... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

More tragedy this week.  Another senseless act in a school. Carey Nieuwhof’s words written months ago are still applicable today.

There is a spot for YOU, lady in leadership, to join us in Take 5 in April!!  Check out the details and register soon.

Are you doing all 10?
This is a great list regardless how long you’ve been in leadership.



... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

Does giving come naturally to you?
Regardless of the answer, we can all be more intentional.
Check out these tips on cultivating generosity.

Deciding on 2018 conference experiences?
Check out this Spring Children’s Ministry opportunity in MI.

One of the books I finished this week was Michele Cushatt’s Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life.
Highly recommend.

If you’re a leader and not a learner, you’re going to have a real short shelf-life.
–Todd Adkins
Leadership Pipeline 2016


... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

Ready to take your reading list to the next level?
Be sure these 15 stay front & center to either read again or enjoy for the first time.

Some words on When A Leader Has Doubts

It’s February!!  Ready to appreciate your teams?
Don’t miss the We HEART Volunteers series.

The decision to be in God’s Word daily will positively affect every other decision you make.
– Pat Cooper

3 Reasons To Resist The Squeak

A bit ago, I reflected on advice I was given. The squeaky wheel gets attention, right?!? Yes, but is it really the kind of attention that we desire.

Here are reasons I think squeaking is harmful to our leadership:

1. Squeaking is often inappropriately noisy. In its most honest form, it is complaining and whining. Neither are good leadership practices. And neither get us to our end goal.

2. Squeaking is annoying to others. You know that grocery cart? The one I always seem to pick out!! That noise just goes everywhere with me … if I have time, I will take that cart back to the front and get a new one.  If we squeak constantly around others, we may just find ourselves sitting alone … or being replaced!

3. Squeaking eventually gets ignored. Back to the grocery cart … if I choose to keep it, about half-way through the store, I simply no longer hear it. It was not miraculously healed and I do not carry a can of WD-40 when I shop, I just begin focusing on other things. My mind wanders. I become intent to get my shopping list checked off. I speak to someone I know. The squeak is unheard. If we’re not careful, every time we open our mouths, folks will assume we are going to squeak and they just stop listening.

So, how about you?  Where do your fall on the squeak-spectrum?
Is this an area of your leadership that can use some intentional focus?
Are you willing to reach out to someone you trust and get their feedback in this area?


... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

EntreLeadership 1-Day Live Stream
April 27, 2018
Details & Registration here
… this will be beneficial to leaders in all areas!!

Heart Day … coming soon!

Do you know the times you should kill a good idea?

Facebook has made & will continue to make lots of changes that impact us all in various ways.  If you are specifically interested in taking control of your News Feed and choosing what you see, take a look at this!

Everyone Needs a Clara Mae!

16 years ago I stumbled into a break-out session of a large conference. At that time, I had been on a church staff for less than a year and was hungry to learn all that I could. In other words, I had no idea what I was doing!!!

The session leader, Clara Mae, talked at length on practical ideas in Children’s Ministry as well as Personal Growth. She had a table display that held recommended reading and she ended by giving participants her personal book list.

I remember thinking how very much I wanted to be like her. I also remember thinking that I had zero time to read!

After her session ended and folks were filing out, I made my way to the front to chat with her. Note that this was VERY out of character for this introvert. She was so kind in responding to my very simple question: “How do you find time to read?”

She didn’t laugh at me. Instead, she asked me a few questions about ages of my children, length of time in ministry, etc. She took time to learn a little more of my story behind my question and responded accordingly.

She listened. She really heard my heart. She took time with me. She treated me as an individual.

That day began a long-distance but super special relationship. Clara Mae speaks to hundreds. She mentors dozens. She remembers my name and has exchanged emails, phone calls and personal visits many times during the past 16 years. And, I constantly thank my Father for this sweet gift.

Who is YOUR Clara Mae? Who is several seasons ahead of you that you trust? Who do you allow to speak into your life? Do you have one or more faces coming to mind right now?

If so, I celebrate with you!! Keep yourself in relationships that help you grow.

If not, I challenge you to seek out a Clara Mae.

Lead yourself well by watching and learning from folks who are modeling the growth and leadership that you desire!

The Advice I Deleted

Ever heard of “the squeaky wheel” concept?

Early in my ministry years, a well-meaning (I think) person on staff told me directly that the squeaky wheel gets attention and that I should be more squeaky!! She was very serious in suggesting that I get loud about needs and wants in my ministry area.

The advice initially shocked me. I respected the advice-giver tremendously so I did process the comments quite a bit. I reflected on my God-given leadership style and, in the end, completely dismissed the suggestion.

I’m not a naturally squeaky-style person.  In fact, squeakers bother me. The time and energy that it takes to be loud about getting your own way is a complete distraction from living each day focused on what we are called to do.

Being squeaky doesn’t work for me.
In fact, I’m not sure it really works for any leaders.
More on that very soon!


... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

Things to consider as you’re planning to appreciate folks.
In a good-better-best format …

When was the last time you asked for intentional feedback from someone in your life?

“You can’t be fearless without being curious about what’s possible in your life.”
@MollyFletcher #leadercast17

On leadership: what’s your lollipop moment?
Worth a few minutes of your time …

2nd Verse Same As the 1st?

Will your 2018 play out the same as your 2017 with just a different date?

What are you going to do differently to lead yourself in a better way?

What are you going to do differently to lead up and build a stronger relationship with your supervisor?

What are you going to do differently to lead your team more effectively?

Make some decisions today that will truly make a difference in the upcoming year.

If you’re a gal in leadership, give some serious consideration to joining me at a Take 5 Experience.  You’ll be so glad you did!!

Let’s make this year a very different verse – one that is more of what we desire in leadership and much less of “same old, same old.”  We get to choose and we can make it happen!

34 Titles for My 2018 Reading List

... just the beginning ...

I typically reserve book sharing of those I have already completed and feel good about recommending.

At the beginning of the new year, I’m sharing my 2018 Book List.  These have been suggested from a variety of sources and I’m excited to start chipping away.  You’ll notice the variety of leadership, fiction, finance, marriage, spiritual, biography and more.  The hardest decision will be knowing which one to read “next.”

My goal for the year is to make it through 55 books and I am looking forward to the enjoyment and the growth that will follow from each one that I put a check mark beside.

Obviously, this is only the beginning of the list that will help me accomplish my goal, but it gets me off to a super start without having to think too hard.  In fact, the top 2 are already downloaded to my phone and ready to begin.

Undone: A Story of Making Peace With An Unexpected Life (Michele Cushatt)

How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge (Clay Scroggins)

Building a StoryBrand (Donald Miller) … just completed!

Your Best Year Ever (Michael Hyatt)

A Trip Around the Sun (Mark Batterson)

For Women Only (Shaunti Feldhahn) … this is a “read again” book!

Less (Rose Lounsbury)

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (Adam Grant)

Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity (Charles Duhigg)

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World (Tim Ferriss)

Nothing to Prove (Jennie Allen)

Just Open the Door (Jen Schmidt)

H3 Leadership (Brad Lomenick) … another “read again” book!!

Financially Chic (Fiona Ferris)

Leadership From the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life (Kevin Cashman)

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Your Life to the Next Level (Gay Hendricks)

The Giver (Lois Lowry)

The Leadership Handbook (John C. Maxwell)

Humble Roots (Hannah Anderson)

The Rest of God (Mark Buchanan)

The Broken Way (Ann Voskamp)

Wonder (R.J. Palacio)

Unashamed (Christine Caine)

The Complete 101 Collection (John C. Maxwell)

No More Faking Fine (Esther Fleece)

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … And Maybe the World (William McRaven)

Grace, Not Perfection (Emily Ley)

A Portrait of Emily Price (Katherine Reay)

Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God (David McCasland)

5 Levels of Leadership (John C. Maxwell) – reading again!

Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Burford (J. Belinda Yandell)

At Home in the World (Tsh Oxenreider)

A More Beautiful Question (Warren Berger)

The Little Big Things (Tom Peters)

With this list of 34, I have plenty of room to add books recommended by friends, at conferences, and those I hear about on podcasts.  It’s going to be a great year of book-reading!!

So, what about you?  What books are you planning to read in the upcoming 12 months?
What would you suggest that I add to my list?

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through the links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Mid-January … Checking In!!

Mayhem fell off the wagon – what about you? For such a long time Mayhem has been making us nervously chuckle and gasp at the same time. By being a destructive force in someone’s life to show why we need insurance, he has been very creative in destroying cars and houses and lots more.

On the first day of this new year, he announced that he had a New Year’s resolution to not be destructive-Mayhem but to actually protect people from destruction. Being a lightning rod on the top of the house and a tennis ball hanging in the garage, he has been in security mode – that is, until last Monday night!  During a big football game he fell off the wagon … after he discovered that many others of us had as well.

So, what about you?
Are you still tracking with goals you firmly committed to when the year turned to a fresh start?
Have you fudged a bit?
Have you given up totally?

Let me just share with you that waiting for a brand new year is not necessary. Simply start today.
Seriously! Go back to what made you decide in the first place – what is your why? Now, get back to it.

Keep growing and stretching in 2018. You’ll be so very glad you didn’t give up!


Knowing is Good …

... but it is not enough!

There are zillions of great books, blogs, podcasts, conferences & coaches that we are learning from. So, why aren’t we all currently at a John Maxwell status??

If only the reading and listening would get us there …
That’s a good start. It is not enough. And, it is certainly not the final step.

Learning from these great sources only develops our leadership when we turn it into some type of doing.

Want to lose weight?
–> Will reading books about weight loss make it happen?

Want a better marriage?
–> Will attending a couples conference create wedded bliss?

Want a new color on the walls in your living room?
–> Will talking with the Lowe’s guy give the room a new paint job?

Want to be financially free?
–> Will listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast clear up your debt?

That would be a big fat NO to all of those!!

Same is true with leadership. Let’s make use of our amazing resources. But, more importantly, let’s take that knowing and turn it into doing.

What is one very practical leadership lesson you will apply today?

Money Matters

Leading ourselves well (self-leadership) involves managing every aspect of our life in a deliberate manner. This includes our finances!

Randy & I recently spent time dreaming and planning for 2018 financial decisions. It’s fun to dream. And, it’s empowering to choose.

We are huge fans, followers, cheerleaders of Dave Ramsey and his no-nonsense, Biblical approach to handling money. His “live like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else” philosophy is nothing short of truth. His tried & true Baby Steps have helped millions get out of debt and live a life in which they are not enslaved to lendors.

If you tend to prefer things sugar-coated, I’m not sure Dave is your guy. If you are drowning in debt or have so much money you’re not sure how to spend it or anything between, Mr. Ramsey has very practical tips for you.

He preaches the “telling your money where to go before it leaves you” (budget) and other God-honoring truths. His lessons come in many forms. No matter where you are on the money-management spectrum, I highly recommend any/all of these:

This is not an affiliate post!!
Simply something I believe in and an area that leaders at all levels need to have a firm grip on.

All the Quirky Things

So, let’s get to know each other in 2018!!  Seriously.  Beyond the screens, emails and phone conversations are real people with real lives who have lots of stuff going on.

And, no doubt, we also have lots of interesting as well as quirky things about us.

Fridays over on the LWJ Facebook page, we’ll do RANDOM FACT FRIDAY!  I’ll share a tidbit about me.  You’ll likely laugh or shake your head … and then it’s #YourTurn to share something along the same lines in the comments.

Let’s have some fun with this.  Leadership stuff can be so serious and draining and sometimes just plain ‘ol exhausting.  Fridays will be our time to relax a bit and be reminded that behind the positions and titles, we’re just us!


... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

We should be forever curious.
Here are some great words from Dan Cathy.

Let’s toss this little quote around in our hearts & minds today!
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

These soaps.  Simply hilarious.
Enjoy this extra laugh on a potentially hectic-last-minute-details December day!!!



... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

A new podcast that I’ve just added to my regular personal growth.
The Leadership Momentum podcast is definitely worth your time to check out!

5 quick reminders/next steps toward becoming a better leader!

With January 1 just around the corner …

If you are in Children’s Ministry, there is a Christmas Party you’ll want to add to your calendar!!
Check out details for the Kidmin Nation Online Christmas Party … fun, prizes, and more …


... 4 quick leadership bits for your Friday ...

2018 dates announced!!
When are you planning to Take 5 in the upcoming year??

We all have meetings!
Do you attend some bad ones?
Do you LEAD some bad ones?? Take note.
Regardless of the side of the agenda you are on, these words may help.

Happy December!!
Enjoy these fun Christmas ideas …
… with kids in your life or ministry!!