A New Season

fall leaves

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about seasons lately.

How if the chill of winter never ended then the new life found in spring could never begin. How just when the Texas heat can’t possibly be more brutal, a leaf falls and autumn is around the corner. How each season is distinct and purposeful and never meant to last forever but designed to fuel and prepare for the next season to come.

And once again I find myself mulling over the seasons in my life and leadership: how I can’t rush through, wish away, or stay forever in one season or another. And how just like the calendar, one season of our leadership has to end before the next begins.

Necessary endings” as Henry Cloud calls them.

Leader friends, it’s with an overflowing heart I share with you I’m entering a new season in my leadershipNext week,  I will join the staff team of Valley Creek Church as the Director of Leadership Development. I am beyond grateful for an opportunity to partner with my home church in a way that continues to fulfill my purpose of empowering leaders to change the world. I’m giddy and nervous and over the moon excited about serving alongside leaders I respect and call friends.

Saying this best yes requires saying no to several commitments and opportunities in order to make space to focus on the new. I will be closing up my “leadership shop” and closing down the blog.

What a joy it has been to invest in your leadership these past few years. I look forward to what God has in store for us in the future!

Lead true and lead on,

Julie

 

 

 

Julie’s Friday Favorites Leadership Resources 1/15/16

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

Intentional is my one word focus for 2016.

This year I want to be even more intentional in every area of my life: my relationships, my work, my words, my time, my influence, and my resources.

I am intentionally choosing to simplify in order to be present in each situation. I am intentionally saying no to good opportunities in order to say yes to the best opportunities for me. I am intentionally choosing to put hard-to-nail-down dates on the calendar in order invest in relationships. I am choosing to slow down my responses in order to give an intentional and thoughtful word when needed.

What is your one word focus for 2016 and how is it shaping your leadership so far?

Lead True and Lead On, Julie

A Few Links I Loved:

  1. Powerful questions bring reflection and clarity. Seth Godin shared a superior list in his post, 10 Questions for Work that Matters.
  2. Fast Company offered practical responses you can use today in 5 Ways to Respond When Someone Rejects Your Idea. (So. Stinking. Good.)
  3. I’m always looking for ways to simplify my life and leadership. Ron Edmonson gives us 7 Things Every Leader Needs To Quit.

What I’m Recommending for Intentional Living:

Leadership Resources for the New Year

Happy New Year, Leader!

I hope these leadership resources bring you just the insight and perspective you need to lead well in 2016!

Lead True and Lead On, Julie

The following are a collection of resources I’ve used to get the new year started in the right direction:

  1. Choose a one word focus. Each year, I like to choose one word to inspire me and keep me focused in the months to come. Author Margaret Feinberg offers a free download to help you determine your word for 2016.
  2. Make a plan and make it happen. This year I’m using Lara Casey’s PowerSheets to set goals and see them through. I’ve become a little obsessed with her online shop and would like to order one of every single lovely thing. (I’m also enjoying her Write the Word journal every day in my time with God.)
  3. Write it down. I love my productivity apps as much as the next leader. But for me, there’s something about seeing my calendar and notes and lists on paper all in one place. Enter Passion Planner. (Be sure and let them know I referred you when you checkout by including my email: julie@empoweredbypierce.com)

And I have to share a few of my favorite reads to empower you to make it happen in 2016:

Julie’s Friday Favorites Leadership Resources 12/11/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

Happy Friday, Leader! As you’re making your lists and checking them twice, take time to pause. Take a deep breath, or a walk outside, or a long winter’s nap. Enjoy the anticipation, the sparkles, the memory making moments. Celebrate your team, your family, your life. I promise you, these intentional acts of presence will refuel your life and leadership during this often hectic season.

I hope these leadership resources bring you just the insight and perspective you need to lead well today!

Lead True and Lead On, Julie

A Few Links I Loved:

  1. Mark Miller shared his core beliefs in 11 Things I Believe About Leadership. (We all need to make a list like this!)
  2. I just had a conversation with a leader about this critical mindset shift: 8 Ways to Adopt Abundance Theory in the Workplace.
  3. Who doesn’t love to make life more simple? Lolly Daskal shares 10 Ways to Simplify Your Leadership. 
  4. Blanchard LeaderChat shared a powerful post in Four Gifts We Can Give Each Other: A coaching perspective. 

Gifts I’m Recommending:

Julie’s Friday Favorites Leadership Resources 12/4/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

Happy Friday, Leader! I hope your Thanksgiving was refreshing (and delicious) and filled with memory making moments.

In lieu of meeting you for a gingerbread latte, I hope these leadership resources give you just the boost you need today!

Lead True and Lead On, Julie

P.S. Don’t miss the NIV Bible for Women Giveaway!

A Few Links I Loved:

  1. Because we’ll all be making the rounds this month, Inc. shared How to Win Your Next Promotion at the Office Holiday Party.
  2. I wish there was no need for this post, but since there most definitely is, Fast Company gave us How to Survive 8 Straight Hours of Meetings.
  3. John Maxwell asked: This Christmas, Will You Be Intentional Making Memories?
  4. This Simple Rule that Can Make Life More Fun applies to every aspect of my life and leadership. (Every. Single. One.)

Gifts I’m Recommending:

Book Gift Giving Guide (and a giveaway!)

My Favorite Reads from 2015

My absolute favorite gift to give, and to receive, is a thought-provoking book. I’ve got lists and lists of favorite books I recommend over and over. Just in time for your gift giving pleasure, the following are My Favorite Reads from 2015. (Most were released this year while a few are a little older and finally made it into my hands this year.)

AND I have 5 copies of one of my favorites to give away to YOU! Keep reading for details…

I hope this book gift giving guide simplifies your shopping and brings great joy to those you care about!

*Note: None of the authors mentioned below paid me to recommend their books. This post does include affiliate links with Amazon. (Which means if you click on the link and purchase, Amazon will pay me a small “thank you” referral fee which does not affect the cost of your purchase.) 

Lead Reads

 Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game by Mark Miller. Written by the VP of Leadership Development at Chick-fil-A, this easy-to-read parable focuses on a proactive versus reactive approach to leadership. After reading this book, I went back to Amazon and purchased a whole Mark Miller leadership library. (And went out for a chicken sandwich with waffle fries.)

 Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’’t by Simon Sinek. First, SIMON SINEK. Second, this book put into words a whole perspective shift on leadership, teams, and culture that I believe with every bit of my being. (How’s that for an endorsement?)

 The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength by Jenni Catron. This fresh leadership voice has given us another powerful read for our teams. I can’t say enough good things about Jenni and am so excited her latest book is finally here!

Soul Care

NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World edited by Angela Scheff. When I was in college, I received a treasured women’s devotional Bible for Christmas. All these years later, I had the privilege of contributing devotions to a new collection for women. You can imagine how I felt when I received this beautifully designed Bible in my hands: humbled and grateful. I’m excited to give away 5 copies of this Bible thanks to Zondervan! See the end of this post for details.

Bible study product_thumbnailChoosing a Life that Matters: a Bible study on the life of Moses by Jodie Niznik. Take one of the most legendary leaders of all time (Moses) plus practical how-to guides to everyday spiritual practices plus insights from a dear pastor friend (Jodie). Choosing a Life that Matters has become hands-down my favorite Bible study to date.

 

Live Loved: An Adult Coloring Book by Margaret Feinberg. This beautiful book is a colorful spiritual companion bringing both creativity and contemplation to our prayer lives. (And it’s a great excuse to color like a kid again!)

 

Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free by Nicole Unice. Because fears, flaws, and failures are exactly what trip me up and keep me from free living and fierce leading.

Fiction

I read more fiction than usual this year and had a few far-and-away favorites. I was captivated by these challenging novels with commanding and complicated female characters:

 The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell

 

 

 The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 

 Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

 

Miscellaneous Goodness

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz. Perfect for the dog-lover in your life, this was one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. Written by an animal behavior scientist and dog enthusiast, the author gave me new perspective on my sweet lab, Sully.

Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent by Ellise Pierce. I read this cookbook after returning from Paris and wanted to eat every page. The images were lovely, the recipes simple yet delicious, and the stories engaging.

 

Evertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell. This was the highly anticipated after-dinner read aloud at the Pierce house this year. Filled with adventure, fun accents, and a picky eater, this was a book our whole family enjoyed.

 

NIV Bible for Women Giveaway Details 

Two Ways to Enter:

  1. Leave a comment below sharing your favorite read of 2015.
  2. Share this post on Twitter mentioning @julie_pierce

Winners will be chosen at random at 12pm CST on Monday, December 7! This giveaway is now closed.

Congrats to the following winners: Sarah Conner, Sherene Joseph, Judy, Avalyn Hermond, and Tracy Smith! Woohoo!!

Julie’s Friday Favorites Leadership Resources 11/20/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look: Thanksgiving Edition

fall leavesI am overwhelmed today.

But maybe not how you think. I’m not overwhelmed by the idea of hosting almost 40 people in my home next week for Thanksgiving dinner. (But maybe I should be?) And I’m not overwhelmed by my neverending to-do or to-read or to-shop-for lists.

I am overwhelmed today with gratitude.

  • I’m grateful for how you have invited me to invest in your leadership life.
  • I’m grateful to be married to a man who cheers for and challenges me.
  • I’m grateful for the generosity of friends who have made connections and referrals on my behalf.
  • I’m grateful for friends and family who encourage and support me.
  • I’m grateful for two kiddos and a lab who make me belly laugh.
  • I’m grateful for opportunities to connect my experience with leaders’ potential.
  • I’m grateful for God’s grace: fresh starts and new mercies every morning.

What does your gratitude list look like? How will you express your appreciation for the blessings in your life and leadership today?

Grateful for you,  Julie

P.S. I’ll be back on the blog after Thanksgiving to share my favorite reads of 2015 as well as some exciting ways to close out the year with purpose!

A Few Thankful Links:

  1. Seth Godin shares an idea for a new Thanksgiving tradition.
  2. This week I shared practical ways to be Gushing with Gratitude.
  3. As we’re counting our blessings, I now include how I’m Grateful for the Tough Stuff in Leadership. 
  4. Good for any day, here are 5 Simple Ways to Thank Your Team.

What I’m Recommending:

Are You Gushing with Gratitude?

Simple ideas for expressing your thanks

Grateful leaders are a joy to work with. Leaders who take the initiative to express their appreciation are even more of a gift to those around them.

If expressing your gratitude doesn’t always come naturally to you, below are a few simple ideas to get you started today.

Specific ideas for WHOM to thank:

  • Team members, vendors, and clients who work with you.
  • Leaders and mentors who advocate for you.
  • Friends and family who encourage you.
  • Authors, artists, and speakers who inspire you.
  • Counselors, coaches, and clergy who support you.

Meaningful ideas for HOW to thank them:

  • A handwritten note.
  • A call or video message.
  • A public shout out via email or social media.
  • A treat they love to eat.
  • An introduction or referral to someone they would love to meet.
  • A gift they would never get themselves.

For even more ideas, check out my previous post, 5 Simple Ways to Thank Your Team. 

What’s the most meaningful way someone has expressed their thanks to you?

 

 

 

Julie’s Friday Favorites 11/13/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

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I hope these leadership resources give you the leadership boost you need to hurdle the obstacles you face to finish strong this week!

Lead True and Lead On,  Julie

A Few Links I Loved:

  1. Lolly Daskal shared How to Make Better Decisions for the Best Results. (Yes, please!)
  2. The king of all things leadership, John Maxwell, shared what it looks like when you’re Moving from Survival Mode to Significance.
  3. Forbes Leadership asked us if we are asking our employees this question. (It’s a good one.)
  4. Blanchard LeaderChat asked, Is Your “Tour of Duty” Over In Your Current Job?

What I’m Recommending:

Julie’s Friday Favorites 11/6/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

Today, I head south for San Antonio to speak at the Stream Energy Women of Power retreat. I’ll be sharing my 5 Secrets of a Polished Team with over 200 women leaders from around the country. High performing women leaders in the hometown of legendary Tex Mex?

I. Can. Not. Wait.

(And yes, I’ve already mapped my Tex Mex marathon. This is not my first San Antonio rodeo, amigas.)

I hope these leadership resources give you the leadership boost you need to keep going and finish strong this week!

Lead True and Lead On,  Julie

A Few Links I Loved:

  1. Women 2.0 gave me a post I’m still thinking about: Kill the Performance Review and Try This Instead.
  2. HBR asked the leadership version of “the chicken or the egg?” in Leadership Qualities or Competence: Which Matters More?
  3. One of my business mentors (and an all-around great guy) Chris Lema says High Performers Have No Time for Drama. Truth.
  4. I just had to share this post from Donald Miller’s blog: How I Learned to Stand Strong in the Face of Rejection.

What I’m Recommending:

  • Play Days: Time away with your team just for the sake of play is priceless. Days of purposeful play build relationships and communication like nothing else. To get started building your own team play day, check out my e-book Play, Team, Play! 12 Themes Plus Countless Team Building Activities for Playing Your Way to a Stronger Team. 
  • Help for Your Play Days: If you would love to get away and not be in charge of your team building day, look no further than Group Dynamix. I’ve partnered with Group Dynamix in facilitating purposeful days of play for over a year now and can’t say enough good things about their indoor ropes courses and innovative activities. (Tell them Julie sent you!)