Basically I took advantage of an awesome resource called Axiom (which you can & should buy HERE) & I got to be mentored by Bill Hybels for 76 days.
Each of the titles below are basically the "axiom" or the leadership proverb that was coined by Bill over the years. That's the phrase to remember. The rest is commentary about it. I picked out my fav 7 from the 2nd half of the book... (I loved a couple others, but I included quotes from them in THIS POST.) enjoy...
A Blue-Sky Day - God gives peeps the ability to think creatively… therefore when things are stale at a church, “it’s a fair bet to say that God is not to blame… it’s that church leaders don’t carve out the time to establish the right environment, and rally the requisite energy to think new thoughts.” [wow. that is really calling us out. But i think it's so true.]
Here's a Great Q to ask = “What would we do to advance the kingdom of God if there was nothing to stop us from doing it?”
Essentially a “Blue Sky Day” = unlimited visibility & unlimited ceilings (Bill says these days off site are usually better – somewhere that contributes to free thinking, etc…)
I though this statement he made was really interesting = “Ministry people are so well trained to spot roadblocks and ‘reasons why not’ that it may take more time than you think to get your team to play by the new rules." [of no limits] *“any group that is conducting any sort of ongoing activity runs the risk of operating from a rut over time.”
The Bias Toward Action - “do you screen for action-orientation when you want someone to join you near the center of your cause? Are you intentional about seeking out the ones who by virtue of sheer wiring patterns will say, ‘Your dilemma is my dilemma too?’” I think a lot of times we do NOT do this. We just look for warm bodies.
I agree wholeheartedly with Bill on this =*** “I’d rather rein in a hyperactivist once ina while than have to wake him up from a long afternoon nap.” & “I believe God is looking to pour out his favor on those who are hopping out of bed each morning ready to further the cause for his glory.” Yeah, me too. I'm trying to be that guy.
Find the Critic’s Kernel of Truth - Bill was directly mentoring me on this one. It's so good for me to hear because I'm learning to deal better with criticism. I hear dwelling on it too long is my "leadership lid" & I don't want it to be.
*Here is the axiom summed up in Hybels' words = “A very wise man once told me that tucked deep inside every critic’s attack is usually at least a tiny kernel of truth. And rather than reflexively lashing back at a critic, he advised, I should spend my energy figuring out what it is.” & Then my bottom line is to GROW FROM IT!!! (not get defensive) I will keep insisting on learning from my critics!
**The beautiful part of all this is that after I apply this axiom for years -> then there’ll be less criticism! “You’ll have kept learning to walk straighter, discern better, and operate wiser and thus will be attracting fewer bullets.” haha, so cool. You're a genius, Bill.
Brain Breaks - Now this one was truly fascinating to me! World-class performance coach Jack Groppel says it’s all about leveraging bursts of energy and then giving yourself a break from stressors when necessary. *Typically the glazed eyes/mushy brains happens at the 60-90 minute mark… you just need a 15 minute time out. (I've started practicing this!)
“Your mind works according to rhythms of concentration that are beyond your control. It is your responsibility to know how long your bursts of brain power will last and how to recover.” [the book Bill recommends on this is The Corporate Athlete, Jack Groppel. All about energy management & physiology.]
Create Your Own Finish Lines - ***This one is SO TRUE in my life! & quite possibly the advice I needed most from Bill in our mentoring sessions! He said, “There is no end to the amount of work we could do”.../ There are always more appointments, calls, notes, encouragement, planning, prayers to do, etc…" Whoa... ALL of us in ministry (& tons of other professions) KNOW firsthand that this is THE TRUTH! it never ends... (& never will) SO, we have to be the ones to cut it off... to make an end.
The Big Q is = When is enough enough? “When is my workday ‘officially’ over?” -> If I don’t know then my “sustainability demands a different approach.”
*** “Most long-term efficiency studies show that if you work more than 10 hours a day, you begin to live in a diminishing-return dynamic, and your effectiveness and results will actually go down.” [Wow. that is fascinating to me! I've gotta protect my finish line vigorously!]
& @ that finish line give “a heartfelt thanks to God for accepting my best efforts throughout a day that is now over.” - man, that is so cool. I'm going to make this a practice too! Having this daily finish line means work stays at work & that's something I've NEVER been able to do.
A few more ideas = take a Sabbath every week/ get alone with God and relish a little solitude at least once every 30 days/ take time to be around peeps who can build into me & challenge me to lead at higher levels at least a couple times per year.
As Bill was mentoring me in this axiom he said “you’ll never regret it.”
Pay Now, Play Later - high-capacity leaders KNOW to be successful they must “discipline themselves to do the critical tasks first.” ah... this is like eating your veggies before dessert!
***Tell myself "these are the things you absolutely must get done. You’ll feel so much better at the end of the day if you will forge ahead with these critical tasks and move them up the field.”
And then after a full day of "paying" (doing these critical & maybe less enjoyable tasks), the “play” that follows is so much sweeter! I can definitely vouche for this one.
Read All You Can - Bill shared a story about how one of his staffers asked him about a leadership dilemma & he fired back & asked her the names of the last 3 leadership books she had read!!! Oooh… put her on the spot. she couldn't answer even !
- “far too many leaders in high positions of responsibility neglect their need to read.”
- “Leaders have a responsibility before God to constantly get better, and one of the most reliable ways to do so is to read. Great leaders read frequently. They read voraciously.” sweet! I love it.
Man, this was some good stuff! I am honored to have been mentored by Hybels for 10 minutes a day for 76 days. Thanks for putting this into print, Bill!
If you don't own Axiom yet - you NEED to go get it and READ IT! You can buy it HERE. Make it your pot book like I did.
For now - What do you think of the Axioms in this post?
& again WHO IS MENTORING YOU RIGHT NOW?