Leading Well Throughout 2017

I wonder where we need to lead better in 2017. If you’re like me and can be honest enough too, then there’s probably a decent list. 

Let me suggest 3 areas to start. In fact these are not mine really, I’ve stolen them from Jesus. 

Jesus talked about the greatest commandments being as follows…

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [Matthew 27:37-39 ESV]

So a good place to start when it comes to leading well in life throughout 2017, in whatever sphere of life could be in these 3 areas which will help fulfill these commands…

Leading myself well – keeping a healthy soul

Leading others well – watching how I think and speak about others

Leading with God – keeping a strong walk with God

Do you agree? Where would you say you need to lead well in 2017?

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Get Past the Setbacks

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With 80 days until the new year we made the decision to go for our goals. Maybe we wrote something down. Perhaps we imagined what the future could look like if everything worked in our favour.

We started off with great levels of energy, we laid out the plan, made some progress and then, for a whole bunch of different reasons, it all just grinds to a halt. Lack of time. Slow progress. Distractions. General procrastination on our part. People not helping. Perhaps it’s all a little bit harder work than we thought it would be.

When these inevitable times come along, we can think on 3 things…

Perspective. We are never as good as our best day. We are never as bad as our worst day either. Keep the perspective right. Keep looking ahead. Keep doing the right things. Be consistent. Be determined. It doesn’t mean it is over. It’s just something that needs to be overcome and worked out.

Big Picture. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep the bigger view in front of us will remind us that this is a journey and journeys take time. There will be twists, turns, obstacles and set backs. Once we accept this inevitability we will better placed to not lose hope and just keep on doing what we can.

One Step at a Time. We are excited about the end game, yet in reality it’s the next step which is the most important. Concentrate on the one step. We are so busy painting the final detail we often miss out on what needs out attention right now.

Keep being brave. Keep going. Ask the hard questions. Take some time to think things through.

What is the one thing I can do to keep things moving forward? What one thing can I give my attention to right now?

Today’s Leadership Reminders

Reading feedback today from our first Growth Track session last night and I am reminded of some important leadership principles…

Be willing to listen to other peoples opinions. It can make for uncomfortable reading but by involving others you have the potential to take something which is good and make it so much better. This is why I love that we are doing a ‘pilot run’ of the Growth Track, for such a reason and some of the comments are great.

Be willing to admit when it wasn’t quite right. All the planning in the world doesn’t make up for actually going through something with a bunch of people. The feedback just reminded me of things I had meant to say, they were in my notes but I just forgot.

Be willing to work hard at making necessary changes. Some of these are on me to do and then getting others to help with the rest. It’s no good listening to comments to just ignore them. Leaders execute stuff, they get stuff done and work hard to make things better.

Team is always best. This for me is an example of Team Xcel at it’s very best, collaborating on what we all agree will be a great success and help many people in their journey with God. Team can also help in making the suggestions happen too.

It’s all about helping people move on one step with God. It’s why I am excited about the Growth Track and what it can mean for people and their connection with God, with others, with their purpose and with the church family.

What have your leadership reminders been today?

Upheld By Integrity

Integrity can be hard won but easily lost.

In todays throw-away culture it doesn’t seem to carry the same value as it once did. When tolerance and acceptance are the by-words, alongside anything goes, it could be argued by some that integrity is just an old-fashioned and out-dated idea and we don’t even need to try to maintain our integrity anymore.

I think we should.

I have written about integrity before. In leadership I think integrity is priceless. It sets us apart from the crowd and will protect us too. But…there is a catch…

  • Integrity takes time.
  • Integrity has a cost.
  • Integrity covers everything.
  • Integrity is a choice.
  • Integrity is a personal discipline.

I can’t make you a person of integrity, I can only sell you the benefits of no skeletons in the cupboard, no awkward conversations, no moments of indecision, no double-mindedness, no more living two different lives.

Integrity helps make sure our yes is yes and our no is a no. It creates boundary lines for our life and how we will live within them are set when we have integrity. We know who we are and other choices have to line up. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about others but it does mean sometimes what we care about has to come first.

Integrity comes from our why and it influences our what and our how. The why of my life is built on my Christian faith and the lifestyle that Jesus asks me to live out. I want my life to be whole and complete, in line with the word of God, thereby helping me maintain my integrity.

When it comes to walking with God, it holds great value too. Just check out this promise…

But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. [Psalm 41:12 ESV]

While people may shout us down, while circumstances may be against us, while trouble may hit us from different sides, it is our integrity which gets us noticed by God.

It protects us. Keeps us alive. We are blessed and sustained because of it. We are restored. Enemies will not triumph over us. This is a promise to hold on to. The next time you are tempted to neglect what you are doing and compromise your integrity, think again – with our integrity intact we are set in His presence forever. Losing that is too big a risk for me.

To Pioneer…Commit to the Journey

Maybe pioneering is about knowing exactly where you headed and working hard for that outcome. 


We can look at people from history and assume that’s what they did and maybe for some that was the case.

For most though there is endless amounts of trial and error. There is a desire to do something without knowing exactly where it might lead. 

Pioneering maybe then is about committing to the journey, working hard but as a Christian then trusting God for the outcome.


After all, God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes [Romans 8:28]

What might it be like for us if we just commit to the journey?  What might the difference be like if we stop focusing too much on the end result and take the opportunities available right now?

I think pioneering is less about the grand and more about doing what you can. What do you think?

Read, Look, Learn & Apply

For me walking with God involves regularly reading His word. This week I have shared thoughts and reflections as I read through the Psalms. Check them out…

Taste & See

God Has Our Back

Eat, Drink & Merry

Why not try it for yourself. Psalm 37 is amazing and jam-packed full of wisdom. I’ll share my thoughts tomorrow.

Read it.

Look at it. Reflect on what you’re reading.

Learn from it. What am I reading, what is God saying to me.

Apply it. Put the Word into action.

That may seem to simple but reading the Bible doesn’t need to be complicated. We don’t need to look for some deep hidden meaning in the verse when more often than not it’s actually really clear what God is trying to say to us.

Enjoy reading the Bible. Never see it as a chore that must be completed. Just start and be expectant for what might jump out from the page into your heart and allow it have an impact on your life.

Be Willing to Learn

To lead well in life is to be willing to learn. It is to acknowledge that we don’t know everything, that we are not always right and that every day there are opportunities for learning. 

After all, we spend most of our life faced with multiple challenges and situations, things that demand our attention and ability to make decisions. To do this and lead ourselves well through them involves a continuous willingness to learn. 

Learn from our mistakes. Don’t just give up. Instead ask yourself what can I learn from this experience?

Learn from other people. Older and younger. Glean wisdom from all sorts of people. 

Learn deliberately through reading books or listening to podcasts. On all sorts of things but especially in those areas we need some extra wisdom. 

Learn that failure doesn’t have to be fatal. It is a natural part of the journey. We have to learn how to fail forward. 

Learn that just because it’s tough doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just because it’s easier doesn’t make it right either. Not everything in life will go the way we want it to or expect it to. 

Learn to trust God in everything. Often the toughest one of them all but for those of us with faith in God, probably the most important. 

Learn in all aspects of life but especially in regard to handling money, dealing with people, your own emotional intelligence and how to make difficult decisions. 

How well we learn will have an impact on how we can lead well in life. If we struggle to lead ourselves well, then our ability to lead others is going to be limited. 

What learning would you add to this list?

Don’t Quarrel

When Joseph sent his brothers home loaded with provision and carts to bring the whole family back he gave them one very clear instruction.

Don’t argue with each other on the journey. 

What great advice. If we want to learn to travel well then we need to learn a few things:

1. Settle our hearts.

2. Recognise God is not shaping us for a moment but for any moment.

3. Don’t argue with others. (Genesis 45:24)

Arguing makes it all about me and what I think. Arguing causes stress and division. Arguing can create upset and unnecessary hurt.

Instead we should learn to practice all of these:

  • prefer one another
  • let some stuff go
  • learn not to react to everything
  • to understand that just because it can be said doesn’t mean it should be said
  • to look for the best in others, to trust one another
  • to forgive
  • to recognise not everyone is like you
  • to put ourselves in their shoes
  • to think maybe they have some stuff going on

Let’s commit to giving this a go and see what a difference it might just make.