Leadership Focus

I wonder what helps you to focus or do you just find that really easy. I have moments of laser like purpose and then other days there just seems to be an endless amount of distractions – some genuine, others just me. 

Leaders get things done, so leaders need to know how to focus. After all, if your name is next to it, then the responsibility for seeing it finished is on you. 

Again, not always the best at this. Sometimes just knowing it needs to be done is enough but these other things help me too…

  1. Take a few minutes to write down what you have to do. 
  2. Make appointments with yourself to get them done
  3. Use ‘do not disturb’ – on the door, on the phone
  4. Hide your phone away, turn it off or give it to someone else
  5. Just work on one thing for a set period of time to get it finished or for progress to be made
  6. Go through your list and mark the things that only you can do and then look to delegate to others what they could do on your behalf. Always give clear instructions and expectations as part of that process
  7. Set some deadlines – they really help me
  8. Think about what needs to be done first – not necessarily from a speed of ease point of view but from an importance point of view
  9. Take a break. It is important to get up, walk around, close the laptop down, get some fresh air, have a drink to refresh you, go have a conversation with someone
  10. Enjoy what you do, even the parts of what we do that are less enjoyable

What would you add to this list? I would love to hear from you about how you remain focused on a task and what helps you. 

Leaders Step Out

The other day I wrote how leaders show up. I would add to that today and say this,

Leaders step out. 

When Abraham began his journey with God he did not know where he was going. We maybe need a bit more of that in 2016. 

Life is not always neat and tidy. It’s not always possible to get all the ducks lined up. Maybe, to be the world changer we desire to be, there’s going to be some risk, some danger, some stepping out and some faith required. 

Leaders step out. 

They step out in faith. 

They step out when others won’t. 

They step out when everything isn’t sorted. 

They step out, start moving and trust that God will then do the same. 

They step out, go on the adventure and then have a story to tell. 

And we need some of these types of great leaders who live for God in 2016. I guess then, the biggest question is simply this ~ will we be that kind of leader? And in being this kind of a leader, what difference can we make?

5 Benefits for Knowing ‘Why’ We Are Doing This

Simon Sinek in his book ‘Start with Why’ says that ‘people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it’. WHAT can change but WHY is simple. It’s the discipline to never veer from the cause.

It captures the heart. The vision, the cause, is the why. It can grab someone’s imagination as they begin to see what could be possible.

It’s bigger than what we do. Why isn’t what. What we do can almost be irrelevant when we understand why we are doing it. That kind of belief can help build great success.

It keeps us going when it gets tough. What we do can get boring, inconvenient or tiresome. On those cold, rainy days we can opt out of ‘what’. The why reminds about the difference we are making or the reason for what we are doing.

It encourages people to be creative. If the why is clear then people have a freedom to be creative with the what. Leaders shouldn’t have to come up with all the best ideas, instead, the ‘why’ creates that environment where great ideas can sprout from anywhere.

It brings what you do to life. When those within get the why, then people will see what you believe through what you are doing.

I have not always been great at explaining the why. I know that I still get it wrong.  I can argue it’s not my role as I’m not the lead man, but that’s a cop out. If I lead people then I have to be concerned about the why. If I am part of the organisation then understanding the why is my responsibility. If it’s not clear, I should ask.

Telling people what to do isn’t difficult. To articulate the why though, requires time, thought and care. That a whole lot of effort. It doesn’t always come easy. I have to give more than a ‘just because’, or point to my position.

It has to be important to me because the why is inspiring, it stirs up passion and people are more willing to give their time, talent and treasure to a really good, strong, clear why.

Are you somewhere that has a strong why? As leaders, are we doing all we can to help others grab a hold of that why?

What Does a Big Future Take?

We are ready for all that God has for our future both as a family and as a church. I’m believing it’s a BIG future. So excited for the Xcel 2020 vision and privileged that I get to be involved in making it happen. 

5 things (in my opinion) that’s it’s going to take from me…

It’s going to take some daring faith. I might just have to make a sacrifice or two, with my time, with my talent and with my treasure 

It’s going to take collaboration. Me playing my part alongside everyone else. 

It’s going take some prayer. Can never pray too much. 

It’s going to take plenty of hard work. Got to just be doing something towards it. 

It’s going to take staying in church. Planted in the House we flourish. Sometimes to see a vision fulfilled you just have to stay put long enough. 

I just love being a part of building local church and happy to do whatever it takes. How about you?

7 Things Leaders Have to Think About

This reads simpler than it actually is.

1. What the preferred future looks like

2. The detail of that preferred future

3. The strategy required to move towards that preferred future

4. The leaders who will own the strategy that moves us towards that preferred future

5. The teams that the leaders will grow who can work together with the strategy that moves us toward the preferred future

6. The resources that those leaders require to give their teams, equipping them so they are more capable of achieving the strategy that can move us towards the preferred future

7. Are we on track in all that we are doing in respect of the preferred future we have seen?

Would you agree? Or would you change the things you think leaders have to think about?

Be a Before & After Leader

Before is often the more exciting.

In a relationship, BEFORE is when the chase is on.

In a business, BEFORE is the idea creation moments.

In sport, BEFORE is the heightened anticipation ahead of the game and the expectation of a win.

In leadership, BEFORE is in the desire, ambition, creativity, thinking and the thrill of being the one who is making things happen.

We love the BEFORE. It gets our energy, our attention and our time. It can inconvenience us, it might even keep us awake at night, but the experience, though scary at times, makes it all the more worthwhile.

Yet the power might really be in the AFTER.

In a relationship, AFTER is when we choose to love because of covenant.

In business, AFTER is serving your customers well, again and again and again.

In sport, AFTER is picking yourself up, whether you win, lose or draw.

In leadership, AFTER is being the last one to leave because you are there to serve, no matter what.

The difference between good and great leaders is the difference between those who love the before but avoid the after. Great leaders love before and after the same and their focus throughout the whole process clearly demonstrates that.

What’s Your Sunday Score?

Here’s a dangerous blog.

How would you score Sunday in Church? If you were giving it a mark out of 10, what would it be? What was your highlight of the weekend? How could things be made better?

As I shared a couple of weeks ago, every Monday in the office we have a quick meeting to look back over the weekend at Xcel Church ~ from Friday night to Sunday. The highs, the lows, what went well, the stories about lives being impacted, as well as any challenges and very importantly, how we can make things better for next weekend.

It’s kind of like a score.

A score with purpose. One that comes from a desire to make the experience that people have the best experience possible.

Here’s the next question. What score would you give yourself? What could you have done, individually, to help make the experience people have at Church the best experience possible? Did we give our very best for God this Sunday?

I love this quote by Theodore Roosevlet which I think sums up what I am trying to say…

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Let’s not just get our scorecard out and shout ‘seven’ aka Len Goodman. Instead let’s just make sure we are doing everything that we can do ourselves, in the arena, on the teams, bringing our best, spending ourselves for the most worthy of all causes.

Leaders Own It

This is a leadership layer that cannot be overlooked. To have ownership means as leaders we own it ~ not rocket science that. When you own something you act in a different way towards it.

You take care of it.
You protect it.
You make sure it doesn’t break.
If it breaks you mend it or make arrangements to have it fixed.
Maybe if its become out of date, you replace it for a newer one.
You spend time, energy and money on it.

I have paid the price for not truly owning something. When I first started out in a leadership role I loved taking credit when things went well, otherwise it was the other persons fault. I was good finger pointer. Passing the buck, it’s not my fault, I don’t have the right resources, they were just some of my excuses. All just to save face.

To become a good leader means this layer of leadership has to be handled carefully. Who wants to follow a leader who doesn’t demonstrate a willingness to own what they lead?

Here’s a few things I have learned along the way…

Ownership is 24/7.
Ownership is action more than words.
Ownership is about adding value wherever you can.
Ownership is inconvenient. 
Ownership should produce a determination to get it right.
Ownership is for everyone.
Ownership isn’t easy.

Don’t step up if you are not willing to take full responsibility for what you are stepping up to take ownership of. If you don’t own it, you will not get given it. Or if you have it, get ready for it to be taken out of your hands.