4 things I learned about being a leader from a weekend with the Colts Pt. 2

In a previous post I began to share some things I learned from spending a weekend with Clyde Christensen, one of the coaches of the Indianapolis Colts.

I became a fan.

I now like them almost as much as I like the Broncos.


Here’s what I learned from the Colts:

1. It’s my job to contribute to a healthy culture

2. It’s my job to get better everyday

3. It’s my job to make the people around me better

Everybody – lineman, running backs, nutritionists, operations guys, coaches – are responsible for the guy next to him. That’s why they call it a team sport.

I saw it in the lunch room. I saw it on the field. I saw it from the coaches. Coach Clyde is constantly trying to figure out how he can master the craft of teaching and coaching, not so he will sound better, but so the guys will learn quicker and more completely.

When you get a guy overly concerned about his own stats rather than how he can serve the purposes of the team, you have the beginnings of a crack in team unity. Opposing coaches are looking for an edge. “Where are the cracks? Where are the weaknesses we can exploit?”

Ask yourself: What am I doing to make the team better today?

  • If you aren’t thinking team, then everyone else will pay for your selfishness.

4. It’s my job to defend our house

Winning at home was a big deal. The coaches and players put a lot of emphasis on defending the house.

The week I was there, the Denver Broncos came to town. They were riding a six game winning streak and Peyton Manning was coming back to Indianapolis for the first time wearing an opponents jersey. Emotions were high, on the field and in the stands.

The Broncos All Pro linebacker, Von Miller, was also making his season debut after being suspended for the first six games. He is a ferocious pass rusher and overall disruptive force to opposing offenses.

The Colts coaches worked very hard on a gameplan to defend the house. Miller’s number 58 was circled on whiteboards in the offensive war rooms. They listed his tendencies, weaknesses and strengths. They wanted the Colt quarterback to know where #58 was at all times.

Their planning paid off.

Miller got zero sacks.

The Colts won.

They defended the house.

The Bible says we have an enemy that wants to kill, steal and destroy you, your dreams, your business and your family.

Here’s the question: Do you have a gameplan for defending the house?

  • How alert are you to your enemy’s strengths, tendencies and weaknesses?
  • How about your own?
  • Does the team know that you are on time, alert, working hard to make sure that it’s not going to happen on your watch?

I came away from that incredible weekend with a great deal of respect for the Colts organization. I also came away wondering if they treat a game with more respect sometimes than we treat our mission.

I’m committed to doing all I can to contribute to a healthy culture, get better every day, make the people around me better and defend the house.

How about you?

  • Can the team count on you?



4 things I learned about being a leader from a weekend with the Colts Pt.1

Knowing that I am a huge Denver Broncos fan, my friend Clyde Christensen – Quarterbacks Coach for the Indianapolis Colts, invited me to attend Peyton Manning’s first game back in Indy.

I stayed with Clyde and his family, did the chapel for the Colts players and coaches, and sat in the family section for the game. The only stipulation was that I couldn’t wear orange and cheer too loudly for the opposing team.

Actually, I behaved myself quite well.

And I became a Colts fan along the way.

Surely you can cheer for more than one team, can’t you? Honestly, I always have. My two favorite teams were the Broncos and whoever was playing the Raiders. Now I have three favorites :-)

I didn’t become a Colts fan because of the way they held serve and beat the Broncos on that October Sunday night. Hardly. In my heart of hearts I was pulling for orange, even though I was wearing blue.

My new found allegiance was fueled more by what I saw off the field than on. I was given a peek behind the curtain and I liked what I saw.

I’d like to share some things I learned that weekend. It made me a better leader. I’m hoping it will do the same for you.

When is it time for a change?

I read an article recently about how to tell when your business needs a new leader. It opens with:

An entrepreneur should know when it is time to move on for the sake of his or her business. Entrepreneurs who have built a business from the ground up often have strong emotional ties to their companies. Too often though, emotions can get in the way of sound business decisions, and a leadership change may be in order.


The author listed four telltale signs:

10 Ways To Spot An Unlikely Leader

I love the Jim Collins quote from Good To Great: “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” The problem: Where do you find great people?

Recently I was reading the story of Jesus confrontation with Zaccheaus in the New Testament and I noticed at least 10 principles that apply to all of us when choosing leaders to help us in our work.

What’s in my pocket? What I’m reading and why it matters

Last week I posted about how I use Feedly and Pocket to help me expand my knowledge base as a leader. If it’s useful, I thought I might do a quick post every week or two called “What’s in my Pocket?” In it I will give a short list of what I’m reading and how it’s helpful to my leadership.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.

So, here goes…

What’s in my Pocket this week?

Five things I read this week that can make me a better leader

How do you grow in your leadership skills? By doing? By watching? By being stretched? By learning from others? Probably you grow by doing a combination of all of them.

20140426-125821.jpg One of the ways I grow best is by watching the example of the leaders around me. I love learning. I’ve always been a curious sort. Over the years, curiosity has gotten a bad rap. We all know about the cat :-) What you might not know is that St. Augustine wrote in Confessions in A.D. 397, that, in the time before creating heaven and earth, God “fashioned hell for the inquisitive”. Apparently one of his followers was asking a few too many questions. I hope he was wrong.

One of the ways I scratch the leadership curiosity itch is by reading as much as I can, as often as I can. The information age that we live in is like crack for a consummate learner like me. Earlier I wrote a post about some of the tools that I use to help me do my job. I use at least three of those every day to help me learn and to retain what I’m learning.

Setting the example without killing the morale

What do great leaders look like? That’s almost like asking, “When will I know I’m in love?” The answer: “You just will. You’ll know it when you see it.”

Recognizing a great leader is similar. You’ll know it when you see them. Great leaders are different. When you meet one, you can sense it. They’re just not like everybody else.

It’s been my privilege to learn from several great leaders. Fred Richard, the pastor of the church that we planted Seacoast from is one of those. When you are around him you just want to watch and take notes. Any room he walks into, you recognize his leadership gifts. He sees things differently than the average person.

Dude, I don’t want my black friend…

This interview was a great promo video for ARC, but it goes beyond that. I love the explanation that Jimmy Rollins gives to a conversation he had with Rick Bezet at about the 2:00 mark of the video. “Dude, I don’t want my black friend…”

I will be having a Ministry Hangout on Wednesday, April 9 at 2pm EDT. Jimmy Rollins is one of the guests and we will be talking about diversity in the church. You can watch it HERE.