Howdy from Austin, Texas. This is God’s country. Last night I enjoyed some fantastic enchiladas at Trudy’s Texas Star Cafe with my old friend John Hand. Hard to believe we pledged a fraternity here 28 years ago. So much has changed as this classic college town has grown, no, exploded, from about 300,000 residents in 1980 to nearly 2 million today.
Local t-shirts on sale everywhere capture the emotion of people locked in constant change: Keep Austin Weird.
Each of us is living, loving and leading through constant change today. Here are four great links I came across in the past week that ignited my imagination and courage.
1. Stand up (or sit down) for what’s right. Fifty years ago today four black college students changed their world by sitting down for lunch at an all-white lunch counter. Their action stoked a movement that still lives on today. USA Today story here.
2. Relevant ministry is about meeting people’s real needs. Usually it begins by giving people what they are asking for now, not by continuing to offer them what worked for the last generation. The half-life of today’s student generation is about 9 months. Are we connecting? Read Russ Martin’s excellent blog post Student: I Want Video Clips.
3. Thots on Change, the Sense of Urgency and the Long Haul of Cultural Transformation. Jay Lorenzen’s recent post distills wisdom from John Kotter (Harvard professor) and Michael Hyatt (CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers).
The big idea: Urgency is an essential asset that must be created and re-created in the organization…. More often than not, small companies have a sense of urgency. Why? Because their very survival is at stake. If they don’t move quickly, they get squashed by larger, more established competitors.
On the other hand, it is rare to find large companies that truly have a sense of urgency. Their circumstances rarely demand it. They can continue with business-as-usual and do pretty well. Nothing has to be done today or even this week. Nothing is really at stake—or so they think. Often, by the time they wake up, it’s too late.
4. Are you a Linchpin for your organization? You don’t have to be the president or CEO to initiate, create opportunities for others and solve problems that aren’t necessarily in your job description. Here’ s a great interview with Seth Godin talking about his new book, Linchpin. I highly recommend listening to Part 1 of the interview (about 9 minutes). Big idea: Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom.
Go for it!