How Peyton Preserved His CLOUT

Like many of you I watched last night’s Super Bowl with my eyes on Peyton.

But it wasn’t to jeer at the intercepted passes.  It wasn’t to shake my head in disbelief as the Seahawks ran away with the game.

I was watching Peyton through the lens of leadership.

What was he saying to the team in those critical moments?

How did he encourage them in the locker room at half time?

What were his words in the huddle?

Was there anything he could say as they made their long walk back to the locker room, game lost?

How did he muster the strength for a press conference?

What compelled him to still sign autographs as he walked to the bus?

While some may be criticizing his game, it’s hard to criticize his character.  Peyton, it seems, understands the responsibility of his influence.  He understands the impact of his clout.

4 Things Peyton did to preserve his clout last night:

  1. He didn’t blame others.
  2. He defended his team.
  3. He didn’t make excuses.
  4. He put others before himself.

Your legacy is not shaped by the number of your wins but by how you handle your losses.

Lessons I’m Learning About Leaving

Mary-Poppins-Quote_I-shall-stay-until-the-wind-changes

I haven’t left many jobs in my life thus far.  I commit to jobs like I commit to relationships – selectively and with the intention of forever.

But jobs are rarely meant to be forever.  They change with seasons.

The winds have changed and it’s time to move on, and I’m trying to move on with the grace, poise and confidence of my Disney hero.

I’m received some wonderful advice from friends who have navigated the winds of change ahead of me and so I thought I would share with you what I’m learning and how I’m trying live out this season of change.

1) Be respectful.  Show respect to your leaders.  Seek to honor them. Praise them.  Thank them.

2) Celebrate others. Focus on celebrating the team you served with.  Remind them of the gifts and strengths you see in them and encourage them to keep using their gifts to serve the organization.  Your parting words of affirmation can be life-giving.

3) Cherish the moments. Absorb every “thank you”, every encouraging word, every memory reminisced, every fun story retold.  Know that your time made an impact and carry that with you.

4) Process. Mourn. Feel. Reflect.  Don’t be in a hurry to move on.  You’ve invested yourself into something you deemed significant.  Let yourself process, mourn, feel and reflect on the joys and accomplishments of that season.

5) Let the wind carry you to your next adventure.  You just never know what is awaiting you there!

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What have you learned about leaving well?

Announcing the CLOUT Awards

Nashville is a city of dreamers.  It’s one of the things I love about living here.  Everyone has a dream they are chasing.

For the nine years that I worked in the music business I had a front row seat to the dreamers.  Some good.  Some not so good.  But every once in awhile we would stumble upon someone who just had “it” – that undeniable, but immeasurable factor that makes you say “they were made to do this!”

They had clout – God-given influence that couldn’t be denied.

There is something deep inside of all of us that longs to count.  We want to matter to the world.  We long to make a difference.  We’re dreamers too.

And guess what? 

You have that “it” factor too.  You have clout.  I truly believe that God has given you clout to directly impact your sphere of influence.  You are equipped with a unique combination of gifts, talents, experiences, and opportunities that no one else has.

Clout is power and influence.  It is an undeniable trait that opens doors and moves mountains.  You have it, and you can use it to change the world around you.

But most of us don’t recognize our own clout.  We get caught up comparing our lives with others and in doing so we miss the potential of our own impact.  Some of us believe that clout can only surface in the big arenas of life, but that’s not true.  Clout shows up in the every day places.  It shows up in how you parent, how you lead your team, how you interact with your friends.  Clout is your influence in action!

And since we don’t do a good job of calling out the clout in our own lives, let’s start by identifying it in others.

We want to hear the stories of people who are living out their clout in their daily context.

To do that, we’ve launching the CLOUT Awards – an opportunity for you to nominate friends who are stewarding their influence wisely.

What are the Clout awards?
The Clout Awards are designed to recognize individuals who are unleashing their God-given influence. We want to know who has influence in your life.

How do the Clout awards work?
We all have people in our lives who we feel don’t get the recognition they deserve. The Clout awards are an opportunity for you to recognize those people. You will share a bit of their story with us. I will share some of these stories on the blog between now & February 28th. Our team will vote on a winner of the Clout Award and announce it March 3rd. The winner will receive a day of coaching or consulting with me. A runner up will receive a bundle of my favorite books on leadership.

Who should I nominate?
Anyone you know who is walking confidently in their God-given influence. It could be anyone from a lead pastor to a full-time mom to a CEO to an entrepreneur. Clout is not limited to title or position.

How can I nominate someone?
Send us an email about the person you want to nominate.  Feel free to get creative – pictures and videos are great too!  Be sure to tell us how that individual is walking in their God–given influence. Emails can be sent to jenni@jennicatron.com.  Once you’ve submitted your entry, feel free to share the story on social media and extend some clout to the person you’re honoring.  Use hashtag #cloutawards

Ready. Set. Go!

Today’s the DAY!

If I was prone to squeal with joy I’d be squealing!

CLOUT: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence

RELEASES TODAY!

(Now insert squeal)

Clout cover

It will take more space than this simple post to explain what this book means to me.  It’s my heart message.  It’s my leadership soul shared through stories and lessons.  It’s what I wished I had known much earlier in my leadership journey.

And my prayer is that it will unleash a generation of leaders to live from a place of divine purpose that defies their personal limitations and allows them to live out their leadership in a way that radically impacts the world.

Clout looks different for each one of us.  Some will have grand stages, others will have small circles.  It’s not about the size of the sphere of influence.  It’s about stewarding whatever influence you have wisely and giving your absolute best to the people whose lives you impact.

Over the next several weeks we want to hear your stories.  We want to know about the people in your life who are using their influence to do the remarkable!

Later today we’ll be announcing the details for the CLOUT Awards.  We want you to nominate people who are using their influence in amazing ways to give life to the people around them.  You can write their story, video it, act it out – whatever it takes to share it with us so that we can celebrate those who are living out their clout.

Don’t forget!  If you pre-order or if you buy CLOUT this week, you can get the study guide and a bunch of other great tools FREE!  Details here.

Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.  I’m so grateful for each of you!

Clout Lived Out

DrKing

Lead with hope

Lead with conviction

Lead with strength

Lead with confidence

Lead with love

Lead with the influence that God has given you!

Restless Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.  Congrats to Rebecca Hamlin for winning a copy of Restless.

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A relaxed, quiet dinner between friends.

We just met but it didn’t discount the fact that “friends” was a safe and appropriate word for how we felt about one another after leaving the table that night.  We shared our stories, our passions, our hopes and our dreams.  It was the type of fast-paced, learn-everything-you-can-about-one-another conversation that leaves you feeling heard and understood.

And of course she asked the question that would rattle my soul for months to come, “Jenni, are you restless?”

I knew the answer but I didn’t want to admit it.  I made some excuses about the busy season I was in, how I was just a little worn out and tired.  I made up a bunch of things that I was excited about, but the truth was the answer was “yes.”

It would just take me many more months to acknowledge it.

RESTLESS_MOCK

Jennie Allen wrote this book for us… for right now.  For every restless soul (willing to acknowledge it or not) who is desperately trying to identify the more you were made for.  This book was timely for me and I suspect it will be for you too.

But until you are all in, you will only be capable of dreaming your own inadequate and small dreams.  Because we are never free until we let go. ~ Jennie Allen

I have a copy of Restless to giveaway! 

Share with us in the comments below one of the dreams that is on your heart.  I’ll randomly select a winner on Monday, January 20th.

Torn. Terrified. Confident.

Seagull

Torn.

Terrified.

Confident.

The markings of a leap of faith.

Torn between two equally great opportunities.

Terrified of the unknown.

Confident in God’s direction.

This has been my life for the last few months.

It’s been awhile since God has asked me to leap like this.

I’d grown comfortable with my calling.  Sure, I was stretched a smidge here or there but nothing that completely displaced me like this leap of faith.

I laughed at first.  I thought it was a joke.  A kind gesture.  A little affirmation during a trying season.  But realistic?  Not a chance… or so I thought.

No, God was calling me to leap.  And not just me – my family too.

What’s the leap?

Effective January 31st I will be resigning my position as Executive Director at Cross Point Church.  I have accepted a role on the leadership team at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC) in Menlo Park, CA with John Ortberg and the great staff there.  After many months of conversation, processing and prayer, my husband and I have a divine sense of God’s direction and calling in this move.  Menlo Park is in a very exciting season of growth and opportunity and I hope my gifts will serve them well as they seek to live out some God-sized dreams for the future.

My nine years at Cross Point have been foundational to my personal, professional and spiritual growth.  It has been an amazing privilege to be a part of this ministry.  Pete has been a pastor and friend through the many months of conversation that have led up to this decision.  That freedom to process has been an incredible and unusual gift.  I suspect that Cross Point will always be woven into the fabric of my soul.  It’s a special place and I can’t wait to see how God continues to use this team in the future.  One of the greatest joys of my life will forever be having the privilege to be a part of assembling this great staff.

But a leap of faith is just that – it’s a leap.  The leap requires lifting my feet off the soil of what’s known and projecting myself forward, confident that God will help me stick the landing.

So here we go.  Torn, terrified and yet confident that God is at work. 

I will continue to write, speak and coach.  In fact, CLOUT releases next week!  I can’t wait to continue to share more about this book with you.  I’ll continue to blog about all that I’m learning as a leader… I suspect the blog content will be rich with new learnings and observations as I get to know a new team, a new structure and a new culture.  Should be fodder for leadership lessons for decades!

Thank you for being a community of support and encouragement.  I’m excited about what this new season holds for me as I transplant this mid-western-turned-southern-girl to the West Coast.  Lord help them now! I’m envisioning the Clampetts! :)

 

 

What Are You Barking About?

Mick is the best dog.

On March 1st we’ll celebrate Mick’s 15th birthday.  We’ve had him 12 of those years.  The first 3 years of his life are unknown but we suspect he lived much of it on his own.

When we adopted Mick he knew he was rescued.  He truly acted as if he was grateful.

He’s always been compliant and quiet.  He follows orders, loves our family routine and operates as a full-fledged member of the Catron house.

But in the last year or so Mick has gotten a little more vocal.  He’s a little less patient with me.  He barks when he wants to go outside.  He barks when he wants to come inside.  He paces until I notice an empty water or food dish.

I’ve been puzzled and quite frustrated by his behavior.  I’ve attempted to analyze it with all the wisdom of a Dog Whisperer wannabe.

The best I can assess it, I think it simply comes down to age and comfort.

He’s old so he thinks he’s entitled.

He’s been around a long time so he expects comfort.

He’s become a crotchety complainer in his old age!

Okay, so here it comes… the moment when I take our family pet and turn him into a leadership lesson…

If we’re not careful, you and I can become like Mick too…

The older we are the more we feel entitled to.

The longer we’ve been around the more comfortable we want to be.

We begin barking demands.

We more frequently bark out complaints.

We’re less content.  We’re less grateful.

Leaders, what are you barking about these days?

Have you lost patience or gratefulness?

If so, first, quit barking.

And second, evaluate why you’ve become entitled and complacent.

What do you need to be more grateful for?

Where have you gotten too comfortable and how can you disrupt yourself?

Leaders, there is too much at stake for us to become crotchety complainers.  Quit barking and get back to leading!

CLOUT Pre-sale Offer!

On January 21st, I have the privilege of releasing my next book, CLOUT: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence!

CLOUT is my heart message and I really truly hope that the words in these pages somehow speak to a generation of leaders who need hope and clarity for where and how God wants to use their influence. My greatest prayer for this book is that God would use it to free great leaders from distractions – I call them the “clout killers” – and unleash us to lead in ways that defy our personal limitations and allow God’s plans to be unleashed through us.

Clout cover

CLOUT releases on January 21, 2014, but we want to offer you some really great FREE gifts if you order now!

If you order the hardcover or eBook of CLOUT before January 26, 2014, send a copy of your receipt or confirmation e-mail to discoverclout@gmail.com and you will receive a copy of the Clout Workbook.  The workbook is designed to help you process how the 7 Clout Killers are impacting your leadership as well as define the 4 Clout Cultivators that will allow you to unleash the influence God has given you.  It’s a great resource for personal study or with a group – and it’s currently only available with pre-sale orders!

We’ll also include the following gifts:

  • Clout Photo/Quote Memes

  • 40% off Discount Code for ThomasNelson.com

  • And whatever else we decided to throw in between then and now :)

How it Works:

Order a copy of CLOUT from your favorite retailer by Sunday, January 26, 2014.  You can order online or visit your favorite bookstore. Then take a picture of your receipt, take a screenshot of your order confirmation, or forward the e-mail confirmation to discoverclout@gmail.com.

Beginning January 21, the receipts will be reviewed and the Clout Team will e-mail you a link to download your free items. It’s that easy!

Thank you all for supporting me in this journey.  I am praying that CLOUT allows you to discover and unleash every ounce of influence God has gifted to you!

 

What’s Your Speed?

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Ok, it’s time to get back to work.  Christmas and New Year’s Day are officially over and reality sets back in.  All those audacious goals you drafted on January 2nd now need to start becoming reality.

But for most of us it’s cold – actually really cold -and dreary.  It’s now the dead of winter.  It doesn’t help that the snowpocalypse they were calling for only turned into a light dusting.

Unmet expectations abound. 

I didn’t start that diet or the cleanse my body desperately needs.

My running routine is all off kilter because it’s so stinkin’ cold outside!

The Christmas decorations are mostly put away but my house is still recovering from 15 family members who descended for a week.

I had such high hopes of being refreshed and energized for the New Year but still feel like I’m racing to catch up with life.

Can you relate?

So here’s the issue…

You’re the leader.  You set the tone for your team.  How you react, respond and engage directly affects how your team engages this New Year too.

“Speed of the leader, speed of the team” ~ Bill Hybels from his book Axiom

What’s your speed?

If you’re not motivated, no one else will be either.

Perhaps you’re recharged and ready for the New Year, if so, good for you!  Figure out the rhythms you need in your schedule to help you stay connected to the motivation you have.

If you’re playing a bit of catch up like I am, carve out some time this week to allow yourself to dream.  Let go of the guilt of the expectations already unmet, let the house live with a little clutter and take a few extra minutes to dream some audacious dreams and set some audacious goals.

Your team needs you.  They need your focus, energy, purposefulness and vision.

Accelerate into this New Year with great hope and purpose!