Basic Leadership: Vision, What Story Are You Telling?

 Basic Leadership 3 ~ vision.jpg

First and foremost, I believe that God has given us all passions, dreams, and the ability to accomplish them through His strength.

Secondly, there is something to be said about living a consistent, faithful life. However, people sometimes mistakenly assume that perseverance and consistency do not equal an adventure and passion-filled life. They are wrong! Perseverance and consistency is what you need to start living a life full of adventure…AND, it starts with a clear picture of your future…Your Vision!

Here are 3 steps to defining and living out your vision – What is the story your life is telling?

3 Steps to Living The Life Within You!

1. Understand Your Identity: Who you are is more important than what you do!

Society tends to flip this around. We may not say it aloud, but we often feel the pressure of the message that says, “what you do will define who you are.”  This is false! You are a unique, gifted, and talented individual..BUT, beyond all your skills talents and abilities, you must come to the place where you realize that even without all of those blessings, you are important, loved and special! Your identity is found in your personhood, if you have a faith perspective, in who God says you are. You are not defined by what you do, you are defined as a unique individual who has the ability to literally change the world!

2. Stop Comparing: This is about you, not everyone else.

I know, this step is harder than it sounds, but it is fairly simple. You need to stop comparing your life to everyone else’s. Easier said than done, right? Get an accountability partner, a friend, or a couple of friends that you can confide in and tell them to stop you every time you start talking and comparing yourself to someone else. Stop wanting someone else’s story and start living your own. Living your life will always be better than imitating someone else’s. 

3. Imagine: If everything was possible, what would you do?

I love this quote by Albert Einstein.  “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”  One of the best ways to define your vision, as I call it, your “driving primary purpose” is to begin with the end in mind. Here’s my question to you: what does the preview of your upcoming life look like? If it’s not what you want it to be, what will you do, today, to change it. Imagining a new story is by far the simplest step, but also the one most forgotten.  Here are three simple steps.

  • Clear your mind and focus. You may need to close your eyes.
  • Imagine your life as one big movie scene. Here’s the key question: What is the climactic scene in your movie? I’m talking about the ending of the movie that catches everyone’s breath, moves people to tears, or shouts for joy! What is happening at that moment, in that scene of your life?
  • Write it down! For many people, that scene ~ that moment ~ is their vision, their driving primary purpose.

I’d love to hear what your vision, your driving primary purpose is for your life.  What are you doing today to start living this life that is within you?  If you would like to know more about this topic, I’ll be releasing a premium ebook on this whole topic.

Find out more here

However, regardless of the book, I want to truly hear about your dreams and passions.  Any advice and feedback for others as we journey together?  Have a super week!

dh

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Basic Leadership: Determining Your Personal Values

winning basic leadership 2.jpg

 

“Your belief or “values” (my addition) become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your destiny”

~Ghandi

Defining your personal values and living them out are one of the most important steps a leader can take in cultivating a focused and intentional life. Andy Stanley, is often quoted as referring to these as “Be Goals.”  ie: Who do you want to be? If people looked at your life, would they be able to see the embodiment of these values in your life. Very often organizations have value statements, though I would argue I’m not sure how well these inform the day-to-day operations. However, that is for another post for another time. Today, it’s all about you! Your values, who you are and who you want to be.   In this post I will share 3 benefits of defining your personal values and I will even share some of my own.  This is Post 2 of the “Basic Leadership” series.

Disclaimer: There are too many benefits to list when it comes to having defined personal values. These are the first three that came to mind. I’d love to hear other benefits you think I missed in the comments below.

 Benefit #1 ~ Quickly Assess Everything

Life is full of opportunities. Some are helpful and some will be harmful. Whether it be in your personal life or professional life. Having clarity around your personal values will help you assess decisions, opportunities and the tactics you will use as you seek to achieve your personal and professional goals.

 Benefit #2 ~ Strengthen Your Identity

I often have a similar conversation, it goes like this.

     Anonymous Person ~ Darren, I’m not sure what I want to do with my life? Can you help me.  I have all these ideas, im just not sure which one is “truly me” and “what I was created for.”

     Darren ~ I’d be happy to help. However, before you determine what you will do, you must determine who you are.

 Benefit #3 ~ Increased Joy

Have you noticed that we live in world that runs at a frenetic pace? Don’t et me wrong, I love running fast, hard and long. BUT, when you run fast, hard, and long in a way that does not align to your personal values, you will burn out. Not only will you burn out, but your life will be filled with frustration, disengagement (always thinking about a different preferred future), and simply, it will be a life marked by un-happiness.  Want to increase “joy” in your life. Define your values and start living by them.

3 Steps To creating Your Own

1. Brainstorm An Initial List

  •  I recommend taking a clean sheet of paper and start by writing down words, statements, ideas, anything that comes to mind that you place a high value on.  This is actually a pic of my journal with me doing just that.

Values_Scribble

  • Use a primer of other leadership values. Some people like to create from scratch, others like to adapt. I’m more of an adapter. So, here is a list of leadership values which may spark something within you.
  • Here is a free template to help catalyze your thinking as you develop your own values.  This is one of many premium resources that will be offered through my “Go Live Your Life Already” e-book packages.  If you would like to stay updated on the launch of this book, sign up below.

DefineYourLeadershipValues_pdf

2. Define the “Why”

  • ***This is Important*** So often people write down value statements, but they don’t do the hard work describing why that particular value is important. Values are fairly subjective. The importance of a value can be very different from person to person. So, do the hard work, and define the reason why this value is so important to you.
  • Personal Example:  Below is a screen shot my top 10 Values.

Darren Values.jpg

3. Take Time

Most people, me included, (I’m likely the worst offender) rush through tasks way too fast.  Defining your values is a vital step in developing your leadership and achieving exponential success and growth in your life. Don’t rush it. Do the hard work. Reflect, take time, share it with other, collect feedback, refine and then declare!

Conclusion:

  1. I would very much like to hear from, if you are willing, for you to share some of your values and why they are important to you.
  2. Again, if you would like to receive more information on the launch of my premium e-book, ‘Go Live Your Life Already“, it’s only one click away below.

Thank you for reading,

dh

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Another Important Leadership Lesson

kindness

I love ice cream! I love learning about leadership. I love being given the permission to lead in various ways.  Below is a guest post I wrote recently that connects the dots between ice cream and leadership. You’ve always wondered about that connection, right?

You know it, I know it. Leadership matters. We hear it all the time. Speed of the leader, speed of the pack. Who the leader is will greatly determine the success or failure of any team or organization. It’s a big responsibility and if you’re like me, you have read countless books, attended great conferences and solicited feedback from much wiser and experienced mentors…all with the best intentions in mind. You have done anything and everything in your power to become the best leader possible. But yet, so often, something seems to be missing.

That’s where I found myself recently. Lost in the maze of leadership training and teaching. Feeling completely overwhelmed with how to put it all together. Surely it shouldn’t be this difficult, should it? And then breakthrough. I heard a simple story of one young little boy. It was this story that convicted and refocused my leadership lens.  Read The Rest Here

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A Change To DarrenHerbold.Com

directions

One of my values is transparency. So, this post is all about updating you, my reader, on some upcoming changes to DarrenHerbold.com. Change is a funny thing. Some people love it, while others strongly dislike it. I’m somewhere in the middle. However, with that said, change is coming to this website. I’ll explain the specifics below, and if you’re interested you can read even further on why I’ve making these changes.

The Changes

Into the future weeks, this blog will begin to focus on three key areas.

  1. Publishing Resources & Books
  2. Refocused Blogging
  3. Consultation & Coaching

Publishing Resources & Books

This means I will be starting to take more time creating content and resources that will be offered, for purchase through the website. A new product package will be offered in the next few weeks based on the “Go Live Your Life Already” book. Stay tuned, I’m excited to be able to start offering these new resources. You will notice the book is no longer a free giveaway. It will be part of the published resources in the very near future.

Refocused Blogging

My blogging will begin to take on a new focus based on three primary areas. Life, Leadership and ______(Sorry, the third category is still a secret…but not for long) You can already see these reflected in the menu headings on the blog. However, overall there will be a greater emphasis on leadership, marketing and business principles. I believe these are all transferable to any organization, but they won’t be exclusively focused on a church/faith-based context.

  • Life
    • Family
    • Faith
  • Leadership
    • Personal
    • Business
    • Ministry
  • A Secret Topic (Sorry, can’t quite announce this topic yet)

Consulting & Coaching

To be incredibly blunt and truthful. I enjoy working with like-minded people. This means I wont work with anyone, but I will work with people and organizations with like-minded values and goals. I am forcing myself to become much more focused in where I spend my extra time. So, if you feel you resonate with the content on this blog and the book, I’d love to connect with you and see what may come.

That’s the gist of the changes to come. I know some may be happy and some may be a little disappointed, but I do appreciate your engagement through this site and hope you will continue to stay part of this community. If you like details, I’ve shared more of my thought process below.

My Thought Process

On my best days I struggle with knowing clearly who I am and what I am supposed to accomplish with this life God has given me. Yup, that’s the honest truth. I have so many competing passions and even gifts that I’m often pulled in way too many directions.  Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m called to be engaged in full-time ministry. That much is obvious to me. It also currently relates to the privilege of working at Beulah Alliance Church.  I love that place. I love Edmonton.  However, when it comes to my free time, this blog and my other projects, how do I best spend my time?  Here is where I’ve landed.

While writing the book, “Go Live Your Life Already,” I was again challenged to refocus how I spend my time and ensure that my time is spent ruthlessly focused on my vision statement, or as I call it, my Driving Primary Purpose. My DPP is this:

Breaking chains of mediocrity and oppression so that people can live the life they were called to live, and change the world.”

Here are a few realizations I had.

  • Business & Marketing ~ A lot of my background has been in marketing, business and sales, I find that I am often drawn to those areas and how they can impact and create exponential growth, regardless of industry.
  • Church & faith ~ I’m passionate about my faith. It is after all the bedrock and foundation for everything I do. However, I have decided not to blog exclusively about this area. It will of course always be the lens through which I view people and the world.
  • Personal development ~ I truthfully enjoy helping people reach their goals, regardless of their background and faith perspectives. I do believe God has a call on each and every one of us, and I feel privileged to be able to reach a wide audience.
  • Justice & Compassion ~ This has been an area I hope to look at more in the coming months. In many ways it started with our adoption process and journey and continues to grow.
  • Leadership Scope ~ I believe there are different “Scopes of Leadership.” A city focus, regional, national and international.  My natural tendency has always been national in scope, but this has shifted significantly in recent months to a more international pull. Clarification: Scope of leadership is not hierarchical. One scope is not better than another. They are all great and needed. ‘m also not implying I have an international audience. However, this is an intentional area I am looking to build into.
  • Strategic Partners ~ I’m an entrepreneur. I actually fight that sometimes, but at my core, I love starting projects, companies, etc. However, I have chosen not to be the driver of these initiatives. I believe much of my entrepreneurial itch will be scratched through strong relationships that develop into strategic partnerships.  This is what happened to a new venture, soon to be released, called Flowtrics.com  I am a silent partner in this endeavor. A significant friend, much smarter than myself is the true brains behind the project.

So, with all that said, this blog will change. As with all things, one never knows how it will all turn out, but for this aspect of my life, I’m excited for the future and the potential to be part of a thriving online community of people wanting to make a difference and literally change the world.

Be blessed and be a difference maker.

The best is yet to come!

Photo Credit: photographer padawan *(xava du) via Compfight cc

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Living a Boring Life? 6 Steps To Live Differently.

 Bored -DarrenHerbold eBook

I REMEMBER THE DAY AS clear as if it was just a moment ago. I was sitting on the floor in a completely unfurnished room. The walls were gray and the paint was peeling, dry and cracked. Have you ever noticed that some rooms you walk into feel like all life and color have been sucked right out of them? This was that room. Bleak, uninspiring, muggy with no air circulation—there was nothing inspiring about this environment. Then it happened— a moment of epiphany. I decided I wanted to live the most boring, unfulfilled life possible. This room would facilitate that for my next fifty years. I didn’t think I would ever have to leave. I found the perfect place to create the most unfulfilling and boring life.

I’ve always wanted to live a boring life. Haven’t you?

Obviously, that story isn’t true. If it were, I’d ask you to put me out of my misery now. I’m not sure what your story is, but if you’re like most people, you have likely imagined a life full of adventure, excitement, making a difference, or something similarly spectacular. I know I have. I’m not sure what happened, but somewhere along the way, the life I was living began to feel like that small, dead, gray room. Not only was I not living the life I’d always wanted, but it felt like I was living a “boring” life.

I want my life to matter. I have never wanted to be average…at least, not the current perception of average. It’s why I chose to use the word “boring.” in this title.  Webster’s dictionary defines boredom as, “the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest” The Freedictionary. com defines it as, “Uninteresting and tiresome; dull.

Have you sometimes felt this way about life? Have you lacked interest in doing whatever it is that you do? Have you found yourself weary, not only at the pace of life, but also what you are accomplishing with your life? Are you restless? Weary? Thinking there must be more? Simply, has life somehow become dull?  Here’s the amazing thing. This applies to all of us. At one time or another, we all seem to get these thoughts. It doesn’t matter what you have. You may have everything or nothing. It doesn’t matter what degree you hold or what your last name is. You know the truth. You feel unfulfilled. You know you were created for more. We’re not talking about fame and fortune, though those may come. We are talking about something different. You know you were created to make a difference- a big difference.

Here’s the problem…over time, many of us have developed a perception issue. We begin to believe life is supposed to be this way: tiresome, uninteresting, restless, dull…boring. We begin to tell ourselves this is just the way of things. We condition ourselves to get used to it, to suck it up, and just live a boring life! All of us have two lives that we can choose to live: the life we are living or the life that is living within us. Which one are you living right now?

All of us have two lives that we can choose to live: the life we are living or the life that is living within us.

LET’S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT: Life isn’t boring. Your life might be boring, but life is NOT boring! Step #1 of my eBook “Go Live Your Life Already” is to start thinking differently. Our thought life is powerful. There are two key components to thinking differently.

  1. Stop looking at everyone else. Just stop. Right now. Stop wishing their life was your life. 
  2. Imagine a new story. Begin with the ending in mind. 

Application Step 1 – STOP LOOKING AT EVERYONE ELSE

This step is harder than it sounds, but it is fairly simple. You just need to stop comparing your life to everyone else’s. Easier said than done? Get an accountability partner, a friend, or a couple of friends that you can confide in and tell them to stop you every time you start talking and comparing yourself to someone else. Stop wanting someone else’s story and start living your own. Living your life will always be better than imitating someone else’s. ***Get help with this step…almost everyone can benefit from accountability***

Application Step 2 – IMAGINE A NEW STORY: DEFINING YOUR DRIVING PRIMARY PURPOSE

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”  —Albert Einstein 

One of the best ways to define your driving primary purpose is to begin with the end in mind. Here’s my question to you: what does the preview of your upcoming life look like? If it’s not what you want it to be, keep reading. Imagining a new story is by far the simplest step, but also the one most forgotten. This is important—you can’t read Step #2 until you’ve completed this step. You need to know your DPP (Driving Primary Purpose). Here’s what I want you to do:

  • Clear your mind and focus. You may need to close your eyes. (Once you read the instructions of course). 
  • Imagine your life as one big movie scene. Here’s the key question: What is the climactic scene in your movie? I’m talking about the ending of the movie that catches everyone’s breath, moves people to tears, or shouts for joy! What is happening at that moment, in that scene of your life? 
  • Write it down! For many people, that scene—that moment—is the Driving Primary Purpose, or the DPP, of their life. 

I’d love to hear what your driving purpose is for this season of your life. I’ll share mine in the next coupe of posts.

Read all of the 6 Steps of Achieving Your Dreams in my free eBook below. 

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2 Questions When Considering A Job Change

2 Questions in Discerning a Job Change

Working in a church gives me the privilege and opportunity to hear the stories of many people. Out of all those conversations and stories there is a specific conversation/topic that comes up more often than any other. It takes many forms, but it is usually some variation of “How do I discern God’s will for this situation?”  Specifically, many people often ask this question when they are considering a career and/or job change.  Here are 2 questions and 3 considerations I have found helpful.

2 Questions When Considering a Job Change

1. What has God been saying?

If you’re like me, God has yet to verbally speak to me. (One day, right Lord?) He tends to communicate to me through my Bible reading, specific circumstances, dreams, thoughts, etc. Here are some areas to consider when thinking about what God is saying to you.

  • If you journal, read over your journal from the last 6-12 months
  • What theme has been consistently highlighted to you in your Scripture reading?
  • What unique circumstances have happened that have caused you to pause and wonder?
  • Are there specific messages, sermons that have really stood out to you. What was it about those messages?

2. What Are Other People Saying?

God has continually used other people to affirm or debunk some of the thoughts I have had in my life. I find that having people speak into your life helps to discern between some form of personal discontent and a leading/prompting from God.  Here are some things to consider.

  • Talk to people you know. Take a few people out for coffee. Share your story, and get their feedback. What is the common theme? (I usually recommend older and more experienced individuals…experienced in BOTH faith and life.)
  • If married, what is your spouse saying?
  • Talk to a few people you don’t know. There are likely some people you follow from a distance that you admire, appreciate, etc.  Give them a call and see if they would be willing to hear your story and give some feedback. (This is a great help as the feedback is almost always impartial. They don’t know you or your situation)

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. ~ Frederick Buechner

3 Considerations When Considering a Job Change

1. Have You Already Left?

  • If you have already left the organization emotionally and mentally, it’s time for you to leave physically. I have seen people mentally and emotionally make the decision to leave but stay physically.  This is unfair to both you and the organization. The lack of decision is hurting both parties from achieving full potential.  If the only reason you are staying is because it’s safe…that’s not reason enough for me.

2. For Leaders of Staff

  • Leaders Don’t Miss This! Create room and safety to process change with your team members.  I have seen organizations never talk openly about job change. The most frequent talk a team member hears about processing job change is usually a time frame (a few weeks) to decide whether they will stay or leave. I find this only alienates the staff member and/or causes them to leave prematurely. While some would disagree with me, I have never processed change that way with my team members. I have found that questioning and evaluating change is a common part of life. I don’t believe it needs to be done in secret or with fear of job security. I want to share life with my team. I’ve found, when processing change with a team member, that most never end up making a change and because the process was open and transparent, they feel supported, valued and more on fire for the mission of the church than ever before. I get it, sometimes people can become toxic and must leave. However, I have found most people are truly honorable and can do great work in the midst of considering and processing change. By not processing change with your team members you may prematurely force a team member to leave that may, one day, become your organizations biggest advocate and supporter.

3. God’s Plans For Us Are Good, But Rarely Final.

  •  Change is part of life. Jobs and careers change. Sometimes we change for the right reasons, and sometimes the wrong ones. But in everything, for those who follow Christ, this will remain true.

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)

If you would like to receive an advance copy (once released) of my new eBook on living the life you were called to live, you can sign up below to my newsletter.

4 Steps When Facing Rebuke

Listen When Rebuked

Let’s be honest. Receiving rebuke is not a fun experience. It’s tough to take. Even though receiving a rebuke can be painful it can also be the catalyst towards change and improvement in your life. I realize not every rebuke is given in kindness or with the best intentions, but some are. So, the next time you feel the sting of a rebuke, here is a quick acronym “OUCH” to help you remember how to respond.

Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life…~ Proverbs 10:17

O.U.C.H. Acronym

Opt to Listen ~ While everything in you will want to argue your point…instead, choose to listen.

  • Listen to them
  • Listen to others. (Talk it out with someone. Even just verbalizing your thoughts will bring better clarity)
  • Listen to God.

Understand the issue.

  • Understand their point of view
  • Understand what others say about the topic or issue (Do some research if needed)
  • Understand what Scripture says

Consider Change ~Now that you fully understand the issue you may need to consider change. Not every rebuke should result in change, but it should be considered. All change has consequences. Consider them and act accordingly.

Humble Yourself ~ If the rebuke was warranted humble yourself and make the necessary changes.

Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed–without remedy. ~ Proverbs 29:1

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Four Steps on Gaining Clarity

Clarity

My mind has been humming away over the last couple of weeks. I’m catching myself dreaming and thinking about new things all the time. I love it! The fact that I’m constantly thinking about things is not new. What is new, however, is a renewed sense of energy, growing clarity and purpose.

For those that don’t know, I’m currently on parental leave. So that means I currently have much more free time than I’m normally used to having.  In many ways I’m treating this as a sabbatical. It’s actually been about 2 months already. What has been interesting to me is that it has only been over the last few weeks that I feel I have truly started to gain perspective again and have felt this renewed sense of optimism and clarity. This got me thinking and wondering what was it that helped me start to gain clarity?  This is definitely not exhaustive by any means, but here are four steps that I think are important in gaining clarity in your life.

4 Steps Towards Clarity In Life

  1. Time with God ~ Faith is integral to everything I do. I have been much more intentional in spending more time in reflection, meditation and time spent reading His word. I’ve also been more intentional of trying to be content by just being in His presence. No strings attached, just asking Him to be present with me.  I’ve always tried to surround myself with people who were smarter than me. Who better to be in proximity with than the all-powerful God of the universe who happens to love you more than anything in the world.  It only makes sense to start the process by being with Him.
  2. Time with Yourself ~ For all you type A personality types, this is the hardest step. Why? Because it takes time.  You are not to use this time to start new projects. This is alone time for you to reflect, read, journal. Whatever it is that brings you joy and relaxes you, go do that. Go do a lot of that. Here are some quick thoughts
    1. This step is very personal. For some of you this may look like a weekly 2 hours of quiet somewhere by yourself. Others of you will need to take a quarterly weekend alone. Try a few variations of what this looks like.
    2. Write your thoughts down. When it comes time to create and work on new things, I always look back at those repetitive themes.  I often find those ideas are usually the ideas I act on in the future.
  3. Time with Others ~ Conversation, through relationship, is one of the best ways to gain feedback on what you’re thinking. There is something special about processing your thoughts out loud to someone. They may not even say anything back to you, but just hearing your thoughts out loud seem to bring more clarity than just a quiet thought to yourself. Have you ever experienced that moment where you forgot something, you then asked someone a question only to say “never mind, I figured it out?”  You see, there is power in verbally speaking and sharing your thoughts. Find someone you trust and ask them if you could share some of your thoughts with them and I think you’ll be amazed where the conversation goes and how much clarity you gained.
  4. Repeat ~ I think you will find that creating a rhythm of this cycle in your life will help bring you clarity in many areas. From family, to faith, to new adventures and direction in life. It’s actually fairly simple. Greatness was rarely achieved by one stroke of luck. Greatness was almost always achieved by doing the right things consistently over the right amount of time. If you need clarity start creating this rhythm in your life and I think you’ll find greater clarity along the way.

What do you do to gain perspective in life?

The Best Ministry Job Boards in Canada

Ministry Jobs Help WantedI originally put this list together for MinistryJobs.Co but thought it may be an interesting resource for some of you that read here as well. If you have ever wondered where to look for current, open,  Ministry Jobs here’s a quick list to help you out. Especially in Canada, it is sometimes difficult to know where to look for great, Canadian, church jobs.

Premium Ministry Job (paid) Sites

Free sites

US Based Websites (A few recommendations)

Schools

What other sites would you add to the list?

Newsletter and Resources

Newsletter

I’m launching an exclusive newsletter as part of my blog!

You can signup here!

What You Need To Know About Darren’s Newsletter

  • It’s exclusive to my regular blog posts! I won’t be duplicating content
  • I plan on only sending 1-3 exclusive emails a month! I hate junk email and a full inbox just as much as you do.
  • I will primarily use the newsletter for free giveaways, special information, free resources or private thoughts.
  • It’s different from the “Email Updates Sign up Form” you see on the front page.  That is a service I use to make it easy for you to get an email as soon as I publish new content.  It’s there to help you so you don’t have to come to the webpage every time I publish.
  • Extra Benefit: Exclusive Leadership Resources. Sometimes I come across cool resources or free tools that benefit churches, leaders, businesses, etc.  All newsletter subscribers will have access to any resources I come across.
    • For instance, I just came across a 3 page cheat sheet for Robert’s Rules of Order.  Yeah I know, not the coolest resource. But hey, when you find yourself in a formal Annual General Meeting, you’ll wish you had these.

I hope you will join!  Signup here.