A few years ago I started asking questions.
Apparently these were questions that seemed to make the typical church leader a bit nervous.
Unsure of why, I just asked more questions.
I was not searching for answers that checked all the boxes in my mind. I needed answers that resonated in my heart as well.
After the fifth time of someone saying...
You know, you should talk to Steve Graves about that.
...I decided to do just that.
At the time I didn't really know Steve, but I remember sitting down at the table to a very open invitation. Steve asked (almost like he knew what I was about to share)...
So, what's on your mind?
I talked for an hour, he listened intently while scribbling out some notes and diagrams on the paper he had brought with him. He asked a few questions, and wrapped up the conversation with this simple directive.
Write down what you're thinking, and let's grab another lunch.
He closed his notebook and we were done.
I'm not sure he thought I would actually write it all down, but in the desperate attempt to find these answers I really didn't have a choice.
Over the next few weeks I wrote down those thoughts and that started a four-year conversation in which Steve began to shape my life.
During that time, I probably asked the same questions a dozen times...
Now, what is it exactly that you do for a living?
Little did I know but he was doing it all along.
He was leading, directing, and investing in me with the desire to shape a young leader's visions, missions and personal growth.
I know first hand that Steve's humble, yet authoritative, approach to mentoring was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.
A few months ago Steve shared that he had been writing and was preparing to start sharing his insights and learnings more broadly.
I knew immediately that this would help a lot of leaders in some powerful ways.
These are insights that I've personally worked through and they have helped give some incredible guide-rails to some of my biggest challenges in leadership.
And don't miss the Premium Subscription feature, I'm a member and love the ability to get the new books & videos that will really help take things to the next level of application.
Here's what I mean...
[vimeo https://vimeo.com/68184473 w=500&h=281]
Looking back here's what I now know.
Steve didn't give me answers that checked all the boxes in my head...or my heart.
He gave me a greater gift.
He gave me a framework by which to process life, family, career, and faith.
This framework truly captures the emphasis of his writing...Organizational Strategy, Leadership Development, Social Innovation, and Practical Faith.
I return to this framework almost every day...in fact it's posted right under my name at the top of this blog.
Thanks Steve....truly appreciate you and I look forward with great expectations of how leaders in all walks of life will benefit from your wisdom, insights, and life.
Steve is an organizational strategist, pragmatic theologian and social capitalist. At any given time, he is advising 5-6 high-profile CEO’s or business owners, along with 3-4 young energetic social entrepreneurs. He sits on a half-dozen boards, holds degrees in multiple subjects, writes often, speaks occasionally, and is part owner in over a dozen businesses. He lives in Northwest Arkansas with his wife Karen, has three adult children and if he doesn’t return your call quickly there is a good chance he snuck off to the river…again.