When I read this book several years ago (eMyth Revisited) it helped me make a major shift in my thinking and strategy in regards to training and placing leaders and creating systems. I highly recommend it. (This works for churches, businesses, schools and organizations). As we make disciples and train leaders we must understand the difference between a worker and a manager and a leader. We often see a person with a skill and put them in a management or leadership role. We assume because they can play guitar and sing they can lead a worship team. This is simply not true. Check out my Mentoring Growing Leaders YouTube. I believe I have a short lesson on this.
John the Baptizer was an amazing man. He had a clear understanding of his role and his message and stayed focused on that until the end. He as a strong leader that drew a lot of attention, admiration and a huge following. However, he knew the season for which he was born and was prepared to move to his next assignment when his current assignment was completed.
His role was to prepare the way for the person who could take God’s Plan to the next stage. He prepared the way and navigated transitions well.
Here are Six Keys to Successful Transitions
1. Be confident in your personal identity. Many leaders do not want to give up their role because their identity is found in their role. This will stagnate God’s Plan, their organization, business, school or church and will eventually stagnate themselves as well. Understand that it’s unlikely that we will stay in our role/position forever. Things change and new people must step up and we must move on. Don’t look at it as a death but an opportunity. Don’t get wrapped up too much that who you are is what you are doing at this time. “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” (William Shakespeare)
2. Understand Your Spiritual Gifts. Proverbs 18:16: “A Mans gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” God gives spiritual gifts to all Christians for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ and serving His purposes in His generation. It’s important for us to understand our spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, personality and experiences in life to discover our next mission from God.
3. Discern the times and seasons. Sometimes our season ends abruptly, like John’s, and sometimes we can plan it carefully. Be aware of the tail-tell signs that a season is coming to a close – you’re feeling uncomfortable; you’re not feeling as challenged or satisfied as before; the organization, church, business or school is a bit plateaued, circumstances change, society changes, you’v brought the organization along as far as you can. Pay attention to these signs.
4. Know your limitations. You cannot do everything and you are not called to do everything. Your spiritual gifts, abilities and personality function best in a certain sphere. When you move out of your sphere of “expertise” you will not be as effective. Know you’re limitations – what you’re good at and what you’re not good at.
5. Value what is best for the most. It’s not all about you – it’s about that is best for the church, school, organization or business. If you only think about what is best for you, you will miss the point. Who is the best person for the next phase of the journey – someone that can take it to the next level or next stage in God’s Plan? Be willing to step down and let someone else carry it on – overcome your pride.
6. Prepare your successor. Every leader – at all levels – must be thinking of who will take this role after me. If possible, we should have 1, 2 or 3 assistants whom we are training who know what we know. We must prepare the potential successor with the skills, knowledge, and organizational and human resources to step in successfully. We must prepare the staff and customers. We must prepare our successor to have the contacts and relationships we have, as well as know where to find things he/she will need to build on the foundation we’ve laid.
Transitions are inevitable. Don’t limit God’s Eternal Plan and His plan for your life by holding on too long to your role. Many pastors and leaders just don’t want to give up the honor, prestige or salary and benefits of their role. However, there’s a bigger picture we must consider – God’s Eternal Plan, and what’s best to fulfill that in this instance.
“The successful man is the average man focused.” “Most ‘unsuccessful’ people are just highly-distracted people.” What is the One Thing you must focus on to bring you to the next level? Cast aside everything else! You must reject the good to choose the best!
As we are preparing to enter the new year many of us are thinking about goals and plans for the next 12 months. Some people want to break bad habits or start a new one….however, many of us fail along the way.
I’ll offer my experience as well in a free PDF/PowerPoint file I’m happy to send to you: “How to Prepare for the New Year.” You can email me at email@example.com for this free document.
However, here’s the essence of it:
- What would you like to see new in your life by 31 December of this new year? Finances, Family, Work, Health?
- List out 10 and prioritize 3 or 4.
- What are obstacles that will hinder you from accomplishing these priority goals? What can you do to mitigate those obstacles?
- What do you need that you don’t have right now to accomplish those goals?
- Who do you need to help you accomplish those goals?
- What can you do this month to move toward your New Year’s Goals?
- Post your goals in a place where you can see them daily.
- Do something each week to move you toward those goals.
- Ask someone to hold you accountable by reminding you.
- If you fail, get back up again and take the next step.
I offer this simple PowerPoint converted to a PDF for you. I believe if you thoughtfully work through it you will see some positive changes in by the end of the new year. You’re worth it! You’re a person who has potential, value and a destiny to fulfill in this life.
I also want to direct you to my YouTube Site: Mentoring Growing Leaders, to view a very helpful 10-minute video on the Five Levels of Leadership. Click on this link to access it: Five Levels of Leadership Video
Be sure and email me for the free document on How to Prepare for the New Year.
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We believe that every human being is born with potential and a plan laid out by God for them in this life if they choose Him. When we choose Him, things begin to unfold. For one thing, we all receive spiritual gifts…but not only that we receive a heart motivation from God, we develop unique skills and abilities, we have a unique personality and we have positive and negative experiences in life…all of which God chooses to use to fulfill His purposes in our life for His Kingdom.
For me, as a Five-Fold Leader in the Body of Christ, my primary role is to equip the Body of Christ to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). It’s essential that Christians discover their unique SHAPE – Spiritual Gifts, Heart Motivations, Abilities, Personality and Experiences in Life – for God’s Eternal Purposes to be fulfilled.
I wrote a course many, many years ago and it has been used in our church in Eugene, Oregon and in our churches in Cambodia as well. In this course/book you will discover:
- Understanding two aspects of God’s Grace
- Understanding the difference between spiritual gifts, spiritual fruit, talents, and skills
- Understanding each of the 21 spiritual gifts that are specifically listed in the New Testament
- Take a Spiritual Gifts Inventory to discover your primary and secondary spiritual gifts
- Discover the “heart motivation” God has placed in your heart for His purposes
- Identify your skills and abilities that can be used for the glory of God
- Discover your primary and secondary personalities and how that affects every area of your life
- Discover how God can use your experiences in life – both positive and negative experiences – to be a benefit to others
I regret to say that I’ve long lost the soft copies to this 107-page book, but I was able to scan the final hard copy I have. The quality is not the greatest but I offer it to you free of charge. Please enjoy it and see God do amazing things in your life!
If you want a copy of this book, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you like the content of this blog, please share it with others. (However, I am researching the best way to upgrade the resources we offer, so this Blog Site will eventually change – that’s why it’s important for me to have your email address.)
I’d also like to refer you to my YouTube Site to receive more short lessons that will benefit your personal growth. This is the link to my lesson on Five Levels of Leadership, which is part of a 22-Video Lesson series of short lessons: Five Levels of Leadership
So how relevant are you as a leader?
Any idea how you’d answer that accurately?
You can debate how important relevance is all day long (and many do), but the truth is irrelevant leaders eventually make less impact on the team around them, and eventually almost no impact on the next generation, except for perhaps an example of what not to be like.
Why is that?
Relevance matters for one simple reason: relevance gives you permission to speak into the culture around you. Relevance determines whether people pay attention to you or whether they ignore you.
Irrelevant people eventually lose the ability to communicate meaningfully with the people they care about and to contribute to the causes they’re passionate about.
Before you push back, just because the Gospel is always relevant doesn’t mean you are.
Even growing organizations can lose relevance. Your past success doesn’t guarantee your future success.
In fact, as we’ve discussed here more than a few times, the great enemy of your future success is your current success because your success makes you conservative.
When you had nothing to lose, change was easy. Now that you have something to lose, change is that much harder.
So whether your organization or cause has a bit of momentum left or whether it’s losing steam, here are 6 ways to tell your influence as a leader is waning.
1. YOU’VE BECOME A CRITIC OF ANYTHING THAT’S GROWING
Irrelevant leaders are always looking for ways to dismiss other peoples’ success.
Maybe there was a day when you were the young startup when your launch was the one everyone was looking at.
Now, everyone’s looking at what’s emerging and saying how awesome it is, but all you can see are the flaws. You convince yourself they’ve sold out, or it won’t last, or that they’re just trend-jacking, or that “of course it’s working because that’s what the next generation wants, but it’s not right.” You’ve invented 1000 justifications about why you’re right and all the things that are more ‘successful’ than you are wrong.
Irrelevance, after all, has it all figured out, and even though it may not be working particularly well, you’ve convinced yourself (and are trying to convince others) that your way is the best way.
Here’s the bottom line: critics rarely contribute, and contributors rarely criticize.
If you’ve landed in the camp of the constant critic, the odds of you actually contributing much to the present or future are very low. As a result, you’ve already become irrelevant.
2. YOU INCREASINGLY THINK MOST NEW IDEAS ARE BAD IDEAS
Hey, it’s easy to resist new ideas. But if you think back, there was a time when you were likely far more open to new ideas.
Now you’re older and wiser, and you’ve got a way of doing things.
The human mind is great at preserving the status quo. You can think of 10 reasons why a new idea won’t work, and you and your team never hesitate to list them.
The leadership graveyard is filled with the bodies of leaders who say “We haven’t done it that way before,” and while you understand that intellectually, you’ve barely realized you’re becoming one of those people because, well, new ways seem increasingly bad to you.
Sure…not every new idea is a great idea, but embracing no new ideas is a terrible idea.
When was the last time you embraced a radical new idea? If you can’t answer that question, you’re already in trouble.
3. THE COPYRIGHT DATES ON YOUR GO-TO RESOURCES ARE AGING
Copyright dates tell you a lot about how you lead. You’ll find them in the books you read, the music you listen to, the movies you watch and if you’re a church leader, the songs your church sings.
Many leaders will embrace change to an extent, and then they stop.
I’m all for reading classics and for sure, my library and resources have copyright dates going back decades and even centuries.
That’s not the problem. The problem is when your resource library consists contains virtually no copyright dates from the last few years.
The major trap most irrelevant leaders fall into is that their go-to resources are all 5-20 years old. They’re still living in the 90s or in 2009. Everyone else has moved on.
The danger here is that they think they’re being relevant, but they really aren’t. To your fifty-year-old friends, you may sound knowledgeable as they nod in agreement. But to an 18-year-old, you appear to be a museum.
And in the meantime, the gap between you and culture is growing wider every day.
The point is not to avoid any older works (a great life is always built on the contributions of previous generations), but to also understand how to translate that into what’s happening today.
4. YOUR SENIOR TEAM HAS GROWN OLDER WITH YOU
This isn’t so much a problem if you’re twenty-two and just starting out. To have a young leadership team of idealistic people is an awesome thing.
Sure, some wisdom wouldn’t hurt, but still, the world often gets changed by young leaders on a mission.
But what happens is that twenty-year-olds eventually turn 30. Fast forward a bit, and one day everyone on your senior leadership team is in their mid-fifties.
That’s a big issue.
Left uncorrected, teams tend to age with their leader.
As a leader in my fifties, I’ve had to be incredibly intentional about surrounding myself with leaders in their 20s and 30s, something that really energizes me.
You may not have the chemistry or familiarity with younger leaders that you do with your peers who have been through life with you, but renewing the leadership table with younger leaders is critical.
It’s easy for older leaders to think that younger leaders are too young to lead.
You were too, once. And someone took a chance on you anyway. And you did some of your best work then too, didn’t you?
5. THE VERY THOUGHT OF CHANGE MAKES YOU TIRED
The gap between how quickly you change and how quickly thingschange is called irrelevance. The bigger the gap, the more irrelevant you become.
Change is difficult at the best of times, but if even the sound of change makes you tired, it’s a sign that you’re becoming irrelevant.
It’s normal to default to the status quo. We all do.
A few years ago, my dentist told me I needed at least five crowns. The thought of that made me feel tired and broke all at once.
I got a bit of the work done but then took a break.
One afternoon I was eating some cereal and I noticed something that didn’t feel like cereal in my mouth. It was half a molar.
Guess where I went the next day?
Too often, that’s exactly how we approach change in the church. We wait until something breaks, and then we’ll try to fix it.
That may work with a tooth, but it’s a terrible strategy for leadership (okay, and for dentistry).
In our rapidly changing culture, waiting until something breaks to fix is one of the fastest ways to ensure you become irrelevant.
If change makes you tired, I promise you, the slow death of your organization will make you even more tired.
6. YOU LIKE THE WORLD LESS EVERY YEAR
If social media is any gauge of how many Christian leaders feel about our culture, the church is in trouble.
And even if you’re not posting on your social media is ALL CAPS, telling the world how bad it is, your attitude still matters.
Constantly criticizing a culture is no way to reach it.
I am constantly reminded that Jesus loved the world. He saw the mess, the brokenness, the godlessness and embraced us anyway.
Jesus loved the world enough to die for it.
You should care enough about the world to do the same.
DON’T LET UNIMPLEMENTED CHANGE BECOME REGRET
To read the article on the original website, click here: Six Characteristics of an Irrelevant Leader
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by Tony Robbins
A new city. A new job. The loss of a loved one. The loss of a dream.
Change is a part of life. Sometimes it’s positive, and other times less so. But regardless of what form it comes in, you have a choice: you can either ride the wave of change, or let it crash upon you as you struggle to remain afloat.
Sure, it’s easy to adopt a laissez faire attitude when turbulence comes your way. It’s the path of least resistance to shrug your shoulders, step back and watch as the events unfold and take their own course. But while that certainly requires less effort, it also disempowers you and precludes you from taking control over your own life.
The secret to handling change is to focus on progress. If you can make progress on a regular basis, then you feel alive. Now, you may be thinking that this is easier said than done. When you are lost, or trapped in an emotional fog, it’s hard to even make sense of what is happening, let alone understand what steps to take to move yourself forward. But by following these mandates, you can bring a sense of structure and certainty to an otherwise chaotic time, and start building something new, and perhaps even better.
MANDATE 1: CREATE A VISION
Create a vision for what it is that you truly want. If you find yourself unemployed, what does your ideal career look like? If you recently relocated to a new city, what do you want your life to look like there? If you and your partner are having trouble, what does your dream relationship with him or her look like?
The vision must excite you. It has to be compelling. It has to pull you. It should not be something that you have to push yourself toward, it should be something that you desire more than anything else so that it moves you emotionally. Envision this goal, see how it makes you feel, and then dive in.
MANDATE 2: MAKE THE RESOLUTION
Now it’s time to declare: “Okay, I am not going to just sit here and hope everything will be okay. I am going to take control of this situation.” Cut off any other possibility. If this is what you want, then burn the boats. Make the resolution that you will find a way to make things work and mentally put yourself on the path towards achieving the vision you just set forth.
MANDATE 3: FIND YOUR REASONS
Now that you have your vision, and you have dedicated yourself on a fundamental level to reaching this goal, you need to find your reasons – your purpose for wanting to achieve this result.
This is one of the most important components to making progress because without it, you will lose your emotional drive. You will inevitably face hurdles, challenges and obstacles along your journey, but the reasons will help push you through. When the stress and pressure come, your reasons will propel you along and you won’t let the fear or negative talk take over.
Your reasons can be framed in a positive or a negative manner – “If I don’t do this, this is what it will cost me,” or “If I do this, then this is what I can gain in my life.” What matters most is that your reasons resonate deeply within you. They are not superficial, but rather, stem from a powerful purpose that carries a profound emotional weight.
Just remember, when you feel stuck or lost, reasons come first, answers come second. Find the meaning behind achieving your goal, and allow that to help you get on target when things get rough.
MANDATE 4: MAKE IT PART OF EVERY DAY
Think back to something you wanted more than anything, something you were so hungry for that you felt a deep emotional need for it, something that you were intensely clear about it, and thought about every single day. You just didn’t know how to make it happen. Then suddenly, you attracted the right situation or the right people, and everything just came together.
Why did that happen? Is it the Law of Attraction? Not exactly.
There’s a part of your brain called the RAS – reticular activating system – and it determines what you notice in the world. When you set a goal, become extraordinarily clear on it, and have strong enough reasons behind your intent, you trigger the RAS. Your brain then becomes incredibly acute at noticing anything that comes into your world that could help you move forward.
Invest yourself fully in your vision. Make it a key part of your focus every single day. Then start to take note of what pops up in your life. The opportunities and key insights that arise may just surprise you.
MANDATE 5: RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
Ultimately, if you want to create real change in your life, you have to raise your standards.
How many years ago did you come up with what you could or couldn’t do in your life? Take a look at any area in your life where you have a limitation and ask yourself when you decided to accept that. For many of us, it’s these self-imposed limitations that prevent us from making any real progress in our lives. We have convinced ourselves that our status quo is exactly what we deserve, and we in turn, base our identities around that – wherever people have their identity attached to, they live.
If you want to create a new life for yourself, then you have to raise your standards. You have to let go of the limiting beliefs that keep you locked in complacency. Make progress a “must” for you. Refuse to settle for anything less. This will take practice, it’s not something that happens overnight. But the more often you adopt the thoughts, behaviors and rituals of a new identity, the more powerful your brain will become at finding ways to bring you there.
MANDATE 6: ADOPT RITUALS
You have to back up your standards by what makes those standards real – rituals. Rituals are little things that you do each day that eventually build up so much momentum that it becomes a clear path to your vision.
If you are unhappy with your status quo, and feel that creating the life you desire is just a massive challenge, then break it down to bite-sized steps. Condition your body and emotions with a few small rituals. Maybe that means going for a short run in the morning. Or taking the time to make a healthy breakfast. Maybe it means incorporating incantations into your day. Or catching up with one good friend every week. It could even be doing something kind for someone else once a day.
Rituals are where the power is. They define us. They help us put our standards into action. Remember, when challenging periods come our way, we have the choice – to relinquish control, or to take action.
Creating the life you want is not an overnight event. It’s in the little things. It’s having a vision. It’s making it compelling. It’s seeing it and feeling it with absolute emotion. It’s caring about other people. It’s calling to say “I love you” for no reason. It’s about taking every opportunity to connect. To be playful. To honor and cherish your loved ones.
Change, no matter how devastating, does not have to define your life. You get to make that decision. And if you adhere to these mandates, then no matter how lost you may feel, you will be able to start designing the life you want, and living the life you deserve.
To read the full article on the website, click here: Certainty in Uncertain Times
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