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I know it’s cliche, but if I am being totally honest, 2020 has been the most difficult year of my life. It has been difficult relationally, spiritually, vocationally, and emotionally.

From January 18th 2020 and on, my life has been profoundly impacted. In fact, the last time I published an article on Medium, I was a top writer in Leadership, writing regularly, and trying to evaluate what was happening in a pandemic world.

But because of some of the things our family had walked through, the writing pace slowed.

Over the summer, my life changed even more. I wish I…

A leader’s guide for getting the team back together

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Do you know what’s weird to think about? People used to go places. I see clips of sporting events and huge crowds, and immediately think, “You can’t do that! You can’t high five!”

It’s interesting how quickly our brains re-wire under pressure. It wasn’t long ago that movie theatres packed to the brim were fun, sporting events sold out brought energy, and restaurants filled with people enjoying themselves added to the buzz.

Context: This article is written and published in June, 2020. …

6 categories for healthy boundaries that filter out the noise and prioritize what matters.

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There are a few sure things in life.

My daughter is never going to drop her favorite doll, but if she’s holding my iPhone it’ll drop from the highest point in our house.

When I’m craving ice cream after 7:00 pm, the Mcdonald’s ice cream machine will be “broken.”

But more to the point of this article, when I’m working on a project at work, there will be people who think they have more input in the situation than I am willing to give them. …

Why absorbing the blow matters more than landing a haymaker

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Have you ever worked for someone whose pride was based on his or her ability to step into a bad situation and force his or her will upon those involved? They are passionate about stepping in after it hits the fan and exerting their will on everyone else.

Have you ever worked for someone who saw his or her job not as the bringer of pain, but as a chaos sponge? Every time this leader steps into a situation, there seems to be peace instilled, not chaos exploding.

Which of those leaders do you lean to? …

How to lead well when everything has changed.

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I’ve been on or leading the same team for over a decade, and in the years I’ve been a part of this team, there has been a consistent type of question that has built its own culture. We call them “firepit questions.” About once or twice a year, our team goes away for a planning retreat, and at night we ask some of the same questions. They may evolve or adapt over time, but they’re fairly consistent.

Firepit questions are the “What if” type questions we dream about. When we’re around the fire pit, answers are safe, usually pretty vulnerable…

Keep your priorities straight

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On my first day as a student pastor, I had 19 students at my youth group. It was an average-sized youth ministry and one that I was honored to lead. Within two years, it had grown 430%.

In a world dominated by metrics, with the prevailing assumption that your ministry size is tied to your ministry abilities, I was on cloud 9.

“Look what I did. I mean look what God did.”

I constantly wrestled in prayer, begging God to increase our ministry, begging God to see more students come to Jesus, and begging God to keep me humble.


Three areas of focus to build a foundation for life

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About twice a month, I will put an Instagram post on my story feed with a question sticker and see what rolls in. Some weeks, there are only a few things, and others I have to be selective on what I answer.

This week, a young leader who used to be a student of mine reached out with a thoughtful question.

“As a young man, what should be the main areas of focus to grow in?”

I love this question. It reeks of humility and teachability. …

Four popular approaches that didn’t seem to work

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Maybe it’s the realization that I’m getting older and that I am no longer going to ever be the young emerging leader in my workplace. Maybe it’s the constant reminder that there’s more that I could do. Or maybe it’s looking at the outer image of other organizations and wondering why things work so well over there.

Either way, I’m a sucker for leadership trends. I want to be the best, most cutting edge leader I can possibly be, so “new leadership paradigms” are fodder for my addiction.

If I’m not careful, I could easily be that boss that comes…

How to get things done and stay healthy while you do

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As COVID-19 continues to spread all over the world, schools, businesses, and organizations are forced to adjust. Just about every humor account on Twitter and Instagram has posted something to the effect of, “I guess we’re really about to find out which meeting could be an email.” I have tried to work from home and came up with this list based on how difficult it is for me. My wife, on the other hand, has her own business she runs from home and seems to do extremely well with it.

I’ll be the first to say, I think this is…

Leaders are typically competitors. At one level or another, most leaders I have met have a streak of competition in their souls. For some, that streak is obvious (and the only thing you ever see). It’s the driving force between everything they ever do. For other leaders, it may be more subtle. More like nuance in their philosophy, or an inner reminder that there’s room to get better.

In many situations and on many levels, competition is a necessary piece of leadership and organizational success. You have to have a drive.

Your competitive nature can also be the ceiling of…

Austin Walker

Husband & Dad || Masters in Leadership | FREE Masterclass:

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