Consider the Lilies


“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin”  Luke 12:27

I’m prone to toiling – defined as “hard and continuous work; exhausting labor or effort”.

I do this of my own accord.  It’s a drive to achieve, a desire to win favor, a pursuit of perfection.

Two lines before that Jesus asks, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”

And ultimately he reminds us that God provides.

All our worry, toiling, spinning is for naught.

What are you toiling over today?

Consider the lilies…


For All My Artist Friends

Sorry.  This giveaway has ended. :(



Douglas Mann has recently released his new book The Art of Helping Others: How Artists Can Serve God and Love the World.  Here’s a fun fact: Doug was one of the executives at the record label I worked for years ago.  He’s a passionate driven leader that as Ben Arment says, “has the hands of an artist and the heart of a pastor.”

Doug’s book is a beautiful confession of sorts – an authentic, heart-moving memoir of joy, pain, sacrifice and hope.  He beckons all of us to find the artist within and live it out for the glory of God.

Best of all I have a copy to giveaway!

Just leave a comment telling us about the artist in you.  I’ll choose a winner on Friday, February 21st.

Why Are Church Leaders Such Poor Managers?

You would think that we as church leaders would be exceptional at managing people… we’re in the people business of sorts.  Our entire jobs revolve around creating worship experiences in which people can connect to God.  It’s a relationally charged environment. An extroverts heaven – lots of people all the time.  The majority of our work as ministry leaders is done by working with and through others.

And yet, ministry environments are where I’ve observed some of the worst people management.

Time and time again I’ve coached ministry leaders through management maladies.  For whatever reason we flounder when it comes to effectively leading employees.

Here are some reasons why I believe ministry leaders are prone to be poor managers:

  1. Seminary doesn’t focus on teaching us to be managers.  While our training equips us to be good pastors, it rarely teaches us the principles for people management.
  2. We’re less comfortable with conversations that require accountability.  As pastors we find ourselves coaching and spurring others on to Christ-likeness. As managers we must hold people accountable to expectations as well as deliver consequences for unmet objectives.  This feels like it runs in opposition to the grace message we communicate.  (It doesn’t by the way… remember the truth side of the equation.)
  3. Ministry teams are lean.  Human resources staff are a luxury, if you’re able to hire them at all.  As a result, training and development for managers is non-existent.

As leaders we’re responsible for the people under our care.  Hebrews 13:17 reminds us that we as leaders will have to “give an account” for how we lead.

We can not be content with disgruntled employees, under-performing employees, unmet expectations, poor communication, sideways employee/employer relationships.  We can not avoid these conversations.

We can not allow our ignorance or fear to keep us from leading well.

No employee should be the casualty of our poor leadership.

If an employee is not meeting expectations, it’s your responsibility as the leader to lean in and address it.

Have you found yourself in some difficult management moments?  What training do you wish you would have had to better equip you?

We Were All Made to Shine


Fifth grade track meet.  I was a favorite for the 100 meter sprint.  The crowd was exhilarating!  A whopping twenty or so parents piled on the flimsy metal bleachers on the sidelines of our makeshift track.

But this was my moment.  I could feel it.  I bolted off the line and pushed every ounce of effort through my sneakers to the pavement.  I was determined to win this.

I crossed the finish line uncertain of whether I was first but confident that I had a ribbon with my name on it.  As my body processed the strain I had put on it, I barely discerned through my dizziness and cramps that my name had been called.  I had won first place!

That blue ribbon could have just as easily been an Olympic Gold medal in my young mind.  I had given my all.  I had made others proud.  I had achieved a great goal!

The Olympics recall these memories as I watch every competitor cross their finish line.  I don’t care who is winning the medal, I am shedding tears of joy with them.

There is just something deep inside each of us that longs to count.  We want to matter to the world.  We want to shine, 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.

We may not have a world’s stage.  Our spotlight might not be as bright.  But there is something that we’re destined for, an impact we’re designed to make, a mark we’re intended to leave.

What’s your Olympic moment?  What’s the pinnacle of your gifts and talents displayed?

Work towards that.  Be relentless about it.  The world needs you, all of you.  Whatever corner you inhabit, give it your best.

We’re cheering for you too!

Join me for the World LEADERS Conference!


I am humbled to serve in a leadership role for the World LEADERS Group, an incredible organization dedicated to providing resources, materials and training with the ultimate goal of developing servant leaders around the world.

The World LEADERS Conference will take place March 5 – 6, 2014, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

We have a fantastic opportunity to hear from more than a dozen of the world’s most prominent business and church thought leaders, as well as New York Times best-selling authors.


Martin Sheen, Award-winning actor and political activist
Ken Blanchard, Chairman of the Ken Blanchard Companies, co-founder of Lead Like Jesus and New York Times best-selling author
Marcus Buckingham, New York Times best-selling author, researcher and motivational speaker
Henry Cloud, Clinical psychologist, leadership consultant, New York Times best-selling author
Martin Luther King III, American human rights advocate and community activist
Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author and lecturer
Erwin McManus, Artist, filmmaker, author, storyteller, activist, innovator
Patrick Lencioni, President of The Table Group, New York Times best-selling author, leadership/teamwork consultant
Craig Groeschel, New York Times best-selling author and founder/senior pastor of
Katty Kay, Lead anchor for BBC World News America, author
Mark Floyd, Chairman and CEO of Cyan, Inc.
Jon Gordon, Wall Street Journal best-selling author and leadership consultant
Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author
James Blanchard, Retired chairman and CEO of Synovus Financial Corporation
Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author and professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Ray Titus, CEO of United Franchise Group

I have the privilege of extending a 20 percent off incentive exclusively to you to register between now and February 15. I encourage you to attend this extraordinary leadership event and to consider inviting your key employees or board at the same special rate. You also have the opportunity to attend a lunch each day to ask management and leadership questions. The luncheons, where you and your staff can talk with these leaders, are limited to the first 50 people, on a first-come, first-served basis.

To review the four ticket prices: Executive, Priority, VIP and General Admission, please visit, and use the special promotional code, WLC2014, to register before February 15, 2014.

The Conference will take place in an intimate setting to provide a very personal connection between speakers and participants. It is our goal that you will gain an understanding of leadership principles that will guide you and equip you to lead more effectively!

To learn more about the World LEADERS Conference, you can visit Seats are limited!

Hope to see you there!

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


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!


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  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


(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


Lead with hope

Lead with conviction

Lead with strength

Lead with confidence

Lead with love

Lead with the influence that God has given you!