How to Lead in a World of Distraction by Clay Scroggins

I just finished Clay’s first book, “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge” and wanted to check this one out right after. This book was insightful and certainly had plenty of application for today’s world. This book emphasized solitude and self-reflection and as in the first one, looked to Jesus as the example of those things in the best way possible. For me, it’s all about honoring God and realizing my full potential and mission on earth. We were all created for unique purposes and very different things from each other. It’s important to me that I can do all that God has created me to do and do that well. I know that pressing on in the midst of distraction is going to be essential.

I’ve always kind of felt the way that if there’s not an answer, I can find it or someone else can. There hasn’t been much of the whole, “I’ll just not know what the answer is,” for anything.

The author writes that there was a day when if you didn’t know the answer to something then you simply didn’t know. People today have grown up with a different mantra. If someone doesn’t know an answer, we don’t have to not know and there’s an awareness that the answer can be found. This has created an unprecedented level of distraction.

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Wow is this ever true. It’s so easy to just accept ourselves as “good enough” whatever that means, and continue doing what we’ve always done. But that’s not all that there is… God has more. Much much more. As we go about our self-evaluation, it’s absolutely imperative that we ask God who He created us to be.

“Self-affirmation apart from self-evaluation is the beginning of self-deception and the end of self-development.” — Clay Scroggins

Tunnel vision. Two of the people that I love most for this are Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Grover. Both emphasize how important it is to simply put our heads down and get the work done. It does not matter what other people say, often we don’t even know why they are saying what they are.

“If you’re not careful, you’ll let the external noise of success distract you from focusing on the internal work that will lead you to growth.” — Clay Scroggins

Yes, yes, and yes again. These are things that we should ALWAYS do before we express an emotion. The author shares an example of when he thought that he was angry at his boss (a fellow pastor) but really, he was just insecure about the results that he was getting with his church.

It’s important to identify and understand our emotions, 3 steps for emotional detective work:

1. Identify the emotion
2. Find language for the emotion
3. Deal directly with the emotion

“The evil one’s strategy is to kill and steal and destroy.” We must always evaluate the negative emotions that we feel; are they truly what we think that they are?

Don’t take the bait. Don’t believe what your negative emotions say to you, test and evaluate.

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This has been a wonderful discipline. I don’t go to sleep at night unless I have 5 main goals or objectives — some simple, some complex — determined for the next day. I recently started also closing down my phone time before entering my room. I use my phone to track and monitor my sleep but I set everything before I go into my bedroom and now close down with nightly reading then sleep without checking notifications again until morning.

Schedule the next day before you go to sleep, your mind is free in the beginning. Also set prerequisites before doing things like checking email or social media.

Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. Allan Dib shared in his book The 1-Page Marketing Plan, that if someone can do something 80% as well as you can, it should be delegated. I agree. We do need to understand the essential motivations though also. It’s not enough to simply know if someone else can do what we are doing, if we cut out the most rewarding thing we do all day, that’s obviously a misstep.

2 big questions to ask when setting up your calendar:

1. What is motivating me to say yes to this?
2. Is there someone else who can do this?

It’s important to look at things objectively and without bias. How would we see things differently if someone else was in our position? Why?

2 self-regulating questions you can ask yourself:

1. What would a great leader do here?
2. What advice would I give someone else who is in this situation?
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This is super important, as the author shared, for high-achievers to recognize. I am someone who likes to understand the benefits of something and sometimes, I’m realizing more and more, those benefits are not measurable or even always visible right away.

The benefits of solitude are entirely internal. Sometimes there is nothing to get out of it.

“Do you understand that it’s impossible to please God in any way other than wholehearted surrender?” — Francis Chan

This was what immediately came to mind during this section of the book. It’s not about us, it’s about God, and it always has been about God.

The author routinely uses two prayer like formats to guide himself:

1. Heavenly Father what do you want from me today?
2. I surrender.
My mom always said, “Don’t complain about it unless you’re going to do something.”

Talk is cheap — that’s why that’s all so many people do. It’s harder to work, trying is easy, but training to do something? Well you need to commit then, don’t you.

“There is an immense difference between training to do something and trying to do something.” — John Ortberg

God knows all, He created all, and He can reveal all.

“If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.” — Mark Batterson

Finding the best you without the one who created you feels like a blind pursuit.

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This book was great, definitely a nice followup to his other one and absolutely one that was great to work through as I lead up to 2020. It’s never good to continue doing what we’ve always done, we need growth and improvement. My goal is to continue learning and applying as much as I can from the books I’m completing and this book has definitely attributed to that objective.

I gave this book a 4/5

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