The Smell of Entropy

Years ago, a colleague and I walked into a long-standing Bennigan’s restaurant for lunch. We were seated pretty quickly and had our choice of almost any table in the joint. This was surprising because several businesses and a nearby hospital indicated a strong lunch crowd. But inside the restaurant, the decor was dated, the staff was apathetic and the atmosphere simply had no energy. Opening our menus, I looked at my friend and remarked, “This place looks like a funeral waiting to happen.” Within months, it was gone.

I was no oracle in my prediction. The indications of the restaurant’s demise were evident. You’ve probably noticed the similar signs in a diner, office supply store or church you’ve visited. The pictures on the wall are sun-bleached, the layout of the store feels archaic, the sermon message bears no relevance to daily life… It’s as if decisions were placed into a time capsule, then buried under some combination of apathy, bureaucracy and stubborn fear. We may not always be conscious of these indicators, but we can smell it.

It’s the smell of entropy.

What’s important has not been attended to. It has not been maintained, pruned and enhanced. And without a curator, these areas naturally degrade and begin to die. It isn’t always a physical death. Ideas, tools and methodologies inevitably age and decompose as well. You can smell it in a conversation with someone who hasn’t kept up with current trends and terminology.

Therein lies the problem – entropy is easy to spot in others, but hard to identify in ourselves until it’s too late. So what can you do to spot issues early on?

Get Out of the House
You probably won’t notice the scent of your own home unless you’re returning from a long absence. The same can be true of your organization or personal development. So, get out of your environment. Visit a competitor. Attend industry events. Read a current book (or five). Seek out online indicators of trends (industry news sites, blogs, Twitter trends, etc.). You’ll begin to realize what needs freshened up or tossed out of your home.

Invite Others In
Visitors to your home will notice the smell of entropy immediately. Invite them in. When you bring in a new hire, ask them to help identify what is old and stale. Be open to their input and willing to make healthy adjustments. Ask for input from new visitors to your church. They’re probably shopping around and have some observations of what expectations you aren’t meeting. Another option is to bring in some outside expertise. A consultant or advisor can bring some deep, vertical knowledge and expertise, specifically identifying some “quick wins” to get you up to speed with what is current.

The good news is that entropy doesn’t necessarily mean death. It may mean dying. And the best news is that death isn’t always permanent.

Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2013 Live Blog (Friday) #wcagls

3:45 PM CDT
Closing Session
Andy Stanley

Jesus asking, “Who do people say I am?” then “What about you guys say I am?” Peter answers. Jesus says Peter didn’t come up with that on his own, but it was revealed by the Father. Jesus says, “On this rock, I will build my congregation… my assembly. And death itself will not prevail against it.” My death (Jesus), your death (disciples) will not stop it.

Here we are. They could not have even imagined it. It is so unfortunate that the term “church” as we used it was formed in our bible. The word was German and related to a place. Jesus wasn’t referring to a place, he was talking about a group of people, a movement. Ecclesia. In the first translation of the English Bible, you don’t find “church” you find congregation… an assembly.

If we took all the groups represented here and put them in a pocket and asked them “What’s the one thing we have in common?” The only thing is exactly what Jesus predicted… that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God and He would creates something that nothing could destroy. Before you go to church, think about it. You are part of the fulfillment of a prophesy that is over 2,000 years old. The Great Commission: ALL power is given to Christ. Go to ALL nations and baptize and disciple… to the ends of the Earth. And then He disappeared. When Jesus made His promise, he didn’t blink. He knew they didn’t fully understand. They are standing there in an undesirable real estate, as outlaws and He charges them to go into all nations. Jesus has been and will continue to build His church and nobody’s death will stop him… not even His own.

How did this thing get started? Because in some of our churches and some of our cities, it’s time to start over. Their message was “You killed Him. God brought him back to life. Now say you’re sorry.” (Acts 22) The central teaching of the 1st century church was not, “We believe something is true.” It was, “We believe something happened.”

(Insert Andy Stanley’s fictitious account of how God suggested Jesus go back down and select a leader… a pharisee… Saul of Tarsus to get his movement going again.) Saul is on his way to Damascus and Jesus appeared to him and knocked him off his you-know-what. Saul becomes the champion of the church. Why? Jesus said nothing would stop His church. He is so committed to build the local church, he interrupts plans. Eventually, Saul/Paul decides to go back to Jerusalem and no one wants to be around him. (Insert Andy’s account of how Paul lays out a map to the disciples. “Here’s how we’ll break this up.” He circles Jerusalem. “You guys take Jerusalem, I’ll take everything else.”) Paul goes around planting all these Ecclesias, facing all kinds of trouble. Eventually, he is brought to Jerusalem and arrested. Since he’s a Roman citizen, he is sent to Rome. He writes his letters (Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians…). Likely early in the morning, they get Paul and march him out and he may have been asking, “Will it work? Will it last? Did I waste my life?” Can you imagine what he didn’t know?

(Explains how there is a cross hanging over the Emperor’s gate in the Roman Coliseum)

Could Peter that morning hear us say don’t be discouraged. People from all over will come here and not ask where Caesar or Nero are buried. They’ll ask where Peter was imprisoned. One day, in this very city, there will be crosses all over this city and they won’t represent execution. They will represent… The only day people will mention Caesar Augustus is when they tell the story of Jesus’ birth. They’ll name their kids Peter and Paul. They’ll name their dogs Nero and Caesar. One day there will be no Roman Empire, but the church of your Lord and Savior will be in every nation of the world, just as your Lord and Savior predicted.

You may do things more profitable with your life, but you’ll never do anything more significant than helping build His church. … you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

2:30 AM CDT
Session 7b: Reversing the Death Spiral of Leadership
Dr. Henry Cloud

(Referring to Hybels’ “Here to There” Vision) It is necessary to find courage when things get bigger.

Leaders don’t blame. They take ownership of what they are called to steward.

The hardest thing for leaders to take charge of is themselves.
There are certain things all leaders do. Some get results. Some don’t. Somewhere between “Here” and “There” they start a downward spiral because it is very hard to be in charge of yourself.

Leaders who continue in hard times because they think, feel and behave differently than the ones who spiral out.

53% better sales performance from dumb vs. smart. They gave the smart and dumb guys another test beforehand, selecting smart guys who are pessimists and dumb guys who are optimists. The ones who believe they can… will win out every time.

#1 factor of success is whether or not you believe it will be done. All leaders believe it will happen at the start. You encounter a circumstance where you realize you are out of control of the circumstances around you. A condition called learned helplessness. We’re trained all our lives that if we do “A” then “B” happens. Until you find yourself in a place where the results seem out of your control (market, environment, others). The brain begins to change in interesting ways.

The 3 Ps
Personal: When the sale doesn’t happen, the brain begins to say “I’m not any good. I’m not good enough.” Every leader who does something fails, but the “dummies” don’t take it personally. “They weren’t ready yet.” “I can tweak the presentation.”

Pervasive: It’s not just them, it’s all our clients.

Permanent: It’s not going to change.

The Bible and science always agree in a place called reality. If not, you have goofy science or wacky Christians and there’s no shortage of either.

Brokers after market crash getting notes about ruining people’s lives. Asked to help brokers, but saw opportunity for brokers to step into their client’s lives. Learned helplessness – dog pushing lever gets shocked. Not pushing lever and still gets shocked = dog gives up.

We have to reverse the 3 Ps.
1. Log and Dispute: Log negative thoughts and dispute them. (Difference between your brain and your mind) Your brain is a physiological organ that can be subject to goofy chemicals that have nothing to do with reality. Dispute the personal stuff, the pervasive stuff and the permanent stuff. When you look at the whole picture, your life changes. Your life is a movie. Your brain sees it as a scene.
2. Control: List 2 Columns – What you can’t control and what you can. People who thrive had a list showing exactly the things they could do. Everybody has control of something. There’s always something you can do. That’s what you do when you’re going from “Here” to “There.”
3. Connect: Your brain runs on 3 things – oxygen, glucose and relationship. In the Bible, we got ashamed when we lost relationship with God. The opposite of bad is not good, it is love (relationship).

We took 500 brokers through this. They started to have weekly, structured meetings connecting with each other. Connecting about the battle, sharing problems and solutions. Stress levels of monkeys agitated and confused individually vs. together (with a buddy, it dropped 50%).

A can-do attitude is something that will give you confidence.
1:30 PM CDT
Session 7a: Multiplying Your Impact Exponentially
Oscar Muriu

The size of your harvest depends on the number of leaders you have.
The harvest is ripe. There are not enough harvesters/leaders to get the work done. Jesus would still say this to us today. The fewer the harvesters, the smaller your harvest will be. Jesus’ strategy was to first find his leaders and to invest himself into their lives – to call them – to walk with them. He FOUND his leaders. We’re too busy and worn out to find and invest in our leaders. We can’t stop, because the harvest is still growing. Today you and I are the result of His strategy. (If you don’t find and invest in leaders) The reach of your leadership will be the limit of your personal capacity. The size of your leadership will be determined by how many leaders you raise up to carry on when you’re gone.

Live for the next generation
Psalm 71:18
David was not living for his own generation (“…until I declare your might to the next generation”). When you live for your own generation, you are born and you die with your generation. Your vision will die with your generation. Who am I investing my life in? Are they at least 20 years younger than me? Surround yourself with younger leaders and invest and pour yourself into them. Have a leadership engine that rolls on, year after year.

Identify the budding leaders around you and take them to God in prayer.
Numbers 11:10-17
Moses was fed up with the people he was leading. He was complaining to God. v.18 God says he is working too hard. Pick 70 of your best leaders (proven track record) and bring them and I will take the spirit that is upon you and pour it out upon them. I will infuse them with My spirit, so they can carry my DNA. Moses was struggling with discouragement and possibly burnout, but there were already 70 world-class leaders right under his nose. He found them in one day. Some of your best leaders are right under your nose, but they’re so close you can’t see them.

Instill the 5 Loves into your budding leaders
Mark 12:30-33
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your Soul, with all your MIND, and with all your STRENGTH. Love your NEIGHBOR as yourself.
Heart = a matter of Character
Soul = a matter of Conviction
Mind = a matter of Comprehension
Strength = a matter of Competence
Neighbor = a matter of Compassion

Never do ministry alone. Always have budding leaders with you.
Acts 4:13
(Math = 9,360 hours a week Jesus gave to the disciples) If we only do ministry over coffee 3 hours a week would take 60 years to disciple one person. Never waste an opportunity to have young leaders be around you.

The more harvesters your have, the larger your harvest will be.

10:30 AM CDT
Session 6: Daring Greatly
Dr. Brene Brown

(Note: This is the one I’ve most anticipated)
(Lead in song Worry Not My Daughter)

I don’t study leaders. I study people. (don’t lead with that)

The irreducible needs of men, women and children. There are 2.
Love and Belonging are irreducible needs. In the absence of love and belonging, there is always, always suffering. Always.
1. Be seen and loved.
2. Belong.
3. Be brave.

When we talk about love, most people picture rainbows and unicorns. I think love is messy. It’s tough, gritty and messy. (picture of older person’s rough, wrinkled hands held out to receive something) Very few people have thought about what love realaly means. We cultivate love when we honor that spiritual connection of that person with trust, kindness, affection and respect. It’s not something we give or get. It’s something we grow and nurture. It’s something we cultivate. Cultivated only when it is shared with someone else.

Love must be acknowledged, healed and rare…

Growth through connection.
You don’t have all the answers. If you do, speak up because we have a bunch of problems. The leader who is OZ… great and powerful… that dance is up. You don’t have the answers and you don’t have to. A leader’s job is modeling the courage to ask the questions.

We can’t give what we don’t have.
We can’t give people what we don’t have. We can’t give them courage, a sense of belonging, grace… when we don’t have it. We can’t give help if we can’t ask for it. When you judge yourself when you ask for help, you are – by default – always judging when you offer help. You have attached judgment to needing help.

Professing vs. Practicing
When you engage in that (sexting, etc.) you are not practicing love. Professing love and practicing it are very different. The space between how we behave and what we practice everyday is where we lose people. We’re looking for people who practice love… all messy and gritty.

What kills love is what kills organizations.

Shame can only rise so far in organization before people disengage to self-protect. Shame is a termite infection. If you walk through an organization and you can see shame (putting down employees in front of clients, favoritism, etc.) Funding someone who has failed (big) sounds expensive, but isn’t nearly as expensive as funding someone who is in the death grip of fear. If you want to be innovating, you better be praying for lots of mistakes. Without failure there can be no innovation.

The simple discharging of pain and discomfort. It has no value whatsoever. It has nothing to do with accountability. It is toxic in organizations, just as it’s toxic in love.

#1 reason for leaving (exit interview) is lack of feedback. Lack of feedback is a form of disrespect. Feedback is a function of respect. You can’t be good at feedback if you’re not good at being vulnerable. Without vulnerability, there’s no feedback.

#1 barrier is fitting in. You have to make a space for people to show up and fit in for who they are. We’re so desperate to be seen. We will build intimacy around a common enemy. Conforming goals, appearance and opinions to fit in leads to shame. Being who we are and fitting in. Be here and be loved. Be here and belong. Be here and be respected. Belonging is not a luxury for us. It is in our DNA to be a part of something bigger than us.

Be Brave
We were born to be brave. Never in our lives do we feel more alive than when we’re being brave (in love, in grief, in our homes, in our work). (TEDx Houston talk story. Was an experiment in front of 500 people that was recorded and seen by millions. Led to vulnerability hangover. Read online, anonymous comments about talk.) People can say painful things that will cause us to change who we are so we never hear them again.

I want to be in the arena and I don’t think I have much of a choice. You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot have both. They are mutually exclusive. You’re signing up to get your butt kicked. If courage is part of your value, you have signed up for that. 2 things you take with you: Absolute clarity of value. Someone who loves you for who you are. When you get kicked in the face, they’ll say, “That sucked, but you were being brave.” If you are not in the arena also getting your butt kicked, I am not interested in your opinion. Contribute more than you criticize.

Vulnerability isn’t as scary and terrifying as getting to the end of our life and wondering, “What if I had the courage to show up?”

Hybels: How many people live every moment of every day with a deep sense of regret for what we’ve done in the past? Honest confession doesn’t mean beating yourself up. You agree with God about it and accept God’s forgiveness.
9:30 AM CDT
Session 5b: The Innovation Challenge: Getting it Right
Vijay Govindarajan

Interviewed by Jim Mellado

Strategy is not about celebrating the past. It’s not about managing the present. It’s about leading in the future. If you want to lead in the future, you have to adapt to change. Adapting to change is innovation.

3 Box Strategy

  • Box 1Manage the present.
  • Box 2Selectively abandon the past.
  • Box 3Create the future.
  • Competition for the present is all about efficiency. Competition for the future is all about innovation.

    Dominant logic is a double-edged sword. It is extremely useful, but left unchecked, it creates self-imposed boundaries. The central leadership challenge: how do you preserve the dominant logic, but at the same overcome it?

    Innovation is more than ideas. Innovation is not creativity. It is creative execution.
    Innovation = Idea + Leader + Team + Plan

    The role of leaders is not to subvert, but to harness and leverage the core business function.

    2 Things We Do that Oppose Innovation:
    1. Assume innovation can happen inside the performance engine.
    Innovation is the opposite of efficiency. It’s all about flexibility.
    2. Not institute the plan correctly.

    It will create conflict when you create this new innovation team. You have to have shared staff between the innovation team and the performance engine. Be courageous to recruit people from the outside. Do not just transfer people from performance engine. You will struggle with the forgetting process. When you set up a team, the team – if it is constituted correctly – can help to fight against organizational memory. They should not be isolated from core business, because they will borrow some key assets. Conflicts are healthy if you manage them productively.

    The planning is connected to the real challenge in Box 1 – your current business. You’re responding from clear signals in the current market. Box 3 is responding to weak signals because it is… We don’t know what the customer wants, etc. Learn to resolve assumptions. Box 1 – I can plan. Box 3 – Is about testing assumptions. The rule is spend a little, learn a lot. Low cost experimentation.

    The performance engine can be evaluated on known results. Box 3 is an experiment. You cannot evaluate it on short term financial results. There can be a strong discipline to evaluate their ability to learn. Can you set up hypothesus, test that hypothesus, translate to knowledge.

    Reverse innovation.
    Innovating in a poor country like India and bringing it to a rich country like America. Why would a rich man want a poor man’s product. Healthcare is very high cost, not best quality and not universal access. There are over 100 experiments in poor countries around low cost and best in class quality healthcare. The US may want to know this. Innovation has to be learning to do a lot more for a lot less for a lot of people. Because their cost is 50x less, it isn’t 50x lower quality. You can’t have a low quality heart surgery. Innovation is not just about value for money, it’s about value for many.

    Use technology to make great products for the poor. Reducing income inequality has to become the highest form of human achievement.

    8:30 AM CDT
    Session 5a: Mastering the Skill of Influence
    Joseph Genny

    (Some of the text left the screen too quickly for me to capture. Influence to buy the book?)
    Leadership is intentional influence.

    If our religious experience isn’t translating into other habits and experiences, we aren’t leading. When somebody fails, we deliver another sermon. This is a naive view of influence. Don’t just teach principles. Connect to people’s values.

    Don’t just teach principles. Connect to values.

    (A) Motivation ——————–(B) Ability
    Personal: A(1) Make the undesirable desirable. B(2) Surpass your limits.
    Social: A(3) Harness peer pressure. B(4) Find strength in numbers.
    Structural: A(5) Design rewards and demand accountability. B(6) Change the environment.

    Personal Ability
    The influence of skill.
    (Video: Kid on ski jump)As influencers, we understand motivation, but we leave out the right side of the model (Ability). (Moses in the house of Pharaoh – learning how to lead a nation)

  • The practice setting must approximate the real world.
  • Small bites.
  • Intense focus for brief periods.
  • Immediate feedback
  • (HOV violations. Sign “Report HOV Lane Violations Call 921HERO) Number of lane violators dropped by 80% in a couple of weeks. Combination of sign and letter sent to violators reframes so that violators realize violators are watching them.

    The influence of other people – through modeling, praise, helping…

    Structural Ability
    The influence of space, data, cues, tools, processes, and other environmental factors.
    The space we inhabit influence our choices.

    Those who used six sources of influence, their outcome increases 1,000%.

    If you want to change the world, learn how to change people’s behaviors.

    Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2013 Live Blog (Thursday) #wcagls

    4:15 PM CDT
    Session 4b: Unscripted Leadership
    Mark Burnett

    Interview by Bill Hybels
    Started as a T-shirt seller on the beach. In Europe, if you don’t speak right or go to the right school, you don’t get options. That’s not the case in the US. A businessman told me to start with the lowest cost

    When we’re pitching shows, all I hear is N-O “Next Opportunity.” You are going to get “No”s, you got to keep going. The reason we did The Bible, was the calling from God. When God/Jesus, they’re the same to me, when He calls, you have to get your ass off the couch and actually do something.

    Bill is the first pastor I met all over the country who had never heard of The Voice.

    In the secular media, we were feeling attacked. I was explaining it to Bill. He didn’t say much. He’s got a great poker face. He watched an episode and said, “I’m going to help. Stop playing defensively and start playing offensively. Be offensive about The Bible. Stop apologizing for it!”

    The success of The Bible series has nothing to do with us. It is the Holy Spirit. We prayed so hard. We were given courage by church and church leaders. This is a time in history when people need hope. The Bible Series was the right series, right message, right time.

    Choose your companions before you choose your road. First thing in the morning, you have a tub full of water. When you leave for work, you pull the plug. On a good day, you should see the last drop go down when you go to sleep. When dealing with the wrong people and unresolved emotional conflicts, you drain your energy. Your tub is emptied too quickly.

    There’s a lot of money at risk in television. The creative person doesn’t need to know how much the cameras cost, etc. but they have a sense of responsibility for that. Hire great people and let them do their job. How insulting is it to hire great people then tell them what to do? Empower them. By the way, get out of their way a bit.

    If someone came to me and pitched a show without a budget and schedule, I would be thinking I hired an insane person and have to fire them tomorrow. You have to be responsible. This has happened. I do not want to go and pitch a show, great story with great storytellers, we have to know how much it’s going to cost and when it’s going to be on the air. The Bible, people in Hollywood wanted to say we pretended it was low budget. It was 20% of Game of Thrones, it looks as good – maybe better – it’s more important (laughs). The easiest thing to do is waste money, to go over budget. We shot in Morroco. If we shot in the US, it would have been $100 million or $120 million. You know, making Christian movies doesn’t give you permission to make a crappy movie. I’m so happy that the community of Christian filmmakers can make the best quality movies while telling the story of love.

    Clips from The Bible with Mary Did You Know by Celo Green

    Hybels – Figure out a way to leverage what you’re good at with the skills and talents God has given you and leverage it for Him.

    3:15 PM CDT
    Session 4a: Love Takes Action
    Bob Goff

    (started notes at 3:45 due to a great conversation I couldn’t pass up with a friend I don’t see enough)
    From Twitter:
    Like a Polaroid photo, leaders develop over time.

    Don’t live someone else’s calling. It will come off like a bad Elvis impersonation. What are you made to do?! Do a lot of THAT! and, when you do THAT, it changes everything!

    God wants to blow your minds. He took the foolish things of the world to shame the wise so that no one can boast.

    Every Thursday I quit something. If you make some margin, Jesus will chuck terrific things in there.

    Charlie, a young boy left for dead in Kenya gets an invite to the Oval Office. Why does God do that? To blow our minds.

    Went to the prison to visit the man who tried to kill Charlie. He talked about being sorry for what he had done. He talked about witchcraft. He was on one knee and said he knew he was going to die in there and he knew he needed forgiveness. He ended up accepting Christ. Really? He got to choose that? Now I visit him every 60 days and he is reading scripture. He preached the Gospel to thousands of dying men in prison. And he got it wrong. The only thing he got right was Jesus. He said he knows he going to die in prison thanks to me, but he forgives me. He doesn’t get to forgive me, right? Isn’t it great that God’s ability to forgive isn’t based on our ability to get it?

    Nothing will ever, ever, ever, ever… like a Taylor Swift song…. ever, ever, EVER separate us from the love of God.
    2:15 PM CDT
    Session 3b: Right Title… Wrong Kingdom
    Chris Brown

    I never saw the story of Goliath from the perspective of the king – Saul. Over a month, Saul was being called out by the enemy every day. His leadership is paralyzed and his army is compromized. He knew it and so did his men.

    The idea of sending a boy out to the battle seemed like a good idea, because anyone’s neck seems better than yours. When David defeated Goliath, Saul did what any manager would do, “I hired him! I saw something in him and hired him.”

    Saul could not celebrate the achievments of others when their achievements began to overshadow his.

    Is this about your title or His? Is it about building your kingdom or is it about His?

    Pharoah elevated Joseph. A pagan leader got what the leader of God’s people didn’t get. Sometimes in losing our title and our coat, we find character. The heart of leadership is not our title, but our character. We have to remember whose kingdom this is; it’s God’s.

    Never get caught up in the great things of leadership if it takes you away from the God things of leadership.

    Disciples faught over being the greatest. Jesus said, “Not so with you.” It’s not about greatness. It’s about serving others. Insecure leaders have to have the title and position. A secure leader will pick up a towel and wash the feet of their followers.

    Why do we do it (share title and leadership)?
    Because Jesus said so. We always want more, so I’ll share a few things.

    We get a healthier church. When we share this and invite others beside us in the chariot, we get healthier by it. Succession: I’m afraid in the future that our cities will be gifted some incredible civic centers, and they used to be called churches. The building stayed, but the personality left.

    Can you do this? Can we empower others for the title, the position and the stage?

    Do you have room in your chariot for a David or Joseph? Can you celebrate, even when they’re better than you?

    Do I expand His Kingdom or my reputation? You’ll be forced to choose.

    What difference is the Holy Spirit making in the environment I lead? Do not any longer be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. If a non-believer were doing my job instead of me, would he be doing it differently?

    You are God’s Plan A for the marketplace and the local church. He chose us. It will cost you to be a lot like Jesus, but may I remind you it cost him a whole lot more.

    1:15 PM CDT
    Session 3a: The Multiplier Effect
    Liz Wiseman

    Multipliers are leaders who amplify intelligence and not diminish it. It’s about multiplying the capability of the people around you.

    The difference between pressure and stress. William Tell felt pressure; his son felt stress. What do you do with the control you have as a leader? Do you share it with your team?

    The multiplier believes their team is smart and they’re going to figure it out. Multipliers are trust gurus. They let the team drive. What happens when you don’t think your team can’t figure it out? Diminishers ask, “How can I get more of me?” “How do I multiply myself?” Did not listen, Controlling. Got 48% of team’s capability. Multipliers delegated and trusted. Got 95% of people’s capability.

    At the top of the genius hierarchy is the genius-maker, not the genius.

    Diminishers: People won’t figure it out without me.
    Empire Builder
    Decision Maker

    Set direction on what they see and what they know. They don’t ask others what they see or what they know. They trust 1 or 2 people and run around to get buy in for decisions they already made.

    Multipliers: People are smart and will figure it out.
    Talent Magnet
    Debate Maker

    The accidental diminisher has a damaging effect without knowing it. They go to leadership training.

    The Idea Guy.
    The Pacesetter.
    The Rapid Responder.
    The Optimist.

    Just because you have these tendencies, doesn’t mean you’re a diminisher.

    How do you become a better multiplier?
    Idea Guy: Take the extreme idea challenge. (Ask questions…. nothing but questions. Let other people find the answers.)
    Pacesetter: Supersize a role.
    Rapid Responder: Make a debate.
    The Optimist: Create mistake space.

    Bono – Benjamin Desraeli quote.
    Man on a Wire – Weight was on back foot. Shifted weight, and the rest was easy. What is the small shift you could make to be a better mul

    11:30 AM CDT
    Session 2b: How to Lose Your Best People
    Patrick Lencioni

    This is really simple. What I’m going to do is remind you what you already know. Leaders are CROs, Chief Reminding Officers.

    This is the reason I started my career in this field. My dad was the top salesman in his company, but darned it if he didn’t come home every night and complain about his job. (as a kid) Wouldn’t it be great if I could do something about that? That job thing is a big problem. I got to get a good job someday. So, I studied really hard. (Got a job with “Best Company to Work For” based on article). It was two days into this job that I realized, uh oh, I’m gonna be miserable. It’s not about getting a good job or bad job, but getting a job that is fulfilling or miserable.

    First sign of a miserable job: Anonymity
    Many professional athletes are miserable. In the locker room, you would have thought they were digging ditches for minimum wage. “Are you going to invite this guy (new star player) over for dinner and get to know him and what makes him tick?” “Oh no Pat. This is pro football. This is a job. We don’t do that here.” Your job as a manager includes caring for your people. Take interest in your people.

    (Question from audience: How long did it take to leave that job you hated?)
    About 2 years. A friend of mine stayed 6 years, but he was miserable too. Exit interview: “John, what could we have done to keep you longer?” “Anything.”

    What’s more important, that first $500 bonus or that first email from your boss that asked “How is your dad doing?” after he had surgery?

    We are called to love the people who work for us.

    (Question from audience: If you’re in a job where you are anonymous, is your only option to leave?)
    No. You can encourage upward. Ask about them and they may reflect it back to you.

    Second sign of a miserable job: Irrelevance
    (Corkie’s BBQ story) If you don’t think that your job matters to someone, in some way, big or small – you cannot love your work. Cleaning a bed pan – you are bringing dignity to people who need it most. BBQ – your job is to try and introduce some joy into this otherwise seemingly hopeless world (airport). I would want to know there’s some reason to do this. I want purpose and relevance in my life. We have to help our people at all levels. The hardest is administrative assistants. Their job is to make our lives easier. We’re embarrassed by it. When someone works hard to make our life easier, we need to celebrate that. Sometimes humility gets in our way.

    Third sign of a miserable job: Immeasurement
    This word isn’t real. We made it up. Human beings have a need in their lives to know whether they’re doing a good job. Salespeople and waiters/waitresses are sometimes more fulfilled because they know how they did (sales/tips). Sometimes the measurement is qualitative (are people on their cell phone during presentation). You can measure the wrong thing. Can you control it? If not, don’t measure that. Drive-thru: Count how many people you make laugh. Sometimes the reason we don’t do this is because, when we do, we lose control. We don’t want to give up that control.

    Money is a satisfier. You can get enough. These things (3 signs) are drivers – you can never get enough. This is more than customer satisfaction, this is a life-changer. This is the essence – or at least the basics – of servant leadership. Management is ultimately a ministry (I’m from California, so I think I can be arrested for saying that).

    10:30 AM CDT
    Session 2a: It Worked for Me
    General Colin Powell

    Note: Powell is a great speaker, but his style is more of a storyteller (which I loved). This made it difficult to pull soundbites. I apologize for any sloppiness or inaccuracies.

    Leadership is getting more out of people than the science of management says you can. You get that by having vision. You get leadership when you inspire people to reach beyond themselves. As a leader, you get nowhere without followers. Focus your leadership on your followers. You have to start with the purpose (why do we do this? how are we changing the world?). (approx.) The person cleaning my office had a purpose – to make the office shine. There is no such thing as an unimportant person in an organization.

    Lesson from Reagan: I’m the president, but I trust people to do things wiithout them having to constantly bring it before me. Empowering people means taking risk and giving those you trust a zone of operation to work within.

    Trust is the glue that will hold everything together and the lubricant to keep it moving forward.

    Reagan had a great vision of purpose for the nation. He had simple themes that he kept repeating. Great leaders repeat themes of vision and purpose that infect the organization.

    If you want to be a great leader, take care of your troops. If you are going to continue to move forward, have a destination.

    Failure is not an option… oh yes it is, everytime. Great leaders understand that failure is always an option and know how to deal with it when it occurs.

    Interview with Bill Hybels
    (asked if he encountered racism)
    I was fortunate in that I came along when the nation was making historic changes. I came into one of the most socially progressive organizations of that time – the military. I’m sure people looked at me and some saw an officer and some saw a black guy. If I’m a good brigade commander, I don’t care how I got it. My job was to take advantage of the opportunity. We’ve got a long way to go. We still have minorities in this country who do not share in our success. We have an obligation to not leave anyone behind.

    (Why these mean so much to you: It’ll look different in the morning)
    It may not (don’t panic Bill). The day can go really bad and have all kind of problems. It’s gonna get better in the morning. It’s not a prediction, it’s an attitude. When I was a young Lieutenant, I was working for a great captain. You will have a great day of training and you’ll think your’re hot stuff and overnight it all gets messed up. You just suck it up and do it all over again – it’s a great day to be a soldier.
    (Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier)
    How can we make our force more powerful? Constantly show your people perpetual optimism. No matter how bad a day we have, we can fix it. I try to stay on a nice, level keel at an altitude that doesn’t shake people up. People look to leaders for reassurance. You have to persuade people that their interest in the corporate interest; not order them around.
    (You can’t stay mad)
    It freezes the organization when leaders are always mad.

    How do you know when to fire someone or give someone another chance.
    I adapted to my subordinates. I would build on their strengths and and work with them on their weakness. There are times when I can’t get someone to get with my vision. I have to let them go. The first ones that know about it are the others. They don’t like bad followers getting one over. They’re looking for the leader to do something about it. Leaders are people who solve problems. If you don’ t, you lose the confidence of your subordinates. If people don’t bring you problems, there are two reasons: The worst, they think you don’t care anymore.

    The biggest thing that trips up young leaders is ego. No one taught them humility. They think they turned the sun on in the morning. I had a subordinate who, every morning in my office, it seemed like he was measuring the drapes… and he was. I used him, but I made sure he was never in a position to change the drapes.

    You promote people on the basis of their potential, not their present performance. You have to have an instinct for their future potential.

    (What leader on the world stage did you have respect and admiration for?)
    (after dodging) Nelson Mandela was asked if he wanted to get back at those who put him in prison. He said if I felt that way, I would still be in prison.

    Problem solving is what leaders do, but tell me about the problem early. Don’t let me get caught by surprise. Don’t try to solve the problem beforehand. Let me help guide you. You have to create an environment where people feel free to bring that before you. I probed, had special trusted agents who told me what was going on. I trusted them to tell me, “Colin, you go no clothes on. You got a problem.” I was able to surprise people with things I wasn’t supposed to know.

    (Challenge to preachers and pastors)
    We come to church to hear the lessons, to learn about our faith and the Bible. We also want it made relevant to the world we’re living in. Tell us how to apply it. I respond to it (being challenged). You have to challenge people or they’ll just sit there and watch. What you’ve been talking about all morning is a challenge to establish vision and culture.
    8:30 AM CDT
    Opening Session: Bill Hybels

    Opening remarks: Everybody wins when a leader gets better.
    If God is desperate enough, He can use anybody to teach a leader.

    The Courage That Leadership Requires
    Moses’ charge to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:6). God’s charge to Joshua (Joshua 1:9). Both call him to be courageous. Leadership demands a non-stop flow of fortitude from day one to the leader’s final day.
    Courage correlates to every single component of leadership.
    We don’t have to look far for courageous leadership. Nelson Mandela. Ending Apartheid was a cause he was willing to fight for everyday. A cause for which he was fully prepared to die.

    Vision is a picture of the future that creates passion in you and others.
    Vision is the most potent weapon in a leader’s arsenal. Every significant vision God puts into you will put your courage to the test. Every vision tests the mettle of every leader. (Speaking about women launching WC Care Center, “Why any capable pastor would keep capable, fired up women from full deployment is beyond me.”) What do some leaders do when they get a challenging vision from God? They abort secretly. Are you snuffing out a great vision you’ve been given? Don’t go to your grave with visions shriveling up and dying within you. For God’s sake, and the world’s sake too, do not … Step out in faith even when you’re vibrating in fear.

    The courage to define the current reality.
    It’s essential to leadership. The leader must convince everybody that status quo is extremely dangerous to an organization. Status quo is always the precursor to a slow death. Three environments/organizational realities all leaders face: downturn, upturn, complacency. Each requires different skills and approaches. In a downturn, effective leaders must declare an emergency. Leaders, your team members all know the current reality. They are waiting for you to step up and acknowledge it. Whatever you’re leading right now, what’s your current reality? God will guide your steps, but it begins with a ruthless defining of your reality.

    The courage to develop a culture.
    Nothing has required more than developing a healthy culture within Willow. The first step was the hardest – hiring an outside firm to analyze the culture (Best Christian Workplace). Why? I was cowardly. I knew it was going to be ugly. This was going to hurt like a root canal without pain killers. People join organizations, they leave managers. Exit interviews led to training managers and letting go those who had become “learning blocked.” Consultant asked who’s job is it to drive the culture? Staff cultures will only be as healthy as the CEO or senior pastor wants it to be. Delegating or abdicating this to HR or anyone else is absolutely the kiss of death. You’ll need their support. Begin it with brave apologies for our contribution low moral and what caused it in the first place. Then had to look staff in the eyes, some 20-30 year veterans, and tell them unless they worked to become part of the beautiful new culture of our organization, they would be asked to disembark the bus. There are two types of people: vision builders and vision busters. We will no longer pay people to bruise and bust our culture.

    The establishment and enforcement of values.
    The more I use social media, the hungrier I become for true community. True community equals knowing and being known, loving and being loved, serving and being served, celebrating and being celebrated. How can a broken-hearted person sit with tears in the midst of sincere followers and no one reach out to him? There’s a time to cast vision, then there’s a time to establish an inviolable value in an organization. “It’s no longer a vision, we’re establishing it as a value.” For a vision to flip over into a value often requires something to flip over in the leader’s heart. Cast vision; declare value; behave accordingly.

    Leaders need the courage required to finish strong.
    If you lead an organization long enough, you are going to have to reinvent it and yourself more than once. It takes a lot of courage to start something entirely new, to sustain it over the long haul, and also to finish strong. If you have any desire to finish strong, you have to have the courage to have a conversation about a succession plan. Some of the most rewarding experiences in a leader’s marathon are reserved for quite late in the race.

    Discouraging Artists

    I came across this article from the president of Wheaton College recently. In it, Philip Ryken gives an admittedly abridged list of ways church leaders can discourage artists. The information is applicable to other organizations, especially non-profits. If you’re in leadership and want to encourage creativity and artistry, I hope you will heed Ryken’s advice because he is painfully accurate.

    Here are a few tidbits:

    Embrace bad art. Tolerate low aesthetic standards. Only value work that is totally accessible, not difficult or challenging. One example would be digital images and photography on powerpoint as a background for praise songs. Value work that is sentimental, that doesn’t take risks, that doesn’t give offense, that people immediately “get.”

    Demand artists to give answers in their work, not raise questions. Mark Lewis says, “Make certain that your piece (or artifact or performance) makes incisive theological or moral points, and doesn’t stray into territory about which you are unresolved or in any way unclear. (Clear answers are of course more valuable than questions).” Do not allow for ambiguity, or for varied responses to art. Demand art to communicate in the same way to everyone.

    Never pay artists for their work. Expect that they will volunteer their service, without recognizing their calling or believing that they are workers worthy of their hire. Note that Old Testament artists and musicians were supported financially.

    When you ask them to serve through the arts, tell them what to do and also how to do it. Don’t leave room for the creative process. Take, for example, a children’s Sunday school mural: “Tell them what it should look like, in fact, draw up plans first,” David Hooker said. Discourage improvisation; give artists a AAA road map.

    As someone who has served as a volunteer in churches through the years, and as a professional in the market, I have seen these types of leadership mistakes suck the creativity out of artists. The value of creativity and art is being trumpeted by many thought leaders today, but until we find a way to encourage the artists in our organizations, we will not see that potential fully realized.

    Conspiracy vs. Collaboration

    There are two models of communication at play today.

    Conspiracy or Collaboration

    There are times when conspiracy is a necessary evil. Most of the time though, conspiracy is a detriment to our relationships. It limits us and pits us against one another.

    Which do you use in your business?

    … in your church?

    … with your friends and family?Conspiracy

    How do you want others to communicate with you?

    Birds of a Feather

    A little Thursday update because I don’t know if I’ll blog tomorrow.

    Just got out of Kem Meyer’s session Got Blog?

    It was a great session. Yes, some of the material was basic, but that’s what the session description stated. Still, she shared some great advice to bloggers – novice and veteran alike. Also, I met some other bloggers and we shared ideas with each other.

    Another benefit was discovering Kem and her blog. With all of our shared interests, I was surprised we hadn’t crossed paths before. Goes to show sometimes analog still trumps digital.
    It has been a great experience here at Willow. I haven’t enjoyed everything, but everything isn’t about me. I’ll probably begin unpacking some of the lessons learned from people like Dewitt Jones, Nancy Beach, Dan Kimball and Donald Miller later.

    It’s fascinating stuff and dovetails so tightly with what is occurring in marketing today concerning authenticity, creativity, stories and relevance.

    More to come.

    Learning the Art of Faith and Art

    This isn’t as profound as the title suggests.
    Next week, I’m attending a Chicago conference with a team from Liberty Church in Broken Arrow, OK.   It’s the Arts Conference at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago’s suburb of South Barrington, IL.

    This will be my third time to attend one of their Arts Conferences.  It’s always refreshing and energizing.  I can’t wait to come back with stories about my heart and mind were opened to something bigger than I anticipated.

    Faith and art have always been central to my identity.  I have long considered myself both a Christian and an artist.  So, this conference strikes the sweet spot.

    I’m not sure what my time and Internet connection situation will be next Friday.  If I have the opportunity to blog from Chicago, I will.