I like the statement, “First things First” coined by Stephen Covey. The intent is to ensure that the most important things get done first. Why is this important? Because other important, and urgent issues, get in the way.
Imagine if you were to give attention to the things that matter most in 2018. What difference would that make… for you? the people you love? the people you lead? the community you serve? the world?
Too often I get caught up in the business of life and the tasks of work, and lose site of the main thing.
Here is a very common situation around this time of year. The dust is beginning to settle on those resolutions made on January 1. Exercise is a classic. I notice more cars in the parking spaces at the gym in January, more people riding bikes and jogging. When we hit February the numbers begin to drop. By March and April, it is back to the norm. Why is that?
I suggest it is Mission Drift. Mission Drift is that very natural phenomenon that occurs when a new habit is being formed. There is that initial euphoria that exercise provides. After a few weeks, the realization sinks in – “this is hard work!”
How can we as Christian leaders stay focused on the main thing. Three questions to ask yourself to prioritize Disciplemaking:
- What shifts do I need to make in my behavior to line-up with my values?
- Who can I connect with for support?
- Where can I acquire the skills and refine my process?
Here is an opportunity to keep discipelemaking in Quadrant II – Important & NOT Urgent. Learn about the Disciplemaking Collective that begins this April. The Collective will be a great place for you to connect with on on the same journey to stay On Mission. The Disciplemaking Coaching Guide & Storyboard are the resources we will use.
Please send any questions that you have about the Disciplemaking Collective by clicking here.
I was coaching a leader recently and asked him what he is learning about himself. He paused, then shared:
I am learning the importance of taking time to slow down, reflect and see the progress I’ve made.
It is interesting, the more we “advance” as a species, the more we seem to need time and space to reflect.
Further, he went on to say:
Our coaching time together is the only time I slow down and reflect.
Why do you think that this is the case?
My hunch is that our fast-paced society is not conducive to slowing down and reflection. I can use all sorts of excuses, but I hold to the truth, the things I value are the things I actually do! One of my goals is to re-think my rythms for 2018.
Here is a helpful resource to learn how to manage the internal urges that we all have, to stay busy and in a non-reflective state. The Emotional Intelligence profile will give you and those you coach a starting point on addressing this important area. I’ve used this assessment on numerous occasions and it oftentimes kick-start a fruitful conversation on ways to be more self-aware to the need to be more reflective.
Check out InFocus Collectives 2018:
Collectives create the time and space for leaders to slow down, reflect – then arrive at new ways of thinking and doing.
10% discount for registrations prior to January 1, 2018
A book that I have enjoyed reading titled, Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger discusses change management. To illustrate this point Bolsinger uses the historical account of the Lewis & Clark expedition as a backdrop for church ministry and the reality for leaders to navigate in “uncharted territory”.
The author introduces Adaptive Leadership:
“… NOT ABOUT FINDING THE BEST-KNOWN OR MOST-AVAILABLE FIX TO A PROBLEM, BUT INSTEAD ADAPTING TO THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT OR CIRCUMSTANCES SO THAT NEW POSSIBILITIES ARISE FOR ACCURATELY SEEING, UNDERSTANDING AND FACING CHALLENGES WITH NEW ACTIONS.”
Leadership on the Line – Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading by Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linsky
The point I take from this explanation as it relates to coaching, is simple: “coach the person, not the problem”. There is a tendency to focus on solving a problem when you coach a leader. However, the true value you bring as a coach to a leader it to help increase the leader’s awareness e.g. “ACCURATELY SEEING, UNDERSTANDING AND FACING CHALLENGES WITH NEW ACTIONS.”
He unpacks three aspects of Adaptive Leadership that will serve you well as you coach leaders to navigate change and help leader transform their capacity to lead well, in that process. Here are the three areas with a key reflection question, that I’ve included, for you to drill down in each area:
1. Technical Competence:
Key question: What ministry skills does the pastor or planter need to develop in this season?
2. Relational Congruence:
Key question: How can this leader raise their emotional intelligence effectiveness to engage relationally?
3. Adaptive Capacity:
Key question: What aspects of change management must this leader need to pay attention to in this season?
A lot of important work has been done in the area of change management. Canoeing the Mountains does an excellent job defining adaptive leadership and narrowing the focus on the leader’s transformation.
As we approach the end of the year, check out the Collectives for 2018 and consider which opportunity fits your needs. Collectives are not just for anyone. Collectives are for movement makers. Collectives are designed exclusively for catalytic leaders.
According to Merriam-Webster: “a catalyst is an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action”
Collectives will help a leader:
- who is on the verge of a breakthrough
- stuck in their development
- unable to keep up with the growth, expansion & reproduction of the ministries they are launching
Who do you know that is on the forefront of catalyzing a disciple-making movement?
Who do you know that is catalyzing a church multiplication movement?.
Thanks-giving is your chance to give thanks to the Lord and the people He has surrounded you with to fulfill His mission!
It is easy to allow the busyness of ministry and work to dictate your actions. Countless demands on your time that can infringe on your life. But it is not okay to use that as an excuse to miss the opportunity to thank people for their contribution.
Reflect on the following:
- Who have you meant to thank, that is doing something that if it was not done, everyone would notice?
- Who is performing a random act(s) of kindness for you, your team or organization?
- Who have you taken for granted?
What compliment would you liked to have given in 2017?
This is a year-end question I pose to leaders I coach. There is still time. Don’t miss this opportunity.
Take the Thanksgiving challenge:
- Write a list: take 30 minutes to identify people to thank for their contribution and role in your life and/or ministry.
- Write a note: take 30 minutes to write a simple note of thanks and appreciation.
As we approach the end of the year, check out the Collectives for 2018 and consider which opportunity fits your needs.