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Steve Graves

Wartime Leadership

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The concept of being a wartime leader was not invented last week by the president. People talk about Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and many others as remarkable wartime leaders. There’s debate over whether it’s a good phrase or not, but academics and consultants use it to distinguish leadership during crisis. […]

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Are You Being a Good Neighbor?

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There’s an anonymous guy in the Bible that I identify with. He asks a lot of questions! In the book of Luke, there’s a moment where Jesus summarizes the intent of the Old Testament by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and […]

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The Intersection of Bold Faith and Common Sense

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“Trust in God but tie up your camel” reads the ancient Arabian proverb. In other words, have faith, but don’t neglect common sense. Too often we split these concepts and treat them as if they were mutually exclusive propositions. However, they were meant to travel together as complementary partners, not […]

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Five Tips for Partnerships

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“I don’t want to mess up my friendship.” Sounds like a sitcom line between a guy and a girl who are thinking about dating. But it’s also the line I hear in nearly every partnership conversation I have. I heard a version of it recently during lunch with a friend. […]

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The Difference Between Leadership and Influence

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Entire industries have developed around the exertion of influence. The lobbying industry tries to influence the government. Advertisers persuade consumers to spend their money on certain products or services. Politicians employ nationwide telemarketing campaigns to sway last-minute voters. Parents attend seminars aimed at influencing the way they influence their children. […]

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Leadership Scaling

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Fifteen years ago, if I told a client they should think about scale, there’s a 50/50 chance that they’d think I was suggesting weight loss. Today, my clients usually bring it up at a first meeting. They’re either anticipating hypergrowth or they’re right in the middle of it. Scaling is […]

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The Best (and Worst) Motivational Strategies

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Leadership is a lot like parenting. Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a bit about trying to convince a toddler to go to sleep (skip ahead to 5:20), which he calls a “hostage negotiation” in reverse. Many leaders can relate to this. We wear ourselves out trying different “motivational” techniques, all designed […]

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Four Faces of the Social Entrepreneur

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The Social Entrepreneur is not confined to one age demographic, personality, or background. Nor is she restricted to one single role. Mohammed Yunus, patron saint of microfinance, helps us clarify social business (which is often a muddy concept). Profit companies bring in. Social businesses push out. It’s that simple. Profit-only […]

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Third Places

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Stonemill Bakery is my Cheers, the place where everybody knows my name. I’ve been going there nearly 20 years, and I’m pretty sure we’ve both contributed to the physical growth of the other. And I think we all need a Stonemill. Or a Cheers. Third Places Twenty years ago, Robert […]

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Shepherd Leader and Enterprise Leader

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Highland Community Church is at a crossroads. Or perhaps more accurately, Pastor David Hill is at a crossroads. You see, Pastor David is the second lead pastor in the history of the church, and the church has grown from 200 to just over 1,200 in the past five years under […]

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