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5 Of My Favourite Leadership Insights (And a FREE Trip Giveaway)

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.

leadership insights

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.

Two details:

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.

192 Comments

  1. Scooter Ward on March 18, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Love me some Carey Nieuwhof now…Good stuff. Thanks for all your insights and for using your gift to build up God’s church.

  2. Andrew Thompson on March 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    thanks Carey for these insights, there are immensely helpful for the day to day, and future growth. I have been the interim pastor at our church for the last year while our senior pastor has been on a LOA. Its been a great journey of leadership discovery.

  3. Siju on March 16, 2016 at 5:30 am

    I find this very refreshing, yet as one who is involved in helping church and ministry leaders here in Spain especially among the up coming ones, I have noticed the lack of one vital component in Spiritual leadership – many leaders loose this while in pursuit of perfecting their settings and improving their social status. What I am referring to is very strong and unhindered connection with The Master. We have extreme cases here of leaders gunning for excellent structures – but their pursuit have been at the expense of spirituality. I believe that whoever is the head must be ahead, especially in hearing the marching orders from above. My 21 years of Pastoring the local church, (before I got called into supporting the local church leaders as I do now) my greatest strength as always been the ability to hear from God and to minister/disseminate the Truth I hear from Him with power. As we grow towards perfecting our leadership in every other ways that’s needful, we must not forget to keep the pulpit alive and on fire. Real Spiritual Leaders do not neglect to keep their connection with heaven alive – for out of that connection is where the pulpit gets ignited and the ignition on the pulpit keeps the pew burning. The real reason I am a spiritual leader is because I am messenger of good tidings. Spiritual leaders go beyond paper work and professional administrative protocols – they stay rooted in communion with The Holy Spirit of God.

    • Siju on March 16, 2016 at 5:34 am

      I do agree with all five insights above, I am only sharing this one as my own addition to the list.

  4. Carey Nieuwhof on March 16, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Wow! Overwhelmed by the comments and literally hundreds (maybe 1000+?) social media entries for the free trip to ReThink Leadership.

    We have a winner! Devin Marlowe, Lead Pastor of Judah (Judahcc.com), come on down…you’ll be going to Rethink Leadership 2016 on us with free admission and free round trip airfare.

    Thanks to EVERYONE for your interest and passion and hopefully we’ll see a ton of you there. It’s going to be amazing! I think you know if I could fly you all there…I would! Thanks for being awesome and thanks to ALL of you who entered!

  5. Gwen MacMillan on March 15, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Our church is just beginning to have conversations on change. I have been blessed to be asked to be a part of a visioneering group. Our church is aging and the signs of near death are fast approaching. Posts, and podcasts such as these are providing insight and is helping us to move forward. Exciting times are ahead:)

  6. Russell Giasson on March 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I appreciate the insights shared, particularly about how the people around you shape you. In times past I have had some really great leaders to learn from and appreciate it more now than I did then.

  7. Derek Langille on March 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    These observations are true. I have felt the joys and agonies of them often in my ministry.

  8. Gayle on March 15, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    #RTL16 Thought-provoking as always.

  9. Tom Maine on March 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

    My favorite: The moment a leader starts thinking about himself and stops thinking about those he leads is the moment he stops being a leader and starts being a manipulator.

    Keep the good stuff coming! #RTL16

  10. Sean Meade on March 15, 2016 at 11:09 am

    #RTL16 Very cool – hope to join you in Atlanta.

  11. Rob Shepherd on March 15, 2016 at 9:34 am

    #RTL16 – What an amazing opportunity. I love your stuff. Thank you for making me a better leader.

  12. Karl D Peterson on March 15, 2016 at 9:09 am

    #RTL16 – One thing my mentor always says is “When was the last time you did something for the first time for Jesus?” That questions pushes me to keep thinking and keep trying new things.

  13. Jeff Price on March 15, 2016 at 8:30 am

    #RTL16 Absolutely love all of your blog post and podcasts! Personally point #2 is something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about and have made it a very important part of my life to seek out great mentors. I think that we as leaders need to have relationships with people who we allow to challenge us and call out things in our lives. I personally have a few different mentors who come from very different perspectives, I believe that this helps me grow as a leader and helps me to see struggles from several different view points. Thanks for all you do for us as leaders!

  14. Angel Christ on March 14, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    #RTL16 hashtag I just purchased Lasting Impact. I always appreciate your insight, and I am looking forward to reading it. If I win this trip, however, I want to give it to my son. He is much younger than I and it would be an excellent foundation for him. He is 22 and a part-time youth pastor. The church he is in ministry with is so pleased with what God is doing in him and through him, a financial campaign has begun to make his position full time by the time he graduates college in May. I am proud of him and I praise God everyday for the fruit of one so young.

  15. Chris Kuhne on March 14, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    I resonate with the comment on Character… Unfortunately, I have had to walk along with and develop team members whose competency and talents outpaced their character. That always ends in bad place. Develop character and foster integrity, then competency can grow in fertile ground. But it’s hard because super talented staff and those who have high capacity skills we find easy to put in or to keep in a spotlight where their skills can shine. But character is hard to forge in a spotlight.

  16. Joe Hartley on March 14, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I love 4 & 5 the most.

    Curiosity seems so underrated in our culture right now. Curiosity may have killed the cat but I think the lack of curiosity has killed more organizations or at the very least driven out top talent. Curiosity fills an organization with hope and optimism,while cynicism leads to negativity and despair.

    I disagree with 1. Character is not the only thing that limits capacity. I agree that you can’t get far in leadership without character there it becomes the most important constraint. But I’ve seen plenty of leaders with character who also lack key capabilities.

    One that I would add is authenticity. Leaders need to be comfortable with who they are and not try to fit into the stereotype of what leaders should be. Be who God made you to be.

  17. Scott Newman on March 14, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I appreciate the comments on character! Now in my early 30’s, I’ve begun to see the phenomenon you describe where fantastically skilled leaders fail morally and disqualify themselves from leadership. The basic prayer I pray for myself and any other leaders I come across is that God would form us into whole and holy people!

  18. Dave MacPhee on March 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Leadership Insight: Thanking your people is a huge way to create organizational and relational health

  19. Kevin McGhee on March 14, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    A leadership insight would add is that God is full of surprises … and He can (and often) does lead us to minister in ways we never expected or sought.

  20. Jason Ewart on March 14, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve been a lead pastor for seven years. I’ve seen insights 2 and 5 have the most impact. Your strategy and the people you work with to execute the strategy have massive impact on your leadership.

  21. Adam Wiggins on March 14, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    For the first time in 30 years of church planting and transitioning existing churches I’m am currently transitioning an existing church WITH my wife as Director of Leadership and Organizational Development. We are so looking forward to #RTL16 to sharpen our focus in wisely leading our church through its next steps! See you there!

  22. Bruce Kaihoi on March 14, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Insightful. Sticky statements. “Fun” to read. Challenging. Hopeful–I can act on every insight. Helpful. Thank you! Blessings!

  23. momc2u on March 14, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    A Leadership Insight that the Lord has been actively teaching to me is the “Value All People.” Not those who accomplish the most, or are obviously awesome and gifted… but also the ones who show up, even if they only show up once in a while-they need to be valued too. Seeing and expressing value- whether through gratitude, a pat on the back, a smile, or a kind word- benefits both myself and the recipient. It also allows me to engage, minister, and pray for those people in a more effective way. Seeing people the way God sees them, that’s what I’d like to do!

  24. Canada Mike on March 14, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Strategy does not trump vision it executes vision. Your comments definitely clarified this, but the tagline can be misleading. A parallel idea is the difference between leadership and management. Management is the hands on application of strategy, leadership is the vision and momentum builder which sets strategy in motion.

  25. Daniel Wentworth on March 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    #RTL16 Love all your posts and podcasts Carey. You have become my go to guy. I just finished “Lasting Impact” and just received 9 more copies – 3 for my elders and 4 for my staff. We’re going to go through it chapter by chapter. #4 above caught my eye. I am a big believer in CANI – Constant And Neverending Improvement. After 33 years in ministry as an associate in various areas I became a Lead Pastor 2+ years ago. Many of my friends are tired and talking about retirement. I’m am on fire, needing to learn more than ever. I’m finding most people in my world don’t think like me. That’s why I listen to you and Andy and Perry and Craig. I’m a small church Pastor locked in a big church mind set. I really want to go to #RTL16 I’m sending our brand new children’s director and another special lady to the Orange Conference. I originally was going to go too and attend #RTL16 Finances made me choose. I know I’ll keep reading and learning. I told our elders it would be diabolical to hire a new children’s person with no experience and not train her. You always say Orange is the best so that’s where we’re sending her. Thanks for all you do. It really makes a differnce.

  26. Will Miles on March 14, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I like point #1, but for more than just the reason you state. I think that character sets the culture of the organization. I’ve seen and experienced a need for short-term competency override a desire for culture with disastrous consequences.

  27. Jack Witt on March 14, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    The imagination involved in vision must be fleshed out with good strategic thinking or we will remain stuck in the world of ideas. Great post. #RTL16

  28. Matthew Redrich on March 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Your first insight is quite refreshing since I’m on week 7 of pastoring my first church. There are definitely times when I have no idea what I’m doing. Here’s to #RTL16 and the excellent opportunity for leaders to grow.

  29. Luke Isaacson on March 14, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Great Post, as usual very practical and insightful!! #RTL16

  30. Jonathan Everette on March 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Would love to win the trip to #RTL16!

  31. Andy Brubaker on March 14, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Excellent thoughts! I appreciate number 5. Lots of books are written about vision, but seldom talk about how to develop the strategy to accomplish that vision. #RTL16

  32. Cecil Cogswell on March 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Great thoughts! As a senior pastor of 27 years I can see the pit of cynicism looming before me and it is not where I want to fall. I heartily agree that we must continue to cultivate our curiosity for the magnificent working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, so that we wake up every day with a fresh desire to learn something new, experience something we have never felt before, and to do something that we may have never done before. May God be with as we mature in our faith and may we never stop growing!

  33. jcvarner on March 14, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Wow! What an opportunity.

  34. Jeffrey Keele on March 14, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for all the resources you provide for other church leaders through your books, podcast, and blog. #RTL16

  35. Mary Ellen Ekstedt Rayle on March 14, 2016 at 11:21 am

    4. Curiosity is the antidote to cynicism! I felt this intuitively but this sentence clarifies a critical truth for leaders. I will use these words often. We have introduced change after change to our historic congregation and over the past 30 years we have seen God do amazing things in our midst. Truthfully, I am aging, but hope to always cultivate a heart that is other-centered and a mind that is curious about what might happen if . . .

  36. Philip on March 14, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for always sharing wisdom and leadership insight. I’m early in my ministry life (8 years), and I soak in everything you share on your podcast and blog. I wasn’t aware of this conference, and I’m headed over now to the website to check it out! Thanks again, Carey.

  37. Drew Peterson on March 14, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Character over competency has been a recurring theme in my ministry lately. Thanks for mentoring and leading leaders well with your character first, Carey!

  38. Ben Hawk on March 14, 2016 at 10:44 am

    As a young church leader it’s always wonderful to hear the insights of those who have already experienced the things I am/will be facing. I’m not actually a lead pastor, in fact technically I am not a pastor. I am the Director of Student Ministries at our church. That might disqualify me from the trip, but I would like to go to improve my leadership skills as the potential for becoming a lead pastor is apparent. I have been following you for a while Carey, and have grown from your sharing. Thanks for being an awesome disciple of Christ.

  39. Chris VandeLinde on March 14, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Great thoughts, Carey. I especially liked #5, “Strategy Trumps Vision”, and the quote, “A B+ strategy, well-executed, trumps an A+ vision every time”. That resonates loud and clear, and I believe it to be true!

    Can’t wait to grow deeper, stretch my brain and my heart, and build our team at #OC16 and #RTL16!

  40. Ken Tran on March 14, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Thanks Carey. #2 & #3 speaks strongly to me. The people around you can shape you negatively or positively. If not careful, the negative shaping can become your future.

    Favorite quote: “The curious are never cynical. And the cynical are never curious.”

    What is my strategy for #RTL16?

    Seek to know great leaders and not just their leadership knowledge.

  41. Steve Murray on March 14, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Great insight as always. Particularly #5. As our church grows, I am increasing struck by how essential a well executed strategy is. Win or lose, I’ll be at #RTL16. Can’t wait.

  42. Carl Axel Franzon on March 14, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for continuing to share in so many ways and being a kingdom multiplier. #RTL16

  43. Danielle Chaffee Krivda on March 14, 2016 at 8:56 am

    These are great, and your posts are always so informing and helpful. Would love to be part of the #RTL16

  44. Chrystal B on March 14, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Thanks for the sharing these principles. “Vision, unrealized, is simply an intention.” Strategy is so important. I’m looking forward to #RTL16

  45. Amber M. on March 14, 2016 at 8:19 am

    I’m increasingly learning about the importance of character over competency, and pray that I will remember that daily. Hope to learn more alongside some amazing leaders at the Rethink Leadership Conference!

  46. Phil S on March 14, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Thanks for the tips. I’d love to win the tickets to #RTL16 since it would add another great element to my sabbatical!

  47. Paul Finley on March 14, 2016 at 6:40 am

    I continue to be inspired by Carey’s ideas, thanks for sharing!

  48. stuart vickers on March 14, 2016 at 6:22 am

    love number 3 the past does help shape you but it doesn’t have to shape your future brilliant have just spoke about this at church yesterday. would love to come to #RTL16

  49. Nathan McWherter on March 14, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Thank you for taking the time to write these down. As a young leader it is easy to get discouraged and focused on the wrong things. Lately, number 2 has been weighing on me. Am I creating a culture among the people I lead of abundance or scarcity? Am I helping to guide the people closest to me towards greater integrity and faith or am I negatively influencing the staff. I believe that I have greater influence on the attitude of our staff than I realized and plan on being proactive

  50. Kelli Espiritu on March 13, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Is it Tuesday yet? I would love to win the reThink trip, but I am most looking forward to your interview with Justin Dean. I’ve been following the Mars Hill story. I resigned after serving as KidMin Director for 20 years in Aug of 2014. Two weeks later, you launched your podcast. I knew something was wrong and through counseling is where I discovered I was spiritually abused.

    I had a hard time finding resources online to help me navigate all that comes with this kind of abuse. Until the Mars Hill incident, I only found old stats and older videos and articles. This unfortunate issue involving Mark Driscoll has brought this type of abuse the attention it deserves.

    Because I know you have honest conversations with your guests, Tuesday can’t arrive any faster! Thank you for having, as you say, “eclectic” guests.

    I have been listening to your podcast since the beginning and they have helped me recover and detox from my past. As I go forward in ministry, I pray to build with precious stones instead of with hay and stubble. I am relearning valuable leadership lessons that…wait for it, “help me lead like never before.” Haha.

    I am your “#10” fan. I was the 10th person to leave a review on iTunes Haha.

    Thank you Carey. This California gal thinks you’re killing it!

  51. Stuartlu on March 13, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    As always Carey gets me thinking. I’d tweak/interpret his five this way: 1) You can have competency without character, but not the other way around; 2) You need help and guidance to go to new places; 3) Where you’re going is guided by understanding where you’ve been; 4) Leading is learning and 5) Concrete plans beat dreams every day!

  52. Lynette on March 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Just getting started in leadership at age 55. I need help! I live in CA, and my daughter lives near Atlanta, so winning would be fantastic. Thank you for your articles.

  53. Scott on March 13, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    So is it Friday March 18, or Wed. March 16th? My favorite advice came from a leader i worked with overseas. He told me to make sure i stop and read the writings of dead people…we are not the first generation to handle the Word of God.

  54. greg walker on March 13, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Carey: Great stuff as always.
    It’s difficult for me to isolate a “leadership principle.” One that has stood the test of time with me though, is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” It’s one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits. It’s a succinct reminder to me of not only what it says, but of an underlying thread that places a high priority on effective communication.

  55. benboles on March 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    There is such simplicity in great leadership and these 5 insights are right on target. Thanks for another helpful article.

  56. Mr. Buck on March 13, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    How will you get a hold of us if we win?

  57. Todd Buckmaster on March 13, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Great article Carey. I would love to be able to attend the conference!

  58. Joe Thompson on March 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    The past is the future with lights on. Great stuff

  59. Cristie Seiler on March 13, 2016 at 11:22 am

    5 great insights! I hope to bring these along with your new book to the leaders I am helping to grow.

  60. Ruben Rene Rios on March 13, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Carey, thank you for helping to make leaders grow in their giftedness to lead. While I’ve been to the seminary, learning how to lead is something that didn’t come from my seminary education. The art of leadership is something I’ve learned through your books and blogs along with other leaders that I value and respect. Thanks brother.

  61. Dwayne K Smith on March 13, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I really love the simplicity of these insights. We over complicate leadership all the time.

  62. Sean mcpherson on March 13, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Leadership implies followership. If you think yours leading look behind you, if no one is following you’re simply out for a walk. – Maxwell

  63. Judy Muir on March 13, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Lead by example! Learn! Love sincerely! Listen appreciatively! Let go of hurts! Less criticism! Lots of appreciation!

  64. pastorandrewmills on March 13, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I love #4. I think the biggest thing that keeps leadership fresh, forward thinking, and moving is curiosity and a continual drive to keep learning ~ which really fuels hope. And I think it todays word we need more hope, less cynicism, and that means more curiosity. That’s my favourite from the list 🙂

  65. Walt Wellborn on March 13, 2016 at 8:02 am

    On the very top of my list is purpose and purpose is driven by those I serve. That does not mean that I do not have vision. It means that my vision is also driven by my servitude. But you are absolutely correct that vision without strategy is not much more than a pipe dream.

  66. Ian Dredge on March 13, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Strategy trumps vision: gold. Vision without strategy is a great song performed poorly. Strategy without vision is a song never heard….never left paper! We are 10 months into a church plant (in Qld, Australia) and vision is hard to cast with new members coming every week and strategy is hard to implement with hard-working, dare I say tiring (wonderful) volunteers. The fact that we keep on trying brings a smile to face! Thanks for the reminder Carey!

  67. Vance Oliver on March 13, 2016 at 6:25 am

    #RTL16 Thank you for the opportunity.

  68. Timothy Steele on March 13, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Curiosity is the antidote to cynicism – I’ve learned this quite well in the past year. This of all, will not only keep you in the game, it will remind you WHY you’re in the game. As you’ve reminded me before Carey, “Always keep your notebook open” and learn from others. I’m never the smartest person in the room. Be curious enough to ask a lot of questions and discover the thrill of learning something new! It has transformed my leadership. #RTL16

  69. John Deets on March 12, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    These are five (5) great insights. All together they present a strong leader. I think any one without the other four (4) has some inherent weaknesses. I look forward to your insights.

  70. Dennis V. on March 12, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Competency without character is a disaster waiting to happen. But character with out competency makes for a nice person who who adds little value. This isn’t an either or issue – I need people with both on my team.

  71. Kevin Busse on March 12, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    Great Leadership is the key!! Love the fact that you guys are doing Rethink Leadership for Senior Leaders. Would love the opportunity to be there and hang out with you guys.
    #RTL16

  72. Brooke Benschoter on March 12, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Leaders must believe in others for others to believe in them.

  73. Ben Trolese on March 12, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    “Strategy trumps vision”—ouch! Love this and would really, really love to be at Rethink Leadership!

  74. Paul Lampman on March 12, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    I have recently connected with your work and I am deeply thankful for your insights and your love and dedication. Blessings abound. Grace and Peace, Paul+

  75. Kelly Rhoades on March 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I agree with each of these Carey, great post as usual!

  76. Ben Brochu on March 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for the insights! Your blog has been very helpful to me.

  77. James C. Higgs on March 12, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    I just took ona project ministry at a Church in desperate need of recovery and leadership in a city desperately in need of Christ’s love (Flint). Your leadership posts continually reminds me that Jesus is the river of life. Thank you for all you do.

  78. Brian Gomes on March 12, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Those are all on my top 10 list! I like having a spiritually mature leadership team alongside me (Billy Graham’s Spiritual Secrets). And never being content with what I know about the Bible, keep looking into passages and issues with a fresh set of eyes (Elders and Leaders by Gene Getz) especially when it comes to needing to confront or correct others to make sure I’m not relying on teachings “just because.”

  79. Jason Doran on March 12, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to invest in others through your podcast and articles. It takes a lot of time and intentionality alongside everything you do as a pastor. Thanks. It’s always very insightful and encouraging.

  80. David Price on March 12, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    My favorite leadership insight is: People will never truly be!ieve in a leader unless they think the leader truly believes in them.

  81. Rob Culler on March 12, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Great content! The take aways are always practical and immediately doable. Thanks!

  82. Brian on March 12, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Great insight Carey! Hope to see you at the Orange Conference this year in Atlanta. #RTL16

  83. Lisa on March 12, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Great thoughts for those wanting to continually improve in life and leadership!

  84. Brian Clark on March 12, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Love this!

  85. Bob Terpstra on March 12, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Great Stuff, thanks for all you do Carey, I’ve grown so much through your podcast.

  86. Martin Pilgrim on March 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Love to see all these principles organized together. Another one would be to lead by example and learn to let go.

  87. Peter Damaska on March 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Such good stuff. Thanks, Carey. The second principle is so right.
    I want to be close to right people so that for others I would become one their right people.

  88. Jason on March 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I love how you synthesize such large concepts into clear understandable principles. I often glean great ideas from your posts to share with my staff team. From this one, I love the strategy trumps vision — as a coach for Intentional Churches and trained in StratOp I’ve come to believe that there are many pastors with some great vision but without clear strategy, the vision dies on the vine.

  89. Kim Taylor on March 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    leading by example, looking people in the eye when you speak to them, letting your yes be yes, rolling up your sleeves and working along side people, value the ones you work with, admitting when you make a mistake. leading with humility. these are the most desired attributes people want in a leader.

  90. Ricky on March 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Some of us were discussing this today about team leadership. I think it is an African proverb.
    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

  91. Jeff Gunn on March 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Great thoughts. Reading this, I was reminded of a leadership insight that was shared with me a few years ago. The insight is that chemistry trumps character (which trumps competence). Whoever connects with us (starting with Jesus!) will determine what our character becomes. I believe this is why Paul tells us that love is “the most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). When we’re first loved by Jesus, and in turn lead others with love — making unity a priority — then the character of those we lead has an opportunity to become more Christ-like. Christ’s love = Christ-like love = Christ-like character. (By the way, Paul points out that chemistry can work in reverse too: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character'” (1 Corinthians 15:33). As a pace-setting, type A guy, I’m still learning and growing when it comes to placing a priority on chemistry. But more and more I’ve come to believe it — and see it work in practice — since first catching this insight some years back.

  92. Jim on March 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Solidly grounded in Scripture, full of practical, helpful wisdom.

  93. Terry Brown on March 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Once again Pastor C – Your practical thinking is what the future church needs. I love what you said about ‘Strategy Trumps Vision’! As you know, you have said it, we have so much on VISION that it has become the HIP thing to tell your congregation and then they tell others but the bottom line is “the story of what you are doing and examples of lives changed”! Vision has become cliche` – A big part of strategy is caring more about people than perfection. The “how” has leading and serving people in mind more than the stats and numbers. Thank you Carey for taking time to say what works!

  94. Gordon on March 12, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Great post as always! I have a questions for you that i also had from the book. You say “strategy trumps vision.” What are some specific strategies that you are aware of that churches have? Could you name five? thanks!

  95. Pastorjf on March 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    There is nothing that I could add or detract from these insights as all five are excellent leadership thoughts and ones that will help any leader. My favourite leadership insight however is that all leadership begins with following. Because leaders are not born but developed all leaders are imprinted, shaped and sculpted by both the positive and negative that they have experienced while they have followed others. We obviously learn from positive traits and skills we have seen in those we’ve followed but we also need to learn what not to do or repeat from the negatives we’ve seen up close in those we’ve followed. Both are valuable and because there are no perfect leaders we will have plenty of opportunity to transform both positive and negative into learning and growth items in our own leadership journey. It’s been my observation that the best followers also make the best leaders. Because they’ve been there they make a point of finding ways to connect with those who follow them.

  96. K Saxe on March 12, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    A favorite of mine is a recent rephrasing of Luke 12:34 and Matthew 6:21 by Pastor Bryan Koch:

  97. Shepherds Heart on March 12, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Point 2 in your article is very profound! We are always taught skill, tactics and execution and seldom is character ever touched on. What our world and communities need is to see men and woman with courage and character. Some one once wisely commented that “gifts and talents will take you places, but your character and integrity will keep you there” As a Christian leader in my context, character precedes talk. Julian Pillay

  98. Jay Reed on March 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    After 30 years of ministry, I still feel like a rookie in many ways & can resonate with all these points. When I look back at significant changes I’ve made, I wish I could say it was because of “the courage to change”. If I’m honest, it’s because I couldn’t stand the pain anymore (pain of failure, missed opportunity, hurting others, disappointing God, the sting that accompanies sin…) and His continuing forgiveness and encouragement that turned me. I don’t have the courage I’d like. But I do have a persistent and gracious Lord, who uses situations, books, conferences and people like you Carey, to keep me in the game. Thanks for your words and ministry.

  99. Tandy Adams on March 12, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Great points. I would add know who you are and be who you are. Understanding where your identity lies (in Who you belong to, not what you do) is key to being a confident leader. Being true to your calling and your style, not trying to imitate someone else follows identy.

  100. Steve Curran on March 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I love your first insight. As someone who has led in an organization that valued competence over character I can tell you that you only have to be burned once to learn this lesson. Those who value competence over character will one day wish they had placed more value on character.

  101. Bonnie Jean Milligan Wilkins on March 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Seems like we often stop at “visioning” because a strategy leads to the change we say we want but are not really ready to make. #RTL16

  102. Arlyn Walters on March 12, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I love all those insights, but the one on curiosity vs. cynicism grabbed my attention especially this afternoon. By the way, I love your podcasts! It’s my number one podcast, followed by Andy Stanley’s leadership podcast. In fact, I’m getting ready to listen to Episode 40 (I’m still catching up) while vacuuming the auditorium of the church, then a final review of the Keynote for my message tomorrow. Thanks for great content! It sure makes the tedious work more productive!

  103. Jessica Fox on March 12, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Your 5 things are incredibly timely today! Thank you so much for continuing to pour out into us leaders! ps . . . I would love to win the trip! 🙂 Blessings!

  104. Todd on March 12, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    #5 stands out to me. We’re developing our church’s vision at the moment, but I’m realizing as that the while vision is important, strategy is where the rubber hits the road.

  105. Eric Oppenhuizen on March 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Good stuff! Would love to win 🙂

  106. Justin Dela Cruz on March 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks for all you do for church leaders. See you at ReThink next month 🙂

  107. Tony Myles on March 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    This is great stuff… especially how the past and future play together. It’s the tension of how to have great wisdom you need to make bad mistakes, and yet to avoid bad mistakes you need great wisdom.

  108. Beth Davidson on March 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    #4 Keep asking questions, continue to learn. Never think that you know it all. That’s impossible.

  109. RB_Canuck on March 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I am not convinced that strategy always trumps vision. It is true that to fulfill a vision you need a strategy, but a strategy needs a purpose which is the vision. I believe vision and strategy are symbiotic, useless without each other.

  110. Ed Grant on March 12, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Your point on Strategy has really caused me to think. It used to only be Vision, Vision, Vision, but the HOW is huge. Thank you Carey!!

  111. Care Ross on March 12, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Your point on curiosity made my day as I was just described as a curious person by co-workers whom I’ve only known since July 2015 🙂

  112. Adam Harris on March 12, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Great insight – #5 is challenging me the most – time to refine my strategy

  113. Doug Slayton on March 12, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Love all your doing to invest in leaders!

  114. Alex on March 12, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Excellent post, Carey. Interestingly enough, I am reminded of two quotes – the first one I’ve said it for years – and second one, my grandma used to tell me.
    1. “Skills can take you to the top, but it is character that’ll keep you there.”
    2. “Tell me who you hang around with, and I’ll tell you what you are.”

    Both of these principles help me keep my focus as to where I’m going and how I’m getting there.

    Thanks for the post, Carey.
    Alex

  115. Shawn Coons on March 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    After cheerleading the importance of vision for years, I’m realizing the importance of tip #5. Thanks, Carey!

  116. Bret Hammond on March 12, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Very insightful and encouraging post. Number 2 convicts me that there are people in my life who are hurting that I need to get closer to. I hope I have the kind of character that cultivates.

  117. Bill on March 12, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks Carey. One of my leaders once said, “your past is a prologue to your future.” It helped me understand that all the good, bad and ugly of 37 years of ministry – was, in part, to prepare me for my current assignment. FYI – we are loving your book and going through it as a leadership team. Thanks for being a resource to the Body of Christ!

  118. Renier Pelser on March 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    all leaders should hear and apply – even meeee!!!!

  119. Billy on March 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Love the simplicity – would love to suggest teams take one a week and begin honestly looking at themselves and determine next steps to making action items grow out of these conversations….thanks Carey

  120. Heath Tibbetts on March 12, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Definitely agree on #2. I think of Psalm 1 often when selecting leaders…not just who can do it, but who can benefit my vision and ministry by seeing their ministry’s role in it.

  121. pastorjames on March 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Vision is important, but a plan must be in place in order to see that vision come into fruition. Great insights!

  122. Caleb Clotiaux on March 12, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Good stuff!

  123. Aaron Butler on March 12, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Hey Carey, i love insight #3 – “The future is the past with the lights on”
    Really brings change into focus. It also remind me of one of my favorite life principles: “a person will not change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change”

  124. Shannon Bell on March 12, 2016 at 11:55 am

    This is good stuff, especially for those of us who aren’t necessarily ‘visionaries’ but know how to get things done.

  125. Wayric on March 12, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Hi Carey, thank you for your thoughtful insights. They are very helpful and I agree with them all. However ( yes here it comes 🙂 where is Jesus in all of this?

    Please don’t take this as a negative response. I respect what you say and I have always enjoyed your blogs. It is hard to respond without sounding critical, please trust me when I say I’m not. This is just something I feel God has laid upon my heart in the last few weeks. We hear and read it all the time; follow these five steps and you will… But hardly in any of this advice is Jesus’ name mentioned. Two passages come to mind. John 21 where Jesus restores Peter. Jesus asks Peter 3 times “do you love me?” Of course we know Peter responds yes if course. It’s then that Jesus responds back with what He wants Peter to do. I wonder if sometimes we as leaders forget the most important step in leading Jesus’ church? That is loving Jesus. I have this little cheesy equation that helps me. Loving Jesus + obeying Jesus = Following Jesus. Now of course our obedience is not out of duty, but out of our love for Him.

    The second passage in Philippians 3:2-11

    Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials – though mine too are significant. If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless. But these assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ. More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christʼs faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christʼs faithfulness. My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

    Thank you again for your great insight and principles on leadership. I will be praying for you and the other leaders who are speaking into our lives. I will also be praying that the conference will be a blessing for those attending and that Jesus will be front and center.
    Bless and be blessed,
    Wayne

  126. Paul Van Stralen on March 12, 2016 at 11:53 am

    #1 hits home especially. Great reminder to keep sights set on Christ.

  127. Donald on March 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

    #1 Forms the basis and foundation of lifes’ true meaning, as well as the crux of any person, disciple , leader or organisation(culture). Similarity or differences in decisions, philosophies or beliefs are based normally on ones character. Jesus’ mission was to resurrect the character of God in us. The selection process of speakers at Rethink you will notice without vilifying the other points given but character is a tool that is mandatory for ALL leaders if they want to have IMPACT and avoid expiration. Charisma without character is catastrophic!

  128. William Hoopes on March 12, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Thanks Carey, I always appreciate your insight!

  129. Tink on March 12, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Would love to attend Rethink Leadership :). Just heard Angela Duckworth speak on Grit and Resiliency — now there are a couple of leadership qualities truly needed in this atmosphere. Did you know Grittier people are happier people? I thought that was interesting info to come out of the research!

  130. Vic Stander on March 12, 2016 at 11:33 am

    As always, great insights! I’m sure #RTL16 will be jam packed with leadership jet fuel such posts like these.

  131. Steve Abbott on March 12, 2016 at 11:30 am

    My experience, good and bad, has taught me that #5 is absolutely true. A good vision without a strategy to support it is nice for discussion but doesn’t yield results. All of the insights are helpful. Thanks!

  132. Mike Spitters on March 12, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Sounds like it will be wind in my sail. Thanks!

  133. Ben DiStefano on March 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

    #5 Strikes to the heart of solo/church plant pastors where the tyranny of the urgent can often overshadow short and long term strategy. And March 18 is Friday not Wednesday. Wednesday is the 16th.

    • Made MV on March 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Ben, Thanks for your post. In a book I am reading by Lance Witt called Replenish, he says “…needs in ministry will always exceed your capacity…” He is referring to the solo pastor or controlling pastor. This goes hand in hand with “Tyranny of the Urgent.” We must strategically model, look for potential leaders, mentor, equip, release and monitor to share the load. After all, it is the “Body” of Christ. :o)

  134. Aaron Gregory on March 12, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I appreciate the good content that you keep providing. I follow the blog and subscribe to the podcast.

  135. Benjer McVeigh on March 12, 2016 at 11:20 am

    #5 is huge. Big ideas (the WHAT) are great, but without a HOW, ideas go nowhere.

  136. Ed Crenshaw on March 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Insight 5 is so important! For many years the emphasis in leadership training was so focused on vision that it was all too easy to dismiss the importance of strategy. #RTL16

  137. Donna on March 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Very helpful and encouraging in leadership & life in general.

  138. Rev. C on March 12, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Carey, thanks for all you do. Keep up the great work!

  139. Dave Fox on March 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Thank you again Carey for the insight. You have affirmed areas I desire to work in and challenged areas that need work.

  140. troy angell on March 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I have been taught that a persons character is what they do when nobody is watching or around. In the U.S.A. a person is judged by their past. It is hard to overcome past mistakes because they are continually brought up. However, people with past mistakes can use those negative experiences to guide others away from making those same mistakes. The more I learn and grow, the more I realize how little I know. There is an old saying that says, “If you want to be an old dog, then quit learning new tricks”. Sometimes it is hard to find the people that you should associate with or finding a good mentor. That is when you should be that person for others and seek out a person to mentor. Vision without action just makes a person a dreamer. Find a way to make your vision a reality and people will follow and make it happen.

  141. Derek on March 12, 2016 at 10:50 am

    “Curiosity is the antidote to cynicism.” Just so good! Can’t wait to hear all that comes out of Rethink!

  142. Jody Earley on March 12, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Would love to join you at Rethink Leadership. Planting a church in the heart of Denver and on a tight budget. Hope to win!

  143. Taunja Wiebe on March 12, 2016 at 10:49 am

    It’s an old one but one that I still follow “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”. I find over and over that if people feel heard and cared for they are open to conversations, correction, insight, feedback, a new vision or whatever you are about. I work alongside another leader currently who doesn’t get that. It’s so hard to watch him be disregarded and out right disrespected because people around him have come to the conclusion that they just don’t matter to him.

  144. Nick Daniel on March 12, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Thank you for all you do to help leaders learn to lead like never before (I may have heard that somewhere…). We are right in the middle of figuring out who we are as a church and what our vision is. Then comes strategy which will be difficult for our leadership team but I’m thankful for the resources you provide as they are helping us down the path of becoming the church God wants us to be. Thanks so much!

  145. faceted58 on March 12, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Strategy trumps vision is a reality for me. This is very encouraging because I am learning that a great idea is wonderful but if it can’t be implemented it will remain just an idea. Thank you Carey for your insights!

  146. Melrick Bogier on March 12, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Since finding your podcast and your blog I have definitely become a better leader. You never disappoint with content amd effective leadership tips. Hope to be able to make it to the conference as well. Winning this trip would be awesome!!!

  147. Joel Burkholder on March 12, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I most resonate with the strategy trumps vision comment, as we start a new strategic plan process. Thanks always for your comments and observations on leadership.

  148. Geoff on March 12, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I thought he list would be a typical list. Should have known better. These are gold. Now for implementing them… Thanks!

  149. Alan on March 12, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I lead a small church plant in the UK but Carey’s comment structure big to grow big is so spot on and then he produces posts like these that make me think more deeply is so helpful you have to take notice

  150. Karen Boone on March 12, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I have been taught to provide leadship with a servants heart. I have found that you can captivate people’s heart with a message of change but rolling up your sleeves and working with them you can assist in making your message a realistic change in their lives.

  151. Kamron Oberlin on March 12, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I am living #5 right now… it’s a hard truth that I am realizing quickly. As our church grows beyond the “small family” style atmosphere the vision is no longer enough. As strategy is implemented we can see growth will continue… so excited! Thank-you for the wisdom! Hoping to go – #RTL16

  152. Jeff Brown on March 12, 2016 at 10:33 am

    “So be curious.” AMEN to this. Out culture seems to celebrate cynicism as a virtue at times, and it can be so damaging. Great advice! #RTL16

  153. Jamie Randolph on March 12, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Brilliant as always! Can’t wait for #RTL16 !

  154. Thomas J Hudson on March 12, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I have enjoyed your books and blog posts, as well as many of your guest speakers. I would love to join you in Atlanta, but I can’t afford the trip. I’ll be with you all in spirit and prayer!

  155. Brad Haitsma on March 12, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Great insights, as always! Once again sharing with my team!

  156. Devin Marlowe on March 12, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Great insights as always, Carey. I totally agree with each of these. The one that resonates most with me (and that I struggle with the most personally) is strategy vs. vision. I admit I often stop short of a clear strategy for fear of pushback. Any practical tips on how to courageously lead a bold strategy when you anticipate, or even experience, pushback from some of your key leaders?

  157. Jeremy Picker on March 12, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I would love to be able to go to #RTL16

  158. Chris Edmondson on March 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I would love to hear more at #RTL16.

  159. Vern Frank on March 12, 2016 at 10:15 am

    These are some great insights to remember. i would love to hear more at #RTL16.

  160. Kathi Busch on March 12, 2016 at 10:15 am

    This could be a message outline…or even a whole series. Thanks, Carey! Always love your blog; looking forward to seeing you @ #RTL16.

  161. maya7 on March 12, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for your great ideas (posting to enter the contest).

  162. sabocortez on March 12, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I love the tribe that I belong to, but it’s a tribe in decline. A few years ago I stumbled unto people like you and Andy Stanley, and it has been such a fresh breath of air. I have slowly started implementing some of the principles that you guys talk about, and although it has not been an easy road (people on my board resigning, church members leaving because they do not like changes to reach the unchurched), I am beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel!

    Principle #2 “The people closest to you shape you most deeply” is absolutely true. I used to be surrounded by cynical leaders who were more interested in holding to traditions than reaching the lost. The result of this type of leadership was a church that reflected old school traditions, but did not reflect the heart of Jesus to reach those that were far from him. Ever since we made some changes to our senior leadership, we are seeing new life in the form of baptisms coming to our church.

    I hope to get to this conference. It has been a long season, and I could use a breather and good encouragement to move forward in this next season of church life! #RTL16 Here I come!!!

  163. Charles Lee on March 12, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Thank you Carey for your insight into leadership! I really appreciate your wisdom! I would add that “Leaders set the temperature of the community.” If the leaders are passionate, the community will catch up with them to be a passionate community; if the leaders and cold and aloof, then the coldness will eventually spread throughout the community. We need a visionary, strategic and passionate leaders.

  164. Todd Hurley on March 12, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Always look for God’s activity and God’s invitation to join in. Thanks to Blackaby for that one!

  165. Bradley Lutz on March 12, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I’d rather have a B+ strategy I can adjust and make better than an A+ I don’t have the resources to execute. Incremental growth is key.

  166. Amanda Ferguson on March 12, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I tell my students all the time who they surround themselves with is very important. I apply that to my life as well.

  167. Jeremy Hooper on March 12, 2016 at 9:59 am

    This is something I have learned over the past year, and it has greatly increased my capacity as a leader. “A B+ strategy, well-executed, trumps an A+ vision every time.” Thanks for helping us see how powerful this is. #RTL16

  168. Mark Dion on March 12, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Rethink Leadership ’16… Actually doing over thinking about doing! Indeed a B+ strategy, well executed trumps an A+ vision EVERY time. #RTL16 #GoForIt

  169. Scott McNeill on March 12, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Carey, I’ve shared so many of your posts with Boards, staff, and leadership teams – thank you! So, it feels a bit selfish but I’m jumping at the chance to enter the drawing! Thank you for all you do!

  170. Tom Greentree on March 12, 2016 at 9:57 am

    On character over competency: a wise mentor told me when I was a young pastor that, because people would often only see my gifts, I would need to be intentional about developing my character. He was so right and I’m thankful for that advice, over 20 years ago.

  171. Ross Kaellner on March 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Strategy trumps vision, but culture trumps strategy. Learning the importance of a healthy staff and church culture 🙂

  172. Tom Blair on March 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

    always good, challenging words…. worth sharing, too…

  173. Jeremy Warden on March 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Never thought of the strategy trumping vision idea. Very helpful in choosing and implementing things into the church.

  174. Rodney Booe on March 12, 2016 at 9:50 am

    This blog has been an invaluable resource for our staff! Looking forward to rethink leadership!

  175. Adam on March 11, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    This was like a high quality coaching session that I needed. Thank you! I loved the quote

    A B+ strategy, well-executed, trumps an A+ vision every time.

    Not only was it helpful, but a chance to win a trip to #RTL16 as well! Boom!

  176. Joel Dykxhoorn on March 11, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Another incredibly helpful post. So much of what I read here can be impactful on my teaching and leadership within the education system as well!

  177. Travis on March 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Great insights! I love the blog and podcast. Rarely walk away without something that I can use that day. Blessings!

  178. Alissa on March 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    <3 "A B+ strategy, well-executed, trumps an A+ vision every time". #RTL16 .

  179. Mark Hirst on March 11, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    An insight from a great friend in the midst of working hard to build the church, “Go home, be with your family, enjoy life, this will be here when you get back tomorrow.” I still practice this daily.

  180. Bill Martin on March 11, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    The key for me is life-long learning. You touched on it with your point on curiosity. But for me, learning is critical. By committing to a life-long search for knowledge suggests a certain humility. It is an admission that you do not know it all, that you need others in your life, and that you respect other views. Life-long learners are open to change and better equipped to lead change.

  181. Steve Brown on March 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I learn a ton from Carey’s direct approach when talking about matters of the heart. Number 1&2 above are future campus staff meeting agenda items. Thank you Carey for helping leaders lead like never before! #RTL16

  182. Ashton Stewart on March 11, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I echo each of these insights as I have certainly found each of them to be true in my ministry. I often find that what I’m learning about leadership to come in seasons. And in the current season of ministry, I’m learning that “Perception = Reality”. Perceptions are not always necessarily the truth; in fact, they can be out right lies. But for that person, this perception is very REAL. The implication of this plays out for leaders when we work with people whose very real perceptions run contrary to the truth we’re working to convey. Good leaders and communicators do not denounce false perceptions without first understanding the person’s situation. This empathy allows us to fully embrace the person without bending the truth to what’s false. And because we’ve made an effort to meet with this person where they are, we can eventually lead them toward what’s true. #RTL16

  183. Alan Adler on March 11, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Number three is really ringing true for our church. We are in the process of turning around a 100+ year old church that was beginning to decline. One of the greatest challenges that we face is navigating change and struggling with the phrase…” but we have always done it that way.” Unless we really change there is no point to revival. Seems like it fits for our church and for the Christian life.

    Would love to join you in Atlanta!

  184. Chris Throness on March 11, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Great thoughts Carey. I am most challenged by #5. For the first time in a long time we released a 2020 Vision at our church last year. We have seen some progress being made, but we need to get on the same page with strategy. Thanks for the reminder!

  185. John D Snider on March 11, 2016 at 10:22 am

    “Character matters because you bring who you are into everything you do.”

    I always though character was a good measure of what’s going on internally. #RTL16

  186. Addison on March 11, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I hope I can win this for my senior pastor. I am going to the orange conference and I think it would be cool to offer it to him.

    Interesting thoughts on vision and strategy. I like that

  187. Kevin Wilson on March 11, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Thanks Carey for sharing so many awesome insights on leadership. I love your heart for other leaders. Blessings to you brother. Also, did you mean Wednesday, March 16th or Friday, March 18th? 🙂

  188. Jason Pensa on March 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

    The first thing you wrote is so encouraging, I am super thankful that character trumps competency, because when was the last time any of us felt competent at what we do? It’s an excellent reminder to let God grow who we are and not just the skills to do the work we’ve been called to do.

    I must also say it is a great reminder to me that strategy trumps vision which is a powerful reminder when we’re always talking about vision we need a way to make sure we’re fulfilling the vision and a way to figure out if we’re accomplishing our vision.

    Thanks for sharing!

  189. dmehrle on March 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

    “The people closest to you shape you the most.”

    This is the one I have learned the most about as a senior leader. Andy Andrews has some great stuff along this line as well. If we do not protect who we let get around us we will be tossed back and forth and struggle to move forward.

    As always thanks for sharing!

  190. Jeremy Norton on March 11, 2016 at 9:53 am

    This past Wednesday a vote was held for me to transition from Associate to Lead Pastor at our church in Whitehorse, YT. A 94% approval confirmed God’s call to lead our Northern church. I’ve been following for blog and podcast for sometime and I’m looking forward to using your book as a guide for conversations with our Board this Spring. Thanks for your leadership and for having an impact on so many leaders, even way up here in the North. #RTL16

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