Showing posts from 2015

The Quest for Success

What defines success?  This is perhaps the most prominent question rarely asked in North American culture today. We have become obsessed with being successful, but what does it mean to pursue success?
Industry says bigger is better. Family says multiplication is essential. Media says followers and likes are critical. But do any of these point to success?
When is something big enough? What happens if a married or co-habitating couple cannot conceive? Who has time to truly generate viable and consistent interaction online?
Success in sequence What if success is rooted in rhythm and adaptability? In this season of life as a leader, I am beginning to understand that my ability to adapt to different cultural nuances while remaining in a life-giving rhythm of work, play and rest is essential to success. Some people might refer to this as the quest for balance and may even suggest that balance is impossible to attain. I, however, would disagree.
Balance in and of itself is a static word, but …

A New Hope

There is a way forward.

These are some of the most powerful words someone can hear in a time of need. When faced with insurmountable odds or circumstances, finding the hope that there is a way through the darkness, pain, uncertainty or confusion is life giving.

A friend of mine was facing some huge challenges in his marriage after his wife uncovered his infidelity. He was broken, confused, distraught and utterly overwhelmed by the reality of the weight of the potential consequences for his actions.

But somehow, he still found hope...and so did his wife. Together, they pursued restoration, healing and forgiveness and today they marital union is vibrant and inspiring.

I imagine their story would have unfolded differently had they not been given the gift of seeing a way forward that didn't further deepen their pain.

Their story isn't unlike yours or mine. Every single one of us is faced with difficult realities in life. And when these moments are revealed, we have a choice to mak…

All Shapes and Sizes

Leaders look different.

This is one of the many gifts the millennial generation is innovating in the leadership world of today. There is no longer this desire to be like everyone else. Individuality is the flavour du jour, accompanied with a deepening appreciation for diversity and variety.

One question that I've been stewing over lately is the correlation between personality and confidence.

How does one's propensity towards extroversion or introversion affect their level of confidence as a leader?
I'm a pseudo-sociologist junkie by nature. Armed with my keen powers of observation, there are some general realities. that I've discovered with having the privilege of interacting with hundreds of different leaders over the years...and this one is preoccupying my thoughts the most as of late.

The most confident people tend to be the most quiet.
Volume doesn't equal confidence. There is a time and place to rally people towards a cause using one's exuberance and energy,…

Personality or Substance - What kind of leader are you?

Yesterday was a first for me.

I had the privilege of working in the federal election of my home country Canada. My role was to serve electors and help them cast their vote. It was an exhilarating experience to observe democracy and freedom in action.

As I watched all the activities and events leading up to election, I couldn't help but be reminded of a key concept that I've continued to learn as a leader; that being the principle of personality or substance.

There will be a lot of different political satire pieces dispersed in the world of the inter-web today, but this my friends isn't one of them.
It's true that this election process has reminded me of this leadership principle most recently, but it is my drive and passion as a dad that truly inspires me to understand the relationship between personality and substance. This is a non-partisan conversation about leadership, being a dad and desiring to disciple those in my sphere of influence to be all they have been crea…

Best Play or Worst Play

I love sports. If you have ever watched a sports highlight show, you will know that they usually end their show with a highlight real package of the best or worst plays of the day/week.

Lately I've been asking myself the question about my best play or worst play as it pertains to leadership.

I've been involved in leadership in one way or another for the better part of the last 20 years...first as someone who was being grown and developed as a leader as a teen, then someone who was hired to be a leader and now someone who is learning to grow and develop leaders around me. During this time, I have personally felt tempted to try and make myself fit into a variety of different moulds or expectations. There were seasons where I wanted to change my personality or reinvent my passions in order to fit what other people were looking for...and in doing so, I often wonder if I was making my best play or my worst play in terms of leadership.

In a conversation I had with my wife recently, …

Living in Inspiration

For our 10th wedding anniversary I surprised my wife with a trip to Las Vegas. Friends of ours had a condo in Vegas which they generously allowed us to stay at for free, and I had been saving up air miles for 5 years to offset the purchase of our flights.
One of our most favourite things to do as a couple as we have gotten older is to explore the outdoors through walking, hiking and other activities. We have been inspired by the many things we have seen.
This photo was taken in Red Rock Canyon. What do you think of when you see it?

This photo inspires me towards hope. Even in a dry climate like the Nevada desert, life can be found. 
In my current occupation, I have the opportunity to listen to thousands of different stories told by many different people about their own lives, their own dreams and their own wounds that they have sometimes endured. As I hear about the loss, the frustration, the hurt or the bitterness, this image I took from Red Rock Canyon often comes to mind. 
There ar…

Waiting when it hurts

I've been taking a hiatus from writing as of late. There is so much content available for the browser courtesy of Google & the inter-webs that I sometimes forget that what I do end up writing may only be meant for one person who's in a tough space and may be in search of something that inspires them towards hope.

So, for anyone who is reading this, please forgive me. Forgive me for being selfish. Forgive me for forgetting what it means to love through this digital medium by sharing story, asking questions and hopefully illustrating something that inspires you.

I am in a season of waiting.

In 2009, my wife and I had the honour of adopting our oldest son, Cannon. It was a process that we were told may not even happen...and yet it did. It was a process that seem overwhelming at times...and yet we were determined. It is something that has changed my life for the better, and I will always be grateful for that.

Fast forward 6 years and we find ourselves in a similar space yet ag…

When Options Become King

I had the opportunity to share with a local church community this summer about the complexity of living in an option filled society. Take a listen and share your thoughts with me!!

Listen now

Feeling out grown

Transitions in life can often lead us to feeling out-grown in some sense.

I was chatting with a friend of mine who is an educator. As another semester comes to a close, we chatted about the tough reality that many of the students this person had grown close to would be leaving the school and pursuing other opportunities outside of this person's direct influence. As my friend shared with me, I was reminder that this is a season of transition, and this transition is actually a form of grief.

When a transition occurs there is a grieving that takes place. And grief is an invitation to these 3 things:

1. Observe - Every transition provides the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. While one trend is ceasing to continue, another potentially emerges. In the example with my friend, their influence in the role of primary educator and influencer was morphing into more of a post-educator mentor type reality. Sure, the students under their care wouldn't be viewing them wi…

Are you IN or OUT?

This is perhaps one of the most talked about questions in all of Christianity.

Throughout the history of humanity, humans have been preoccupied with hierarchy. We've wanted to establish who we are or who we aren't based on comparison. Sometimes this may have been considered a necessary development, and at other times it had some of the most devastating consequences to human life that have ever been recorded (you've heard of genocide, right?).

I wonder if this is question that we even need to be asking.

I have three kids, and I can tell you firsthand that each one of them is unique, special and crazy in their own way. And they all are driven by the question of who they are to me (or more specifically their mom...she's #1 in our house by far!!). There are times when they use comparison to see which of them is "better" in my eyes. From a parent's perspective, it's a silly exercise because they are all important to me. But from their perspective it is see…


It's a basic need that every human being longs for...a place to belong. This past summer, I was able to share a talk with a local church here in Calgary about this subject. Take a listen. How are you being inspired to create connection for those around you?

The Passover

I'm a young leader...ok...youngish. I've had the great opportunity to get to know hundreds of different young leaders over the years, and there is a common trait that most of us seem to share.
A desire to be noticed.

Whether it's working inside a church, with a missions organization or in the corporate world, young emerging leaders want to be seen, recognized and given the opportunity to lead.
So being the kind of guy that I am, I asked the question why? And here's what I've discover:
We young leaders are afraid.

We are afraid that we won't be seen, we may not be noticed and we may not get the chance to lead. We're afraid that at the end of our lives, we may have just been passed over. If we were really honest with ourselves, we might find the courage to not only recognize our fear, but figure out a way to combat it.
What If? So what if we decided to be something other than afraid? What could that look like and what would it take? Here are three things I've be…