Don’t Make Your People Pay

Every Monday, we hope to write a post that motivates you to think throughout the week. Today’s post is focused on Vision.

“Don’t make your people pay because you’re so fired up about the vision.” – Bill Hybels

Do you ever get fired up about a vision? Most leaders do and there is nothing wrong with getting fired up. But you cannot forget the people around you when you do.

Vision doesn’t go anywhere without your team. It takes a team that loves, prays and supports you to get the vision “from here to there.” So, how do you make sure you are aware of your team when you get fired up about the vision? Here are three ways that can help you:

Stop and Listen. When we get fired up, we tend to only hear our own voice. How do you know that your vision is pure or right for the organization? Be intentional about stopping and listening. If you do this, you are now opening your ears to hear how your team really feels. Are they on board with you? Do they get it? You may find that you need to start vision casting vs. driving decisions. Don’t make your team work towards your own vision, make sure its a team driven vision.

Your ideas are not the only ideas. Ouch. You may fall into this a lot more than you think. If you are so fired up about your vision, you’ll get ideas of how to get there. Just remember, you can’t get there alone. Others ideas may be the right ideas.

Be willing to try, but also be willing to fail. Once your team is on board with the vision and ideas, build a culture where trying and failing is accepted. This start with the senior leader. Lead by example and try something new. Give it a shot and learn from it. If you are willing to do this, your team will follow suit. The more willingness there is to try, the more likely your team will passionately find the path to pursuing the vision.

Be passionate for a vision, but don’t destroy your team pursuing it.

What do you think? How else can you protect yourself from getting fired up about the vision and hurting your team? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

10 Ways to Rise Up After Screwing Up

Post from Leadership Freak.

Everyone who tries fails.

Growth happens when you fail and own it, not until. Everyone who blames stays the same.

The price of greatness is responsibility.

Taking responsibility sets leaders apart from the pack. Don’t be a martyr or a blamer. Just own it.

10 ways to rise up after screwing up:

  1. Own it or you’ll repeat it. Any failure you fail to own returns like a nagging pimple.
  2. Be proactive. Take charge of your failure before someone else does.
  3. Look at your performance through the eyes of a high-performer. How did you do?
  4. Explore how your failure impacts others. People trusted you.
  5. Evaluate expectations. How was success defined? Was there clarity?
  6. Focus on performance. Don’t make it personal. Lift yourself up. Don’t beat yourself down.
  7. Say three sentences after failure:
    • I learned to …
    • I learned not to …
    • Next time I’ll …
  8. Answer the temptation to make excuses with accountability.
  9. Address recurring failure with systems. Create a checklist, for example.
  10. Delegate your weakness to someone else’s strength. Stay in your sweetspot as much as possible.

Bonus: Create a win quickly. Elevate your status and fuel positive energy by setting new goals and reaching them, publicly.

Strong leaders take responsibility; weak blame.

Excuse me:

No excuses. No blaming.

  1. Excuse making validates a disappointing past.
  2. Excuse making drags failure into the present.
  3. Excuse making is another way of saying don’t change anything.

Hiding behind the failure of others makes you smaller than the people you hide behind.

Fear of failure:

The right amount of fear contributes to success. You don’t want to be embarrassed, disappoint yourself or others.

Fear of failure is concern for reputation.

Show me someone who doesn’t fear failure, at least a little, and I’ll show you a failure.

How can leaders rise up after screwing up?

How do you maximize mistakes?

View original post HERE.

Your Choices Really Do Matter

Every Monday, we hope to write a post that motivates you to think throughout the week. Today’s post is by Scott Williams. He gives great thought on how we should think about our choices.

“Every choice that you make has significance.

Every decision that you make will lead you to a different crossroads.

Don’t take your ability to choose for granted.

Don’t overlook the beauty of being able to breathe.

Don’t put your dreams on the back-burner.

Don’t give your loved ones second best.

Your choices really do matter.

Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself this question:

Do I really like the choices that I’m making.

Your Choices Really Do Matter.”

View original post HERE.

Time Management God’s Way: What’s on Your To-Don’t List?

Post by Craig Groeschel from the Huffington Post

I was in a restaurant recently when I glanced over and noticed a family of four at another table, each person’s head bowed. I thought, “Oh, they’re praying together before their meal.” But when I happened to look back later, they were still looking down. Suddenly I realized: They weren’t praying. They were all typing into their phones! They were oblivious to one another, each person connecting with people who weren’t even there. Maybe you’ve seen the same thing, perhaps even in your own family.

With always-on access to global news, information and even to other people, it’s normal (even easy) for us to lose focus on the world right in front of us. When we’re constantly flipping channels, we start treating our attention like currency, careful not to spend it all in one place. Just as a look in your checkbook can reveal what you truly value, honestly assessing your daily activities and interactions can show you which things (and people) you really care about.

My wife Amy helped me see this in my own life. For years it was normal for me to only half-listen at home. Occasionally she would ask, “Are you listening to me?” I’d respond with a relationship survival skill I had adapted: I’d repeat back to her the last several words she had just said. But we both knew I wasn’t giving my undivided attention.

Then one day she asked me a very different question. She calmly explained, “You have a lot going on with the church. I’ll always support you. But when you’re with our family, can you be all here?” Her request was perfectly fair and reasonable.

Wherever you are, be all there.

That one tiny idea radically transformed the way I now conduct my everyday life. It immediately strengthened my relationships and, over time, even improved my capacity to make tough decisions. In the cloud of endless to-dos where most of us live, our minds are so cluttered that we overlook the joy just in being alive today. Be honest: Even as you’re reading this article, do your thoughts keep trying to wander to everything else happening in your life?

In our culture, that’s normal. Normal people are distracted, rarely fully present. We all have to fight getting pulled into the orbit of that constant gravity of busyness. Urgent tasks and priorities desperately cry out for our attention. Maybe it’s a chicken-or-egg situation, but I believe all that noise harms our well-being more than the legitimate stress of all the things we actually “have to do.” If you want to be different, you have to live differently. Weird people learn to silence distractions and remain fully in the moment.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15-16). To leverage that advice when we make decisions, we need to answer: What is the wise thing to do in this situation? And what would it mean to “make the most” of this particular opportunity?

Christ had to make difficult decisions about how he would spend his limited time on earth. His example has a lot to teach us. But we have to take the time to discover what things are important to God by reading the words he gave us. We must also invest time meditating on what those things mean in our everyday lives. Then, the next time the chaos of urgency tries to dictate your next action, you can press pause. Having already thought about which things are most important, you’ll be able to make intentional decisions. (Urgent does not necessarily equal important.) Even if a decision carries you another step forward, it’s not progress if it leads you away from where you actually want to go.

In another letter from Paul, in Colossians 3:17, he suggested, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” When I focus on the things I believe are important to God, I live differently. I don’t make decisions based on my feelings, insecurities or selfish ambitions. Instead, I tend to favor others who have greater need. The conversations I have lend themselves to deeper, intimate connections — not simple, superficial information exchanges. “Did you go by the cleaners?” gives way to genuine care: “So, how was your day?”

Just as important as your to-do list — and perhaps more important — what’s on your to-don’t list? When you focus on the purposes you believe God created you for, you’ll have the stability to say no to some good things. And that will give you the space to be able say yes to the best things when they present themselves. Rather than just reacting to the waves of things that come, you can ride them with deliberate intention.

James 4:14 reminds us, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” We can’t have more time, but we can live with a greater awareness of the limited time we do have. Every opportunity that arrives on your doorstep will require some decision. If you’ve already decided what you value, you can fully enjoy each moment, secure that you’re living the life you want. God gives us an amazing present every day. Normal people leave this gift unwrapped, unrealized, unappreciated, and it’s gone before they know it. Weird people know there’s no time like the present.

View the original post HERE

Summit Breakfast with Chestor Elton

summitbfast_eltonAre you in the Chicago area? Join us for Summit Breakfast with Chestor Elton!

How do leaders make work more rewarding for their employees to accelerate business results? Called the “apostle of appreciation” by The Globe and Mail, and “creative and refreshing” by The New York Times, bestselling leadership author Chester Elton addresses this question and many others in his energetic and information packed talks. Passionate about helping clients build a better workplace, Elton speaks around the world to companies such as Avis, Pepsi, and American Express.

Elton and his writing and business partner Adrian Gostick are the authors of What Motivates Me, All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results; The Carrot Principle; and The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform An Entire Organization. Their books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold over a million copies worldwide.

Elton is #12 on the 30 top leadership gurus of 2013, he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company magazine, and The New York Times, and has been a guest on CNN, 60 Minutes, MSNBC, FOX News, National Public Radio. He is a LinkedIn Influencer and has a weekly segment on how to build a better workplace on WCBS News Radio in New York.

He has spoken to audiences around the world and was the highest rated speaker at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference. He also serves as a leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, Avis Budget Group, and Cigna. He is most proud, however, to be the father of four exceptional children—all the more exceptional now they have grown and left home.

Sign up for a breakfast presentation with Chester Elton today!

When: January 14, 2015
Time: 7:30 AM
Location: Willow Creek Community Church, Blue Sky 1
Cost: $10

Grabbing the Reigns

The following is an excerpt from Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels. The book is now available wherever books are sold. Visit to learn more, download a free chapter, and purchase your copy!

Often when people describe their too-busy lives, they make it sound as if the over-scheduling happened to them unwittingly, like they had no choice in the matter. “It’s not my fault. It’s my boss’s fault. It’s my family’s fault. It’s my teammate’s fault.” They truly believe they are mere victims of the very responsibilities and commitments they said yes to.

News flash: You are the boss of your schedule. It’s your responsibility to keep command of your calendar—and you must, in order to simplify your life.

Many people I know are doing the best they can to control the mayhem. Yet despite their valiant efforts, their lives show little change. No doubt you, too, have tried to simplify your overscheduled life. You bought a new planner. You installed a new calendar app on your phone. You attended a time-management class or listened to an audiobook about being more organized. You even managed to sync your work calendar with your home calendar, trying to corral everything into one system, hoping this would solve the problem. But reshuffling the same deck of cards will faithfully deal you the same too-busy hand.

What if you could grab the reins of your runaway calendar? What if you could turn your schedule into a powerful tool to help you live out your endgame priorities?

A simplified life begins with well-invested hours each day. You can harness the true power of your calendar by filling in each square holistically, creating room for both the outward activities and inner priorities in your life. Your calendar is more than merely an organizer for what needs to get done; it’s the primary tool for helping you become who you want to become.

Summit Host Site Wins “Give Back Challenge”

Summit Host site New Covenant Church in Clyde NC has won the Ty Pennington Give Back Challenge.

Summit Field Team Member Dave Wright, had a chance to visit with Senior Pastor Nick Honerkamp last week and had a tour of the prison they are turning into a half-way house, soup kitchen and shelter for the homeless. Pastor Nick put together a team of folks from the community including the Sherriff and won $50,000 for the renovation project. In a couple of weeks they will have a few hundred volunteers along with the “Give Back Folks” on site for the rebuild.

Congratulations New Covenant Church!! It is amazing to see Summit leaders impacting their communities and leading where they are.

Here is Pastor Nick’s video presentation to Ty Pennington,

7 Leadership Quotes from Truett Cathy

tc-at-restaurant (1)

Earlier this week we lost a leadership great, S. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-a.

Armed with a keen business sense, a work ethic forged during the Depression, and a personal and business philosophy based on biblical principles, Truett Cathy took a tiny Atlanta diner, originally called the Dwarf Grill, and transformed it into Chick-fil-A, the nation’s second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain with more than $4.1 billion in sales in 2011 and nearly 1,620 locations. His tremendous business success allowed Truett to pursue other passions – most notably his interest in the development of young people.

We honor his memory and leadership and share these 7 quotes from Truett:

1. “No goal is too high if we climb with care and confidence.”

2. “Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else – our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect anything in return.”

3. “I’d like to be remembered as one who kept my priorities in the right order. We live in a changing world, but we need to be reminded that the important things have not changed, and the important things will not change if we keep our priorities in proper order.”

4. “You have to be very careful about what you say. More importantly, you have to be very careful about what you do. You never know how or when you influence people – especially children.”

5. “It is when we stop doing our best work that our enthusiasm for the job wanes. We must motivate ourselves to do our very best, and by our example lead others to do their best as well.”

6. “I believe no amount of business school training or work experience can teach what is ultimately a matter of personal character. Businesses are not dishonest or greedy, people are. Thus, a business, successful or not, is merely a reflection of the character of its leadership.”

7. “Loyalty of your people is a key to most any business success.”

You Know You Need A Sabbath When…

Post by Pete Scazzero

You know you need a Sabbath when:

  1. The only time you are alone is in the bathroom.
  2. It takes you over thirty minutes to fall asleep because your mind is racing about things you forgot to do.
  3. You think rest is standing still in traffic.
  4. You go to check your e-mail for a moment and are still there an hour later.
  5. You cannot remember anything you ate the last 3 days.
  6. You drove upstate for an hour and had so much on your mind that when you arrived, you are not sure how you got there.
  7. You don’t know what day it is.
  8. You find yourself jealous and angry when someone else is enjoying life.
  9. When you can’t remember the last time you sat down to eat breakfast
  10. When you tweet during movie, text during dinner, read e mail during meetings and classes, and learn about your spouse’s day from Facebook.

Sabbath is as countercultural, radical and prophetic as it was 3500 years ago when God invited the Israelites to stop, rest, delight, and contemplative Him for one 24 hour period each week.  Listen to this free sermon I recently gave at New Life on “Sabbath: The Foundation of our Work” from Deuteronomy 5:12-15.

Pete_Scazzero_web-300x200Pete is the Founder and Teaching Pastor/Pastor at Large at New Life Fellowship Church, a large, multiracial, international church with seventy-three countries represented. Pete is the author of two best-selling books: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Nelson, 2006) and The Emotionally Healthy Church (Zondervan, 2010). Connect with Pete on Twitter @PeteScazzero and find out more about Emotionally Healthy Spirituality at

Symptoms of the False Self

Post by Pete Scazzero

In my sermon yesterday at New Life, I preached on “Listening to the Small Screen” out of Colossians 3:9-14. God calls us out of living a “pretend life” that accumulates as layers over us as a result of our families of origin and our culture. To find love, value, and worth, we often become people God never intended. Part of the gift of salvation in Christ is a deliverance from our false selves into our true selves in Christ, living out our unique “sealed orders” from Him.

Paul calls us “not to lie to one another” (Col. 3:9) which can be translated, “Don’t be false with one another.”  The following is the brief assessment I shared during the message.

The degree to which we are living out of our false, or pretend, self exists on a continuum that ranges from mild to severe.  We are all in process, including myself. Use the simple assessment below to get an idea of where you fall on the continuum. Note each one that describes you.

False Self-Assessment

  1. I am reluctant to admit my weaknesses and flaws to others.
  2. I look for the approval of others more than I should
  3. I am highly “offendable” and defensive when people criticize me.
  4. I often become harsh and impatient when things are moving too slowly or my expectations are not met.
  5. I say “yes’ when I would rather say “no”.
  6. I beat myself up when I make mistakes.
  7. I have difficulty speaking up when I disagree or prefer something different.
  8. I have a number of people I am struggling to forgive.
  9. My fears often cause me to play it safe “just in case.”
  10. My body is more often in a state of tension and stress than relaxed.

If you checked two or three statements, you may be living out of your false self at times. If you checked four to five, you probably have a moderate case of pretending to be somebody you are not. If you checked six or more, you want to receive this as a gentle wake up call to a deeper journey with Jesus!

Pete_Scazzero_web-300x200Pete is the Founder and Teaching Pastor/Pastor at Large at New Life Fellowship Church, a large, multiracial, international church with seventy-three countries represented. Pete is the author of two best-selling books: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Nelson, 2006) and The Emotionally Healthy Church (Zondervan, 2010). Connect with Pete on Twitter @PeteScazzero and find out more about Emotionally Healthy Spirituality at