Friday, January 29, 2010

To Make a Switch, Part 3

"Switch" is the title of a new book by Chip and Dan Heath; it's being released February 15 and I've been posting about a pre-release copy all week. Their new work focuses on the two independent systems in our minds: the rational mind and the emotional mind. They compete for control in our heads all the time, and the paradox is that only by harnessing each of their strengths can lasting change take place. Whether the switch you seek is in your family, in your organization, or in society at large, you'll get there by making three things happen. Here is the third and final action.

Shape the Path

If you want people to change, you can provide clear direction (Rider) or boost their motivation and determination (Elephant). There is another option to make the journey easier: Create a downhill slope and give them a push. Remove friction from the trail; scatter signs around to tell them they are getting close. In other words, shape the path.
  • Tweak the environment
  • Build habits
  • Rally the herd

To change yourself or other people, you’ve go to change habits.

Forming a habit isn’t all environmental – it’s also mental. Habits are behavioral autopilot, and that’s why they’re such a critical tool for leaders. Leaders who can instill habits that reinforce their teams’ goals are essentially making progress for free. They’ve changed behavior in a way that doesn’t draw down the Rider’s reserves of self-control.

The hard question for a leader is not how to form habits but which habits to encourage. How can you create a habit that supports the change you’re trying to make?

  1. The habit needs to advance the mission
  2. The habit needs to be relatively easy to embrace

Here's the secret weapon that combines the two strategies of tweaking the environment and building habits.

Make a checklist

Checklists help people avoid blind spots in a complex environment. Checklists simply make big screw ups less likely. Checklists provide insurance against overconfidence. Checklists, in short, help shape the path to change.

This wraps up a week-long look at Dan and Chip Heath's new book "Switch". My posts have only begin to scratch the surface of a highly personal, story-filled book that will have you thinking about change in no time. It's a great companion to their first book "Made to Stick". It would be a great addition for any leader wanting to help navigate an organization through change.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of "Switch" from the authors, but was not required to write about it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

To Make a Switch, Part 2

"Switch", a new book by Chip and Dan Heath, is being released February 15. Authors of the best-selling "Made to Stick", their new work focuses on the two independent systems in our minds: the rational mind and the emotional mind. They compete for control in our heads all the time, and the paradox is that only by harnessing each of their strengths can lasting change take place.

Whether the switch you seek is in your family, in your organization, or in society at large, you'll get there by making three things happen. Here is the second.

Motivate the Elephant

In the terminology adopted by the Heaths, the emotional side of the brain is called the Elephant. To motivate your emotional side, you need to:
  • Find the feeling
  • Shrink the change
  • Grow your people

People find it more motivating to be partly finished with a longer journey than to be at the starting gate of a shorter one. One way to motivate action, then, is to make people feel as though they’re already closer to the finish line than they might have thought. Rather than focusing solely on what’s new and different about the change to come, make an effort to remind people what’s already been conquered.

If you want a reluctant Elephant to get moving, you need to shrink the change.

If people are facing a daunting task, and their instinct is to avoid it, you’ve got to break down the task. Shrink the change. Make the change small enough that they can’t help but score a victory. When you engineer early successes, what you’re really doing is engineering hope. Hope is precious to a change effort.

The goal is to be wise about the things that are under our control. You want to select small wins that have two traits: (1) they’re meaningful; (2) They’re within immediate reach. Small targets lead to small victories, and small victories can often trigger a positive spiral of behavior.

A change journey that starts with dread is evolving, slowly, toward a feeling of confidence and pride.

As change shrinks, people grow

The central challenge of change is keeping the Elephant moving forward. Where the Rider (rational brain) needs direction, the Elephant (emotional brain) needs motivation. Motivation comes from feeling – knowledge isn’t enough to motivate change – and from confidence. There are two routes to building people so that they are capable of conquering the change. You can shrink the change or grow your people – or do both.

The book is "Switch", by Dan and Chip Heath. Because change is a regular part of the leader's life, you need to get a copy and dive in.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To Make a Switch, Part 1

Chip and Dan Heath have a new book being released February 15. Authors of the best-selling "Made to Stick", their new work focuses on the two independent systems in our minds: the rational mind and the emotional mind. They compete for control in our heads all the time, and the paradox is that only by harnessing each of their strengths can lasting change take place.

Whether the switch you seek is in your family, in your organization, or in society at large, you'll get there by making three things happen. Here is the first.

Direct the Rider

The Heath's call the rational side of our brains The Rider - always seeking to be in control. In order to harness the power of your rational side, you need to:

  • Find the bright spots
  • Script the critical moves
  • Point to the destination

You may have heard the phrase "paralysis by analysis" or "decision paralysis" It's where more options, even good ones, can freeze us and make us retreat to the default plan. The default plan is often status quo (that's Latin for "dead and don't know it").

In this case, choice no longer liberates; it debilitates. In times of change, autopilot doesn’t work anymore. Ambiguity is exhausting to the rational brain. Any successful change requires a translation of ambiguous goals into concrete behaviors.

To spark movement in a new direction, you need to provide crystal-clear guidance. If you are leading a change effort, you need to remove the ambiguity from your vision of change.

Even the brief words above can tend toward confusion. So how about repackaging it with a phrase that speaks volumes:

Clarity dissolves resistance

When you’re at the beginning of change, don’t obsess about the middle, because the middle is going to look different once you get there. Just look for a strong beginning and a strong ending and get moving.

The book is "Switch", by Dan and Chip Heath. If change is a regular part of your life, you need to get a copy and dive in.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Want to Change Behaviors?

Chip and Dan Heath, in their latest book "Switch", construct a three-part framework that will guide you in any situation where you need to change behavior.

  • Direct the Rider - What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. To direct your rational actions, provide crystal-clear direction.

  • Motivate the Elephant - What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. It's critical to engage people's emotional side, to get their Elephants on the path and cooperative.

  • Shape the Path - What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. The situation and the surrounding environment is "The Path." When you shape the Path, you make change more likely, no matter what's happening with the Rider and Elephant.

It may sound a little strange to you, but when you get into the book, the brothers Heath have done an excellent job outlining a very workable strategy for accomplishing change. Over the next three days I will take a quick look at each of the three main ideas stated above.

"Switch" goes on sale February 16 - I recommend you pre-order it early!

Monday, January 25, 2010


How to Change Things When Change is Hard

Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the best-selling "Make to Stick", have delivered another excellent book.

I've been reading a pre-release copy of the book. I'm going to post this week on some of the nuggets in "Switch".

The authors argue that successful changes share a common pattern. They require the leader of the change to recognize three surprises about change:

  • To change someone's behavior, you've got to change that person's situation
  • Change is hard because people wear themselves out
  • What looks like resistance to change is often a lack of clarity

To read an excerpt of the book before it hits the stores in February, take a look at this month's Fast Company. In a story entitled"Find a Bright Spot and Clone It, the brothers tell share three stories of how even hopelessly complex problems can have positive movement toward resolution.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vision Lessons from an Arizona Sunrise

During a visit to Phoenix last year, I experienced some daily reminders from God about leaders and vision – all because my room faced east into the beautiful sunrise above the mountains.

Each morning, I was up before the sun rose, so I would open my curtains and begin my day with study and quiet time. Because I was high above the ground, the sun’s rays hit my room before they hit street level. I had the chance to look out over a city still in darkness while I was bathed in brilliant sunlight. Reflecting on this, it occurred that leaders must have vision in a similar way.

A Leader Must See Before Others See – The vision of a leader is such that he must see both the problem and the path to the solution of the problem before anyone else. Then he will be able to articulate the necessary steps to move forward.

A Leader Must See Farther Than Others See – My long distance vision was due to the height of the building I was staying in. A leader must have the ability to see farther than others even while he is in their midst, at the same place they are.

A Leader Must See More Than Others See – From the benefit of elevation, I could see many miles in all directions – much more than if I were on the ground. A leader must have the vision to see more than others in the sense that he will see the steps and processes needed to get from Point A to Point B. The leader sees the journey, not just the destination.

My daily appointment with God’s sunrise over the Valley also made me think about a few other leadership characteristics of vision:

  • Clarity – Above all, the leader’s vision must be clear. There is no room for fuzzy vision in the leader who humbly submits to lead God’s people.

  • Focus – A leader needs to have the ability to zero-in on opportunities at hand – or in the future. Both require focus, but they demand different actions to accomplish that focus.

  • Perspective – Five people can view the same object from different objects and come to totally different conclusions. Which is right? The wise leader will have a vision perspective that will help make the right choice.

  • Color Awareness – The world is not black and white – but it’s not grey, either. Leaders need to understand that God created a full spectrum of color to be utilized in His work.

  • Peripheral – Leader’s can’t have blinders of any type; they need to be able to see what is alongside of them as well as what is in front of them.

Back in the Carolina Piedmont we don't have the same view, but I will always carry with me the vision lessons from the Arizona sunrise.

How’s your vision these days?

When is the last time you had a vision checkup with God?

What's Up?

Someone asked me "what's up with the posts on the homeless and the conversations about urban ministry?"

I don't know.

I do know God is always at work in my life, even when I am not aware of it (or consciously try to avoid it).

  • The weekend consultation trip to Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene last year that turned out to be way more beneficial to me than what I contributed to them.
  • The possibility of a return trip there in the near future (!!!)
  • An intense curiosity about the urban ministry context
  • Being a part of the Uptown Campus of Elevation Church - meeting at McGlohan Theater smack in the middle of Charlotte
  • Helping in Elevation's partner connections with local groups who are getting it done
  • Leading one of the parking teams at Elevation, with a couple of homeless guys serving when they can - not to get something, but to give themselves to help others
  • Reading "Same Kind of Different as Me" - a book that radiates God's love for the homeless and speaks of the power of friendship
  • Watching "the Soloist" and wondering how many people just like that I pass every day: gifted children of God who have much to offer but are rejected by society
  • Thomas Nelson Publishers sending me "What Difference Do It Make", the follow-up book by Denver Moore and Ron Hall after reading my initial blog post
  • Participating in Mayor Anthony Fox's summit on the homeless last week - a room full of 150 advocates that aren't just talking, but doing

I don't know what's up - but God does.

I don't always have to know, but I am always called to obey.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Catch and Release

In "Same Kind of Different as Me" Denver Moore is a tough homeless man, raised in virtual slavery till a young man, then a citizen of the streets for decades. It was a divine appointment that brought him into contact with Ron and Debbie Hall, two tireless volunteers at the Fort Worth Union Gospel Mission.

Over a period of weeks, Ron tried to initiate a friendship with Denver - to no avail. Then when he least expected it, the following comments from Denver shook Ron to his core:

"I been thinkin a lot about what you asked me - 'bout being your friend." He looked up from his coffee, fixing me with one eye, the other squinted like Clint Eastwood. "There's somethin I heard 'bout white folks that bothers me, and it has to do with fishin."

"I heard that when white folks go fishin they do somethin called 'catch and release.'"

"That really bothers me," Denver went on. "I just can't figure it out. 'Cause when colored folks go fishin, we really proud of what we catch, and we take it and show it off to everybody that'll look. Then we eat what we other words, we use it to sustain us. So it really bothers me that white folks would go to all that trouble to catch a fish, then when they done caught it, just throw it back in the water."

"So, Mr. Ron, it occurred to me: if you is fishin for a friend you jus gon'catch and relase, then I ain't got no desire to be your friend."

Suddenly his eyes gentled and he spoke more softly than before: "But if you is lookin for a real friend, then I'll be one. Forever."

Denver Moore knows about friendship. Self-described as someone with "layers of street on me a mile thick," Denver, in that powerfully simple exchange above, unveiled a whole new meaning of friendship to Ron Hall - one that would sustain them both in the days ahead.

The book is "Same Kind of Different as Me." It's a true-life story of what happens when we allow God to break through our histories and past, in order to write His future on our lives.
As Denver says: "I used to spend a lot of time worryin that I was different from other people, even from other homeless folks. Then, after I met Miss Debbie and Mr. Ron, I worried that I was so different from them that we wadn't ever gon' have no kind a' future. But I found out everybody's different - the same kind of different as me. We're all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holiday Volunteers

The book "Same Kind of Different as Me" continues to impact me in a powerful way. First, a little backstory: my friend Dean, a member of our community group, said he picked up a great book a while back and was reading it on a flight to the West Coast. Near the end he struck up a conversation with someone sitting next to him. He felt impressed that God was telling him to give the book away to his seatmate - which he did. We don't know the rest of the story, but I have no doubt the book will make an impact on that person's life.

Why? It's because Denver, a homeless man of the streets of Fort Worth, has words like this:

Lemme tell you what homeless people think about folks that help homeless people: When you homeless, you wonder why certain volunteers do what they do. But these folks was different. One reason was they didn't come just on holidays. Most people don't want the homeless close to em-think they're dirty, or got some kinda disease, or maybe they think that kind of troubled life gon' rub off on em. They come at Christmas and Easter and Thanksgivin and give you a little turkey and lukewarm gravy. Then they go home and gather round their own table and forget about you till the next time come around where they start feelin a little guilty 'cause they got so much to be thankful for.

Like I said, I'd been watching Mr. and Mrs. Tuesday. They wadn't like the holiday volunteers. They'd come ever week and talk to the homeless folks, and not seem to be afraid of em. Talked to em like they was intelligent. I started to think Mr. and Mrs. Tuesday might be trying to do some real good 'stead a just making themselves feel better 'bout being rich.

"Same Kind of Different of Me" is a powerful story of the most unlikely friendship developed over time between a tough street bum named Denver and Ron and Debbie Hall. It's a story you can believe in, because it resonates in the love God has for his children - all of them, no matter what their address or stage in life.

It's a lesson we all can learn - Thanks, Denver, for letting God speak through you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dug Down Deep Blog Tour

How would you like to be the King of Israel – God’s chosen people – and have to admit that you had lost God’s Word? Not figuratively, but literally. The nation of Israel went for decades carrying on the traditions of worship at the temple, with the scroll containing the Word of God missing.

Joshua Harris, author of the recently released book “Dug Down Deep”, uses the story of young king Josiah of Israel to illustrate how easy it is for a whole generation to go happily about the business of religion, all the while having lost a true knowledge of God.

To Harris, theology and orthodoxy matter: “It matters not because we want to impress people, but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. Theology matters because if we get if wrong then our whole life will be wrong.”

Harris, a pastor and author of several best-selling books, weaves his personal life stories along with foundational Christian truths to give the reader a guide for the journey of discovering the timeless truths of Scripture.

Are you struggling with tough questions about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? Join Joshua Harris as he invites you to “dig deep into a faith so solid you can build your life on it”.

You’ll be glad you did.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrookMultnomah’s book review blogger's tour. I was not required to write a positive review; the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Experience Blueprint

I'm wrapping up this week-long series of posts on "design" by returning to Tim Brown's book "Change by Design". Brown, the CEO of the innovation and design firm IDEO, has challenged my thinking about design in a number of ways: it's not just for creative industries or people designing products. Design thinking is most powerful when applied to abstract, multifaceted problems that address a wide range of issues and concerns. Problems that the typical church encounters every day!

Here's a great example from one chapter on the design of experience:

Design has the power to enrich our lives by engaging our emotions through image, form, texture, color, sound and smell. The intrinsically human-centered nature of design thinking points to the next step: we can use our empathy and understanding of people to design experiences that create opportunities for active engagement and participation.

Wow-that's a lot to think about! In the world of serving the church where I work and live, the concepts of designing for experience are so important, yet so often totally overlooked. Brown goes on to talk about 3 "themes" of the design of experiences:

  1. The experience economy - people have shifted from passive consumption to active participation

  2. Best experiences are not scripted at corporate headquarters but decided on the spot by service professionals who create an authentic, genuine, and compelling experience

  3. Implementation is everything-an experience must be as finely crafted and precision-engineered as any other product

Just as a product begins with an engineering blueprint and a building with an architectural blueprint, an experience blueprint provides the framework for working out the details of a human interaction, including emotive elements, from beginning to end. It captures how people travel through an experience in time. Rather than trying to choreograph that journey, its function is to identify the most meaningful points and turn them into opportunities to positively impact the individual. What might be a source of discomfort or pain is now an opportunity for an experience that is distinctive, emotionally gratifying, and memorable.

The experience blueprint is at one and the same time a high-level strategy document and a fine-grained analysis of the details that matter.

I'm headed back to the drawing boards - what about you and your church?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Design Thinking

If this doesn't make you curious about the concept of Design Thinking, I'm not sure anything will! The image comes from the inside cover of the book "Change by Design" by Tim Brown, CEO of the celebrated innovation and design firm IDEO.

In the book, Brown introduces the concept of "design thinking". Design is not just about creating elegant objects or beautifying the world around us. The best designers match:

  • Necessity to utility

  • Constraint to possibility

  • Need to demand

Design thinkers rely on rigorous observations of how we use spaces and the objects and services that occupy them. They discover patterns where others see complexity and confusion. They synthesize new ideas from seemingly disparate fragments. And my personal favorite: They convert problems into opportunities.

"Change by Design" is a blueprint for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking - an approach for creative problem solving - into all facets of their organizations, products, or services to discover new alternatives for business and society as a whole.

Design Thinking is for anyone confronting the challenges of today in order to create the opportunities of tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What is Design?

It's not that there is a problem defining "design" - it's that there is an overabundance of definitions of design. Warren Berger, in his book "Glimmer" provides not only helpful definitions of design but helps the reader move beyond understanding design as only about style.

With contributions from designers around the world, most notably Bruce Mau, Berger developed ten principles, divided into four segments. These principles begin with a few basic design principles that can be used by anyone for any purpose - but also form the building blocks for the sections to follow. Listed below is an outline of the principles; for more details see the website.

The Glimmer Principles

  • Ask stupid questions

  • Jump fences

  • Make hope visible


  • Go deep

  • Work the metaphor

  • Design what you do


  • Face consequences

  • Embrace constraints


  • Design for emergence

  • Begin anywhere

Whether it's applied to business, social, or personal challenges, design thinking opens up new avenues of progress, suggesting fresh answers to old and difficult questions. It's about infinite possibilities - and more importantly, it's about optimism.

What if we looked at the world as a design project - how might we begin to make it better?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Idea Everyone Will Like

There's no such thing as a truly original idea.

I don't know who said it first, but it's something I really believe! I've found a fascinating book by creativity expert David Kord Murray that takes that saying to the outer limits.

I'm kicking off a series of posts on the impact of design in our world, and this line of thought looked like a good place to start.

"Borrowing Brilliance" will challenge you as it examines the evolution of a creative idea. It also offers practical advice, taking the reader step-by-step through Murry's unique thought process. Here are the six steps:

  1. Defining - define the problem you're trying to solve

  2. Borrowing - Borrow ideas from places with a similar problem

  3. Combining - Connect and combine these borrowed ideas

  4. Incubating - Allow the combinations to incubate into a solution

  5. Judging - Identify the strength and weakness of the solution

  6. Enhancing - Eliminate the weak points while enhancing the strong ones

Read a quick summary of the six steps here. You can also get more information at this website. But don't stop there - by all means pick up a copy of the book and explore it deeper - and you will find yourself looking at creativity in a whole new light.

Got a challenge staring you in the face, and looking for a solution. Why not follow the steps above by "borrowing some brilliance" and formulate your own unique solution?

Monday, January 11, 2010

God is Up to Something...

Intersection of life:

  • Completed reading "Same Kind of Different as Me", a powerful story about how a homeless street bum from the streets of Fort Worth impacted the life of Debbie and Ron Hall: a story of persistence, faith, loss, and triumph
  • Watched "The Soloist", a true story of a Los Angeles newspaper reporter who discovers a brilliant street musician and their unique friendship that transforms both their lives
  • Lead a parking team at Elevation that includes a couple of homeless guys, who find this little bit of serving to be fulfilling, yet...

God is up to something...

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Little PDA, Please

That's Passion, Discipline, and Action - were you expecting something else?

Mark Sanborn, writing in "The Encore Effect", reminds us that everyday we are in a performance of sorts. Like actors in a play, there are bad performers, average performers, and exceptional performers.

Passion plus Discipline without Action = daydreaming

Discipline plus Action without Passion = a fire made from damp wood

Action plus Passion without Discipline = a race car without a driver

The right mix of PDA will move you into the exceptional category, enabling you to give a remarkable performance. Remarkable performances affect us, whether on the stage or in a meeting. They:

  • Move us to act
  • Make us feel good
  • Cause us to laugh
  • Stimulate us to think

The curtain is rising on your performance today - knock em dead!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Story Loop

Once upon a time, I suppose, people sat around and told stories to each other around a cooking fire. The older ones told the younger ones, who told their younger ones. Eventually, one family group passed along their stories to another family group.

Thus, the oral tradition of storytelling was born.

At some point in time, people figured out letters and the materials to write them on. They took the stories that had been told and passed down from generation to generation orally and wrote them as text.

The written story was born.

Much later, people invented devices that could capture the sound of the human voice, store it, and repeat it for others to hear - across the street or around the world. These devices changed shape and form, but they all worked in an analog fashion - capturing sounds for reproduction.

The audio recorded story was born.

In the last couple of decades, a new way of recording the story emerged: digital. The sound source was recorded by breaking it down and storing it digitally. Not only could the sounds be reproduced, they could be reproduced over and over, without any degradation of quality.

The digital story was born.

Now here we are, in the digital age, texting, tweeting, IMing, voice calls, emails, etc., all using a digital form of communication. Sometimes, even when we're in the same room or under the same roof.

Kinda like sitting around a cooking fire, telling stories...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Does Word of Mouth Suit You to a T?

More great stuff from Andy Sernovitz's book "Word of Mouth Marketing":

The Five Ts of Word of Mouth Marketing

  • Talkers - Find people who will talk about you

  • Topics - Give people a reason to talk

  • Tools - Helps the message spread faster

  • Taking Part - Join the conversation

  • Tracking - Measure and understand what people are saying

Here's your homework assignment: go here and download the 5 Ts worksheet. Now complete it for your church.

What are you waiting for? Dive into the Ts and turn them loose!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Everybody's Talking...

Why not give them a reason to talk about you?

Word of mouth marketing has been defined as " a) giving people a reason to talk about you and b) making it easier for the conversation to take place".

Andy Sernovitz, author of "Word of Mouth Marketing", has compiled some great ideas about how to use Word of Mouth: check them out here.

What's the lesson for ChurchWorld?

Sernovitz lists 4 Rules for Word of Mouth Marketing. I've listed them here, along with my interpretation of how a church might apply them:

  • Rule # 1: Be Interesting. Nobody listens to boring, and that goes for churches, too. Do you communicate with passion and energy in all you do?

  • Rule # 2: Surprise People - Make Them Happy. Do you do everything with excellence? Do people leave your campus excited about what they've experienced, and ready to tell others about it?

  • Rule # 3: Earn Trust and Respect. Nobody talks about an organization they don't trust or don't like. Welcome your your guests, then listen to them. Fulfill their needs, and work constantly to make the best impression you can.

  • Rule # 4: Make It Easy. Work hard on your vision so it's easy to remember and repeat. What can people tell a friend about your church in one sentence?
In today's hyper-connected world, word of mouth is more important than ever - even when the "word" is digitally transmitted.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Prerequisite of Clarity

2010 ushers in a new decade, one that will be loaded with uncertainty and contradictions. Writing on New Years Day, Seth Godin states that “change” and “frustration” are going to be the biggest trends of the new decade. Leaders with clarity will need to see through uncertainty and have the ability to discern what to do and where to go, when neither is apparent.

Clarity is a prerequisite for compelling leadership.

Bob Johansen, author of “Leaders Make the Future”, states that clarity is one of ten leadership skills that leaders will need in the upcoming decade of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Here’s a brief recap on clarity:

  • Clarity requires inner strength and discipline: leaders, even when immersed in a world of ambiguity and confusion, emerge with forward momentum.
  • Clarity requires great self-knowledge: leaders must first understand who they are becoming, and how to get there, before leading others.
  • Clarity requires external engagement: leaders communicate with inspiration and a call to action that attracts others to follow.
  • Clarity requires flexibility: leaders are clear about their destination, but flexible about the journey.

Leaders understand why people crave simple and easy answers, but should provide clarity without introducing false hope. Navigating the maze between hope and hopelessness, leaders with clarity will find a way out.

How are you relentlessly pursuing clarity in 2010?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Calendar

It's 2010...a new year...a new decade...and a new calendar.

Hanging up inside a cabinet door in our kitchen, right next to the phone, is The Calendar. It's taken many forms over the years, but it serves as our family coordinator, so to speak. Every year on December 31 we take down the old one and put up a new one. The old one joins our file of 30 years of family memories.

The Calendar is a snapshot of what happens through the year - doctor's appointments, family and business trips, rugby games, church events, special nights out - if it happened, it's on The Calendar.

In this high tech world of smart phones, instant messaging, texting, Twitter, etc. it's reassuring to be a little "old school" and have a calendar on the wall that everyone contributes to and everyone can coordinate what's happening as a family.
Our family is ready for 2010 - The Calendar is pretty much blank, waiting to record our memories. We're looking forward to a great year!