By Carey

Carey Nieuwhof is lead pastor of Connexus Community Church and author of the best selling books, Leading Change Without Losing It and Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. Carey speaks to audiences around the world about change, leadership, and parenting.

Sleep: The Secret Leadership Weapon No One Wants to Talk About

If there was a secret weapon in leadership, would you use it?

Most of us would say ‘absolutely’—as long as it’s ethical.

So here’s a leadership weapon almost no leader will talk about. In fact, in some circles, it’s embarrassing to talk about.

Sleep.

More specifically, getting enough of it.

In more than a few high octane leadership circles, barely sleeping is seen as a badge of honour (I can run on 4 hours a night!)

But what if your lack of sleep wasn’t a badge of honour at all?

What if your lack of sleep is undermining your leadership? Making you worse, not better?

And what if it’s not just taking a toll on you at work, but also at home…making you a worse parent, spouse and even friend?

sleep, leadership

So…What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

The Centre for Disease Control recently called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic, arguing it causes industrial accidents, motor vehicle accidents and even medical errors.

1. Lack of sleep can literally kill you.

And the implications are a little more serious than nodding off in a meeting after lunch. According to medical research, chronic lack of sleep can cause weight gain, age your skin, harm your sex drive, impair memory and can contribute to illnesses as serious as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and even premature death.

It’s a little shocking, but it’s not actually an exaggeration to say that a chronic lack of sleep can kill you.

2. Lack of sleep often leads to burnout.

I know for me, chronic lack of sleep was one of the key factors that led to my burnout a number of years back.

Like many leaders, in the name of caring for others, I had stopped caring for myself and my family. I thought I was super human, and I only needed 4-5 hours of sleep a night.

I’m not the only leader who burned out. Perry Noble and I chronicle our stories of burnout in quite a bit of detail here, and the post also contains a lot of resources that Perry and I have put together to help leaders who are burning out.

3. At a minimum, it will make you hard to live with.

Even if you’re not dead, sick or burning out, lack of sleep can turn you into you a bit of a jerk.

Unrested, you’ll snap at the kids more, fight with your spouse more, and even at work, you won’t be fun to hang around.

Or at least all of the above is true for me.

Here’s what I find.

I am at my most kind when I’m the most rested. When I’m tired, I’m just not nearly as nice to be around.

If you can’t identify with that statement, it’s probably because you haven’t been well rested in, well, years.

You’ll be amazed what happens if you ever get enough sleep to finally not be tired any more. Seriously.

 

Sleep Is Like Money. You Can End Up In Debt

So what happens if you’re chronically overtired?

The same thing that happens when you’re in debt…that’s what.

One of the key lessons I learned in my burnout back in 2006 is that sleep is like money.

You can run a surplus…or you can run a deficit.

And just like with finances, when you run a deficit over time, you end up with debt that you carry from month to month and year to year. A debt that needs to be paid off. 

This lesson became inescapable for me personally in August 2006. 3 months into my burnout, I was having a hard time functioning.

In fact, my fatigue was inescapable. So I decided to sleep every time my body told me I was tired.

I slept a lot that August.  8-11 hours a night. I added to that multiple naps a day whenever I could grab them.

By the end of the month, I felt much better.

I could work again. I could breathe again.

While my burnout wasn’t fully over, I felt flickers of hope again.

Soon, I was on the gradual road to recovery.

 

So What Can You Do? 5 Keys to Staying Rested

So how do you stay rested?

Better yet, how do you get rested if you’re reading this article and are quietly saying “oh crap?”

1. Lose the stigma

I love that a few years ago Michael Hyatt went public by admitting that he takes naps. Thank you Michael!

Not only does Michael take naps, but so, as he pointed out, have many great leaders in history.

I have always been a napper. I even nap at work occasionally. But I feel like if someone caught me, I’d be in trouble.

That’s a bad thing.

For me a ten minute nap can be the difference between heading into the afternoon raring to go, and dragging my knuckles wishing it was 5:00. It can be the difference between being sharp and being in a fog or being disinterested.

It’s not just the stigma around naps leaders need to lose, it’s the stigma around a good night’s sleep.

I unapologetically go to bed on time when I’m on the road hanging out with other leaders, and when I’m at home.

A rested me is a better me. Just ask my wife. Just ask my kids. Just ask my team.

2. Catch up

You might be in your equivalent of August 2006 for me. You might need to take a week or two off to sleep.

Do it.

Or maybe you’re just running hard for a season. Catch up.

I realize you might have young kids or be in launch mode for a new project.

But here’s the truth.

You will always have a reason to cheat your sleep.

You will never have a reasons to catch up, unless you decide it’s time.

So decide it’s time.

If you have young kids, trade nights for being on call with your spouse until you are both as caught up as you can be.

If you’re a single parent, ask someone to take the kids for a night or two and then sleep.

If you don’t have young kids, you really don’t have a good excuse. Just get disciplined.

3. Develop better sleep routines

Here are few things that can help you sleep better.

1. Go to bed at the same time every night. Researchers say you will sleep better if you do.

2. Go to bed earlier.  This was huge for me. Instead of staying up late to get stuff done, get up earlier to get things done. Sleep in on the front side. I try to be asleep every night by 10:30. Sometimes it’s as earlier as 9:30. And I’m up between 4:30 – 5:30 every morning. That’s my sweet spot.

3. Sleep in a dark room and turn off electronics. I love my phone, but it’s off (as in powered down) every night.  If it’s an emergency, someone will knock at my door and wake me up. If the world ends, well, there’s not much I can do about it anyway when I’m asleep.

4. Get as good a mattress as you can afford.  Get as picky about a good mattress as you can with your budget. You’ll spend 1/3 of your life on it.  So invest well.

5. Don’t eat much before bed. It helps you sleep better…it really does.

4. Watch for the signs

Since I burned out, I have paid super close attention to the signals my body tells me about my fatigue level. As soon as I sense I’m running a sleep deficit, I try to pay it off.

Here are some signs that tell me I’m tired:

1. A bad or sullen mood. Someone once said that 70% of discipleship is a good night’s sleep. Well yes it is. I am more of a Christian when I’m well rested. So I watch my mood like a hawk. Being short with people, angry, sad or lacking mercy are all signs I’m tired.

2. I watch my passion level. When I’m rested, I’m excited about work, about life, and about seeing people. If everything seems like a chore or an obligation, I’m out of balance. For sure, some things will always seem like a chore, but everything shouldn’t.

3. I watch my creativity. If I have trouble coming up with great ideas or great content, it’s a sign my mind is tired. I probably need more sleep.

4. I find myself nodding off. When I’m tired in meetings, driving or watching TV, it’s a sign I need more sleep. I know that’s obvious, but it’s so easy for this to become ‘normal’ I just thought I’d mention it.

5. React quickly

I still run hard. We all have busy seasons and busy weeks, and I get tired regularly. Part of my personality is I love to push myself and push limits. I get that.

But now I react quickly when I’m getting tired.

Why don’t you try that this week?

Take a nap.

Cancel your plans for tonight and go to bed early.

Don’t wait.

You’ll be fresher more often, and you’ll have far more energy for your family, for life and for work.

That’s what I’ve been learning about sleep as a leader and as a follower of Christ.

It should be no surprise that God wants us to spend 1/7 of our life resting (Sabbath) and created us to sleep 1/3 of our life away.

Your calling, your family and your life are too important for you not to sleep.

Now you can use your new secret weapon.

What are you learning about sleep?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

CNLP 007: Delayed Adolescence: Why So Many Young Adults Fail to Thrive—An Interview with Ted Cunningham

Well into their twenties, or even thirties, many young adults are still reliant on their parents for financial help and increasingly postpone things like marriage, responsibility and their future.

Delayed adolescence is a growing issue for parents, leaders as well as for young adults themselves. In this episode, Ted Cunningham explains why it’s happening and what to do about it.

If you want to do a better job as a parent, manager or employer, or you want some more insight and independence as a young leader, this is a don’t miss interview.

AND….this week, I’m launching the first contest for this podcast. Scroll all the way to the bottom to enter to win a free copy of my book, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity and be entered to win the grand prize—admission to the Orange Conference 2015, and coffee with me and Jon Acuff.

Welcome to Episode 7 of the podcast.

ted_cunningham.jpg

Guest Links: Ted Cunningham

Ted Cunningham is an author, a speaker and the pastor of Woodland Hills in Branson, Missouri. During our conversation, Ted provides fascinating insights to church leaders and parents about how to ensure kids grow up ready to enter life, and for young leaders about how to take on more responsibility than their peers might be ready to embrace.

Ted on Facebook

Ted on Twitter

Woodland Hills Church

Links Mentioned in This Episode

The links and resources mentioned in this episode include:

CNLP 002: How Perry Noble Hit Bottom While Pastoring One of America’s Largest Churches & How He Battled Back

CNLP 004: Why Young Adults Are Walking Away from the Church & What You Can Do About It—An Interview with Kara Powell

CNLP 005: When Leadership Ruins Your Family: How to Live and Lead Differently—An Interview with Craig Jutila

Fun Loving You: Enjoying Your Marriage in the Midst of the Grind by Ted Cunningham

Young and In Love: Challenge the Unnecessary Delay of Marriage by Ted Cunningham

Trophy Child: Saving Parents from Performance, Preparing Children for Something Greater Than Themselves by Ted Cunningham

Dr. Gary Smalley

The Language of Sex: Experiencing the Beauty of Sexual Intimacy by Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham

From Anger to Intimacy: How Forgiveness Can Transform Your Marriage by Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham

Great Parents, Lousy Lovers: Discover How to Enjoy Life with Your Spouse While Raising Kids by Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham

As Long As We Both Shall Live: Experience the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted by Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt

Sacred Marriage: Celebrating Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline by Gary Thomas

Why “Just Turn Down His Microphone” is A (Really) Bad Leadership Strategy

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Ted says that many millennials are enthusiastic about taking on new responsibilities. They just need to be led into the right direction. Here are 3 things you can start doing now to guide today’s generation of leaders. 

1. Examine their ties. Talk to young adults about who they’re still tied to, and then have the hard conversations. Are their parents still paying their rent, their phone bill, their insurance? Talk to them about what they need to do to absorb that responsibility for themselves.

2. Enable them to make their own decisions. A millennial may ask, “What do you think?” Turn it around on them and ask, “I don’t know. What do YOU think?” Let them work their way through the problem to find a solution.

3. If you’re a young leader…assume more responsibility. Challenge what your parents or boss thinks you’re capable of and take on more responsibility sooner.

And if you’re a young leader….

Quotes to Share from Ted

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from great leaders such as Ted Cunningham, Tony Morgan, Craig Jutila, Kara Powell, Casey Graham, Perry Noble, and Andy Stanley.

Subscribe via

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Let’s Have Lunch In Texas!

I’ll be visiting Texas next week for my last two stops on the Orange Tour. Meet me in Austin (November 3-4) and Dallas (November 6-7).

I’ll be giving some keynotes and doing some breakouts on parenting, leadership and the church, and hosting a lunch for senior leaders. I’d love to hang out. Sign up below!

2014 Orange Tour

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Austin Orange Tour Stop

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Dallas Orange Tour Stop

Subscribe to the Podcast

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn Radio.

Got 60 Seconds? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast in iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your rating and review helps gets the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

We’ve had over 100 reviews so far across all platform. Leave one and I may feature yours on my podcast page. I read every one and appreciate them all! Thank you for being so awesome.

Got a question?

Next Episode: Rich Birch

Next week, we’ll talk to Rich Birch, who writes a blog at at unseminary.com, and isn’t afraid of asking the tough questions.

Are contemporary churches really that contemporary anymore, or are we fooling ourselves? Rich, one of the most forward looking church leaders around today, looks at the rapid cultural changes happening in North America and talks about how church leaders can do a better job of advancing the mission of the church as we move into the future.

That’s next Tuesday on the podcast.

Enter NOW to Win a Ticket to Orange Conference 2015 & More!

Win a prize every week with our first ever listener contest! When you enter by leaving a comment in the show notes of the blog, it’s also your ballot to win the grand prize. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity.

The grand prize, which will be drawn a few weeks from now, is a free ticket to The Orange Conference 2015 in Atlanta in April of next year. Not only does it get you in for free, but you get a coffee with me and Jon Acuff backstage!

We are selecting the grand prize winner from all of the comments shared over the next few weeks so you can enter multiple times by participating each week. And each week one person will win the book of the week.

So…enter to win by answering this week’s question ­­– 

What is the one best thing you’ve done as a parent or church leader to encourage young adults to take on responsibility?

Scroll down, leave a comment, and don’t forget to answer this week’s question for a chance to win a free ticket to Orange Conference 2015. Go!

3 Keys To Pushing Past Your Personal Leadership Ceiling

Hit any leadership ceilings lately?

You know that moment when you realize you need to grow but you just don’t know how?

Welcome to the club.

We all feel that as leaders.

After 19 years of leading a church, I feel like I hit them quite regularly.

I was talking to a friend the other day who said like he felt he had stopped making progress as a leader. I was shocked, because I saw the progress he was making very clearly. He just couldn’t see it.

He’s been in his current position for a couple of years now and with the same church for 6 years. It’s often in that window that you start to feel like you are hitting a ceiling you can’t break through.

It got us into a great conversation about how you grow as a leader when you’ve been doing something for a while.

Here are three things I’ve learned about my personal leadership ceilings and how to break through them.

 leadership ceiling

1. Don’t run away.

When you keep hitting a ceiling, it’s easy to think you need to leave to grow. After all, it feels like you’ve exhausted your potential where you are.

Sometimes that’s true. And that may be your story.

But often, in my view, it isn’t.

It’s very easy to think “If I just had a new job/organization/position/start I would really grow” when, actually, the opposite is often true. That same kind of thinking leads people to jump out of their marriages or to move to new neighbourhoods looking for a fresh start, only to discover that their issues have followed them. I wrote about that in this post, outlining 5 things that long term leaders master than quitters don’t.

Here’s what I know: when you run away from your problems, you run away from growth.

In fact, when you leave to start a new job in a new place you often slow your growth.

I realize that’s counter-intuitive, but here’s why.

When you start over again you often get to reach back into your skill set bag and trot out all the skills you previously developed.

Applying old skills in a new setting often feels like growth. But for the most part, it’s not.

A deeper kind of growth happens when you stay in the same context and are forced to develop a new kind of skill set.

Which brings us to point #2.

 

2. Ask these questions to reveal your blindspots.

So if you’re hitting a ceiling, how do you grow?

Often that question seems mysterious, but it doesn’t need to be.

Simply identify your blindspots.

Usually when you hit a ceiling, it’s because you’ve addressed everything you can see that needs to be addressed.

The only thing left to address is what you can’t see—the leadership issues to which you’re blind. If you’re trying to think of what you might be blind to (and that’s the very issue with blindspots, isn’t it?), this Forbes article outlines blindspots that affect many leaders in business (and in church to some extent).

But the best way to identify blindspots on an ongoing basis is to ask questions. More specifically, to ask the questions every leader is afraid to ask.

Here are three questions I’ve learned to ask my team regularly, as painful as the answers can be sometimes:

1. Am I doing anything to make your job more difficult?

2. Am I doing anything that robs you of your passion for the mission?

3. What’s it like to be on the other side of me? (I got this question from Jeff Henderson. He does a 40 minute talk about it that is completely worth your time.)

You need to ensure your team feels safe answering these.

Don’t defend yourself. Don’t come armed with reasons and excuses. Just listen. Thank them. And maybe even get them to help you figure out how you can make it better.

You let them know it’s safe when you thank them for their answers, even when the answers are incredibly painful to hear.

When you ask these questions and are truly open to the answers, your blindspots get revealed.

And when you start asking questions as difficult as these, you grow.

 

3. Measure accurately.

Most of us driven types want to see progress instantly.

Which is why leadership ceilings are so frustrating. We hit our heads and can’t understand why the ceiling didn’t crumble.

In reality, when you’ve been in a role for a while, growth tends to happen this way.

You hit your head on the ceiling, and you think nothing moved.

You hit it a few times and ask questions like the ones above, and the ceiling moves a few inches.

Check in a few months later, and the ceiling has moved a foot or two. You’ve grown.

Keep stretching yourself, and a few years down the road you’ve moved up two storeys. You’ve grown significantly.

The key is to measure accurately over time.

If you keep working on your blindspots, when you look back a month, you’ll see little change. But look back a year, and you’ll realize you’ve changed a bit. Look back five years, and you might actually have grown significantly. You just didn’t notice until you thought about it.

So learn to measure accurately. Be patient with yourself.

Over time, if you keep working on your blindspots, you’ll grow far more than if you kept jumping around from place to place looking for the quick fix.

 

What Do You Think?

That’s what I’m learning about overcoming my personal leadership ceilings.

What are you learning?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

How to Lead Change When You’re NOT The Senior Leader

If you were in charge, everything would be different, wouldn’t it?

But you’re not. At least not yet.

So how do you effect change when you’re NOT the senior leader? How do you lead change when you’re a staff member or simply a volunteer?

Because I’ve written on change, I get that question all the time. That shouldn’t be a surprise, really. Far more people are NOT the senior leader than are the senior leader.

It’s easy to think you’re powerless, or to try to work around a leader you disagree with. But neither is a great strategy.

So what do you do if you want to bring about change but you’re not the key decision maker?

Not the leader

If you do a little homework and learn to think differently, you can be exceptionally effective at leading change well, even when you’re not the senior leader. Even if you’re ‘just’ a staff member or ‘just’ a volunteer.

How?

Here are five ways you can ‘lead up’ to your senior leader when you want to broker change:

1. Think like a senior leader.

So you’re not a senior leader, but try to imagine that you were. Imagine the pressures and issues facing your senior leader and approach the conversation accordingly.

Think through how it impacts the entire organization.

Understand that your senior leader may have budget restraints and many other interests to balance, like a board of directors or elder board. Show him or her that you understand that and you’re willing to be flexible on some points.

Showing your senior leader you understand the bigger picture is huge.

I’m a senior leader and I’ll disclose a bias here.

When someone on my team comes to me with any idea and I realize they have thought it through cross-organizationally (that is, they’ve thought through how it impacts the entire organization), I am far more open to it than otherwise.

Why? Because

They’re thinking about more than just themselves.

They did their homework.

They helped me do my homework.

They showed me they’re leading at the next level.

I always try to be open to new ideas, but here’s the truth. Often before the person is done their presentation or we’re done the discussion, I’ve already thought through 15 implications of their idea.

If they show me theyve thought through the 15 implications before they got to my office, I’m completely impressed and very open.

I’m not saying that’s a good thing, I’m just saying it’s a true thing.

And I think it’s true of most senior leaders.

When you think like a senior leader, you’re more likely to persuade a senior leader.

2. Express desires, not demands.

No one likes a demanding person.

In fact, when someone demands something there’s something inside me that wants to not give them what they asked for.

I don’t always follow that impulse, but expressing demands damages relationships. Instead, talk about what you desire.

Show respect and tell him how you feel – don’t tell him how you think he should feel. And above all, don’t be demanding.

3. Explain the why behind the what.

As Simon Sinek has so rightly pointed out, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Your best argument is not the what (we need to completely transform our church) or  the how (here’s how you should do it).

It’s the why (I think I’ve discovered a more effective way to reach families in our community and help parents win at home…can I talk to you about that?)

The more you explain the why, the more people will be open to the what and the how.

Lead with why. Season your conversation with why. And close with why.

4. Stay publicly loyal.

Andy Stanley has said it this way: public loyalty buys you private leverage.

It’s so true. If you start complaining about how resistant your senior leader is, not only does that compromise your personal integrity, he’s not dumb.

He’ll probably hear about it and he will lose respect for you.

In my mind as a senior leader, the team members who conduct themselves like a cohesive team always have the greatest private influence.

Your public loyalty will buy you private leverage.

5. Be a part of the solution. 

If you’re discontent (which you should be, as I wrote about here), it’s not that difficult to drift into the category of critic. Unless – that is – you decide to be part of the solution.

Offer help. Don’t end-run your leader, run with your leader on the project.

Be the most helpful you can be.

Offer to do the leg work.

Bring your best ideas to the table every day.

Offer to help in any way you can.

If you won’t be part of the solution, you’ll eventually become part of the problem.

So be part of the solution.

Those are five ideas on how to lead change when you’re not the senior leader.

Do they always work? No…human dynamics are more complicated than that.

But they often work, and if they don’t, you will know you gave it everything you had and then you can weigh your options. (Click here for 5 signs it’s time to move on.)

If you want more on change, I wrote about effectively leading change in my best-selling book Leading Change Without Losing It.

Non-senior leaders, what would you add?

Senior leaders, what other advice would you give?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

CNLP 006: How to Grow Your Small, Mid-sized or Large Church By Effectively Positioning Your Team —An Interview with Tony Morgan

Ever wonder what helps and hinders the growth of your church or organization?

You’re not alone.

In this episode, we reveal how your volunteer and staff team can hinder your church from growing, or how a great team can fuel its growth—whether you’re involved in a very small church or a very large one.

Tony Morgan, the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, helps churches get unstuck so they can make a bigger impact.

Tony takes a direct, strategic approach to advising churches on establishing leadership so they can take their ministries to the next step.

And today, he’ll help you figure out how to help your church grow to the next level by dealing with the team issues many leaders have difficulty sorting out.

Welcome to Episode 6 of the podcast.

Tony_Morgan.jpg

Guest Links: Tony Morgan

Tony on Facebook.

Tony on Twitter.

Tony Morgan Live (Tony’s website)

The Unstuck Group (Tony’s organization)

The Unstuck Group on Facebook.

The Unstuck Group on Twitter.

Links Mentioned in This Episode

The links and resources mentioned in this episode include:

NewSpring Church

Granger Community Church

Toby Lyles & TwentyFourSound (Audio Producer for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast)

Kevin Jennings (Executive Producer for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast)

Simply Strategic Volunteers: Empowering People for Ministry by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens

Simply Strategic Stuff: Help for Leaders Drowning in the Details of Running a Church by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens

Stuck in a Funk?: How to Get Your Church Moving Forward by Tony Morgan (also referred to as the Leisure Suit series)

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Tony touched on a few ways leaders can take the lid off their organization’s capacity to grow. Here are 3 things you can start doing now to help your church transition to the next level:

  1. Search for leaders with gifts and abilities that don’t mirror your own. Work to have your team reflect the same variety and design of the body of Christ. Don’t try to reproduce yourself because you don’t need additional versions of you. You need team members and leaders who bring things to the table that you don’t possess. This helps bring balance and excellence to your organization.

  2. Identify other leaders for roles of influence. To grow, don’t just find the person who most loves the ministry. Find the leader who inspires and equips other people to love the ministry. You shouldn’t and cannot be the only person carrying the responsibility of leadership if you want grow. This includes both the mission that needs to be accomplished and the care we need to provide to our team and congregation.

  3. Spend time with a leader who is one stage ahead. Find a leader you can call, have coffee with or otherwise meet with whose organization or church is one or two steps ahead of yours. As you get to know them, figure out what they did to get from where they were to where they are now.

Quotes to Share from Tony

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from great leaders such as Tony Morgan, Craig Jutila, Kara Powell, Casey Graham, Perry Noble, and Andy Stanley.

Subscribe via

iTunes

Stitcher

TuneIn Radio

Let’s Have Lunch In Texas!

I’ll be visiting Texas for the Orange Tour stops in Austin (November 3-4) and Dallas (November 6-7).

I’ll be giving some keynotes and doing some breakouts on parenting, leadership and the church, and hosting a lunch for senior leaders. I’d love to hang out. Sign up below!

2014 Orange Tour

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Austin Orange Tour Stop

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Dallas Orange Tour Stop

Subscribe to the Podcast

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn Radio.

Next Episode: Ted Cunningham and a Contest!

Next week we’ll hear from well-known author, pastor and speaker Ted Cunningham.

Ted and talk about how leaders and parents should approach the growing phenomenon of delayed adolescence. Why is it that so many young adults in their 20s and even 30s are still reliant on parents for help and have an ambivalent attitude about work?

Ted provides fascinating insights to church leaders and parents about how to ensure kids grow up ready to enter life, and for young leaders about how to take on more responsibility than their peers might be ready to embrace.

That’s next Tuesday on the podcast.

PLUS, I’ll be launching our first ever listener contest. Details coming next week on Episode 7. Don’t miss it!

Got 60 Seconds? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast in iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your rating and review helps gets the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

We’ve had over 100 reviews so far across all platform. Leave one and I may feature yours on my podcast page. I read every one and appreciate them all! Thank you for being so awesome.

Got a question?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

Why The Way The Church Talks About Sex Does More Harm Than Good

How are you talking about sex at your church (or with your kids…or with your friends) these days?

Or are you talking about it?

Sometimes when we don’t know what to say, we say nothing. Or we say the wrong thing.

Yet our culture is talking about sex every…single…day. And increasingly, they’re talking about how the church is talking about it.

The way we talk about sex, marriage and family is coming under greater and greater scrutiny.

This is true whether Christians are addressing same-sex attraction, sex outside of marriage or marriage itself.sex

For the record, I believe that the context God designed for sex is between a man and woman, married to each other for life.

I also realize that fewer and fewer people share that conviction with each passing year. Increasingly, the view I hold is the view of a small minority. I understand that.

But the fact that some church leaders hold a minority view means the way we talk about it becomes more important every year.

Consequently, I’m convinced that how we talk about sex needs to change.

Given the tone of some of the current dialogue, the damage done by the way we talk about sex may actually rival the damage done by sex outside of marriage itself (or inside marriage…married sex isn’t always harmless sex).

I don’t say that lightly.

So what needs to change?

I’m not sure anyone’s cracked the code on this, but here are a few things I think could help us create a dialogue that helps more and hurts less in the church.

1. Don’t just talk about sexual sin, talk about church sin too.

Everyone has sins they focus on and sins they ignore.

The tendency, of course, is to focus on the sins of others and ignore your own.

The church is no different.

So here’s a proposal:

Deal with the church sin everyone in the church seems to tolerate.

Let me explain.

When you explore a passage like Galatians 5: 16-26, you notice that included in the same list that speaks of sexual sins is a long list of what I call church sins.

Church sins are sins Christians engage in all the time that frankly, no one talks about or addresses.

Right alongside sexual immorality, impurity and ‘wild parties’, Paul lists:

hostility

quarreling

jealousy

outbursts of anger

selfish ambition

dissension

division

envy

jealousy

arrogance

If you add gossip and gluttony to the list, you’ve pretty much got a complete list of church sins we too often tolerate.

This list of sins actually describes the life of too many churches and too many people who would declare themselves to be ‘mature’ Christians. (I wrote about why we need a new definition of Christian maturity here, and shared some thoughts on what’s wrong with Christian discipleship here.)

We are so blind to our own sin that we not only tolerate them, we sometimes celebrate them.

What do I mean?

Too many prayer meetings are thinly disguised gossip marathons.

Many churches could easily call their next potluck Gluttonfest. It wouldn’t be inaccurate.

More than a few Christians justify division, dissension, hostility, quarrelling and jealousy in the name of being ‘right’.

This is terrible. It really is.

And before you think I’m pointing fingers, I’m not.

I have gossipped.

I have eaten too much too often.

I have caused division and hurt.

I struggle with envy.

I can be arrogant.

Don’t get me wrong…sexual sin has some heartbreaking consequences.

But so does church sin. Seriously, just look at the state of the church today where church sin gets neglected and you will see droves of people staying away and walking away.

So…what if church leaders:

Never talked about sexual sin unless we also addressed church sin?

It would reframe the conversation.

It might even change some hearts. Including ours.

 

2. Deal with church sin…seriously.

So do you never deal with someone else’s sin?

Well, you do. But we’re not nearly there yet.

Before dealing with someone else’s sexual sin, deal with the church sin that lives inside you and your community.

If we keep reading Galatians 5 we can see that Paul had an astounding picture of the church in mind. Here’s what he said:

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:

love

joy

peace

patience

kindness

goodness

faithfulness

gentleness, and

self-control

There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” (Galatians 5: 22-24 NLT)

So think about it.

Why would someone struggling with their sexuality want to come into a place of judgment, anger, division, gossip and arrogance?

That’s right. They wouldn’t.

But they might want to find a place of love, kindness, faithfulness and maybe even a place characterized by self-control.

Ironically, the very thing most people look for when they express themselves sexually is acceptance and love. And it’s the very thing they are rarely able to find among many Christians.

Could you imagine if the church got serious about our sins?

What if we repented?

What if we became a community of truth and grace?

What if?

 

3. Put your arm around people as though you were one of them…because you are.

Paul called himself the chief of sinners.

People outside the church today have no doubt that people inside the church are sinners. They just don’t think that we think we’re sinners.

Too often when we open our mouths, we accuse.

We condemn. We confront.

What if we changed that?

What if we came alongside people and said “I know what it’s like…it’s hard isn’t it?”

I always try to start a conversation by saying something like “We all have issues. Some of mine may be different than yours, and some may be the same, but I know what’s like to mess up. Let me know if you want to have a conversation about it.”

It’s amazing what happens when you change your stance, put your arm around someone and say “Let’s figure this out together.” I don’t always get it right, but I try.

Church leaders, put your arm around people as though you were one of them. Because you are.

 

What Do You Think?

I realize this is a complex and difficult subject. I’d love to know what you’re doing that has helped advance the dialogue about sex and sin in the church.

I’ll be monitoring the comments on this post carefully (be polite, be respectful), but please scroll down and leave a comment.

I’d love for us to learn together on this.

3 Battles Every Leader Loses…Every Time

Most days you try to win battles as a leader, don’t you?

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose.

But there are several battles leaders lose…every time. Even if you desperately try to convince yourself you’re winning.

Fighting any of those?

Your might be. How would you know?

leadership battle

How Did This Happen Again?

If you end up fighting these battles, you will fight them for two reasons:

You’re young and haven’t seen that these are self-defeating characteristics yet. That’s not slamming young leaders…I’m just saying that they really do live in most of us until we weed them out.

You’re simply not self-aware. (If you want to grow in self-awareness, it’s possible. I wrote more about how to become a self-aware leader here.)

Each of these battles arise because of a leader’s insecurity.

Most of us are insecure at some level. And an insecure leader is always a less effective leader.

If you’re not sure whether you’re a secure leader, check out these 5 signs you’re an insecure leader here.

Conversely, the more secure you are as a leader, the more likely you are to win these battles by changing your approach to leadership.

3 Battles Every Leader Loses…Every Time

Here are 3 self-defeating battles every leader loses…every time:

1. Creating An Organization That Exists For Your Benefit. 

It’s very natural to be selfish, and if you lead the way many do, you can fall into the trap of believing that the organization exists for the benefit of the leader.

People work for you. You don’t work for them.

Perks flow up, not down.

You feel like the rules should apply to others, but not you.

You feel entitled to inflict your emotions on the people around you, even if they’re negative or destructive.

Sometimes pastors and church leaders behave like that. Rather than existing to serve, they exist to be served.

The leader who places himself above his team eventually has no team, or at least a team not worth joining—just a bunch of minions doing his or her bidding.

And while you can sometimes get away with that style of leadership—even in the church—it certainly doesn’t reflect the heart of Christ.  You might not even really be the church when you lead like that. I would suggest you are not.

If you’re really selfish, there’s a surprise coming at the end:

A life devoted to self ultimately leaves you alone. 

All the joy you expected to find from having everything revolve around you doesn’t really satisfy nearly as much as you’d hoped.

Try to create an organization that exists for your benefit, and you lose. Worse though, is that everybody else does too.

2. Seeking Affirmation From the People You Lead

Most of us have some people pleasing tendencies in us. I know I have to fight mine. (If it helps, I outlined 5 ways people-pleasing undermines your leadership here.)

I don’t know who I originally heard this principle from, but I’ve never forgotten it. It’s a simple but profound truth:

Never seek affirmation from the people you lead. 

If you seek affirmation from the people you lead, it messes with the very dynamic that will make you effective. And they can smell your insecurity a mile away.

And yet insecure leaders seek affirmation from the people they lead all the time:

Did they like my last series/meeting/memo?

Do they appreciate me?

How come I don’t get more gratitude more often?

Here’s the gut-honest truth: the people you lead directly will always applaud you a little less than those who know you less well.

Let me say it again. The people you lead will always applaud you a little less than those who know you less well.

And that’s okay.

Why?

Two reasons:

First, they see you in a way people who know you from a distance don’t. They see you for who you really are: flaws and all.

Second, your job is to serve and lead them, not to have them nurse your fragile self-esteem.

Because I write a speak publicly, there are days where my inbox will fill up with thank you’s from people I’ve never met who read my blog or listen to my podcast or were at a talk I gave, and at the same time fill up with emails and texts from the staff and team I lead at home outlining the problems I need to help solve.

It can be tempting to think: why don’t the people I lead send me more thank you notes, (even though they do from time time)?

Easy. Because my job isn’t to get people to like or appreciate me.

My job is to lead them. To serve them. To love them. To help them succeed.

So I smile if I get notes from people…I’m actually very thankful. But then I roll up my sleeves and get to work.

So what should you do for affirmation?

The best affirmation to seek is of course, the affirmation of your heavenly father. Your spouse can’t be your perpetual confidence booster. Nor can your team.

Deal with your junk. Go see a counselor. Become more secure. Remember, you are called to serve, not to be served.

Don’t look to your team for gratitude, fish for compliments or wait for your inbox to fill up with sunshine.

Be honest about your mistakes, seek to improve. Be open to feedback. Listen. Change. Grow.

Then you’ll lead well.

3.  Keeping Smarter, Better People Away from You

You need a great deal of security to invite leaders who are better than you into your church or organization.

And the truth is, many leaders won’t.

They won’t allow a better speaker to fill in when they’re not speaking.

They won’t hire a better communicator as an associate, or allow a better communicator to speak to their team via video.

They won’t hire someone who’s more gifted or talented than they are.

The expect volunteers to do tasks, but not think, let alone contribute.

They won’t have elders or board members around a table who will challenge them.

If you lead like this, first of all, you really aren’t a leader.

And secondly, you won’t be surrounded by leaders. They’ll all leave.

The best way I know how to get over this fear that most of us naturally have is to do what Andy Stanley has suggested:

Celebrate what God has given others; leverage what God has given you.

You may not be as smart/fluent/funny/insightful as some other leaders. But that’s okay. You bring a unique contribution in some way. Celebrate what they bring. Leverage what you bring.

Everyone will be far better off.

What Do You Think?

These are three battles every leader loses every time.

Which ones are you fighting?

What battles have you seen leaders lose?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

CNLP 005: When Leadership Ruins Your Family: How to Live and Lead Differently—An Interview with Craig Jutila

Sometimes leadership makes you hard to live with.

Ever felt that in your family?

Craig Jutila, a key ministry leader at one of America’s largest churches, went home one day to find his wife had written “I hate my husband” in her journal.

Craig talks honestly and openly about how he had to learn how to lead and live differently, saving his marriage and his future as a leader.

Welcome to Episode 5 of the podcast.

Guest Links: Craig Jutila

Find and follow Craig Jutila here:

Craig on Twitter

Craig on Facebook

Empowered Living (Craig’s blog)

Links Mentioned in This Episode

The links and resources mentioned in this episode include:

From Hectic to Healthy: The Journey to a Balanced Life by Craig Jutila and Mary Jutila

Faith and the Modern Family: How to Raise a Healthy Family in a “Modern Family” World by Craig Jutila

7 Painful Truths About Burnout and Leadership

9 Signs You’re Burning Out In Leadership

How I Recovered From Burnout: 12 Keys to Getting Back

CNLP 002: How Perry Noble Hit Bottom While Pastoring One of America’s Largest Churches & How He Battled Back

Carey & Toni Nieuwhof’s story of their marriage: Like it Or Love It Series Part 3, “Command Performance”

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

Craig’s interview was full of great advice.

While there’s so much you could do after listening to Craig’s story, here are 3 things you can begin this week:

1. Start writing regularly in a journal. Honestly express yourself. As leaders, we’re often left in lonely, isolating situations because we can’t communicate freely with our team or our friends, especially when they attend our church. Get a journal and write. Give yourself a safe, personal outlet to work through your ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

2. Find a counselor. As Craig mentions in the interview, a counselor doesn’t have always be a professional, but you need to be share the depths of your heart and struggles with someone. Most often, it will be your spouse or a close friend, but there are times when a situation requires expert support. Regardless, find someone you trust and share your experiences openly. It’s another great way to avoid the isolation that often plagues leaders.

3. Read a book with tips and tools for your situation. If you’re a leader whose family is suffering because you’re struggling to create boundaries at church, get Craig Jutila’s book From Hectic to Healthy, Overwhelmed by Perry Noble or Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud.  Whatever your situation, there’s a resource that can help you start the journey to restoration. Take a small step today, find expert support in a book, and set time aside to implement 2-3 practices you learn.

You may also find Episode 2 of my podcast with Perry Noble helpful. In it, Perry describes how he burned out leading one of America’s largest and fastest growing churches, and battled suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety to lead again. Craig and Perry’s stories have remarkable similarities—and some differences—that will help almost every leader lead better.

Finally, if you want to ask Craig a question or connect with him personally, he has graciously offered his email. Email him at craig@whowillyouempower.com.

Quotes to Share from Craig

 

A New Episode Every Week…Just Subscribe.

The podcast releases every Tuesday morning.

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from great leaders like Craig Jutila, Kara Powell, Casey Graham, Perry Noble, and Andy Stanley.

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Let’s Have Lunch In Indianapolis or Texas || Orange Tour 2014

I’m going to be in Indianapolis on Thursday October 16 and Friday October 17th for the 2014 Orange Tour. Then, I’ll be visiting Texas for the Orange Tour stops in Austin (November 3-4) and Dallas (November 6-7).

I’ll be giving some keynotes and doing some breakouts on parenting, leadership and the church, and hosting a lunch for senior leaders. I’d love to hang out. Sign up below!

2014 Orange Tour

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Indianapolis Orange Tour Stop

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Austin Orange Tour Stop

Have lunch with Carey: Register for the Dallas Orange Tour Stop

Next Episode: Tony Morgan

Ever wonder if your team—or how you lead your team—is keeping your church from growing? It very well might be the case.

In next week’s episode, Tony Morgan reveals how your volunteer and staff team can keep your church from growing, or how a great team can help it grow.

With a ton of practical tips for leaders of small, mid-sized and very large churches, don’t miss Episode 006 next week with Tony Morgan. It goes live Tuesday, October 21st 2014.

Subscribe to the Podcast

Never miss an episode. Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunesStitcher or TuneIn Radio.

Got 60 Seconds? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast in iTunes and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn Radio as well.

Your rating and review helps gets the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

We’ve had over 100 reviews so far across all platform. Leave one and I may feature yours on my podcast page. I read every one and appreciate them all! Thank you for being so awesome.

Got a question?

Scroll down and leave a comment.

Some Quick & Dirty Leadership Lessons I Learned When I Bought the Massive iPhone 6 Plus

So I’m a bit addicted to technology.

How about you?

My guess is a relatively high number of you are too.

According to my Google Analytics, half of the people who read this blog read it on their phone. Another 20% read it on their tablet. So, like me, you like your tech. (By the way, if you don’t know those number for your church website and blog, you should…and you should design your content and layout accordingly.)

So when the iPhone 6 was announced, I was super excited. Faster, bigger, sleeker. Count me in. (Yes, I’m that superficial.)

I got up extra early the morning the phones were available for pre-order online and, after two hours of finding only crashed websites, finally got through and ordered mine.

I went for it, and ordered the massive 6 Plus.

I think I learned as much (or more) about change in the ensuring weeks than I did about phones.

iPhone 6 plus, leadership, change

5 Quick and Dirty Leadership Lessons About Change

I’m a student of change, and have even written a book on it. It amazes me how much the dynamics of change surface in every day life.

And if you become a student of those dynamics, you will learn how to lead change better when it counts.

So here’s what I’ve learned from my decision to get the biggest-yet iPhone 6 Plus.

1. Nobody is as excited about the change you want to make as you are.

I LOVE technology. I love new technology even more.

When I finally got the phone I was like a kid at Christmas.

I realize that other people were excited too. Apple sold 10 million 6 and 6 Pluses in the first 72 hours after they went on sale.

But, clearly, I was not personally surrounded by all 10 million people in my immediate circle.

Lots of people I know were not so excited.

Didn’t you just get one last year? (Yes I did. But I’m dumb enough to buy again.)

It’s really not that different than other phones. (Okay, but it’s bigger, right?)

It’s just a phone. (And you’re just a person.)

Principle: Whenever you introduce change, few people will be excited about it as you are.

That’s okay. Really.

If it’s a good change, it will catch on. Just keep going.

Just be prepared for indifference and ridicule.

Speaking of ridicule, on to point 2.

2. People Make Fun of Different

Android fans pointed out that my phone has the same features theirs did two years ago.

People who still send their mail with stamps asked me whether my phone bent yet.

Others who saw it asked how I liked my new iPad.

I mostly just smiled.

To those who persisted, I pointed out that Consumer’s Reports ran independent testing to show that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are no more bendable than most phones on the market. And that if mine did, I’m sure Apple would replace it.

Principle: Every change is met with resistance, even ridicule. Just get that.

As Arthur Schopenauer said:

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Almost everything new you try—if it pushes the envelope of what people are used to—will be met with opposition.

So, when it comes to critics, don’t play their game. Play yours.

3.If the change is truly different, you’ll think you made a mistake.

I got the case for my phone two weeks before my phone shipped.

It was…massive. I began to think I’d made a mistake.

Then the phone arrived. It was huge.

For the first day I thought “I can’t believe I spend all this money on something so big…should have gotten the 6 like everyone else I know.”

That line of thinking lasted about a day, as I’ll explain.

Just know if the change you’re embracing is radical, at some point even you’ll think you made a mistake.

4. Mastering new features makes the experience much better.

I always think the way you use a device within the first ten days of getting it will determine how you use it forever.

The human brain longs for the familiar and will try to get you onto a familiar course as soon as possible, often at the expense of exploring all the possibilities in front of you. I wrote about creating whole new patterns for your life based on this principle in this post.

So I try to learn all the new features and rethink how I use technology before I settle in to a new pattern.

I read tutorials, watch videos and try to master new ways of using the product.

For you iPhone 6 Plus users, the key for me was to shift the centre of gravity from the base of my palm (where I usually rested older phones) to the centre of my hand. Once I did that, I could access any part of the screen with my thumb. Voila.

Plus I’m trying to master all the tips and tricks of iOS8 that the 6 Plus was built for. Here’s a handy article on the iPhone 6 and iOS8 to help you and couple of 6 Plus hacks that can help.

5. If it’s a good change, it doesn’t take long to not want to go back.

After my one day of “why did I order such a big phone?”, I quickly became a fan of it.

I do have relatively big hands and fat thumbs. Love the keyboard! It’s big.

Probably the best thing is that the screen is big enough that I can easily read iBooks and Kindle on my phone, not just my iPad.  I always found my old phones frustrating because you could only get a couple of paragraphs of text on a screen at once.

Now, because my phone is always with me and really is my go-to device, I think that’s going to mean more quality books read and less time wasted meaninglessly meandering through apps.

Just a week into it, I don’t want to go back. In fact, when I hold a smaller phone, it now seems strange to me.

The point: spend enough time adapting to change and you will find a new and better normal.

I think you can see the parallels between something as trivial as a phone and some of the big changes you want to bring about.

And if you want to read more about mastering the dynamics of change when people oppose it, check out my book on that subject here.

What are you learning about change these days?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

What Self-Aware Leaders Know…That Others Don’t

So…how self-aware are you?

It’s a skill I’ve been trying to build every year for many years as a leader, husband and friend.

Here’s why.

I realized awhile ago that self-awareness is a characteristic I’m drawn to in people I work with and do life with.

In fact I try to get as many self-aware people on board any team I’m building as possible and personally prefer the company of self-aware people to those who aren’t.

Before that sounds too discriminatory, the good news is self-awareness is a skill and it can be learned.

If you want to grow your self-awareness, you can. If you want to develop your team’s self-awareness, you can.

You just need to know what to look for.

self-awareness

Self-Awareness is A Key To Emotional Intelligence

About 20 years ago, Daniel Goleman rocked the leadership world with a new theory: that emotional intelligence was as or more important to success than intellectual intelligence.

His theory on emotional intelligence is now commonly now called EQ (although Goleman prefers the term EI, not EQ), and many organizations are hiring for EQ as much as they are for IQ or other more traditional hard skill sets.

Goleman identified 5 main components for emotional intelligence, chief of which is self-awareness (you can read about the other four here).

If you want to dramatically improve the climate in your church or organization, hire and recruit self-aware, emotionally intelligent people.

For example, if you had a choice to invite a self-aware leader who had a B+ gift set on to your team, and a leader with an A gift set on to your team who wasn’t self-aware, whom would you choose?

For me, it’s not much of a contest. I’ll take the self-aware leader.

They tend to make a bigger impact in their leadership and they are MUCH easier to work with.

Four Simple But Surprising Things Self-Aware Leaders Know

So what do self-aware people know that other leaders don’t?

In my experience, there are four things. The four things are simple when you think about it, but it’s surprising how many people and leaders lead day to day strangely unaware of them:

1. Their impact on others

Of all the characteristics of self-aware people, this is the most endearing.

Self-aware people understand their own emotions and actions AND the impact of their emotions and actions on others.

That sounds simple, but the implications are staggering.

Think about it. How many times have you had a bad day only to not know why you’re having a bad day?

And then how many times has your mysteriously bad day had a negative impact on your spouse, your kids and your co-workers?

Far too often, right?

Me too. That’s what self-awareness and emotional intelligence starts to address in leaders. It stops that.

Self-aware leaders refuse to let a bad day on the inside spill out to others on the outside. Self-aware people just don’t have many of those days.

Sure…they might not feel great. But they realize their mood has an impact on others, and they regulate it.

Who doesn’t want to be around people like that?

If you struggle with your mood (and how doesn’t?), here are a few ways to handle it:

Be the first to recognize it.

Pray about it.

Regulate it.

Be more interested in other people that day than you are in yourself. (This really helps.)

If you want to become more emotionally intelligent, be aware of the impact of your emotions on others.

2. Their weaknesses

Nobody likes to admit they have weaknesses, but we all do.

The longer I lead, the more I realize how small my sweet spot really is (for me it’s content creation, communication, vision casting and team recruitment…it’s all downhill from those four).

Self-aware people understand their weaknesses and limit their activities in areas for which they are not gifted.

This does two things:

It creates space for others to shine.

It allows them to spend most of their time working from their strengths.

It takes real humility for a leader to admit where they are not strong, but that characteristic is often endearing.

If you want to become more self-aware, understand your weaknesses and start acting accordingly. Your team will be so much better for it.

3. Their strengths

While it may take humility to acknowledge your weaknesses, it doesn’t take arrogance to acknowledge your strengths.

Someone who understands their strengths is not inherently egotistical; they’re just self-aware; arrogant people can just as easily work out of their weaknesses as their strengths.

So…don’t be afraid of understanding and leading from your strengths.

Self-aware people know what they’re best at, but don’t brag. They just do it.

4. Their limits

Everyone has limits. As much as some of us push back on them, they’re still there.

Self-aware people know what level their tank is at and behave accordingly.

When they need a break, they take one. When they’re tired, they acknowledge it and take responsibility for getting some rest. When they are running on all cylinders, they give whatever they’ve got to whatever they do.

Again, everyone benefits: co-workers, their team and even their family.

Ironically, a leader who knows where their limits are often operates at much closer to their limit than a leader who has no idea that they’re tired, over capacity or heading for a crash.

Want to know how to refuel?

Don’t miss my leadership podcast episode on burnout with Perry Noble (Perry burnt out and came back), and here’s an article on how to bring your best to the table every day.

Worried about your limits? Here’s a post that outlines 9 signs you’re burning out.

What Do You Think?

So what have you learned in working with self-aware people…or with leaders who are not self-aware?

What’s helped you grow as a leader?

Scroll down and leave a comment!