Monthly Archives: August 2011

Straw poll means little

Our twenty-four hour news cycle is a mammoth beast that needs constant feeding. That’s why the cable networks and political pundits have turned what was once an innocuous fun little straw poll in Ames, IA into some “do or die” genuine test.

Michelle Bachmann won Saturday’s straw poll…good for her. But does it really mean anything?

It must to Tim Pawlenty, who has decided to leave the GOP race. However, historically only George W. Bush took winning in the straw poll and converted it to a win in the Iowa caucus, the nomination, and subsequent win of the White House. Otherwise, it’s been a horrible predictor of final outcomes.

There’s no doubt that Bachmann is running a good campaign. But if she’s thinks that what the Hawkeye elites had to say means much, she should heed the warning from one of the Three Little Pigs, who built his house made of straw…and we all know how that one turned out.

GLS 2011: Getting Naked: The Importance of Vulnerability in Service – Patrick Lencioni

It about the power of vulnerability – we manifest humility by being vulnerable.

Vulnerability: liable to increased penalties but

Pain and suffering and discomfort and sacrifice is so countercultural.

Three fears that keep us from being vulnerable – Naked Service:

  1. Fear of Losing the Business (of being rejected)
    • Enter the danger
    • Speak the kind truth – terminal niceness in churches
    • You will not always get rewarded for it
  2. Fear of Being Embarrassed
    • We have to ask questions and make suggestions
    • Trust comes from helping them even if makes you look dumb
    • Celebrate our mistakes
  3. Fear of Feeling Inferior
    • When we take a lower position – we do the dirty work
    • Genuine desire to serve you
    • Honoring your clients work – be so interested in them

We are called to vulnerable because the one who called us was the most vulnerable and humble of them all.

GLS 2011: Humilitas – John Dickson

Humility is not humiliation, or low self-esteem. It’s the noble choice to forgo your status and use your influence for the good of others before yourself. The ability to hold power for the good of others.

Five reasons for cultivating humility in your personal life and dealings:

  1. Humility is common-sense
    • None of us is an expert on everything
    • Expertise in one area counts for little in another
  2. Humility is beautiful
    • We are more attracted to the great and humble than the great who know it too
    • A humility revolution took place in the middle of the first century under the teachings of Jesus.
    • Western culture has been profoundly shaped by the cross of Christ…the cross changed everything.
  3. Humility is generative
    • It generates new knowledge, and new abilities
    • Humble place is the place of learning
    • It’s flourishing
  4. Humility is persuasive
    • Ethos – the character of the persuader
    • The most believable person in the world is the one who has your best interest at heart
  5. Humility is inspiring
    • Leaders normally have four tools (ability, authority, character, persuasion)
    • Some of the most inspiring leaders in history had no authority, but character and persuasion
    • You don’t need the keys to the kingdom to impact the kingdom

Humility is not just another leadership technique, but the humble life is a life in touch with reality.

GLS 2011: The Evil, The Foolish, The Wise – Dr. Henry Cloud

“This Guy…I don’t what to do with!”

Wherever you are, God has called you to be a steward over a vision, for the specific reason for changing something. Are you going to allow “This Guy” to stop your vision, robs your joy, and could have the power to stop an entire mission.

What does a person do when the truth comes to them? What is reality?

Feedback is not easy to hear sometimes. But sometimes the feedback is not so good either.

If you are a kind and responsible leader, you take feedback and adjust. And you think other people are like you, but they are not. You cannot deal with every person you lead the same; recognize who you are talking to.

Bible says there are three types of people (we actually have all of these in us):


  • Light -> Adjusts themselves
  • Truth -> Change
  • When confronted you get smile, a thank you
  • Strategies
    • Talk
    • Coach
    • Resource them
  • Challenges
    • Make sure they are a match for what you need
    • Good feedback and coaching
    • Keep them challenged appropriately


  • They may be the brightest, gifted
  • Light -> adjust the light
  • Truth -> change the truth
  • Shoot the messenger
  • When confronted they are not happy and get angry and triangulate
  • They do not own it, generate hopelessness
  • Strategies
    • Stop talking
    • Limit my exposure
    • What will we do if I do it and we don’t get results – consequences
    • Fools change when they live in the structure and reality
  • Challenges
    • Limit exposure
    • Make consequences clear
    • Give a choice
    • Follow through


  • Destruction is in their hearts
  • Want to inflict pain
  • Strategies
    • Lawyers
    • Guns
    • Money

GLS 2011: Students First – Michelle Rhee

The children of DC deserved better and the poor performance would not happen on her watch. Rhee loved her job.

The hardest job is to be an effective teacher. In three years her class went from 13% kids proficient in reading and math to 90%.

Biggest myth: weren’t enough teachers who want to teach in tough areas. Real problem: how the school district operated, meaning best candidates never got hired.

When DC schools were taken over by the mayor, Rhee was asked to take the chancellor job. She said no several times, but the mayor willing to sacrifice his whole career convinced her to take the job.

In DC almost everything was broken. Kids started off in Kindergarten ok, but the longer they stayed in the schools, the worse they got. Huge level of disfunction in this district.

Core focus: human capital. The way we can have most impact was to have a teacher in front of every class and a principal at every school.

Try to create a culture that thought about every child and family as our own.

Wanted teachers:

  • who have snap – classroom awareness, magical performance
  • Value-add – kids are growing, educators accountable for kids performance

Much rather deal with anger than apathy.

Do I need to do a revolution or an incremental strategy?

  • Not an incremental girl…could make change fast enough.
  • Never heard a parent in the district say, “you’re moving too fast”

The education agenda has been driven by special interest groups. There is no group advocating for kids, she started an organization called Students First, a movement of ordinary people bringing to bear influence.

GLS 2011: Tough Callings – Bill Hybels, Wes Stafford, Mama Maggie Groban

This was a moving, emotional, and challenging session.

What if we were called to work that didn’t grow and succeed. Can we confront the suddenly addictive narcotic of growth and success.


  • Under communism the church was forced underground, pastors beaten and thrown into prison
  • during the oppression the church grew five fold


  • Stephen’s Children – food and care for children of the garbage dumps of Cairo
  • We don’t choose where to be born, but we do choose to be sinners or saint

Forgiveness is between you and God.

Among the poor the Creator is hidden, there is mystery.

Have a pure heart and get to know the Almighty.

Our secrets in silence:

Silent your body to listen to words

Silent your togne to listen to your thoughts

Silent your thought to listen to your heart beating

Silent your heart to listen to your spirit

Silent your spirit to listen to His spirit.

In silence you leave many to be with the One.


As a young man, Jeremiah is called to speak to God’s people, warning them if they didn’t change, they would be taken over by another force.

The people did not respond, Jeremiah failed and the people are overrun.

Our world is broken and getting worse. The fixes will not be easy or short-term. God is looking for strong-shouldered leaders who will be available.

There’s something wrong in the community you live in, and you can take some of your leadership and take that tough calling.

GLS 2011: Audacious Faith – Steven Furtick

Anything that is written in God’s Word is possible for you.

Audacious Faith: being in God to do the impossible.

2 Kings 3:9-20 – Elisha dripping with Awesome Sauce

We can position ourselves and get great training…but only God can make it rain. After we’ve done all we can do, we need God to intervene.

If all you have is a few good ideas doesn’t make you a visionary, it makes you a day dreamer.

Ask God to give you the faith to get started.

If you want to see the land filled with water…dig some ditch. By being here we are preparing for God to work.

Audacity has a lot of ambiguity to it. We get frustrated because we compare our behind-the-scenes to somebody’s highlight reel.

If you will dig the ditches, God will send the rain.

Don’t just dig a little ditch, but make this valley full of ditches.