Somebody Do Something

Published March 29, 2016

Last August, I came staggering out of the GLS having just acquired–to the point of near mental indigestion–a bucket load of leadership insights. It was what we might say, a good kind of being full–not like what you feel after half price all-you-can-eat sushi Tuesday.

The year stretched ahead rich with endless opportunities to apply what I had heard.

I completed a priorities worksheet and hit the ground running. This is going to be great. A year from now I will have plenty to feel good about. Maybe even write or speak about.

Ahh. Such ambition. What could derail it?

And then all of a sudden—it’s March. I’m 8 months past the GLS and 4 months before the next one. Hmm.

A fresh burst of motivation kicks in.

I pull out my 2015 GLS workbook and worksheet and look over the three priorities I set for the coming year:

  • Be emotionally curious. Don’t leave hearts where we find them.  –Bill Hybels
  • Get in the rookie zone. Pivot from leader to learner. –Liz Wiseman
  • Reflect on this: What I’m made for isn’t the same as what I’m good at.  –Jim Collins

Ugh. About 10 seconds of mental math later and I’m uneasy with the patchy progress I’ve made. I feel a case of the “shoulds” coming on. Getting back to my emails and client work suddenly seems more interesting. What was it Brené Brown said about shame fueling disengagement? Where is she anyway when we need her? Still swimming in that Texas lake with her husband? I need a lifeline here, Brené.

My progress report reads, “Needs improvement.” Even though the rule is “everyone gets a trophy”, I’m seriously starting to think my name isn’t on one. I’m feeling a B, B minus here–if they grade on the curve.

If execution of your post-Summit goals seems tattered or never even got off the ground, well take heart. You aren’t alone. To paraphrase Brené Brown, “Don’t let your shame kick you around, zap your courage or kill your energy to do at lease something in the next couple of months.” In other words, it’s not too late to do just one thing with what you got. Imagine the good we all could do, the encouragement we would be to ourselves and others, if most of us were to make some tracks between now and August 11, in just one area where our leadership efforts need some attention. It’s only too late in our minds to steward what we received last August.

The GLS with its excellent line up for 2016 is now about four months away. And before my tank gets a fresh splash-and-go of leadership fuel, I’ve got to make some tracks.

Here’s my plan:

  • I just spent a couple of minutes taking a quick survey that gives me and the folks who run the GLS an objective look at what I really have done with what I heard. Very informative. Can I nudge you to do the same? It will give you a decent sense of what you’ve been applying. It’s here.
  • I made a reminder card with my three priorities and taped it to my monitor screen where I’ll see it regularly. I’m most interested in what I got from Bill Hybels talk. I want to get better at being emotionally curious.
  • I enlisted a companera (my wife) to bug me occasionally (emphasis on occasionally) on my efforts these next few months.

You got a plan to apply just one principle? On August 11, I plan to walk into the 2016 GLS, receive my blank Summit Workbook, take my seat, and smile. Shame free.

Right Brené? You done with that swim yet?

About the Author
J. David Schmidt

J. David Schmidt

Founder & Director

Wise Planning

J. David Schmidt writes from 39 years of consulting experience with a wide range of organizations and churches. He is the principle at and has been a trusted friend to the Willow Creek Association since its beginning. David uses strategic conversations to help enterprises make needed adjustments in strategy and focus to get the results they seek. 

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