Issue No. 351 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features a definite “Top-10” book for 2016—with 24 hilarious and poignant true stories. Guarantee: you will repeatedly reference this book at work, at home, and with your friends. And this reminder: click here to check out my 20 management buckets (core competencies).
With Apologies to Miss Piggy
If you need a break from U.S. politics (and who doesn’t?), I can help.
Actually, Aaron Tredway can help with his hot-off-the-press book (Oct. 18), Outrageous: Awake to the Unexpected Adventures of Everyday Faith.
Tredway is vice president of global advancement for Ambassadors Football and has played and coached professional soccer on six continents.
Oh, my. Pick a chapter—any chapter—and you’re hooked! You can’t put this book down because maybe you’ll read that the next amazing race that is Aaron’s life will be his last. Yikes! Trust me—just read “Sleep in the Middle,” or “Son of the King,” or “Jeśus Calling” (my favorite)—and you’ll celebrate God’s outrageous adventures for all of us. And along the way, you’ll do an important gut-check on your own walk (or race) with God.
Some speakers inspire. Some writers inspire. Few can switch-hit with the same results. Aaron Tredway can and does in 24 short chapters of outrageous adventures around the world.
Honest—I read half of these page-turning stories to my wife, Joanne, and we both agreed—Outrageous is the perfect book for family, friends, colleagues, and clients. Whew! Aaron’s heart for God and every soul on the planet shines through. Outrageous touched my heart.
Here are seven teasers:
#1. GROW UP! Know someone who has plateaued spiritually…maybe can’t even spell the word? You’ve tried everything: coaching, training, threats, affirmation—yet nothin’ works? Read Tredway’s introduction and Chapter 1, “I’m In,” to discern what prompted Aaron to move from a focus on self to a focus on the outrageous opportunities in these page-turning true accounts.
He writes, “Jesus talked about how faith can move mountains, but maybe what you move isn’t as important as your willingness to move, and your belief that Jesus is able to take your ordinary life and use it to accomplish extraordinary things.”
#2. LOOK UP! Do you tilt toward anonymity—head down, To-Do list imperatives, yet perhaps miss the people God has put in your path? Look up and read Chapter 6, “Ben’s Bunnies,” (hilarious!) and don’t miss Tredway’s quote from Os Guinness (the great-great-great-grandson of the brewer):
“Our problem is not that we aren’t where we should be, but that we aren’t what we should be where we are.”
#3. SHUT UP! Ever wondered where you'd land if you said an unequivocal "Yes!" to Jesus' call? How about Chile?
That's where his colleague, David, landed after 25 years at Microsoft, where he was the chief storyteller. When the president of Microsoft heard David was leaving to lead Ambassadors Football in Chile, "he told David's boss to make a better counteroffer than whoever was attempting to recruit him.”
The response from David’s boss, “You don't understand who we are competing against!”
#4. SPEAK UP! Bummed out that you don't get the respect you deserve? Read Chapter 9, "Annual Meeting," when Aaron, a fresh-faced 22-year-old, found himself in Nigeria speaking to a crowd of one million people (not a typo). The invite came from none other than an African spiritual leader with a very wide business card, "General Overseer and Prophet of the World."
#5. BACK UP! And speaking of bums, don't miss Chapter 12, "Backside Philosophy," with this bottom line insight from a soccer buddy in Zambia: "Aaron, I've decided if Jesus can use your butt to make himself known, he can use just about anything!"
#6. SIGN UP! The mark of great leaders and managers is the ability to spot and recruit great talent. In Sierra Leone, Tredway joined a pick-up soccer game behind a dump and met 18-year-old Bang-Bang. Impressed with the young man's soccer skills, Aaron signed Bang-Bang, on-the-spot, to a professional contract with the Cleveland City Stars (the “contract” was written on a crumpled Kentucky Fried Chicken napkin awaiting history in the dirt).
Did I mention Aaron and friends launched a pro soccer club from scratch? Read Chapter 5 to learn more about their mascot, a crocodile, and their best player, a Nigerian named “Harry Toe.”
Chapter 14, "Playing Behind the Dump," is a don't-miss outrageous chapter. Outrageous? Imagine if you lived your life awake to everyday adventures of God’s Plan A! Imagine the lives you would touch.
Plan B: You snooze, you lose. But, sadly, others lose too.
#7. JUMP UP! Tredway admits that the pinnacle of his basketball career was in eighth grade. So through a series of miscommunications and missteps, Chapter 15, “T-NBA,” records the eyebrow-raising account of Aaron’s professional basketball career debut as the only American on the Tajikistan National Basketball Association team. (It’s scary hilarious!)
Explaining he was a soccer player, not a basketball player, Tredway resisted the opportunity at first. But his new and persuasive 6’ 10” friend, Boris, insisted: “You’re American; everyone is good basketball player in America!”
So in his first and only game in the T-NBA, Tredway was instructed to guard “the biggest and hairiest player on the opposing team. The man looked like the love child of Rocky Balboa’s Russian nemesis Ivan Drago and Miss Piggy from the Muppets. (No offense meant to Miss Piggy.)”
Aaron adds, “As it turned out, I also got paid to play in that basketball game. The payment? One live goat. Apparently that made me one of the highest paid players in the league!”
So...WAKE UP...and read this book!
To order from Amazon, click on the title for Outrageous: Awake to the Unexpected Adventures of Everyday Faith, by Aaron Tredway.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Every chapter ends with a soul-arresting confession, like this from Chapter 6, “…and that’s why I want to awake to the opportunities around me every day.” So in the last 30 days, how many days have you been awake to unexpected adventures of everyday faith?
2) What’s the most “outrageous” faith adventure you’ve ever experienced? Are you available for more adventures with greater frequency?
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The Hoopla! Bucket, Chapter 10, in Mastering the Management Buckets, highlights this core competency:
“We harness the power of hoopla! for celebration, recreation, intentional food and fellowship gatherings, and just plain fun. We thrive on knock-your-socks-off spontaneity. We believe hoopla! honors God. We budget funds for hoopla! to mitigate workplace stress and most importantly, to show our team members how much they are loved and appreciated!”
Hoopla! Idea: A week before this event, give each of your team members a copy of Outrageous: Awake to the Unexpected Adventures of Everyday Faith. Then host an “Outrageous Lunch” event and ask each person to share their favorite chapter (and personal application) from the 24 amazing true stories.
For more ideas, visit the Hoopla! Bucket webpage.
P.S. Read John’s recent blog on board governance, "Peter Drucker's Outside vs. Inside Results."
Your Weekly Staff Meeting is emailed free two to four times a month to subscribers, the frequency of which is based on an algorithm of book length, frequent flyer miles, and client deadlines. We do not accept any form of compensation from authors or publishers for book reviews. As a board member and raving fan of Christian Community Credit Union (a non-profit), we proudly list the credit union as a sponsor at no charge.