Reminisce and Reflect Together

Reminisce and Reflect Together

You have a history as a couple. Do you ever take the time to reminisce and reflect together? Here’s a short ebook we wrote to help you in the process. (click the picture to go to the post)

Hope, Joy and Peace

Wishing you and your loved ones  all the hope, all the joy, and all the peace Christmas can...
Leadership Leverage

Leadership Leverage

Three bite-sized pieces of leadership leverage to ponder. Words of wisdom from stellar leaders, which you can put into practice today.

Leadership, Dance and Marriage

Leadership, Dance and Marriage

Smooth ~ Graceful ~ Flowing ~ What could make you and your spouse move together in a smooth, coordinated way – feeling like everything is easy and workable in your leadership roles? Have you ever heard of the term “flow”? The concept of flow comes from the field of psychology, first proposed by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. He pioneered work in the understanding of happiness, creativity, and human fulfillment. Psychologists argue that the hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy while performing a task. Other familiar terms of this concept include: in the moment, in the zone, or in tune. How can the concept of flow add value to a married couple in leadership? The image that comes to mind which might portray flow in marriage is dancing. Visualize a married couple moving easily together, in sync, and thoroughly enjoying the moment. It’s a wonderful thing to watch. It’s even better to do. Imagine a husband and wife who are motivated to work together with a single-minded focus, harnessing their combined energies to perform their God-given purpose. This spans numerous areas including: raising a family, involvement in their church, running a business, volunteering in their community, or whatever else they feel called to do. Doesn’t that sound like a positive and powerful combination? It feels like the perfect marriage of happiness, creativity, and fulfillment – as God meant it to be. If this intrigues you, there are a few different ways you can build flow into your marriage. Building Flow into Your Marriage 1)    Leverage your strengths. As with any team, each person needs to know their areas of strength. It’s where they take the lead. But two people can’t lead at the same...

Step Up: Be Deliberate

We’re at the end of this series… The goal? To put passion back into our leadership. We stepped back, and spent time in solitude. We faked out our routines, and did a “step-over” to change direction. We stepped around those things which blocked our way to passion. We stepped toward planning a new direction. and now… we’re going to STEP UP! Step UP You now have lots of great ideas you would like to “start doing” (from #4 Step Toward: Planning). You and your team could start any or all of these ideas, but as the leader, how are you going to keep the momentum going? Passion for where you’re going, for who you’re leading and what you’re doing, doesn’t just show up… Passion must be nurtured. Passion in leadership is about feeling: excited about getting up in the morning hopeful for the future strengthened in the challenges supported by those around us prepared to meet the changes to come. Stepping UP with passion is a deliberate action. Going downhill is easy – just let your mass relax and follow gravity. Going UP is deliberate; deciding to put that one foot forward, deciding to lift your mass higher, deciding which next step will be the best platform for the direction you’ve chosen. Here’s your strategy to Step UP and move on: 1. Keep your “why” close. Why are you doing this? Why are you leading? If your answer is, “Someone asked me.” then that’s not enough. Get a compelling “why” statement, and put it everywhere: on your bathroom mirror, on your desk-top, on your vehicle’s dashboard, on the back of your cell phone and more. Step UP with your...
Step Toward: Planning

Step Toward: Planning

Injecting passion into your leadership makes movement toward a goal easier – for you, and for those you lead. A leader who has passion is driven forward from the energy it produces. ~ Dan Black You’re doing all the steps to get that passion back into your leadership. You’ve been spending time in solitude. You’ve done a fake-out of old routines in a step-over move. You’ve stopped doing those things which were blocking your path. Now it’s planning time. We’re on the fourth step (of five) toward putting passion back into your leadership. Step Toward Passion in Leadership To take the next step toward putting passion into your leadership, you’ll need to make a plan. Though the first three steps were done on your own (Step Back, Step Over, Step Around)… Planning is best done with others. It’s time for a planning session – a time to plan. What are you planning? Maybe it’s around your organizational mission, maybe it’s about your purpose, maybe it’s a plan for a simple event. Whatever the reason for the planning session, its end result is meant to add a new dose of passion to you – and those you lead. How much of the plan are you responsible for? Not all of the plan is your responsibility; just the first two of three elements. There are three elements to a plan which will create passion in you and those you lead: forethought, organization and creativity. Forethought Think ahead. Consider what’s necessary for your plan to be fulfilled in the future.  Anticipate shifts. Organization Create a framework of all the elements needed to fulfill the plan. Decide what will be needed...
Step Around: Make Passion a Priority

Step Around: Make Passion a Priority

(This is the third post in a series of five to put passion back into your leadership.) A symptom of a lack of passion in leadership, is feeling stuck.  Stuck in the middle. Stuck with all the work. Stuck holding the ball. Stuck figuring things out. Stuck leading the idiots. Stuck opening or closing. Stuck marking things off, challenging the masses, filling the gaps, chasing the golden goose, helping the hopeless, shoveling the excrement, and everything else which sucks the life out of your leadership. Is it time to take a step around? Leaders regularly default to the straight shot – the most direct route – a get ‘er done push forward. That’s leadership, right? Cast the vision, and go “gung ho” on that path. (Might be a little hard to do when you’re feeling passion-drained, huh?) Sometimes a detour is necessary. Consider when you’re stuck in traffic – do you ever wish… “I wish I could go around.”   Leaders with passion problems aren’t on an open road; they’re usually crawling on a congested thruway. There are a mess of masses in those passion-less leaders’ way. What’s the answer? Step Around To put passion back into your leadership, take a step around what’s in the way. First – You’re not quitting anything. You’re continuing to step back and take time in solitude, right? That was the first step in putting passion back into your leadership. Spending an hour a day in quiet. Listening for that still, small voice that speaks after pouring your heart out in prayer and after you’ve ceased all movement and consumption. Second – You’re doing a step over move to fake out your...
Step Over: Go In a New Direction

Step Over: Go In a New Direction

(Second of Five Posts – Putting the Passion Back into your Leadership) Your passion for leadership has taken a few hits in the last while, hasn’t it? Maybe your team has run ahead of you – or worse yet, they’ve been lagging behind. Is your team waiting for you to show up with a renewed passion, and you’re not feelin’ it? That’s what this series of posts is meant to address: putting the passion back into your leadership. This is the second of five posts – 5 steps – to put passion back into your leadership. You know you’re called to lead. You know there are others waiting for you to run with the ball. You need to find that passion. Last week we talked about the first step: How to Step Back. (If you haven’t read it yet – stop – go HERE.  If you’ve already done this, then carry on.) This week we’re going to move on to step two: STEP OVER There’s a move in soccer called “The Step Over”. It was perfected by a Brazilian player, Ronaldo, and its purpose is to change direction. But this “step over” move is more than simply changing direction, it’s done in a fashion which deceives the opposing team member. (For fun, we’ve included some videos at the end of this post detailing the actual soccer move. It’s really cool!) No, you’re not going to be deceiving others. This step, like the first step of stepping back is all internal. You’re going to fake yourself out – and go in a new direction. Change direction to put passion back into your leadership. There’s a good...
5 Steps to Put Passion Back into your Leadership

5 Steps to Put Passion Back into your Leadership

Remember that “gung-ho” spirit you had when you first began leading? There was a fire burning inside of you – a desire to see change – there was a drive to make a difference, make your mark, make things better… What happened to that passion? Where did that passion go? Did it get watered down, stamped on, pushed back or smothered and strangled? Was your reserve depleted years ago? Did the dregs of your passion dribble out and now you’re scraping bottom and it’s a bit mucky down there? Has your leadership personality been diluted to the point where you don’t want any new suggestions, because it’s going to mean yet more work? Are you tired to the depths of your soul, and don’t know where to turn? But. You’re fatigued, but you still see the value of leading. You’re worn, but you know you’re in the place you’re called to be. You’re drained, but there’s still those following who need your leadership. You want to feel the passion again. You do. Somehow. How to put passion back into your Leadership Passion doesn’t disappear overnight. In the same way, it’s not going to reappear (in a sustained way) within an hour or two or twelve. Re-igniting your passion is a step-at-a-time process. This post begins a 5-step series on putting passion back into your leadership – one post, one step, for the next five weeks. And we want to encourage you – you don’t need to “feel” the passion to take these steps. Just begin. Perhaps you’re alone in this need for renewal. It could be that your spouse is feeling just fine – OR – it could...
Do You Experience Healthy Teamwork?

Do You Experience Healthy Teamwork?

Reading Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, the following statement really caught my attention: “Some leaders of teams that don’t regularly succeed will insist that they have a great team because team members care about one another and no one ever leaves the team. A more accurate description of their situation would be to say that they have a mediocre team that enjoys being together and isn’t terribly bothered by failure. See, no matter how good a leadership team feels about itself, and how noble its mission might be, if the organization it leads rarely achieves its goals, then by definition, it’s simply not a good team.” Wow. I find that to be a very convicting statement. This got me thinking about Leadership Couples and evaluating the health of their teamwork. Shouldn’t a husband and wife team be the “ultimate team”? Shouldn’t a Leadership Couple be the epitome of healthy teamwork? Clearly this is not always the case. There are other factors involved. 5 Key Behaviors of Healthy Teams In the first section of the book, Lencioni talks about the importance of building a cohesive leadership team. Here he outlines 5 key behaviors required to building a healthy team, which are established in the following order: Building Trust. While this might seem obvious, Lencioni is talking about a different kind of trust. He calls this “vulnerability-based trust” where team members get to a point they are completely comfortable being transparent and honest with each other. When everyone knows that other team members will not hide his or her weaknesses or mistakes, they develop...