Julie’s Friday Favorites 10/30/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

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Yesterday, I had pumpkin slime all over me and my hair.

This was twenty minutes before I needed to take one child to a piano lesson, another to grandmother’s house, and myself to a ministry fundraising dinner in downtown Dallas. And did I mention I serve on the board of directors for this ministry? Or that I was the emcee of the dinner? Or that the organization is named Polish: Refining the Details not Pumpkins: Seeds, Slime, and Smells?

Not so polished on my part.

Some days are like that, aren’t they? You find yourself in a sticky scenario fulfilling an overdue jack-o-lantern carving request and cleaning up far-flung pumpkin goo before collecting yourself and your thoughts while creeping along in traffic.

More often than not, our days don’t go quite like we planned. The project pitch is less than perfect. The nagging cough becomes a full blown infection. The launch gets pulled at the last second. The sometime soon becomes right now.

The seldom heralded hallmark of high performing leaders is resilience: to regroup and recover when life and leadership are just a little off. To let go of the expectation of perfection and get back up after a stumble or fall.

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. Gifted for Leadership gave us an insider’s interview with Heather Larson, Executive Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in their post The Power of Leading by Influence.
  2. Let’s Grow Leaders shared 7 Strategic Questions Your Team Should Be Able to Answer.
  3. Two challenging posts about mentoring relationships: 10 Traits of Highly Effective Mentors from Michael Hyatt and How to Connect with Top Mentors Without Asking Them to Coffee from Jon Acuff’s blog.

From Conversation Cards: 5 Questions about Halloween 

Use these questions to spark fun and intentional conversation with your team, friends, and family this weekend!

  1. What was your favorite childhood Halloween costume?
  2. What movie still scares you like no other?
  3. What Halloween treat is your absolute favorite?
  4. Which trick or prank wins your “lifetime achievement award”?
  5. What real-life scare still gives you nightmares?

What I’m Recommending:

  • Propel Women Digital Magazine: The Propel Collective is an excellent and FREE resource for women leaders. Sign up to download it here. 
  • Coaching: Are you feeling stuck? Do you need fresh perspective? Leadership Coaching can help you sort through the haze and find clarity for action. Take a first step in reaching out to me to get started and get unstuck! (What are you waiting for?!)
  • Grown-up Halloween Treat: I make these no-trick, easy-to-make, best-ever peanut butter cups for my husband and I to enjoy Halloween night. (Because we deserve them after a long night of trick-or-treating with our boys. And because they pair perfectly with red wine and a slightly spooky movie.)

Julie’s Friday Favorites Leadership Resources 10/9/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

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

Lead True and Lead On,  Julie

Four Links I Loved:

  1. Mark Miller shares how to create a stop-doing list in The Courage to Change Course.
  2. How the Most Successful People Keep Track of Their Ideas: a collection of inspiration from Fast Company.
  3. Women in the Workplace: Three Questions to Ask Your Leaders: an excellent post from Forbes.
  4. For Ministry Leaders: How to Spot Rising Women Leaders from Gifted for Leadership.

What I’m Recommending:

 Devotional Bible: Friends, I can’t begin to express the absolute honor it was to contribute devotionals to the newly released NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World. If you are needing a new Bible for you or a friend to encourage you in your life and leadership, consider this beautiful edition.

Pinterest Inspiration: Looking for leader resources? Need a yummy fall recipe? Follow me on Pinterest for plenty of inspiration and ideas for your life and leadership!

  • Coaching: Are you feeling stuck? Do you need fresh perspective? Leadership Coaching can help you sort through the haze and find clarity for action. Take a first step in reaching out to me to get started and get unstuck! (What are you waiting for?!)

Julie’s Friday Favorites Leadership Resources for 10/2/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

It’s OK to have limits.

In case you’ve never heard this, never believed this, or never allowed this statement to be true in your life, allow me to speak this truth in love. Even leaders have limits. We have physical and emotional limits. We have resource and relationship limits. We have a limited number of hours in our day and a limited number of places we can be at one time.

As I type, I’m preparing to leave for a fun girlfriends trip to Paris of all places. Which means I’m fiercely focused to knock out my list before I turn on my out-of-office notice. Which really means I’m revising my list in light of my limits and saying no and pushing a few unrealistic to-do’s to next week. (Or never.)

While we may be limited in our lives and our leadership, we serve a God who is unlimited. Limitless in his grace. Limitless in his peace. Limitless in his love for us. Our limits are not a weakness to push past but a gift to point us back to the One who is unlimited: the unlimited supply of our leadership strength.

Blessings to you as you lead today,  Julie

Four Links I Loved:

  1. Thanks, Let’s Write That Down: a great word on criticism from Seth Godin.
  2. 7 Things There Will Never Be Enough Time For: truth for leaders from Carey Nieuwhof.
  3. 4 Basic Human Needs Leaders Must Meet to Have Engaged Employees
  4. 6 Simple Secrets to Traveling Internationally : timely tips since I’m traveling this week!

What I’m Recommending:

 Devotional Bible: Friends, I can’t begin to express the absolute honor it was to contribute devotionals to the newly released NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World. If you are needing a new Bible for you or a friend to encourage you in your life and leadership, consider this beautiful edition.

Pinterest Inspiration: Looking for leader resources? Need a yummy fall recipe? Follow me on Pinterest for plenty of inspiration and ideas for your life and leadership!

  • Coaching: Are you feeling stuck? Do you need fresh perspective? Leadership Coaching can help you sort through the haze and find clarity for action. Take a first step in reaching out to me to get started and get unstuck! (What are you waiting for?!)

Julie’s Friday Favorites for 9/25/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

1095865_74207826At the end of a week filled with leader meet-ups, I look for the themes from our conversations. This week’s theme was crystal clear:

Managers control and contrive their people and projects; leaders give freedom so their teams can flourish.

Leaders making it happen let go of the vice grip they have on their teams and empower them to get results. Coaching and cheering them on, leaders look for every opportunity to encourage their team members to reach their potential.

How can you give a little more freedom to your team today?

Lead True and Lead On, Julie

P.S. Just in case you missed it, earlier this week I shared this post: 3 Ways to Speak Up and Be Heard.

Four Links I Loved:

  1. 22 Leaders Share About Peer Relationships (So fun to contribute my post 3 Circles of Community Every Leader Needs.)
  2. How to Keep Leaders from Going Rogue
  3. How to Refocus Your Team Now that Summer Is Over
  4. The Secret to Holding a Meeting that Gets Results

What I’m Recommending:

 Devotional Bible: Friends, I can’t begin to express the absolute honor it was to contribute devotionals to the newly released NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World. If you are needing a new Bible for you or a friend to encourage you in your life and leadership, consider this beautiful edition.

  • Book: Simon Sinek. (sounds like “cynic”) If you don’t know his name, stop right now and go watch this TED talk and then this one. I’m finally reading his excellent book, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’’t. And every leader I’ve spent any time with lately has heard all about it. Because it’s greatness.
  • Coaching: Are you feeling stuck? Do you need fresh perspective? Leadership Coaching can help you sort through the haze and find clarity for action. Take a first step in reaching out to me to get started and get unstuck! (What are you waiting for?!)

3 Ways to Speak Up and Be Heard

1187222_86767710Not too long ago, I had a coffee catch-up conversation with a frustrated friend. This leader loves where she works, enjoys the people she works with, and knows her contribution is making a difference.

So what is she frustrated about? Her limited voice at the bottom of the organizational food chain.

As we drank our espresso laced lattes, my friend shared how she sees a blindspot the leaders at her organization are missing. And the only thing making her crazier than this issue going unresolved is the limit to which she perceives her voice can speak into this issue.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt like your position is limiting your voice?

Leader, let me share with you what I shared with my friend over coffee:

Your authority may be limited but your voice is not. There is no lid on the potential of your influence.

If there is something broken, something unjust, some blindspot, some opportunity being missed, bring it into the light and help make it right. The health of your organization, your customers, and your co-workers depends on your sharing what you see.

How? Here are 3 Ways to Speak Up and Be Heard:

  1. Exhaust the Appropriate Channels: Share it with the first people first – the people in your organization designated to receive this kind of information. This may be your direct supervisor, your HR representative, your team, or all of the above.
  2. Unite a Choir of Voices: If you are not the only person who has noticed the need, gather others to raise the concern together. There is strength and confidence in numbers.
  3. Take Advantage of Advocates: Look to mentors, advisors and others with authority who are willing to advocate for your voice and idea to be heard.

ted at ibc logo

Date: September 12, 2015
Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Event: TED IBC: Annual Small Group Leaders Training
Topic: Fear vs. Friends
Sponsor: Irving Bible Church
Public: Private
More Info: Click here for more information.

I’m excited to partner with my home church to invest in leaders in Flower Mound!

Date: October 24, 2015
Time: 9-12:30
Event: Valley Creek Church Equip Gathering
Topic: Leading from a Healthy Soul
Sponsor: Valley Creek Church
Venue: Valley Creek Church
Location: 5800 Long Prairie Road
Flower Mound, TX 75028
United States
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Julie’s Friday Favorites: Leadership Resources for 9/4/15

Leadership Resources Worth the Look

Leader friend, when was the last time you walked on water? When was the last time you took a big step of faith to follow God’s invitation to join him at work in your life and leadership? Are you a critic safe and dry in the boat or a leader shaking and a little wet from walking on water?

This past Sunday, our pastor, John Stickl, preached a challenging message from Matthew 14 called Walking on Water. He asked us, “When was the last time you walked on water?” I have been thinking about his piercing question all week. Because the boat is safe. And dry. And did I mention safe?

Leadership requires faith-filled risk. And risk requires being just brave enough to take the first step. Leader friend and author Nicole Unice shared a bit more on my blog this week with her post titled, What Makes You Brave?

I hope these resources fuel your leadership today!

Lead Brave and Lead On, Julie

A Few Links I Loved:

  1. Blanchard LeaderChat shared 4 Steps to Finding, Defining and Taking Action on Personal Growth.  (If you need help with this, that’s what I’m here for! Shoot me an email to get the conversation started: julie@empoweredbypierce.com)
  2. A right-on read from Inc. about The New Kind of Company Everybody Wants to Work For. (A complimentary conversation on culture for consideration happened over at The Five Questions About Leadership podcast.)
  3. Tara Sophia Mohr has an interesting perspective on what not to wear in her post Let’s Talk Clothes.

What I’m Recommending:

  • Grown-Up Coloring Book: I loved coloring books as a kid. Adult coloring books are all the rage right now – this post from Gifted for Leadership shares the benefits for your mind and soul of taking time to color. If you’re looking for a fun place to start, author and friend Margaret Feinberg just released a new adult coloring book to help you refresh, unwind, and connect with God through Scripture. (Mine is shipping this week!)
  • Speaking: Do you need a leadership speaker for your conference or team retreat? I would love to invest in your team! I’m currently accepting requests for 2016: get started by visiting my speaking page.

What Makes You Brave?

a guest post from author and leader friend Nicole Unice

brave enoughMy leader friend Nicole Unice is a pastor, author, podcast host, wife and mom. I have recommended her most recent book, Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free, so many times I asked if she might be willing to share a bit more with you on what it looks like to be a brave enough woman and leader. 

I signed her book but then she lingered for a moment. The sun was settling down for the night, but her eyes were bright as she put her hand back down on the table in front of us. “Does it work?” she said. I hesitated, not sure what she meant. She repeated her question. “I mean, did it work for you? Are you brave?”

I was signing her Brave Enough book so I should have had a great answer, but I actually did a double take when I thought about her question. Her question was incredible important because this woman was really asking: “is this true?” She wanted to know if she could actually, really, truly “get over her fears, flaws and failures to live bold and free” as the subtitle so audaciously claims.

If we really lived like this kind of courage was possible and accessible to us, our lives would be different. If we really believed God not only loved us, but also was deeply interested in the people He was making us to be, we would be changed.

When the truth of God’s love combines with the courage to be our real selves, it can explode into a glorious freedom—the kind that changes a person permanently.  But God’s chemistry set is a little different than ours—in all kinds of beautiful ways. For weakness he gives strength. For failures he gives freedom. For brokenness he brings healing. He loves unexpected combinations that bring beautiful results.

And so I looked into those bright eyes framed by a darkening sky and I answered, “yes, it works. But it won’t be the way you think it will be.”  Here’s some of the characteristics of a brave-enough woman:

  1. Brave Enough Women love grace. They love grace because they know they desperately need it. They have seen their ugly side and they want to deal with it, but they also know they don’t have the ability to do so. Brave enough women don’t just like the idea of Jesus, they actually realize how deeply they need someone to fix what’s broken inside of them.
  1. Brave Enough Women give grace. They make a daily choice to lean toward the truth of themselves as declared by God. Fully flawed but deeply loved, extremely limited but completely free. Armed with that truth, brave enough women are letting God change their hearts about the people around them—even the ones they are really angry with, disappointed in, frustrated by, and sick of. Especially those ones.
  1. Brave Enough Women get in the race. They aren’t interested in being spectators in life. While they sometimes want to pull the covers up over their heads and hide until Jesus returns, they pray for God to give them strength and put both feet on the floor the next morning. Brave Enough women know that getting in the race is hard work, but ultimately rewarding.
  1. Brave Enough Women take a break. They recognize that limits are given by God, and they recognize their own pride that’s often at work when they live beyond them. Brave Enough women realize that resting when the house is still messy, playing hide and seek with their kids instead of finishing that last email, and finding joy and wonder in every day despite the difficulties of this life is a tangible sign of trust in their Heavenly Father.

Courage isn’t about living a pain-free life. It’s about the grit to live the hard stuff with joy. Courage doesn’t mean we aren’t scared of anything—but it doesn’t mean we aren’t paralyzed by it.  So to answer my friend’s question: yes, I believe it works. Yes, I believe Jesus gives us courage that changes us from the inside out. And yes, I believe with all my heart that it’s possible for me, and for you, and for every woman out there who says “I want to be brave enough.”

Nicole Unice is the author of Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free. The book also has a companion 8-week DVD study. Follow Nicole on Twitter (@nicoleunice) and find out more about Nicole’s ministry and speaking schedule at nicoleunice.com

Julie’s Friday Favorites Leadership Resources 8/28/15

Happy Friday, Leader Friend!

Who do you love to work with? This week was filled with opportunities to collaborate with leader friends at Polish Ministries, a couple of corporate consulting clients, and the dynamo team builders at Group Dynamix. Through planning and processing we worked together to build something better than what we could have accomplished on our own.

I also enjoyed collaborating with leadership experts around the country by contributing to this month’s Frontline Festival from Let’s Grow Leaders. This collection of blogs features our collective best thinking about communication. 

Who can you work alongside to build something better? Which leader would be a dream to partner with? Why not get started now?

Lead True and Lead On, Julie

A Few Links I Loved:

  1. Forbes Women uncovered The Biggest Mistake You’re Making at Work. 
  2. Lead Change Group shared what to do When Training and Coaching Fail.
  3. Michael Hyatt responded to Amazon’s culture with No You Don’t Have to Work 24/7 to Be Successful. (Amen and amen.)