Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Thoughts on Athletics & Men from a College Athletic Director...

-->Here are the words I shared as I spoke in chapel this week...


As the athletic director at CU and as a male leader on our campus I feel compelled to say something today as we engage our culture:

Athletics

We need different kinds of athletes and a different culture in our sports world.  Way too often athletics in our culture leads to a sense of entitlement and arrogance that produces behaviors resulting in intimidation, abuse, rape and sexual assault, and significant injustices toward others, often including women. Sports is a powerful cultural icon, and is a massive force for either good or evil based on how character is developed and how athletes are taught and led and held accountable. It can be used to provide tens of thousands of desperately needed life-saving bed nets while equipping its participants for a lifetime of others centered leadership and service. And it can create cultures where unspeakable acts of violence and personal life devastation can be acceptable and encouraged. Winning does not ever make all things acceptable and the Gospel calls us to play and compete and grow in ways that produce the fruit of true righteousness in those who watch, those who play, those who coach, those who administrate, and our very sports-crazed world...

Men

We need different and we need better men. We don’t need men who are just workout warriors in the weight room or geniuses beating the stock market or remarkable video game savants. We need men who view and treat women as our God who created them in His image sees them. Men who believe the women connected to them and who work alongside them have incredible gifts and tremendous leadership capacities that must be valued and leveraged and released and sought out. We need a generation of men who stand up and both grieve and support #metoo and gladly add their voice and behaviors in demonstrations against sexual harassment and assault while modeling lives of purity and authentic biblical love for and toward all women in our lives. It’s the right thing to do and we must do it with great humility and sorrow at the ways so many in both our culture and our churches have failed to do so. This is a moment for us to help create a different, a better future for women and girls in our lives and our world as men who know Jesus and seek justice and hope for all today...

Monday, January 1, 2018

20 TIPS FOR A POSITIVE NEW YEAR--Jon Gordon

Loved this list from an author that has constantly been a source of wisdom and positivity and team building for me personally and the teams we are building and growing as leaders...excited to pursue even greater positivity and impact in 2018!

1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.

2. Take a daily "Thank You Walk." You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time. Feel blessed and you won’t be stressed.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less foods manufactured in plants.

4. Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself with words of truth and encouragement.

5. Post a sign that says "No Energy Vampires Allowed." Gandhi said, "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet."

6. Be a Positive Team Member. Being positive doesn’t just make you better, it makes everyone around you better.

7. Don't chase success. Decide to make a difference and success will find you.

8. Get more sleep. You can't replace sleep with a double latte.

9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control.

10. Look for opportunities to Love, Serve and Care. You don’t have to be great to serve but you have to serve to be great.

11. Live your purpose. Remember why you do what you do. We don't get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.

12. Remember, there's no such thing as an overnight success. Love the process and you’ll love what the process produces.

13. Trust that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.

14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. If you are complaining, you're not leading.

15. Read more books than you did in 2017. I happen to know of a few good ones. : )

16. Don't seek happiness. Instead live with love, passion and purpose and happiness will find you.

17. Focus on "Get to" vs "Have to." Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.

18. The next time you "fail" remember that it’s not meant to define you. It’s meant to refine you.

19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.

20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

http://www.jongordon.com/positivetip/documents/2018_PositiveTips.pdf


Monday, October 23, 2017

Why we’re afraid to let young people lead—and how to overcome it...

Love this post from Daisy Rosales at Fuller Youth Institute...and dearly hope more young leaders are released and engaged in the life and mission of the local church...here's a few excerpts that give you some of the main ideas that have to be wrestled with...
In multigenerational church settings, it’s uncommon to see a young person in a prominent position of leadership. In my own experience, the larger the church, the less likely it is for someone in their twenties—or even thirties—to be included in shaping the church as a whole. If you look at the leadership teams of many churches, you’ll notice that few appear to be much younger than 40, and some are far older.  At my church of several thousand, I host a small group of young adults who love Jesus and have so much to offer. One of them leads the microfinance arm of a large international Christian nonprofit. Another uses photography to tell stories of women and men on Skid Row in Los Angeles, individuals many of us would fear to look at, not to mention encounter up close. Yet another spends her weekdays working with children with disabilities as an occupational therapist, then helps with adults with disabilities on Sundays. These people inspire me. And they’re all under 40.
Not all of my friends aspire to greater leadership and influence at their churches, but some of them do. And yet again and again, we run into the doubt, fear, and fixed mentality of leaders who are more convinced of our untrustworthiness than willing to consider our potential.
Acknowledging the potential validity of God’s call on a young person to lead, would we stand in the way? Would we keep her from responding to God’s invitation?
Or would we instead be willing to unleash her to pursue that call?

So perhaps what we need is a better response to the uncertainties inherent to involving young people. And sometimes it’s simply a perspective shift in the question itself.

See the list below:

Objection: Young people “lack life experience.”

A better question: What experiences does this young person bring? 

Objection: Young people “aren’t settled.”

A better question: How might leadership be a part of this young person’s present and future? 

Objection: Young people “make risky decisions.”

A better question: What do I stand to lose if I don’t take the risk to elevate this young person? 

Objection: Young people “may not be able to handle it.”

A better question: What support would help this young person navigate the challenging dynamics at our church? 

Objection: Young people “will make me irrelevant.”

A better question: How will my partnership with this young person accomplish more than we could ever accomplish alone? 

Objection: Young people “aren’t stepping up.”

A better question: Is our current leadership structure preventing young people from offering their gifts?P
Read more at this link: 
https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/why-were-afraid

Saturday, August 19, 2017

HOW TO LEAD WHEN YOU'RE NOT IN CHARGE: A New Book Review

A few years ago I listened to a podcast featuring a conversation between Andy Stanley and Clay Scroggins examining the topic of how you can still lead even when you aren't the top dog leader in a team, organization, ministry or group...

The content was so rich that I quickly created a short talk around it that I shared in multiple settings across our Cornerstone University campus...and it was one of the best received talks I had given in a long while...

SO I was thrilled this summer when Clay published a book titled HOW TO LEAD WHEN YOU'RE NOT IN CHARGE (https://www.amazon.com/How-Lead-When-Youre-Charge/dp/0310531578)
expanding and growing the content on this topic that is so compelling for millions of leaders who don't have the positional authority they sometime wish they did...





I recently finished reading it in preparation for another school year of leadership opportunities and responsibilities on our university campus...and I can't wait to share copies of it with some of the incredible student development and athletics young leaders I get to work with on a daily basis...

In particular I love his focus on and development of 4 crucial behaviors for all of us who seek to leverage our influence in those moments when we lack authority:

1. LEAD YOURSELF: you are always in charge of you

2. CHOOSE POSITIVITY: ability to see how what you do fits in the big picture

3. THINK CRITICALLY: we must become better thinkers in ways that benefit others

4. REJECT PASSIVITY: you will never passively find what you don't actively pursue

My professional life has been filled with positions and challenges and experiences where I had the chance to lead and challenge up as a leader...and this book is truly a resource that provides a great theological, practical, and inspirational framework calling everyone to not wait till you have the authority to lead and miss out on leadership moments you will never get back...

There's some great resources available as you share the book with others or use it in a leadership development context for those on your team: https://clayscroggins.com/resources/

I'm always grateful for great leadership reads...hope you get a chance to read this one soon!




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Root Yourself in Community

Loved these thoughts from Margaret Feinberg...need to be reminded of this often when I run at a pace where I'm falling short when it comes to experiencing real community personally while trying to serve my work community...

You can have all the online friends you want. Just make sure you have more in real life. For eight years, my husband, Leif, and I traveled together. I spoke and he managed me. For several years, we were on the road more than 200 nights per year. My marriage would have dissolved if we didn’t travel together.

During those years, we became detached from our local community. I held onto a handful of long-time friendships, but we were out of sync with a normal paced life. We weren’t free for weekend barbecues or bar mitzvahs with neighbors.

I nurtured long-distant relationships with friends around the country via phone and text, but I missed the local, real-life connection. Since then, Leif and I have nestled into a community and we’re loving every minute of it. No one cares about my profession. They care about me. And that’s a beautiful gift.

Jess and Matt’s kids attack me with bear hugs. Leah hunts treasures with me at garage sales. Ann and Andrea take long hikes with me in the rain. Greg and Jeri share their favorite restaurants. All are all antidotes to that toxic lollipop of online life.
One little secret: I’ve spent a lot of time with the headliners of the largest Christian conferences and all of them—sooner or later—beg to get off the road.
I wish someone had told me that sooner.

https://catalystleader.com/read/catalyst-track-build-a-platform-day-one

Thursday, June 15, 2017

TAKE THE NEXT STEP by Adam Weber

Love this call to action & pursuit of God's often growth producing and risk taking call in our lives from ADAM WEBER...

What I’ve found to be true about most game changers, leaders, and difference makers.  
What I’ve found to be true about most people are who actually doing something worthwhile… is that they really aren’t that much different than anyone else. They’re human. They often feel inadequate. They’re still trying to figure things out. They have doubts. They don’t always know what they’re doing.
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM AND EVERYONE ELSE IS... INSTEAD OF STANDING STILL. THEY’RE SIMPLY WILLING TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP.
Instead of being limited by their resources. They take the next step.
Instead of always analyzing… and analyzing some more… and… They take the next step.
Instead of waiting until they have (blank). They take the next step.
Instead of waiting until a decision makes complete sense. They take the next step.
Instead of playing things safe. They take the next step.
Instead of waiting until everyone’s on board. They take the next step.
Instead of being frozen by uncertainty. By fear. They take the next step.
Instead of doing only what they can do on their own. They take the next step.
Instead of walking by sight. They walk by faith and… They take the next step.
Instead of dreaming… and dreaming… and dreaming some more. They take the next step.
Instead of just taking one step. One time. Years back. They take the next step.
Is this true about you?
Are you standing still or are you taking the next step?
Is there a step you’ve been putting off?
One that the Lord is clearly asking you to take?
What’s the next step for you?
Take the next step.
Make the phone call.
Make the big ask.
Submit the proposal.
Apply for the job.
Quit your job.
Have the hard conversation.
Send the email.
Sell the house.
Say “yes”.
Say “no”.
Move forward with the project.
Take the next step.

https://catalystleader.com/read/take-the-next-step

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Losing my friend TUESDAY...


A couple years ago my brother and sister in law moved from the chill of Minnesota to the warmth of Naples, Florida. We love being with their family and Naples is definitely one of the best Spring Break destinations around.

On a warm and sunny April night we went to a beautiful spot overlooking the Gulf of Mexico to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Ingrid’s parents. We went to the beachfront restaurant at the RITZ-CARLTON in town and enjoyed great seafood, ocean views, awesome desserts, remarkable service, and the always spectacular Gulf of Mexico sunset.

As our dinner was ending and we walked down the path to the beach my phone buzzed with an update from Facebook. It was from all places Zambia, a message from new friends in a remote village community where we had experienced love and hospitality in astounding ways as part of the new ministry partnerships with our dear friends at Jubilee Centre.

One person in particular had made that visit truly memorable because of his boundless energy, brilliant smile, incredible ingenuity and courage, and love that seemed to spill out from the very heart of Jesus. He was the spiritual leader, the community force in this forgotten village. He made an unbelievable meal for us as a group of 25 people and he listened intently as I shared my passion for developing young leaders here in the African church. He had helped start a school, empowered entrepreneurial women, and was a pastoral presence in a place of real hardship and joy at the same time. His name was Tuesday and I remember him kneeling down in thanksgiving for the copy of my book I gave him along with gear from Cornerstone University he immediately wanted to put on.

Tuesday was a fast friend, a person I prayed for and looked forward to seeing again in our next trip to Zambia. We loved soccer, Zambia, and the people God had entrusted to our care as shepherds of God’s flock. As I looked at my phone the message was simple and devastating from our friend Noel: “We are in sorrow. Tuesday is no more.” I found out later he had passed away following a stroke, far away from modern medical care. In the moment I couldn’t think of anyone who would leave a deeper and bigger hole in lives and a community than this man who had quickly become one of our heroes of the faith on the other side of the world.

Our beautiful Florida night continued as I sent back a short Facebook note telling Noel that we sorrowed with him tonight and that we placed our hope in the resurrection with them when we all could be with Tuesday once again. And then I began in silence to ponder the juxtaposition and tension of the two worlds converging in my life on this day.

There I was at literally one of the nicest spots in our country enjoying an experience where the goal of the staff was to make sure that our every need was met to the fullest of Western contemporary expectations and standards. It was something that my friends in Zambia could never even begin to imagine or ever dream they would experience.

In the midst of those moments the reality of early death, absolute poverty and devastating illness, and immense fear for the future came across the oceans with the cries of a Zambian community that had lost its leader and friend to all. And once again I was faced with a litany of questions and feelings about what I was supposed to feel and do and love in this world and my own life.

Should I never enjoy extravagance and luxury? Was the guilt that often rose up in my heart valid or just my way of trying to cope with the fact that I really didn’t experience the life my friends in Zambia did? How could I live in a way that allowed me to engage and enjoy the people and place God had placed me in America while not forgetting or living differently because of what was taking place in a community God had led me to connect deeply with thousands and thousands of miles away? How do you rejoice and mourn both?

I sat up late myself that night and sent a note out to the students who had been with me in Zambia letting them know that our friend had died and left a huge hole in his family and community. And I thought of the many conversations I had facilitated over the years with those who also felt trapped between these 2 worlds. God’s Spirit reminded me again of 2 things I have come to believe over the last decade or so:

1. Live in and embrace the tension—it’s easy to want to seek to get rid of all the tension and ultimately responsibility in our lives, especially when it comes to things we can’t easily solve. But I am and will continue to be for the rest of my life to live in the middle space where I engage the wealthy world I have lived in all my life and learn from and advocate for the African communities with sometimes overwhelming needs and often a lifestyle that reflects God’s heart and Kingdom values. I must have one foot in each...because I think that is what Jesus did as I see him love the rich and the poor both in the Gospels in ways that transformed them from the inside out and created opportunity for new and fuller lives.

2. We have to let the rest of the world into our daily lives. It’s crucial that I know how my friends in Lusaka or Santo Domingo or even Chicago spend their days and the challenges they are taking on in their lives. It is far too easy to live in my own zip code and to believe that my problems, my issues, my reality is what life is like for others in our global community. I think it matter so much that I know what’s happening across the world and to live with the other in mind rather than continuing to be fixated on my own problems and needs.

I recently was corresponding with my Zambian friend Noel sharing that we were still praying for him and his community. He thanked me and simply told me that I couldn’t understand how much it meant to them that we would still care about their lives and community. In so many ways it felt bizarre and out of place to try and put together the Ritz Carlton and a village without electricity or water or health care. But I think it’s exactly the world God has called me to engage...to learn from another, to share resources from the remarkable blessings when needs are present somewhere else, and to pray that God’s Kingdom would invade both places in wealth and poverty and in arrogance and brokenness...because Jesus would have gone and walked among people on the beach and the dusty village road...and may I walk His path today...CHIP