You Can Quote Me…Catalyst 2010

As a follow up to my post earlier this week, I wanted to share with you some of the knowledge I received last week in Atlanta.  These are quotes from a few of the speakers that really got me thinking as I began to process this idea of managing tension for the advancement of an organization and God’s Kingdom.

What’s your sentence (purpose)?  Was I better today than yesterday? ~ Daniel Pink

Change is made by people who stop accepting deniability. ~ Seth Godin

You better eat the thing before you tweet the thing! ~ Beth Moore

If it’s explainable, God didn’t do it. ~ Perry Noble

Respect is earned.  Honor is given. ~ Craig Groeschel

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve been. ~ T.D. Jakes

Quotes can be difficult to understand by themselves.  They can often be taken out of context.  What I’ve tried to do is give you the best ones that resonated with me without the context of entire talk of each of the speakers.  My hope is that each one gives you something to think about as you lead your respective organizations.

If you’re up for it, let me know what you think in the comments below.  I’m sure it could make for some interesting discussion.

One last thing just for fun.  The video below was taken at Catalyst.  It’s not every day that you see someone get shot out of a cannon indoors!  The conference wasn’t just all speeches!  There was a ton of fun and laughs too!  Enjoy!

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Catalyst 2010 – The Tension Is Good

Last week I had the honor of attending Catalyst 2010 in Atlanta.  What started out in 2000 as a conference attended by 1,500 church leaders in Atlanta has since grown to an event attended by over 100,000 people.  Most recently a second conference was added to the West Coast with 3,000 leaders attending.  I had heard about it through friends from Kensington Community Church but couldn’t really grasp the magnitude until I was there in person.

At its core, Catalyst doesn’t differ much in message from other conferences I’ve attended this past year like Future Midwest and TedxDetroit, with one exception…change is talked about in the context of the places many of us attend on Sundays, our churches.  This conference, at it’s core, is about “maximum impact” and being a “catalyst” for change.

The core vision of Catalyst has always been to impact the next generation. By creating “change agents” throughout the church that possess wisdom and understanding, the opportunity is created to usher in the necessary adjustments to an ever-evolving church. By helping these leaders grow in their leadership ability – Catalyst can have impact on an entire generation. We have a high belief in the impact that one changed life can have on another and therefore focus our efforts towards personal change with a community application.

Catalyst sees a need to ignite and unite the next generation of leaders allowing their passions and gifts to flourish and have maximum impact in our churches and culture.

The list of speakers was incredible: Andy Stanley, Francis Chan, Craig Groeschel, Perry Noble, Beth Moore, T.D. Jakes, Daniel Pink, and Seth Godin…just to name a few.  Each of them, in their own way, spoke about how tension in an organization can be used to positively foster change.

This idea completely changed my way of thinking about leadership.  I never thought tension was good.  I often viewed tension as conflict, something I have found difficulty in dealing with.  However, when presented with this way of thinking, I began to realize tension in an organization can be a good thing.  Tension in this sense challenges an organization.  It requires communication and feedback.  It forces leadership to think differently and do things in a way that hasn’t been done before.

As I look back on my career, I often tried to eliminate tension and solve a problem that wasn’t actually a problem but more a tension.  Is it possible that the tension was required so that the organization could move forward?  I guess this is something that I’ll be on the lookout for as I move into this next stage of my career.  Are there TENSIONS that need to be MANAGED versus PROBLEMS that need to be SOLVED?  Andy Stanley talked about leveraging tension to the benefit of an organization.  This is a tremendous balancing act for any leader.  You have to weigh BOTH sides and take your personal bias out of the equation.

My faith in God was reignited after Catalyst.  I realized there are some tweaks I need to make and some things I need to get bring back in order to stay grounded in my belief in God.  My hope and prayer is that I can be receptive to tension and leverage it to not only advance the organization but to also advance God’s Kingdom.

My challenge to you is to be aware of the tensions in your life and use them as a catalyst for change in you and your community.  The tension is good!

UPDATE: You can also read this article HERE at Rochester Media.  Thanks to Tom Gendich for giving me some space!

It’s In Your Hands

I was going through my Google Reader this morning and came across this beautiful post from Seth Godin:

When are you going to start acting like it?

The idea that you are a faceless cog in a benevolent system that cares about you and can’t tell particularly whether you are worth a day’s pay or not, is, like it or not, over.

In the long run, we’re all dead. In the medium-long run, though, we’re all self-employed. In the medium-long run, the decisions and actions we take each day determine what we’ll be doing next.

And yet, it’s so easy to revert to, “I just work here.”

Like most things I read, my mind starts to think.  Yes, I know that’s dangerous.  In a few words, Seth reinforces something that we all know already…we are responsible for making the most of what is given to us.  No other person can really determine our future except us.  Our future is in our hands.

It’s easy for me to feel like the “faceless cog” Seth mentions in his post,  especially working in such a large company like General Motors.  However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  For example, most of you know how passionate I am about the internet, technology and especially the social web.  Although I don’t have responsibility for it at work, I’ve made it my hobby and brought it into my everyday life through my Twitter feed, Facebook, and this blog.  The work has paid off.  I’ve made some great connections with people in the social web community, been recognized as knowledgeable in the space by my peers and recently guest blogged on my friend Gini Dietrich‘s blog, Spin Sucks.  Other opportunities to guest blog have recently come and I plan to take advantage of those too.

My point in all of this is that the Social Web gives you a voice when you may have thought you don’t have one.  Networking, building relationships, providing value, etc. are ways you can build your own community.  The challenge is being patient enough to build your community and look for those opportunities to do what you love and are passionate about.

“If you build it, they will come.”  It’s in your hands.