Archive - May, 2011

OKC Thunder Fans Celebrate Victory


 

Yesterday I had to listen to 3/4 of the #OKC Thunder Game on the radio, as my boys had a track meet in Norman.  On the way home my boys asked if we could stop by the #OKC Arena and hang-out in Thunder alley for the last Quarter, so that’s what we did.

This video just catches a little bit of the atmosphere and post game celebration.  I told everyone months ago through Twitter and this blog that the #OKC Thunder were going to win the NBA Championship.  Many thought that I was crazy, well it looks like we are one step closer.

Let’s Go, Thunder Up!

After the Bulls kicked off the Eastern Conference Championship with a win last night, who do you have in the NBA Finals and who do you have winning the whole thing?

I have Thunder vs. Bulls and Thunder winning the Championship.

Secret To Kevin Durant’s Success

 
The Secret To Kevin Durant’s Success:  It’s What’s In His BackPack!

I digg this guy, his amazing talent and how he represents the City of Oklahoma City With Class.  I love that he begins every post-game interview by first “Thanking his Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.”

What’s in the backpack: iPad, Bible, Headphones & Phone Charger.  The Secret To His Success is The Bible & his relationship with Christ.

I got a chance to meet him and my boys were able to get this amazing picture below:



Thunder Up!

Should The Church Be Culturally Relevant?

Should The Church Be Culturally Relevant? This is a question that I hear often, as a matter of fact I received an e-mail from a friend, pastor and speaker who was recently defending this question with her peers.  She asked me my thoughts and my brief email response to the question is below:

It’s about being relevant and engaging culture.  The church must be relevant and understand that we live in an ever-changing and ever evolving culture, if we want to reach people for Christ.  The methods must change, but the message “the word” never changes.  Some of fastest growing and thriving churches have cultures that understand the concept and terminology culturally relevant.

One example of the importance of cultural relevance is the YouVersion Bible app. This app was created within the local church “LifeChurch.tv” with one purpose, leveraging technology to engage people in God’s word.  The app now has over 110 versions and is translated in over 40 languages.  Over 19 million people have downloaded the Bible App (3.5 million in the last 2 months).  Over 5 billions minutes have been read on a Bible that is not bound with paper.  This is a form of being culturally relevant and engaging people “where they are” which is on their mobile device.

This app can be viewed as important and historic as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, as it relates to people engaging in the Bible.  I would say a Bible Reading Revolution is one form of cultural relevance that outlines the importance of engaging people where they are.  The youversion Bible App was an easy one, but this applies to many other aspects of evangelism, style, worship, the church, sharing the Gospel and reaching people with the Good News of Jesus.

Dean William Inge says it this way, “A church that marries the spirit of an age, becomes the widow of the next generation.”

Those that argue that cultural relevance should not exist within the church; ministry and the body of Christ… are probably not culturally relevant.  The bottom line is that every church is culturally relevant, some are just relevant to a culture that has long past.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

Should The Church Be Culturally Relevant?

Chuck Taylor Leadership

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I’m riding down I-35 w/ a great group of guys on my way to Dallas to speak at the Dynamic Conference. I leave from Dallas in the morning headed to Baltimore to speak to pastors, denominational leaders tomorrow and Friday.

I decided to write a blogpost while riding and it is inspired by what’s in front of me at the moment. What’s in front of me is my Chuck Taylors and the road.

Chuck Taylor Leadership

Versatile: Chuck Taylor’s are the most versatile shoes around. You can dress them up or down, young or old… Chuck Taylor Leaders must be versatile, as versatility leads to productivity.

Variety: You can get Chuck Taylor’s in color or pattern imaginable, although each style and color is unique, they are all still Chuck Taylor’s. Leaders must be willing to embrace the variety and uniqueness of their team or followers. Just because they are different doesn’t mean they can’t be successful in your particular Chuck Taylor mold.

Likability: Everyone likes a good pair of Chuck Taylor’s and everyone likes a good leader.

I know this may be a stretch but I’m riding and this is all I got.

Share your thoughts on Chuck Taylor Leadership or Chuck Taylor’s in general.

Embrace The Criticism!

Criticism is a one of those words that seems to cut most people like a knife. Although the knife doesn’t seem as sharp when we put the word “constructive” in front of the word criticism, none-the-less the word still seems to pierce.

When I was growing up my mom would always tell me: “Son, you can’t control or worry about what other people say or think… you can only control what you say and what you do.”  Later on in life, as a young leader I had a mentor that would always say “If you’re doing something worthy of people taking shots at you, you better believe they will.  I would much rather have a leader that people don’t always understand and who are occasionally criticized, than a “leader” that no one ever talks about and likes to play it safe.”   I’ve  also heard a similar leadership phrase, “If you want to find the leader, look for the one with the arrow in their back!”

I tend to view criticism as neutral… “It Is What It Is!”  I prefer to “Eat The Meat and Spit Out The Bones!”  If you don’t want to be criticized, I have some advice for you: Say Nothing, Do Nothing & Be Nothing!” Find someone who has blazed a trail and you’ll find someone who has weathered a trail of criticism. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”   If you follow Emerson’s line of thought, be ready for the critics because Trailblazers Will Be Criticized!  Trailblazers must throw on their criticism embracing jackets daily and Embrace The Criticism!

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

Don’t find yourself hanging around in a place with those “Cold and Timid Souls” choose to Embrace The Criticism!

Why are there so many critics and why are so many people unwilling to Embrace The Criticism?

7 Leadership Lessons From Phil Jackson’s Coaching Career

I have always been a fan of Phil Jackson as a coach.  I have always admired his style and cool, calm collected nature as a coach.  He seems to know exactly when to sit, stand, call a timeout and maximize the productivity of his team.  Phil will go down as one of the best coaches of all-time in any sport.  It appears as though he just coached his last game,  according to Phil Jackson, “All my hopes and aspirations are, this is the final game that I’ll coach.”  He will exit with 11 Championships and not other professional coach will come close to that.

There is a lot to be learned about leadership from Phil Jackson’s coaching career and coaching style. 7 Leadership Lessons From Phil Jackson’s Coaching Career:

  • 1. Willingness To Coach The Best: Phil was willing to coach the best and show the best how to sin championships with a supporting cast.  He was able to win championships with Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal & Kobe Bryant.  He’s not scared of leading the best and great leaders want the best on their team.
  • 2. Win Without The Coach: Phil was able to prepare his teams in a manner that allowed them to believe in themselves and get it done without his direct supervision.  He taught his team how to play through long stretches without timeouts or his direct interaction.   He taught his players how to be great leaders and confident thinkers rather than just executors. Great leaders prepare teams to perform at a high-level, even in their absence.
  • 3. Mastered The 3-Peat: Phil was able to 3-Peat several times with several teams.  He not only won championships, but he did it again and again and again.  He 3-peated 3 times and the one time he didn’t 3-Peat he repeated.  He even said it in his closing press conference today that the thrill of chasing the “3-Peat” is always a great challenge.  Great leaders don’t want their teams to win, but rather win again and again.
  • 4. Masterful At Creating A Culture Of Winning: Creating a culture of winning comes with extreme give-and-take, strategy, encouragement and believing in those that you lead.  It requires taking the best basketball players on the globe and meshing them role players and players with quirky personalities like Dennis Rodman and Ron Artest.  He created cultures that made all players valuable and maximized potential in everyone.  He creates a culture of focused chemistry.  The number one priority in coaching and leading is to create a strong culture by developing leadership, empowerment, communication, authentic care for others, relationships, trust, and motivation.
  • 5. Cool, Calm and Collected: Phil Jackson was one of the most cool, calm and collected coaches in the game.  He would sit on the sidelines as cool as the other side of the pillow.  He always remained cool under pressure, which translated to his team taking on that same persona. Teams feed off of their leader, if their leader demonstrates a “we got this” mentality, it’s destined to rub off on the players.
  • 6. He Knows When It’s His Time: Phil is going to retire into the sunset of Montana and relax.  He stated that he has had a good 20 year run of coaching and now it’s time to give some of the younger coaches an opportunity.  Some leaders don’t know when their time has passed and they make it rough on an entire organization.
  • 7. Great At Selling His Leadership Style To Players: Phil’s style and triangle offense was not an easy sell.  He was able to elevate the importance of his unique style of coaching and offense to a place of relevance that the best players to ever play the game such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant bought into it.  If a leader has a style worth buying, team members will gladly buy it.  Phil Jackson never tried to be someone else, take it or leave it the “Zen Master” was the “Zen Master.”

Great leaders are more focussed with making those around them great.  Phil Jackson was a great coach and a great leader.  Kobe Bryant says it best in this quote, “He’s absolutely brilliant in bringing a group together to accomplish one common goal.”

Share your thoughts on any of these leadership lessons or things that you may have learned from Phil Jackson’s leadership/coaching style.

Christian Haters

Hater- A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.

A person that develops a strong dislike for another, solely basing their own opinion on personal judgment rather than objective merit.

My Thoughts On “Christian Haters” in the form of Run-On-Ranting-Sentence:

It always disturbs me to run across, read, see or hear the Christian Haters, you know the followers of Christ who always seem to point out the negative, claim their way is the only way, don’t like someone because they look a certain way, think a certain way, or if they don’t say certain words, or do a particular style of ministry or because they are too nice, or too candid or to this or too that, I had written a post over three years ago titled “Stop Hatin’ On Joel Osteen” and it was popular seem to brought out even more Christian Haters, even leaders hating on leaders, pastors hating on other pastors, denominations hating on other denominations, brothers and sisters in Christ hating on other brothers and sisters in Christ, hating simply for the sake of hating, love, love, love, yes love God, love people, it’s so much easier to hate than to give the benefit of the doubt and try to truly understand or assume the best, do your deal, run after God and don’t drink the hatorade, it will never quench your thirst, only leaving a desire for more hating.

God Is Love…

Walking or Standing?

I have been traveling quite a bit lately and I’m always amazed at the life and leadership lessons that I pick up while traveling.  The lessons come from observations, people watching, experiences and the list goes on and on.

The last time I was traveling I stepped on to one of those moving sidewalks (as seen in the picture that I took above).  This moving sidewalk has many names: travelator, horizontal escalator, walkalator, autowalk, movator or moving sidewalk.  Personally I like “Walkalator.”  I think it’s because the name took me back to my old school days with Warren G & “Regulator.”

I noticed there are two types of people that get on the “Walkalator,” those who stand and those who walk.  Whether you walk or stand the “Walkalator” is moving.  I prefer to get on the “Walkalator” and continue walking like I’m on a treadmill.

That’s the story of life:  The world is moving, changing and growing.  We have a choice, we can either stand or walk.  I choose to walk, I choose to move, I choose to grow, I choose to change.

Walk!

“For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A Pot Full Of Boiling Leaders

Have you ever heard the phrase “My Supervisor Is Holding Me Down!” or some variation of it?   Most of us have either heard that phrase or uttered it ourselves.  The reality is this phrase can definitely be a harsh reality and many times it’s unintentional.

I am a firm believer that an individual’s success within an organization is directly correlated to what their immediate supervisor thinks of them.  In other words, the supervisor can put a lid on, or take the lid off of an individuals success.  Ultimately leaving an employee’s success in the hands of the perception/reality of their supervisor.

I call this the Supervisor Lid Principle (SLP) and I have seen it in full effect throughout my various careers and even within sports teams.  This principle results in individuals failing, not performing and even faced with termination. These negative effects permeate until they’re placed under the tutelage of another supervisor, whom has a different set of lids or removes the lids altogether.

The most effective way to combat against (SLP) is to merely recognize that it exists.  Once you recognize that it exists you can begin to identify methods, strategies and techniques to remove the lids that your supervisor may have either inaccurately or unintentionally placed on you. Overall, the removal of those Supervisor Imposed Lids will inevitably allow you to be more effective and free.

Supervisors need to be aware of the unintentional or inaccurate lids they place on their employees.  Both supervisors and employees need to recognize that (SLP) is real.  Dear Mr. or Mrs Supervisor, if you want an employee to fly, free up their wings or rather remove their lids.  If you want your employees to struggle, fail, be tentative, second-guess themselves and not soar… keep putting your unnecessary, narcissistic and limiting lids on your people.

The organizations and supervisors that tend to “Hold Their People Down” must begin asking these questions:  Do I live with an abundance or scarcity mentality?  Do I operate by freedom or control?  Am I secure or insecure?  The answers to these questions and making the necessary adjustments is key to raising up a pot full of boiling leaders, that nobody can hold down.  Let em’ Boil and Let em’ Fly!

“In any organization, you will only be as successful as your supervisor thinks you are or allows you to be.

What Do You Think?

Play Like A Champion Today!

This video is of life lesson that I learned from Notre Dame.  It’s simple, it goes with my mantra dream BIG. think BIGGER. If we applied this to our lives we all be running around like Charlie Sheen (Not from the crazy perspective, but from the perspective of #winning).

Play Like A Champion Today…  Today is the operative word.

dream BIG. think BIGGER.

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