The Book ’19’ Has Arrived

So this week the delivery of my book ’19′ arrived. I am very excited, as well as a little overwhelmed too, holding a book which I have written. It’s been some journey since a passing conversation three years ago to now having the book in my hands. I am amazed that I have actually managed to focus long enough to make it happen.
Obviously, I am biased, I love it. The feel. The design. The content. The resource it can be in growing leaders but especially young leaders. I wrote it with them in mind. Bite size chunks so it would be a book which would actually be read. I know what I was like at 19, I only read a book because I had to, for Uni course work, and even then in was a struggle. I am encouraged too by the comments from leaders and friends in my world who are telling me how helpful they think this book can be too. Check out the endorsements at The 19 Project website.
Now comes the final 2 days before it’s official release date on Friday. If you are thinking about getting a copy then why not get it now, at the discounted pre-order rate of just £9.99 (£11.99 RRP). Don’t miss out. We all love a good deal!! You can purchase from The 19 Project website.
As I have shared on numerous occasions, my heart with both the book and the website has always been to create a useable resource. For use individually or with a group of leaders you may be investing in. In addition it is to build a hub of resource and then eventually add in other stuff like live Q&A’s, interviews, leadership connection, additional training resources, plus devotionals and maybe even an online conference some time in the future.
Together we can raise the next generation of young leaders. From providing opportunities for those first tentative steps, to helping them become influencers in the future. One thing is for sure, there is a great need for them to still be leading in local Church and across all spheres of life in 25+ years time.
Help shape the future of The 19 Project too. Sign up on the site for FREE, check out the resource and complete the survey you will receive. Everyones input is much appreciated and can help ensure that what people are asking for, being challenged by and really need, is what we are producing.
One chapter of this journey with ’19’ has turned the page into the next one. Thank you for being a part of the journey so far. Here’s to the next part of the adventure.

The 19 Project: An Update

2 great things have happened this week…

Firstly, my book ’19’ will be released on the 27th October. This is a book for leaders of all ages but very much to those beginning on their leadership journey. I was 19 when I was given my first introduction to leadership, becoming the leader of the local church youth group.

Now, 28 years later, I am still leading in local church, and I am passing on what I have learned along the way. Things I know any young leader will need to learn so they can still be leading in 25 years time.

Secondly, the website The 19 Project is live. Very much coming from the premise of the book and my desire to help resource and raise the  next generation of young leaders, my hope is the site will become a hub of useful articles, free resource and eventually offer access to live Q&A’s, training material, connection with other leaders, and much more.

You can join The 19 Project and help to shape it for the future. It’s free. When you do this, you will be able to download a free chapter of the book, pre-order it at a discounted rate and take a quick survey to provide some initial feedback on the site.

Thanks for the support along the way. Not sure what is going to happen with this site but why not come over to The 19 Project now and stay in touch with all that is happening over there. You can find me on Facebook too. Click on the links below…

The 19 Project Website

The 19 Project Facebook

50 Things That Every Leader Should Consider

Here’s a list of things that should concern anyone who wants to be a leader. I might unpack them throughout 2016. They are not in any particular order at the moment.
  1. Knowing the ‘why’?
  2. Understanding success
  3. Learning from failure
  4. Getting out of your comfort zone
  5. Becoming magnificent & not being ordinary
  6. Advanced decision making
  7. Making great decisions
  8. Building the right reputation
  9. Learning to speak well
  10. Having respect
  11. Being truthful
  12. Communicating effectively
  13. Learn how to get your point across
  14. Difference between good and great
  15. Integrity
  16. Setting higher standards
  17. Changing things
  18. Increasing your capacity
  19. Lifting your game
  20. Understanding the relationship matrix
  21. Building the right relationships
  22. Being disciplined
  23. Investing in yourself
  24. Keeping the BIG picture in mind
  25. The power of a goal and doing them right
  26. Better time management
  27. Your attitude
  28. Having a spirit of excellence
  29. Using your initiative
  30. Having some determination
  31. Finishing well
  32. An eye on the detail
  33. Taking responsibility
  34. Taking risks
  35. Pioneering
  36. Listening well
  37. Knowing how to be assertive
  38. Confrontation
  39. Handling the criticism
  40. Knowing your purpose
  41. Developing others
  42. Always serving
  43. Adding Value
  44. Developing your ability to see
  45. Understanding the power of ability
  46. Building a team
  47. Dealing with the overwhelm
  48. Stopping the procrastination
  49. Mentoring and being mentored
  50. Always learning
I would love to hear from you.
Would you add anything else?
What do you think comes first?

The Apprentice Rule

I was reminded about this recently from a number of different sources ~ who is my apprentice? Who am I investing my life in to, pouring my life in, spending time with so that they can learn from me. Not just words, books or articles but through experience and opportunity to.

When we write our story too often we want to be the protagonist, the main character, the hero. Instead we should place ourselves in the role of the guide, the one that this character looks for, the one to learn from, the one who can help make sense and bring order from the chaos.

Play this role. Find someone who can be the hero, the one who has the potential to go beyond your own achievements, that certain individual who just needs the right voice, challenge and encouragement to help see that potential fulfilled.

So question yourself. Who is my apprentice? Who is the learner in my world? Then ask yourself, when was the last time you purposefully sat with them and spoke any words of wisdom to them? When was the last time you included them?

If we all did this for one we would soon have a sea of champions, not just willing but ready and able to bring the change, the dream, the vision, their adventure to fruition. What a privilege to help make this happen.

Who are you doing this for? Who did/does this for you?

Leaders Should Lead

Well that’s obvious. Yet in my experience not something that always happens.

People like the title that leadership affords. They don’t always like the responsibility. However, if we want others to follow then we must first lead, and then model the behaviour, the culture, and the lifestyle we desire to see in others, in our teams, in our business in our church or in our ministries.

Leaders should lead all the time. It’s not something that can be dipped in and out of. You either are a leader or you are not. Leaders don’t get a day off and that can be tough. Leaders lead 24/7 so be ready for what that means.

Leaders should lead with integrity. The Apostle Paul used the phrase ‘above reproach’. It’s a conscious decision to be the same person, living by those high standards, regardless of events. It’s the discipline to be that person which then sets certain leaders apart from others.

Leaders should lead with purpose. Sometimes you just know what’s right, other times it can be a little less clear. Lead with purpose, not for popularity. Clear vision creates purpose which helps in knowing what it is right to do and what is not.

Leaders should lead even though others won’t always like it. If you are willing, then be a leader who leads. It’s easy to be the one who takes the shot, more challenging to be the one who is aimed at. That’s part of leading. Not everyone likes how you lead.

Are you ready for the adventure? Get ready. Get excited. The rewards for being a leader who leads far outweigh the challenges along the way. The only thing you have to choose is to be that kind of leader.

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?

5 Tips for Being a Great Mentor

It seems a long time ago since I was a employed as a Learning Mentor in a local school. My role was to meet with students who had a high academic ability but for different reasons were not performing at that level. My mentoring role was very specific – help them get back on track.

It was a challenge. How to re-engage disinterested students? It was about finding that one thing that would create a spark, which could ignite a desire to improve. It was also about helping them work out their own plan for their future, to definitely not be just another teacher telling them what.

Good leaders learn the skill of being a mentor, a coach, an accountability partner. We often find ourselves as the person who keeps an individual moving forward, giving them a friendly or not so friendly kick up the butt when needed. We are that person who asks the critical questions, someone who has a strong desire to bring out the best in them.

Here a 5 things to remember before you put yourself forward as a mentor:

You are a role model. It’s not just about when you sit down and chat with them. All of your life will speak to them. Be careful to not reduce your impact by acting in a contrary way to how you are encouraging them to live.

You need to be able to listen well. It can be difficult to not just give them the answers but a good mentor/coach has to learn to enjoy awkward silences, giving time for thought and for them to work out the solution for themselves.

You need to have a genuine concern for them. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care [John Maxwell]. You cannot fake this for long. If you are not genuine, people will see straight through you.

You need to be able to help them see the future. It’s not about your plan for their future. Good mentors lay out the options and let those they are mentoring find take the path best for them.

You must be able to ask them the difficult questions. A good mentor knows when to back off and say nothing, yet at the right time they also know when to confront. It’s not the easiest role to undertake but the rewards can be quite incredible.

Who could you mentor? How could you invest in another person, helping them to discover the best version of themselves?