Month: June 2019

The Difference Maker

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Willingness makes the difference in leadership. I have written about this before, but like so many leadership lessons, I keep seeing it played out time and again.

Give me two kids: one with natural leadership ability and little desire to make a positive impact, and one with lower natural leadership ability and a high desire to make a positive impact, and I’ll choose the second every day.

A student (or adult, for that matter) who is unwilling to take steps to make a difference will stall in their development. Sure, they have a natural ability, but without the desire to get better or to make those around them better, they will not truly succeed.

A student who is willing to step up and humbly serve, while not necessarily getting all the public praise and affirmations, in the long run will greatly impact those around them. A willing leader is willing to lead, willing to grow, willing to serve, willing to help others achieve more, and willing to make a difference.

I am incapable of changing someone’s mind. I can try to guilt someone into showing up or stepping up, but until it becomes a priority in their life, then my effort is wasted.

Does this mean we give up on natural leaders who are unwilling to lead? No. But it does mean we learn to find the point where we are just spinning our wheels instead of making progress.

Who in your life needs some attention today? Who is in your sphere of influence and willing to try to lead? What can you do to help develop and strengthen their desire and ability? Now, go do it!

Sit Down. Stand Up. Follow Me.

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Leadership is instinctual. I’m at Pre-Teen Camp this week and saw something remarkable one night during worship.

Following the sermon, we started singing again. I was sitting behind a group of boys who were standing and singing. After one song, I watched as one boy sat down. Slowly, and one by one, the other three boys all sat down.

Then, once the next song began, the first boy stood up, and slowly, one by one, the other boys stood back up.

Leadership influence happens with a group of pre teens as much as it does for adults or teenagers.

Our challenge, as people who are looking to develop leaders around us, is to help students (and adults) develop an awareness of the opportunities to lead, and to help them cultivate a willingness to make a difference.

Who can you develop around you? Who are the students who naturally have people follow them? What about the student who just has a great heart and needs some guidance?

Leadership is not reserved for a select group of chosen people. If that were the case, I would never have qualified.

Instead, everyone has leadership influence. My goal, and I’m guessing yours, too, is to teach anyone who is willing how to make the most of their opportunities.

Camp Survival Tip #1

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Summer is upon us. As I go through my summer, I thought today I would share a tip from a couple years ago. The tip comes from a very personal place, so before you click over, here’s a glimpse:

I have one simple rule for surviving camp. It’s a personal rule, and not one that I share. It does not affect other people. It does not make me a better leader. Quite the contrary: it’s a survival tip.


So, here’s my survival tip for camp: use the same shower each day and learn which way the knobs turn.┬áSimple enough?


Years ago, early on in my camp ministry, I learned the painful lesson that the hot water doesn’t always turn the same way to shut off. Simply put, I changed showers one day and instead of turning off hot and cold, I turned the cold water off and cranked up the hot, resulting in a scalding.

If you want to see how I was saved from taking cold showers for a week, click here to keep reading!

Know Your Fish

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This past weekend I got to spend time with a great group of teenage guys. We built a trip for them, and it was a great experience.

On Saturday we had the opportunity to fish and shoot skeet (clay pigeons). If I were to be completely honest, we shot skeet because it’s been a while since I’ve shot and I wanted to shoot, and we fished because the boys asked to go fishing.

Now, the last paragraph reveals something about me — I’m not a fisherman. My thoughts when planning the trip didn’t go to “It would be so much fun to fish” but instead “it would be so much fun to shoot skeet.”

When it comes to fishing, I don’t know what I’m doing. I can make some guesses. I can buy some fishing supplies, mostly on clearance because I like a good deal. But the bottom line is the one time I’ve ever taken my girls fishing and tried to figure it out, we caught a turtle with a turkey hot dog. Let that sink in.

Shooting skeet, on the other hand, is more in my wheel house. I know what it takes. I know what we need. I know who to ask. I have a good idea of how to set it up, because I have done it often. I know what my goal is, and I know how to achieve it.

Here’s your leadership principle – if you don’t know your goal, you don’t know how to achieve it.

I don’t know what bait to use to catch what type of fish.

I know which gun to use to shoot skeet.

If you are working and don’t have a goal in mind, then all the effort you’re putting in is wasted energy.

Even worse, if the people you are leading don’t know what your goal should be, then all the effort you’re putting in is wasted.

A clear vision/purpose/direction/goal allows you to create shared forward movement. When you get everyone on the same page moving forward, the progress you’re able to make will be beyond what you ever imagined.

But it doesn’t happen if you don’t even know what kind of fish you’re trying to catch.

Communicating Expectations

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There are a few things ideas that keep popping up for me as I ponder leadership ideas and principles. Today, on the back end of a trip and the front end of an event, I wanted to share a couple posts that are on the forefront of my mind.

First, learning to communicate expectations proves a continual struggle. In this post, I share how I came to the realization on a trip.

Second, as with anything, learning to communicate expectations well goes a long ways to further your leadership influence.

Whether you’re new here or have been with me for a while, take some time to check these posts out today.

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