Are You Willing to Change?


Proving Ground - Part 2

In order to reach the next level in your life, change is inevitable. We can't progress if we are stuck in our old ways. If you want to reach the next level, it's time that you implement some healthy habits into your routine.

We are picking up where we left off last week with our Proving Ground series. Here's a recap of the first two tests Kevin Gerald discusses in the book:

  1. The Test of Small Things - This test comes to prove a leader’s potential for greater opportunities.
  2. The Motivation Test - You could be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, so this test challenges the why behind what you do.

Let's dive into the next two!

3. The Credibility Test

This test will prove that you maintain integrity, refusing to compromise ethics and morals in pressured circumstances.

Credibility is a combination of what you do, who you are, and how others view you. Gaining and maintaining credibility is what opens the door to a leader's next opportunity. Even Jesus had to build credibility.

Earning credibility requires competence, including the skills needed for the role you're playing as well as the appropriate knowledge and the right kind of habits. Competence is credibility based on what a leader can do today. So how can today's leaders maintain competence for tomorrow?

More than ever before, it is vital that today's leaders are good self-developers. You have to equip yourself so that you can remain competent. Yesterday's success may be applauded, respected, or honoured, but competence is credibility based on what you can do today. This credibility is earned by performance, not respect, love, honesty, courage, or other important virtues.

Leaders commonly fall into the negativity trap, seeing only problems and not solutions. In Proving Ground, Gerald lists six questions a leader can ask themselves to avoid negativity:

  1. What do I think about the most?
  2. How do I respond to problems or difficulties?
  3. What do I do when I hear negative feedback?
  4. How comfortable am I with failure or defeat?
  5. What kind of people do I get along well with?
  6. How do I respond to positive information?

Our sphere of influence is enlarged when we pass the credibility test.

4. The Wilderness Test

When you’re in a drought or dry season, this test will prove your potential to make the changes necessary to enter the level of maturity and prosperity in your life.

One strong characteristic of the wilderness is a lifestyle of routine. The way out of the wilderness requires change and breaking the status quo. Our tendency as leaders is to shrink back from making the necessary changes because it is easier to become comfortable with habits of routine.

We cannot have progress without change. Not all changes lead to progress, but all progress requires change. We have to push past the fear of change and learn to embrace change as a positive thing.

Just like a desert lacks the resources to provide life and vitality, a dry mind and spirit lack the ability to provide those things that bring growth. I have to personally worship God. I have to read the Bible to feed my faith. I have to pray and connect with God. I have to feed my mind with knowledge by reading books and listening to podcasts.

The church at Pentecost had to change in order to move forward. What motivated them was a strong faith in the future. In Philippians 3, Paul says, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

"Pressing on" is the key to getting out of the wilderness. Paul's motivation for pressing on was the prize of doing God's calling; the vision to bring Jesus to a hopeless world. To build His church. Because the church is the hope of the world and we have a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.


We would highly encourage all of our listeners to purchase their own copy of Proving Ground as we discuss this book together. If you'd like to purchase one, you can find them here.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email

Who Are Today's New Natives?


Marching Off the Map - Part 2

Generation Y and Z are two very different groups of people. They have been influenced by different societies and, therefore, view things diversely. Today we are pulling apart the differences between Y and Z to determine how we can educate each generation effectively.

What began in academic circles as Generation Y has now been broken down into two separate groupings; Generation Y and Generation Z. Y individuals are those deemed "millennials," born between 1990 and 2010 and Z is the generation born after 9/11. Let's compare the two.

Generation Y

  • Grew up in a strong economy with high self-esteem.
  • Watches YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix.
  • Worried about growing their status and "likes" on social media.

Generation Z

  • Growing up in a time of recession, terrorism, racial violence, volatility, and complexity.
  • Doesn't want to be tracked so prefer Snapchat over Facebook because messages disappear.
  • Want to co-create, live stream and help make up the activity as they participate.
  • Worried about the economy and world ecology.

7 Shifts Between Generation Y and Z

Elmore discusses seven major shifts between Generation Y and Generation Z. Our challenge as pastors, parents, and educators is navigating these changes. Some of them are subtle while others are quite big. Regardless, it is vital that we as leaders make ourselves aware of them.

1. Confidence is morphing into caution.

People who grew up between 1990 and 2000 had very different childhoods than those who grew up between 2005 and 2015. The economy in the 90's was expanding whereas the past ten years have been marked with economic recession. The headlines have been constantly filled with terrorism and racial unrest since the fateful day of 9/11, nevermind the increase in gender confusion and other social debates.

2. Idealism is morphing into pragmatism.

Ten years ago, it was reportedly easy for Generation Y to get what they wanted. Today, money is a bit tighter and there's been an increase in multi-generational households. Many are forced to think practically and ahead, and optimism has shifted to cynicism.

3. From aggressively pursuing further education to hacking one.

Generation Z watched Generation Y become paralyzed with student loans and debt. So, instead of applying to multiple universities in search of a liberal art education, Generation Z has started to combine university classes with online certificates and real-world experience.

4. Spending money is morphing into saving money.

Generation Y has been known to spend money boldly and with few boundaries. In contrast, Generation Z's reality is forcing them to think ahead and prepare. This isn't necessarily bad though; it could help them in the future.

5. Consuming media is shifting to creating media.

Today, young teens prefer to create media posts as opposed to only consuming them. They desire interactive experiences where they can actually participate in their content's outcome.

6. Viral messages on social media are becoming vanishing messages.

Younger kids have witnessed the downsides of being tracked on social media by their parent's, teachers and future employers, now preferring messaging that evaporates, like Snapchat.

7. Standard text messages have now become icon messages.

Kids now choose to send emojis in place of words. They have strong filters and want content to be shared and understood rapidly.

Elmore's Suggestions for Connecting with Generation Z

Elmore suggests seven things we should do to connect with this upcoming generation. Here are a few that stood out to me.

  1. Keep it short. - Remember, Generation Z has a very short attention span. While they are capable of paying attention for long periods of time, the key is to engage them within 6-8 seconds.
  2. Feed their curiosity. - They want to discover new content and pass it on. So, we need to build a hunger for interesting facts and relay why the information is important to know.
  3. Give them ownership. - Students support what they help create. They'll value something they've discovered more than what's given to them without their effort.
  4. Offer them a cause. - Most kids want to do something important. They want to be a part of something meaningful, not hypothetical.

The deeper we dig into Elmore's book, the deeper we want to go in reaching this generation. This is not a "next year" thing nor a change in our vision, it's a reality check. Our move forward begins with our commitment. Why? Because the church is the hope of the world, and for every generation, we are on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

Episode Resources

If you are interested in diving deeper into Marching Off the Map, buy your own copy here! We highly recommend it.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email

How Do You March Off a Map?


Marching Off the Map - Part 1

The truth is, our modern school system simply isn't as effective as it could be. Students are disengaged and disinterested in learning. How can we as leaders, educators, pastors, and communicators better influence the generation we are trying to lead?

Welcome to the first episode of our Marching Off the Map series. For the next five weeks, Pastor Gene and I will be breaking down this insightful book written by Tim Elmore. We have found this book to be a much-needed roadmap for 21st-century educators, parents, coaches, and youth leaders. We would encourage all of our listeners to pick up a copy! You can order one here.

In Chapter 2, Elmore writes about three societies that anthropologist Margaret Mead describes in her works.

1. The Post-Figurative Society

Mead described this era as one that lasted for many centuries. Adults had already determined how life would be for their children, often deciding who they would marry, where they would work, what they would do and even how their children would continue the customs within their society.  This perpetuated the customs of the past resulting in very little change or innovation.

Careers were largely agriculturally based with many people farming crops or livestock. The critical element that differentiated you within this society was physical strength so the youth were heavily relied upon.

2. The Co-Figurative Society

This society was created during the Renaissance, otherwise known as the Age of Enlightenment. As a whole, society began to question its traditions, customs, and way of life. Reason ruled the day as opposed to physical strength. This levelled the playing field between the young and old.

Parents and their children were involved in making the decision of who the child would marry, where they would live, and what their career would be. Everyone had to adjust to change and new innovations, communications, and traditions.

The Renaissance birthed the Industrial Revolution during which new inventions were created to improve efficiency. Science and industry began to control society and access to machinery is what set people apart.

3. The Pre-Figurative Society

The Pre-Figurative Society is what Mead suggests we are living in now. Change is happening so rapidly that adults have almost nothing to offer the next generation in terms of how to deal with new realities. The youth often understand the changes sooner than most adults; they adapt to new technology and innovations far before we do. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for adults to lead the young and can cause leaders to feel irrelevant.

The critical element that differentiates individuals in our society is our minds. That's how most of us make our living and get things done. Mead wrote in her book People and Places: A Book for Young Readers, "In the modern world we have invented ways of speeding up invention, and people’s lives change so fast that a person is born into one kind of world, grows up in another, and by the time his children are growing up, lives in still a different world.

Our Schooling System

In my opinion, we need a new system for educating our students. The evidence for this need is everywhere yet we as a society are too slow in making those changes.

Horace Mann developed the school system we base our current system off of, however, he did so in the 1830's! His design was meant to prepare children for their factory careers. For example, the stereotypical school bell that we have all listened to at some point was first created to mimic a bell meant for shift work in a factory. While there is nothing inherently wrong with a bell, it is a good illustration to show how archaic our education system presently is. Maybe we could look at redesigning the system to better prepare our students for today's world?

6 Radical Ideas for Redesign

At the end of the second chapter, Elmore suggests six radical ideas for redesigning the system:

  1. Experience instead of test scores.
  2. Homework during the day rather than at night.
  3. Open book tests.
  4. Use of images to help retention.
  5. Creativity over compliance.
  6. Teachers in the role of interpreter rather than informer.

These ideas allow us to think differently, to alter our methods by focusing on our results. What if we started with a clean slate and asked ourselves, "If Horace Mann was alive today, what would he do to revamp the current failing school system?"

This is not just an educational issue but a problem we have in churches as well. We are in the education and communication business and our message is the most important one that the world needs to hear.

The message never changes but the methods must be constantly evolving. It may be uncomfortable but it is a necessity in order to keep moving the church forward. Why? Because for every generation, we know that the church is the hope of the world and we are on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches that unchurched people love to attend.

Episode Resources

If you are interested in diving deeper into Marching Off the Map, buy your own copy here! We highly recommend it.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email

10 Characteristics of a Pioneer - Part 4


Changing Our Methods and Finding the Right Team

Are you afraid to change the methods by which you reach people? Is your team committed to your vision? Learn how change and the right team are vital to being a pioneer.

Here we are with the last episode of our pioneering series. If you want to listen to the last three, click the "Inside MyVictory Podcasts" tab above. Here is a review of the previous characteristics:

  1. The pioneer is about risk. The settler is about routine.
  2. Pioneers often don't fit in.
  3. Pioneers are dreamers.
  4. Pioneers are willing to go where they have never been, to do what they have never done.
  5. Pioneers are willing to put up with what is less than ideal.
  6. Pioneers always want to go further.
  7. Pioneers are resilient, resourceful, and tenacious.
  8. Pioneers cultivate the tough land.

Alright, let's dive into the final two factors of a pioneer.

9. Pioneers are willing to fight for what they believe.

Hebrews 11:33 describes heroes of the faith as men and women "who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions." Pioneers don't just roll over and play dead when adversity comes their way. In fact, they expect challenges. They know anything good is worth a fight.

I think many of us shrink back from a fight because we value peace over progress. Conflict isn't comfortable, but when we view all conflict as bad, we often don't move forward. Certain conflict is actually necessary and should be expected because, as pioneers, we are in uncharted territory.

We also have the tendency to refuse change. But we have to value the outcome more than our current practices and be willing to modify how we do things. Pioneering in today's ever-shifting culture requires courage and uncompromising commitment.

10. Pioneers are always others-oriented.

By definition, leadership must be others-oriented. Great leaders are noted for their ability to work with teams. To become others oriented, leaders must invest themselves in developing their team's personal and corporate growth.

Pioneers know that their vision is simply too big to accomplish on their own. They must recruit and train a team to help them. In order to recruit the right people, you must clearly define the problem that needs to be solved. Those willing to aid in solving that problem are worthy team members.

In my early ministry, I became focused on the outcome instead of the methods. When I discovered something that worked I stuck with it, and when it was no longer effective, I changed. I am still trying to change and adapt for the outcome. I need to see souls saved and lives changed, or what's the point? After all, the church is the hope of the world and we are on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches that unchurched people love to attend.

Episode Resources

If you are interested in learning more about pioneers, we would encourage you to grab a copy of Marching Off the Map by Tim Elmore. You can find it here.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email

5 Strategies for Effective Collaboration


Have you ever spent time in seemingly unending meetings? Meetings where the collaboration among departments or team members felt limited to the opinion of the heavy hitters and usually prove little long-term value, but plenty of short-term frustration? When you end up frustrated because the “collaboration” is poorly facilitated, what can you do? These 5 Strategies for Effective Collaboration are a good place to start. 

1. Train Your Team for the Future

Not all those that begin as a part of a church plant team will remain for the entire process. However, those that do stick with you are the ones you should invest in the most. Train them in the culture, vision, mission, and best practices of your movement. Today's volunteers could very well be tomorrow's staff so treat them as such. Don't train them for today's problems but for those of the future.

[bctt tweet="Don’t train your staff for today’s problems, train them for those of the future." #leadership username="kellystickel"]

2. Create A Culture of Change

As the church grows, the systems that once worked become less and less effective. When this occurs, a change must be made. This could be removing people from their position or moving them into another position. If you create a culture of change, your leaders will embrace it and look forward to mixing things up. Don't train someone for just one role; train them to be a leader that could take on any role or department. We want leaders, not specialists. I have found that shifting leaders around can often have huge benefits for the organization as a whole. Fresh ideas are expressed and renewed energy breathes new life into that department.

[bctt tweet="Train leaders, not specialists." #leadership username="kellystickel"]

3. Establish a Clear Why

Sometimes organizations or churches try to coordinate an event for the common good of their community.  The players come together initially but further into the project, they back out or become distracted by their obligations at their home base. Sometimes, it ends with the event becoming a one-person show. Where did it go wrong?

In my opinion, it’s all about the “why” of the event. The stronger and clearer the why, the stronger the buy-in from those participating. There has to be a clear-cut benefit for the whole, not just for one or two participants. The why is often connected to the benefits and the benefits are most keenly understood by those who originally birthed the idea for the event. In the end, they are usually the ones committed to seeing it through. But if they have the ability to clearly communicate the benefits of the event to everyone involved, everyone is more likely to remain until completion.

4. Know Your Team Strengths

There are so many tools out there to help leaders find the right people for their team. I’d recommend personality tests like 16 Personalities (which is a Meyers-Briggs test), the Strengths Finder test or DISC tests to discover people’s natural tendencies. Without such tools, leaders are left with only their instincts to determine where best to place team member. But don't be afraid to experiment. If someone is not fit for a position, don’t be afraid to move them to a different one until you find their perfect spot—both for them and for the team as a whole.

5. Invest in Your Leaders

The collaboration of talents, experience and vision is vital to the mission of most organizations. We must follow the example of Jesus. He modelled it best for us. He both invested in His leaders, training the 12 intensely for three years, while at the same time remained true to the gospel by ministering to those who had need. I think we can do the same. We can best train our future leaders by involving them as participants in today’s ministry. We have to keep raising leaders and we have to stay true to the mandate of the gospel because the church is the hope of the world and we’re on a mission to reach every available person at every available time by every available means with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email



When leadership is shaken, when the challenges seem impossible, when the struggles seem overwhelming, leaders have to regain their footing to remain an unshakeable leader.  “If you fall to pieces in a crisis there wasn’t much to you in the first place”. Proverbs 24:10 (MSG) 

In Tony Robbins new financial book “Unshakeable” he defines unshakeable as a state of mind.  He goes on to say: “When you're truly unshakeable, you have unwavering confidence even amidst the storm. It’s not that nothing upsets you.  But you don’t stay there. Nothing rattles you for any length of time.  You don’t allow fear to take you over. If you’re knocked off balance, you find your centre quickly and regain your inner calm." Robbins points out that state of mind allows you to be "a leader, not a follower. To be the chess player, not the chess piece.” 

As a leader, I think I first realized how tough leadership was and what kind of an emotional roller coaster it was, when, less than a year into my ministry, I had the most influential couple in our church come at me. They wrote me a letter telling me how I might become a good pastor one day, but today I was doing everything wrong. They followed that comment with a list of demands they had and partnered that with a threat that if I didn’t change they would withhold their tithe.

At that time, the church was small, maybe 80-100 people and their tithe was at least half of the entire church’s budget. I was definitely shaken! I set up a meeting with them and met them face to face, thinking I could convince them to change their mind. The meeting only went worse and they upped their threat to leaving the church entirely if I didn’t change to their demands.

I was faced with an impossible situation. But, after praying and thinking it through, I knew that if I changed to their demands I would be controlled by them for the rest of my ministry there. I also had to wrestle with the real possibility of cutting our income in half and not taking a pay cheque personally. I determined to make God my source and not this couple. After wrestling this in my own head, I politely told them that I couldn’t change to all of their demands. They left the church and sent another letter to me, making sure I was well aware of where I fell short as a pastor.

After they left. . . . . the church actually grew! In the next 3 months it doubled to over 160 people in weekly attendance and our income, nearly tripled. I think when the other members of the church saw that I was actually leading, they bought in all the way. That was a massive lesson for me as a leader. It helped me to put my full confidence in God and in His call on me: to be a pastor and a leader of a local church.

Develop unwavering confidence

If you fall to pieces in a crisis there wasn’t much to you in the first place”. Proverbs 24:10 (MSG) Harsh words that may first anger leaders, but ultimately it challenges us to raise the bar on leadership.

As a mentor, I always wrestle with how to motivate leaders when they are going through a crisis. The tension I feel is that I want to help and to rescue, but I also know how important it is for each leader to “strengthen themselves in the Lord” as David did in 1 Samuel 30. Each leader needs to learn how to look to God to be their source and their Saviour in the midst of the storms, and not look to me or to others for their rescue. Your “much” is determined by how much you really trust God and trust yourself as a leader in the crisis. And this is only learned in the process.

I remember the phone call I received one Sunday afternoon that my Mom had just passed away. That threw me into a realm of pain and confusion like I had never faced before. It took me a while to wrestle through that one. I don’t think I could’ve made it through that one if it weren’t for my wife pointing me to Mark 11:22. It says, “Have faith in God.” Period.

Mark 11:22 doesn’t say have faith in yourself, or in your prayers, or in others, or in the answer you are looking for. It says, have faith in God. I had to come to the realization that His ways are higher than my ways.  I came to realize that He is God and that I am not and that I may never come to understand everything this side of Heaven, but that’s ok. Because He is God and I just need to put my faith in Him. I don’t think it’s possible for a human being, I don’t care how good of a leader you are, to be completely unshakable. Your only hope is to put your faith in someone who is unshakable. God. That’s my source of hope and strength. I never understood that completely, until I had no choice but to put my faith there.

Learn to Think Past the Confusion

When you are shaken, especially by rejection or failure, there’s often an element of confusion in the mix.  The temptation is to hope someone else will straighten out the confusion or we put it off and plan to deal with it later or worse, ultimately choose to do nothing. None of these are the right answer, but it can be difficult to think past the confusion of such a moment and stabilize what’s shaking. 

I try hard not to react to my feelings when faced with rejection or failure. One way I do this is by not responding or reacting to the situation for at least 24 hours. This allows me to think past my feelings and to then respond more appropriately. Many times, I have come to realize that the rejection or failure was a result of something I did or could've done better. Once I correct my side, then I can work on bringing clarity to the confusion and dealing with the other side. It’s a painful process, but it has saved me from making a mess messier by reacting on my first emotion and saying or doing something I would later regret.

Embrace the Pain of Change

You must push your capacity level for a crisis beyond what’s always worked and learn how to sacrifice the immediate short term options for the long term advantage. You do this by learning to embrace the pain of change. Anytime you shrink back from a crisis you limit your capacity. When you embrace the crisis and problem solve your way through it, you grow and your capacity grows. This only comes with time and experience.

[bctt tweet="Shrink back from a crisis & you limit your capacity. Learn to embrace the pain of change." username="kellystickel"]

I used to hate experiencing those times as a young leader, but I have found that there are somethings that can only be taught by experience. And that is how to grow your capacity level through experience. You have to be patient (I know I hate that word too) and you have to have more of an agricultural paradigm than a mechanical one. That means I am sowing seeds today in order to reap a harvest down the road rather than just constantly fixing the problem in front of me.

Maintain Personal Disciplines

When your “normal” gets slammed with a heavy does of abnormal your emotions, your perspectives, your will power, your thinking, your faith, all of these things can get shaken. Sometimes the problem in front of you has multiple friends. In the middle of a crisis or a heavy dose of the abnormal, it’s more important than ever to stay strict with your personal disciplines.

I mean your devotion time with God, your personal development time with books and podcasts, your physical health time, and your family and relationship time. In the middle of a crisis your mind is focused on what it is stressed about. That’s normal. And you will be tempted to abandon all of your other disciplines. But you will never have the strength to make it through if you give up the disciplines that feed you.

Check Your Habits

Your thinking will change your habits, but changing your habits over a period of time will change your thinking as well. So, you need to give yourself time to lead with vision, as opposed to leading by reaction, by taking time to do big picture thinking. See where you want to go or need to get to and then determine the habits it will take daily to get there in the future.

Express Your Gratitude

Gratitude is vital to mental health and strength. When you stop being thankful, you are in deep trouble. This is one area that I think we all need to watch in ourselves and self diagnose where we are mentally based on how thankful we are. When that starts to slip we know we need to course correct to get back on track. Gratitude builds mental strength in my opinion and I don’t think it’s possible to be unshakable without it.

Focus on the Top Three Problems

The importance of self discipline cannot be overstated when it comes to having the mental strength to make it through a crisis. As far as being overwhelmed, one discipline I have found that works is the skill of prioritizing the top 3 problems that I need to solve now. By limiting them to 3, I’ve learned to focus and avoid feeling overwhelmed. When I solve one, I add another one and just keep moving forward. I have found that this focus allows me to finish with excellence on each problem because I can give my full attention to it rather than being spread too thin in too many directions.

Be Ok With Not Having All the Answers

As I mentioned earlier, when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I went through a really difficult season.  Her death shook me, but I came to the conclusion that God is God and I am not. In other words, it is ok to not be ok.

I had to come to the place where my trust was so much in him that I had to be ok with not having the answer to my very emotional question of “why”. That was a tough one…and to be honest, it still is a tough one. But, it has taken my relationship with God to a totally different level.  It’s helped me not become too overwhelmed when there are negative circumstances around me.

Failure is not Fatal

Thomas Edison is a great example of being facing a crisis and being unshakeable in the midst of a personal devastation. At 67 years old, Edison lost everything. One evening an explosion burned all of his facilities where he ran his experiments to the ground. His response to a lifetime’s work was:  “It’s all right. We just got rid of a lot of rubbish.  I’ll start over tomorrow”.  He personified mental toughness.  He didn't view  failure as fatal. Edison said after that fire that he only lost his mistakes and could start over. I love that mentality. To him failure was a stepping stone to getting it right. He knew what didn’t work so he could find what did. It doesn’t feel that way in the moment, but we have to look past our feelings and focus on our future. Failure is only fatal if you quit.

[bctt tweet="Failure is only fatal if you quit." username="kellystickel"]

Curiosity is Key

Sometimes it’s the uncomfortable zone that shakes our inner confidence and knocks us off balance.  That’s when our ego takes a hit.  But successful people keep going by being curious. Curiosity is key. You have to ask questions and be self confident enough to ask others for help. We have a lot more experience when we get older, but that doesn’t mean we know everything or that have nothing else to learn. We can always learn more and we can learn from anyone, if we will only watch and ask.


How do you regain your footing?
  1. Develop unwavering confidence
  2. Think past the confusion
  3. Embrace the pain of change
  4. Maintain personal disciplines
  5. Check your habits
  6. Focus on your top three problems
  7. Be ok with not having all the answers
  8. Understand failure is not fatal
  9. Stay curious


After reading this blog or listening to this podcast, leader’s may be limiting themselves by comparison to some examples I’ve talked about.  You may be thinking about what you don’t know, what you don’t have or who you’re not like. 

Invite others into your world who can help you face whatever your facing. You don’t have to go through it alone. Don’t listen to the lie. One of the lies we  tell ourselves is this: “no one else has ever gone through this” and “I’m the only one”. No matter how much success you think someone is having or has had, they have faced similar trials as you. So ask them for help. What have you got to lose?

Most of all, ask God for help. Lean on him. Jesus said that “when you face storms” He didn’t say “if”. When you face storms the ones who last are the ones who built their lives on the Word. In other words, they know God. As leaders we have to trust God enough to know what He says and to do what He says. That’s where you will find strength and hope to make it through. And whatever you do, don’t quit! Keep going! Why? Because the world needs you.

Episode Resources:

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email

How Change and Anger Affect Leadership

Leaders have to do more than chisel away at the status quo, change requires that Leaders first model the change with Pastor Gene Brack and Pastor Ralph Molyneux, Campus Pastor of My Victory Lethbridge.

If you have questions you would like answered in an upcoming podcast, please email

The Secret of Keystone Habits

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about keystone habits. He defines a keystone habit as a pattern that has the power to start a chain reaction, changing other habits as it moves through an organization.

He tells a story about Paul O’Neill, who took over as CEO of Alcoa, an aluminum company in 1987. In his first speech as CEO he said something unusual.

"I want to talk to you about worker safety,” he said, “every year, numerous Alcoa workers are injured so badly that they miss a day of work. I intend to make Alcoa the safest company in America. I intend to go for zero injuries."

The shareholders were confused. Normally CEO’s talk about profit margins and new markets. Many shareholders rushed out of the meeting and sold their stocks expecting the company to bottom out. But it didn’t. In fact, it did the opposite. Within a year of O'Neill's speech, Alcoa's profits would hit a record high. By the time O'Neill retired in 2000, the company's annual net income was five times larger than before he arrived, and its market capitalization had risen by $27 billion.

When later interviewed about why he thought his strategy worked, O’Neill said, "I knew I had to transform Alcoa. But you can't order people to change. That's not how the brain works. So I decided I was going to start by focusing on one thing. If I could start disrupting the habits around one thing, it would spread throughout the entire company.”

That’s the nature of a keystone habit. I decided to read parts of the book to our staff and we entered into discussion about habits and in particular about what we thought our corporate keystone habit was.

Here are some of the points we went through in that discovery.

  1. A ______________ habit is a small change or habit that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.
  2. A habit is a formula our brain automatically follows: When I see ______________ , I will do ______________ in order to get a ______________.
  3. Identify the ______________ which is the behaviour I want to change.
  4. Experiment with ______________ in order to isolate what will actually drive the routine, which is essential in designing or redesigning the habit.
  5. Isolate the ______________ which triggers the habit.

    Almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories: a.______________ - Where are you? b.______________ - What time is it? c.______________ ______________  - What’s your emotional state? d.______________ ______________ - Who else is around? e.______________ ______________ ______________  - What action preceded the urge?

  6. What are our ______________ ?

5 Not’s:

  1. Things are NOT going ______________ .
  2. I’m NOT ______________ for.
  3. I’m NOT from ______________ .
  4. I'm NOT ______________ .
  5. I’m NOT in a ______________ .

Episode Resources

Mentally Strong Leaders Cliff Jump

Dr. Daniel Goleman states that the higher a leader rises in an organization, the less important technical skills become, and the more important EQ becomes. “EQ counts for 80-90% of the factors that distinguish average from outstanding leaders.” Christopher Columbus

Mentally strong people avoid giving up after failure. 

The only way to guarantee failure is to quit. This is not about a stubborn refusal to hold onto something that is no longer effective but a fierce desire to succeed despite obstacles and set backs. Realign your thinking to see every failure as a chance to improve.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you willing to fail again and again as long as that failure brings you closer to your ultimate goal?
  • Is this a mission failure or a method failure? Never give up on your mission, but methods need constant adjustments.
  • What is the best way to...?

Remember the moment you say, “I give up,” someone else is seeing the same situation and saying, “My, what a great opportunity.”

Mentally strong people avoid shying away from change.

They embrace change and welcome challenges. It energizes them and brings out their best. Their biggest fear is not of the unknown but becoming stagnant and complacent.

Leaders are constantly challenged to:

  • Fight personal complacency. It is the last hurdle to greatness. It is the “success disease”.
  • When helping others change ask these 3 questions:
    1. Is it worth it? If not, why waste their effort?
    2. Will they do it? If not, why waste your effort?
    3. Can they do it? If they can’t, why waste both your efforts?

Mentally strong people avoid fearing taking calculated risks.

I’m not talking about jumping into foolish risk. This is about weighing the upsides vs. the downsides. Is there anything siting in front of you that scares you to death? There should be.

“the greatest risk of all is a life of riskless living” ~Dr. George Hill

How to get comfortable being uncomfortable:

  • Take the most difficult and important risk - be honest with yourself. “Show me a guy who is afraid of looking bad and I will show you a guy who can be beat every single time!”  If you aren’t making mistakes you are not taking enough risks.
  • Desire learning more than winning or losing. If you look at something you did a year ago and are still impressed by what you did it means you aren’t growing. Complacency is the enemy.
  • Be controlled by your dream, not your emotions.
  • Risk taking is a developed skill. You won't know how far you can go until you try.

Where did you push through a failure with surprising results?