Lean In, Back Off…Just Don’t Do Nothing!

Cannot get this simple thought out of my head.

After reading Tribes by Seth Godin I cannot shake his assertion that leaders must either LEAN IN or BACK OFF. The one thing they CHOOSE to not do is NOTHING!

This is certainly a challenge to all of us – not just those of us in leadership positions. We all have the potential to influence our surroundings. The change comes by us doing something intentional not nothing.

QUESTION: What to LEAN IN to?
I have many ambitions – to achieve them I need to LEAN IN more. Become more purposeful in my actions. Make sure I do at least one thing each day that relates to the change I want to see – for me these include
Spending time with my wife
Investing time with my children
Growing people
Coaching business
Development of leadership training initiatives
Reading, writing

QUESTION: What to BACK OFF from?
To be successful means for every addition something has to give way.
Late nights
Removing some distractions
Laziness, procrastination and the like
Some specific stuff…

The big thing is to not do nothing. The future is full of potential which will be achieved by LEANING IN tothe right stuff, BACKING OFF the wrong stuff and getting on with doing all the things you must do. Simple!

[What do you LEAN IN to?]
[What must you BACK OFF from?]

Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

51mTG68Tj7L._SL160_AA115_ Reading a book by Seth Godin always challenges the thinking process. I am definitely challenged. For as much as the author says some may not like the book, the way it is written – I love the style. It’s somewhat like a bunch of random thoughts on a subject, simple thoughts but extremely profound.

When I read I am always looking at how it can help. I am looking for some nuggets that open up new opportunities, new thoughts for bringing change. This book has certainly done that. So:thinking Church for a moment: the ‘tribe’ that I Pastor as part of Xcel Church and the movement we have the potential to make..here’s what made me think…

The Anatomy of a Movement: motivate, connect, leverage. [Don’t just do the third]
What is the ‘status quo’ when it comes to Church? How can we change that? [That gives us the chance to be remarkable]
If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader. It’s the discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.
‘Lean in, back off BUT don’t do nothing. Leaders choose to not do nothing. [This has pushed me already. What do I do? I must ‘lean in’ to it more]
The art of leadership is understanding what you CAN’T compromise on.

The book has made me question: what is the vacuum that we could fill?
It will take INITIATIVE.
It will take STANDING AGAINST THE RESISTANCE that those who love the STATUS QUO will bring.
It means doing things that others are NOT DOING.
It often takes a SUBTLE TWIST on an old-favourite.
It takes BRAVERY.

I hope I’m not wrong in my understanding of the theme of this book:
anyone can lead. everyone should lead. anyone can bring change. few do though because of the fear & resistance. playing it safe is just as risky, if not moreso than taking a risk.

For Xcel Darlo: Come on – we cannot afford to play it safe.
[What can we do? Where can we go? Who can we reach?]

Leaders: you should read this book. Get your copy here.

I’m no expert reviewer but here are my thoughts on other Seth Godin books
The Dip
Meatball Sundae

Standing for Something

These are not my thoughts, they belong to Seth Godin – check out the full post here. Think they relate to us though. To build something, we must stand for something.

To really stand for something, you must make difficult decisions, mostly about what you don’t do. We don’t ship products like that, we don’t stand for employees like that (“you’re fired”), we don’t fix problems like that.

It’s so hard to stand up, to not compromise, to give up an account or lose a vote or not tell a journalist what they want to hear.

But those are the only moments where standing for something actually counts, the only times that people will actually come to believe that you in fact actually stand for something.

Life as a Pastor is full of making decisions. It can be a tough call at times when others would like to see us do some stuff. Being careful about what you do, don’t do, say and don’t say. Xcel Church is 40 years in the making. I love that fact – it gives me confidence. To know what we are about and where we heading.

Right now, for Xcel Darlington new questions are being asked of us and they will demand that more than Kerina & I be willing to answer them. Are you ready to stand for something?

Who Is Listening?

Seth Godin put a great post on his blog recently asking the simple question: are they ready to listen?

He states that ‘Most people, most of the time, steadfastly refuse to pay attention’.

As a Pastor/Leader I have to pay attention to stuff like this. I am in the business of marketing the greatest message. The methods might change but the message stays the same. How can I make sure people are ready? Every week over 500 people come to the various venues of Xcel Church so it becomes a very valid question to ask: are they ready to listen?

These are my own thoughts here but I imagine Church is made up of a variety of different types of people…

…those who come, listen, grasp a hold of everything, eat, live & breathe God and have a real desire to make a difference
…those who come, listen to the stuff they like but miss out on the rest
…those who come, attenders only
…those who come, don’t really listen but want to be listened to

Perhaps the challenge for me as a leader is to make sure that what I am saying is worth listening to, making sure that I am talking about Gods view (not my view) on stuff that everyone else is talking about and would therefore be more willing to listen.

Share your thoughts: what are the issues you think Church should be talking about?

Book Review: The Dip by Seth Godin

A little book jammed with great insight on what becomes really obvious the more you read.

What makes something of value: scarcity.
What makes something scarce: the fact that not everybody does it.
Why don’t they do it: because they quit, in the wrong place, they didn’t push through the dip but gave up, maybe just before the breakthrough would have arrived.

This book has challenged me in my approach to a business model I have developed for mentoring young people. It has increased my determination to not just accept mediocre but to give it the push it needs, to become the best and arrive on the other side of the dip.

Highly recommended: purchase it here