5 Ways to Guard Your Priorities

Avoid the Administrative Rabbit Hole 

The opportunity to coach, write, and speak on the topic of leadership is a gift that I hope I never take for granted. But a productive work rhythm is an art to be mastered.

The administrative rabbit hole is real–for all of us. Many would agree it’s key to develop rhythms and routines that help us maintain priorities. But even when we know better, we can find ourselves down the rabbit hole overwhelmed trying to find our way out.

But here’s the thing, when circumstances change or responsibilities increase, the issues are still the same. It’s all about self-management. So whether I’m managing my business, leading a team, or sitting in my home office with my four-legged friend at my feet, I have to resist the administrative rabbit hole.

 

5 Ways to Guard Your Priorities

  1. Before you begin your day, determine your priorities. You might set these priorities as you wrap up the previous day, in the morning or sometime in between, but whatever you do define your priorities before you sit down and open your computer!
  2. Pre-determine when you check emails and structure your workflow. You must manage your emails and not allow your emails to manage you. Consistently reacting to emails will put your day’s productivity in danger before you even think about lunch.
  3. Map out your schedule each day. I’m very competitive and goal-oriented, so I begin each day by mapping out my time. I account for every 30-minute window, and then I challenge myself to stay on schedule. If I only have 30 minutes to check and respond to emails, it’s incredible how fast I can clean out my inbox. Putting time limits on tasks will keep you moving forward quickly.
  4. Change your scenery. I quickly get antsy and bored where I lose focus simply because I’ve been in the same place for too long. When possible, change where you work throughout the day. Here’s a great quote.

Change of Place + Change of Pace = Change of Perspective.

Mark Batterson, Wild Goose Chase

5. Do what only you can do and do that first. This brings us back to the first point about determining priorities, but it’s worth repeating. We can get lost down the administrative rabbit hole when we lack the discipline to do the hard things first. It’s easy to be lured by a sense of accomplishment when we check a few things off a list rather than spending time on one major priority that only you can do. Do the big or harder things first when you are fresh and energized.

 

Plan A Healthy Work Rhythm and Routine

Maybe you’re scrambling to get clarity on your priorities. Don’t let life’s whirlwind keep you from being purposeful.

I want to encourage you not to give up even if your schedule is packed. Take out your calendar right now and find at least one hour that you can devote to thinking, planning, and prioritizing. I promise this hour will not be wasted. It’s the most valuable work you can do for yourself and your team. Make the time and make it happen.

 

What are your tricks of the trade for keeping yourself focused on the right priorities?

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

3 Reason We Don’t Value Rest

Avoid the Danger of Chronic Work 

 

Have you ever noticed that of the 10 Commandments, God gives the most description to Exodus 20:8-11?

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy,” (Exodus 20:8-11 NIV).

Four verses are devoted to explaining why we need to rest. No other commandment is given this much dwelling time. But even with the extra explanation, I still violate this one the most.

 

A Leaders Greatest Danger

I believe, the inability to honor the Sabbath is a leader’s greatest danger.

Leader’s thrive on accomplishment. We’re wired for productivity. We’re naturally inclined to maximize time and opportunity. A few extra hours to catch up when others are at rest makes us feel like we’re getting ahead of the game. Some of us wake up early or stay up late to get “just a few more things done.” We check our phones during family time to respond to “just one email.” Or we go to the office on a holiday to catch up on a project, for “just a couple hours.” Unfilled time slots are a precious commodity to us because our plates are full and their spinning fast.

If you’re like me, you might be tempted to see the Sabbath as a luxury you can’t afford. Somehow we are tempted to believe we’re above the law. And this my friends is a dangerous place for us to be.

 

3 Sins of Sabbath Violation

1) Pride

Our inability to recognize our limits and to acknowledge our dependence on God is a sin. It’s a violation of God’s directive to us. When we can’t take God at His Word, we are suggesting we know better. We’ve stopped leading ourselves well by not practicing the essential disciplines that nurture our soul.

 

2) Fear

Trusting God with our limitations is frightening. We fear for our identity, reputation, and future if there are unknown elements that are out of our control. Fear compels us to seek control and manipulate every moment and opportunity, even if it means we violate God’s command. As a result, we stop giving ourselves permission to pause.

 

3) Selfishness

In Exodus, we find an explanation for why we should Sabbath,

“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed,” (Exodus 23:12).

Observing the Sabbath isn’t all about you! This verse explains that when we rest, we create space for those we lead to rest too. Leaders, this is huge! When you don’t rest, you don’t allow your family or those who work with you to rest. You are leading them to sin as well.

This passage was an eye-opener for me. For most of my life, I’ve been tempted to see the Sabbath as a gift to me, but that’s a selfish perspective. A leader’s life is never just about oneself. How we lead, even in rest, impacts the people we are responsible to lead.

 

A Fresh Perspective

Sabbath is about God and my recognition that it is him that enables me to do what I do. It’s a weekly reminder of my limitations. Sabbath is my acknowledgment of my total dependence on him. Honestly, this is really hard for me. It’s a weekly battle to turn off, shut down, disconnect, and trust God.

How about you? What is God teaching you about Sabbath and rest? How are you growing in your dependence on him?

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

Freedom to Influence

Freedom to Influence

 

Summer peaks with July festivities. Independence Day brings red, white and blue decorations, fireworks, BBQ get-togethers, and summer nights with family and friends.

As I contemplate this special holiday, thoughts about freedom come to mind. Some may see freedom as a privilege, the absence of oppression, financial opportunity, equality, and more. Of course, all of these are true, but from a Biblical perspective, Galatians 5:13 shares a different view–one of responsibility instead of benefit.

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Freedom allows us to love, serve, and influence others toward extraordinary outcomes.

 

Freedom to be Unique

You were made to impact the world in a way that no one else can. I know that God has designed you for something very significant and unique. He’s gifted and equipped you to influence for the good of the people around you. We have the power to change or affect the lives of other people. I believe it’s sacred work that God has entrusted to us.

Long before you even heard of God, He had his eye on you. He saw you. He knew you and knew the plans He had for you. He’s bestowed you with gifts specific to the purpose for which He’s designed you. When we take all of this into consideration, it stands to reason that understanding our identity means getting to know the one who created us. Make a careful exploration of who you, and do the work that God has given you to do. There’s no need to mimic what everyone else is doing. Discern what God’s unique calling looks like for your life, and relentlessly pursue it.

 

Freedom to Impact Others

We can use influence for good or bad. We influence whether we acknowledge it or not. Our influence can be accidental, or it can be purposeful. We can be aware or completely oblivious of our impact on others.

We have to understand how to steward influence for extraordinary good. Stewarding our influence means to direct the trajectory of our influence, so we impact the lives of others in significant ways. It connects with the longings in our heart; it connects with our God-ordained desire to matter. There is something deep inside each of us that longs to count.  We want to matter to the world, if even for a moment.  We can’t help but feel called or destined for something significant. And I believe we are.  I believe that each one of us has a purpose, a calling that only we are qualified to fulfill.

 

Freedom to Fulfill Our God-Given Calling

You were made to influence the world in a way that no one else can, but you have to make a careful exploration. You have to understand your sphere of influence. You have to steward it well. If your circle remains small, or if your circle expands exponentially, it’s not the arena of influence that matters, but how you steward the influence you’ve been given. The impact on each individual is equally significant.

I know that some days may feel long and hard, but this is our only life. Take responsibility for all that God has entrusted to you. You were made to influence the world in a way that no one else can.

 

Freedom to Open Doors and Move Mountains

When you begin to understand God’s heart for influence, you realize it isn’t about you. It’s not about your success, your enjoyment, your comfort, accolades, or your future. Your freedom to influence is a gift to open doors and move mountains for others.

There is somebody else who is going to thrive because of your freedom to lead and influence. Think about who is in this immediate circle of influence in your life right now: spouse, kids, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or people in your small group. Who’s a part of your world right now.

I could tell you a zillion of stories of people who have made it possible for me to be where I am. You have that potential. You have the power to influence and impact a world in a way that no one else can. God has equipped you and designed you to live out your unique calling and gifting.

 

“Who will you influence, today?” We can help you confidently lead and influence others. There’s still room to join us for the Women in Leadership Coaching Intensive.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

YouTube Excerpt

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

How to Navigate Through Hard Conversations

5 Tips on How to Have That Critical Conversation You’re Too Afraid to Have

by Carey Nieuwhof

 

There are always conversations you need to have, but you don’t know how to have. It’s true in life, and it’s very true in leadership

  • How do you tell the person who’s not working out that they’re not working out?
  • How do you talk about the fact that so much needs to change in your church?
  • How do you get your somewhat resistant board to open their minds to new possibilities?

 

As a leader, you’ve probably already flagged more than a few issues you would love to talk about with your team. Issues such as:

  • Why is our church not growing faster?
  • Why do people seem to be attending church less often?
  • How healthy is our team (really)?
  • Why is it so hard to attract and keep high capacity volunteers?
  • Why are young adults walking away from the church in record numbers?
  • What’s happening in our culture that we might not be responding to?
  • What are we actually prepared to change around here?

 

In my time in leadership at Connexus, we’ve had every one of those conversations. And they’ve resulted in our church growing from a handful of churched people to over 1000 people each weekend, 60% of whom had no previous church background—all in a region where 96% of the population don’t attend church.

 

I believe:

  • Having the right conversations can change your trajectory.
  • There is more hope than you realized.
  • The potential to grow is greater than the potential to decline.
  • Your community is waiting for a church to offer the hope they’re looking for.
  • Your best days as a church are ahead of you.

 

Maybe the future belongs to the churches that are willing to have the most honest conversations at a critical time. That’s what my new book, Lasting Impact is designed to facilitate.

So how do you have the conversations that will lead to real breakthrough for your church?

How do you get started? What do you say? And what happens if people disagree or things get heated?

 

5 Tips on How to Have That Critical Conversation You’re Too Afraid to Have

Here are 5 tips that can help.

 

1. Frame the issue thoughtfully and in advance.

People hate to be caught off guard by a challenging conversation.

Understanding what’s on the table before you get to the table helps so much.

Obviously, if you’re dealing with personal conflict, a short window of notice is helpful (Hearing “Hey, we’re going to talk about your poor performance next month” isn’t helping anyone.) But a heads up the day before (“tomorrow we’ll review what happened last week”) can help everyone prepare.

If you’re talking about a chronic issue that your church needs to address or a topic that can help lead you into a better future, framing the issue well and framing it in advance is critical. It helps everyone show up having thought through what’s at stake.

That’s one of the reasons I wrote each chapter of Lasting Impact the way I did. My hope is it will frame the issues for your team in a way that makes the conversation healthy and meaningful.

 

2. Stay clear about what you’re discussing

I personally find one of the greatest challenges of having conversations with leaders is keeping people focused.

Even if you frame the issue well in advance, meetings can veer off on rabbit trails before you know what’s happening. Frankly, this seems to be a characteristic of many leaders (I’m the king of rabbit trails in meetings).

How do you combat that? Write down the exact points you want to cover to keep you and your team focused.

And don’t just keep it to yourself. State what you hope to accomplish in the meeting so when you leave, you know you made progress.

So what does this look like?

If you’re navigating a longer, multi-meeting conversation, your goal might be to ‘introduce the topic’ or ‘to ‘establish whether we want to tackle this issue.’

If you can accomplish the discussion in a night, your objective might be to decide on three possible courses of action or to create a 6-month action plan.

If you know ahead of time what you want to accomplish, you are far more likely to accomplish it. People will also feel their time has been much better spent.

 

3. Attack problems, not people

If you’re really having an intense discussion (and you should be having these if you want to make progress), emotions may get heated.

When they do, make sure you attack problems, not people. It can be so easy to personalize conflict. We do it in our marriages all the time when we say things like “You always…” or “You never…”.

Big mistake.

Let the people you’re talking with know that you’re for them, and what you’re trying to do is to attack a problem together. The fact that you disagree might actually be an advantage because it can help you get a more varied perspective on the problem.

When my emotions get charged, I just have to remind myself over and over again to affirm people and attack the problem.

You’ll make far more progress when you do.

 

4. Empathize with opposing views

I went to law school. It’s instinctive to me to dismiss an opposing point of view immediately. I can even come up with 5 reasons why their idea is a bad idea pretty quickly.

But when you do that, you don’t gain ground; you lose it.

A better approach is to actually show empathy for the opposing point of view.

Instead of saying “I can’t believe you won’t let that tradition go. That’s crazy!” what about saying “I can understand why that would be difficult to give that up. I’m sure if I were in your shoes, I would feel the same way. But what do you think about the people we’re trying to reach? Do you think our old strategy is the best strategy with which to engage them?”

Then just listen.

Do you see the difference?

When you empathize with your opponents, you often create allies. And even if you don’t, you’ve given their point of view dignity and respect. And you’ve gained the respect of the others listening.

 

5. Find an outside voice to help

It’s one thing for you as a leader to float your ideas. And often you need to do that.

But it can also create tension because many leaders create tension by insisting their ideas are the best or only ideas. It takes still to avoid making the conversation personal.

As a result, again and again, in my time in leadership, I’ve brought in consultants, gone to conferences and solicited outside voices to help us arrive in a new place as a team.

It’s a smart strategy not just because you get the insight that comes from a fresh voice, but because the person you listened to isn’t a member of your team. As a result, disagreeing with them does not feel as risky as disagreeing with each other.

While it costs thousands of dollars to bring in a consultant or to take a team to a conference, reading a book together can often accomplish the same results for a fraction of the cost. Our teams have read many books together over the years.

 

That’s Why I Wrote Lasting Impact

When I wrote Lasting Impact, I crafted every chapter with team discussion in mind.

I hope the book can give teams and boards a chance to agree or disagree with someone who’s not the room in the hopes that you can agree together on what God is calling you to do next. Plus, I tried to cover the 7 issues almost every church of every size needs to tackle as they try to move forward.

Here’s hoping your future is filled with great conversations that will move your mission forward.

In the meantime, what’s helping you have great conversations with your team? Leave a comment!

 

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

Startup Tips for New Leaders

Starup Tips for New Leaders

4 Strategies for Surviving the Two-mile Start

 

I have been a semi-avid runner for the last fifteen years. Over the years, running has become a way for me to pray, reflect, learn, and listen. I do everything from prepare for an important meeting to dance to my favorite new song while I’m running. (Cue JT’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”) And most importantly running is justification for eating more sugar than I ought. My motto is, “I run for treats.”

But for all the things I enjoy about running, I still hate the beginning.

 

The Temptation to Quit Too Early

Even after fifteen years and roughly 10,000 miles logged (including several half marathons), I still feel like I want to quit during the first two miles OF EVERY RUN!

It takes this long for my body to settle in, for my mind to settle down and for everything to start working together more fluidly. And if I don’t remind myself of this, I will get frustrated and sometimes even quit. Too many times I’ve forgotten this principle, and I’ve given up with excuses that, “I’m just too tired,” “something must be wrong… maybe I’m sick,” or “maybe I’m just not cut out for running anymore,”

This principle not only applies to running, but it also applies to most of the challenges we face in life. I remember when I was working on the development of The 4 Sight Group. While I was incredibly passionate about equipping leaders with the foresight for extraordinary outcomes, the beginning stages of starting a new organization were challenging. It felt like I was in the first two miles. It was easy to want to give up. It was hard work because not all the systems ran smoothly. I wondered if I was cut out for the challenge.

Are you in the early stages of a new project, a new relationship, or a new job?

 

How to Get Through the Two-mile Start

 

1. Don’t be alarmed when it’s harder than you expected.

The reason why we start new things is that we have a vision. We see the potential. Don’t lose sight of that vision when the reality of what it takes sets in, and it seems impossible. Stay the course and remember the two-mile principle.

 

2. Don’t quit in the first two miles.

Before you start your new endeavor, anticipate when to expect resistance. Every fresh start has a few moments of bliss, but inevitably, it takes a turn. You encounter a problem; you have your first fight; you have a difference of opinion with a coworker. Anticipate this ahead of time so that it doesn’t blindside you.

 

3. Build a support team.

You need people who will remind you of why you need to keep going. When my friend Rachel and I ran half-marathons together, she would write her name all over her t-shirt so that those watching the race would cheer her on by name. It was brilliant! As she ran, she constantly heard people cheer, “Go Rachel go!”. Make sure you have friends, mentors, and allies who will cheer you on during the difficult days.

 

4. Plan your reward.

You need to have something to look forward to when you make it through the difficult points. Before you begin, determine when and how you’ll celebrate. I approach every single day by building my schedule with some of my most challenging work early in the day and finishing with something I enjoy like reading a book, taking a walk with a friend or enjoying my favorite cup of tea. Whatever the project you’re facing, give yourself something to look forward to at those different increments.

 

Leaders do hard things. We charter new territory so others can follow more easily. Don’t let the initial resistance of a startup defeat you. Stay the course.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

Align Your Work to Changing Seasons

Your Summer Permission Slip 

 

School is out. We’re on the brink of summer.

 

It’s a Season of Change.

Seasons are an essential part of life’s rhythm, changing our pace, and creating disruption.

I used to think I didn’t like seasons. Spending most of my life in Wisconsin and Tennessee, I found the extremes of the seasons tiring. Whether it was the long subzero winters of the Northwoods or the triple-digit humid temperatures of Music City, the seasons were extreme and often exhausting. When I moved to Silicon Valley in Northern California, I expected it to be heavenly. Mild, Mediterranean-like temperatures year round. What could be better? Frankly, the seasons are better.

 

Seasons are Beautiful and Startling

The transition from one season to another stimulates change. It awakens our senses. Consider the fragrance of new growth in spring, the sun and humidity of summer, the crisp air and vibrant colors of fall, the stark and barren emptiness of winter. Each season, in its unique way, is beautiful and startling.

Summer is the season most of us eagerly welcome. It often involves a more relaxed pace, vacation, lots of sunshine, and extra time with friends. Summer is a season of rejuvenation. The new life of spring has given way to the flourishing growth of summer. Long days, relaxed nights, and if you’re lucky, a beautiful coastline, if even for a week, to enjoy the grandness of God’s creation.

In summer, I feel invincible. I feel appropriately large and small at the same time. I breathe deeper and exhale more fully. The world that I’m carrying on my shoulders doesn’t feel so unbearable. Seasons of change affects us and those we lead.

 

Embrace Seasons of Rest

For too many years, I saw summer as an opportunity to “try to catch up.” As a leader, I was always trying to stay on the cutting edge and kept leading my teams forward. I saw summer as an opportunity for me to gain some ground and prepare for the fall. I drove myself, and I drove others more aggressively than the season demanded. As a result, we were tired and frazzled instead of rested and rejuvenated.

Leaders, there are seasons for work. There are seasons of hustle and drive, and there are seasons of rest and replenishment. You need both, and your team needs both. You need to rest and play. I felt like it was a luxury I couldn’t afford. My resistance to embrace summer left me ineffective as a leader.

Let me encourage you that summer is an essential season. Ask yourself these questions.

  • What season are you in right now?
  • What do you need?
  • What does your team need?
  • What do you need to be doing in this season to prepare for the next?

Remember, set the pace. You must be aware of the current reality while anticipating a future need.

 

Your Summer Permission Slip

As schools take a reprieve and summer breaks way, step into it. Enjoy it. Don’t resist it. I hereby permit you to rest, to play, to laugh, to dream, to skip through sand, to soak in the sun, and to cherish memories with family and friends this season of summer.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

Limitations Add Value to Your Leadership

3 Good Reasons to Heed Limits!  

 

Recently I was pursuing an opportunity that I was excited to check out. Not only was it something that I would enjoy, but it would enable me to be closer to my family and be helpful to the future of The 4Sight Group. I started out cautiously optimist, and with each step, it seemed that this opportunity was going to become a reality until a major roadblock unexpectedly emerged. This idea I was pursuing was suddenly dead. Done. Over.

I found myself limited by a circumstance beyond my control, resulting, I should mention, in a full-out tantrum. I was extremely frustrated!

I’m not too fond of limits–I hate them. I pride myself in being someone who gets things done. Someone who can overcome any obstacle and make miracles happen. (Think Olivia Pope minus the Scandal!)

 

Are Limitation Part of Our Leadership Journey?

 

Possibilities energize me. Ideas inspire me. To a degree, this comes with the territory of a leader.

  • Leaders inspire with hope.
  • We see possibility.
  • We keep people tethered to the vision.
  • We’re the bridge between reality and possibility.
  • We chart the way forward.

That’s why limits are so difficult for leaders to accept. We’re conditioned to see beyond boundaries and limitations.

However, I do believe that limits have a purpose, and a wise leader will pay attention to the limiting factors he or she faces.

 

3 Good Reasons to Heed Limits

 

1. Not all possibilities are good; not all ideas are sound.

Caught up in the thrill of momentum, we can begin to believe that every idea will work and that no possibility is terrible. We begin to think we’re invincible and we keep plowing forward as if we are.

Limits, if we pay attention to them, can help us slow down to evaluate and discern what is essential and necessary for this moment or season. Pay attention if you hear yourself or your team say, “Don’t worry, it will all work out.” There is a difference between faith and foolishness. Discernment is essential.

 

2. Ignoring limits hurts you and those you lead.

By the nature of our driven-ness, we are not comfortable with complacency. When we have not learned to manage our sense of urgency, we put the proverbial pedal to the metal and go all out.

When we do this, we leave disaster in our wake. Our health suffers, our relationships suffer, our teams suffer, and their families suffer. When we don’t recognize and respect limits, we negatively impact every circle of our influence.

It’s imperative to understand what drives and motivates us as leaders because when we abuse limits, we hurt others and ourselves.

 

3. Limits give us perspective.

When we are moving too fast, we don’t have time to observe the landscape and take note of what is around us. In a way, we have tunnel vision, and we can miss other concerns that may need consideration. When limited by time, resources, or some other unexpected roadblock – it forces us to pull out for a more comprehensive view. What are we missing? Is there another way? Do we need to slow down or go another route? Intentional limits may provide a perspective that helps us see another way forward.

 

Limitations Add Value to Your Leadership

 

As one wise mentor once said to me, “there are nine other numbers between 0 and 10” – meaning my leadership doesn’t have to be all or nothing. When we recognize limits, we become more keenly aware of the pace we need to lead. Extraordinary leaders learn and appreciate the value of limits.

I’m finding myself praying this prayer from Ruth Haley Barton’s book, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.

 

God, help us live within the limits of what you have called us to do. Help us live within the limits of who we are – both as individuals and as an organization. Help us give our very best in the field that we have been given to work and to trust you to enlarge our sphere of action if and when you know we are ready. Help us know the difference between being driven by grandiose visions and responding faithfully to the expansion of your work in and through us.

 

Are you facing a limitation? Perhaps it’s not a limitation but an opportunity to expand your perspective or to trust that God, in His perfect timing, will unfold his unlimited plan.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

Lead From Your Extraordinary Best

Free Leadership Assessment and BONUS Leader’s Guide 

If there is one thing I’m passionate about is seeing leaders lead from their extraordinary best!

 

A Sacred Call

Leaders, we have a sacred call. Because of our influence, we have the power to affect and change the lives of the people we lead. Let’s be great stewards of this responsibility and be committed to leading ourselves well.

In my book, The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, I explain how I believe the Great Commandment gives us a framework for leading from our extraordinary best.

Jesus is challenging us to love God and others with all of who we are – heart, soul, mind, and strength. I believe our best leadership – healthy, thriving, God-honoring leadership – occurs when we learn to lead from these four dimensions.

 

The First Step

Pulling it all together is a process. The first step of the process is awareness of your strengths and weakness when it comes to leading from your whole self. Are you a stronger heart leader, soul leader, mind leader, or strength leader?

We need you to lead with all of who you are – heart, soul, mind, and strength for the glory of God and the good of others!

Not sure? We’ve got you covered. I’ve provided a FREE Extraordinary Leadership Assessment that will give you immediate results and additional resources.

 

Summer Team Development

Summer is the perfect time to take you and your team through The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary LeadershipFor a small investment of a book, you can help develop yourself and your team members.

As a bonus, I have a FREE Bonus Offer. The Extraordinary Leadership Guide will help you learn about each dimension and how they apply to a team environment. Fill out the form below and start, today! Is that cool or what?

If you need a little help getting started, schedule a free coaching call by clicking this LINK.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

 

** Bonus Offer **

Download your FREE Extraordinary Leadership Guide!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

Give the Gift of Belief

Believe in a Person’s Potential

 

Some years ago, I invited a handful of ladies to join me for a leadership-focused Bible study group. I was feeling God nudge me to create a place for women with leadership gifts to gather together, build community, and grow in their faith.

Frankly, it didn’t make sense. I was the Executive Director at Cross Point Church at the time, and my schedule was insane with the responsibilities of two building projects, a rapidly growing church with another campus launch, and leading staff. I didn’t have time for it, and yet it was clear that I needed to do this Bible study group.

I began to pray about the invitation list. I quickly identified a seemingly random group of leaders, most of them in seasons of change or transition.

One was leaving her job to become a full-time author, another was hoping for a big promotion, two of them were starting a business together, another was a corporate attorney, a couple of them were in education and non-profit work, and a new stay-at-home mom detoxing from corporate life and adjusting to less sleep and lots of diapers. We were quite a crew!

 

Champion Each Other’s Dreams

We started our group, but with my busy schedule, most weeks I raced into our time together late, frazzled and feeling like I was failing them. I had very little to give, but I faithfully led the gathering.

It didn’t take long for friendships to form and for conversations to easily flow. While our seasons of life were different, the concerns and fears were not. We listened and prayed for each other, and we championed each other’s dreams.

The group disbanded when I made my move to California before coming to Wisconsin, but the investment we made in each other still bears fruit.

 

The Gift of Belief

One of those amazing ladies was Annie Downs. Here’s a comment she posted on Instagram.

 

 

I don’t post this to say, “Hey, look what I did!”

There was nothing extraordinary about that season. It was just obedience. It’s one of those rare times that I listened and obeyed even when it wasn’t convenient for me. God took that obedience and produced fruit.

The only thing I’ll take credit for is giving these women the gift of belief. I believed in them. I wanted to see them grow, and I encouraged the dream of their hearts. I prayed with them. I celebrated, and I mourned with them.

Here’s the thing, the gift of belief is one of the most powerful gifts we can give to others. Here’s why.

 

It doesn’t cost much–mostly a little intentionality. It can produce a radical return on the investment.

The gift of belief is limitless. You won’t run out of it.

The gift of belief reproduces. When you give someone the gift of belief, they, in turn, pass it on to others.

 

See Others for Their Potential

Who can you give the gift of belief to today? I promise you; there is someone in your life who needs you to see and believe in their potential.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

The Power of Vision

6 Steps to Steward the Power of Vision

 

I remember a friend calling me one day for some advice. She and her husband were at a crossroads. The couple had sold their home and most of their possessions to take a job across the country, leaving family and close friends behind.

It was a risky adventure, but the vision of the organization compelled them. The organization had some audacious goals but not outside of the realm of possibility. They were excited about the possibilities. They asked lots of questions and took time to process their opportunity with friends and mentors. They sought God for guidance and eventually, leaped.

Now they were struggling. They had made tremendous sacrifices only to discover that the organization wasn’t ready to pursue their vision cast. This family was in upheaval because the leader didn’t fully understand the power of vision.

Sound crazy or extreme? Sadly, change the names and organizations, and I hear a version of this story nearly every day.

 

Vision is Essential for Individuals, Teams, and Organizations

Proverbs remind us, “without vision people perish.” Those of us who are visionary by nature use this scripture to help us find significance in the visionary gift we have.

But visions are dangerously powerful, and leaders who don’t understand this power have the potential to cause irreparable damage to the people they lead.

One of my greatest concerns for leaders is that we don’t fully grasp the weight of our influence on others. Influence, by definition, means, “the power to change or affect someone.” Let this sink in, the POWER to change someone. Our position of influence gives us a power that quite literally changes or at a minimum affects another person’s life.

Think about the influence your parents had on your life or your first boss. How about your soccer coach or piano teacher. Your life has been shaped by their influence, positively and negatively.

Visionary leaders create hope and possibilities. They appeal to a person’s dreams and goals defining a preferred future. The better a leader is at casting a compelling vision, the more influence they’ll wield.

At their best, a visionary not only casts an inspiring vision, but they have the wherewithal to see that vision come to fruition. And while people may perish without a vision, we also know that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” When a leader doesn’t have the ability to see a vision become a reality, they create pain and hopelessness for those they lead.

 

The Dangerous Power of Vision

Visions have enormous power. And a vision in the hands of strong leaders wields extraordinary power. Power in and of itself is not bad, but power wielded carelessly leaves carnage.

Too often, I see leaders cast a vision and pursue it without a full understanding of the cost and impact. They get starry-eyed with the thrill of accomplishing a goal that we underestimate what it will cost, especially in human capital.

We’ve seen this play out with the business professional who scales the corporate ladder at the expense of his family. He cast a vision that working hard would acquire their “American Dream,” but underestimated the sacrifice of family relationships.

We’ve witnessed the fast-growing church with their audacious growth goal that gets blindsided by moral failure. They were racing so fast towards the vision that they blew past the warning signs.

We’ve read the stories of start-up companies that hire for rapid growth only to make drastic cuts when investment funds run out. But we can steward the power of vision.

 

6 Steps to Help You Steward the Power of Vision

1. Refine your vision with the wisdom of others. Visionary leaders nearly always underestimate what their ideas will entail. Often, they are removed from frontline activity; they have lost touch with what it takes to bring an idea to life. Don’t cast your vision to the masses until you’ve worked it out with a team of people who can help you understand what it will take. And by the way, make sure you listen in this conversation. Your gregariousness and charm can woo others easily.

 

2. Slow down and be cautious. Once you’ve received critical feedback, count the cost for accomplishing this vision. What will it take? What will you risk? Who will take risks? What will it cost?

 

3. Get in touch with reality. As you’ve processed the impact and the cost, think through the critical points in this vision. What key conversations will you need to have? Who may try to derail it? How likely are they to succeed? What difficult decisions will you have to navigate to keep the vision on track? What happens and who is impacted if the vision isn’t realized?

 

4. Count the cost. What will this require of you? Will it pull you from other priorities and if so, what is the potential impact? What will it take financially? Do you have the margin to pursue it? What will it require of your staff? What will they give up? If you’re recruiting people based on the vision, what are they risking, and if you were in their shoes, would you take the risk?

 

5. Proceed humbly. If you have taken the time to process well and feel compelled to move forward with the vision, hold it humbly. Acknowledge what it is required of everyone, every step of the way.

 

6. Evaluate your “why?” What motivates you to this vision? Is it a vision you would pursue even if it cost you everything?

 

Leadership is Sacred Work

Leaders, you have the sacred responsibility of stewardship, and the two most precious things you’ll steward are vision and people. They are inextricably linked – “without vision people perish,” but without people, visions are just pipe dreams.

We need you to be visionaries. We need you to dream great, God-sized dreams. Please don’t shrink away from that; however, we need you to recognize the power of those visions equally. If they are not birthed of God and nurtured with humility, you risk wielding your power dangerously.

Leadership is a sacred work. Visionary leadership is powerful work. May you sacredly steward your power for the glory of God and the good of others.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

1 2 3