I believe one of the greatest missing components in the lives of believers today is Leadership. Sadly, when we turn on our TV’s, radios, and web-browsers, we aren’t hearing many stories of great leadership in action. We don’t hear about people pouring out their lives to serve others and we don’t hear about many leaders who are honest and keep their word. Even in our own political system. With these kinds of public examples, it’s no wonder there is a crisis in leadership.
That’s why I want to give my life to serve Christian leaders by helping them understand what real Leadership looks like and to provide the best Leadership Program on the planet. If we can sow this into the lives of young, upcoming leaders, we can transform their lives. They’ll build more effective ministries to the poor, better churches and stronger families.
The 1st lesson of leadership is difficult for most people because it requires DEEP work and takes a huge investment of time. It’s the lesson of learning to Lead Yourself. Currently, I’m developing an entire course on this with the Adventures staff in Georgia. It’s been a privilege to serve these leaders every month as I’ve flown into HQs to deliver the training.
I recently taught a World Race Expedition team for a week of intense leadership training here in Barcelona. We are experimenting with teaching leadership to Racers at the beginning of their trip so by the end, they have a clear idea of what God is calling them to do (the vision), and a clear strategy on who to execute that vision.
World Racer Amanda LaRue captured great notes on our time together. You can see them in full here: http://larue.theworldrace.org/post/a-call-to-excellence
Just to highlight a few:
Great leadership starts with leading yourself. You can’t expect to lead anyone well if you yourself do not practice mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual disciplines.
Intention is the mother of mastery.
What you do each day is a micro-cosm of the rest of your life.
You teach your brain what to do and how to think (scientifically referred to as neuroplasticity).
Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated.
It takes not 21 but 66 days to create a habit.
Your attitude will determine your altitude.
We all face the choice of slow death or deep change.
A victim finds an excuse; a leader / learner / world changer finds a reason to change. (S)he says, “I don’t like the situation, so instead of complaining or trying to justify myself, I’m going to acquire a new skill in order to change myself and my situation.”
This last point was super-interesting. Our leadership coach explained that our world is built upon negativity, and that whether we know it or not, our words have immense power. Our brains generate 40,000-60,000 thoughts every day via an internal messaging system, and ~90% of these thoughts are subconscious. Of those subconscious thoughts, 80% are negative. Research shows that a ratio of 3 positive thoughts to every 1 negative thought is the balance that keeps us feeling healthy; a 2:1 ratio is “languishing,” and a 1:1 ratio is associated with chronic depression.
So how do we think more positively? Our coach gave us a few strategies:
Be intentional about encouraging others, especially by saying “I believe in you,” which is the most meaningful encouragement we can receive.
Help each other guard their tongues to break and prevent strongholds of negative thoughts. Criticism is contagious. Negativity spreads. Guard your own tongue, and help to guard others’ by cutting off complaining.
Practice positive self talk with phrases like “I’m blessed,” “I’m a daughter/son of the King,” and “Whatever we ask in Jesus’ name will happen.”
Please pray for us as we continue to develop these resources! As a father of teenagers and someone who loves this generation, I cannot think of a better way to invest my time and talent.
Your prayers and support mean the world to us. We love you all! ~ Tom, Emily, Hayden, Gideon, Scotlyn, Lilly, and Hudson.