Archive for the 'Personal Growth' Category


I read a great quote last year, “let’s just call plans what they are…guesses” (from Jason at the 37 signals blog). In the spirit of beginning a new year and the inevitable resolutions, plans, goals that ensue, I’ve listed links to some of the more helpful posts I’ve come across in the last few weeks about “guesses” and the new year.

If you don’t already have a list of “guesses,” then it’s not too late to start.  If you plans become a reality, they probably don’t care if you started on January 1st or January 15th.


2010 Reading List

Last week I posted an update to my 2009 reading list.  Here’s my initial reading list for 2010.  I call it an initial list, because it’s a list of books that I plan on reading, but as you can tell from my 2009 list there will probably be some additions and subtractions to the list throughout the year:

  • Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  • What the Dog Saw – Malcom Gladwell
  • Uprising – Erwin McManus
  • Good to Great – Jim Collins
  • How the Mighty Fall – Jim Collins
  • Superfreakonomics – Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
  • Fired Up or Burned Out – Michael Lee Stallard
  • The Meaning of the Pentateuch – John H. Sailhamer
  • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John Maxwell
  • Mavericks at Work – William Taylor & Polly Lebarre
  • The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber
  • The Reason for God – Tim Keller
  • Prodigal God – Tim Keller
  • Counterfeit Gods – Tim Keller
  • The Six Fundamental Laws of Success – Stuart Levine
  • The Back of the Napkin – Dan Roam
  • Courageous Leadership – Bill Hybels
  • Axiom – Bill Hybels
  • Mentor Like Jesus – Regi Campbell
  • Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands – Nancy Ortberg
  • Walking with God – John Eldredge
  • Think Orange – Reggie Joiner
  • The Starbucks Experience – Joseph Michelli
  • The Experience Economy – Joseph Pine & James Gilmore
  • The Principle of the Path – Andy Stanley
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
  • What Jesus Demands from the World – John Piper
  • Derailed – Tim Irwin

That’s what I have so far.  As I said above, I’m sure there will be some changes as the year progresses.  Any other suggestions?

Reading Update

At the beginning of the year I posted my 2009 reading list.  I thought I’d give an update on how I’m doing (as much for myself as for anyone else).  It looks like right now that I’ll read 22 books by the end of the year, which is shy of my goal (at least 24 books) – so next year I need to get in a better rhythm or pick up the pace a little.

Here’s my reading list for 2009:

  • The Back of the Napkin – Dan Roam
  • Courageous Leadership – Bill Hybels
  • Axiom – Bill Hybels
  • Be Our Guest – The Disney Institute
  • Walking with God – John Eldredge
  • Sex:God – Rob Bell
  • First Impressions – Mark Waltz
  • The Deity Formerly Known as God – Jarret Stevens
  • Mavericks at Work – William Taylor & Polly Lebarre
  • The Truth About You – Marcus Buckingham
  • Why Work Sucks & How to Fix It – Cari Ressler & Jody Thompson
  • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, updated edition – John C Maxwell
  • Communicating for a Change – Andy Stanley & Lane Jones
  • Tribes – Seth Godin
  • What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith
  • Uprising – Erwin McManus
  • Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands – Nancy Ortberg
  • I am not but I know I AM – Louie Giglio
  • Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Creating Community – Andy Stanley & Bill Willits
  • Fired Up or Burned Out – Michael Lee Stallard
  • The Encore Effect – Mark Sanborn
  • The Purple Cow – Seth Godin
  • Killing Cockroaches – Tony Morgan
  • Letters from a Nut – Ted L. Nancy
  • The Go Giver – Bob Burg & John David Mann
  • Leadership & Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute
  • Chasing Daylight – Eugene O’Kelly
  • Cirque Du Soleil: The Spark – John U. Bacon & Lyn Heward
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
  • Primal – Mark Batterson
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

If you’re interested, here’s a list of books that I read in 2008.  In a few days I’ll post my initial book list for 2010.


Brad Lomenick had a great post a few weeks ago on margin that I keep coming back to lately.  

Margin in our lives overall creates options. Options to pursue dreams, think, pray, relax, meditate, process, grow and ultimately live life more fully.

On the flip-side, lack of margin makes us tense, creates stress and pushes for quick decisions. Lack of margin leads to stale and forced relationships, and drives us towards the most available options, but many times not the best.

That’s where I”m at right now.  Not the options part, but the tense, stress, stale relationships, etc. part.  Read the entire post here.

It Starts Today

It starts today, or maybe it started last Thursday, but that doesn’t sound as nice.  The results you want to see in six months start today.  The differences in your life that you want to be a reality a year from now, five years from now, or ten years from now begin with the decision(s) you make today.

Last week I was reminded again of something Jim Collins said at Catalyst last fall about the link between decisions and greatness.  You can read my thoughts on that here.  As you think about the decision(s) you’re making now and the ones you will be making in the coming days, here’s a great quote from Pastor Steven Furtick from a message he gave at last fall.

Yes, you’re anointed for greatness.  Yes, God has a great plan for your life.  But it doesn’t start one day when you get your big break.  It starts when you do what God has given you to do right now.  What could God do through your simplest act of obedience?

Who you are today started a few months ago, or a year ago or several years ago.  Think about the decisions you make in the next few weeks and the course they’ll chart by the end of 2009.

2008 Reading List

I try to read a lot.  It allows me to continually push myself to learn more, and “leaders are readers” (at least we’re supposed to be).  It’s one way I try to go further faster – so I get the opportunity to learn from others mistakes as well as my own.  My 2008 list comes in at 20 books, which is a  few books shy of the 27 I read in 2007.  Here’s the list in no particular order:

  • Three Signs of a Miserable Job – Patrick Lencioni
  • Lincoln on Leadership – Donald Phillips
  • The Four Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferris
  • Getting Things Done – David Allen
  • The 360 Degree Leader – John Maxwell
  • Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape The Future – Andy Stanley
  • The Dip – Seth Godin
  • Making Vision Stick – Andy Stanley
  • Eat More Chikin – Truett Cathy
  • The Faith of Barack Obama – Stephen Mansfield
  • The Fred Factor – Mark Sanborn
  • Choosing to Cheat – Andy Stanley
  • 7 Practices of Effective Ministry – Stanley, Joiner, & Jones
  • Through Painted Deserts – Donald Miller
  • To Own a Dragon – Donald Miller
  • Epic – John Eldredge
  • Wild Goose Chase – Mark Batterson
  • Jesus Wants to Save Christians – Rob Bell
  • Fields of Gold – Andy Stanley
  • The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren

 Check back in a few days for the beginnings of my 2009 list. 

Are there any books you read this year or are planning to read in 2009 that you think should be on my list?  If so, leave a comment.

Wisdom from Proverbs

I’ve been reading Proverbs over the last couple of weeks.  I am increasingly amazed at how relevant many of these statements are:

  • The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace – 3:35
  • Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.  Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. – 9:7-9
  • Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring a man wealth – 10:4
  • The integrity of the honest keeps them on track; the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin – 11:3
  • Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances – 11:14