What is essential to being a leader?

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Love this quote from Kip Tindell CEO of The Container Store

“While I certainly value intellectual intelligence, a capable leader must also possess emotional intelligence. I think that’s the key to being really successful. These individuals keep their egos in check and remain sensitive to the needs of others. Instead of being driven by deep seated insecurities, emotionally intelligent leaders are comfortable surrounding themselves with people who are better than they are in certain areas, and they rank high on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where self-esteem, awareness, honesty, and objectivity are concerned. Business is not a zero-sum game. In other words, someone else doesn’t have to lose in order for you to win. The best leaders both understand and embrace that type of thinking.” – Kip Tindell

How can we as leaders be to other people what we wish they were to us?

Leaders focus relentlessly

PerilsOfMultitasking

Multitasking is a myth. There has been much research recently. Earl Miller MIT neuroscientist at MIT explains that it is actually switch tasking and in the switching from task to task we lose more than we gain.

MIT neuroscientist Earl Miller (Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again: John Hamilton, NPR October 2008) says, “Switching from task to task, you think that you’re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But, you’re not.” You’re really toggling between tasks at amazing speeds. Apparently, we were never multitasking. It’s a myth!

Leading is difficult. There are more things to accomplish than time to accomplish them. The only practical solution we think is available to us is multitasking. This thinking is only fed by the relentless wave of social media. We think doing more things is the way to get more done but the ironic thing is the less you do the more you get done. This is one of the more counter cultural things I have come to learn as I have gotten older. The secret to effectiveness is not how much can you do at once but rather how well do you concentrate on one thing at a time.

Top Family Ministry Blogs 2014

top 50 family ministry Blog

Family ministry has been a priority for churches since the 80’s but in the past 15 years there has been a new push for youth and kids ministries to be working together in sync with each other in a way that produces a cohesive strategy to equip and empower families like never before. When I started blogging 7 years ago there were only a handful of children’s pastors blogging. There were also a few youth pastor blogs as well. The desire I had for my blog at the beginning was to be to someone else what I wish I had when I started.

In the past 5 years there has been a huge shift toward staffing family ministry positions. That title means something different for each person using it for us here it refers to a single staff member responsible for all programing from birth through college. While there are not a ton of family ministry specific blogs out there yet, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the best of both the youth and children’s ministry blogosphere.

Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids use iPad’s. Why do we?

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Recently my wife and I have had conversations about the dominance and the proper role technology should have in our lives and in the life of our kids. I then came across a 2010 interview with Steve Jobs. I was shocked to say the least.

When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.

“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence. I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow.

Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close.

Nick Bilton of the Times goes on to say this is common among America’s High Tech elite. Here is the link for the whole article.

As a parent it is very easy to allow screens to raise our kids. What gave me pause is that if anyone could see the benefits of technology Jobs could. He was so persuasive in the benefits of his devices that I’m sure Bill Gates owned a few iPads. What is concerning to me is that someone who knows what is possible with an iPad chose to keep his kids on a very short technology leash.

The article go on to describe how a typical dinner at the Jobs house was around a table with discussion around history, philosophy and literature rather than apps, games and music. Our job as parents is to help nurture our kids sense of possibility. To tap into what could be that comes from seeing what has been and what is. Technology is amazing but must have a limited hold our our kid’s imagination. You can not create something new if you are consumed by things as they are.

How do you limit your kids time on digital devices?

1. Set a timer.

2. Allow your kids to earn time. – It the summer our kids can only play on screens for the same length of time they have spent time reading.

3. Make sure your kids are in a common place when on mobile devices so you can monitor their activity.

4. Actively provide other things for your kids to do that engage them in creative production rather than simply passive consumption.

Why reading blogs, books and tweets may be bad for you.

When it comes to blogging or anything else in life for that matter there is a delicate balance that must be maintained in order for you to be effective. I call it the production vs. consumption dilemma. Catchy I know. Here is the problem. We live in a time where more content is being generated than ever before in our history. Check out this info graphic on how much content is created in one minute on the web. The numbers are staggering.

web content infographic

What has happened has been a seismic shift in content creation. The internet has removed all the previous gateways that filtered content. For example you want to write a book you can anyone can. There are literally hundreds of sites that will help you get your content out there. Years ago the publishing companies where the gatekeepers of books. If your book wasn’t good or what the publishing companies thought people wanted your content didn’t see the light of day. This was a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because it acted as a filter and mostly worked. It was bad because it kept us from finding new voices and hearing new ideas. This is just publishing the internet has broken down so many walls when it comes to content creation it’s almost overwhelming.