Issue No. 353 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features two books by R. Scott Rodin, a jar of dirt, and some memorable one-liners. And for the record—this is NOT fake news! Also, Merry Christmas! Plus, this reminder: click here to check out my 20 management buckets (core competencies). And watch for my year-end “book-of-the-year” lists.
Near the end of this powerful book, Jack (a company owner, struggling to make life work) asks a key team member an innocent (or so he thought) question: “Good morning, Giselle. How have you been?”
Giselle: “How have I been? What do you mean?”
Jack is perplexed. His mentor (the guy with the keys in this very special novelette, The Seventh Key), has been helping Jack focus (per the subtitle) on “Unlocking the Life God Created You to Live.” Apparently that includes showing interest in the lives of your employees (a Patrick Lencioni theme a few books back).
Giselle is unprepared for the “new” Jack who explains, “I’m just wondering how you are. Is that so strange?”
Giselle: “Yes, actually, it is. Let’s just say I’ve been here now, what, almost eleven years? And I’m pretty sure this is the first time you’ve started one of our meetings by asking how I am. So yes, it’s a little strange…no, actually, it’s a lot strange. So, Jack, what’s this all about?”
Prolific author R. Scott Rodin creatively and colorfully tells a story of what it’s all about—and by the end, you’ve watched a transformation, with more to come. I won’t spoil the story, but I’ll give you three reasons to read and share this book.
Read-This-Book-Reason #1: The storytelling is superb. In a meeting with Rodin earlier this month, I thanked him for the memorable people, places and things that populate his story. Unforgettable, really. He shared a word with me, “iconography,” that describes his approach. (OK, I looked it up! “1) the visual images and symbols used in a work of art or the study or interpretation of these; 2) a collection of illustrations or portraits.”)
If you teach or preach, or tell stories—you’ll be a more effective communicator after reading The Seventh Key. Two months after reading the book, I can still remember the geography, the actions of the characters, and the physical objects—like a jar of dirt! Honest—a jar of dirt, with this explanatory line:
“In the end, no matter how rich or successful, no matter how poor or broke we are, the worms win.”
Read-This-Book-Reason #2: It’s the perfect third book in the trilogy. If you’ve read Rodin’s first two novelettes, you’ll appreciate The Seventh Key even more. The first two, with a focus on stewardship and generosity, remind me of Ben Patterson’s stinger, “There is no such thing as being right with God and wrong with your money.”
This third-in-the-series brings you back to the beginning—how to really be right with God. The first two in the trilogy are also must-reads:
The Third Conversion (read my review here)
The Million-Dollar Dime (read my review here)
And like all the books I recommend (last-minute-Christmas-gift-alert!), they complement other recommended resources, such as the memorable books from Trueface, including The Cure, Bo’s Café, On My Worst Day, and their latest, The Cure and Parents.
Read-This-Book-Reason #3: The lexicon. The best books deliver word pictures and, often, one-liners for your personal worldview lexicon. Examples:
[ ] Admiring Jack’s corner office filled with travel awards, memorabilia, and knickknacks, his mentor notes: “Yeah, we all have them. To me, they’re like a trail of fancy breadcrumbs reminding me where I’ve come from and some of the important moments along the way. My problem is making sure my breadcrumbs don’t become gold stars.”
[ ] Jack recalling a defining moment: “…standing over that pool table and having Barry paint the picture of life as paddling a raft instead of standing over a pool table trying to control everything. The idea of listening to the guide and doing whatever he tells you, that changed everything. Even today at work, I found myself asking, ‘Am I holding a pool cue or a paddle here?’”
[ ] And on unlocking the shackles of misplaced identity: “…as a man of God and follower of Christ, I was not supposed to be the caretaker of my own reputation.”
Whew! There’s much, much more—but you’ll want to read this book. And…I know. I know. I’ve recommended dozens of books in 2016, and here’s one more you’ll appreciate and share.
To order from Amazon, click on the title for The Seventh Key: Unlocking the Life God Created You to Live (A Novelette), by R. Scott Rodin.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Jack’s mentor, Barry, admits: “I have to fight the temptation to define myself by what I do.” Is that a temptation for you? Does our organization contribute to that?
2) Author Scott Rodin is real—and doesn’t slough off the hard issues, like Jack’s question about loving others and “…what do you do about the jerks?” Does the life God created you to live include an appropriate response to jerks?
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"No One Resource Can Meet All the Needs of Leaders" Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
The core competency in the Book Bucket, Chapter 5, in Mastering the Management Buckets, admonishes all of us that “we don’t just talk about books—we actually read them!”
In the introduction to another little Scott Rodin gem, Steward Leader Meditations, author Richard Kriegbaum reminds us of “…the challenging reality that leadership is a complex field and no one resource can meet all the needs of every leader in every situation.”
Rodin’s Steward Leader Meditations: Fifty Devotions for the Leadership Journey can be used at your next 50 staff meetings. (Sorry…and yes…if you live long enough, you’ll be in at least 50 more staff meetings.) Each meditation includes five segments: scripture, key thought, teaching, action, and prayer. Each is short, but all are deep and wide.
For more resources from the Book Bucket, visit this webpage.
P.S. Read John’s recent blog on board governance, "Are You More Like the Queen or the Valet?" from the Netflix series, "The Crown."
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