Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret…

I really appreciate the heart and teachings of Larry Osborne.  This was just one reason why I was so excited to receive his latest release, Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret, from another leadership guru by the name of Mel Ming.

My favorite quote from this particular work is when the author warns, “Success is a great thing.  It’s what we’re all aiming for.  But it has its dangers.  They remind me of a principle from mountain climbing: the closer you get to the top, the greater the danger you’re surrounded by.  Every mountain climber would rather be approaching the peak than stuck back at base camp.  Every leader would rather have success than failure or mediocrity.  But only a fool forgets that the higher you go in mountain climbing or leadership, the greater the risk to your future.  It’s not a time for cockiness.  It’s a time for gratitude and caution.  It’s a time to listen to those you might be tempted to write off” (116).

A few questions that I wrestle with…

  1. How do you define success as a Christ follower?  Does success differ from significance?
  2. When opportunities present themselves, how do you discern if this will increase self-promotion or God-glorification?
  3. With increased influence, how do you ensure that you will continue to have increased guardrails on your integrity?
  4. What do you do to ensure that you do not always believe the chants (or criticisms) coming from the crowd (and that you are able to continue to direct attention and adoration to Christ)?
  5. Who do you have in your life to say the difficult things?  Are there those people who cannot and will not be ignored?
Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret…

Ready, Set, Grow…

I would highly recommend Scott Wilson’s Ready, Set, Grow: Three Conversations That Will Bring Lasting Growth To Your Church

My favorite quote is when Wilson proposes, “We may teach what we know, but we reproduce who we are.  All of us are in the long, slow, painful process of allowing God to change who we are.  If we don’t address impure and destructive motives in our own hearts, we will model those selfish desires to the people around us” (233).

Terrifying.  The greater the influence one has, the greater contribution for lasting transformation.  But also the greater risk of painful damage.  As leaders, we have the opportunity to be agents of health and healing or of dysfunction and division.  Think about those whom you have enjoyed serving for and serving alongside.  I am guessing that these individuals would be the types that equipped and entrusted valuable and meaningful roles and responsibilities with you.  Who saw you as truly a part of the priesthood of all believers – not merely a worker in their Kingdom.  A lover of people does not always translate to being a leader of people – but the opposite should always be the case.

The author later warns, “Don’t try to implement a multiplication strategy unless your life is worth emulating.  Your people will pray like you pray, love like you love, and speak truth like you speak truth.  They will disciple others the way you disciple them” (301).

So what type of leadership team am I multiplying?  What type of churches will our church multiply?  I want to see us move from workers, to equippers, to multipliers.  So much to wrestle with.

A couple of questions to consider…

  • Why is an examination of motives essential when we begin to implement a new leadership strategy?
  • If you were completely honest about your leadership style, which are you: a shepherd or a general?
Ready, Set, Grow…

Good Masters, Sweet Ladies…

 

My family continues our journey through past Newbery Medal Award Winners.  We just completed Laura Amy Schiltz’s Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!


I have updated our rankings accordingly.  Again, the following list does not include the works that did not happen to be award winners (but that we still enjoyed as a family) – such as the seven books included in The Chronicles of NarniaHatchet (an honor recipient), and The Hobbit.

Here is the list to date (along with my respective reviews):

  1. The One and Only Ivan (2013)
  2. Bridge to Terabithia (1978) 
  3. Dead End in Norvelt (2012)
  4. Shiloh (1992)
  5. When You Reach Me (2010)
  6. Holes (1990)
  7. A Wrinkle in Time (1963)
  8. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (2008)
  9. The Graveyard Book (2009)
  10. Moon Over Manifest (2011)
 
My favorite quote from this book was from the chapter titled, “Alice: The Shepherdess.”  Maybe she alludes more to the human condition than she does to a lamb’s nature when she suggests, “Sheep don’t fight.  That’s why they need shepherds.”
 
Honestly, this is the most unique work we have read yet.  Written by a librarian who set out to make history come alive.  She does just that.  Our family listened to the entire book in just two sittings.  Being a collection of short stories – the time just flies by. 
 
Our next selection will be the 2014 Award Recipient (which should be announced early next week).
 
Does anyone have a prediction to what it might be?
Good Masters, Sweet Ladies…

The Graveyard Book…

 

My family’s exploration through Newbery Medal Award Winners continues with Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.

I have updated our rankings accordingly.  Again, the following list does not include the works that did not happen to be award winners (but that we still enjoyed as a family) – such as the seven books included in The Chronicles of NarniaHatchet (an honor recipient), or The Hobbit.

Here is the list to date (along with my respective reviews):

  1. The One and Only Ivan (2013)
  2. Bridge to Terabithia (1978) 
  3. Dead End in Norvelt (2012)
  4. Shiloh (1992)
  5. When You Reach Me (2010)
  6. Holes (1990)
  7. A Wrinkle in Time (1963)
  8. The Graveyard Book (2009)
  9. Moon Over Manifest (2011)
 
My favorite quote from this book was when he suggested, “Fear is contagious.  You can catch it.  Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say that they’re scared for the fear to become real” (187).  
 
This work was not one of my favorites.  I am not a fan of horror (not that this book was – but sometimes just the allusion is enough to disinterest me).  Though the first and final chapters had a bit of violence to them, they were shared in an age-appropriate way.  There are better books, such as Jungle Book, that use the same storytelling strategies. 
 
Our next selection will be Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village.  A genre much different than what we have read before.  This should be a fun departure.  
 
Has anyone read it?  Feedback?  
The Graveyard Book…

Woodrow Wilson: A Biography…

One of the items on my bucket list is to read at least one biography on each U.S. President.  I began this journey back in 2003 when I stumbled upon the fine works of David McCullough.

After at least a five year hiatus, I returned to this goal by listening to John Milton Cooper Jr.’s Woodrow Wilson: A Biography.  A fine and complete work.  A few highlights about Wilson…

  • Only American President to also be a president of an Ivy League University (truly a scholar and practitioner)
  • Bitter rival to the popular Theodore Roosevelt
  • President during the First World War
  • Failed attempt at creating (and joining) the Legion of Nations (the precursor to the United Nations)
  • Suffered a stroke during office (and really was not fully engaged or available during the last 1/5 years of his second term)
My favorite Woodrow Wilson quote is when he proposed, “I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a case that will some day lose.”  Agree or disagree?
Here is an update on my progress through the list of presidents…
2.    John Adams
32.  FDR
33.  Truman
As of today, I have officially read biographies on 21 of the 43 presidents (Cleveland was in office twice).
Woodrow Wilson: A Biography…