Tag: perspective

Flashback Friday #5

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One concept I’ve written about captures my mind almost more than all the others, and it’s today’s flashback.

The Horizon of Possibility is something I love thinking about, and something I use constantly. This week, in fact, the concept has been used in at least two conversations, and I love it!

Before I dive too deep, click here and check it out!

Is This the Worst Student Leadership Mistake?

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What do you do when you have a student who shows great leadership potential?

Over the course of my ministry experience I’ve had a few students who seem to be a step ahead of their peers when it comes to reading and understanding a room. They have an intuition about them that makes them appear more mature and capable than everyone else.

So, it only makes sense to give them more and more responsibility, right? I mean, we want to develop student leaders. That’s kind of the point of what I write about here at 3QL.

Let me offer one caveat. And it’s one that is still fresh in my mind.

I never want to crush a potential leader’s spirit. I desperately try to avoid adding too much to their burden, but when a student has a high capacity, I find myself wrestling with this.

That’s why I’ve started reminding myself of the following thought.

Give students student leadership opportunities, not adult leadership opportunities.

If you want someone to feel the weight and worry of leadership, give a teenager the load you would expect from an adult. I’m not saying some teenagers cannot handle such responsibility, but they have the rest of their lives to be adults.

Put in the effort to help a student find appropriate levels of challenge for where they are. I want to avoid expecting a 14 year old, who shows incredible capacity for influence, to carry the load I would ask a 34 year old to carry. No one wins in that situation.

Instead, I want to help that 14 year explore leadership in appropriate avenues.

Stretch their thinking? Of course.

Challenge their abilities? Sure.

Help them grow their leadership influence? Absolutely.

But if I ask them to start adulting, they will burn out and I will give up.

So, how are you at this? Are you providing high capacity students with student leadership opportunities?

Flashback Friday #4

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I have a post it note on my computer monitor in my office that says: Not having THAT conversation is selfish.

I wrestle with this constantly. I dread difficult conversations. That’s why today’s flashback is a reminder for me as much as for you to not hide from hard conversations.

Here’s a glimpse:

The “right time” and the “necessary time” are two contrasting opportunities. The “right time” is much more of a gamble. I have a tendency to justify waiting by saying I am waiting for the right time. The right time, however, comes before the necessary time.

Click here to check it out!

Perspective Comes with Time

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One of my favorite preaching/teaching series I do is on the life of Joseph from the book of Genesis. Time after time it seems like everyone is out to get him, but the picture we see is a man of incredible faith and consistency. The point I try to drive home each time is that we cannot see the end from the middle.

Looking back allows us to make sense of what we’ve gone through. The stock market illustrates this. Stock brokers spend their entire lives evaluating what the market has done in order to help them determine what it may do next. But, regardless of what they may say, no one can tell you if today is a high or a low until they see what tomorrow does.

Our lives, and leadership, are like this. It is incredibly difficult to tell if the situation we are facing right now is a high, a low, or just something in between. Until we gain perspective.

That’s why I’m fascinated by the way perspective impacts leadership. The way we view a situation, or challenge, or opportunity, determines how we respond. We may not ever be able to know in the moment where we are in the grand scheme of things, but we can know our call is consistent–to lead.

In my new position (I haven’t been here a year yet, so I can still say new), I’m not making changes to impact tomorrow, but to help build a thriving culture three years down the road. It’s hard to know what to emphasize and brush off in the mean time. At the end of the day, however, when I embrace that I’m serving for the long haul, those day to day hills and valleys only provide further perspective.

So, what about you? What perspective do you need today? Take time to look back and acknowledge what you’ve gone through to help you move forward.

Taking the Leadership Leap

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I don’t write about the three questions regularly these days, but that doesn’t mean they don’t impact me. After all, this blog is named after them.

Just a quick refresher, the three questions are:

  1. What needs to be done? (Awareness)
  2. What can I do? (Willingness)
  3. Who can I get to help? (Leadership)

Every person sees these differently, and each person hesitates on a different one. Some people have a hard time naturally seeing what needs to be done, whereas others have a somewhat intrinsic ability to see a need.

Some people find it difficult to find the motivation to do a task, or view tasks as beneath them. The reality, however, is if we want to lead, we have to be willing to do something. The best leaders rarely lead without getting their hands dirty.

Others wrestle with asking people to help. It’s just easier (and more efficient) to do it ourselves. Which is true. But it’s poor leadership. Eventually leaders who never share the load will be crushed by it.

The third question, however, morphs into an exponent when utilized correctly. The math is simple: if I can accomplish three tasks, three tasks get done. If I can invite someone to help me, and they can accomplish three tasks in addition to my three tasks, six tasks are completed. If each of us, asking the third question, invite someone else to join us, the number jumps to twelve. Best of all, I’m able to focus on the three tasks best suited to my gifts and abilities.

So, why is it so difficult to answer the 3rd question?

Pride. I can do a better job.

Insecurity. What if they can do it better than me.

Superhero mentality. If it’s going to get done, I have to be the one to do it.

Control. It has to be done my way.

Leadership is risky. That’s what makes it so challenging, but that’s also what makes it so rewarding.

So, what task or responsibility are you clutching today? Who around you is starving for an opportunity to help, and you won’t let them. Who is waiting for an invitation to unlock their potential? What are you waiting for?

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