Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem


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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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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.


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I’m Headed to #IfGathering2016 Tomorrow!

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.29.11 PMIf you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, then you know I love attending conferences! Well, this weekend I’ll be a first-time attendee at IF: Gathering in Austin! I have friends who have been to this event, volunteered at the event, participated in the live stream, watched the live stream, and followed the event year-round—and they all absolutely love it. So, I’m excited to experience it myself.

The IF: Gathering vision is “to gather, equip and unleash women to live out God’s calling on their lives.” Pretty awesome, right? I know it’s going to be a blast.

If you’d like to watch the live stream, then just visit the website and sign up. I have a bunch of friends who’ll be doing the same.

You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter for updates and my perspective.

I can’t wait to share with you all that I learn!


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Catalyst Labs: Favorite Quotes and Notes

LabsOpening Session with Rich Wilkerson Jr., Chad Veach & Chris Durso

  • Genesis 37 (Joseph’s dream about his brothers bowing down to him)
  • God gives us a picture of the present to endure through the process and get to the future.
  • A dream that hasn’t been tested in a dream that can’t be trusted.
  • Test 1: Rejection
    • Not everyone will support the dream.
    • You don’t need anyone else to confirm what God has told you.
    • Most people share their dreams too quickly. Be a good steward of your dream, and share it at the appropriate time.
    • Your dreams are still going to come with nightmares.
    • No man can pull back what God decides to push forward.
    • Sometimes rejection can be part of your direction.
    • Joseph didn’t have a bad day. He had a bad decade.
  • Test 2: Temptation
    • God tests, Satan tempts and people tease.
    • Everyone has been tempted.
    • There is always  the temptation to indulge.
    • Dreams have to withstand the test of time. Don’t force the dream.
    • Joseph said that no matter where he was, he would be faithful. And he flourished. He was faithful to the call.
    • There is always a temptation to quit.
  • Test 3: Retribution
    • A God dream is always about God, not you. Joseph blessed, not cursed, his brothers when they needed his help. And this is after they almost killed him and sold him.
    • How do you handle the realization of your dreams?
    • God dreams test our motivations, not just behaviors.
    • The wrong motivation will never lead to the right destination.
    • If you are too big to serve, you are too small to lead.

Jennie Allen, Esther Havens & Lindsey Nobles

  • Leadership costs something. – JA
  • Many people do not finish the hard work. – JA
  • If we are building God’s Kingdom, then all of hell is coming against us.
  • Lessons from the Book of John
  • Jesus serves us out of relationship and rest.
  • What is preventing you from having the relationship with God that you desire?
    • Ex: fear, lists/responsibilities, people, time…what is competing?
  • Our lack of rest if often tied to identity.
    • Are we our job? Our family? Our friends? No! We are children go God.
  • We often feel like, as leaders, we must have it all together, and that is simply not true.
  • Netflix isn’t true rest. Make time to actually commune with God.
  • It’s hard to see a need and not wear yourself out trying to fix that. We have to trust God to do the work. All we can do is play our part.

Jennie Allen, Amena Brown and Rebekah Lyons

  • John 4 (Woman at the well)
    • An invitation can change lives.
    • Life change usually happens eye-to-eye, person-to-person.
  • Doing the everyday work of ministry is what moves it forward, as much as or more than the big and public things. – JA
  • What keeps you from being fully present in community?
  • Maybe have a set schedule to talk to the close people you need in your life. – AB
  • Jesus made Himself an outsider for the outsiders. He even died far outside the city gates.
  • Meekness is not weakness. The meek shall inherit the earth.
  • The greatest ministries happen over tables, not on stages.

Jennie Allen, Margaret Feinberg and Shelley Giglio

  • John 2 (water into wine miracle)
  • Jesus’ first miracle was at a party!
  • We’re only as good as leaders to the extent we are followers. – SG
  • Jesus brings life and light to us. It is our calling to mirror that. – SG
  • Jesus was the life of the party. We need to lighten up. – SG
  • Joy is the weapon we use to fight life’s battles. – MF
  • Wonder comes from gazing. You have to be willing to look, and keep looking. – SG
  • Joy comes in remembering. Remember God’s faithfulness. Recount His blessings. – SG
  • The more we chase God, the harder life gets. – JA
  • Dependence on God leads to joy. – SG

 


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Plywood Presents Conference: My Favorite Quotes

Plywood ProgramThis week I attended Plywood Presents again. I missed it last year, but it was good to be back. I’ve always loved their tagline, “We will be known for the problems we solve.”

It was a great couple of days, and I wanted to share my favorite quotes.

 

Clint Smith III, Poet, Educator, Researcher

  • I didn’t take any notes during his session because it was a series of spoken word performances and explanations. I’m not usually a big spoken word/poetry fan, mostly because I probably just don’t get it, but I REALLY loved this guy. He was incredible, and I was able to connect with what he was saying. Check out my favorite piece, “My Father is an Oyster.”

Jeremy Cowart, Artist, Photographer and Humanitarian

  • “If you’re alive, if you’re breathing. We need you. You can do anything.”
  • I didn’t really take notes here either. It was really just this guy telling his story, but it was a fantastic presentation, and he has a terrific story. Plywood is not a Christian conference, but there are many Christians there. Jeremy’s presentation was built on how he felt like he couldn’t do anything right as a kid, but his parents instilled Philippians 4:13 into his head, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And once that message took root, he has done some really remarkable things.

Kat Cole, Group President of Focus Brands

  • “The people closest to the action will know what to do before the leadership every time.”
  • “Leaders are resourceful, creative and get it done no matter what.”
  • “If you really believe something is right, say yes and figure it out. But you have to be willing to do the work.” #hustlemuscle
  • “You succeed faster in life when you see the patterns. And you have to know where you fit into it. You have to be not only smart, but aware.”
  • “Work with different teams more often to see patterns emerge faster.”
  • “If you’re thinking of bailing on something in life, make sure you have a compelling alternative.”
  • “When you get criticized, assume for one minute they’re right. Take a hard look and see if it changes you’re mind or solidifies your position.”
  • “You need a culture where employees are proud and grateful. That comes organically, but can be nurtured. You can’t force it.”
  • “My best lessons have come from my humanitarian work.”
  • “We all have limited resources. Focus on things that are small enough to change but big enough to matter. You have to really pay attention to find the right size.”
  • “If not me, who? If not now, when?” – Kat’s mom

Scott Holfort, Founder of ColsenKeane Leather Goods

  • “Monotony and boredom can fuel your passion. Rest in them for a while and see where they take you.”

Blake Howard, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Matchstic

  • “To have courage, reject indifference.”
  • “Relentlessly create. Quantity over quality to keep moving forward and refining.”
  • “Choose the right context. We become like those we surround ourselves with.”
  • “Have the hard conversations upfront so that the easy stuff will follow. If you have the easy conversations first, it will only get harder.”
  • You have to have courage to listen.”

Richard Swenson, Author, Educator and Researcher

  • I plan on getting his book called, “Margin.” Actually, all of his books sound great. Just wish they were on Audible!
  • “You can do extreme things, but then you need to rest.”
  • “There is a boxing match happening between your limits and progress.”
  • “There are 2 trillion URLs, 150K products in Walmart, 55K combinations at Starbucks, people check their smartphones 150x per day, and there are over 68K medical codes.” Information overload!
  • “Stress is the way we adapt to change.”
  • “You have all the clocks and we have all the time.” a man in Malawi he met

Alex Torrey, Co-Founder of Umano Clothing

  • “Social entrepreneurship means you don’t have to choose between doing well and doing good.”

Jeff Goins, Writer and Author

  • “You can’t plan your purpose.”
  • “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I have to listen to what my life is telling me.” – Parker Palmer via Jeff Goins
  • “Activity follows identity.”
  • “You aren’t guaranteed success.”
  • “What makes life extraordinary aren’t the chances we get, but what we do with it.”
  • “Successful people are smart enough build on their failures, not deny them.”
  • “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl via Jeff Goins
  • “Share your failures more.”
  • “You can’t wait to feel brave. It’s not something that happens to you. It happens when you make the decision to push through the challenge.”
  • “Success is always a story of community, not an individual.”