March 2007

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Following a Tough Call

Do you have a passion that burns deep in your core? A drive like a pile of red, hot, fiery coals that you just can't contain? I don't mean a strong desire to go shopping or an intense craving for chocolate. I'm talking about a passion to make a difference, to change the world, to impact a life, to fight for a cause. Do you feel that kind of drive?

If so, what ...

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Developing a Vision When You're Not a Visionary (Part 2)

In my previous post, I listed three ways to develop a vision when you're not a visionary. Here are three more:

4. Listen to the people you want to help. You don't have to be great at coming up with vision, if you're willing to listen to the people you want to help. If you listen well, people will tell you what they really need. In other words, the people you want ...

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Recalibrate Your Life

Each spring, I can't help thinking about a fresh start. In his book, Heart Shift, John Trent retells his conversation with a NASA engineer about tolerances in the trajectories of rockets headed for the moon. The engineer said, "Be just two degrees off from when you blast off, and roughly taking into account the time and distance traveled,?and you'll miss not ...

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Work Is a Sacred Trust

The summer I was 15, I locked myself in the bathroom. Not for the typical reasons. There was no fight with my parents or disappointing love interest. I wasn't trying to hide tears or cool down a temper. I had just received my first paycheck.

It wasn't just the paycheck I loved. That was just symbolic. It was work I loved. I loved the feeling of doing something ...

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Developing a Vision When You're Not a Visionary (Part 1)

My wife, Karen, and I are both in leadership at our church. So dinner-table discussions often come back to how to help other Christians step into leadership. Volunteers tell us, "I might be willing to facilitate, but I'm not sure I'm a leader." People don't consider themselves leaders, because when they say leader, they think of only one type: a strong, ...

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Picture-Perfect Leadership

A leader's life can be lonely. Whether we get paid to lead or not, our role as influencers sets us apart. For better or worse, there is a distance between us and those we supervise. And it is a gap that can dictate everything from our circle of friends, whether or not we seek marital counseling in the same town, to a higher (maybe even impossible) standard of behavior ...

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Leading with One Voice

Back in 2004, I found myself in a remarkable place: sitting with a group of doctors in the government offices of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on an AIDS fact-finding trip. As a stay-at-home mom of three, this was not my usual stomping ground.

But several years ago Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2, came through the Midwest on his Heart of America Tour. While it was ...

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Healed to Lead

As I sifted through a new stack of mail the other afternoon, a cover blurb on the latest copy of my denomination's magazine, The Banner? caught my eye. While the words Healed to Lead weren't compelling enough to make me turn to the article immediately (sorry, Banner editors!), the words intrigued me as a concept. In the midst of the million little tasks that occupied the rest ...

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3 Temptations of Leadership, Part 1

About 12 years ago, when my husband was in seminary, he read Henri Nouwen's book In the Name of Jesus for one of his classes. This book dramatically affected my husband, and he encouraged me to read it. So I did, and I've been thinking about it ever since.

This little book (one of Nouwen's many) presents a powerful summary of what it means to be servant leaders. ...

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Leading Our Children, Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, women are bombarded with many models of parenting. Now let me tell you more about the "mommy tracks" I've been on, and what I've learned about leading my children.

The complexity of my own situation as a parent astounds me. I've been a stay-at-home mom, an outdoor-photographer mom, a work-from-home-worship-leader-mom, ...

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