Archive for August, 2013

Be Willing To Take a Punch And Learn From It

Posted: August 14, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Leadership
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I’ll admit that at first glance boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA doesn’t look like much of an art or a science. It looks likes the kind of fist fight that tends to happen on the play ground, men’s locker room, or at a bar. Truth is, the more you know about the actual technique, precision, range, and speed that is takes to successfully land a punch the more you appreciate any form of fighting as a sport. I like to describe fighting as a chess match with punches. But in order to play the game you have to be willing to take a punch.

I encourage students and fighters to ask their training partner why they were such an easy target. I have been taught to ask people to help point out why a particular punch was landing. Was I dropping my hands? Am I opening myself up for counters when I launch an attack? Is my technique flawed? Or is my timing or footwork off?

It could be so many things that lead to why you get hit. You have to be okay with that. It is part of the sport. If you don’t want to get hit, maybe boxing isn’t your sport and the closest you will get to fighting is a couple of Wii nun chucks. But when you get hit you should have the humility and teachability to ask what went wrong.

The same happens in any position of leadership. You are going to do something wrong and a lot of times it feels like catching an overhand from a heavy handed heavyweight. As a leader you can’t just shake it off and act as if making mistakes is okay. You can’t keep fighting a fight where you are letting your opponent land strikes consistently without being able to recover from it.

The best fighters and some of the best rematches and trilogies of all times have involved fighters who have gone back, studied their tapes, and corrected their weaknesses and worked on executing their strengths.

Leaders, you are going to make mistakes. You are going to make decisions that you shouldn’t have made. You are going to fail someone. Are you going to learn from it? Are you going to shrug it off and keep making the same mistake? Or are you going to ask your staff, friends, family, and those closest to you for input so that you can lead better?

Fighters who test their chin by repeatedly taking heavy hits don’t last long. Leaders who repeatedly make poor decisions quickly lose the respect of those under them. Take a punch, but learn from it. Acknowledge a weakness, but seek to strengthen it.

What is one weakness that if changed would have significant impact on those you are leading?


Leaders Can Learn A Lot From Boxing

Posted: August 12, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Leadership
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There are lessons that we learn in one area of our life that can translate and change the way we act in other areas of our life. Lessons that make and shape who we are. It is my conviction that leaders are not born leaders they are developed. In the same way that I believe that the best fighters who have won belts were not born champions- they worked hard to become the fighters they are in the ring.

As I have been reading books on leadership, I have seen the same character traits in great fighters. As I have read books on coaching leaders, I have seen the same tips applied by hall of fame corner men. As I have read about developing leaders and what to avoid in building them, I have admired the leadership of some coaches and have been able to see the flaws made in the corner of my favorite fighters.

A lot of people want to be leaders. The problem is that not all leaders want to ask the question, “Am I doing all that I can to become the person I need to be in order to be a great leader?” Having been a fighter, a cornerman, and now a director of a campus ministry my hope is not only to share lessons I have learned but to envision leaders to be men and women of conviction, character, and competence.

So what’s the starting point? Well, in order to become a fighter you have to join a gym and surround yourself with people who will get you where you want to go. In the same way, leaders grow in their conviction by listening to others. You become a better fighter when someone comes alongside you and pushes you beyond the limits you set for yourself. My hope is that this becomes a series of blogpost that serves as a form of instruction, encouragement, and correction.

For the next couple of weeks…welcome to the gym!


My Brother, trainer, and corner man- Sergio Cabrera

Conversations w/ David Platt

Posted: August 6, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Uncategorized
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Radical has been posting individual videos of David Platt answering some questions regarding his book Radical, disciple-making, the local church, and global missions that will lead to a simulcast August 14th. The simulcast is going to be a teaching/QnA on his newest book Follow Me. 

All 11 videos in this conversation are numbered below, and they correspond to the following questions:

  1. Three years after Radical, what has been encouraging and what has been concerning about responses to the book?
  2. What is the role of the church in following Christ?
  3. How does living radically fit with the normal Christian life?
  4. What does living radically look like for David Platt?
  5. What’s the difference between God’s commands and His individual callings?
  6. How is radical devotion to Christ different from religious legalism?
  7. How does caring for the poor fit with the church’s primary task of making disciples?
  8. Should we lead people in a ‘sinner’s prayer’?
  9. What led you to write Follow Me and why do you see it as more foundational thanRadical?
  10. What are some cultural misunderstandings about follow Christ addressed in Follow Me?
  11. What should we expect from the Follow Me simulcast?