Just a quick update. I'm in the Boise Airport (they now have free wireless!) and getting ready to hop a plane to Indianapolis.
The Oregon Pacific Sr High Camp went great. It was a super group of teenagers and staff. Plus, the quality time with my daughter was worth every moment.
Now I'm off to do some youth ministry training at the General Convention for the Church of the Nazarene. Should be a fun time. I will be better connected to the web and hopefully will add a few posts while I'm away.
One cool part of camp was having a young lady who was on staff come up to me and tell me that she read my blog. I don't know how she found it, but she is a consistent reader! Wow...the power of blogging crosses state lines.
I leave bright and early in the morning for Sisters, Oregon. I'll be speaking at the Oregon Pacific Senior High Camp at Camp Davidson. It should be a great week.
One of the things that I'm looking forward to the most is taking my oldest daughter, Victoria, with me. This will give us a great chance to hang out together for a WHOLE five days....just the two of us.
I'm also looking forward to trying out one of the cool golf courses in or near Sisters. I promised Victoria that she could drive the cart!
The trip may mean that I can't stay close to the blogosphere. Hopefully, I can find a way to connect throughout the week.
Just down the street from my house a barn caught fire. This probably happened as a result of them stockpiling wet hay. When you pile hay or alfalfa when it's wet, it can build up heat in the center, then burst into flames.
Sad. I hope there were no animals in there. Or anything that couldn't be replaced.
What kinds of things do you have in your life that can't be replaced?
What would hurt the most if you lost it...or them?
I love bullet points. Short precise factoids that I can easily wrap my small brain around.
I am wary of formulas. Three step processes that guarantee success if you follow them like a Betty Crocker recipe. But that's what a lot of self-help material seems to offer...formulas. That's not to say there isn't a wealth of valuable information contained in many of these offerings. There are definitely principles that we can learn and apply that will move us in some right directions. But it's dangerous to think that some day, life will work out just fine if I can find and follow the right formula.
Life is not three steps to success. Life is messy. Life is uncertain. Life happens differently to different people. So when you're tempted to take someone else's formula and apply it to your own life...be careful. Here's why (see...bullet points!!):
Nobody will listen to you unless they know that you like them.
Of course, you may hold some kind of position of authority and can demand that people listen to you. But they will only listen and do what they have to. Nothing more.
When people know that you like them, they will not only listen to you, they will help you. When people know that you like them, they will see that you are trying to motivate them and not manipulate them.
Many in leadership positions are tempted to ask the question, Do people like me? before they ask the question Do I like them?
The first question seeks to gauge one's popularity. The second seeks to gauge one's motives. It may be an oft-used slogan, but it still rings true: People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Terry Storch has a straight-to-the-point post about the key to implementation...just do it! Terry writes:
I get sick and tired of talking to young leaders and hearing them talking about a certain strategy or plan to move up within their organization. Or, a certain group of young leaders that are waiting on something to change, or something to fall perfectly into place before they start acting or doing what needs to be done. Stop focusing on planning, strategies, manipulation, reorganization, or whatever and just do it.
Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks in
life execution is to go from dreaming to doing. Execute! Execute! Execute!
You can't just take a student to a conference and put a polo on them that says "student leader" and think that you've done your part in developing a leader out of that person. Those things may be part of the process but they don't define the extent of it.
That's why I wrote this short ebook, The Heart of Spiritual Student Leadership. To discuss what kinds of things we need to be investing in our students if we want them to develop into effective leaders. Especially spiritual ones.
It's FREE. It's relevant. It will make the world a better place.
Make a Difference Mindset Todd was a student leader whose key role was to help develop a sense of community within his school. One day, he saw a fellow student running down the road chasing after a person on a bike. He called out to him and asked him what he was doing.
“Why are you chasing that guy? What did he do, steal something from you?"
“Yeah, my bike!” his friend yelled back, in between breaths.
Todd found out later that there had been a few bikes stolen at their school. Students were complaining because there was no safe place to lock up their bicycles. So Todd went to work and got his student government to allocate some funding to purchase secure bike racks next to campus buildings. He also worked with the campus security to inform students how to properly lock up their bikes and bring greater awareness of the issue to the whole campus. As a result of all of his efforts, no bikes were stolen off of their school campus for the remainder of the school year.
PRESENT >> [ “space” ] << DESIRED FUTURE
The space between the present and the preferred future is where a difference maker fits. A difference is what it takes to change people’s lives. A difference is what turns an organization around. A difference is what one person can make.
Many times, it truly is just one person who is willing enough, strong enough, determined enough to step into that small space and make the difference needed.
I'm very tempted to move from Blogger (whom I've very happy with!!) to TypePad. If I do, I'll be moving from free to not free for my blog. But there are some features that TypePad offers that I'm trying to decide if it's worth the jump.
• Trackback feature: I know that I can get a third party add-on to Blogger to enable trackbacks, but I don't know if I want to jump through all the steps necessary to do that everytime. I'm discovering that trackbacks are a good way to let other people know that you're out there.
• Categories: This is one of the biggest temptations. Since my blog contains information that is useful for training purposes, categories would allow me to appropriately file my material.
• Greater Text Capability: With TypePad, I can add color and other features to my text.
Hmmm. I'm starting to lean toward TYPEPAD. Any suggestions?