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Blue Sky Thinking or Grey Sky Management August 24, 2015

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We have all been in meetings when we have been encouraged to think ‘outside the box’, ‘use a blank sheet of paper’ and ‘blue sky dream’. They are nothing new. However, the success of these meetings is dependent upon the attendees, the preparation and the ability to listen. Blue sky thinking quickly deteriorates into a rainy day when the managers begin to see the problems too soon and the potential for new things is swamped by the clouds of past failings.  Setting up these meetings well is so important.

Here are a few steps that may help;

  1. Determine who will attend – these meetings need more creatives than managers. You want ideas to flow without restraint, in the initial stages, and therefore require the big thinkers.
  2. Guard the ‘rules of the meeting’ – the chair of the meeting needs to ensure that all voices are heard. However, this is not enough, the chair of the meeting must also ensure that clouds are not allowed to form – stay strong in this.
  3. Every new idea matters – there is nothing in blue sky thinking that should be out of bounds, the limitations come in the next stages of discussion.
  4. Positive energy – the meeting should be positive thinking, leave the negative views at the door.
  5. Reward the thinkers – rewards take all shapes and forms but we need to credit those who come up with new ideas, they are the lifeblood of any organisation and prevent stagnation. If we value these people, they will continue to contribute to the benefit of everyone. They are often taking a big personal risk in sharing their ideas.
  6. Listen well – attendees must listen to absorb what is said. Then ideas can flourish – we often listen to argue with what is said, this is not listening, it is combat!

There are many more that could be added to the list, these are just for starters…..keep dreaming!

Zig Ziglar Quote June 11, 2015

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“the Will, Skill, and Refill philosophy is a foundation of all of our personal and corporate training. This is how it works: Will—this is the “want to.” This is the heart, the desire, the attitude, the passion that people have. Skill—this is the “how to.” This is the skill, the process, the technical expertise that people have. Refill—this is reinforcing the Will and Skill. There is no such thing as “one and done” training and development. Will and Skill must be developed and reinforced daily”

Zig Ziglar “Born to Win”

Phil Jackson leadership quotes June 9, 2015

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 “The more I tried to exert power directly, the less powerful I became. I learned to dial back my ego and distribute power as widely as possible without surrendering final authority. Paradoxically, this approach strengthened my effectiveness because it freed me to focus on my job as keeper of the team’s vision.”

“Some coaches insist on having the last word, but I always tried to foster an environment in which everyone played a leadership role, from the most unschooled rookie to the veteran superstar. If your primary objective is to bring the team into a state of harmony and oneness, it doesn’t make sense for you to rigidly impose your authority.” 

Leaders who bring lasting change – quote May 29, 2015

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Love this quote from T.J.Addington and the heart for Reach Global

For leaders who bring change and desire that change to last, there are two tipping points to watch. The first tipping point is a change in thinking. One of the significant changes we have been working on in ReachGlobal is for our staff to be equippers of others rather than primarily doers. In this way we move from a model of addition in missions to a model of multiplication. For those who came into the organization when staff were primarily doers, this has been a difficult transition to make, but ten years in we have passed the tipping point in thinking multiplication rather than addition. The second and more difficult tipping point is that of figuring out how to do multiplication rather than addition. Until that occurs, the new DNA will not have been planted in a way that will outlast our current leadership. It is really about developing, empowering, and releasing others in ministry. As that concept catches momentum, the DNA of being equippers will become part of the lasting culture of ReachGlobal.”  T.J.Addington

From the book by “T.J.Addington “Deep Influence”

How far?…. May 28, 2015

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How far do you wish to travel on your leadership journey? What do you desire? If leadership is influence then you can lead no matter what position you hold in an organisation. Usually people refer to leadership role rather than practice because they do not desire leadership to improve others but rather to exert control. It is a tool for power and control as we all like to ‘be in charge’…..it’s not leadership, it’s an ego trip. 

True leadership demands sacrifice and significant investment of time and effort. How far you wish to travel on your leadership journey will determine what level of sacrifice that you need to employ. 

How far?…..

Dyson on failure – Leadership May 27, 2015

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Dyson loves talking about the importance of failure in his life as an industrial designer. “I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right,” said Dyson. “There were 5,126 failures, but I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution. So I don’t mind failure.” He goes on to argue that we often fool ourselves into believing that successful products emerge from a moment of “effortless brilliance.” To him, failures provide keen insights that enable the invention of unique products. Dyson explains: “We’re taught to do things the right way. But if you want to discover something that other people haven’t, you need to do things the wrong way. Initiate a failure by doing something that’s very silly, unthinkable, naughty, dangerous. Watching why that fails can take you on a completely different path. It’s exciting, actually.” 

John Maxwell Quotes May 12, 2015

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Homer understood the value of a crisis. He wrote, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.”

The measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve him but the number of people he serves. Real leaders have something to give, and they give it freely.

Leadership Conference 2015 – Day Two Evening Session (RAH)  May 5, 2015

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So the final night of the HTB Leadership Conference is upon us. 

Christine Caine shares that we are a part of history – so many historical moments where we see God weaving a tapestry of hope to this world. We have witnessed a moment that forces us to respond to a call for church unity. 

Great to look back at the last 12 months of development in Alpha International. A global Alpha Initiative is planned with Bear Grylls heading up the campaign for 2016. Nicky Gumbel reminds us that Alpha is just a resource that helps us to talk with people about Jesus and introduce them to Him.

Joyce Meyer

Encourages us to listen to listen to other people – for then we may see the inner beauty that would otherwise be missed. 

Love: it is not a subject, it is a person. God is love. The conference theme is unity but we cannot have unity unless we have love. We need to stop theorising and begin practising. We are the ones that must make an effort to get along, it may not necessarily be easy but we must practice. Sometimes we live in a way were we have the Holy Spirit but the Holy Spirit does not have us. To be the impact that we need to be, we need to be more than churchgoers, we need to show Jesus in every part of our lives. 

There can be no unity without love because love covers over all offences. Denominational labels are not always helpful because there is not one label who has everything right. Love perseveres. Love starts at home. As a person with a lot of pain and brokenness, it was the word of God that changed everything. Being a person of excellence is very important, as being a person of integrity and keeping the strife (opposite of unity) out of your life. (cf psalm 133). We need to be behind the scenes what we are in front of other people. Love needs to be real, as is unity – they are not events – they are lifestyles.

Matthew 22:36-39 – God cares about everything in your life and he loves you unconditionally. God is love – you cannot do any more or any less to receive his love….he is love. People want unconditional love and the only place to receive it, is from God. We love God because he first loved us. When we receive Gods love and love him back, we need to learn to love ourselves. If you do not love yourself, you are in for a rough ride because wherever you go, there you are! The best gift you can give to those you love, is a healthy you. 

In 1 John 4:11-12 – if you want to see God, find love. Where love is, God abides. What would the world be like today if every Christian acted like one? There is nothing more important than us being people of love (cf ephesians 3:19). Love is not a feeling but a decision. (cf 1 cor 13) There are certain behaviours that do not look good on us as Christians. We may need to change.

When you have experienced something special, you can never be satisfied something lesser. Nothing good happens accidentally, it happens on purpose. cf Gal 6:10 – blessing the household of faith. We all have the ability to make peoples life better…that is love. Love helps needy people and it will be expensive, it will demand sacrifice. John 21:15-18 – feed my sheep, help somebody…..get the smell of sheep on you.  

We need love & this will involve forgiveness, we need to have a lifestyle of forgiveness. Forgiveness may happen in degrees and will be more than just a duty and may demand we keep showing forgiveness, even if their behaviour does not alter. God works through people and as partners with God, he wants to use us to bring healing and salvation as we demonstrate Christ and point people to him.

Acts 10:38 – we need to go around doing good. Everywhere we go, there is someone who’s life we can make better, if we will only look. We need to walk in love….we will need to trust. 

….and so it ends, see you at the HTB Leadership Conference 2017

Leadership Conference 2015 – Day Two Morning Session 2 (RAH) – Father Raniero Cantalamessa May 5, 2015

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Traditional hymns with the Royal Albert Hall organ for accompaniement, sets the scene for Father Raniero.

The joy of the gospel is with all of those who meet with Jesus Christ. We must re-embark on using this joy for the evangelisation of the world. At first, ‘repent and believe the gospel’ is not always received, at first, as good news. Repent means to ‘turn your mind around’ not to do penance. 

Be converted by believing – they are not different things but complementary. God has sent His son that we may receive adoption as sons. Salvation in many religions is through ascetic means, christianity does not tell them what they need to do to be saved but what God has done for them. Prior to the category of duty is the category of gift – grace. The gospel is a source of joy as it tells us of a God of grace, who gave his Son. The joy of the gospel is not an easy joy – it is especially for the poor and the needy. If it is good news, why is the christian faith perceived as one of pain and problem?  The perception is a negative one when it should be joy. We see the will of God as something that is displeasing or painful – God being the enemy of any joy or celebration. This is different to the image of God in the gospel and must be dealt with if we are to evangelise.

The Eastern Church is more positive whilst the western church is more negative. The theology and need of grace by Augustine and the western church has often been the church that has restricted grace. 

The secular western world has rejected christianity but we are beginning to see a momentous change, particularly the charismatic/pentecostal renewal across the world. It provides a different perception of the christian life, one of joy and celebration rather than pessimism. Joy in the Holy Spirit changes things as people are convicted of sin and move grace. Nobody has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit – as we yield to Him, the church lives and our actions show God. 

We have an opportunity to live in this new moment of grace. The greatest danger is from within, we need to demonstrate love (cf 1 Corinthians) with authentic love in Christ and living in the fruit of the Spirit. Holiness is vital. 

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus……..

Unity amongst Christians is vital, especially as there is the 500yr anniversary of the Reformation (in 2017) – the church and the world have changed since then and we need to once again, centre everything on the person of Jesus. We preach Christ crucified or we preach Christ as Lord must be our refrain. 

We are called to proclaim the good news of the gospel. 

A renewal of dialogue is required. Raniero shares honestly about the conflict of preserving theological position compared to the unity we share in Christ as his children. If we are one in Christ we need to talk again and recognise not just the visible church but the invisible church. Christian constituencies are being brought together again by the Spirit of God. Our unity is based in the person of Jesus Christ – not on dogma or practice. Steps to unity will be found when believers, despite their differences, meet together around the person of Jesus.

Leadership Conference 2015 – Day One Evening Session (RAH) –  May 4, 2015

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Father Cantalamessa – short interview

As Pope’s preacher – “it is easy as I just have to preach about Jesus.” Preparation is by getting on his knees and praying to Jesus. The role of the preacher is just to grasp a message and convey it to the listeners – to share the story of Jesus. Father Raniero currently lives in a very remote place – all he shares as a preacher is from Prayer and listening to the Lord. To deepen a relationship with Jesus, our self must diminish. The more we die to ourselves, the more Jesus can live in us. All his teaching is based on Jesus, looking at evangelism and living in the Holy Spirit.  Going back to the gospel in a simplistic way, we will see what God can do…..’I am convinced that the Christian faith is more alive than ever.’ This interview concluded with a declaration of Romans 10:9

A welcome from Bishop Richard Chartres

We are entering a future that is beyond denominations – a new church even begun in UCL. The Holy Spirit is at work configuring new ways of working together. Many Christians around the world are suffering for their faith but, in doing so, they give us a message to pray for them and are wanting us to advocate for them. We have a duty to remember those who suffer for the sake of Christ. When we remember Jesus in the present, we make up Hs body to transform the world. 

Robert Madu

The blood of Jesus who unites us is so much greater than all that seeks to divide us. There is a real need to give honour where honour is due. Mygeneration can see further because of the sacrifice of those that are older in this room

Hebrews 12:1-2 and 1 Samuel 18:5-9 – On their Mark

  • There is a race set before us and we are to keep our eyes on Jesus. Saul had taken his eyes to look at David. It is comical when we compare each other in the gym – not so funny when we compare with others in life. Who are you comparing your life with? Have you taken your eyes off Jesus? It is a dangerous game to compete with others – like being on a treadmill, it takes you nowhere. Comparison is the number one enemy of destiny, the thief of joy, a deadly game. Comparison will consistently cloud the call of God on your life. There is a call on your life – nobody else can do the thing that God called you to do…..there is a difference between a career and a calling. You have been called and God has given you everything you need to fulfill that calling. You have been created as a masterpiece, so stop complaining about the pieces that you do not have. All we have to do is to stay in your lane and keep your eyes on Jesus…..it sounds simple but it is so difficult in practice. 
  • We all have a universal destiny to become more like Jesus. We also have an individual destiny, to be unlike anybody else ever created. Find your lane and run your race as God intended. Saul was running his race but then took his eyes off God, put his eyes on David. Saul was more concerned with being the king than worshipping the King of Kings. David was a man who worshipped God and sought to honour God – cf story of Goliath. It was a destiny moment. When Saul heard the women singing, he started the downward track – saul killed his thousands and David his tens of thousands….Saul was jealous. He could not separate his own life from the life of David. The selfish attitude will blind you to Jesus and who He is….because your eyes are on the wrong person. If you can’t celebrate other peoples successes, rejoice in other peoples failings, bring conversation to yourself….you have the wrong attitude. Social media does not help….we are often contented until we see what others are doing. 
  • Comparison is so lethal that it will get into every area of your life. It will impact your finances, your spouse….fix your eyes on Jesus so that you can run your race. 
  • When you feel overwhelmed, remember who opened the door. God has given you the grace to run your race, you have to be the person that God created you to be. There is only one you – be you! Fix your eyes on Jesus.
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