Mistakes Make Us Who We Are

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In High School I judged Dairy Products for our FFA chapter. If you’ve seen Napoleon Dynamite, it was not quite that awkward, but it was close.

I will never forget the hardest lesson I learned from judging Dairy Products: never second guess my first reaction.

This lesson was learned when I thought I had completed a perfect score (something very few people are able to do), but had at the last moment second guessed myself, and lost my perfect score. It was a silly mistake, but…

Mistakes make us who we are.

I judged dairy products for 4 years, and learning from that one mistake made all the difference in the world. I learned to trust myself and my first reaction. I learned to not overthink a situation, and I was better for it.

So, mistakes make us who we are.

Now, as much as I would like to claim otherwise, I have made more mistakes in the time since my days as a “milk spitter”. I am still making mistakes. Most of the lessons on this blog have to do with mistakes I’ve made over the years. But making mistakes is not the point.

Learn from your mistakes. What missteps have you made in the past month? What can you learn from those shortcomings? What can you change as a result?

Making mistakes is human. Learning from mistakes is what sets leaders apart.

You’re going to make mistakes. Let them shape you into a better person.

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Mid-Summer Check In

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Wow. Just wow.

January 30 was when I started blogging regularly on this site. I started out because I had a simple idea I felt like I needed to share. (You can read more about that here.)

Today, we are nearing the end of June, which means I have been blogging consistently (for the most part) for five months.

If you’ve stuck with me so far, thank you so much. I have been advised not to watch my views and visitors, but I do it anyway. So, every time you click, I’m grateful.

Here are a few thoughts as the journey continues.

  1. If you’re new here, thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to click around the site and read some of the posts. My early posts are relatively longer, whereas the posts from April start getting a little shorter. My goal is to post twice a week with content that is simple, yet applicable. Feel free to check out my series titled “Lessons from the Farm” by clicking here.
  2. If you’re a regular, would you be willing to do me a favor? It’s hard to describe what a social media “share” does in terms of reach. Would you take just a few minutes to find one of the posts you like the most and “share” it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform you frequent? I would love to see the impact of this blog grow, and you can play a major role in helping.
  3. I will continue posting “fresh” content twice a week. However, with almost 50 posts published to date, I am going to start “recycling” one post each week. Part of this is for new people (see line 1), and part is because I think an idea may be solid and worth repeating.
  4. Let me know you’re reading! You can do this by a comment on the site, a like on Facebook, or a high five in real life. Few things fuel me more than genuine affirmation. (That may turn in to a post later this week.
  5. Finally, subscribe however possible:

Find the blog on Facebook by clicking here or searching “three question leadership” on Facebook.

You can follow 3QL on Twitter here.

You can also subscribe to receive new posts by email by clicking here.

Once again, thank you for your time, for your encouragement so far, and for the days and weeks ahead. I think we are onto something great as we continue to help expand your leadership influence!

 

A New Adventure

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Next week a project on which I have been working and dreaming up for the past two years launches–Horizon Leadership Camp.

On Wednesday, I will load vehicles with a group of students going to youth camp with Horizon Camps. While we are there, I have the opportunity to pour into a small group of student leaders with the sole purpose of helping them develop as leaders.

Many of the things I’ve written over the past 4+ months will play a role in what I share, but more than anything I have to say, I am excited about the opportunity to interact and help develop student leaders from a context different than my own students.

Would you like to find out more about Horizon Camp and the Horizon Leadership Camp experience? Click here.

While this is happening, I also have the opportunity to pour into my own students and student leaders as we enter a new chapter in our ministry, and I couldn’t be more excited.

So, what’s the leadership principle or thought in this?

Hard work pays off?

Leaders develop leaders?

Hang in there?

I can force a principle, but the reality of this post is I am excited. Developing leaders and watching students, especially, adventure out of their comfort zones gives me high expectations.

I am so grateful for someone who saw something in me, pursued it, and has helped me grow through it.

So here’s to a new adventure, to HLC 2.0.

 

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Learning to Communicate Expectations

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Along my leadership journey, I have realized I am a thinker. I love pondering. I love dreaming up new ways to do things.

I am not, however, able to efficiently communicate all that I dream up. And in that tension, I face a few problems–specifically, the inability of those around me to read my mind.

Enter the need for today’s thought: Communicate Expectations.

Goals and values only provide motivation when they are communicated to those around me.

Basic standards of behavior only become basic standards when they are communicated.

Success can only be experienced when a picture of success has been presented-a target to aim at.

What does this look like in a youth ministry setting? Set volunteers up to win by letting them know what’s expected.

Equip student leaders by setting forth clear expectations.

Change the existing culture by painting a picture for what could be and what should be.

Communicate what you’re thinking (when it is appropriate) and see the difference it makes.

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Lessons from the Farm: Same Destination, Different Paths

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Welcome to my series called “Lessons from the Farm”. You can read the other posts here.

Just a little background: I grew up working on my Dad’s farm. As I’ve grown older and spent more time away, there are few leadership principles I have realized along the way.

When I got into high school, my dad started raising more cattle. Part of raising cattle is moving them from one place to another. Over the years, we moved countless herds.

A lesson I had to quickly learn was to find the balance between knowing the destination and not getting stuck on having to stay on one single path. Map quest will not map out a path for a cattle drive.

When moving cattle you have to know your destination and push the herd in the general direction, understanding sometimes you’re not going to move in a straight line.

The same is true in leadership. Knowing our destination is vitally important, but we have to be careful about being completely tied to the path we’ve laid out. If we are unwilling or unable to adjust to the unexpected detours or slight course alterations, we become too rigid and no one wants to follow us.

Learning how to lead includes learning how to accommodate the unexpected and use the forward momentum to move toward the destination.

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