9) Summary & Applications

This week Geri and Pete Scazzero conclude the I Quit series and leave us with some life applications; that the basis of all the ‘I Quits’ is about being grounded in the love of God, and as we live more deeply in this love of God we are actually able to do the ‘quits’.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Quit (Part 8) Quit Trying To Live Someone Else's Life: Choose Your Destiny

The great calling in life is the will to be yourself - It is the great challenge to not be somebody else - Søren Kierkegaard
Living out your unique life is about being congruent, that you are the same person on the outside that you are on the inside. Think of Jesus, who defied the expectations that everyone had for him, from his family, to crowds, to disciples, to the religious environment. Everybody had a life script for Jesus, but he was able to hear the Father’s voice and live out his unique life.
Choose to embrace your destiny in God.