11 Ways to Bring Your Best to the Table

11 Ways to Bring Your Best to the Table

What you and I should bring to the table every day is our best.

There are some people who can solve a crisis in a moment that others couldn’t solve in a millenium.

There are some people who are constantly learning, growing, and adding skills and efficiencies to their repertoire.

There are some people who make others better by simply being around.

There are some people who are determined to solve a problem no matter what. Even if they can’t in the end, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

There are some people who cultivate wisdom that makes everything they contribute to better (I have seen this present in 25 year olds and also absent in 45 year old – age is not the key determinant in wisdom)

If you can bring this to the table on the majority of your days, you will bring more than most people.  In fact, according to Seth Godin, you will become indispensable.  In his words, you become a linchpin, and your value goes up.  (If you want some innovative thinking on this, read Seth’s short post on it.)

The only way I can live in this space regularly is by managing my energy, not just my time.  Everyone gets the same amount of time in a day, but not everybody brings the same amount of energy to a day.

For me at this stage in my life and work, here’s what I need to do to bring my best energy:

Get enough sleep (7-8 hours a night)


Eat reasonably healthily

Start my day with the Bible and prayer…and cultivate a closeness with God that is with me throughout the day

Have some fun (for me, biking, taking pictures, watching movies, and hanging out with friends and family)

Write and Blog (this blog is a place where I can say whatever is on my mind)

Do more than one thing (being a full time pastor and writing and speaking is like cross-disciplinary training for me)

Get around people smarter and wiser than me

Have white space in my calendar with nothing to do but think and work ‘on it’ not ‘in it’


Start my day early and get my best work in before 10:00 a.m.

Cultivate life-giving friendships with churched and non-churched people

I have a lot to learn, but I do know this: when those 12 things are present in my life, I bring much better energy to whatever I’m doing.  How about you?  What fuels your energy?


  1. Jeff on May 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Great pos Carey. Continuing to work on this myself, thanks for the renewed spirit!

  2. Jonathan Holcomb on May 6, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I like this post. Thanks for sharing some of your personal strategies that you have found works for you in how you structure your energy and day.

  3. Gerad on May 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Thanks for this post Carey! I sat through your breakout “Renewing the Heart of a Leader” at Orange and that was huge for me. I actually made a list pretty similar to yours back in March to check on my “pulse”. Two things that I had put that I didn’t see above was coffee 😉 but the other one was more serious at least for me and that’s asking people to pray for me. I know that since I’m in church leadership people pray for me, but I’m really discovering the importance of asking people to come to God on my behalf for various things going on. That’s really all I could add. I hope more leaders figure out what their things are they need because of your post. Thanks!

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