Tyler Reagin

Husband. Father. Producer. Coach.

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Leadership lesson by Southwest Airlines

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I finally flew Southwest last weekend.  I have heard about it.  I’ve read about it.  They are known to be chill, relaxed and even funny.  They are low cost.  They are friendly.

All of those things can’t even add up to the one lesson I learned that could be a huge lifelong lesson for me.  And it should be for every leader.  Not one person on that flight was ANY more important that any other person on the flight.  There was no medallion status (a few frequent flyers who got to sit in the front in the same kind of seats I had), no premium stuff, no line cutting.  Simply general admission.

It was so good for me to be reminded that there is really only 1 person that should ever be above anyone else…Jesus.

From now on, whenever I start believing my own press…I think I’ll book a flight on Southwest Airlines to be reminded that I’m just another person on a flight.  No biggie.

 

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Change and Identity…

Why is it so hard to change?  A huge hurdle in my life and in coaching leaders in general is cracking the code on change.  It’s not just a desire to change, but the decision to change coupled with the discipline to follow through.

I have recently been reading some amazing information about different stages people go through when trying to change.  One of the models was by a man named Kegan.  It’s really one of the most fascinating things I’ve read in a while.  It was also very sobering.

Stage 4 is called the independent self and only 25% of adults ever get to this stage.  (Basically 75% never leave stage 3 which is when people find their identity based on their surroundings as opposed to their identity being based on who they want to be.)  Isn’t that interesting?  How many of you are feeling like you are still being controlled and influenced mostly by your environment?

Here are a couple other points:

“to transition to the stage, people can no longer ignore or distort the call of the soul.”  BTW-This is a completely secular textbook.

“They face the fact that following their own path often means disappointing others, risking failure, and/or contradicting the norms…”

“People at this stage may begin to focus diligently on self-development as well as the development of others.”

Now here is something way cool.  At stage 6, Kegan calls this The Sacred Self.

“Research suggests that spiritual practices such as meditation and contemplative prayer accelerate the development through stages 2-5.  Level 6 does not develop without longterm spiritual practice.”

In this secular textbook, Kegan addresses that 1% of adults reach fulfillment in who they are ONLY by turning to “spiritual” practices.  That’s where Christian Coaching has a leg up on other coaching.  We believe that only by the Spirit, can we truly become who God wants us to be.

Leaders fight to change.  Leaders figure out their identity and then change.  Leaders move pass allowing their surroundings dictate who they will be and they create their identity based on who they WANT to be.  Powerful.

Are you ready to be part of the 25%?

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A Litmus for Leadership…

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For the past eight years, I have had a test for how well I’m leading.  I have always referred to it as my litmus test for leadership.  I feel like it serves as a great gauge on how well I’m leading my team.

It is pretty simple really.  One question:

Do the spouses-significant others of my employees still like me?

I know that many of you just thought to yourself…why does that matter?  I believe the answer to that is clear.  It simply means that my team is healthy.  They go home healthy.  They are working at a healthy pace.  And they simply go home!

Now let me quiet all the critics out there who say that sometimes you have to be tough and there are seasons that you have to work long hours or be gone from home.  That’s life.  When you keep your teammates happy, then there is grace for those seasons.  You will have built up enough capital with the families and friends that it will not be a huge withdrawal.  I also believe there are many times you have to be the “boss” and have hard conversations.  Again—-these are so much easier when your team knows that you care more about them then what they do for you!

Here’s the secret to my leadership strategy:  I hire people with character, competency and chemistry.  If I can help keep them healthy emotionally, physically and even spiritually-then God is going to do some amazing things through our team!

What’s your secret to leadership?

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Daddy Day Care…

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I love my wife.  I love how she loves our boys so consistently.  There are times I find myself marveling at her patience with the boys.  I also watch her thoughtfulness and love for them.

 

Even more than that, I watch how she sees them as her focus right now.  When we first started at North Point, Sandra Stanley invited all the pastors wives over for dinner and gave them this beautiful sign that shares the Nehemiah passage that says, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”  Carrie exudes that.  She is so completely focused on our family and growing it.  Single minded, focused, passionate and awesome at it.

 

Enter…a bad gall bladder.  My wife had a bad gall bladder that has been bothering her for the past 6-8 months.  Once it’s been diagnosed, we decided it needed to come out.  That happened last Thursday.  I’ve been in charge for almost a week.  The fact that the boys aren’t injured or sleeping outside is quite a miracle in it’s own right.

3 Lessons learned from Daddy Day Care this week:

1.  God puts nurturing so deep in women and, sometimes, not so deep in men.  I know that is a stereotype and I’m ok with it.  I know that there are many men who are very nurturing.  I used to say that I might be one of them.  Not this week.  I’m wearing thin on nurture and high on impatience.

2.  My family is amazing.  I have two of the most amazing kids you can imagine.  Their spirits are so gentle and sweet.  They have crazy imaginations.  I run out of ideas and jokes by lunch.  Everyday.  They love to play…alot…like all day.  I used to think I loved to play.  I can just play so many games of candyland and hide and go seek before I begin losing it.  Carrie never loses it.

3.  I’m so thankful for an incredible wife.  I don’t even need to add to this.

 

Has anyone learned other things when alone with the kids?

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The Downton Abbey Mystery…

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My wife could literally be happy without watching anything but Downton Abbey.  It’s pretty crazy these days that a show on PBS has become a phenomena.  Nothing against PBS, but our culture isn’t the most…well…cultured.  So I began asking myself (even now while she’s watching it and I’m kind of bored), what is it that creates such a passionate following?

Here are a couple random thoughts:

1.  It reminds us of simpler times.

I think so many of us long for less complicated times.  Andy has been talking about creating Breathing Room in the 4-part series he’s been preaching (findbreathingroom.com). So many of us go a million miles an hour and assume it’s because our lives have to be filled with all things.  They don’t.  Don’t buy into the lie.  Abundant life is saturated with simple.

2.  No cell phones.

Just kidding.

3.  Family.

I really love to see the impact of a close-knit, you stay together at all costs, family unit.  That is not a normal scene painted in American households on the ol’ television sets these days.  Our worlds have been bombarded with lies, divorce, affairs, etc. and we laugh while watching them in sitcoms and dramas.  I’m not trying to over-spiritualize this, but seriously seeing a family care for each other THROUGH their craziness is very enlightening.

4.  Great Story….

Great stories will always capture our imaginations.  The reason this show works is because the stories feel real and they are so good that we get lost in Downton.  Character development, conflict, triumphs and intrigue give this show some serious staying power.

Alright, I just wanted to do something while it was on.  Although it’s not #1 on my list, I do watch it with my wife and I am so impressed with the power of the show.

Anyone else think the same?