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I know less…and this is good

Published on August 30th, 2014

I know less mainOne of the leadership lessons I’ve been learning recently is that knowing less can be a good thing. I think we often assume that capable leaders know everything. It’s simply not true. As I’ve grown with the organization I serve, I know less. It’s fair to say the higher you move within your organization (team, group, etc.) the less you know about every detail because your focus shifts from tactics (how) to strategy (what). There are other people who can build better systems. There are other people who can provide financial solutions. There are other people who can give technical answers. There are certain areas where I don’t have much skill, and so it becomes counterproductive for me to give my time to those areas. It’s not going to help. I must continually focus on where the organization is going, and how we get there while allowing other gifted individuals to shape and perfect that focus. I read recently that leadership is not about me. I believe that…but that can be a difficult thing to live because it’s easy to feel threatened and territorial. Those are feelings that I must abandon in order to move forward.

In order to “know less,” here are behaviors I’m learning to embrace:

+ Find fantastic people. Trust them. Free them. Let them decide.

+ Deepen your own well. I must continue to learn and grow personally so that I can empty myself and give away what I’m learning.

+ Find a balance between casting vision and letting the vision breathe and grow. It is possible as a leader to present too many “big ideas” without letting the last “big idea” become part of the fabric of the organization. Cast vision and then let it grow!




chutes and ladders

Published on August 27th, 2014

chutes and ladders mainI’ve played multiple games of Chutes and Ladders in my parenting career. With six children, I can’t seem to escape the game. And…I never win. Never. I’m destined to hit every chute and often wallow in the middle to lower part of the board. I’m not bitter though because it’s about the time with my kids that is the most important part of the experience. Still, a win here or there would be good for my psyche. It finally happened. I played with my son Caden recently and absolutely dominated! Caden responded well and may have even laughed at my gloating. I’d like to think he was actually proud that his dad finally won at the game that has eluded me for years.

Now, here comes the cheeky comparisons to real life (as opposed to the game of Life). Life is a series of spins, steps, climbs, and slides. It just is. As much as we want our experiences to always fall in the “win” column, it doesn’t happen. We experience loss and failure. Try again. Laugh. Play. Embrace the tension. Find someone to celebrate the wins. Find someone to cry over loss. And…keep spinning. Your next move, creation, idea, prayer, or act of compassion could be the very thing that moves you in the right direction.


college bound

Published on August 22nd, 2014

oldest and youngestI dropped my firstborn child off at college yesterday (Go Temple!). Not sure how I feel about all of this. I’m happy for him and excited about the numerous opportunities in front of him. I believe he’s going to excel. But, it’s a hard thing saying goodbye to someone who’s been in our house and an immense part of our lives for eighteen years. All of the meals, conversations, laughs, and simple presence…there will be less of these items that we’ve taken for granted. He’s not far from home, but it’s still different and will never be quite the same. The relationship changes yet again. It’s a new experience for us as parents and will no doubt prepare us for the next child to leave our home. It happens. It’s good. I’m learning again…


a stake in the ground…

Published on August 20th, 2014

stakes mainI’m excited about the future of ValleyPoint Church and our pursuit of a “real home.” The stakes are in the ground and from my office I can see where our future home will be. I’ve even had fun walking around amongst the stakes dreaming about how ValleyPoint will get the opportunity to welcome many with open arms and a warm smile. We’re on a great journey. Drive by…walk around…dream…they’re more than just stakes. Those stakes represent a real home for God…for others…and even for me! Can’t wait.

Stay updated on our journey at myrealhome.org.


Great words…

Published on August 18th, 2014

Hebrews 12 mainTherefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1,2


make your space great

Published on August 15th, 2014

great spaces mainGreat spaces are inspiring! These spaces invite you in to browse, relax, and unwind. They say, “stick around and enjoy your time.” I ate at a restaurant recently that completely captured my attention. Beyond the service, the space itself had an ardor that connected. I wanted to stay long past my meal.  I also was able to watch a training session recently for a business that was preparing to launch. They created space that was fun and shared the narrative of what they wanted to accomplish. I enjoyed watching! We all have space that defines us. We all have space that we can influence. Make it you so that it shares a story.

Your classroom…

Your home…

Your office…

Your cubicle…

Your training session…

Your church…

Your locker…

Your desk…

Your meeting…

Your party…

Your ___________________. Make it great by making it you!



Published on August 14th, 2014

rest mainNaps are beautiful. They are not for everyone, but I still feel they’re beautiful. I don’t often get to take them, but when I do, they restore alertness. I feel refreshed. I recently had a chance to take some time to vacation with my family. Slower mornings. No agendas. Time to eat and converse. Time to laugh. Time for, dare I say…nothing. It felt like a nap. I was able to rest. In my rest, conversations were deeper, food tasted better, walks were brisker, the ocean smelled better, and listening was a joy. I think these things happened naturally because I had rest.

Perhaps I should put my phone down a bit more. Maybe I should intentionally schedule rest. Maybe quiet should be a higher priority. A surfeit of busyness warps. It numbs. There are seasons for inventing, building, learning, strategizing, leading, and conquering. But, there should also be a season of rest. How is your rest?


Don’t…the greatest way to lead

Published on July 25th, 2014

dont mainDon’t is such a negative word. Right? It’s up there with despicable, dreadful, and dismal (I’m stuck on the letter “d”). Maybe “don’t” has been a bit misunderstood though. It actually is a word that brings clarity. It’s the proverbial “line in the sand” kind of word. I recently found a great challenge that happens to include the word “don’t” while giving an explicit call to selflessly take an interest in others. These are tough words that when implemented, have the full potential to change the direction of our lives. I also believe this is the greatest way to lead with lasting influence. Perhaps it’s time for more “don’t.” 

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3-4



Published on July 24th, 2014

Chandler Surfing MainCourage is an amazing thing. I’d like to think that I am a courageous person, but I’m not so sure. Courage is something that gives an unusual amount of confidence to continue doing the next right thing. It’s facing tragedy, sickness, misfortune, death, and whatever else comes our way with a sense of purpose.

Author Malcolm Gladwell defines courage this way…

“Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover that they aren’t so tough after all.”

My friend Buddy Thigpen has courage. My friend Joey Borowski has courage. My friends Dave and Liz Myers have courage. My friend Cami Peck has courage. My friends Todd & Sharon Kanzinger have courage. My friend Anthony Easter has courage. My friend Kenna Hassellof has courage. My friends Mike and Becky Troyer have courage. My friend Karla DeSimone has courage.

These friends have endured more tragedy, sickness, discouragement, and loss than what I can possibly imagine. Yet, they are courageous. Each one, in their own unique way, breaking rules by walking with strength, boldness, and faith. My friends have taught me much about walking into storms. The rain does fall. Their stories continue. Their impact increases. And courage lives. Thank you friends.




Published on July 21st, 2014

initiate mainI need to initiate more. Perhaps you feel the same way. When we initiate, we move forward. We create. We ship something that may be less than perfect. All of this is good. It’s very good. When we initiate there is something unique that happens; ideas flow, systems improve, and the cloud around uncertainty begins to move. It’s easier to wait. Often it just feels better to keep researching. It’s safer to watch others. But there is a time to start. What do you wish to start? What can you improve? Where is there discontent in your life? Make plans and then move forward. Create. Ship. In other words…initiate. You are needed.

Waiting to finalize? Waiting to make one more “tweak?” Waiting for approval from a superior that may never come? Move forward and initiate. It’s time, and your idea, plan, or thought is needed.