Category: Big Picture

Big Picture, Incoherent Ramblings

Lessons Learned About Blogging, Pt 2

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It’s hard to believe I have been blogging for the majority of 2017. I’ve learned a few things along the way. You can read the first one here. Here’s my second thought:

Social Shares Rule

(disclaimer: this is not intended to guilt you into social sharing)

If I were to look back over the past 11 months and examine the views and page visits for my site, the days with the highest views were the days where someone shared a post, usually on Facebook.

I have done a little bit of work to get 3 Question Leadership optimized in search engines, but honestly: how many people google search the phrase “3 Questions for Leadership”? It’s actually lower than you think, even if you think it’s low.

So, what’s the best way to get what I’m posting out into the inter webs? Social shares.

If you have shared one of my posts over the past year, I would like to thank you for doing so. Every time I sit down to write, I hope to write something that connects with someone, so when you share, it means the world to me.

If you found me because someone shared a post on Facebook or Twitter, then that’s proof!

Lastly, if you worry about missing my posts on social media, I would love for you to sign up to receive the 3QL email. The daily email delivers at 10am on the days I post, so you never have to guess if I’m posting something because it will show up in your inbox.

Once again, thank you for taking this journey with me!

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Big Picture, Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Lessons Learned about Blogging, pt 1

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Last December, I bought a domain and published my first post. Then, in February, I fully launched this blog. It has been an interesting journey, and I’d like to finish out 2017 by sharing a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Blogging takes time, both mine and yours.

That seems like a pretty obvious statement, but I had not done the math when I started. Posting 2-3 times each week is an interesting endeavor, and one that has helped me grow over the past 11 months.

But more than the time it takes me to write, edit, prep, and publish, is the time you take to read. If you have spent any time reading anything I’ve written, let me say thank you.

I know you have important things going on in your life and your time is being fought for everyday, so I appreciate the time you spend reading my ramblings.

Some days are shorter, like today. So let me close by saying I have had a blast over the past 11 months, and I’m thankful that you have joined me along the way, or stuck with me through the ups and downs. I’m looking forward to the future!

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Big Picture, Incoherent Ramblings

Flint-Like Friends

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Proverbs 28:18 says “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to build some key relationships with some great people. Many of those relationships are ones which I try to keep fresh on a regular basis. Some of them, however, go dormant for a season.

Last week I had the honor of reconnecting with some good friends. It was a joy to talk about faith, life, ministry, family, and several other things. We asked each other questions to help us understand situations and problems, and even shared some great dreams we have for our lives.

In the end, I’m so grateful for the men and women who surround me and whom I am able to engage in mind stretching conversations. I was challenged by the things we discussed (and hopefully did the same in return), and I believe we were better for the time we spent together.

What about you? Who are you engaging on a regular basis to make you a better leader? Is there someone you need to re-engage? It may not be someone locationally close, but with modern technology most people are only a text away.

If you cannot answer the question above, take some time today to write down a few names of people you can start trying to bounce ideas off. Then, over time, see what starts to develop. You might be surprised at what happens next.

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3 Questions, Big Picture, Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Keeping Vision Out Front

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A few weeks ago I met with my student leadership team. These kids have been walking with me through my 3 Question journey since August of 2016. The 3 Questions shape so much of what we do.

So I was somewhat surprised when I asked them to tell me the 3 Questions, and they struggled to answer.

Then, I had an epiphany: I’ve been blogging about the 3 Questions for the past 10 months, they haven’t.

In other words, the 3 Questions have become part of my¬†everyday processing, but that doesn’t mean they had the same experience. They weren’t sitting down at a computer multiple times each week trying to write a blog related to the 3 Questions.

What’s the leadership lesson? Just because something is inherently important to you, does not guarantee it is inherently important to someone else. You have to keep vision out front.

You know what they say about assume? When we assume, we eventually have to exhume.

Well, nobody says that, but maybe they should. When we assume everyone else focuses on vision the way we do, we will soon find that vision being buried and forgotten.

So, what’s your next step? Ask yourself what you have been assuming everyone knows, but in reality needs to be brought back in front. You will feel like a broken record, but important things are worth repeating.

Don’t think of it as being a broken record; think of it as being a hit single set on repeat.

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Big Picture, Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Confusion Breeds Chaos

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When I was an 8th grader, we didn’t have enough boys in 7th and 8th grade to field a football team, so the school decided to let 6th graders play. This was both good and bad.

It was good because we had enough kids to be able to play football that year, but it was bad because only one of the 6th graders had hit puberty. As a result, we had a historic season, and didn’t win a game.

Towards the end of the season our coach decided to work in a couple trick plays. One play involved some yelling from the sideline that we were using the wrong football, which would result in the center handing the quarterback the football (a legal exchange), the quarterback running toward the sideline as though he were going to trade the football. Just before getting to the coach on the sideline, the quarterback would run up field for what would hopefully be a touchdown and a win.

It didn’t work. The referees said the coach couldn’t yell that from the sideline. But the premise was true: confusion breeds chaos.

If we could get the other team questioning what they knew to be reality, then we could take advantage of the moment and surprise them.

In leadership, the principle applies as well. If the people we lead are unclear as to next steps, or even what we are trying to do, the result is chaos.

As a minister, if the adults who volunteer in my ministry don’t understand the long term goal and vision I set, then we have a team of volunteers who set their own long term goal and vision.

If student leaders don’t understand their role, then they set their own guidelines.

This isn’t master level manipulating. This is learning to sail the ship and getting everyone moving in the same direction.

What part of your leadership is suffering due to confusion? What steps can you take to add some clarity this week?

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