Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice
Originally uploaded by ryanhartsock.

This morning driving home from grabbing our Saturday Starbucks, the sun decided to put on quite the show with the icy finger of the trees. It made for a beautiful spectacle.


Leadership is not a popularity contest

"I am again learning the painful lesson that it’s almost impossible to lead people without offending someone." - Tony Morgan



High Performance Teams

I love listening to podcasts while I workout in the morning...a little mini-coaching session. Last night I found a leadership podcast hosted by Andy Stanley whom I greatly admire and respect. He talked about high performance teams and here are some of the nuggets I took away and will be implementing ASAP with my teams.

Not goals...what won't happen if we don't do what God has called us to do? What problem in teens and culture won't be solved if we don't do what we do? What is the problem we as an organization are here to solve?

- This gives us reason to exist
- Gives us passion for what we do
- Teams dissolve when the problems are all solved
- One start is creating RELEVANT spiritual environments for teens
- Clarify the WIN! What is the win for us as an organization and in your areas?

"A clear, common compelling task that is important to the individual team member is the single most important thing for team building." Pat McMillian

Not just the RIGHT solution but the AGREED upon solution. This takes time...maybe even a lot of time.

- Agreement necessitates unfiltered debate
- I can't concede my point until you have heard me out so we can all emotionally
engage/own the idea, vision, and goals.
- People have to buy in before they pitch in with their whole heart

"Only when everyone has put their opinions and perspectives on the table can a team confidently move forward because it has tapped into the collective wisdom of the team" Patrick Lenconi

ASK:: What is the solution to the problem we have defined?

- Every team member needs to know exactly what's expected of them
- One-sentence job description for everyone...if all else fails, this is your role in the

Create an expanding network of small groups.
Create a compelling worship experience.


An equation for change

C = D * V * F > R
Change (C) happens when your dissatisfaction (D) is multiplied by a vision (V) of what can be and by first steps (F) in the right direction to a high enough level to overcome the natural resistance (R) to the desired change.


According to Dr. Phil

Well, crap! My New Year's was just rained on by Dr. Phil's personality test on Face Book. According to him:

You're a vain, self-centered Leader
Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

Getting alone...

"When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship— when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.

As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul. The sorrows and difficulties in the lives of others will be absolutely confusing to you. We think we understand another person’s struggle until God reveals the same shortcomings in our lives.

Are we alone with Him now? Or are we more concerned with our own ideas, friendships, and cares for our bodies? Jesus cannot teach us anything until we quiet all our intellectual questions and get alone with Him." (Oswald Chambers)

As I make my annual resolutions and goals for this year, it is easy to get caught up in so much other than the truly important...time with God. As my life becomes increasingly busy with a new job, a new kid on the way, 2 zany boys, and a beautiful wife...time alone becomes something I have to be very intentional about. I think about times in my life when I have ventured into the supposed loneliness of solitude...backpacking, walking, running, listening to music. Those times have been indelibly marked in my mind as moments of significance.

This Sunday at church our pastor, Ben, talked about some key principles to live by this new year that I plan to embrace: abandon annually, measure monthly, withdraw weekly, divert daily. This plan should help me make sure I find the space for solitude this new year.