Through My Eyes (book review)

Tebowmania has spread beyond the University of Florida, and even beyond the NFL, as Tim Tebow has captured the attention of so many around the world. Like me, you’ve probably heard way too many “talking heads” on TV or radio, or read countless reporters and bloggers, explain what makes Tebow tick. Here’s a better way to find out: Read Tim Tebow’s own words in Through My Eyes.

I’m a Tim Tebow fan, so I realize my opinion of his book might be slightly biased. I love this man’s work ethic, competitive fire, leadership abilities, and Christian testimony. But the question is: where did all of this come from?

In reading Through My Eyes you will learn about his tight-knit family who gave Tim a great foundation upon which to grow. You’ll see the inborn competitive spirit become more and more laser-focused on helping Tim accomplish what he believes is God’s plan for his life. You’ll relive the build up to the big games, the behind the scenes struggles and challenges, and how Tim responded to the wins and the losses.

Instead of letting others tell you what they think makes Tebow tick, find out for yourself as you see this outstanding athlete’s world through his eyes.

By the way, my 12-year-old son and I read this book together, and I found it to be a great conversation-starter for many of the issues he will face in his future. I could envision this book being used in a men’s Bible study or small group discussion, or even in a mentoring role.

An excellent memoir that was very well written.

Could You Be A Missionary?

When I say missionary, what images come to your mind?

  • …a remote wilderness?
  • …a third-world country?
  • …asking churches and friends to support you financially?
  • …packing up to leave your home for years at a time?
  • …learning a new language?

Yes, many of our missionaries do all of these things. But if this is your only concept of missions, you’ve missed something important.

When Jesus told His followers that they would go out as witnesses (missionaries) for Him, He began with—

…you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem… (Acts 1:8)

The first place He sent them was to Jerusalem.

  • This was a missions opportunity right in their neighborhood.
  • They already knew the culture.
  • They already knew the language.
  • They didn’t have to pack up and leave their family behind.

Missions is not always far away. Sometimes it’s in your own neighborhood!

In Cedar Springs, I love the partnerships that the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association has helped foster, and the opportunities for local missions work that have been presented. One of our ongoing projects is providing weekend food for students who may be struggling to have enough over the weekend. It is a program called Hand2Hand. We are always looking for volunteers (missionaries!) who can work, collect food, or donate funds to help.

Organizational Health

I’m still working through the pages of notes I took during the Willow Creek Leadership Summit a couple of weeks ago. Another speak whom I really appreciated was Patrick Lencioni. I’ve read many of his books, and I think he has such a knack for explaining business principles in a way that seem so easy to process and apply.

Patrick talked about the two needed ingredients for organizational success: things that are smart and things that are healthy. He said that most of the time we cannot do the smart things because we are not healthy enough to do them.

So, how do we make our organization healthy? Here are four disciplines he encouraged us to pursue:

1.  Build and maintain a cohesive team at the top. [This is behavioral alignment.]

2.  Create clarity by asking these questions:

  • Why do we exist? [core purpose]
  • How do we behave? [core values]

These need to be core values, not our aspirational values.

There should only be one or two endemic values.

Core values are those that we will stick to even if we don’t get rewarded for it.

  • What do we actually do?
  • How will we succeed? [strategy]

These are the myriad of intentional decisions we make that help us be successful.

As an example, consider the three strategic anchors for Southwest Airlines: (1) make the customer happy; (2) keep the plane on time; (3) keep fares low.

  • What is most important in our organization right now?
  • Who must do what?

3.  Over-communicate the answer to the above six questions. I love this: Patrick said, “If your people cannot do a good impression of you, you’re not communicating enough.”

4.  Reinforce the system through creative ideas.

The bottom line: “Organizational health provides significant advantages for organizational success.”

I’m working on the application of these thoughts for the organizations I help lead, and I’m really excited to encourage some conversations around these great thoughts from Patrick Lencioni.

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