MO question of the day: How are you bringin' in the New Year???
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
About this time of year I have all the books that I am going to read for the upcoming twelve months all picked out and ready to go. The problem is that there are always like a million that do not make my list for the next year because I just can’t make room for them. That is why I am absolutely, positively, shocked out of my mind, baffled when I hear from peeps that they do not read. I was told by one of my proffs early in my college career something that I would never forget. One of the dudes in my class was bragging about how he passed high school with high grades and flying colors without ever reading one full book all the way through. He was so proud of himself. My proff called him out. He said that the kid could prolly get through college the same way. But, don’t ever expect to be a person of influence of any sorts if he chose that path. I am not sure what that student did, but I took it to heart.
Those four years I did my best to read as much as possible. I was horrible at it and read slower than molasses. But I tried – not as hard as I should at times – and got through college. When I entered my Masters right out of college I found myself with nine books to read in a matter of 16 weeks. And really we were expected to get them all done by like week three if we wanted to get good grades. It was a whole new ball game. I literally prayed to God and told him that if I was going to make it through my program, a miracle would have to occur and cause me to endure reading. Well, it happened. That semester I learned to love to read. I have no idea what happened except that God answered me favorably.
Now I can’t get enough of reading. I have books that I will not get to until three years from now. I am backed against the wall with books. And every time a mentor gives me one to read, it just bumps one further back. I will get to them, however. I will read until my eyes bleed. Because ALL leaders are readers. So with that… what are you reading?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
All leaders go through some pretty tough times. This is where the metal of the person is formed and tested. What does that mean anyway? I looked it up on line for a good half hour and did not see anything about testing a person’s metal. So I guess I just have to go off what I have seen from champions and peeps in my own life. Have you ever been in a position where you did not feel like you were doing your best? As a speaker, sometimes you get on stage and are giving all you can, only to find a room of stone-faced peeps. And this really is no fault of theirs. Think about it. When you get on stage to speak you are a performer. Now, my mentor always told me that you are never to perform. It is your job as a speaker to transfer a feeling. But I guess you cannot get around the fact that what you do and say is going to either inspire peeps or bore them. I know that is harsh and black-and-white. But if you break it down, I guess that is what it comes down to.
When I am in that position where I feel I have nothing to give, I have to rely on those who lift me up and spur me on. Who is that in your life? I have a couple of peeps that keep me both in check, as well as give me the encouragement to keep moving. Being a leader or so someone up front means that even on your worst days you need to be ready to inspire! Are you ready to take on that challenge? I did not know that it would be bad sometimes when I first started out being an up-front guy. But it all goes with the territory. Your metal as a leader will be tested in the times you do not feel ready to lead. Fail often and fail big. But get out there and do something, because the majority of peeps will not. They will look to you for guidance. And if you have gone through the fire and have been strengthened, you will be ready to lead when called.
Monday, December 20, 2010
MO question of the day: Are you artistic and creative... if so, how?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Sometimes you do not know what to do as a leader. I mean really, have you ever been in a situation where you knew everything was all screwed up and you needed to get stuff done? And there was absolutely no way you were going to make it happen… just remember that when you are in a position of leadership your team is looking to you for some answers and guidance. When you are faced with an impossible situation, you have to deal with it. Check this out.
Think about the last time you were in a situation where everyone panicked and did not know what to do. If the leader panicked too then it prolly made the situation worse. When I was in my first year as an intern I remember getting ready to take our church kids up to camp. I was young and did not know what was going on. I had gotten to look at stuff form the inside of the leadership circle for about a year at that point. But I was nowhere near being seasoned and ready to take the reins – to anything. Well, that is not how ministry, and leadership for that matter, works.
One hour before we were about to leave for camp me and Cobb found out that the guy was going to be in charge of the recreation time at camp (for all 500+ peeps) was backing out for some personal reasons. Well, what do you do at that point – just say we are not going to have recreation stuff? Of course not. Cobb was like, Hey MO, welcome to ministry – you are the guy in charge of this. What??? Not the best idea on his part. But hey, it was leadership and ministry and stuff had to get done. Cobb was the old guy of the camp and in charge of the whole thing. Was he gonna do it? Of course not. That would not work. And he couldn’t call someone from one of the other churches and have them do it. So, he told me to make it work. So I ran around the church and grabbed anything and everything that resembled a piece of sports equipment and threw it in the car. Yeah, it worked out.
That was an interesting camp to say the least. We were exhausted the whole time. We were always at our wits end. But, just like the duck… although we were thrashing fiercely and tirelessly under the water, on the outside we were as graceful as we could be. Not for our sakes, but for the sake of all the staff peeps that expected us to be leaders and get it done. We did – thanks to a great leader (no, not me).
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Who are the peeps that speak into your life? There are a select few that have my ear when it comes to who I am. Most of you who read my blog know that Kevin Cobb is one of those who holds a ton of weight in my vocational and spiritual life. The reason for that is because both those go hand-in-hand. A lot of the homies ask me why I give that kind of authority to someone to make decisions in ministry and life. And for me it is kind of a no-brainer. The way I see it is that I do not know what I would do if I did not have him to speak into my life. I mean, I have made some stupid, stupid, stupid mistakes. And that is after I had Cobb in my life and was asking his advice. The problem is that he could give me all the advice and direction in the world. But I am the one who is driving the MO car. I have the wheel. Cobb, and all the other peeps that are speaking into my life are riding shotgun in any number of areas. But me listening is up to me.
There is a Buddhist proverb that says “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Now, I don’t care if you are Christian, or Buddhist, or whatever. These are true words. My question for you is regarding your willingness to learn. Are you the kind of person who does not let anyone into your life? See, I was the guy who had it all together and did not need help from anyone. I thought I was good enough to get through life on what I knew. That is a recipe for disaster. You need peeps in your life that have walked the road. When you let down your guard and give authority to someone or some people to speaking into your life, you will get tons better. So, break the barrier to your stubbornness if you do not take advice from others. If you are cool with taking advice from others then look harder. There are tons of mentors-to-be just waiting for you to become the student. The teachers are out there.
Friday, December 10, 2010
All of the great men and women that I spend time with, who speak into my life, read a ton of books. That is why I am absolutely flabbergasted when I meet someone who leads others who refuses to read for one reason or another. Most of the time is is because they say they do not have enough time. Well, if you want to know how I feel about that, read some of my previous blogs. What it comes down to is that you have to read if you want to influence others. I constantly ask my mentors and others who I respect what they are reading. At the end of each year I figure into my goals for the following year how many books I want to read. What is your number? If you do not have one, I would suggest that you ask your mentor. I am sure he or she will have a good list for you to use and start reading. And if you are taking advice from someone who is not reading on a continual basis, I would then suggest that you strongly consider finding a new mentor who does read.
I don’t think that if you are reading and learning that you will be able to hit your potential, in any area. Part of growth is doing stuff that you don’t have time for or do not think you can handle. I know you do not have time to read. If you did, it would be too easy. If you can set aside even half an hour a day you will put yourself way beyond where can be if you do not read. Don’t believe me… just ask a successful leader, in any field, how important reading is for them.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
You can’t afford not to pay the price of a leader. I remember coming home late one nite after a full day at church. I mean we were all over the place. It was my frosh year at APU and I was at school on Tuesday and Thursday from 7am-10pm or I was at church Mon-Wed-Fri all day – not including the weekends. So, we were building our ministry and it was getting exciting. The group growth stuff was all kind of new to us as a staff, but we knew we were on the right track. And it’s like 1am and I’m dragging my butt into Smith Hall, the all-guys dorm (I know – boooo!!!). But I am exhausted, walking down the hallway to my room. All my boys are chillin in the lobby, prolly just getting back from a dope roommate date thing, or Jay Leno again, a beach trip, road trip to Mexico – whatever. It could have been any number of events. And I’m thinking to myself, “What the heck am I doing? Is this worth it? Am I making an impact? Am I throwing my college years away?
The short answer is NO. the long answer entailed countless talks with Cobb over the next four years, him sitting me down, giving me pep talks, getting me out of messes, teaching me principles, loving me for who I was, not allowing me to settle, pushing me to my leadership limits – to name a few. The man taught me vision – he taught me to have vision. I mean, he wasn’t even necessarily a vision guy. But here is the thing… he knew that I WAS a vision guy. And if I didn’t re-learn the vision of our ministry and my calling to ministry and leadership daily, he would have lost me. I can’t imagine what I would be doing had Cobb not been there for me.
So when I get out to see him in MI minimum once a year, or steal some of his much coveted time when he is in Cali, I don’t care what the cost is! Because it costs me thousands of dollars and a ton of “ministry capital.” So, I don’t care what it costs me in time or money or whatever. If I lose that time with my mentor, I can never get that time back. Do you have a mentor you pursue? If not, you are wasting valuable resources. Get on it!!!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
When you are a leader others expect certain stuff from you. I know you may think it is not fair, but hey, no one ever told you (or should have) that it was going to be fair. I have youth guys ask me all the time when they are going to catch a break. I have to laugh. It is different for everyone. You could be the person who has to work their whole life to “catch a break,” whatever that means. Don’t know if you ever read about Colonel Sanders, you know the chicken guy. He was like a million years old when he decided that he thought he could make some pretty bomb chicken. And he was right. But he had to wait his whole life to see it happen. He didn’t even start trying to sling his recipe till he was way in his senior season of life. So I guess I really want to make a couple points here; you prolly won’t want to hear this cause it’s about paying your dues… once again.
The first point is that you have to get out there and prove to the world that you can be the person you know you are. If you are a leader, don’t go out and tell peeps you are. Just go out there and lead. If no one follows you then you are not a leader. But here is the cool part about it. If you keep at it, chances are peeps will believe in you. Remember, you are going to believe in yourself long before others will. This brings me to my next point. If you do not believe in yourself, then you have to find someone who does. There were times when Cobb believed in me way before I thought I could do something. And I guess he really spoke my success into existence. I know, it’s crazy. But it is true. Get all the negative madness out of your life and surround yourself with peeps who believe in you. It will make all the difference in your world. And only then can you make a difference in someone else’s world.