I prefer the term “New Year’s Aspirations” to the more common “New Year’s Resolutions”. Simply put, if I make a New Year’s Resolution and fail to follow through, that thing is, by definition, unresolved. And the only people who like unresolved things are jazz musicians.
Resolving to accomplish something has such a bold finality to it. This is likely a wholly semantical argument, but for some reason, aspirations sit better with me than resolutions. I have no idea what 2010 holds, but I’m aspiring to do a few things—to read more, to learn to fly fish, to lose 30lbs. I don’t know if I’ll write to you a year from now as a well-read, physically fit fly fisherman, but I want to give it a try. To rise up. Seek ambitiously. Aim. Aspire.
So, faithful readers, I hope your 2010 is full of aspiration. And, if things go well for us all, some eventual resolution, too.
The best way to get approval is not to need it.
Your staff culture has to represent the culture you’re trying to create in the wider church. That’s one of the biggest misses in contemporary church work. You have a business-run, top-down, bottom-line culture yet you’re trying to bring around a loving, transformative culture in your community. It just doesn’t work.
—John Peacock, Willow Creek Community Church
Obviously, working for a church I feel the weight of this in a very specific way, but I also think the overarching thought plays out in the marketplace as well, in every type of organization. You simply can’t create a macro-culture that doesn’t reflect the micro-culture inherent in your leadership. You might try to fake it for awhile, or cover it up with advertising, marketing, and lots of words, but eventually people will feel the dissonance of who you say you are versus who you actually are.
Is the nature of the relationships around this [leadership] table worth exporting to the rest of the church?
—Randy Pope, Perimeter Church
Again, church or marketplace, it doesn’t matter—if you’re leading, by definition it means others are following. Are the motives and actions of your leadership what you want to instill in people? Are you leading them where you want them to go?
Roger Ebert’s Best Films of 2009 list is available for your perusal. I’ve only seen 3 of the 20, so it looks like I have some Netflix-ing to do. I’m already anxiously awaiting the 1/12 dvd release of The Hurt Locker.
In most [advertising] agencies, account executives outnumber the copywriters two to one. If you were a dairy farmer, would you employ twice as many milkers as you had cows?
Merlin Mann’s excellent Short Course on Surviving the Web, Blaine Hogan’s quick interview with The War of Art author Steven Pressfield, John Maeda’s infographic comparison of money spent on science vs. art in America, ad agency Wieden+Kennedy’s new site (love love love the timezone footer), vintage Swiss typography deliciousness from Schweizer Grafiker, DFW-area pastor Matt Chandler talking to his church before having brain surgery to remove a tumor, the simple beautiful writing app Ommwriter, an industrial design student’s brilliant take on redesigning UK power plugs, 37signals’ Jason Fried being interviewed by Chicago School of Business professors and students, and type designer/illustrator Jessica Hische‘s lovely new portfolio.
Your existing competency is not the end.
Unless you choose for it to be.