Friday, August 7, 2009

not just another binder

So, I just finished two days of attending the Leadership Summit. Two days, 9 sessions, 17 different speakers . . . can you say information overload?!?!? But two days that I know were worth my time, just as they were last year and the year before when I attended. With all the information and challenges that come at you over the course of Leadership Summit, there is no way to take it all in and apply it right away. It's one of those thing where you take notes and then over the coming weeks, months, and possibly years make some of it more practical and applicable to your life and your situation.

Usually, at this point, the evening ofter the conference is over I can't make out any life or leadership lessons I learned. But, since I heard him speak, I have had the speaker at the last session yesterday running through my head - particularly one part of what he had to say. One of the things he challenged us with is to not let this conference become just another binder on our bookshelf, but to actually put into practice and apply what we were hearing.

This guy, Harvey Carey, is a black preacher in Detroit in an under-resourced (by North American standards church), and he was passionate about what he was talking about. With all the resources that are at the disposal of many churches in North America (although the current economy is having an impact on that to a degree), it is easy to attend another conference just so that we have another binder to add to the shelf. And we get all these binders full of great stuff on our bookshelves, but it never goes any further than that.

It got me thinking, and challenged me. How many books, folders, binders, notebooks, etc do I have on my bookshelves that are full of great stuff from conferences I've attended and classes I've taken, that I've never actually really applied the stuff in them in my own life and leadership? I think it's far more than I would care to admit. I love to read good books. I love to listen to good speakers. But, I think I, like so many others, stop at that. I read the books and listen to the speakers, but I don't apply the stuff to my life. It stays as good stuff in my head and never affects my life.

Not that I expect to be able to perfectly apply everything I hear or read. I don't think that's what this guy was talking about either. But, I think what is important about what he said is that we need to take all of the incredible resources at our disposal and actually use them to their full potential. Not just add them to the bookshelf, but look for what we can apply to our lives and then actually apply it.

Like Leadership Summit . . . there's so much good information, teaching, and challenges that were thrown at me. And, at this point, it is a little overwhelming. But, I can't let that be an excuse to do nothing with it and just put the notebook on the shelf. I need to go through and take some things that I can use in my situation and begin to apply them in my situation.

So, how about you? Is your bookshelf full of binders from conferences that you've never applied anything to your life from? What's one thing you can start doing now from all that information?

Don't be afraid to start small. That's how it works. Take something small from all the information and start there. Then as times goes, do more small things from all those resources.

Just take advantage of the incredible amount of resources at your disposal.

Don't let them become just another binder on your bookshelf!!!

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