Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley – The most powerful man in the room

[Note: ok I couldn’t do the real live blogging thing. The WiFi connection wasn’t strong enough, sorry…]Andy Stanley started off with a confession – I’m nervous talking @ Catalyst. He said, “We are like peers. You guys are like the leaders. What am I going to talk about next year?”Then he started his talk on “the most powerful man in the room”.If God trusted you with leadership — you wield power (we like to use the word influence). Our words have power. Whether you like it or not — you have power as a leader. How do we use it to honor God? Double-edged sword of power. Regulation is not the solution to control power. Same problem in churches. Always work in teams. Follow we, instead of follow me. Not the solution.What do you do when it dawns on you that you are the most powerful person in the room?This is the moment in the life of a leader that makes or breaks us and shapes our character. It says so much about your confidence in God. You have no idea how God wants to use you. Your fear of power (abuses you’ve seen) may be what God wants to use. God wants to entrust even more to you. Biography – read story of Moses. I (Moses) don’t want to be in a position of power — maybe God wants to use you.John 13: 1-7, 12-17, so he got up from the meal, and he wrapped a towel around his waist.What’s your first move when you become a powerful person? Jesus sheds his symbol of authority his robe. Jesus disciples were stunned by his humility. Jesus sheds all his authority (his robe is the symbol) and became a humble servant.What do you do if it dawns on you you’re the most powerful? Jesus just gave as an example. Your first line of respond is to shed symbols of authority and show humility.Don’t leverage your power for your own sake, but for the sake of the other people (in the room). Look for opportunities to leverage your power for the other people in the room. If you don’t apply this principle it shows your weakness. Jesus didn’t do it. [Note: Later in the day Rick Warren said a similar thing: He leverages his fame and influence to give people (the poor) influence who don’t have any.]George Washington story – he surrender his power. If he decides not to be King he would be the greatest person in the world. Supreme example of a leader that can be trusted with power — he gave it up.Legacy of your leadership will be to decide: I’m not greater than my Master and Saviour. He leveraged His power for the benefit of the others (disciples) in the room. We should do the same.

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Catalyst 2007 – Convergence of next generation leaders

I’ll be attending the Catalyst 2007 conference at the Arena in Gwinnett County, just North of Atlanta, Oct 4-5, 2007. This conference usually draws over 10,000 people and is aimed at sharing leadership insights with young, upcoming leaders. It’s a great event with an impressive list of speakers including:

My plan is to do some live blogging for the first time. Let’s see what happens. Hope to see you there.

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IT Matters and my top 10 list

Georgia Southern UniversityOn October 26, 2006 I had the privilege of presenting a guest lecture to the students at the College of IT at Georgia Southern University (GSU). I would like to thank Dr. Sonny Butler for inviting me. Below are the 10 main points I presented. My purpose was not to promote any specific technology or company, but to give the students a couple of life lessons based on my IT background and business experience.#1. Never stop learningNo, you don’t know everything after you earned your IT (or any other) degree. Never stop reading. Read IT books, business books and blogs. I recommend that you also read outside your field. For example I’m currently subscribed to The Futurist magazine.Futurist Magazine It’s a great way to expand your horizons. Tip: Every year randomly pick up a magazine or book from the business section at your local bookstore.Attend conferences, and again sometimes attend conferences outside your field.Join a mentor group or a technology peer group. I belong to Vistage. It’s the largest CEO group in the world and I’ve learned a bunch from my peers, including CEOs from a flooring company, a cosmetic dentistry, a not-for-profit organization and a chicken feed additive company. All non-IT focussed organizations — go figure…Lastly, visit other countries. You will definitely gain new insights, broaden your experience and come back to the US with a new appreciation for how privileged we are in this country.#2. Be pragmaticI was very much in love with the technical betty of both OS/2 and Smalltalk. Very soon after leaving university I realized that a technically superior product doesn’t always win in the marketplace. For example: I still think Smalltalk is the best programming language, but so what. Most of my career I programmed in other languages, e.g., C++ and ABAP (SAP’s programming language). Don’t forget your principles, however when it comes to technology be pragmatic. Fortunately Smalltalk influenced Java and also influenced programming paradigms like SAP’s Webdynpro methodology and Ruby/Ruby on Rails.#3. IT is still relevantIT is still relevant and will continue to be relevant during our lifetimes. Most productivity gains still come from improvements in technology. I think that we are only at the beginning of the impact that cheap, high bandwidth, allways-on Internet access will have on consumers and the global economy. Think about the impact of Skype, Jajah, mobile devices and soon WiMax. Btw, cool technology like iPod is great hardware, however software (iPod’s software and iTunes) continues to be the secret One laptop per Childsauce. IT is also making a big difference in uplifting the third world, e.g., MIT’s one laptop per child initiative. See my previous post on (RED).#4. India and China…and Eastern Europe, Russian, Bulgaria and Estonia… The world is flat and IT jobs (and lots of other jobs) will go off-shore. If you haven’t read “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman then you should read it now.I also recommend “Commanding Heights” by Yergin and Stanislaw. It chronicles the raise of free markets over the last 100 years. Fascinating stuff, really!I told the students that the best way to deal with the off-shore phenomenon is to make sure you remain relevant and learn new skills, e.g., project management, presentation skills, and writing skills.#5. Where will my IT degree take me — a technical or business career?You can take a technical track or move into a business career. For example, I have a Masters in Computer Science and started my career as a programmer. After a couple of years I became a consultant and eventually moved into a management position. I recently completed a 8 year tenure as the CEO of an IT consulting company. I think you can earn good money pursuing a technical career as well as a business/management career.IT Consulting is another very lucrative option, however it involves a lot of air travel and it will impact your family life. I recommend you consult while you’re not married and use the opportunity to see the world!

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Reading list update incl Guy Kawasaki

I started reading “Now, discover your strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and so far I’m really enjoying this book. I also look forward to seeing Marcus at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta this week.Art of the Start – Guy KawasakiI finished reading/studying Art of the Start — Wow! what a read. I highly recommend this book — even if you don’t intend starting anything soon. It’s a great guide to evaluate your current business practices.C.S. LewisI also finished a couple of C.S. Lewis books. Mere Christianity is a great logical approach to understanding Christianity. The Great Divorce is an allegory of the Afterlife — very thought provoking.Choosing to CheatInteresting read… This book by Andy Stanley is a must read for all overworked, stressed, and “overtravelled” businesspeople. I hope that after you read this that you make your family priority one.[amtap book:isbn=1591840562] [amtap book:isbn=0060652888] [amtap book:isbn=1590523296] [amtap book:isbn=0743201140]I would love to hear your comments about these books — or others like these…

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What a website!

I live in Atlanta and every October Atlanta hosts the Catalyst Conference for young leaders. The conference was birthed by John Maxwell the Leadership Guru and this is it’s sixth year. The keynote speakers include: Andy Stanley, Marcus Buckingham (First, Break all the rules fame) and Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz). Very worth attending. The Catalyst website is stunning and very different from what’s out there today.The company that produces it is called: FiveStone. Have a look at their website and some of their clients — very cool stuff.[amtap book:isbn=0785288376][amtap book:isbn=0785263705][amtap book:isbn=1416502661][amtap book:isbn=1590523296]

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