Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Leaders diffuse emotionally charged situations

We've all been there. Someone storms into a room that you can tell the something is about to happen...and it's not going to be good. Leaders have to find ways to move through all sorts of different environments and situations. This week, we examine what it could look like for leaders to diffuse sticky situations.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Great Leaders let their Team OutGrow Them

Leaders find a way to make the people around them better. This week we discuss the simple idea of what it means to let the people around you out grow your leadership.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Great leaders find a way to collect information

Communication matters. Great leaders find a way to collect stories to help them be better.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Leaders Create Culture

Never underestimate the power of culture. As a leader, you have direct influence in setting the tone and pace to create the culture of how you lead and where you lead.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Leading People or Places?

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between leadership of people and leadership of places? Here's 90 seconds worth of thoughts about this very subject.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Leadership and Team

I've always loved being a part of a team. Great leaders inspire the people around them to be the best they can be. In this week's 90 second leadership update we examine the value of team leadership.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Great Leaders are Self-Aware

We all have natural tendencies and push points. How does being self-aware as a leader help you to be better than you are today?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Great Leaders are Great Listeners

This week we dive into the concept of learning to listen well and effectively as a leader. What are you learning about the practice of listening in your leadership?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Great Leaders ask Great Questions

I'm going to experiment with a series of 90 second videos of different topics in the realm of leadership that are making me think. Today, it's all about questions. How are you utilizing the art of asking great questions to help shape those around you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Challenge

Selfish or Selfless

The older I get, the more self absorbed I become. I'm focused on the next phase of development, opportunity or challenge that I can overcome. The desire to leave a legacy that impacts those around me drives me forward...but at what cost?

I'm a parent of 5 children. Can I really afford to be so self-absorbed that I miss the opportunity to shape the future leadership generation of the world in which I will grow old and more reliant in?

I believe one of the foundational challenges that every leader faces is the choice to remain selfless or the choice to embrace the growing desire to be selfish.

So I'm asking myself today, in what I choose to do, will this benefit only me, or will this serve those around me?

Leaders that are selfless are leaders who leave a legacy worth imitating.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Thankful to have had the opportunity to share about something I've been thinking about for quite awhile. The concept of being sent.

I like to think, and combining this passion along with one of my favourite books to read and to study (the Bible), well...there is no shortage of inspiring discoveries.

Have a listen -

Monday, May 30, 2016

Can I Make an Observation?

I like to observe. It's one of my favourite things, and no, I don't believe that makes me a creeper.

I like to take notice of patterns, habits, tendencies and systems. I like to attempt to identify what changes I can make to something in order to get a better result. I enjoy watching, strategizing, planning and activating in learning.

That doesn't make me weird, it just makes me, me.

2016 has been an incredibly interesting year so far. I've had the opportunity of witnessing my youngest daughter continue to grow and morph before my eyes, all while learning to wait for and get to what this next longer term season looks like for our family. If you want to know what's up with us, take a look at this video:

I sometimes wonder if I am too busy to notice all that is happening around me. I've heard people say that you need to "stop and smell the roses" from time to time, and well, those people are right.

Being busy gets in the way from actually being productive.

A flurry of activity doesn't always equal greater results. I can finally say that I'm learning to stop, listen, create and learn so that I can move forward.

Maybe it's time for you to make the same observation?

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Future is Closer than You Think

As a leader, husband and father I've always been drawn to think more about what's coming than what is right now. It's both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing in that I'm constantly planning for what might be around the next corner. But it's also a curse because at times I lose sight of what is right in front of me. I need the people around me (family, teammates and friends) to keep me grounded.

Working in the present while being mindful of the future is a skill I'm learning to develop.

The truth about the future is that it is in constant motion, and what we do today, shapes what will be tomorrow. The other truth about the future is that it is a lot closer than we sometimes think.

I've heard many grandparents share with me over the years that it "only seems like yesterday" when they were holding their first child, and now as grandparents they find themselves in a completely different stage of life.

Time is always moving forward. It never moves backward. Every second that ticks away brings what is coming closer to what is already.

The future cannot be avoided. The future may not be televised, but the future is now more than ever.

Plan for tomorrow by leading well today. The future is much closer than we think.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Being Shaped by Rhythm

Every season has a purpose.

Winter is meant to shape new life.
Spring brings new life to fruition.
Fall is the transition of life to death.
And summer...well summer is all about rest & fun.

For the better part of the last 5 years I've been captivated by the idea of rhythm. 

Life cycles

All of these elements have one thing in common...rhythm.

It's in understanding the rhythms that are at play, those that are self-imposed and those that are systemically imposed that you can find a way to create a life rhythm for yourself (and your family) that is not only sustainable, but one that is also life-giving.

For some, it's a desire to be surrounded by everything familiar in order to foster a rhythm that is life-giving and sustainable. For others, it may be the complete opposite.

One thing is absolute in either setting, rhythm cannot be avoided or ignored. 

If you're in a space where you are questioning whether or not your pace of life (also known as rhythm) is sustainable, perhaps it's time to discover what elements you can adjust to shape a reality moving forward.

What do you think? How does the rhythm of your life impact you story and your legacy?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Adventure Is Out There

This is one of my favourite lines from an animated movie...UP.

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.

Life is seasonal. It has moments of triumph, moments of failure, moments of intrigue and so much more. Some of you who are reading this blog may be aware that the season our family has been in has been one of adventure. November 2015 was the beginning of this new season. It started with a phone call that would change our lives. We had been matched in our long away adoption process (2 years of waiting) and would welcome our daughter, Layla,  into the world just before Christmas. Nearly a month later, we were able to permanently bring her home to be with us...but the adventure didn't stop there.

We were working through a transition with job stuff, from full-time employment to paternal leave to now being able to work in a full-time temporary contract reality for this next leg of the adventure.

It has been a roller coaster, but one that we wouldn't trade for anything.

When moments of uncertainty arise, I encourage you to view them as opportunities for adventure more than anything else. The experiences, questions, emotions and decisions made during seasons of adventure are not only potentially life changing, they are also character refining moments.

Grab hold of adventure. Embrace a new season. Adventure is not only out there...adventure is the heartbeat of family.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Keeping Up Appearances

Over the last month, my wife and I were immersed in the conclusion of a two year adventure to bring home our infant adoptive daughter Layla to be with her forever family.

This final leg of the journey involved us spending a third of a month away from our older 3 children over 2 different trips to the United States.

We had lots of time to think, pray, learn, observe and grow together and separately.

One of the things that struck me the most about our southern neighbour's culture and community was the over-arching desire to seemingly have to keep up appearances. We saw people invest tremendous amounts of effort to mask their pain, their questions, their confusion and their ineptitude in a variety of different ways. We met others who were attempting to live counter culturally to this seemingly natural American expression, which reminded us of something we were pursuing in our own family.

About 8 years ago my wife Bonny and I sat down and crafted together some values that we wanted to be the guideposts for our family in the present and the future. One of these values is authenticity.

"If it's not real, it's not worth it" - one of our favourite phrases

As we've stitched this notion and practice into the fibre of our family, we've found a tremendous sense of freedom from the desire to keep up appearances. We have more energy, more capacity and more opportunity to invest ourselves in things that actually matter.

What we've discovered in this journey is that friendships have been more difficult to find and nurture than we thought.

You see, the challenge with authenticity is that you need to face your own pain, your own short comings and your own pride. You need to admit to yourself and to others that you are not only imperfect, but you are in need of the aide others can offer you in order to continue to grow emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and physically.

And that is the challenge.

Admitting that we need something other than our own ability to create a stable present or future.

But I wonder how different life would be if we each of us found the courage to remove our masks and get real with life and with each other?

I don't have time to waste trying to be something or someone that I'm not. So I don't bother with it anymore. I am who I am...the Creator who made me knew what He was doing when He authored my life to come to be.

How about you? Are you aiming to be real, or to be something completely different?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Do Your Best

My dad is one of my heroes in life.

He and I couldn't be more different.

He is a jack of all trades...and me, well, I'm not very good with my hands in terms of handyman type work. I can get a job done, but not nearly to the degree of excellence that my dad can.

I can remember going on a missions trip with my dad when I was in grade 11. There was some light construction work we were doing, and my dad's advice to the team was simple: "Do your best. Pretend like you are working on your home."

These are words that I have shared with others over the years.

They are words of empathy. If you can identify with the set of circumstances that another person is experiencing while you are helping them out, you will not only meet their need, you will also inspire hope.

The next time you are helping someone out, ask yourself the question - are you doing your best?

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Way Forward

One of my favourite biblical leadership stories is found in the thirteenth chapter of the book of Numbers (read it here).

Here is a brief summary:

  • The Israelites (God's people) were headed to their new home...the promised land
  • All this generation had known was slavery to the Egyptians
  • This promise of a new home was a chance to start again, to create a new present/future
  • The land they were invited to live in by God was full of other tribal groups, meaning they would have to fight for their present/future
  • 12 men were chosen to go explore the land and report back to the entire community
  • 10 men reported that it would be impossible to find a way forward
  • only 2 men had the courage to inspire the community to consider the possibility despite the perceived challenges that lie ahead
  • The nation of Israel chose to remain in the space there were familiar with (living on the run)
  • The future promise of this new home didn't come to fruition until an entirely new generation rose up to take hold of what they new to be true.

Leadership is full of all kinds of different challenges! There are two major responses to tension that leaders face.
  1. Compromise
  2. A Way Forward
The way any leader chooses to approach the challenges they face will not only define their present, but their future impact as well. Here are some deeper thoughts I'm learning about these two major leadership strategies.

Compromise is a Killer

Compromise promises something that it cannot deliver...consensus and buy-in. What might seem like a good idea at the time ends up being a passive tactic or attempt to delay the inevitable.

Compromise leaves people unsettled. There is no promise that when another challenge or hurdle emerges it won't create an even more chaotic response or leadership position. Compromise is nothing more than a short-term, static, cumbersome response to the issue at hand.

A Way Forward

These are some of the most powerful words someone can speak to themselves and to others in the middle of a leadership tensions, personal crises or other ill-fitting space that someone may find themselves in.

The way forward may not always be the most obvious or popular response to the situation at hand...but it is the way forward that provides the vision and lens through which hope can give birth to a new present and future reality.

The way forward is a long-term, dynamic solution that is meant to create stability and hope while making the future more attainable than what you originally might perceive. 

So What Now

The next time you find yourself facing tension in your world, consider what your response might be. Are you seeking to compromise, or are you open to a way forward through the obstacle you are facing? The solution may not seem obvious at first. Drill down. Find the root. Think of what could be so that what will be is the place where you truly desire to end up living in.

If you aren't willing to find a way forward, someone else will...and that might mean that you miss out on the preferred future you once desired. Think about it. Find the courage to lead and live differently. Live the story that is unfolding before you.