Category Archives: Relationships

Three Books by Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon is a best selling author and keynote speaker known for developing positive leaders, organizations, and teams. He has written more than a dozen books. Here are 3 I recently picked up (read the first two last week while on vacation):

  • The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy
    This book takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment – at work and at home. Jon infuses this engaging story with keen insights as he provides a powerful roadmap to overcome adversity and bring out the best in yourself and your team. When you get on The Energy Bus you’ll enjoy the ride of your life!
  • Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else
    This book follows the story of Martin Jones, an un-drafted rookie trying to make it to the bright lights and big money of the NFL. He’s spent his whole life proving to the critics that a small guy with a big heart can succeed against all odds. After spraining his ankle in the preseason, Martin thinks his dream is lost when he happens to meet a very special coach who shares eleven life-changing lessons that keep Martin’s dream alive-and might even make him the best of the best. Whether you play sports or the piano or work with numbers, a computer or a scalpel, these lessons apply to everyone who must climb the mountain before reaching its peak.
  • You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life
    This book draws on the extraordinary experiences of Coach Mike Smith and Jon Gordon—consultant to numerous college and professional teams—to explore the seven powerful principles that any business, school, organization, or sports team can adopt to revitalize their organization.

Your turn… If you’ve read any of these books take a moment to share your impressions.

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Filed under Books, Leadership, Organizational Health, Personal Development, Relationships

Three Powerful Truths from Scary Close by @DonaldMiller via @MichaelHyatt

A few weeks ago we were blessed to have Donald Miller and Bob Goff at our Men’s Conference. They inspired us to live a better story with our lives. Don has been one of my favorite writers for a number of years (I’ll highlight some of his resources in my next post). Today, I simply want to share 3 powerful truths from his latest book, Scary Close, via Michael Hyatt’s blog (if you don’t already follow Michael’s blog make sure you check it out today; he always shares great resources designed to help leaders leverage their influence).

Here are three powerful truths Scary Close can teach us (you can read the whole post here):

1. Shame Has More Power over Us Than We Realize

Somewhere in our lives we experience enough criticism or social pressure to believe that we don’t measure up. So we create a façade. If we can’t be worthy, we think, then at least our act can be worthy. Then when our act starts getting applause and validation, we learn to pass that off like it’s the real us.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly done this. Don did too. It took a counselor to show him that people cannot connect with an act, even if it’s one as good as his.

Don says shame drives this whole process. We feel as if we have nothing to offer, we’re not good enough, or whatever version of that story we tell ourselves. To overcome that shame and the limits that come with it, we adopt a persona we hope will win approval and help us accomplish our goals.

I’ve seen leaders and bloggers do a lot of this. I’ve also seen that it’s unsustainable. In the case of Don it was crippling. He couldn’t maintain relationships, and his writing stalled.

2. Being Open Is Better Than Being Careful

This act is meant to protect ourselves, but Don discovered when he dropped the act people could finally connect with him and he could connect with them.

Isn’t that risky? Doesn’t that open ourselves up to getting hurt or rejected? Absolutely. But if you know anything about my approach to risk, you know that nothing good comes from staying inside our comfort zones. It’s when we venture outside that we find meaning, joy, and fulfillment.

Scary Close offers several examples of this in action, but one sticks with me. Don opened himself up on his Storyline blog to some significant criticism. Instead of retreating, he leaned into the discomfort and found the honesty liberating.

The new freedom unleashed his productivity. He started writing again—a lot. His blog traffic exploded along with his increased output. He even drafted a new book in just four months. That’s when Don decided it was better to be open than careful.

3. There are More Lifeguards Than Sharks

Criticism can make us afraid. If were a leader with a vision to share or blogger with something to say, it’s very easy to take criticism to heart and dial back our determination. But the real scandal is that we sometimes retreat before the darts start flying.

Sometimes all it takes is anticipating a negative reaction and we torque back our initiatives or soften our words.

I’m guilty of that, but as Don says, “For the most part, others aren’t out to get us.” We just need to step out and jump in the water knowing that their are more lifeguards than sharks. When we “dive into the unknown,” he says, “there [a]re very real dangers, but mostly rewards.”

This is similar to perceived scarcity and outrageous abundance. The world is richer and more welcoming than we know. But to protect ourselves from disappointment, we choose to disbelieve that. It’s hard to have our hopes dashed when we don’t hope for much.

But that’s a debilitating way to look at the world.

Criticism and social pressure are not the only things that matter.

If we were brave, we would say the things that were on our hearts. If we were brave, we would take our organizations the direction we want them to go. If we were brave, we would do many things differently than we do right now.

So why not be brave? I’m grateful to Don for pointing the way in Scary Close.

Your turn… If this post was helpful to you, take a moment and share it with someone else and/or on Social Media.

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Filed under Books, Relationships

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and an incredible New Year. I am taking a break from posting to my blog this week (will resume in early January). I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read my blog from time to time. My hope is to continue to share resources designed to help make us better. And, of course, I would love to hear more about the resources that have been shaping your life along the way. If you are new to this blog, take some time to look back through the archives of resources I’ve shared the past 6 months.

 

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Three Series that Focus on Relationships

Here are 3 series I’ve been listening to lately that focus on relationships:

  • Friending by Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv

“Friends love you at your worst and can help you be your best, but many of us don’t realize the importance of whom we choose to surround ourselves with. The friends you have help determine the quality and direction of your life. Where are your friendships leading you? Come learn what the Bible says about Friending.”

Erich’s note: Make sure you check out the resources that go along with each message (great for personal study or small groups).

“While some of us loved our “growin’ up” years, others of us couldn’t wait to move out and start fresh. Either way, we want our Future Family to be a step up from our families of origin. Most of us want something better for our children. But what? When it comes to family, what does a preferred future look like? What exactly are we aiming for? Well, whether you’re starting a new family, leaving an old one, or wondering if it’s worth the effort at all, join us this Sunday as we go back to the drawing board.”

Erich’s note: We are going through it in our Young Couples 30s class at The Hills. Make sure you check out the discussion page for each lesson (great for small groups).

  • Sequels by Jonathan Storment at Highland Church of Christ

“There are over 1500 services for online dating today. We’ve invented internet dating, speed dating and even television dating. But more relationships are falling apart than ever before. Which begs the question, why is a culture that is so focused on falling in love, so bad at staying in love?” 

Erich’s note: I mentioned this series and Jonathan’s sermon podcast in recent posts. Make sure you get the free Sequels ebook as well.

Your turn… What are some other series you’ve heard recently that focus on relationships?

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Filed under Family, Relationships, Sermons