... 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.


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!


... 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?


... 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 …

Which Category Are YOU In?

A friend is …
One way to categorize people in our lives, is with the following.
As you read each one, what names come to mind?
(don’t say them out loud …)
  1. Draining
  2. Neutral
  3. Replenishing
A draining person tends to suck the life right out of you.  When you see that person enter a room, the reaction is an instant heaviness and dread.  We try to avoid these people as often as we can.  You have some people in mind, right?
A neutral person is just that.  A person who provides some function in your life but doesn’t wear you out or give you energy.  You don’t think about them unless you are dealing with them directly and those situations are typically pleasant.
A replenishing person is life-giving.  When you see that person enter a room, the reaction is an instant lightened mood and excitement that is accompanied with a smile.  When spending time with these people, we realize that the minutes pass way too quickly and we look forward to the next time we are together.
Likely none of this is new for you!
So, here’s the question to ask yourself and the challenge to take away …
Which kind of friend am I?
How do people respond when I am the one walking into the room?
Am I met with dread or excitement?
Am I avoided or anticipated?
I think it’s fair to say that we would all love to be considered a Replenisher.
And, in that case, there are some practical things we can do to work  toward that.
  1. Smile.
  2. Be positive.
  3. Be sincerely interested in the other person.
  4. Ask good questions.
  5. Practice active listening in conversation.
  6. Avoid talking negatively about other people or situations.
  7. Remember details about the other person.
  8. Strive to add value to the other person.
  9. Give a hug.  (we ALL need more hugs!!)
  10. Send a quick, appreciative message after the encounter.
What else would you add?
Let’s determine that we will be the kind of friend that we most desire in others!

C is for …

#3. Confidence

(this post is part of a series … be sure to check out all the C words!)

Confidence in leadership (and life) reminds me of The 3 Bears!
Not too much.  Not too little.  Just the right amount.

Leaders absolutely cannot be completely dependent on opinions of others but neither can we completely ignore them.  We must find the balance of moving forward with our decisions while staying in tune with a listening ear.  God places others around us to help us but not to live our lives for us.

I like the quote from E.G. Stevens that says, “Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.”

Read This
Developing The Leader Within You (John C. Maxwell)

Ask These Questions
1. What am I most confident in regarding my leadership?
2. What area do I need to grow my confidence in?

Do This Today
Share the Stevens quote above with someone and chat about the implications for your current leadership.


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

It’s Black Friday!! DEALS!
Amazon has some great buys throughout the
weekend if you are choosing to avoid the crowds.

… a few great tips before hitting send on a text or email

Lifeway’s Ministry to Women resource is a great one to be familiar with!

Be sure to check out last week’s post on choices!!

This One is a NO

Sheryl Sandberg was on the faculty of The Global Leadership Summit 2017 and I thoroughly enjoyed her session which was an interview format pre-recorded with Bill Hybels.  Her personal story as well as her research on women in the workplace caused me to put her newest book toward the top of my reading list.
In Lean In, Sandberg “urges women to take risks and seek new challenges, to find work that they love, and to remain passionately engaged with it at the highest levels throughout their lives.” I love that and would echo the same.
Although I tremendously respect her research and her perspective, I discovered in the pages that her core beliefs do not reflect the life as a woman, a wife, a mom, or a leader that I am personally called to be. Many have and will continue to resonate with her words and her philosophies.  Even with that, I have determined to gain value and learn from the author by reading books that I don’t 100% agree with. But, this book was different for me.
I stopped reading it.  After the reference to “the little book of Porn for Women” and the f  word tossed in the middle of a page, I was done.  Overall, I received little value from the first half except to confirm that my rather traditional and old-fashioned ways are still for me and that I will continue following Scripture’s view on gender roles, so the decision to quit the book was easy! (In fact, I “returned” my audible.com book and got a credit back.  Yes, you can do that!!)
Please hear me: I’m not telling you not to read this book – your curiosity may get the best of you after this post! But, I’m not recommending it.  At. All!! There are way too many other excellent, time-worthy books to give attention to.

C is for …

#1. Choices

(this post is part of a series … be sure to check out all the C words!)

We get to make choices!!
How freeing is that??!?

In our various leadership roles in our organizations and homes, there are so many choices we have every single day.

We get to choose …

  • the food we put in our mouths
  • our moods
  • the clothes we wear
  • our responses
  • the tone of voice we use
  • our gratitude level
  • the affection that we show
  • our facial expressions
  • the appreciation that we give
  • our morning routine
  • the time we end our day & go to bed

… and the list goes on and on.  Life doesn’t happen to us.
Instead, we get to choose a zillion aspects of how life unfolds.

Now, it’s time to take action on this word that begins with C!!!

Read This
Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough (Kay Warren)

Ask These Questions
1. What have you been blaming on another person/situation that you actually have the ability to make choices about? What will you do about that?
2. What different choice will you make today in an effort to grow your leadership?

Do This Today
Tell someone you trust about a choice you made and why you went with that option.  Engage in a conversation about choices and the freedom that comes with the ability to choose.

I Proudly Carry

... and here's why ...

It’s true!
I’m the proud carrier of a brand new library card.
My first?  Not at all.  From the earliest I can remember, I had my very own library card that we used every single week … especially during the summer.  As a teacher, I ‘upgraded’ to a card that would allow me to check out twice the number of books for double the time.
Where did those cards go?  And, why?
I don’t know and I don’t know.  All I know is that within the last month, I have been pondering why I don’t access that amazing free resource.  The only answer I could think of was just plain laziness.
I scooted over to the library, went up to the desk and asked for a new card.  Come to find out I was still in their system.  Even though I had “dropped them” temporarily, they had not dropped me.  I felt special.  Ha!
Zero wait time. Out I came with my new card, new resources to tap into, a new place to settle in for several hours of work each week and new sense that I had gotten back to some sort of basic thing that I never should have left to begin with.
My card?  Well, the gal asked me if I wanted a business-look or something fun.
And, of course I chose FUN!!!!
What about you?  
Do you tap into all the offerings of your public library?
What other resources are at your fingertips that you could re-engage with?
I bet the person behind the counter at your local library would love to see you!!

C is for …

C is for CANDY!!  Peanut M&Ms, Jelly Bellies, Maple Nut Goodies, Almond Joy, Peach Rings … just about anything sweet will do, thank you very much.

As I’ve been listening to podcasts, reading books, engaging in meaningful conversations and pondering personal growth, it has struck me just how many important “C” words there are in leadership world.

Normally a “C” would represent average on a test or term paper.  What we will be exploring together is anything but average!  These words, if intentionally pursued and excelled at, will grow our leadership in A++ ways.

Ready for a challenge? (oh look, there’s one…)  This is going to be a fun series.

Come along.  It’s going to be a blast!!  And, bring the candy …


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

6 great questions to ask those you lead!!

If we did all the things we are capable of,
we would literally astound ourselves.

Thomas A. Edison

How many leadership words can you think of that start with the letter “C”?? There’s a series coming soon … stay tuned!!



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

Got people?
Here’s a great list of folks each of us need in our lives!

This Family Ministry guy is really great!
Check out Sam Luce and all his wisdom if you aren’t already familiar …


Do those negatives hang over you like a dark cloud?  Here’s some great encouragement!