3 Things To Learn From Peyton Manning

photo credit to diehardsport.com

There is something amazing about watching people perform a task that they are insanely good at doing. For the last 3 weeks I have caught myself glued to the TV screen for every Broncos game. The way Peyton leads his teams, reads the defense, and makes play after play is incredible. There is no other QB I would rather have throwing the ball.

I’m no Erin Andrews but here are 3 things that make Peyton Manning great:

  1. He looks at defenses and calls out what he sees
  2. He makes necessary changes (audibles)
  3. Learns from the play for next time

None of these 3 things are secrets. Every team in the NFL can watch his film and see him go through the 3 steps almost every single snap. I think that’s Peyton’s secret: he does them often and he does them well. Peyton is great because he has a lot of practice. (Stay with me all you non-sport-fans, we are getting to the leadership and life application segment.)

There are things to be learned from Peyton Manning that go way beyond being a great quarterback.

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Conflict is a good thing. Well, it can be. If your community has conflict over ideas or the direction you’re headed it’s a good thing. This kind of conflict only occurs when people actually care about what’s going on. It means they’re invested and have a desire to see things done in way they can see through to the end. They want a workable system.
Of course some people break this idea. Some people just like to create unnecessary conflict but perhaps it’s time you fire them.

Conflict isn’t something we should fear. It has the potential to create incredibly effective change in our communities. So next time conflict arises do shy from it. Embrace it. Harness it. Allow it to grow the good things you have going on.

Here’s some food for thought:

Integrate the idea of “plussing” used by Pixar in their daily critique meetings. The idea is simple, your critique of the idea must contain a new idea or way to improve the current one. It’s simple but it’s a huge reason Pixar can put out blockbuster movies again and again.

Read more about this idea and other ways to harness conflict in this article.

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#ManlyMonday | Your Personality Matters.

In college, I was, in part, a psychology major. One of my favorite classes was simply titled Personality. Obviously we studied personalities but we also studied theories that describe them and how to affectively negotiate the diverse personalities that make up mankind.

I had the opportunity to hear a great speaker named Paul David Trip speak this weekend. He made a strong point that no one talks more to you than yourself therefore you are most responsible for what you’re being told. He suggests that your inner dialogue is most profound in convincing you of reality. Thinking through this and what I know about personality I was stuck with this question, If I am the person I talk to the most then how do I avoid feeding into negative aspects of my personality (lying to myself) and make affective changes to my thoughts and actions? How do I cause growth instead of starting fires? Continue reading

Separating Want-to’s & Have-to’s

There are 2 types of people in this world: those who make lists & those who don’t.

I’m a list person. 

I love lists. (read this like Brick from Anchorman would say “I love lamp”)

I make lists for a lot of different things but the main one is my to-do list. I start most of my days sitting through college courses where I list out all of the things I need to do or get done that day. For example:

  • Get gas
  • do homework (more specifically of course!)
  • check school email
  • check yahoo email
  • check gmail
  • go to the bank
  • go on a bike ride
  • write blog posts
  • edit blog posts
  • go to Young Life club
  • Dinner with family
  • Have quiet time

If you can write it, I can list it.

However, I am slowly learning that I battle with my to-do list most days. There are days when the list grows to over 20 items long and I feel like it will never finish it. Some days I feel like I need a to-do list to help me complete my to-do list (Don’t think about that too long, it’s confusing).

What I have realized is that my “to-do list” quickly turns into a “have to-do list.”

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Watch Where You Point That Thing.

I am fortunate enough to coach soccer at a local high school. Soccer was my first passion and now I get to share it with some pretty awesome high schoolers. This year, my team is comprised of great guys but we are infected with the finger pointing disease. The team is quick to point fingers at everyone else for the mistakes that they make but rarely do they point the finger at themselves.

This happens all the time in community and can destroy it if left alone. In communities and teams finger pointing:

  • Causes internal division
  • Promotes negative competition (fighting)
  • Creates tension which inhibits the community’s effectiveness
  • Brews disinterest within community members

Next time before pointing the finger at someone else in your community maybe you should point it at yourself. It turns out when we do that we are more primed to be good community members. Pointing the finger at ourselves in a productive way we:

  • Promote productive change
  • Encourage others to excel
  • Allow others to work in an atmosphere of freedom and growth
  • Create an inviting environment for others to join

Maybe you, much like my team, need to have a conversation about how we handle mistakes. Your time is too valuable and important to waste on finger pointing when you could be focusing on whatever makes your community great. As Vincent van Gogh put it, “It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. “

#ManlyMonday Meets Young Life

The amount of (manly) life lessons to learn from being a Young Life leader is seemingly endless.

There is a lot to learn about leading people, loving others, having conversations, being vulnerable, organizing events, working in teams, and sacrifice.

Some of these lessons are learned quickly, but most take weeks, months, or even years.

Some of these lessons only apply to leading Young Life, but most apply to all areas of life.

One of the many lessons I have learned from the last 4 years is to show up.

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Season of Change

This is a guest post by our good friend Karlie who we were fortunate enough to spend a week with at Young Life’s Timber Wolf Lake this summer.


In the past few weeks I have encountered a lot of change in my life. This summer I had the privilege to work at a Young Life camp with 18 other interns. For three months we served thousands of campers and formed tight bonds with each other. On August 15, camp ended, everyone left, and life drastically changed. A few other interns and I stayed to serve other groups that utilize the camp in the off-season, but nothing was the same. Even the weather seemed to change seasons overnight.

Yesterday I traveled from northern woods Michigan to big city Wisconsin and life flipped upside down again. My stomach turns at the thought of all the uncertainties that lie in my days ahead. I’ll be moving into a house off campus for the first time, start my last semester of college, and after that, I have zero plans.

The question that continues to run through my head is, why do we dislike change so much? We are constantly the in the midst of change, whether that be big or small. Yet somehow we are still fearful of it. I don’t know the answer to this question, but I find comfort in knowing there is one thing in life that is always the same.

No matter what changes we encounter, the Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We have nothing to fear knowing that our lives are in His hands. So then the question must turn to, what do we have to fear? When life slaps us in the face and we find ourselves in a season of change, we need to throw fear out the window and search for what God wants to teach us in that moment.

  • What changes are you facing today?
  • What has God taught you through a season of change?

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