Garth Brooks

Count me in.  I now know what all the fuss is about.

Went to hear Garth Brooks in concert over the weekend in Birmingham, Alabama.  Definitely a step outside of my routine, but anybody with experience I talked to about the upcoming event told me, “It’s one of the best, if not THE best, concert experiences you will ever experience.”

Yeah, that.

Six of us took a road trip with center-section, row 9 seats.  Close enough to see the sweat and be covered when the confetti dropped.  And as-advertised, it was an extraordinary experience.  In part I felt like an outsider looking in because I didn’t know every word of every song like most of the crowd apparently did.  But on this night it didn’t matter. I was part of something bigger than myself, regardless of my lack of experience.  Garth and his team saw to that.

Now before you “Older Brother” types write me off and resume your search for friends in HIGH places, hang with me.  I’ve had some time to think about what we saw and heard that night. I’ve looked at it through several different lenses.  A leadership lens.  An organization lens. Even a Church World lens. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned that can speak to your world, too. [click to continue…]

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What the Best Restaurants Can Teach You and Your Organization About Success

chefsYou may not know this, but for a season I helped my wife run anywhere from one to three restaurants.  The season was just long enough to convince me, if I needed any convincing, that running restaurants was not my calling.  That said, I have new respect for anybody who has to cook, serve, or make a profit from folks like – well, me.  I never worked harder physically, or encountered more of a call to real, practical servanthood in my life.

In our culture we eat 21 meals a week, give or take.  To create an environment that would motivate somebody to return again and again, and to talk about your place to their friends, and get to the end of the month with money in the bank… this is no easy task.

So when somebody does it well, I believe it can teach us some things about succeeding in the organizations, businesses, and yes, congregations we all relate to.

Lately I’ve heard of three remarkable places – none of which I have experienced personally.  But I will, if given the chance!  What intrigues me is what these eateries suggest to me as a pastor and someone who’s spent a lot of time studying successful organizations and teams.  Later, if this “whets your appetite” (sorry, it’s Monday – that’s as close to funny as I can get), there are other transferable lessons we can explore. [click to continue…]

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