Thursday, 30 January 2014

29 Ways to Energize Tired Dogs

Great post by Dan Rockwell.

Managing energy is more important than managing time. It doesn’t matter how much time you have if your energy tank is empty.

Put more energy in than you take out or you’ll end up drained. Four areas of life require energy: mind, emotions, spirit, and body.

16 energy drainers:
  1. Pretending you’re something you’re not.
  2. Incomplete tasks.
  3. Relationships with takers, complainers, and “can’t do” types.
  4. Responsibility without authority.
  5. Proving you’re right rather than developing solutions.
  6. Feeling alone and disconnected.
  7. Procrastination.
  8. Reactive rather than proactive living.
  9. Incompetence both in you and others.
  10. Uncommitted teams.
  11. Unmotivated individuals.
  12. Being taken for granted.
  13. Backstabbers and gossips.
  14. Bitterness and resentment.
  15. Ungratefulness.
  16. Regret.
29 ways to energize tired dogs:
  1. Take breaks. Work no longer than 90 minutes at one stretch.
  2. Find a “vent” partner.
  3. Ask, “Does this matter?” Do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t.
  4. Tell a happy story from your youth. I remember…
  5. Find a brag buddy and share your successes and accomplishments. Brag buddies celebrate; they don’t diminish or out do.
  6. Send thank you notes or call someone to say thank you.
  7. Stop something without starting something new. Create a not to-do list.
  8. Reconnect with your purpose.
  9. Forget work for awhile. Listen to music for example.
  10. Stop multitasking.
  11. Turn off electronics.
  12. Lift your head up and breathe slowly and deeply for one minute.
  13. Keep a journal of progress, accomplishments, and tasks completed.
  14. Throw something away. Better yet, give something away.
  15. Develop the team around you and then delegate tasks.
  16. Trust someone.
  17. Humble yourself to a trusted adviser or coach.
  18. Build friendships outside your organization.
  19. Finish a task.
  20. Spend time in self-reflection.
  21. Change a routine.
  22. Pray.
  23. Create gratitude lists.
  24. Forgive.
  25. Sleep.
  26. Exercise.
  27. Get away from your desk for lunch.
  28. Take a short morning and afternoon walk.
  29. Reconnect with a friend.
Treat yourself like you matter.
What leadership behaviors re-energize others?
What fills your energy tank?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Top 5 Paradigm Shifts That Can Transform Place & People

 A great post by Tony Morgan

Over a third of most church budgets are devoted to space/housing but minimal thought is given to this area. During our first decade at Visioneering Studios, we have joined the design-build efforts of almost a thousand ministries around the world. Here are the top 5 paradigm shifts that have made the biggest eternal impacts:
  1. Wells vs. Temples: When discussing sacred space, most church leaders and architects see themselves as modern temple builders. Most of us know theologically that we are the temple, not the bricks and mortar, however this fails to translate into our building programs. We prefer to dig “postmodern wells” where the Samaritan woman of today who never would have made it to church on Sunday can encounter words of eternal life and the body of Christ through a casual encounter while trying to get a drink. These gathering places have more of an opportunity for 7 day a week encounters which tear down the walls between lost and found, ecclesia and the city while meeting the mind, body, and spirit needs of the community.
  2. Our customer: Are we designing for those already in the walls, or for those who have yet to darken our door? The answer to this questions leads to radically different end results. The natural tendency is to treat our facilities as we would that inherited family vacation home that we return to year after year. Most church interior decorating committees vote on what they like. Because of our background in designing destinations that have to be market competitive, Visioneering naturally asks more questions related to who our clients are trying to reach (psychographics, demographics, etc).
  3. Form follows Fiction vs. Form follows Function: Modern architects love to quote mantras like “form follows function” or “less is more,” to justify glass and concrete boxes. However, throughout history, space has told stories. From cathedrals to Walt Disney’s environments, people have been drawn to environments which allow them to engage in stories bigger than themselves. We have learned that there are many more effective, flexible, and cost effective ways of spatial storytelling than using expensive architectural/structural elements to do the heavy lifting. Visioneering projects often utilize color, lighting, environmental graphics, digital projection, wayfinding signage, and landscape architecture to engage people in a “Big Idea” that draws outsiders into the unique intersection of people and place.
  4. Community vs. Campus: The campus typology is historical internally oriented monasteries and early colleges, which were designed for separation from the world. Visioneering has learned that it is time to lower the drawbridge. As a herd species, people are hard-wired to hunger for community. Internally oriented campus designs hide the very thing that non-believers are so hungry for inside of a box or behind parking lots and buildings which “moon the community.”  We focus on human-scale design at the 100% intersection which visually communicate and present an invitation to the thousands of people in cars driving by.
  5. Necessary Evil vs. Re-creation: I’ve seen the rise of an unhealthy “Gnosticism of place” rise in which church leaders are too “spiritual” for bricks and mortar and would never consider debt to make room for the lost. I would be curious to find out if these same leaders had home mortgages or if they find that the best place to raise their own children is in transient/borrowed spaces.  We choose to join God in His on-going act of creation, by creating destinations that connect people vertically (with the Creator and his Creation) as well as horizontally. This sounds more like His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven than putting up more embarrassing, ugly church buildings which sit empty 6.5 days a week, just to keep the rain off the heads of the “holy huddle” for a few hours.
Click here to download Design Intervention: Revolutionizing Sacred Space, a FREE eBook by Mel McGowan.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Align yourself to your vision and values REGULARLY

Have you ever driven a car with terrible alignment? Even on a perfectly straight highway, the vehicle will drift into a ditch unless the driver constantly compensates for its misalignment. As part of normal driving, the springs in a car’s suspension system gradually stretch out, and the vehicle’s highly calibrated internal components get knocked off-kilter. For this reason, vehicles must occasionally be taken to a mechanic for realignment.
Something similar happens to us as leaders. The daily grind of life takes its toll. We get stretched thin, grow weary, and lose our work/life balance. Unless we pause regularly to realign our lives with our vision and values, we gradually stray off course.

Misaligned Leaders Wear Out Faster
When a car is out of alignment, it puts increased pressure on the tires. The wheels are at the wrong angle to the ground, causing the tire tread to wear down abnormally fast. In like manner, leaders who have gone too long without alignment suffer diminished durability. Having lost sight of their vision, they trudge through life without enthusiasm and energy. They desperately need to spend time dreaming about their future goals in order to revitalize their spirits.

Misaligned Leaders Fall Short of Their Potential
As a car cruises down the road its tires produce friction as they roll over the pavement. Misaligned tires make extra contact with the roadway, increasing the amount of friction and placing added strain on the car’s engine. Since the engine has to work harder, it uses up fuel more quickly and thereby reduces the gas mileage of the vehicle.
Similarly, misaligned leaders do not operate at their peak potential. Without the guidance of vision and values, leaders work inefficiently. The fail to prioritize intelligently and expend extra time and resources as a result.

Misaligned Leaders Maneuver Poorly
Improper alignment negatively affects a car’s handling capabilities. A misaligned vehicle will pull to the right or left instead of heading straight down the road. Unless leaders take time to make sure their actions align with their values, they will eventually violate their deeply held beliefs. They will spend life chasing what looks like success without actually pausing to consider whether it actually will give them the satisfaction and fulfillment they desire.

Thought to Ponder
No one intends to end up lonely, in debt, physically unfit, or perpetually on the verge of burnout. However, somewhere along life’s journey many people quit aligning their lives with their vision and values. They put their lives on autopilot and fail to notice that with each passing day they are inching closer and closer to a ditch.

As 2014 kicks off, carve out some time to think through your vision for the future. Consider whether your present direction is taking you toward it. In addition, think through what you hold dear in life. What changes might you need to make to your lifestyle in order to honor your deepest values?