Thinking Independently

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“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel worn paths of accepted success.”

— John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company

Read that quote again. It’s the secret behind the biggest breakthroughs in innovation. Look at the history of technology, and innovation is there. Look at the history of government, and innovation is there. Look at the history of organized sports, and innovation is there.

Innovation is not achieved by imitating the success of others. It’s achieved by great leaders who choose to risk failure and ridicule in order to create something completely new. The comfort of what has been done is always tempting, and sometimes staying put and maintaining is a great challenge that we are called to. However, oftentimes the real challenge is in walking off the beaten path.

Your teenage son that won’t talk to you because he’s tired of your lectures and unsolicited advice…maybe he could use something off the beaten path. Your preschooler that is too scared to be left in a room without you…maybe she could use something off the beaten path. That co-worker that drives you absolutely batty…maybe she could use a response from you that was less than common.

You may say, “Give me some examples!”, but then you’d be missing the whole point. The question is your to answer.

What do you need to do differently to make something different happen?

Playing for Keeps Book Launch

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Whether you re a parent or a leader, you re making history. The question is, what kind of history are you making with the kids and teenagers who are closest to you?  Playing for  Keeps  is a book about  six things every kid needs over time from the parents and leaders who are closest to them.

Orange is launching the book with a short, fun webcast at  12:30pm EST ON  WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18. Don’t miss Reggie and others as they introduce these ideas and tell why they think they’re so important. To view the webcast, go to  www.OrangeTour.org.

—The book can be purchased exclusively at  www.OrangeStore.org.

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Leading People by Building Trust

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I’ve worked for bullies that demanded trust. I’ve worked for weaklings that demanded trust. I’ve worked for very few that legitimately worked to build my trust in them. Trust, like loyalty, is a two way street that oftentimes people are driving three cars down the wrong lane, headed in the entirely wrong direction.

As a leader, one has to think of trust as something built not won in the lottery. It’s done in so many different ways.

Show people that you care about them. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Is that saying cliche? Yes. Is that saying correct? Yes.

Take an interest in people beyond where you currently know them. Don’t intrude into somebodies private lives, but it’s all right to ask about their kids, or their kids baseball teams. Go ahead and ask!

Let people know that you’re interested in their success and future. It so often goes without saying, but if we’re leading other people we have to be that person in their life that genuinely cares if they succeed.

When mistakes are made, don’t respond in anger. Instead, calmly explain the situation and why their actions are troublesome. When people know you aren’t going to make them walk the plank, they’re much more likely to listen to you describe what you expect in the future.

When people know that you have their best interests at heart, they’re going to trust you.

Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Making Community Matter

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I’m an advocate of making our big churches smaller by focusing on the circles we live in, not the rows we sit in. I also  I think it’s a great thing for my children to see me in meaningful community with others.

It’s a responsibility of mine to work hard to make this big world, as small as possible for my kids. I want them to see that I value my relationships with others, I want them to hear me on the phone with a friend, I want them to know that on Wednesday nights we leave them with a sitter because Wednesday nights is OUR night with our community group. I need them to know that I need relationships with others.

I’ll admit, this has been a struggle for us over the years. So often, community fell to the side because my job had me working 8 days a week. Our relationships would cycle up and down like the weather; a few friends here and there. Having just recently established the principle of sharing our lives with others, we’ve seen the benefit of our kids have gained.

 

They value their own group time talking with people they trust. They have a small group time at church, and now they see their parents doing much of what they are doing each week.

 

They regularly interact with adults and other families because of our relationships discovered in community. They meet new people, and expand their own relationships because of our relationships.

 

These are just a few of the ways that community in front of my kids has proven to be important in our family. Today, I’m choosing to make community matter by living community out in front of my kids.

 

Sponsored Post: Introducing the Orange Expanded Trial Package

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The great thing about Orange curriculum is that it’s part of a whole bundle of resources that are designed to equip churches. Right now, Orange is making it easy to try almost everything they offer. Its called the Expanded Trial Package.

You can try two months of their curriculum, plus all the videos and music. You’ll also get the posters, giveaways, and social media package. And of course you’ll get a great explanation of the Orange strategy with a video series and an Orange Specialist who can answer all your questions.

If you haven’t tried Orange before now is a great time.

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