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.


 

 

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.


 

 

Create a Culture Others Clamor to Join

Create a Culture Others Clamor to Join

How to avoid a sterile team environment

Leaders are keepers of culture. Great team cultures require deliberate effort to cultivate a healthy environment. Teams will work better with one another, go above and beyond the call of duty, invest themselves personally, and own their wins and their losses.

 

How to Avoid a Sterile Environment

Healthy environments are characterized by leaders who value integrity; intolerance for discrimination; robust systems, policies, and procedures; and organizational alignment that promotes shared goals and achievable results.

But healthy cultures go one step further. They find ways to capture the spirit of the organization. They have identified the “personality” of the organization, and they express that personality with color and vibrancy to what could otherwise be an active but sterile team environment.

 

Bicycles and Bowling Alleys

Google is known for its corporate culture, and the company was ranked number 1 in Fortune Magazine’s list of The 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014. When I moved to Silicon Valley, one of the first places I visited was the Google campus. I had heard rumors of the great megaplex in Mountain View, California. My quick tour lived up to the hype.

Everything about the Google campus was designed to inspire open communication among employees reflecting a desire to keep the culture of a start-up organization. From inspiring meeting places to bicycles and bowling alleys, the facility encouraged team interaction in fun and innovative ways.

 

The “Wow” Factor!

Zappos, an online retailer, aims to “deliver WOW through service.” Zappos carries that wow factor into the culture of their staff. The managers refer to their staff as family and have ten core family values that they believe put the “zap” in Zappos. Among them, you’ll see phrases like “create fun and a little weirdness” or “be adventurous, creative, and open-minded.”

Several years ago I toured the Zappos offices. On our tour the other visitors and I were made kings and queens for a day, complete with throne and regalia. The group was challenged to a hula-hoop contest, and we received a free book from the company’s family library. We paraded through a sea of cubicles where staff, or “family members,” were bustling with energy and productivity. Zappo’s spirited culture made me briefly consider a career change.

 

What Kind of Culture are You Creating?

In the book “Spiritual Leadership,” Henry and Richard Blackaby state,

Today’s workplace is a forum for people to express themselves and to invest their efforts into something that contributes positively to society.
People no longer choose jobs based merely on salary and benefits. They seek companies with corporate values that match their personal values.

Great team cultures should cause people to clamor to join your organization, your division, or your company. People aren’t afraid to work. They fear a toxic workplace that drains the life out of them. As a leader, you can create a vibrant and healthy environment that inspires your team and increases creative productivity.

 

Keep leading well!

Jenni Catron

 

 

** 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.

 

 

 

Easter’s Over-Now What? 4 Ways to Maximize Easter Momentum

Easter’s Over. Now What?

4 Ways to Maximize Easter Momentum

 

Recovering from a Big Fat Easter Hangover? 

For those of you in full-time church ministry, you likely experienced a big fat Easter hangover.

Easter weekend included additional services, increased attendance, special events, more production – every aspect of ministry was in overdrive for the biggest weekend of the church calendar.

Now what?

Frankly, you and your team are tired. You’ve been working for weeks, even months to prepare. It was a great day, but you know this week was back to reality. No wonder you feel like you have the “Easter” hangover – “a letdown following great excitement” (dictionary.com).

It’s normal.

But here’s the thing; You’re the leader. You have to lean into this moment. While all of the things that I’ve named are true and it feels like a letdown, it doesn’t have to be and how your team responds depends on you.

 

4 Ways you can Maximize Easter Momentum

 

1. Celebrate

Circle your team up and celebrate how good last weekend was. Share stories that you heard about the person who came to church for the first time, the family that attended church together, the person who gave their life to Christ, etc. I’m sure you heard stories and probably received some calls or emails. Share them. Celebrating reminds your team of the “why.” Don’t take this for granted.

Celebrate the attendance numbers, salvation numbers, baptism numbers, and whatever metrics that matter to you. And remember every number represents a person. It’s not numbered for the sake of numbers; it numbers for the sake of lives.

Celebrate by doing something fun as a team. Go out to lunch, get a cake, or go bowling. I don’t know what is fun for your organization, but you do. Have fun together!

2. Rest

If you didn’t take a day off to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect with your families, it’s not too late. Send everyone home. Pick s day that everyone can take the day off. If you can’t shut down for a day, rotate the days off. I don’t care how you do it but give back some time to your staff and their families. I can pretty much guarantee that everyone put in extra hours these last few weeks. You need the break, and so does your team.

3. Follow up

You and your team made dozens, possibly hundreds of new connections this weekend with first-time guests and casual attendees. Follow up with each person. Hopefully, you have a system for follow-up and if so, be more purposeful about that follow-up system than ever. If you don’t have a system for following up with guests, this is the time to make one. Remember, every email, voicemail, welcome card, and lobby conversation is an opportunity to help people take another step towards being a part of your community of faith and becoming a follower of Christ. Don’t look at your “to do” list as a bunch of tasks. See the living breathing human on the other end of that medium and seek to connect with them.

4. Stay the Course

Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Next Sunday will probably feel rather ordinary, and that’s okay. Stay the course and make every weekend count. You never know when that Easter guest will return and when they do, you want to be ready. Make sure every weekend is one where guests feel welcomed and included. Make your church a place where people feel like they can belong any Sunday they come.

 

Maximize the Momentum for Today and Tomorrow

Easter may be over, but Jesus has risen. God always redeems, restores and saves. And he does this work in the lives of people every day, not just Easter Sunday. And guess what? He partners with you to do this fantastic life-changing work in the lives of others.

Don’t let the Easter hangover cause you to miss the restoring work that could happen today, tomorrow, and next Sunday.

He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

His work in all of us continues!

Keep leading well!

Jenni Catron

 

** 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.

 

 

 

How to Regain Team Momentum

How to Regain Team Momentum

4 Reasons Why Leaders Need to Release “the How!” 

 

Have you ever felt like you and your team are grinding out work, but the momentum is lost? You instinctively know something is wrong, but no one is offering feedback. Could it be the leader?

In this video, I share a valuable “aha” moment I experienced with my team. Click this video link or the image below to watch.

 

 

4 Takeaways for You to Consider

Lead with the what and why but release the how. Here’s why.

  1. Your team may know how to do it better.
  2. Your team will be challenged to bring fresh ideas.
  3. It will stretch your team to step up and do more.
  4. It will free you to focus on the future of your organization.

 

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Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 


What Christmas Movies have taught me about Leadership…#3

One of the all time Christmas movie classics is a movie called, The Christmas Story.

It is set in the 1940s, chronicling a young boy named Ralphie, who attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, AND Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. In fact, there are so many great and funny moments from this movie. The LEG LAMP, the F R A G I L E E E box, the freaky SANTA pushing Ralphie down the slide and nobody will ever forget the infamous TRIPLE DOG DARE, the mother of all dares!  But with each of those moments comes an indelible leadership lesson.

  • The LEG LAMP! The dad was obsessed with it, I mean it was a ‘major prize’. In leadership, obsessions always lead to distortions. The more we believe we must have something or do something the more it distorts the truth. Leadership must be fluid and as soon as you make something an absolute, it owns you. A leader is always flexible.

 

  • The FREAKY SANTA!  Ralphie was determined to put his dream of owning a Red Ryder BB gun in front of the ‘BIG MAN’, but it fell flat when he heard the words ‘you’ll shoot your eye out kid.’ Often in leadership we seek people’s approval. All of us have a ‘SANTA’ we are trying to impress, gain their approval or seek their attention. Healthy leadership pursues the focus of the vision and never the approval of a person. A leader is always driven by a vision.

 

  • THE TRIPLE DOG DARE! And finally, the best moment, the infamous triple dog dare! Leaders like to dream. They like to risk. In other words, every leader is influenced by their own triple dog dare moment. We are all tempted to lead from a place of trying to prove something. If we aren’t careful our leadership will take risks not because they’re wise and courageous but because they’re perceived as impressive. A leader always asks hard questions of themselves, before they charge the hill.

A Red Ryder BB gun, or leg lamp may not be in your future but it may be wise to consider these questions:

What’s my Leg Lamp? Who’s my Freaky Santa? And where is the Triple Dog Dare in my life?

Answering these questions, may just help you lead even better in 2019.

By: Patrick Detken

Leadership Lesson’s I’m Thankful For…#2

Recently, my family came back from a trip to Yellowstone National Park.

The park is simply amazing in it’s beauty, vastness, and grandeur. It was so interesting to visit the famous landmarks, like the mud pots, the grand prismatic geysers, and namely the Old Faithful geyser. However, one of the biggest lessons we learned inside Yellowstone almost happened by accident, as we were driving our way through the park.

In fact, the lesson was all around us and yet, unless someone had pointed it out to our group, we most certainly would have missed it. This lesson comes from the Lodgepole Pine Tree. See back in 1988, there was a massive fire in Yellowstone which covered a significant amount of the park. The fire raged, thousands of trees were lost, and everyone thought the forest was gone. However, when you drive through today, you now see thousands of lodgepole pine trees. How did this happen? Well, here is what researchers discovered:

Lodgepole pine trees are created to have pine cones on them that are shut tight with an impenetrable glue like mixture. Because of this resin, the seeds are locked in tight, and cannot be released UNTIL they come into contact with VERY high temperatures–the very type of temperatures that fire provides!

So get this…..in order for lodgepole pine trees to grow, to expand, and to reproduce, they have to go through the fire! I mean, come on!!! What a leadership lesson for us!

In the same way, as much as we try to avoid it, the fires of life help us grow. They strengthen us, they prime us for new life, and they help clear away the junk. And oftentimes, it’s only after we go through the fires of pain, struggle, or hurt, that we are best able to plant seeds in others around us so that they can grow as well.

And listen, as leaders we will all have seasons where we will have to go through the fire. We will be hurt, criticized, and attacked. We will fail, make mistakes, and fumble. We will ALL go through the fire.

And the question for us when the fires rage around us is not,“Why is this happening”, but instead, “What do I need to learn?”

Because maybe, what you need to learn, will be the very thing that will help those around you and those you lead, grow and find new life.

So, the next time you are in a place in your life or leadership where the heat is getting turned up, and life is getting hot…remember that lodgepole pine, and how you too are uniquely created to grow stronger as a result of the fire.  

In fact, looking back on your own leadership journey, how have the fires of life helped you grow?

 

Brett Detken is a leadership expert and the Director of Marketing for The 4Sight Group. She has led in the local church for the past 20 years, and is a Professor of Business and Leadership. 

Leadership Lessons I’m thankful for….#1

Leadership Lessons I’m thankful for….

by Jenni Catron

The longer I lead the more I realize that there are times in our leadership journey when we have to make critical perspective shifts to think differently and therefore lead differently.  These moments are often hard to identify because we don’t know what we don’t know. That’s why they’re called blind spots. The longer we have these blind spots the more limited our leadership becomes.

That’s why I’m thankful for other leaders in my life who have been willing to identify these blind spots and expand my perspective.

One particular perspective shift that comes to mind is when a leader that I served with coached me on the need to chase momentum rather than fixate on problems. This thought was so counterintuitive to me. One of my strengths is identifying problems and creating plans to overcome them. This gifting has served me well but the more my leadership influence grew the more problems that mounted and the more I was figuratively chasing my tail rather than moving us forward.

My leader’s challenge to chase momentum first was not permission to ignore problems. It was simply a challenge to shift my perspective. I needed to recognize that my greatest attention needed to be given to where we were experiencing momentum as an organization. How could I provide more resources and support for the things that were working? How could I coach and encourage my staff who were leading initiatives that were experiencing momentum?

Momentum is an extraordinary gift.  

One of our responsibilities as leaders is to protect and propel momentum because building momentum or regaining momentum once it is lost is disproportionately more difficult.  

As leaders, there are problems to solve… and we need to solve them, but this perspective shift helped me realize I needed to prioritize momentum over problems. My tendency as a leader was to believe that spending time on problems was my greatest contribution, when in fact giving attention to our successes would actually reap greater rewards, both with our staff and to the bottom line.

So, are you more prone to fixing problems or fueling momentum?

This could be the perspective shift that makes all the difference!

 

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best!

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