Learning

5Aug

What do you REALLY want to do?

I want to learn to play the guitar.  I want to run a marathon.  I want to loose 15 pounds.  I want to learn a foreign language.  I want to live off a budget.

The real question though is what do I really want to do.

After a sermon series we are walking through at Athens Church called “Sunday and Monday,” my wife and I have been challenged in many areas of our life. One of the most important challenges is what we do with our time, specifically with the first hour of our day.

One of the greatest conversations that we have had that spurred from this series happened in the car a few weeks ago.  Angela and I kept listing all of the things we want to do – things like the items listed above.  I kept saying things like, I want to get in shape, I want to spend time in the Word everyday, and I want us to get financially fit.  As we continued talking though these things, we always had an excuse; many of which you probably have on a daily basis as well: Read More »

22Jun

Wealth, is it worth it? A New Book from Truett Cathy

One thing many people tell you when you choose to marry a person is you not only marry them but their family as well. I am blessed beyond belief to have married into my wife’s family, as they consistently teach me how to live a life that loves the Lord first and foremost. Not only do they value marriage and support our marriage fully, but they have also taught us how to steward our influence in a way that will make a positive impact on the people in our lives.

One of the great men in my wife’s family is someone who is not only known for his business and entrepreneurial skills, but also for his passion for people and his unwavering commitment to his faith. I am thankful that I know him as a man who has poured into his family over the years, who sets an example of what it really means to love one another and who teaches us to be excellent in all we do. Today he has come out with a new book called, “Wealth, is it Worth it?“.

In this book, Truett Cathy talks about his hardships growing up in the depression, the hard work it took to create a restaurant that grew into a successful company and addresses the question about wealth and its worth.

The book serves as a reminder of the good things a person can do with money, but also how destructive money can be. The book offers several stories about people who came into a large amount of money but failed to steward it wisely. However, the book also looks at people who are generous and use wealth to be a blessing to others.

Read More »

20Jun

4 Steps When Setting Goals – A Lesson from “Never Say Never”

Last week, my wife Angela and I decided to have an at-home date night.  It was a little impromptu and really was spurred on by the fact that I wanted to just be lazy for a night.  With this in mind, we decided to watch a movie.  We are not big movie watchers, yet sometimes it is nice to wrap up in a blanket, pop some popcorn, and download a movie to watch on AppleTV.

As we scrolled through the new releases on AppleTV we did not find anything we really wanted to watch, but I did keep coming across the movie “Never Say Never.”  Now, I will admit that I have downloaded the My World 2.0 album on iTunes, but I have never ventured to say I am a Justin Bieber fan and to be 100% honest, I knew nothing of his story.  With little options for Angela and I to watch, we pressed “rent” for Justin Bieber’s movie, “Never Say Never.”

As the movie started, I found myself strangely intrigued by the story.  If you are like me then you probably know nothing of Justin Bieber, so let me fill you in in 3 sentences:

Justin Bieber was always interested in music and honestly had an unreal talent at an early age.  In his early teenage years, Justin started performing all over town and recording self-made videos on Youtube and attracted hundreds of thousands of fans.  A music producer found Justin on Youtube, took a huge risk in making Justin famous, got Justin networked with the right people, and the rest will be forever history.

What really impressed me most about the movie is that Justin is a lot wiser than most people will ever give him credit for.  The main storyline of the movie is telling how Justin became famous mixed in with his journey to playing at the nation’s (and possibly the world’s) most famous venue in New Youk City, Madison Square Gardens.  The whole movie, Justin and his team are striving to get things perfect for what would be the biggest performance of his life.  What I learned from Justin within the mix of “Never Say Never” is a lot about setting goals.

From Justin’s goal to sell out and play at Madison Square Gardens, I learned 4 important lessons: Read More »

17May

Get Up and Do Something – A Lesson Learned from DefiantMissions

Over a billion people in the world live off less than $1.00 a day and another billion people in the world live off of less than $2.00 a day.  Many of these people live in areas of extreme poverty, in harsh conditions, and in a place without basic human needs like clean water, sanitation, and basic nutrition.  Many people have worked to try to find solutions to these problems and have all pitched in to make a dent on the issues, but the truth of the matter is that the problems are going to take all of us working on a solution.

Two guys that Angela and I have gotten to know a little over the past two years have decided to help to take some of these issues head-on by creating an organization called DefiantMissions.   The two guys are Matt Turner and Stephen Dupuis, who started an organization right out of college in hopes to address some of the injustice they saw in the world.  With a little knowledge on the science of water filtration and a whole lot of passion, they launched the first component of DefiantMissions, which is DefyThirst.

What has impressed me about Matt and Stephen is not their ability to change the world (which they can do) or even the success stories that we have been able to hear about achievements they have made in the first steps of their total community intervention projects (which are plenty for a infant organization).  Though all they have accomplished is impressive, what has impressed me most about the 2 founders is that they started with a dream and a passion and followed it up with the most important step: they did something about it. Read More »

13May

Consistency is Key

Last weekend I got to go to my favorite city in the southeast, a city that I think is very underrated by most people.  I was able to go to college at a small private school in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama and while I was there I fell in love with the city of Birmingham and its surrounding areas.  I have tried to figure out why I love Birmingham so much and one of the main reasons is the attention and priority that the community takes towards local business.  Everywhere you turn there is a local restaurant, a small coffee shop, a specialty retail store, or a local bank or business.

One local restaurant that we all love is Davenports Pizza Palace.  Davenports is located in the Mountain Book community and has been around for a long time.  When my in-laws, John and Trudy were at Samford 25 years ago they ate at Davenports Pizza which is how I heard about it in the first place – and the one thing I have learned from Davenports is that Consistency is Important… Read More »

28Apr

Getting on the Same Page

For our organization, an event like today only happens a few times a year, and it is something that I have really grown to love and appreciate.  Today is a day when everyone who works within our organization  is able to come together, get caught up on things that are going on and ensure we are all on the same page.

I get to work for an organization that in its biggest form is organized  into 2 divisions – the division that I serve with is a part of a collaborative which has over 8 different ministries operating from it and is comprised of at least 4 different partnering organizations.  Although we would still be considered a small organization, we have a lot of moving pieces, a lot of different people, and a lot of potential to all be moving to the beat of a different drum.

I think it is important to be able to have events as we are doing today; to carve our intentional time to help make sure that our vision is aligned.  A great leader knows that he or she is always communicating vision – where by action or words, the leader is setting the pace for where an organization is going and getting others sold in on that vision.  Read More »

26Apr

Don’t Miss It…

One of the things I have really been challenged with recently is something that I feel is all to common among my friends, co-workers, and most people I run into.  It is an idea that has been engrained into our culture and has really dictated our way of life over the past decade or so, but for me it has become all to real in the past few months.

What I am talking about is us becoming so busy in life, looking towards the next event or activity too much, and filling up our agenda with so much that we miss the moment all too often.

For me, I just started to realize this when I sat down at a table about 2 months ago.  I had been working with a team for over 6 months to plan and conduct our third WinShape Camps International Project – It was the day before our team left to go to Brazil and we were having our last leader-huddle to make sure things we in-line.  When we started talking and thinking about what all was about to happen in the next 48 hours, I found myself realizing that I had not even really processed the idea that we were taking a team to Brazil within the next day.  To  be really honest, I was not excited at that moment, no real joy came from the idea that we were doing something that I love so much –this really bothered me. Read More »

14Dec

Processing an Event – 3 Steps

Over the past several years, I have had the honor to be able to hear many great speakers and communicators at countless events and seminars.  In fact, it is one of my favorite things to do – break away from the office for a day or two and find ways to challenge myself, grow, learn, and meet others in the same boat.  Although I get to hear great material and gather some great ideas for how it can all impact my life and the world around me – I often find that I never take the time to process what I have heard and make it apply for me.

The most frustrating part is that its great stuff and so quickly I loose it.  I just think over 2010 how much great material I have been able to hear.  Through Backstage Leadership alone, I have heard from Dan T. Cathy, Jon Acuff, Mark Batterson, Francis Chan, Ken Blanchard, Mike Foster and more.  Then you throw in Chick-fil-A Seminar and I was able to listen to Coca-Cola CEO, Mutar Kent, Bill Hybles of Willow Creek, Andy Stanley, and even more great Chick-fil-A Speakers.  Then we can go with an event like Catalyst where the stage was filled with great communicators:  Scott Harrison, Seth Godin, Beth Moore, Perry Noble, Gabe Lyons, Craig Groeschel, and more.  The list goes on and on… But the biggest question is what do you do with the information – because reguarless of how great a speaker is and how great the content is, if you do not apply it and put it into practice then you loose it and waste it.

Through all of these experiences I have worked to find out the best way to capture your thoughts and the best way to capitalize on what you have heard.  The process has to start with a good note taking system (for me I use a Moleskin, then transfer all materials to a indexable database such as Evernote to find information very easily later on) but after note taking you have to take your info to a different level. For me is as simple as 3 easy steps.  Hear me out…

  • Within 1 hour stop, debrief, reflect, and journal:  I understand that it is not always feasible to stop within an hour of receiving great material to debrief, but I do encourage you within one hour of getting away from the hustle of everything going on – stop and think about what you have heard.  I would start by simply writing a 1-3 key take-aways in a permanent place.  For some this is a blog, for others its a journal – wherever it is you need to write down 1-3 key points and take aways from your event/material. (you can add more, but having 1-3 key points is much better than loosing it all)
  • Within 1 day find someone to share your key learnings with: It is proven that you will learn something so much more if you teach it – the same is true of things that you learn through great communicators and events.  For me, it is important to verbalize what your take aways are as it will help you process it further.  The other great thing is that it will lead you to great conversations that will give you insights from others and help expand your growth and learning even more.
  • Lastly, within 1-week find at least 1 additional resource to take you deeper. This is the final point that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.  The best growth will happen when you dive in further on the topic being talked about.  You can do this simply through reading blog posts about it, finding articles online, read a book on the topic, watch interviews on YouTube.  Whatever it may be, I want to challenge you to take what you learn at the event and find a way to take it a step further.

I know there are a lot of ways to process, but this works for me.  The biggest thing to realize is that when you are a part of hearing and being exposed to great material, you then are a steward of the information.  Will you be a good steward and allow it to grow you into the person and leader you want to be or will you waste the material, waste your time, and do nothing with it?

How do you process and debrief after an event?

Below you will also see a great video produced by Growing Leaders on this Concept – enjoy:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.980465&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

14Dec

Processing an Event – 3 Steps

Over the past several years, I have had the honor to be able to hear many great speakers and communicators at countless events and seminars.  In fact, it is one of my favorite things to do – break away from the office for a day or two and find ways to challenge myself, grow, learn, and meet others in the same boat.  Although I get to hear great material and gather some great ideas for how it can all impact my life and the world around me – I often find that I never take the time to process what I have heard and make it apply for me.

The most frustrating part is that its great stuff and so quickly I loose it.  I just think over 2010 how much great material I have been able to hear.  Through Backstage Leadership alone, I have heard from Dan T. Cathy, Jon Acuff, Mark Batterson, Francis Chan, Ken Blanchard, Mike Foster and more.  Then you throw in Chick-fil-A Seminar and I was able to listen to Coca-Cola CEO, Mutar Kent, Bill Hybles of Willow Creek, Andy Stanley, and even more great Chick-fil-A Speakers.  Then we can go with an event like Catalyst where the stage was filled with great communicators:  Scott Harrison, Seth Godin, Beth Moore, Perry Noble, Gabe Lyons, Craig Groeschel, and more.  The list goes on and on… But the biggest question is what do you do with the information – because reguarless of how great a speaker is and how great the content is, if you do not apply it and put it into practice then you loose it and waste it.

Through all of these experiences I have worked to find out the best way to capture your thoughts and the best way to capitalize on what you have heard.  The process has to start with a good note taking system (for me I use a Moleskin, then transfer all materials to a indexable database such as Evernote to find information very easily later on) but after note taking you have to take your info to a different level. For me is as simple as 3 easy steps.  Hear me out…

  • Within 1 hour stop, debrief, reflect, and journal:  I understand that it is not always feasible to stop within an hour of receiving great material to debrief, but I do encourage you within one hour of getting away from the hustle of everything going on – stop and think about what you have heard.  I would start by simply writing a 1-3 key take-aways in a permanent place.  For some this is a blog, for others its a journal – wherever it is you need to write down 1-3 key points and take aways from your event/material. (you can add more, but having 1-3 key points is much better than loosing it all)
  • Within 1 day find someone to share your key learnings with: It is proven that you will learn something so much more if you teach it – the same is true of things that you learn through great communicators and events.  For me, it is important to verbalize what your take aways are as it will help you process it further.  The other great thing is that it will lead you to great conversations that will give you insights from others and help expand your growth and learning even more.
  • Lastly, within 1-week find at least 1 additional resource to take you deeper. This is the final point that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.  The best growth will happen when you dive in further on the topic being talked about.  You can do this simply through reading blog posts about it, finding articles online, read a book on the topic, watch interviews on YouTube.  Whatever it may be, I want to challenge you to take what you learn at the event and find a way to take it a step further.

I know there are a lot of ways to process, but this works for me.  The biggest thing to realize is that when you are a part of hearing and being exposed to great material, you then are a steward of the information.  Will you be a good steward and allow it to grow you into the person and leader you want to be or will you waste the material, waste your time, and do nothing with it?

How do you process and debrief after an event?

Below you will also see a great video produced by Growing Leaders on this Concept – enjoy:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.980465&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

10Nov

Learning to live in Murky Water

We love control.  You love it, I love it – I would say it’s a strong part of our culture.  We plan and control our days on our iPhone calendars, our meetings with detailed agendas, our home life with to-do lists and planning tools – we want to control every aspect of life.  Not only that but we have moved to a culture of life coaches and leadership coaches – we pick our end goal and we make it happen – we love control, and control is not always a bad thing.

But I also think that there are times that God wants to send us some subtle and not-so subtle reminders that we are not the ones that are in control, but He is.  I think there are times where we look up and realize that we are living in the murkiness and things are no longer clear.  We may have planned and been strategic, but every once in a while we wake up, realize that things are not clear and we have to live in the murky water. Read More »

© Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved