WES HENSON

3 Questions, Leadership Journey

Sharpening Your Leadership Sword

sharpen your sword
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How do you sharpen your leadership sword?

Obviously, the most efficient way you do so is by reading this incredible blog. But other than that, what have you built into your daily and weekly rhythm to help you expand your leadership ability?

I’ve talked around this subject before, but perhaps you learn by reading, or by listening to podcasts (I share some of my favorite podcasts in this series of posts).

Here are a few thoughts I have about how to build into your rhythm a sense of leadership development:

  1. Books – nothing says “grow in leadership” like a book that promises to grow your leadership. A strong student can find a leadership book geared for any walk of life and apply the principles to their own context and experience in some way. Find a good book this week!
  2. Blogs – Again, if you’re reading this blog, you’re already at the head of the class. Well, maybe not, but if you’ve stuck with me this long, thank you. I do remember, actually, a blog I ran across years ago in my ministry that was my first read every day when I walked into the office, and something that regularly challenged me where I needed challenges, grew me where I needed growth, and seemed to always offer encouragement at just the right moment. Find something along these lines that encourages you.
  3. Podcasts – See this series of posts to see the podcasts that I make regular parts of my day or week. I’m an auditory learner and processor, so listening to conversations help me stay sharp.
  4. Table fellowship – Now, this may sound extra corny and church-y, but I love spending time around the table with other ministers who love God and love people, and are striving to equip those around them to do the same. There is something unique about including people into your life who are every day experiencing the same but different situations.

The bottom line is if you are serious in growing in your leadership, you have to be serious about learning. However you learn best, embrace it. Don’t be comfortable, but don’t guilt yourself into apathy, either. Always be willing to learn, and your leadership will continually expand.

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Leadership Journey, Podcast Week

Podcast Week: Quick Hits

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To wrap up Podcast week, I’m going to rapid fire a few of my favorite listens:

5 Leadership Questions is a strong podcast that deals with church leadership specifically.

Up First is an NPR podcast I’ve started listening to each morning. It covers about 3 major news stories each day, and has helped me feel somewhat like an adult.

Pardon the Interruption is an ESPN show that requires a taste for arguments and yelling. I’m a big fan of Tony Kornheiser, so I listen occasionally.

Finally, the podcast that gives me an opportunity to unplug and unwind: the Tony Kornheiser Podcast. This has been a mainstay in my rotation for the last 7 years or so. It’s good, a little snarky, and pretty informative on sports, politics, movies, and a lot more.

That’s it for now. I probably have close to 30 podcasts in my queue, so I’m usually able to find one that fits my mood. But for now, the ones I’ve shared this week are my current go to shows. Hope you enjoy!

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Leadership Journey, Podcast Week

Podcast Week: StoryBrand

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Today I’m going to continue sharing a podcast that is on my regular rotation.

But first, a little perspective.

I don’t listen only to ministry related or sermon based podcasts. I like to have a variety of podcasts ready, depending on what area I’d like to hone.

As i mentioned Tuesday, I don’t read regularly, so having a variety of genres is my nod to someone who carries four books at one time, never knowing which will appeal in the moment.

Yesterday, my genre was leadership, and specifically church leadership. There are others that fall under that category, but today’s does not.

The StoryBrand podcast is a no-frills marketing podcast. Donald Miller is blunt, but also does a good job of engaging and inspiring the listener to grow. There is so much that can be learned, so give it a listen:

The StoryBrand Podcast

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Leadership Journey, Podcast Week

Podcast Week – CNLP

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Can I confess something? Reading is a discipline for me, and one I’m not very good at practicing. 

But, I make up for it with the sheer number of podcasts to which I listen. The topics cover sports, leadership, business, news, and sheer entertainment. 

This week, I’m going to share a few of my favorite podcasts. 

What better place to start today, than with one of my favorite Ministry Leadership Podcasts?

I stumbled onto the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership podcast about 2 years ago. They are long (most going past an hour), but he does a great job interviewing his guests. 

Here’s a link to an episode with Jon Acuff based on his new book Finish. Check it out!

CNLP with Jon Acuff

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3 Questions, Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Today’s Decisions. Tomorrow’s Direction.

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Have you ever done something you never thought you would do?

For me, it’s running. I used to think people who ran 5K races were crazy. Now, I’m one of the crazies. I’ve run 5Ks (including one during a vacation), 5 mile races, 10Ks and even a half marathon.

Every time I’ve trained for and completed a race, I can look back and see decisions I made along the way that helped me achieve the goal. The most obvious was simply the choice to spend time running instead of doing something else.

Our leadership principle today is a simple one: Today’s decisions. Tomorrow’s direction.

The decisions we make today affect where we will end up tomorrow. For leadership, the implication is rather simple: are you making decisions today that will make you a better leader tomorrow?

Are you reading leadership blogs (like this one), books, and articles? Are you listening to leadership podcasts that will stretch your understanding of what it means to lead? Are you surrounding yourself with people who will help you grow as a leader?

What have you set up in your routine each day that will help you expand your leadership influence? It may be as simple as sending an encouraging text each day, or clicking over to Amazon to find a good book on leadership. Or, maybe it’s adopting the three questions and trying to answer them each day.

Remember: Today’s decisions. Tomorrow’s direction.

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