So you want to lead better. The question, always, is how.
Below, I share 5 of my favourite leadership insights of all time. While I have hundreds of principles I think about, these 5 surface in my mind on a daily basis.
And, because you’re a leader, today I want to spring a surprise on you and offer you the chance to win a free trip to Rethink Leadership in Atlanta April 27th-29th, including round-trip airfare.
I’m really excited about this three day gathering because I think in 72 hours you could go further and deeper as a leader than you have in a long time.
Rethink Leadership is a new companion event to the Orange Conference. For years, I’ve led the senior leader track at Orange Conference. This year, that track has grown up into a conference of its own exclusively for lead pastors, seniors, campus pastors and executive pastors who attend with their senior pastors.
In an intimate setting at the John C. Maxwell Leadership Centre at 12 Stone Church, you’ll be gathering with top leaders like Pete Wilson, Jeff Henderson, Geoff Surratt, Brad Lomenick, Cheryl Bachelder, Heather Larson, Jon Acuff, Reggie Joiner, Kara Powell, Leonce Crump and more. I’ll be hosting and speaking at the event as well.
Plus, you’ll be in a room full of other senior leaders who share your passion for the mission of the Church. We’ll also have great table hosts that will guide you through our time together and some pivotal discussions. And full access to the Friday, April 29th sessions at Orange Conference are included.
I outline how to win the trip below and I share my 5 favourite leadership insights as well.
How to Win Admission and Airfare to Rethink Leadership
Your entry to win free admission and round trip domestic airfare to Rethink Leadership is:
Your comment on this blog post (below) OR:
A social media post by your linking to www.rethinkleadership.com on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the #RTL16 hashtag.
We’ll randomly draw one person the morning of Wednesday, March 18th 2016 and announce it here on this post.
So, comment below to win or post about Rethink Leadership on your social channels with the #RTL16 hashtag to win.
If you’ve already registered for RTL16 and you win, your conference registration will be refunded. We cannot, unfortunately, refund airfare already purchased.
About airfare. The prize is good for ONE round-trip U.S. domestic coach certificate, which is valid for transportation on Delta Air Lines and participating partners for travel to and from the conference only.
What’s your best strategy to attend #RTL16?
Well, comment and post away on social, but also register for the conference while you can still get the advance rate. If you win, we’ll refund your registration. If you can hold off booking airfare until the winner is announced Wednesday March 18th then you won’t be out of pocket for that if you win. 🙂
NOTE: We have a winner! Devin Marlowe, Lead Pastor of Judah in Florida will be joining us at #RTL16 in Atlanta with free admission and round trip air fare.
Remember, just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you can’t come. So join us at RTL in April.
Bummed you lost? Stay tuned for another fun giveaway next month as my leadership podcast hits the one million download mark.
Now, here are 5 of my favourite leadership insights:
1. Character, not competency, determines your capacity
When I was starting out in leadership, leadership was all about skill to me. It was about learning more, getting sharper, getting better and gaining an edge.
But throughout my thirties as I watched skilled leader after skilled leader fall morally (preachers, politicians, business leaders and more), I realized that all the skill in the world matters less than character.
Character matters because you bring who you are into everything you do. Your character determines the kind of leader you’ll be, but also the kind of husband you’ll be, parent you’ll be and even friend you’ll be.
You can be the most skilled person on the planet, but if people don’t trust you, don’t like you and don’t want to emulate you, they won’t follow you.
As a result, your character, not your competency, determines your capacity.
2. The people closest to you shape you the most deeply
If you study most great leaders, you’ll discover this: they have even greater people around them.
The longer I’ve been in leadership, the more important it’s been for me to cultivate a carefully crafted circle of people around me. Some are people I work with. Some are colleagues I keep close. And others are friends and mentors I’ve worked hard to invite into my life.
The quality of people around you directly impacts the quality of your leadership because the people closest to you shape you the most deeply.
If you surround yourself with cheaters, you’ll likely end up cheating.
If you surround yourself with liars, you’ll shade the truth.
If you surround yourself with people of deep integrity, you’ll grow your integrity.
Personally, I look for people with a deep commitment to personal integrity and faith who also have exceptional skills. And if I have to trade off, I’ll settle for higher integrity and lower skill set.
Why? Because the people closest to you shape you the most deeply.
3. The past is the future with the lights on
The future isn’t nearly as mysterious as you think.
The past is the future with the lights on.
This principle is actually a paraphrase of a lyric from a +44 song. (Insight shows up in all kinds of places.)
But it’s so true, isn’t it?
It’s easy to think the future is going to be radically different than the past, but the reality is your future will repeat your past unless you break from the past.
Want a different future? Look at your past (the lights are on) and decide what you need to change. Then muster up the courage to change it.
4. Curiosity is the antidote to cynicism
Cynicism creeps up on all of us, even the young.
Let it grow, unchecked, and you will become the leader who’s seen it all, knows it all and tells everyone about it.
Which also means two things:
You’re no fun to hang out with.
You’ve stopped growing.
More than any other factor I’ve been able to isolate, curiosity appears to be the antidote to cynicism.
The curious are never cynical. And the cynical are never curious.
The curious ask questions. They’re interested. They’re learners. They don’t think they know it all. And especially as they get older, the curious are wonderful to be around.
So be curious.
5. Strategy trumps vision
You hear a lot about vision as a leader. And you need it. You know that.
Every organization needs a clear and compelling vision.
But vision, unrealized, is simply an intention.
Far too many leaders create a vision but stop there.
To bring a vision to life you need a strategy.
The reason so many leaders turtle when it comes to strategy is that strategy is both specific and potentially divisive.
Strategy says this is how we’re going to do music.
Strategy says this is how we’re going to govern ourselves.
Strategy says this is how we’re going to raise funds.
And the strategy that will lead you into future is almost always different than strategy you used in the past.
A B+ strategy, well-executed, trumps an A+ vision every time.
So what’s your strategy? And how have you executed it?
Over to You
Those are 5 of my favourite leadership insights.
What are yours?
Scroll down and leave a comment!
And remember, your comment (and your social media posts using the #RTL16 hashtag) are your ballot to win free admission and airfare to Rethink Leadership in Atlanta April 27-29th.