leadership


Bookshelf&business&leadership31 Dec 2014 12:25 pm

Game Changer – Kirk Cousins

So the season is over for the Washington Redskins and for Kirk Cousins, it was over a month or so early as he was pulled from action in lieu of Robert Griffin III and Colt McCoy. Oddly enough, I’ve read books about each of them in the past year or two also. But in reading GAME CHANGER, it is clear that Cousins is going to be okay, whether he’s benched or starting. He obviously strives to start and succeed in the NFL, but he lives with a purpose and vision beyond the gridiron lines, Gatorade showers, and screaming fans.

For such a young guy, he’s already experienced a lifetime of challenges, failures, and successes, as well as plenty of twists and turns along the way. However, through it all, Cousins keeps his focus on the bigger game plan. In GAME CHANGER, Cousins shares his journey, offers inspiration through his story, and passes along helpful advice for others, regardless of their current situation. This is a helpful book for younger readers – maybe 10-18 years old – looking for identity, success, and help along the way.

And hey, today is New Years Eve (as I write this), so what better time than the beginning of a new year to read through an inspiring tale to get you ready to tackle (pun intended) those resolutions in the coming months.

peace… love… bdg….

leadership&SPORTS24 Nov 2013 12:38 am

So, I was watching an episode of A FOOTBALL LIFE – a documentary series I’ve mentioned before – covering the life and career of Randall Cunningham. And, while the film was interesting based on its intended topic alone, something else stood out to me as I considered the glory days of the NFC East. It’s hard to imagine now, but in the late 80s and early 90s when I started paying attention to football, the power of the league was clearly with the Giants, Cowboys, Redskins, and Eagles (sort of). Now, this is one of the league’s worst divisions. So what’s changed? Coaching.

In the late 80s, the NFC East boasted four head coaches that were unparalleled in their brilliance: Buddy Ryan, Bill Parcells, Tom Landry, and Joe Gibbs. Also of note, amongst the coaching staffs were Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher, Wade Phillips, Dan Reeves, Bill Belichick, and Tom Coughlin. That is a far cry from the what we’re looking at these days. And, it’s no wonder that the Giants end up on top most seasons. Coaching makes a huge difference. Outside of football, that role is leadership.

Now, on to this week’s games. Here are the winners of the week. (By the way, I was 9-6 last week, for a total of 100-62 on the season).

Ravens, Steelers, Lions…
Packers, Jaguars, Chiefs…
Panthers, Bears…
Colts, Titans, Giants…
Broncos…
49ers…

peace… love… bdg…

business&leadership&Overflow29 May 2013 04:26 pm

Finally! I’m trying to get back on track here and catch back up to speed on Joshua and the Israelites. When last we left them, they had just found their way across the Jordan River. If you remember, the river just dried completely up in front of them as soon as the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped in. And we have another of those deja vu moments. Let’s look at that for a second.

As a recap, Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, an oppressive environment where they were enslaved in endless forced labor, treated cruelly, and struggled to survive. With Moses came a vision: the Israelites would become a thriving nation in a land flowing with milk and honey. But the journey started off a little shaky, with the Pharaoh’s army chasing them down and cornering them on the shores of the Red Sea. Miraculously, the Red Sea opens up a pathway to allow the Israelites to cross to the other side. They have escaped… to the wilderness.

Fast forward 40-some years to Joshua 3. Moses is dead. Joshua is the leader of Israel and they’re leaving the wilderness, an oppressive environment that has tested their faith and resolve, though God has provided for them each step of the way. With Joshua comes a promise or, perhaps more appropriately, a reminder of a promise: Israel will become a thriving nation in a land flowing with milk and honey. But first, there’s this body of water in the way…

So, what’s different? I’m going to focus on three things that stand out: Motivation, Preparation, and Credit.
[continue reading this post…]

Bookshelf&business&creativity&leadership14 May 2013 10:49 am

I like to read in batches. It’s probably not the best way to read, but it seems to be the way my head can handle it. Similarly, I write reviews in batches. So, even though I read Visioneering a few weeks ago, I held off on this review because I had already begun reading Start and quickly realized their reviews belonged together. As a side note, I’m already reading You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins, which also fits in this theme, but it could go on indefinitely if I kept waiting, and that’s the point of these books, anyway. Stop stalling and get MOVING. So here I am, moving. (Well, this first paragraph was stalling, but NOW we’re ready to move.)

Visioneering – Andy Stanley

I’ve mentioned before how much I appreciate the teaching and leadership of Andy Stanley. No, I’ve never met him, but I’ve been listening to his podcasts and reading his books for a while now and I feel like I know him. VISIONEERING is a combination of VISION and ENGINEERING. Planning and putting plans into motion. It’s a practical guideline that addresses everything from idea conception to realized vision (and back again).

Using the backdrop of the Biblical account of Nehemiah and his quest to rebuild the fallen walls of Jerusalem, Stanley walks readers through the process in a candid, step-by-step format. We begin by identifying our calling/dream/passion/goals/whatever you want to call it. Something wrong in life that bothers us enough to actively seek a solution. Then begins the preparation, which is different for each of us because we surely find ourselves in different life situations with unique obstacles and opportunities. [continue reading this post…]

business&leadership&Overflow24 Apr 2013 04:40 pm

And we’re back. I was a little distracted last week and I’m still distracted, but I’m fighting through it. We’re finally at the part where Joshua leads the Israelites across the Jordan River. This is an exciting time for the budding nation and, as we discussed last time, it’s the moment God has chosen to cement Joshua’s leadership role.

JOSHUA 3:9-17 – ACROSS DRY GROUND

As we start this passage, we find Joshua reiterating the vision and instructions for crossing the Jordan. He reminds the Israelites of the promise that has kept them going all this time: God will give us the Promised Land. That’s their vision, their goal. He reminds them of their instructions: Follow the Ark of the Covenant, follow God. He explains how it’s going to happen: Once the priests wade into the water, the river will stop flowing and a path will appear.

It almost seems redundant and certainly feels as though it’s been distilled into a handy little summary. But this is exactly what the Israelites needed. This is what we all need from time to time. Little reminders of where we are, why we’re here, and what’s to be expected. This is a rally cry that will unite the nation in either skepticism or hope. And either way, it won’t be long before the truth is revealed.
[continue reading this post…]

business&leadership&Overflow10 Apr 2013 04:40 pm

My apologies for missing/skipping last week. Sometimes the struggle prevails. On to today…

JOSHUA 3:5-8 – PREPARE TO BE AMAZED AND EXALTED

Last time, we talked about the distance between the Israelites and the Ark of the Covenant as they prepared to cross the Jordan River. It provides a perspective to help the Israelites see the bigger picture of what’s going on and it served as a reminder that they were following God. In fact, they had been following God for the entire time they wandered the desert – even when it seemed as though they weren’t being led anywhere.

The truth is, we’re always being led, a plan is always being executed – even when we’re stuck in the desert. The desert is where God puts us until we’re ready for the plan He’s constructing for us. And while we’re there, we have a job to do. Our job is to prepare. Get ready. Or, as Joshua says here, “Sanctify” ourselves.

Sanctification is a setting apart. There’s a spiritual aspect to this. It’s not just doing your push-ups and stretching to prepare for the journey. It’s a serious soul search. It’s a matter of cleaning our hearts and minds and dedicating our very lives to the will of God. It’s a big deal. But it’s a small price to pay.
[continue reading this post…]

business&leadership&Overflow28 Mar 2013 05:00 pm

Fair warning: It may take a while to cross this river and get through Joshua 3, which is where we are starting this week.

JOSHUA 3:1-4 – TWO THOUSAND CUBITS

The spies came back with a good report: the Promised Land is ripe for the taking. Now there’s just this matter of getting all these people across the river and waging a war or two. Or three.

Joshua and his officers delivered the instructions to the people as they waited for the right moment to move. They had a good system of communication here, a kind of trickle-down phone chain approach that reached the entire community efficiently and effectively, but that’s not what I’m focusing on here. What interests me more at the moment is the instructions.

Now, it’s not the last time they’ll get instructions that don’t make complete sense and it’s not even the first time – this tactic has become something of a pattern for their journey – but each time, it does make you pause after reading it and wonder what is going on. This time, it’s leading with the Ark of the Covenant and leaving “about two thousand cubits” of space between it and the people.

Two thousand cubits, though debated, is apparently about a half mile. It’s about 6 1/2 times the length of Noah’s Ark. It’s a significant distance and it’s curious enough to wonder why. [continue reading this post…]

business&leadership&Overflow21 Mar 2013 12:55 pm

Note: I just realized this was the seventh installment of this series (double 0, 7). It wasn’t intentional, but rather serendipitous, right?

I love a good spy story. Whether in TV shows like Burn Notice and 24 or movies like the Bond and Bourne series, spies are fascinating. Mysterious, intriguing, and full of danger. And cool. Being a spy requires (or inspires a certain level of coolness. They’re so charming, you almost forget to fear them. But you do fear them.

Now, I know these on-screen depictions of spy life aren’t truly indicative of real life. And as we revisit our Jericho spies, cowering under drying leaves on the roof of a seedy establishment, reality sets in a little bit. They’ve they’ve kinda lost the upper hand, by putting themselves at the mercy of Rahab. And this is what happens.

JOSHUA 2:8-24 LET’S MAKE A DEAL

Rahab comes up to see the two spies huddled in hiding on the roof. The two spies the king’s army is looking for. The two spies Rahab lied to protect. And she’s got a proposition.

First, she confesses the fear and awe of the city in regards to the Israelites. She tells them that the entire land has been watching them and tracking their progress since leaving Egypt. And everyone is terrified, “melting in fear” because of them. They are in a position of power because they have God’s power behind them and His favor on them and there’s no denying it. She mentions the Red Sea and the defeat of two Amorite kings. I’m guessing there were some Paul Bunyan tales going around as well. [continue reading this post…]

business&leadership&Overflow14 Mar 2013 04:25 pm

We’ve finally reached the passage that was going to start this series. I was going to try and keep up with a different study I was in, but thought better of jumping in anywhere but the beginning. Anyway, today we look at a pretty famous part of the Joshua story. And Joshua isn’t even in it. Remember those two spies Joshua sent to Jericho? I mentioned that they weren’t the most clandestine duo last time. They were spotted as soon as they entered the city. So this is the situation in which we find this account of Rahab.

JOSHUA 2:3-7 SPIES, LIES, AND A COVER UP

The spies went into Rahab’s house. Rahab was one of the early adopters of the work-from-home business model and she was prominent in the city, such that her house was in the city wall, close to the gates. The king’s men knew where the spies were and they quickly made their way to Rahab’s house to capture and interrogate them. But Rahab hid the men and lied to the soldiers, sending them on a wild goose chase.

It’s easy to villainize Rahab here for lying and, given her occupation, generally being a “bad person.” The truth is, though (see what I did there?), we would all be tempted to do the same and we probably have in different circumstances. And if your own personal convictions aren’t enough, how about the some of the founding fathers of the Christian faith?

Abraham lied.
Isaac lied.
Jacob lied.
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leadership&Overflow05 Mar 2013 05:33 pm

Back again and this time we’ll dig into chapter two.

CHAPTER 2:1-2 SPY GAMES

Whenever I get that “déjà vu” feeling reading the Bible, I know it’s time to investigate. Joshua sends spies into the promised land and I immediately think of when Moses sent spies into the promised land (Numbers 13). What’s different? What’s the same? What’s the deal – haven’t they already spied out this land? Is he just stalling? So let’s take a closer look.

It’s been 40 years at least, so it makes strategic sense to send out spies and see what’s changed. That’s probably the deal and it’s probably not a stalling tactic. So what’s different? The first thing that stands out is who orders this clandestine activity. God ordered Moses to send a chief from each tribe, but Joshua picks two spies (presumably on his own). Moses’s spies (including Joshua) represented all the people and interests of Israel. Joshua’s choices were obviously limited.

Second, let’s look at how these spies were sent out. While this requires some speculation, it would appear that Moses sent out his 12 spies in a grand fashion. He must have created a stir during the selection process that would’ve drawn the attention of everyone in the camp. And based on the return party and reporting process, one might assume they had a pretty big send off as well. This was a big deal, sending these twelve. It had significant ramifications on the future of a nation.

And then we look at Joshua and his spies. Joshua “secretly” sends two spies from Shittim. When I first read that (and many times since), I assumed “secretly” referred to their enemies. (Of course, that didn’t work out too well.) Now that I think about it, though, it may have been a secret from everyone. I mean, the spies are never even named. and they go out, do their business, and returned, reporting only to Joshua. Again, basing this off of the return party of Moses’s twelve spies, and the riots that ensued, maybe Joshua was nervous about the report. Maybe this was something he did without God’s instruction because he wasn’t completely courageous quite yet? That’s speculation, of course, but it seems reasonable.
[continue reading this post…]

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