Check It Out: Carey Nieuwhof Podcast with Todd Adkins

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This morning on my run I finished a really good podcast-the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast (click here for the Podcast and show notes). Carey does a great job on the show notes of touching on some of the content, so scroll down the page if you click over there.

His guest was Todd Adkins and they talked about leadership development. There were a lot of good tips and bits of information, and it was very challenging for me as well.

You should check it out!

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Avoid Answering No for Someone Else

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I don’t know if you’re like me, but rejection is a terrible thing. Working up the courage to ask someone for help can be exhausting, and it’s only made worse when they say no. But there is something that hurts more than asking and being told no: never asking.

Because I fear rejection, often times I catch myself trying to reason my way out of asking someone for help. “They are not going to have time” or “They wouldn’t want to do that” becomes the refrain I tell myself.

The reality, however, is I will never know how someone will respond especially if I never ask. If I tell myself “they will say no, so why bother”, then their answer will always be no.

But, when I ask, they now have the opportunity to say yes. And who knows, I could get surprised.

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Learning to Follow Up, Part 2

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Okay, as promised, here are the questions I use when evaluating an event. (click here to read the first part.)

what did we do?

I use the first part to basically plot out the steps I took in preparing. If there were decisions to be made, I explain my reasoning for making that decision.

I write out time frame notes, including how early or late I started planning, especially if I order shirts or other swag, I want to remember how long it took the artwork and delivery.

Try to be as thorough as possible on the little details, the things that might get forgotten in 9 months when you re-visit the event.

What Worked?

This is where I celebrate the positives, the things that went well. What were the wins from the trip or event? What made the up front effort worth the work? I make a point to highlight things I wasn’t sure would work, but did.

This is important because even in the midst of a disaster, there are going to be one or two bright spots. Dig to find the positive so you can re-visit that energy and excitement down the road.

What to Do Differently?

Finally, instead of just listing out things that didn’t work (which would be the obvious follow-up to the second question), I spend some time dreaming about what could be done the next time to make the event better.

This is the most fun of the three because it allows me to dream. This is also the part that is the freshest immediately after, but the quickest to be forgotten from my memory.

Taking time while the event is still fresh to dream about how to make the next one even better makes all the difference in the world, for me.

One final thought

I use Evernote to file all of my reviews, and bullet points make it easier for me to skim what I wrote.

When I start an event for the second time, the first thing I do is open my review and get going.

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Learning to Follow-Up

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Last week I mentioned I was on a trip with my church. This week, I have the opportunity to make some of the most significant progress for next year’s trip, but I have to make the choice to evaluate.

Over the years, I’ve realized I have a terrible memory. I can plan and execute an event, spending hours covering every detail, only to forget the important things in a few months. Then, when the event rolls around the next year, I have to start over.

Early on in my ministry I learned the value of evaluating events. If I take 20-30 minutes the week after an event to answer a few questions, the next event becomes even better. It is an investment in time that pays significant returns.

As a leader, I want the things I do to be fruitful and effective. I want the effort I put in to help impact lives. Because I serve as a Youth Pastor, I want the time I put in to help lead teenagers to a growing relationship with Christ, and those things do not happen accidentally.

Progress requires intentionality. If I desire to get better, it doesn’t happen by accident.

On Thursday, I will share the questions I ask when evaluating. But for today, here’s the question I have for you: when was the last time you evaluated an event? What benefit have you experienced because of it?

 

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Communicate Expectations

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I’m on a trip this week with my church. Over the years, during and after trips I realize key details that need to be fixed. This year, I realized something early in the trip: I am the only adult who has seen a schedule.

Our trip is one we have developed, so I wrote out my own schedule. Because I’m the only person who knows the schedule, I’m the only one who knows when we need to leave or stay, or what comes next.

This is okay, as long as I am okay with no one sticking to my schedule. And how could they know the schedule, if I haven’t shown them?

The leadership principle here is simple: communicate expectations.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I have great adult volunteers who do an incredible job of loving kids and forgiving my mistakes.

But over the years I’ve learned that if I am going to expect someone to do something, I have to find a way to communicate my expectations.

This goes for kids when we go on a trip, for adults as we work to point teenagers to Christ, and even when I’ve occasionally coached basketball teams. Everyone wins when you are able to communicate what is expected.

 

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