Nov 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Blog - The Art of Giving Your Gum Away

A few things to think about on this Thanksgiving day.

Have you ever wanted something but didn’t know how to ask for it?

I discovered this dilemma while having a conversation on an airplane somewhere over the Midwest. I began to chat with a random guy in the seat beside me and felt like we were building a decent flight friendship when he pulled out a packet of Juicy-Fruit gum. Immediately my mouth began to water for the sugary goodness. I knew in my heart that he would offer me a piece so I began to set my mouth for the explosion of fruity flavor. He gingerly unwrapped his piece of gum, all the while nodding at my pointless conversation, and placed it into the cavernous hole in his face. He then very deliberately stowed the last 3 pieces in his carry on bag. My ears burned with disgust and I immediately made a judgment call on his slimy character, “A man who won’t offer me a stick of gum probably wouldn’t save his mother from an angry herd of elephants,” I thought.

Just knowing that soon my ears would be popping through the pain of pressurization from the altitude changes made me fume. All of this needless suffering could be avoided if this inconsiderate nincompoop would offer me some gum. Wow, I just used the word nincompoop in a real sentence.

I was super steamed and had to calm my wildly irrational thought patterns and realize that he probably just didn’t think about it, but the concept of giving your gum away stuck with me. Something seemingly small could’ve gone a long way in building our friendship.

What small things am I missing on a daily basis with the people that I come into contact with? The concept of giving your gum away is one that we should all adopt on a frequent basis. Look for an opportunity to invest in someone else and don’t wait for them to ask, offer it now. This thanksgiving season search for ways that you can be preemptive in giving. Find something that someone is missing and be the answer.

I’m committed to consistently give my gum away as often as possible, I hope you will too.

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Nov 11, 2009

Adventures of the Tiger and the Hog

I spent a little time in Little Rock, Arkansas on Monday speaking to the Arkansas Ambulatory Surgical Center Association at Baptist Medical Center. It was a super cool meeting with a lot of really interesting people. They gave me an incredibly cool hat that I will never wear.

When I brought the hat home to my ravenous LSU Tiger house, my 8 year-old daughter Jayden immediately grabbed the hat and said, “How can we turn this into a Tiger?” To which her 7 year-old sister replied, “That’s going to take a lot of Crayons.”

Thanks Arkansas Ambulatory Surgical Center Association and President Becky Bennett. You guys were awesome, accommodating, and a blast to be with.

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Oct 30, 2009

The Dundee Hat

A little adventure from my trip down under.

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Oct 8, 2009

The 5 Stages of Innovation

Adapted from
The 5 Stages of Innovation

Josh Craft showed me this chart of the steps people go through with innovation and I have to admit, it's spot on. I've seen this exact sequence play out so many times it's not funny, but it's worth repeating. The next time you want to make real change happen in your organization, get ready to experience this sequence:

1. People deny that the innovation is required.
2. People deny that the innovation is effective.
3. People deny that the innovation is important.
4. People deny that the innovation will justify the effort required to adopt it.
5. People accept and adopt the innovation, enjoy its benefits, attribute it to people other than the innovator, and deny the existence of stages 1 to 4.

Anything out of place or something you'd like to add?

(Inspired by Alexander von Humboldt's 'Three Stages Of Scientific Discovery', as referenced by Bill Bryson in his book, 'A Short History Of Nearly Everything'.)

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Oct 7, 2009

Prioritize the Presence of God

Amazing stuff from Pastor Steven Furtick.

Prioritize the Presence of God
Your best innovation flows from revelation. You must prioritize the presence of God in your life.

More can be accomplished in a nanosecond of prayer, worship, and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit than a month’s worth of strategy meetings in the flesh.

Many leaders have created virtually no margin to make room for the kind of divine encounters that birth true vision and revolutionary concept. I can trace the genesis of many of the most important ideas in the history of our church to a specific moment in the presence of God. I can trace my most frustrating seasons to a deficiency of time allocated to my most important task: seeking the wisdom of the Lord.

What would Moses have missed had he never turned aside to see the burning bush?
If the leaders in the church in the book of Acts had neglected prayer and the Word to serve tables, how might the influence of the Gospel been impeded worldwide?

What revelation, inspiration, imagination and innovation is left undiscovered in your life because you’re failing to prioritize the presence of God?
Pastor Steven.
Check him out at

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Sep 28, 2009

Meatloaf and Michael Bolton

Do you remember that Meatloaf tune where he growled about Objects In The Rear View Mirror? I don't think I ever actually listened to the song just him screaming the lyrics like Michael Bolton with a severe case of strep throat. Well tonight I think I got the gist of the tune for the very first time. Through all of his guttural howling I was able to decipher a lyric for the first time in my 32 years;

"...And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car
And objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are..."

Through all of the sweaty growling, the lyric got me. It's true. Our past experiences often appear so much closer and looming than what they actually are. Bad decisions, broken relationships, high-school mistakes, lost love, and the list could continue. We base many of our present decisions on past failures; mistakes that we've owned and derived our identity from.

Why do we allow the mistakes of yesterday to dictate our tomorrows?

Go ahead, get on the interstate and try to drive while staring in the rear view mirror. You'll get to know the Ford F150 in front of you a whole lot better than you wanted to. Make sure you video it because it could make you a youtube star. Okay, don't actually do that, I'm assuming you know that was a joke but just in case. DO NOT VIDEO YOURSELF ON THE INTERSTATE DRIVING WHILE STARING INTO THE REAR VIEW MIRROR. And now the lawyers are happy, let's move on.

The problem with staring at the past is you usually collide with where you are supposed to be going. God has great plans for you and none of it involves where you've been. God's interested in your todays and tomorrows not your yesterdays.

Stop looking at your life and judging your future based on mistakes you've made. He can forgive, cover, and redesign your destiny.

God’s ways are higher than our ways.
Humans: if I can see it then I’ll believe it.
God’s: If you can believe it, then you can see it.

The key to all of this is belief and a total release of your will to His. If you want to live in God's plan toss out your sketch of tomorrow and let Him draw it. I promise it will be a masterpiece.

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Sep 21, 2009

Israel and Aaron

Shot this on my flip video at Israel Houghton's Deeper Level conference. Pretty great stuff.

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