Please enjoy this transcript of this episode with L3 Founder, Doug Smith. It was transcribed and therefore might contain a few typos. For ways to connect with Doug, the notes, and for links to everything discussed, check out our show notes.
Doug Smith: 00:00 This is the L3 Leadership podcast, episode number 215.
Doug Smith: 00:16 What’s up everyone, and welcome to another episode of the L3 Leadership podcast. My name is Doug Smith and I am your host. I hope you’re doing well. In today’s episode, you’ll hear me share a personal lesson on the top lessons that I learned in 2018. This is always one of my favorite episodes to record each year and I hope it adds massive value to your life, but before we dive into the lesson, just a few announcements. I am so excited to let you know. We’re hosting our first annual L3 one-day Leadership Conference on Friday, March 15th, 2019 at the Marriott in Cranberry Township. Just 20 minutes outside of the city of Pittsburgh are keynote speakers include Matt Keller, the pastor of next level church in Fort Myers, Florida. Dr. Chris Howard, the President of Robert Morris University, Saleem Ghubril, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Promise and Kim Fleming, the CEO of Heparin Tillotson. They are just all incredible leaders and I cannot wait to learn from them.
Doug Smith: 01:05 We’re going to have breakout sessions in addition to that in a panel discussion and some of the best networking you’ve ever had. And so if you want to learn more about the conference and register, you can go to L3leadership.com. Again, that’s L3leadershipcom. Hope to see you there. I also want to thank our sponsor, Alex Tulandin, Alex as a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty, and if you were looking to buy or sell a house in the Pittsburgh market, Alex is your guy. He’s a member and a sponsor of L3 Leadership and he would love to have an opportunity to connect with you. You can learn more about Alex@Pittsburghpropertyshowcase.com. With that said, let’s dive right into the lesson and I’ll be back at the end with a few announcements.
Doug Smith: 01:44 Hey everyone. Happy New Year. I hope your 2019 is off to an incredible start. In today’s episode, you’ll hear me shared the top lessons that I learned in 2018 and this is always one of my favorite episodes to record each year because I just came off my year-end review and every year I take a day or two with during the last week of the year and I go through my journals, my calendars, and a bunch of other documents and extract as much insight as I can from that year that I lived and I record all kinds of data in my year-end review and I’ll talk about that in a minute. But one area that I record is the top lessons that I learned that year. And so all I do is I take those lessons and then I create a lesson based off of that. And that’s what you’ll be hearing today. I want to encourage you, if you enjoy lessons like this, you can actually go back and listen to all the episodes that I’ve recorded like this every year and include links to those in the show notes.
Doug Smith: 02:31 If you want to go back and listen to those. And if you’re listening to this and you’re saying, hey, I want to learn more about your year-end review process, I actually recorded an entire episode, a walking you through my process, step by step, and you can go back and listen to that in episode number 174 how to do a year-end review. So with that being said, let’s dive right into the top lessons that I learned in 2018 and how I do this as I just take a category of life. For instance, leadership. And I’ll say, okay, in the area of leadership, here’s what I learned this year. And then I move on to the next category. So talking about leadership, and since this is a leadership podcast, I thought we would start with leadership. And so I learned a ton about leadership this year. It was a huge year of growth for me, and I still have such a long way to go, but let’s just break the subject of this category of leadership first.
Doug Smith: 03:22 The first thing I really learned more about when it comes to leadership is just the heart of leadership. John Maxwell said this, and it had a big impact on me this year. He said the only reason to become a leader is to make things better off for people and if you want to become a leader for any other reason, other than that, I don’t become a leader because as a leader, your goal is to everyday stop living for yourself and to start living for others. And so again, it’s just a reminder of why I got into leadership. I love leadership. It’s not for all of these perks. It’s to add value to people and to help lift the lives of others. In May, we had the honor of having Bishop David Zubik speak the local bishop here in Pittsburgh at one of our leadership breakfasts. And he shared a prayer that he prays as a leader on a daily basis that I believe keeps his heart right.
Doug Smith: 04:07 And I’ve taken that prayer on as my own. And the prayer was this, he said, Lord, help me to lead today as though it were my first day of service, my last day of service, my only day of service. And I just love that prayer and I try to pray that as a reminder to keep my heart rate when it comes to this thing called leadership. The next area that I want to talk to you about in leadership is promotion. I did a lot of reflecting on the subject of promotion this year because I got promoted midway through the year. I became the director of development at the nonprofit that I work at, Light of Life Rescue Mission. And so here’s some thoughts on promotion. Uh, as I reflected on it through the year, Leslie Braksick is a speaker that we had in November and you can go back and listen to her talk on the podcast.
Doug Smith: 04:50 She’s a phenomenal leader, but she said that if you’re not getting promoted, you’re probably missing a piece of feedback that someone isn’t giving you. Wow was that incredible! If you’re not getting promoted, you’re probably missing a piece of feedback that someone isn’t giving you a. If you’re sitting here listening to this and you aren’t getting promoted as quickly as you would like, I would encourage you to meet with your leaders and say, hey, am I missing feedback or what do I need to do to go to the next level here? And ask them to be brutally honest with you. And, I think so many times we were afraid to do that, but the reality is we need to do that because we need to know what it takes to go to the next level. And so make sure that you’re not missing out on any feedback.
Doug Smith: 05:29 The second thing about promotion that I learned was someone said this at a conference I was at, the woman said, she said, all decisions about your career happened behind closed doors. So as a result, you’re going to need someone to speak on your behalf and just think about that. Someone, in order for you to get promoted, someone’s going to have to speak on your behalf in a closed-door room. And so I just want to encourage you again, always be on, you should always be on and be yourself and do your best because people are watching and at the end of the day when a promotion is on the line, people are going to be talking about what you do on a daily basis to determine whether or not you’re able to go to that next level. Just something to keep in mind. In a similar vein, John Maxwell said, leadership must be earned.
Doug Smith: 06:08 Again, promotion must be earned, there’s a novel thought, but it should be earned. You actually have to grow and develop and grow the skills necessary to go to the next level of something else that I thought was great. John Maxwell said this, he said, self-promotion can never replace the divined promotion. Now I’m a person of faith, so this is much more of a spiritual answer when spiritual answer when it comes to promotion, but I do believe that we could promote ourselves and promote ourselves and promote ourselves all day and actually never get a promotion. But if we would just learn to trust God and trust his timing, it may not happen in our timing, but if we’ll trust God, he’ll get us, in the right place at the right time. In fact, Mark Batterson always says it this way, said God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.
Doug Smith: 06:50 And sometimes I think instead of relying on self-promotion, we need to rely on divine promotion and trust God for his timing. Other thoughts that I learned on promotion, problem-solving is the fastest way to gain leadership. If you can solve problems for your organization, not just in the area that you oversee, but for the entire organization, you’re going to gain leadership much more quickly. So learn to be a problem solver. Learn to think beyond your team and be beyond your responsibilities. Think as though you need to act as if and think as though you were the CEO of the company and learn to solve problems that way and you will gain leadership very, very quickly. And the last thought when it comes to promotion is really just a story I had the privilege of interviewing Clint Hurdle, I think it was an episode 123 for the podcast and he was talking about how as a leader he needs to consistently give players feedback, but he talked about the feedback that he gives and he said, you know, for, the young leaders who aren’t quite ready for the pros yet, right there in the minor leagues, my feedback to them often is, hey, listen, you’re not a major league baseball player yet, yet, here’s the things that you need to do.
Doug Smith: 07:59 And oftentimes they’ll do that, they’ll grow and then there’ll be ready for the pros and I’ll bring them up and say, hey listen. The good news is you got promoted, right? You made it to the next level. The bad news is you have to be good enough to stay here. And, and I think that’s something that I’m learning when it comes to promotion. It’s great that I have a new position. It’s great that you have a new title and all these different things. And the things that come with that, but the reality is you have a job to do and the good news is you got promoted. The bad news is, and it’s not necessarily bad news, but the reality is you’re responsible and you have a job to do. And so, if you don’t do your job, you won’t stay there. If you do do your job, you will stay there.
Doug Smith: 08:38 So those are the things that I’ve been thinking about is I processed my promotion and just promotion in general. And so I want to encourage you, if you’ve been waiting for a promotion, maybe you just needed to wait for a divine, a promotion. Maybe you need to get feedback for someone because you’re lacking the feedback you need to go to the level. So just some thoughts on promotion that were helpful this year. A few other things that I learned specifically in the past six or seven months in my new role as a leader. Number one is I have even more respect and I’ve always had respect, but for everyone in the leadership arena and all the people that I’ve reported to up to this point in my life, I have massive respect. I remember clint hurdle saying that the first time he became a major league manager, the within the first few weeks, the first thing he did was call every manager that he ever had an apologize to them.
Doug Smith: 09:27 And that’s just reality, man. Leadership is tough. And so I have massive respect and honor for anyone who’s been in the leadership arena for a long time. The second thing I learned about leadership in the past six or seven months, which I’ve always known, but now I know at an entirely different level is that everything rises and falls on leadership. Everything rises and falls on leadership. And you are 100 percent responsible for anything that has your name on it. That can be a scary thought. But that’s just the reality of being a leader. And so as a leader, I love what Craig Groeschel said. He said, we have to get rid of the forbidden phrase. No longer as leaders can we say, our people won’t, or our team never or my staff never does this or our volunteers don’t. He said, no. As leaders, a leader said, we have not led them to, we haven’t led our people to do this.
Doug Smith: 10:15 We have not led our teams to do this. We have not led our staff to do this. We have not led our volunteers to do this. Again, everything rises and falls on leadership and you’re responsible, and so I’m learning this at an entirely different level, but it’s just the reality of being a leader. The third lesson that I’ve been learning a lot in the last six or seven months with the new position is that the higher you go, the more important clear communication is, the higher you go. The more important clear communication is the quote that probably impacted me more in the realm of leadership than any other this year was Brene Brown out of her new book dare to lead, which is phenomenal. When she said this, she said clear is kind of unclear, is unkind, clear is kind, unclear is unkind. And I used to think that I was a clear communicator because I communicate for a living and I may be able to communicate clearly from a stage but can clearly communicating expectations and standards, etc.
Doug Smith: 11:06 A one on one and manager settings. I was not always great. I am not as good at. And I realized that it’s an area that I needed to grow in a lot this year. John Maxwell says this, he said people will not follow fuzzy leadership. And so I’ve been trying to spend a lot of time learning how to be clear in my communication and so in all of my one on one, something that’s really helped. And even in our team meetings, it’s just asking the question, do you need clarity on anything that we’ve talked about or with your job? And that gives your people an opportunity to add, to ask clarifying questions. And I learned that the more often you practice being clear, the easier it becomes. But, for someone with my personality, it may take a little more growth, but that’s an area that I’ve been growing in is clear communication.
Doug Smith: 11:50 The next area in leadership that I’ve been learning a lot about is prioritizing, prioritizing. I believe every time you go to a new level you have to learn how to reprioritize, at the level on that. Now as a director now I report to the board, I report to our executive director, I have peers that have to report to our team and you have to balance the organization’s priorities with your priorities with tons of meetings and the team’s priorities. It’s a little wild. And so I’ve been learning a lot on how to prioritize and I’ve just been trying to ask the question, get clear on what is it that I can do that only I can do and then learn how to delegate everything else. And so I’m just learning how to reprioritize is absolutely essential. And the last thing that I’m learning and an entirely new level about leadership this year is just the leadership is hard.
Doug Smith: 12:35 John Maxwell said, when you sign up to be a leader, you sign up for the whole package and that there are no two good consecutive are easy days in a leader’s life and it doesn’t mean that life isn’t good, but as a leader you’re responsible, you’re responsible for all the fires in your organization, all the people problems, and you have to live with the weight of that on a daily basis. And so as a leader, it’s tough. Leadership is hard and I think the higher I go, the more I’m realizing that and learning that as a leader, that that’s just the reality, that leadership is hard. So there’s a lot to work through with that. So those are some of the things that I’m learning about leadership this year. The next area that I want to talk to you about is personal growth. I still believe that personal growth is the most important part of a leader’s life.
Doug Smith: 13:15 And one of my favorite stories this year about personal growth came out of my interview with Clay Scroggins and clay is a pastor at Northpoint Church, which is Andy Stanley’s church in Atlanta, Georgia. And if you don’t know Andy Stanley, he’s a legendary pasture and a legendary communicator and clay has the opportunity to be a communicator on weekend services for andy and clay shared a story that him and Andy were meeting one time to go over one of the messages that he had shared at the church and andy kept getting on him about this specific part in his message saying, why did you put that there? Why did you put that there and not here? And it just kept hounding him on it and Clay said he eventually got frustrated and said and looked at andy and said, do you know how hard it is to follow you?
Doug Smith: 13:54 Do you know how hard it is to follow you? Just getting frustrated. And he said that Andy looked at him and he said, Clay, I’m trying to make it hard to follow you. I’m trying to make it hard to follow you. And I just love that story. Why? Because Andy’s trying to prepare him. He’s trying to grow him to go to the next level. And I think sometimes just like Clay, I know I felt that we get so frustrated and seasons of growth because we just want to be there, right? We don’t want to have to go through the actual challenges that come with growth, but that’s the whole point of growth is that we are growing to another level and sometimes growth is hard, but it’s absolutely necessary for us to get to the next level. In fact, I believe there’s no development, there’s no growth without hard lessons.
Doug Smith: 14:41 I love what John Maxwell says. He says everything worthwhile is uphill. Everything. So we’re going to go to the next level of we’re going to grow into the leaders that we could based on our potential, then we have to be willing to do whatever it takes to go to the next level. No matter how difficult it is. Here’s what I can tell you, leader, that if you’re willing to grow, if you push through, if you could push through the season of growth, when you get to the other side, you will look back and you will be so glad that you did. In fact, the moments that you look back and enjoy the most are the seasons that were the toughest that you grew through because it shows you what you’re capable of. We’re all capable of so much more than we think we are, but we’re not.
Doug Smith: 15:15 sometimes willing to push through it. Just keep pushing through, keep growing, no matter how difficult it gets. Keep getting back up again. Keep growing and keep growing into your potential. The next area that I want to talk to you about is confidence. I believe I grew a lot in confidence in 2018 and the primary reason I believe I grew in confidence and I know growing in confidence as a goal for a lot of people is feedback. Ken Blanchard often says that feedback is the breakfast of champions and in my opinion, feedback is the only way that we’ll be able to get better and as we get better, we grow more and more confident in who we are and what we’re doing. And there’s a specific instance that I received feedback this year that was a game changer for me, and you can actually listen to me getting this feedback.
Doug Smith: 15:55 It was during my interview with Ken Coleman in episode number 182 and I was asking ken for feedback on my, on how I interview other guests on the podcast and the reason I asked them for that feedback for feedback around that area because I had another mentor say, you know, Doug, when I listened to you interview leaders, you sometimes seem so focused on getting to the next question that it doesn’t actually sound like you’re listening to the person you’re interviewing. And I went back and listened to some of my interviews and said, yeah, he’s absolutely right. I do do that, but why? And so I was asking Ken and he said, well, when you do that, he said, you’re scared of something, what is it? And I said I have no idea. He said, no, you know, and I said, actually, I don’t know.
Doug Smith: 16:36 That’s why I’m asking you, please help me. And he said, well, I can tell you this, that you’re not scared of what the listeners are going to think because you can go back and edit this podcast. I think you’re scared of what the person you’re interviewing thinks of you. And it just hit me. I said that’s it, absolutely I am. I am afraid. So I move on quickly to the next question because it takes the attention off me. And Ken called me and he just said, bro, it’s not about you. It’s not about you just actually have a conversation with someone just like you’re having with me and just learn with them like they’re just a person. And for whatever reason, I was such game-changing advice to me. And so it changed the way I interview. It changed the way I interact with leaders that I meet?
Doug Smith: 17:14 It was such game-changing feedback. It gave me the confidence to be who I am, where I am in front of leaders, regardless of who the leader is. It kind of broke down that wall of me viewing them as a celebrity or someone to fear what they think of me and caused me to start seeing them as just what they are, a normal person. And so I’m so grateful for that feedback. And six months later it was actually fun. I had a friend reach out who’s a longtime listener to the podcast and he said, hey, I just want you to know that you’ve gotten so much better in interviews, and basically said that I’ve grown in the area that Ken gave me feedback on why? Because I grew in confidence because I identified an issue that I had because if someone’s feedback and I was able to do something with it.
Doug Smith: 17:53 And so now I’m much more confident in that area. And so I just want to encourage you, I don’t know what areas that you need confidence in, but I would write a list of those down and just say, I need confidence in this, this and this. And then start to get feedback in those areas. And as you get feedback, as you adapt and adjust and grow, your confidence will come, your confidence will come. So if you want to grow in confidence, get feedback, make adjustments and grow in confidence will come. The next area that I want to talk to you about, his family and I learned a lot about family this year as we grew from a family of three to a family of four. At the time of this recording, I have an eight-month-old daughter named Sophia and a two year named Olivia.
Doug Smith: 18:30 And they’re absolutely awesome. And being a family of four is awesome. But it also comes with a lot of challenges and a lot of growth and a lot of lessons learned. And so I’ll just try to boil this down to a few simple things that I learned this year, but I think they are absolutely game changers when it comes to family. And the first thing is this when it comes to family to realize that there are no do-overs in life, there are no do-overs in life. And I learned this from Leslie Braksick, who I mentioned earlier in the talk that she gave to our three community, um, and she was sharing a story about this, that she, what she does for a living is she coaches CEOs who are retiring and transitioning from being an executive and one of the executives that she was coaching,
Doug Smith: 19:10 he retired and literally, I believe it was like the week he retired, his family left him, his wife divorced him, and he didn’t really have great relationships with his kids. and the executive looked at Leslie and said, Leslie, you know, I meant to get to my marriage and I meant to get to my family, I just never did. I meant to get to my marriage. I meant to get to my family. I just never did. And when I heard that, I just thought to myself, I will do whatever it takes to never be able to say those words. I will do whatever it takes to be intentional, so I never have to utter those words. And sometimes I have to remind myself that there are no do-overs in life during the season, right? Having baby, at least for me, it’s a tough season. There are periods of no sleep.
Doug Smith: 19:50 You can get frustrated. Again, probably the biggest thing people always ask me what I learned about having kids. It’s just you realize how selfish you are. So learning to die to myself on a daily basis. There are a lot of frustrations that come with having kids, but it’s also the most rewarding thing in the world. Um, and just reminding myself that there are no do-overs. I’m never going to get the season again where a Sophia was a baby. Olivia is never going to be two and a half years old again and she’s so much fun. And so I needed to do everything I can to be present in my kids’ lives and my family’s life and my wife’s life. And so here, Just some simple things that we do intentionally or that I’ve learned this year when it comes to family. And number one is probably this, make memories together, make memories together.
Doug Smith: 20:32 I love doing this in general, but Laura and I have tried to be purposeful in one, having memorable date nights, on a monthly basis, so focusing on quality more than quantity when it comes to date nights because with a baby a date nights I have not happened as much as we would like them to, but making sure the date nights we do have are unbelievable and memories that we never forget and then make memories together as a family so we have a goal this year of every month we’re going to make a family memory whether that’s going to the zoo or doing something together as a family that will remember beyond just hanging out with the house and playing, et cetera. The other thing that I’m just trying to be very intentional about with families being present. Andy Crouch said this and I love this. He said, I am not the sum of my notifications and they do not demand a response.
Doug Smith: 21:15 I am not the sum of my notifications and they do not demand a response. And so I realized throughout the year that I was given far much too much time to my phone, right in notifications and checking email and checking, social media, etc. And so something I did in December was erased Facebook and Linkedin for my phone. And what I learned is I actually have checked it a lot less. I don’t miss it at all. I have better focus in a more present with everyone that I’m with. And I just didn’t realize like, I really do believe that people don’t realize how much those notifications actually mess with you and cause you to look at them. And so I would encourage you all to, to do something like that. Maybe you need to erase some apps from your phone so you can be better present with those you love, but something simple but just spend tons of time with them.
Doug Smith: 21:59 When I asked parents, I admire how to parent, they just say, spent tons of time with your kids, which I agree with a read to them often, Laure and I love reading to our kids, but we read, read, read, and we limit screen time. That’s been great as well. So play board games, engage with them. Don’t let them sit on their Ipads for three hours, engage, engage, engage, and then eat dinner together. Eat family, dinner together, that’s been important. And then the last thing when it comes to family that I thought was interesting, I met this woman named Hannah at an event that we were both speaking at and she was telling me a story about her life and how she was brought up in her parents were in the public eye and they had, I think they had six kids or whatever, but I just said, you know, hey, having parents in the public eye, what advice do you have for me being in a more public position?
Doug Smith: 22:44 And she said, I would just tell you this, just remember that you chose to be in the public life, your kids did not just remember that you chose public life for your kids and remember that. And so that’s just something I keep in mind when it comes to posting about my kids, etc. Like they’re not choosing that platform, you know, when they get of age and it’s their platform, they can do what they want with it. But just be careful of how much I put my kids in the public eye. Just because I may be there, and that was really challenging when it comes to family, but hey, don’t be the person that says I meant to get to my marriage and family. Get to them now, be intentional. The next area I want to talk to you about is greed. That’s right.
Doug Smith: 23:21 I said greed, and you might be listening to this and saying greed. That’s a weird thing to be talking about on a leadership podcast, but when I looked through my, your interview, when I looked through my journals, this was the one character issue that came up over and over and over again, and now again, let me qualify this. I’m a person of faith and a long time ago I had a mentor tell me, he said, Doug, let God be the architect of your growth. Let God be the architect of your growth. And so every year I pray this prayer, say God develop me as quickly and as solidly as possible. Develop me as quickly and as solidly as possible into the person that you called me to be. And so I believe what God wanted to hone in on in my life was this, this area of greed and greed is defined by this.
Doug Smith: 24:05 It says in the dictionary, greed is an intense or selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food and intense or selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food. Tim Keller said this, he said, Jesus wants people far more often about greed than about sex. And yet almost no one thinks they are guilty of it. And so for me, when it came to this area of greed that God was dealing with me about, for me, it was a heart check. And I had to ask myself the question, am I making something, the center of my life that shouldn’t be? Am I making something the center of my life that shouldn’t be right? Am I having an intense or selfish desire for something, especially wealth power or food that is at the center of my life? That shouldn’t be because God should be at the center of my life.
Doug Smith: 24:52 And for me, unfortunately, I found a lot of things in my heart that I didn’t want to be there that were at the center of my life and I believe that’s why God was dealing with me on this subject. And I think at the root of this, you know, one of my favorite movies that I saw this year was The Greatest Showman and there’s a scene at the end, so, you know, Hugh Jackman is, has. I saw great success, but then basically got caught up in, in wanting to be famous and to, to basically impress a bunch of people with money. And he did it, but he almost lost everything as a result and including his family. And at the end, there’s a scene that I love and he’s meeting with his wife and basically apologizing to her and repenting in front of her. And when he says I’m sorry, he says, I wanted to be more than I was.
Doug Smith: 25:37 I wanted to be more than I was. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the root of most of the problems in our lives? I wanted to be more than I was and when I look at the areas that I become greedy about, whether it’s the pursuit of money, power, fame, etc. It’s really me just wanting to be more than I am instead of being content and happy with who I am, so I just want to challenge you to ask yourself the same question. Am I making something, the center of my life, the center of my heart that shouldn’t be? As I went through my journal, I just want to share a bunch of verses that stood out on the area of greed because maybe they’ll speak to you, but here’s a bunch of verses that really spoke to me on this area of greed.
Doug Smith: 26:16 Luke 12:15 says, guard yourself against every kind of greed for life is not measured by how much you own. Another verse, as a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God. Proverbs 28:29 says, a faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. Proverbs 15:27 says, he who is greedy for gain troubles his own house. Proverbs 15:16 says better, a little with the fear of the lord. Then great treasures with troubles. Proverbs 22:1 says, a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches loving favor rather than silver or gold. Proverbs 23:4 says, do not overwork to be rich. Psalm 39:4-6 says, every man is at his best state but a vapor, they busy themselves in vain and I just broke, lord, help me not to do that.
Doug Smith: 27:12 Help me not to busy my whole life in vain. James 1:11 says the rich and the myths of their pursuit of wealth will wither away. Proverbs 28:22 says, a greedy man in a is in a race to get rich, but he forgets that he could lose what’s most important and end up with nothing. Proverbs 15:27 says, greed brings grief to the whole family. Proverbs 1:19 says, the fate of all who are greedy for more it robs them of life. Psalm 62:10 says, if your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life. First Timothy 6:17-19 says, do not be proud of trust in your money, but trust in God who gives you all you need for your enjoyment. Use money to do good. Be rich in good works and generous to those who need and always be willing to share.
Doug Smith: 27:59 And then first Timothy 6-9 says, some people craving money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. And so again, scripture over and over and over again deals with the subject of the heart and greed. And so for me, and this was actually a mentor challenged me and I think he was right on. He said, Doug, I think the word for your life in 2019 is contentment. And Philippians 4:11-13, it says this, it says, I am not saying this because I am a need for. I’ve learned to be content. Whatever the circumstances, I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. And I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Doug Smith: 28:42 And that’s my challenge this year, is to be content in every situation whether I have plenty or have need. And so I hope that that challenges you maybe you didn’t character-wise, didn’t have to grow in this area, but I asked, I do ask you to consider are there things that you’re putting at the center of your life that should not be there? The next category that I want to share some lessons learned from his spiritual growth, spiritual growth. Um, And here’s just a bunch of thoughts that really helped me throughout the year grow spiritually. Number one is just a quote by Bob Goff who’s an author. He wrote a book this year called Everybody Always, which I highly recommend, but he said this, I believe you said this on twitter. He said, trade the appearance of being close to god, to the power of actually being close to God.
Doug Smith: 29:23 And I think every Christian on the planet needs to hear that trade, the appearance of being close to God, to the power of actually being close to God. And that’s been my prayer and focus this year is I don’t want to look like I’m spiritual. I don’t want to seem like I’m spiritual. I want to actually be spiritual. I wouldn’t actually know God intimately, personally. And so that’s been a focus, spending a lot of time in prayer, being quiet, listening to him and not caring about what people think. So, there’s a quote that I hope helps you grow. The second thing that really helped me spiritually, Proverbs 19:21 says this, it says many are many plans in a man’s heart. Nevertheless, the Lord’s counsel will stand. Many plants are in a man’s heart. Nevertheless, the Lord’s counsel will stand. And for me, you know, um, I was actually planning on leaving Light of Life in June, before I got promoted.
Doug Smith: 30:10 And out of a long story short, I ended up there and I feel like it’s exactly where God wants me to be. And I just shared that because so many times we have our plans, but God has a different plan. And for me, that was the case this year. I tried to get ahead of god and I just tried to do my own thing and just again, he made a way. And so it goes back to what I shared in the beginning of the self-promotion can never replace divined promotion. So, hey, it’s great to make plans. It’s great to set those and all of those things. But at the end of the day, the Lord’s counsel will stand. So follow him. Um, this is more on the growth side, but someone said this, that really helped me. It said, we’re concerned about how things turn out, but God is more concerned with how we turn out.
Doug Smith: 30:53 And I think so often we get focused on outcomes and because we want, we care about what other people think of what we actually produce, that we lose focus of who we’re becoming, who God wants us to grow into in the process. So instead of focusing so much on outcomes, start focusing on who you’re growing into being. Because that’s far more important, um, especially to god, I’m, this was another one that actually john maxwell’s wife said this to him at one point in his life, and I love this. She said God didn’t give you your gifts to please yourself, He gave you them to help others and just realizing that, that all of us have gifts and talents in there from god, but they’re not for us. They’re not for us to build our own kingdoms there, to serve other people, and that’s just a great reminder spiritually.
Doug Smith: 31:38 This was another one. So actually I have a mentor that’s being mentored by John Maxwell. And there was, there was actually early in the year, actually started a separate podcast from this one called Doug Smith Live. And I was basically going to build two brands. I was going to build out three and I was going to throw Doug Smith Live. And, I was really, really challenged by mentor and he said, Doug, you know if God wants to make you a name, let him do that. And he told me that because that’s what John told him. And he, John, shared about his life and you know John, John Maxwell, John Maxwell, and his name is well known, but he never had his name on really anything until recently, right? It was always equipped and all these other organizations. So I just thought that was so good and I think so many people need to hear that today.
Doug Smith: 32:19 if God wants you to make, make you a name, let him do that. Let him do that. Don’t try to make it happen yourself. Let God do that. And then the last thing, I was just really challenged by a friend named Christian Roscoe. He’s in my mastermind group and every year we have, we pray over L3 Leadership when we pray over our city and its leaders. And Chris was praying at our at that Mount Washington here in and man, his prayers just blew me away and just really challenged me to dream bigger than their prey bigger. And he was praying and he said, god, I pray for L3 Leadership. He said, God, I pray that that presidents and vice presidents and senators will come out of l three leadership. And it just really challenged me that you know, as big as I can dream in myself, I can’t dream very big, but if I start dreaming God-sized dreams and start praying god sized prayers, it’s going to be amazing to see what God can do.
Doug Smith: 33:07 So I just want to challenge you to dream bigger. We men, you have the god of the universe on your side and if you’ll just follow him, he’ll do far more than you could ever do in a thousand lifetimes, in your own strength. So those are some of the things that challenge me spiritually this year. A hope that they challenged you. And then the last year that I just want to share about his life. And this is a very, very short. This was actually an Erwin McManus wrote a book called The Last Arrow, but he gave a talk at the leadership summit this year. That blew me away. But the tagline of his book, the last arrow is saved nothing for the next life. I just love that. So that’s what I’m leaving you with today. Save nothing for the last life. And in his talk at the leadership summit and he said, listen, if we’re believers, if we’re believers, death should be behind us, not in front of us and we have nothing but life in front of us.
Doug Smith: 33:53 Save nothing for the next life. And that just fires me up so much. I’m fired up. I want to go run and go do something crazy right now. But I just want to challenge you. Listen, grow every year, be intentional. Grow to your maximum potential do everything you can to do everything god’s called you to do on the planet. Save nothing for the next life. So there were some of my top lessons of 2018. I hope that they challenged you. I hope they inspired you. I hope they’ll help you. I would love to hear the top lessons that you learned this year. Feel free to email me at dougsmitha@L3leadership.org, or send me a message on Instagram. I would love to connect with you and hear some of the top lessons that you learned. Thanks so much for allowing me to come in and speak into your life and I will talk to you next episode.
Doug Smith: 34:37 Hey everyone. Thank you so much for listening to my top lessons learned in 2018. I hope they added value to your life. You can find the key takeaways and links to everything that I mentioned in the show notes at L3leadership.com/episode215. While you’re on the website, don’t forget to sign up for our email list. When you do, you will get a free copy of my ebook Making the Most of Mentoring, which is my step by step process for getting and cultivating mentoring relationships with leaders. I think it’ll add massive value to your life as well. I want to thank our sponsor, Henne Jewelers, their jewelry owned by my friend and mentor, John Henne, my wife Laura, and I got her engagement and wedding rings through many jewelers and we just think they’re incredible. Not only do they have great jewelry, but they also invest in people. In fact, they give every engaged couple. I’m a book to help them prepare for marriage and we just love that, so if you’re in need of a good jeweler, checkout Henne jewelers.com. As always, I like to end with a quote and I will quote Stephen Covey. Stephen Covey said this, he said, don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities. I love that. Schedule your priorities. Thank you so much for listening and being a part of L3 leadership. Laura and I, you so much and we’ll talk to you next episode.