Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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My 40th Birthday Reverse Bucket List

109185552Today is my birthday! My…40th birthday! I can’t believe it. How did this happen? Where did the time go? What happens next? Is that a gray hair?

I have lots of questions and very few answers, even after living this long.

But one thing was clear with this impending milestone: It must be celebrated in a BIG way! So, by the time you read this, I’ll be in Spain! I know, right? It’s a country that I’ve wanted to visit for a very long time, and I’m so excited to mark this occasion there (or here, for me, because I’m here/there right now). If you’d like to follow along, you can check out my Instagram or Twitter. Or read my post-trip itinerary.

Another way I’ve been planning to celebrate this particular and monumental event is with a “reverse bucket list.” I picked up that idea from a business coach I follow, Rebecca Tracey, and it seemed very appropriate. I am a perfectionist and list-maker, so I can often get bogged down in the things I have yet to do, am behind on, or missed out on. I didn’t want this birthday to be about that. So, I’m choosing to honor this day a little differently than most might as they hit 40, and also secretly hoping it’ll help me to celebrate the wins along the way more often.

Here’s to the great life I’ve lived so far, those that have shared it with me, and the wonders that are yet to come!

My Reverse Bucket List: (in no particular order)

  1. Started my own business
  2. Traveled internationally
  3. Read the entire Bible
  4. Went skydiving
  5. Went on a mission trip and a humanitarian trip
  6. Lived in New York
  7. Been paid over $100 per hour
  8. Taken a two-week vacation
  9. Been in a movie (extra in Drumline), on a talk show (audience of Talk Back Live and Tyler Perry Show), in the audience for two game shows (Price is Right and Family Feud), and on a podcast (Girlfriend It)
  10. Attended numerous conferences I love
  11. Held an Oscar
  12. Visited my beloved California at least once every year since 2008
  13. Been in the delivery room for the birth of my best friend’s first child
  14. Seen a Broadway play (and sat in box seats!)
  15. Volunteer for a social justice organization
  16. Participated in a breakout on supply chain at an anti-slavery conference
  17. Walked a half marathon
  18. Lived and traveled by myself
  19. Been published in magazines
  20. Sponsor a World Vision child
  21. Was a camp counselor, and made life-long friends
  22. Went to state twice in high school for One Act Play (a Texas thing)
  23. Moved to Georgia after college, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because it gave me some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met
  24. Went to counseling for two extended periods of time, something I’d recommend to everyone
  25. Moved away for college, meeting some of the people I still hold closest to my heart
  26. Participate in Lent
  27. Read 40+ books in a year
  28. Purchased a Prius
  29. Made it home to visit family and friends each year for the holidays
  30. Done the major cheesy and fun tourist activities in the cities I’ve lived in
  31. Participate in a fast
  32. Start meditating
  33. Found a mentor
  34. Was baptized and accepted God/Jesus/Holy Spirit
  35. Donate to my missionary friends
  36. Watched all five seasons of Alias in five days—yes, it’s possible!
  37. Learned to cook…somewhat…good enough for me
  38. Had corrective eye surgery
  39. Fought with my words, actions and spending for the rights of others
  40. Started this blog!

 

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Plywood Presents: Notes and Quotes

FullSizeRender 11This is a conference I look forward to every year. It’s fun, I’m able to see old friends, and it’s locally-focused. The last item is what makes it truly unique. The people who speak are not only inspiring, but most often, they’re doing something remarkable in the Atlanta area. So, while I love hearing big names from big companies, Plywood is really awesome because I can also usually say that the speaker or company is just miles away from me. It gives me plenty of chills and warm fuzzies.

Jeff Shinabarger, Plywood founder:

  • Sit with people that don’t sound like you.
  • Learn from people that you want to sound like.
  • Share with people that engage your advice.
  • Everyone has something to give. Everyone has something to learn.

Gregory Ellison, Fearless Dialogues:

  • Sometimes things have to break down to have a break through.
  • “The longest journey we have in life is from our heads to our hearts.” – a lady he knew growing up
  • “I don’t know how to change the world, but I can change the three feet around me.” – his Aunt Dottie

Hank Fortner, Adopt Together:

  • World Adoption Day
  • People who need love don’t care how old you are.
  • 19 million orphans in the world, 500K in US foster care, 25% of kids who age out of the system are homeless, 80% in jail, 30% are pregnant, 80% end up in prostitution and 56% wind up unemployed. The system is seriously failing these kids.
  • Family is the answer to almost everything.
  • Lots of organizations are doing great things, but they are all working piece-meal instead of in concert.
  • Barriers to adoption are finances, information and community.
  • Adopt Together allows micro financing for adoptions.
  • Lessons learned:
    • Always throw a party.
    • Never give up space.
    • Always remember the details.
    • Never get stuck in the details.
    • Always solve a problem.
    • Never burn a bridge.
    • Always tell your story.
    • Never lose your story.
    • Always give.
    • Never forget extrinsics.
    • Always make money.
    • Always say thank you!

Ron Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy:

  • Met everyone of his neighbors and invited them to be a part of the work in this run-down, dangerous neighborhood. It took four months.
  • Passion. Innovation. Creativity.
  • When you bring good energy to a place, negativity leaves.
  • Your team determines your success.
  • Spend 15 minutes on an idea. Decide if it should continue, and then leave it or pour your heart into it.
  • Live like it’s your life!
  • Treat fairly, not equally.
  • Put your energy into the people that actually make a difference, not the negative slackers.

Brian Pape, founder of MiiR:

  • Buy consumer products, then decide where we want the money to be sent. We get follow-up info about the progress of the projects.

Andrea Sreshta, Luminade:

  • Add water to the vessel as the battery. Remove water for the light to go out. Great for disasters and places with little/no light.

Curious Katheryn, 10-year-old entrepreneur:

Patrick, Nisolo shoes:

  • Artisan shoes, ethically-made
  • Focus on work culture. A good culture attracts the right people.
  • They own their supply chain.
  • Check out the book “Essentialism”

Tripp Crosby, producer, comedian, sketch artist:

  • It’s easy to take yourself too seriously.
  • When you’re obsessed with expanding, you risk enjoying the process. And when you’re not enjoying the process, you risk the opportunity to expand.
  • What’s the thing you should be enjoying but you’re not?

Brent Trapp, Booster:

  • Lead with outrageous care.
  • Notice the good things.
  • Obsessive commitment to investing in people.
  • Act like a friend.
  • Live with ridiculous joy.
  • Outrageous care breeds outrageous loyalty.
  • How will you treat your people?

Ruthie Lindsey, speaker/stylist:

  • Love people well.
  • You can live a beautiful life despite your pain and circumstance.
  • Choose joy.
  • There is always hope.
  • When we are open and honest, it forces others to do the same.
  • When we live in our pain, it’s all we can see. We need to find the joy so we can live there instead.
  • Pain can make us better and more whole.

Chris Marlowe, Help One Now:

  • Doing good can be simple and easy. Love first.
  • Find your fight.
    • Find something(s) that you can really dig deep with. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Help where you can.
    • Stick around for the transformation.
  • Go far. Go the distance. Give your life.
  • Go forward. Innovate. Care. Solve.
  • Doing good can be simple and significant.
  • Do good. Do good well. Do good together.

John Lewis, activist and US Representative:

  • We must care for the spark of divine in ourselves.
  • Love may be a slow process, but it’s always worth it.
  • There is power in peace.
  • There is a price to be paid for the work of peace. You must decide if you’re willing to pay it.
  • Without music, the Civil Rights movement would’ve been like a bird without wings. We’d often sing to each other across our cells, both men and women, because we were separated by both gender and race.
  • When you see injustice, make a little noise. Don’t stay silent.
  • “Just love the hell out of everybody.” – MLK
  • Get into good trouble.

Safia Minney, People Tree clothing:

  • Check out her “True Cost” documentary about slavery in the process of making clothes.

Travis Mason, Public Policy and Government Relations at Google X:

  • Macro behaviors are derived from micro moments.
  • Reverse assumptions.
  • Combine domains.
  • Invite the novice.
  • Its the difference that makes the difference.

Kim Biddle, Saving Innocence project:

  • LA County  rescues from child sex trafficking.
  • Average age for trafficking victims is 12-14.
  • 100K children are trafficked per year in the US.
  • We are connected, and deeply affect one another.
  • We are all human. Empathy begins at that place.
  • Impact is relational.
  • Choose to love.
  • Know your season. Run the race. Rest when needed.
  • Keep yourself seen. Cultivate community. Get professional mentors. Find spiritual mentors. Redesign your failures.


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5 Strange Things About Working From Home (So Far)

computer-keyboardI’ve only been self-employed for a few weeks, but I’m already noticing a few unique quirks that come with this practice.

  1. I continually forget what day it is. When I don’t have to leave the house most days, there are few things to mark the time. At my old job, I worked from home on Thursdays and Fridays. So, there are a lot of mornings now when I wake up thinking it’s the end of the week. #Disappointment
  2. I’m behind on current events. I’ve never been a morning person. And with chronic health issues, I’m supposed to get between eight and 10 hours of sleep. So, that means I don’t turn on an alarm that often, and I sleep till 9:00 a.m. or so. Then it takes me a while to lay there in bed, checking my phone, doing my morning meditation, checking email, etc. So, it could easily be 10:00 a.m. before I’m actually up. That works fine for me, because I just work later if I need to. But it also means I miss my beloved TODAY Show. So, I feel very out-0f-sync with the world.
  3. I rarely wear “real” clothes or makeup. I would like to note that I do change out of my pajamas! But lounge wear is what you’ll find me in most of the time, sans makeup. In fact, if I have appointments or meetings or anything, I try to schedule them on the same days so I don’t have to actually get ready that many days in a row. 🙂
  4. I’ve wondered more than once if I can get “couch sores.” I don’t really do the home office thing. I’ve always just worked on the couch when at home. I know some people need the routine or normalcy that comes with working at a desk or a table or something, but that’s just not me. So, my couch is where I park. However, sometimes I sit there for hours at a time if I’m engrossed in something or writing, so then I realize that I’m a bit sore. And then I remember that people confined to beds can get bed sores…and then I wonder if there’s such a thing as “couch sores.”
  5. I’ve reached all-time lows on my fitness tracker. If experts want you to get 10,000 steps per day, I’m laughing in their faces. I’m convinced those people all live in New York where you do have to walk everywhere. My personal goal is 5,000 steps, but there has been more than one day where I’ve barely reached 500 steps. When you only have a 875 square foot apartment, and most of the time you’re only walking between the couch, kitchen and bathroom, there just isn’t a lot of movement. Plus, it’s way too hot to be outside!

But there you go. Just a few initial observations. I’m sure there will be more to come!

 

(Note: All Amazon links are affiliate links.)


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The Ministry of Reconciliation

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 6.26.59 AM

I was excited to visit the MLK Memorial in DC last fall.

One of my favorite passages of scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, particularly the part about God giving us the “ministry of reconciliation.” To me, that is central to the work of social justice. It is a mantle I have taken up, and carry with me. And it is what comforts me when I’m weary of how people have harmed each other over and over again, but feel the need to take a step forward anyway.

I once heard someone define justice as “God’s way of putting things right,” and I liked that. It makes the word both a noun and a verb, and I believe that’s how we need to treat it to make any real progress.

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)

These verses have rung loudly in my ears the past few days as we heard yet again about the tragic shooting of two African American men, compiled with the devastating addition of the attack on police officers in Dallas. Both are heartbreaking situations that never should have happened. But the question remains, what are we going to do about it?

I honestly think many people just don’t know what to do. It’s not that they don’t care, but they feel stuck in their response. Or maybe they feel conflicted in what to say, or how to react, or where to turn, or simply how not to offend. I’ve felt some of that myself, and I address it a bit here in this guest blog post.

So, if you can relate, I’d like to provide you with just a few resources that I hope will be helpful.

  • The first, of course and as always, is to pray. My friend Latasha started a terrific organization called Be The Bridge, which promotes racial unity and reconciliation through conversations and the Church. I suggest looking through her resources and site. But her first piece of advice for anyone is to pray. Pray for the situation. Pray for your personal response. Most of us live in our own bubbles, complete with people who look and think like us. So, pray for opportunities to make new friends or have these conversations with old friends. I think these are requests God would love to honor.
  • Another thing Latasha suggests is reading books by people who look and think different than you. Additionally, follow these kinds of people on social media, or go to the places they hang out.
  • Continuing along these lines, here is a fantastic conversation by Latasha and IF:Gathering founder, Jennie Allen, that took place on Friday. I highly recommend this 45-minutes as its just an honest sit-down between two friends.
  • This is a great article by Relevant Magazine for understanding the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
  • Check out this article by Kristen Howerton, who is white, which explains the concept of “white privilege.”
  • There are also many terrific books and movies as well. Two books I’ve read in the last year are The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander and Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. And I gotta say, the latter is one of the hardest and most beautiful books I’ve ever read. As far as movies, there are well-known ones like Life is Beautiful and American History X. Here are a bunch more, and it wouldn’t take much research to find others, or you can ask me for more. I have lots to catch up on in this area too, and have books piling up in my Audible Wish List.
  • Pardon the bleeping, but this The Daily Show clip does make some good points while also bringing some humor to the situation. It’s always good to infuse some humor when you can.

There are lots and lots more, but if you need a starting place, hopefully this will provide you with one.

But here’s your disclaimer: I’m telling you now that this can be a messy process. I know that sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re getting outside your comfort zone, which you should in many aspects of life, just remind yourself that you’re doing it to become a better person and more educated. Most often, the people who don’t look like you will be really grateful that you’re making an effort to see life through their lens. And grace will be extended on both sides. Just make a new friend. You’ve done that before. You don’t have initially start with a race conversation. In fact, they might appreciate that too. 🙂

Sadly, I have seen bigotry in action. I have witnessed an actual segregated community south of Atlanta, complete with the literal “other side of the tracks.” I have heard friend’s stories of how they were discriminated against. And even if you missed these things, you’ve probably heard jokes that come at someone else’s expense. We cannot keep pretending these are ok. We cannot keep silent. This kind of harmful thinking often starts in small ways. And therefore, small actions can create change.

When you know these people, not just know of them, you should want to fight for them.

It’s hard work. It’s ugly work. It’s messy work. But it work that matters. And if you follow Christ, you have also been given the ministry of reconciliation. So, what are you going to do about it?

“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the inter-related structure of reality.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail 


UPDATE on 7/12/16

I’ve also just watched these two online sermons from this past Sunday, and they’re additional great examples to watch about how the Church can address the issue.

North Point Community Church

The Potter’s House


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National Leadership Forum: Notes and Quotes

FullSizeRenderLast week I had the privilege of attending the National Leadership Forum. My mentor Holly is the COO of Growing Leaders, who hosts this unique gathering, and this is the second time I’ve attended this fantastic event. It’s geared toward educators, administrators, coaches, and mentors, and even though I am none of those things, I still learned a lot with the theme of “Leaders at Every Level.”

If you fit any of those categories, I’d urge you to make your way to Atlanta next summer. But it will probably sell out, so plan early! And this would be a great excuse for those of you who have ongoing education budgets at your disposal.

Here are some of the gems I picked up during these two days:

Tim Elmore
  • The leader of the company is the crafter of the culture.
  • Why do we fail to develop leaders:
    • The busy myth. We claim we’re too busy and don’t have time.
      • You must schedule your priorities.
    • The treasure hunt myth. We hope we can just find and hire them.
    • The reproduction myth. But we’ve never been equipped ourselves.
      • We teach what we know, but reproduce who we are.
    • The maintenance myth. We’re satisfied with just plugging holes.
  • When an org or school fails to develop good leaders:
    • It’s a failure of systems.
    • It’s a failure in culture.
      • “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which is grows, not the flower.” – The Vibrant Mind
  • Common org cultures:
    • Toxic culture
    • Distant culture
    • Fun culture
    • Confused culture
    • Stagnant culture
    • Blind culture
  • The truth about culture:
    • All teams have a culture, by default or design.
    • People are carriers of culture, good or bad.
      • “Let’s hire the culture we want. Gifts can be cultivated.”
    • Some teammates are more contagious than others.
    • There are as many cultures as there are managers.
    • The culture affects behavior more than anything else.
      • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” – ?
    • A leader’s job is to cultivate a healthy culture.
      • Build a healthy culture and it will grow.
    • They do this through their habits and attitudes.
  • The ultimate job of a leader is to create more leaders. They do this by building a system and culture.
  • Hanging on the wall isn’t necessarily what’s happening down the hall.
  • Your org is telling a story…not unlike a movie. And it has a soundtrack. You have:
    • A script (your words)
    • Acting and blocking (your behavior)
    • A sound track (your culture)
      • What’s yours? Did you write it or let it happen?
      • It can make or break the movie.
      • Like your culture, the sound track provides the feel of your story.
      • If we’re not careful, our sound track can ruin all we’re saying and doing. (ex: Ms. Doubtfire cut to be a horror.)
      • If we’re intentional, our sound track can enhance all we say and do.
  • At Growing Leaders, we’re intentional about:
    • Mission and values
    • Vision and objectives
      • 1% can change the 99% (ex: MLK)
    • Brand personality
    • Tweet flavor (social media)
    • Inside “rules” for outside “reputation”
    • Our physical environment
    • Differentiators
Dr. Meria Carstarphen – Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools
  • Brought in after the APS cheating scandal.
  • You have no idea how good/bad the situation actually is until you’re inside the culture/org.
  • Access to quality education at every level, age and zip code changes lives.
  • Born in Selma, AL, and family still lives there.
  • There are people meant to make the changes. I am that person.
  • Culture is usually the last change we make.
  • “Where the needs of the world and your talent intersect, there your vocation lies.” – Greek philosopher?
  • Express empathy and give people a chance. Don’t live in fear.
  • She is active on social media, plays with the kids, gives parents and kids her cell phone number.
  • Tell people when they do something right, not just when they do something wrong.
  • Put a succession plan in place way before you think of leaving.
  • Leaders should bring out the strengths of those in their care.
  • You can’t let sabotage stop you from doing the right thing.
    • And as a leader, you can’t let the sabotage into your heart and head, or it will effect your culture since it starts at the top.
  • Don’t wait till your kid is in school to help shape the school. Join committees and be a part of things that will help create the school you want your kid to attend.
Gene Smith – Director of Athletics for Ohio State University
  • Create an environment for constant communication.
  • People will forget what you said or did, but never how you made them feel.
  • They have a structured development program for everyone, and know where they want to go in their job and life.
  • Stay true to your values above everything else. I own my integrity.
  • Learn to confront in a timely manner. When you have the backbone to stand up for your values, you create respect, despite any backlash.
  • Make sure your people get their rest and vacation.
  • They call their coaches “teachers.”
  • Instead of calling the people listed as references, call the people below and around them to see how they’re treated. Hire for character.
  • Their student athletes go through trainings to set them up for life and character, not just football.
  • A title doesn’t make you a leader.
  • Never forget your custodian! They make your world go.
Holly Moore – VP of Growing Leaders
  • Change fatigue is real.
  • “Emotional sickness is avoiding reality at any cost. Emotional health is facing reality at any cost.” – M. Scott Peck
  • All of us have ways we take in and evaluate information.
  • Myers-Briggs is the DNA of your personality.
  • Where do you get your energy: E or I
  • How do you process info: S or N
  • How do you make decisions: T or F
  • How do you prefer to live: J or P (greatest cause of relational disharmony)
  • Insecurity in a leader is toxic.
  • Leadership comes with a microphone.
  • Five voices: Pioneer, Connector, Creative, Guardian, Nurturer
    • Teams should have a variety of these, and respect for each other.
    • I’m a Creative! (INFJ)
    • Nurturer
      • Always cares for others, but can stuff feelings to make peace. Make sure you are heard too.
    • Guardian
      • Believes change is necessary, but can come across as overly critical. Look for ways to compromise. Share your feelings before your questions.
    • Connector
      • Whatever’s needed, you have a source. Great collaborators. Can become passive aggressive or withdrawn if you sense rejection. Become more self-aware when you sense feelings of rejections, and process them.
    • Creative
      • Never satisfied with the status quo. It can always be better. Communication and function bed when you know your contribution is valued. The word “can’t” isn’t in our vocabulary. Can fail to celebrate the 90% achieved, and focus on the 10% not done. Can be paralyzed by perfectionism. (F) When you’re stressed, you become The Hulk. (T) When you’re stressed, you’re a sniper. Speak up sooner. Don’t build up “retaliation rocks” or stuffed feelings. Feelings aren’t buried dead, but buried alive. Resist perfectionism.
    • Pioneer
      • Anything is possible! Visionary and courageous. But you can fail to hear all the voices, or have a “back me or fight me” mentality. Stop and listen before reacting. Find a safe place to process.
Judith J. Pickens – Senior Advisor, Youth Advocacy at Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • All young people are at-risk today.
  • Five key elements to help kids thrive:
    • Safe, positive environment
    • Fun
    • Supportive relationships with caring adults and peers
    • Opportunities and high expectations
    • Recognition
  • Prioritize for a prosperous future:
    • Academic success
    • Good citizenship and character
    • Healthy lifestyles
  • Seven states have more than 20% of their high schools are considered “drop-out factories,” which graduate less than 50% of seniors: SC, FL, NV, GA, NM, NC and MS. Mississippi always comes in last on education surveys.
  • What you doing that’s life-changing, generation-changing or transformational?
  • Children often take their queues from their teachers and parents.
  • Statistics go up exponentially for the success of kids when they are connected to their world and a caring community.
  • “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” – book by Robert Putnam
Austin Moss – Director of Player Engagement at NFL
  • Whatever you do, do it with excellence.
  • His job is to help players transition well after the game as well. Average career of a player is three years.
  • Works with the development of high school and college student athletes.
  • All employees go through domestic violence training.
  • NFL has different service and celebration activities.
Tim Elmore
Digging Wells Before You’re Thirsty
  • The need of the hour is 1) more and better leaders, and 2) a relevant equipping process to prepare those leaders (staff and students).
  • Trains and Tracks – Tracks may look confining at first, but they’re the path that make trains go.
  • Our world needs graduates who 1) solve problems and 2) serve people.
  • What we believe about leader development:
    • It’s an inside job before it’s an outside job.
    • It’s a process more than an event.
    • It’s a right-brain function before it’s a left-brain function.
    • It’s more caught than taught.
    • It’s done in small groups more than big groups. Circles not rows.
    • It’s more about a disposition than a position.
    • It’s learned through both uploading and downloading.
    • It’s about an experience not just an explanation.
    • It’s about relationships before it’s about results.
    • It’s about service before it’s about success.
  • The top-down funnel for events and activities: (creating bridges between levels and gently push them as far as they’ll go)
    • Attraction – Had to be interesting to people
    • Involvement – Getting known by others
    • Service – Had to do something
    • Leadership – Now they get to be in charge
    • Multiplication – Leading leaders
  • The Big IDEA
    • All great training contains four thoughts.
    • I – Instruction (They need conversation.)
    • D – Demonstration (They need it observation.)
    • E – Experience (They need participation.)
    • A – Assessment (They need evaluation.)
Tim Elmore: A Leadership Cult or Culture: Cultivating an Environment of Growth and Leadership in Your School or Organization
Josh Bledsoe – FFA COO
  • By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 billion. We need to double our food supply to feed them.
  • Career development, personal growth and advocates for agriculture – new mission
Tim Elmore:
Cult or culture:
  • Cult – Leadership is all about them. (Hansen and Karish)
    • insecure, control issues, ego
  • Culture – Work that wants to live sole for something bigger than themselves.
    • Community of shared qualities that foster change.
  • Every culture possesses shared values, shared customs and a shared language.
    • The same can be true for org culture.
  • Cultures don’t change without something to gain.
  • The two great motivators are pain and gain.
  • People on a team become carriers of the culture.
  • A leadership culture is an environment that contagiously affects people to think and act like authentic leaders.
  • If you could create a culture, what words would you use to describe it? How would you describe your current culture?
  • “Success without a successor is a failure.” – Romanian proverb
  • You can only change about 20% per year in an org, and only 20% of the people will lead the charge.
  • You’re more likely to act out the change than talk out the change.
  • “Some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less–-the soft bigotry of low expectations.” – George W. Bush, campaign speech before the NAACP (2000).
Ken Blanchard – Consultant, Speaker, Author
  • “The One-Minute Manager” – his first big book
  • “The Generosity Factor” – another of his books
  • Effective leadership is all about managing people’s energy.
  • Take 30 seconds to greet people like you’re looking for someone’s energy. Take another 30 to greet people like they’re long-lost friends.
  • Your beliefs drive your behavior. Your behavior gets you results.
  • Being an effective leader:
    • Servant – It’s not about you.
    • Steward – You don’t own a thing.
    • Shepherd – Everyone is important.
  • Servant leadership gets the best results.
    • Leadership is about going somewhere.
  • Mission – What you do
  • Vision – Where you’re headed
  • Values – How you get there
  • Goals – The means to the end
  • Your job is to help the people under you win so they can help your customers win.
  • Have employees rate themselves regularly, and the manager agrees or disagrees. The manager needs to help them try to get an A.
    • The end result needs to be clear, and the manager helps them get there.
  • Transformational leadership starts with self leadership.
    • Then one-on-one.
    • Then team.
    • Then org leadership.
  • Catch people doing something right.
  • “In the end, everything goes back in the box.” – John Ortberg
  • Are your people culture builders or culture busters? If you let the latter stay, you’re not staying true to your company values.
Wayne Hammond – Resiliency Initiatives 
  • Stop looking at what’s wrong with people, and focus on what’s right with people.
  • “85% of positive change comes from being a relationship that’s meaningful to you, and talking about something that matters to.” – his friend.
  • Measure resiliency. (a strengths-based culture)
  • Help teachers learn to be coaches in the classroom.
  • Resiliency is a by-product of culture.
  • The starting point in their potential. Their strengths not weaknesses.
  • We medicate kids into the behaviors we’re looking for.
  • Girls develop fine motor skills before boys, which is what is rewarded in schools.
  • Listen to someone’s story, and you’ll find out what’s important to them.
  • Three evolving challenges: Academics, Culture, Life Skills
  • Resiliency helps kids navigate risk, not avoid it.
  • Mot kids don’t know what their strengths are.
  • The four phases of transformational change: Connect, Inspire, Build and Empower
  • When you don’t give up, you cannot fail.
  • “If you think our future will require better schools,you’re wrong. The future of education calls for entirely new learning environments.”
  • “If you think we will need better teachers, you’re wrong. Tomorrow’s learners will need guides who take on fundamentally different roles.”
  • “Start by doing what is necessary,then what is possible, and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.”
  • Onboard education – sayhello@meritocore.com
Kyle Stark – Assistant General Manger, Pittsburg Pirates
  • Their mantra is to change the world by baseball.
  • Voted in the Top 5 for “best culture in MLB.”
  • Always try to get better.
  • Three mindsets to build a culture of leadership:
    • General
      • The top matters, from an assumption of responsibility.
      • It’s not about the position, but being intentional with their influence.
      • There’s not any one style.
    • Gatekeeper
      • The leader polices what/who comes in and out.
      • The defender of the culture.
      • Chase “fit” at the expense of “talent.” Hire for the people who say “we” over “me.” Hire difference-makers.
      • More time on the front end saves you more time on the back end.
    • Gardener
      • Help everything grow.
      • Servant leader.
      • An environment without stress/risk is stagnant.
      • It always starts and ends with relationship.
      • You’d rather see a sermon than hear one.
      • Be relentless, and be obsessed with it.
  • Education, acquisition, execution
  • The best thing about events is to inspire people to get back to the grind and do your work even better.
  • Adversity helps you clarify if you really believe your values.
  • The stronger your culture, the more risk you can take and feel confident in doing so.
Tim Elmore – Where do we go from here?
What you can do when you return home:
  • What’s in my control?
  • What’s out of my control?
  • What’s within my sphere of influence?
  • Pour into your employees and “middle management” because they are the face-to-face for your clients, students, players, etc.
How to spot a leader early:
  • Intrinsic signals: (PRIDE) perception, responsibility, initiative, dissatisfaction, energy
    • Some of these may start out negative, and need to be redirected.
  • Four common ways to begin the leadership journey:
    • Gifted to lead
      • Habitual leaders. Help them steward it well.
    • Situated to lead
      • Leaders need to help kids find their situation
    • Positioned to lead
      • It has to be handed to them. They need to be authorized.
    • Summoned to lead
      • They’re upset about something, and need to be the one to fix it. They’re problem solvers.