Archive for October, 2010



Stupid Stuff Christian Men Should Never Say on a Date

I’ve been asked to write about how Christian men should communicate on dates by some of the single readers of this blog (all 3 of them). Since I have not been single in over 20 years, I’ve asked my friend KelcieKay Sberna to help me out by sharing her experience in the dating scene. Here’s her account. This is a list that I have compiled over the past couple years; years filled with bad dates and creepy suitors. I have a career in ministry so I find that my dates are usually evangelical men 25-30 years of age. These are all actual accounts from my dates, however fictitious they might sound. I will marry the man of God who doesn’t commit any of the following crimes. Sending flowers the day of the date is an excellent idea. However, attaching a note that says “Imagine how much more romantic I will…

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Self Discipline Is Not Enough: How I Get My Butt Out of Bed at 4 AM

If you follow me on Twitter or somewhere else in social media, you might have noticed my early morning posts, usually between 4 to 5 a.m. about going on a run or hitting the gym for a workout. There’s always a comment from someone saying “I don’t know how you do this. You must have a lot of self-discipline.” The truth is that I have some self-discipline, but what I have most is a built-in system of accountability and expectations. Left on my own, I can justify staying in bed every morning and postponing my workouts until later in the day. But with my busy agenda at work, heavy travel schedule and family responsibilities, I know that if I don’t exercise early in the morning, I won’t do it at all. Most days getting out of bed at 4:30 for a run in the dark is 10% inspiration and 90%…

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Are We Creating a Better Version of Ourselves Online?

Last week I got several messages from Twitter and Facebook friends about getting together during the Catalyst conference. Unfortunately my schedule was packed with meetings in-between sessions and dinner appointments, and I wasn’t able to  meet many of my digital friends face to face. Since then my insecurities have taken hold of me and whispered, “maybe it was for the best. You’re a lot better looking and more interesting online than in real life.” That thought has stayed with me for days now and I can’t seem to shake it. I overheard a co-worker say that she is often disappointed when meeting celebrities in real life situations because they never live up to her expectations. Ok, I’m not a celebrity–I have no paparazzi following me, or even a friendly stalker–but the comment forced me to ask the question, “have I created a better version of myself online?” I’m not sure…

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Is Self Promotion Evil?

Most Christian leaders I know struggle to find balance in life. They need to find the proper ratio between work and family time, the balance between eating and exercising.  But while most of us would agree that family always comes before work and that overeating and poor exercise habits are not good for anyone, Christian leaders struggle with the elusive, apparently evil, but frequently necessary need for self-promotion. Is self-promotion a symptom of a prideful heart, a necessary evil of ministry, or a simple tool to achieve a mean? Well, it depends. I’m not trying to be evasive when I say, “it depends.” As both a communications expert and a literary agent, I help my clients  develop a platform where their resources (books, videos, blogs, curricula) can be consumed. One of the very first questions publishers ask me about a new author is, “what type of platform does he or…

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5 Books Every Entrepreneur Must Read

“I’m thinking about starting a business but I’m not sure how to go about it.” I hear this phrase quite often these days. People who find themselves out of a job and contemplating starting a new business, or  those who are trying to pursue their dreams, often find themselves at the brink of a new venture not knowing what to do next. In my experience most new businesses fail not because of lack of talent, work ethic or drive. I have seen a lot of hard-working, talented people fail because they don’t understand the “business” part of their craft. Figuring out how to deliver a great product is only part of your business dilemma. You need to understand concepts like scalability,  sustainability, and cash-flow management. While those things might not be the “sexy” part of you do, they are vital to its survival. Here are 5 books every business owner,…

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Thoughts on My Catalyst Conference Experience

This past week I attended Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA. Some 13 thousand Christian leaders came together for 3 days of  meetings that featured, Pastors, businessmen, marketers and thought leaders. While I wouldn’t attempt to review or summarize the conference, I decided to share with you a few random thoughts: Authenticity from Christian leaders is no longer a novelty, it’s the norm. The days of the bully pulpit are over. I’m truly optimistic about a new generation of Christian leaders whose commitment to living out their faiths encourages my own walk. They are bright, resourceful and committed. I hold out a lot of hope for them. There’s a strong movement to give away resources and tools to the Christian community at large. Generosity seems to be making its way into the evangelical church. Evangelicals have embraced the under-resourced, exploited, and downtrodden. Social justice seems no longer the banner of the…

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Sometimes Your Best Sales Strategy is a Party

If you have ever met me in person, you know that I’m highly relational. I’m truly blessed to work with people I like. I’m at the stage in my career that I don’t have to pursue relationships that are only financially motivated. This year, instead of paying for a booth at the Catalyst Conference (13 thousand Christians leaders meeting for 3 days in Atlanta), I opted to have a small gathering of clients, friends and even some new friends at a restaurant near the arena. Everyone seemed to have had a great time. I loved it. It was a great fit for my personality and the type of work our branding and development team does: focused, personal and relational. By the end of the evening, our friends and clients were talking unsolicited about the value we bring to them to our new friends and potential clients. I realized years ago…

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The Law of Reciprocal Attraction

Don’t worry, I have not read “The Secret,” and this is not a scientific post. This is however, an observational and experiential commentary on something I have seen happen in my own life with surprisingly positive results. I call it the law of reciprocal attraction. What am I talking about? Simply put, the law of reciprocal attraction can be summarized in the following equation: positive attitude + interest in others = goodwill The meetings  and exchanges where I have previously decided to enjoy, as in, “this is going to be a good meeting”  and have intentionally focused my attention on others in the room and away from myself, are the  most enjoyable, productive and often lucrative. I don’t have any scientific data to back up my assertion but my positive attitude combined with a genuine interest in others create a reciprocal attraction. I’m convinced that a positive attitude alone is…

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Is Your Leadership Style Killing Your Organization?

Leadership drives everything we do. Great leaders take us into the future with their ability to see what’s not yet reality and inspire and motivate us to get there.  As a consultant who has worked with hundreds of  business and church leaders, I have noticed that often great leaders have to retool their own leadership or management style in order to continue to grow their organization. This leadership retooling is both painful and necessary. These are leadership styles that if you don’t grow beyond them will stop your organization from getting to the next level: The Funnel. Everything needs to come through your desk. Nothing gets approved, financed or blessed unless you are involved. That’s a sure way to keep a good thing from growing. This usually happens because the leader doesn’t trust his or her team and feels that he’s the best person for the job– every job, that…

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I Need Community and So Do You

I was planning on running 9 miles yesterday morning. I ended up running 12. What happened? I was encouraged  (or shamed) into going further than I anticipated. But at the end of the run, I was better off for it. I had a strong sense of accomplishment and both my heart and waist benefited from the extra mileage. However, if it weren’t for the power of community, I would probably done less than the 9 I had originally intended to do. Some people like to run, exercise, eat and often do life alone. I’m not one of them. I’m convinced that even these lone wolves could benefit from being part of an encouraging community. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten out of bed at 4:30 am on a cold winter morning because I knew my running partners would be waiting for me at the park entrance. I…

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