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Leadership Tips

3 Ways to Sleep Sounder

| General Leadership, Leadership Tips, To The Point | Comments Off on 3 Ways to Sleep Sounder

Endless studies powerfully demonstrate that our sleep, both the quality and quantity, is incredibly important to our health and everyday effectiveness.

There are many practical tips and helpful techniques to help us sleep, but we shouldn’t forget that there are also some important spiritual realities:

  • First, we are designed by God to require sleep.
  • Second, sleep is a reminder that we are not God. He doesn’t need to slumber or sleep (Psalm 121:4), but we need to sleep.
  • Third, when we sleep we are forced to relinquish control. In this act, we have the opportunity to choose to trust God to watch over all the pieces of our lives. As David wrote in Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

To help you with the spiritual side of sleep, here are three questions that I seek to use each night before seeking rest: Continue Reading

Integrate: Jesus-Centered Leadership

| General Leadership, Leadership Tips, Resources & Events, To The Point | Comments Off on Integrate: Jesus-Centered Leadership


Integrate: Jesus-Centered Leadership is a new leader development resource that will be available from Arrow Leadership this September. I’m so excited to introduce you to the concept and to share how the development of Integrate has deepened my awareness and appreciation for what it means to be a Jesus-centered leader.

Integrate is all about cultivating more Jesus-centered leaders. Covering three themes, each including an 8-minute video and guided conversation, this resource provides an engaging platform for leadership teams, boards, small groups, Bible studies and peer mentoring groups to have transformational discussions around the Leader of leaders – Jesus.  Continue Reading

Three Big Bad Lies Leaders Need to Shatter

Being a leader can be lonely. If you are a leader, you know this and you’ve felt it too. You’ve felt it when you’ve walked into a room to deliver hard news. You’ve felt it waiting at the airport for a flight home after another trip away. You’ve felt it when you wanted to share more information or more of your heart, but couldn’t.  Continue Reading

Check Your Gauges

Guest Post – Chris Wignall is the Executive Director of the Catalyst Foundation as well as a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program’s Executive Stream.  When I first heard Chris teach this tool, I was very impressed by it’s simplicity and profound value.

Most leaders I know really value and enjoy stepping away from the day-to-day routine and responsibilities to focus attention on higher level leadership issues. Periodic retreats, annual planning sessions and check-ins with a mentor or executive team remind us of the importance of things that can easily get neglected in the fast pace and high pressure of ongoing leadership.

But, as good as these occasional reviews are, they usually only reveal issues after the fact. By this point, the problems have become big enough that they require significant and urgent attention. Instead, we need a quick and on-going way to monitor leadership level factors while they can still be easily addressed.

My car has a system like that and so does yours. A quick glance down from the windshield of my Subaru shows me instantly that I’m driving a little fast, getting low on fuel, or needing to check tire pressure.

In seconds my dashboard helps me receive data, I can decide how urgent the problem is and then I can choose how I want to react to it. There’s a big difference between the low fuel light coming on in town where I have my choice of gas stations and when it comes on during a lonely stretch of highway late at night.

To assist leaders and organizations in developing a dashboard, I’ve recently started using and training a simple tool that I call the REACTION Dashboard. I identified five key factors for which leaders are responsible.  Then I drew up a basic table where each of these five factors can be scored on a ten-point scale (10 being high/good).

I consider each factor from the perspective of myself as an individual, the team I work with, the organization as a whole, and our surrounding network or community. In less than three minutes I can use this dashboard to assess any areas of potential trouble and almost as quickly determine whether they need immediate response (lonely dark highways) or just the awareness to address it at some point in the future (driving around town).

Your criteria might be different, but my dashboard looks like this:

REACTION Dashboard

Leadership Elements





Reason 1-10
Energy 1-10
Alignment 1-10
Clarity 1-10
Trust 1-10


Quick definitions:

Reason: Why we exist. How well do I/we know our purpose and how committed am I/are we to it?
Energy: The amount of effort I’m/we’re giving to our work.
Alignment: All the energy pulling in the same direction towards our Reason.
Clarity: Knowing with confidence what my/our part is, and how it relates to all the other parts.
Trust: Being able to work with minimal friction because I/we believe you/each other are reliable and have integrity.


Looking at the dashboard, what needs immediate attention (i.e. lower scores)? What must be done?

What needs eventual attention (i.e. scores trending downward over time or mid-range)? What must be done now to ensure it happens?

In sharing it over the last few months, this tool has received very positive response. I use short video clips to help explain each of the elements and make them memorable. More than anything else, the dashboard allows me to take a quick leadership level look at what’s happening in the organization and increases my confidence that I’m not missing things that could leave me stranded by the side of the road.

What would a useful dashboard look like for you?

What simple routines can you maintain to keep your attention on leadership issues in the midst of regular responsibilities?

I’d love to hear some feedback.

Overcoming The Encouragement Deficit

There is an encouragement deficit in most workplaces. In their book, 12 The Elements of Great Managing, Gallup’s Wagner and Harter note:

“In the perception of employees generally, praise is painfully absent from most companies and the workgroups within themLess than one in three employees can give a strongly positive answer to the statement, ‘In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.’  At any given company, it’s not uncommon to find between one-fifth and one-third of the people disagreeing with the item, as if to say, ‘Not only have I not received any praise recently; my best efforts are routinely ignored.’”

Continue Reading

Five Key Frames for Complex Situations

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Leadership is complex. You know that – you live in the complexity everyday. It’s often hard to know how to even approach some of these situations and opportunities. Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal argue in their bestselling classic Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership that how we look at situations is critical to finding effective paths forward.

Specifically, Bolman and Deal contend that we need to carefully look at situations from more than one angle. Our initial perspective may be too simplistic, general, biased or limited. This can cause leaders to misread a situation and can lead to significant consequences.   

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