One thing is becoming clearer to me every day: It’s not just about me anymore. I’ve got to get this life I live, this path I’m on, right. This summer, one of my staff members spoke into my life and … Continue reading
It’s me. Mobile blogging until I can get to the genius bar at the apple store.
(sidebar: I was at a gathering last week where I had to explain to multiple people what the genius bar was. That made me stop and ponder how much my life has changed since I moved here from downtown Chicago)
Anyway, back to the topic at hand: Teams. I got to be in on the building of two teams last week. First, I went to Harbor Springs (Northern MI) with SpringHill’s new “Great Lakes Region” Team. Then, on Sunday, I went down to Granger, IN for a first meeting with our India “Hopes and Dreams” Team.
Being a part of something new, the creating, the building of it, gets me geeked. I LOVE the beginning. When our hearts beat as one and our individual strengths are put into play, we are a great force.
Brad Lomenick posted a great blog on “The 10 Characteristics of Great Teams.” Read it here. The only thing I would add is this:
*Great teams are well-fed*
I think good food always brings people together and communicates care. I’m so thankful for the very special people that do this for my team of college students all summer. I’ve found it is such an important way to love them. It rings true for adults, too. They served us homemade desert (and I got a special gluten free/dairy free version!!!) on the finest China at our India meeting to communicate how much we are loved. It worked.
Being well-fed also means that no one enters the team on empty. Teammates pursue life, love, growth and vision outside the team so that when they come together, each member knows who he or she is, can fight well, can dream well and can create beautifully with others.
And for those moments when we get a little under-nourished, a well-fed team can encourage you to the core of your soul. I had the privilege of being a part of an affirmation circle with my staff this summer and with the Great Lakes team last week. It’s amazing how much more you want to rise up and be the person others see in you.
So, bake something special, serve take-out on fine china or affirm your teammates to the core of who they are. Just promise to keep those around you well-fed this week, my friends!
Update: Not mobile blogging anymore, so I inserted pics!
Today, while I was in a meeting talking to people about kids and volunteers and what an awesome partnership we’re going to have this summer, I accidentally got as excited about an app on my ipod as I was about our shared ministry.
Somehow, we got on the subject of managing our time. You know, we’re all riding in the mega-church/mega-camp fast lane. And because we highly value the work we do and the people we’re serving, it can be hard to prioritize.
Enter the Quadrants.
They’ve revolutionized the way I manage my time. I discovered that I was spending too much time living in the urgent. They were all important things, but I wasn’t spending enough time on things that were vital for the future of our organization. I was being a day-to-day manager, not a visionary leader.
Haven’t heard of the quadrants? You must research. Michael Hyatt recently blogged about how to use the Quadrants (also known as Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix) here.
I’ve noticed an increase in my focus and decrease in my stress-level since being introduced to the quadrants. For example, when my to-do list is just too long (which happens often), I find new creative freedom in knowing that what lives on the unimportant list can sometimes be accomplished by someone else or in a different way.
Oh, and let me geek out about that app. It’s called Priority Matrix for iphone and there’s a great free version. I’m so in love. Is that wrong?
For those of you that don’t have an iphone, ipad or ipod touch, you should really buy one. Oh, just kidding (although not really- and dear brother, if you’re reading this, I REALLY REALLY would use an ipad every single day of my life and am looking for a donor–you?). The paper/white board version works just almost as well. Here’s my office wall:
P.S. My boss called me a nerd today on the phone. And he’s good at math. So it must be true.
What is my purpose? What should I do with my life? As I work with college students, I find myself in these conversations over and over again. And as I get older, I realize that what we once thought was answered is always being re-defined, re-shaped and sometimes re-rooted.
My friend Carly (she blogged about the topic here) passed along a video of Jim Collins (author of Good to Great) sharing some considerations for leaders. I wish I had heard these when I was 20, so I’m blogging them for all those college students I love. But, to be honest, I think the principles apply to every crowd.
About 30 minutes in, Collins starts talking about a personal hedgehog (the hedgehog from GTG is explained well here). He challenges you to find your path to the best fit for you, the place where your three circles meet. I’ve diagrammed it for you:
I also really liked his 10 Considerations for the Emerging Level 5 Leader:
1. Build a personal board of directors
- pick them for their character, not their accomplishments
- they don’t always need to know they’re on your personal board
2. Turn off your electronic gadgets
- begin the discipline of putting white space on your calendar
- effective people take time to think
3. Work on your own Three Circles
- study yourself, make empirical observations with no judgment
4. Figure out your questions to statements ratio…and try to double it.
- you spend way too much time trying to be interesting, why don’t you spend it trying to be interested?
- learn to ask questions, learn from everyone you meet
5. Live by this question-
- “If you woke up tomorrow morning and discovered you had 20 million dollars, a terminal disease and only 10 years to live, what would go on your stop doing list?”
6. Stop your stop-doing list
7. Unplug the opportunities that distract you
- there will always be many once in a lifetimes
- define your 3 circles and hold everything up to them
8. Find something for which you have so much passion, you are willing to endure the pain
9. Articulate the values for which you will not compromise
10. Prepare to live a life where at age 65, you’re only 1/3 through your work
Want to hear more? You can watch the whole thing:
- It was taken just after we spent hours on a moonlit pontoon boat cruise. Love those!
- The genuine smiles of my friends. We’d just finished sharing about our summers (and how being a leader is sometimes rough) and we still looked like this. Happy and blessed.
- I always look forward to finishing a summer of ministry and getting to my family’s house on Lake Donnell to rest/try to break the speed record on the waverunner. I loved inviting the other SpringHill summer camp directors to share in this experience with me.
- I’ve known some of these people for 10 years, and others for just a few. But they are SO much more than my co-workers. They are my comrades.
- For a lot of our time together, the boats sat docked while we worked hard planning summer 2011. This team understands the purpose behind playing hard and working hard.
-George Bernard Shaw