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Posted on Jul 30, 2012 in Blog, Culture, Leadership, repost

You choose your attitude, don’t let it be chosen for you. How to choose your attitude in 3 simple steps.

I’ll be the first to admit, I let others choose for me.

It’s hard! We’re surrounded by opportunities for negativity every day. Every day! Even if you work in the best work environment, there is a real world out there that beckons for us to enter into it. And we have to enter in or risk being out of touch.

But the instant we do, we’re confronted with negativity.

People on facebook are negative. People on twitter are negative. The news is negative. TV shows are negative.

Why? Because it sells I guess. People are attracted to negativity like moths to a bug lite. The point is, get to close and it will kill you.

So how do you keep yourself from being negative? You have to choose, intentionally, to have a positive attitude.

It’s a daily, hourly and minute by minute choice. I’m sure there are statistics out there for exactly how often we are confronted with a negative idea, but I’m choosing right now to not go looking for it, because I don’t want to be drawn into the negativity.

Do you remember the technique for putting yourself out if you spontaneously com-bust? The same applies to your attitude.

Stop

When we find ourselves being negative, we must choose to stop. In that very moment, just quit it! There’s no need to carry on with the negativity, just stop  it. Right then, right there.Stop the conversation.

Drop

Drop it. Don’t feel like you have to win the argument at hand. Drop the issue, and leave it there.

Roll

Roll on to something else. Change the conversation to something positive or something totally unrelated. Go find something positive to read, find something funny to watch. Something that funny in a positive way, not negative. But Roll on.

We don’t need to be negative any more. We need more people to be positive and to view life, leadership and the world through the lens of positivity.

Will you join me?

What tips and tricks do you have that you can share with me to help me be a more positive person?

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Posted on Jul 23, 2012 in Culture, Leadership

Beware the Rut

I remember back in college, the “chaplain” for our university chorale gave a devotional to our choir about choosing your rut carefully, referring to a rumored road sign on Alaskan Roads. The idea he was getting trying to share, was that we needed to be committed to chorale for the long haul.

If you can’t guess, our director did not like him referring to chorale as a rut. Consequently, he followed the devotional with a 15 minute rant on how chorale is more like a mountain top experience than a rut.

Needless to say, this devotional lives on in the bad devotional hall of fame for that chorale.

[tweetherder]

The thing with ruts is, you don’t always know where they’re going to lead you.

[/tweetherder]

Sometimes they can lead you in a great direction.

Sometimes you know right away they’re taking you where you don’t want to go.

However, the most dangerous ruts are the ones that seem to be taking us in the right direction, but slowly over time turn us around and eventually take us backward.

This happens all the time in the church.

We come up with a new idea, that succeeds. So we do it again. Then again, and yes, again and again and…

What started out as a great idea, starts to take us backwards.

You might contest that doing the same thing over and over again isn’t necessarily going backwards, but aren’t we retracing our steps if nothing new is happening out of the same things we’re doing?

Haven’t you seen it? Someone 80 or 100 years ago decided we should have Sunday School. So, they did it. It was new and it worked. However, haven’t we all seen the results of just going to school and never going to work? We’ve seen churches full of professional students. The only difference between them and the professional students of the educational world is the lack of student loan debt.

We came up with a new idea because we wanted to reach more people for Christ. Don’t miss that. We wanted to do something new to reach more people for Christ. Our ruts don’t only affect us who are already called by His name. The lack of new could be the very thing that is lacking in reaching Gary and Mary. Perhaps there is that one new idea that connects perfectly with them, but we’re so stuck in the rut of what we did a generation ago that we don’t even think about what new ideas we might be missing.

So, my warning is this: Beware the rut.

Not just in your leadership, your church, family or business.

Beware the rut in your own life. The holding pattern you’ve been in will eventually circle around and take you backwards. The scary thing is you probably won’t even notice.

Looks for the ruts and change them.

 

 

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Posted on Jul 6, 2012 in Creativity, Leadership

16 quotes from Tribes

16 quotes from Tribes

Okay, I know most of you probably read this book a few years ago, but I’m just now getting to it. If you haven’t read it, here are a few quotes that might wet your appetite to go out and get it. (Tribes by Set Godin)

  1. “When you fall in love with ‘the system,’ you lose the ability to grow.”
  2. “Ordinary thinking and ordinary effort are almost never enough to generate leadership.”
  3. “The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail along the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success.”
  4. “The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”
  5. “The organizations of the future are filled with smart, fast, flexible people on a mission”
  6. “Settling is no fun. It’s a malignant habit, a slippery slope that takes you to mediocrity. Managers settle all the time.”
  7. “What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism.”
  8. “The challenge for the leader is to help your tribe sing, whatever form that song takes.”
  9. “Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”
  10. “Part of leadership is the ability to stick with the dream for a long time.”
  11. “Leaders understand that change is not only omnipresent, but the key to success.”
  12. “Great leaders embrace deviants by searching for them and catching them doing something right.”
  13. “(Real leaders) not only do not care about credit, you actually want other people to take credit….Credit isn’t the point.  Change is.”
  14. “Leaders create things that didn’t exist before.”
  15. “You can’t mange without knowledge.  You can’t lead without imagination.”
  16. “Leadership comes when your hope and your optimism are matched with a concrete vision of the future and a way to get there.”

Leadership is creative, and not always systematic. This should ring true in our hearts as creatives and leaders of creatives. If we’re doing what we believe in (do you believe in what you’re doing?) then, we have a picture – a dream – in our heads that we’re trying to lead people to. We aren’t afraid of failure, in fact we welcome it, because we feel we’re not trying hard enough or new enough if we’re not failing.

But failing doesn’t make us quit. Criticism doesn’t make us quit. We understand that change must happen if we’re going to move forward. And failure and critique can’t keep us from changing what we must to achieve what we dream.

We’re not doing this for us. We’re doing this for the future. We’re leading because we have a hope and a dream of how the world could be a better place. We want people to experience this world. We want people to know that the system they are maintaining isn’t good enough. It doesn’t have to be the same until they die. There’s so much more to life than the systems we get stuck in. We want to help people push the random button, and get off the repeat button. We want people to turn right who have been turning left. We want people to be upside down for a while. Not because we love change, but because we know that we grow when experience something different.

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Posted on May 30, 2012 in Leadership, Worship

Worship Leader, What’s Driving You?

Today, through that amazing little 140 character powerhouse we refer to as Twitter, I came in contact with this article. I’ve been a fan of Perry Noble and what they’re doing down there at New Spring for quite some time. And the fact that I grew up with that kind of preaching, just makes me reel right at home with Perry!

But, it’s worth mentioning, and reiterating here. What is it that’s driving you in your worship ministry? When you’re writing songs, are you dreaming about making it big, or are you trying to write songs for the body of Christ where you are? Are you pushing your team so that they can help you make it somewhere, or are you pushing your team so that they can lead your congregation in worship?

Don’t just answer this quickly, think about it.

““See, the enemy is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness”

 

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Posted on May 8, 2012 in Leadership

Potential

I wanted to share a post with you that I wrote for our Worship Arts Ministry at our Church:

Tonight, for the opening session of the retreat at Cannon Beach Conference Center, Dr. Rod Stafford shared a synopsis of “The Princess and the Goblin.” The basic premise of the story is that a grandmother tells her granddaughter to follow a thread wherever it leads. At the end, she the thread will lead to grandma. It may not seem like the path makes sense, but there are reasons, so keep following the thread.

Then I started thinking about us as a Worship Arts Ministry. We’re following a thread. And I’m sure, to some of you it feels like the path might not make sense. But I have faith in the direction God is taking us.

At the end of our thread is a Worship Arts Ministry that truly honors God in as many creative forms as we can imagine. Much more than we currently use. I’ve said before, but I believe God gave us creativity for a reason, He wants us to use it to create things and give Him the glory for it. It’s in creating that we show how we and we alone are made in the image of our maker.

I know right now, to some of you, it seems like things are just spinning on in the same direction they have been going. But God is giving us a thread, and we’re starting to pursue it.

You see, when I look at us, I see potential. Sure there will be pot holes and collapsed bridges along the way that will force us to come up with new ways and directions, but there is a mountain of potential in our Worship Arts Ministry.

That’s not to say that great things haven’t happened in the past. They have, and I’m thankful for them. But I also don’t believe that our best years are behind us. I believe that God has something amazing and inexplicable for us in the months and years to come, something that we won’t be able to take credit for because it’s simply too amazing.

I hope you will continue to walk with me as we follow this thread. It is leading us somewhere, ultimately to a closer relationship with God Himself, which is what God wants for us all!

Wherever we may find ourselves right now, at this very moment in time, let’s commit ourselves to following the thread that God has for us! Let’s look forward to what God is going to do! Let’s not just remember what He has done, let’s look ahead! Yes, let’s build on the foundation already laid, but let’s be open to the new frontiers God has for us! Let’s follow the thread!

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