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Steve Graves

Wanted: A Great Board Chair

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Wanted: Intelligent, relational, thick-skinned, kind, and visionary individual to lead organization through trying time while navigating strong personalities and difficult, often conflicting goals. Who’s in? That’s essentially the job description for a board chair. This Harvard Business Review blog describes the best board chairs as judges. It’s an interesting analogy. […]

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Finding Your Scottie Pippen

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During the 1990s there was no sports phenomenon more compelling, or more dominant, than the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. In a period of eight years—two of which Jordan spent playing baseball poorly—the Bulls won six NBA titles, defeating the likes of Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Karl Malone along the […]

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Four Questions Before You Invest

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What’s worth saying yes to? Every foundation and every venture capital firm have to answer this question on a perpetual basis. So do many people this time of the year facing requests for year-end giving show up in the mailbox or the inbox. I’ve been asking and answering this question […]

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The Universal Guide of all Human Services

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Any frequent flier knows there’s a spectrum of airplane problems that can occur. On one end is “No peanuts.” That one is mildly disappointing but certainly livable. On the other end is the plane crash. In between is everything from the airline magazine with the Sudoku already filled in to […]

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Autobiographical Theology

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We all operate with a framework for navigating life and work. For some it is a well-defined, intentional set of core beliefs and truth. For some it is an ever-evolving bowl of beliefs and experiences. For others, it is just “go with your gut” and make sure you don’t harm […]

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The Dangers of Celebrity-ism

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Quick. Name the Christian you admire the most. Perhaps you said your brother or your grandmother or your early cell group leader. Perhaps like Edith Schaeffer, you consider the question of the greatest Christian and say, “We don’t know her name. She is dying of cancer somewhere in a hospital […]

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A Case for Unbundling

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“Oh, it’s very simple…” This is how the character Sheldon, from TV’s Big Bang Theory, begins his nearly incomprehensible explanation of “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock,” a supposed improvement on a classic game. To Sheldon this all makes sense. Meanwhile, his audience sits by in apparent confused silence. “I’m sorry. Can […]

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Six Pictures of God’s Kingdom

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From time to time, I go back and read one of my favorite parts of the Bible: the parables. These are the very short stories that Jesus told to make a point. Usually, they’re pretty straightforward, such as the parable of the Good Samaritan. The point: Loving your neighbor isn’t […]

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6 Mistakes in Managing High Performers

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The mere presence of talent doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, the presence of extraordinary, unprecedented talent doesn’t even guarantee success. If it did, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen would have won titles with Doug Collins as their coach, and Shaq and Kobe would have won under Del Harris and Kurt […]

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