Launches and Benchmarks
New websites and the joy of coaching
I went to Space Camp in sixth grade.
We, my camp-mates and I, fulfilled our lifelong dream1 to step into the movie by the same name and attend Space Camp. To spoil the rest of this post and potentially lose readers, I was not accidentally launched into space. I spent the week learning all about aerodynamics and SRBs, left with my own souvenir flight suit2, and entertained the idea of being an astronaut one day, until, that is, I was tall enough to realize that astronauts are typically sub-six-feet to save on space in the shuttle, thus ending my dream of participating in a launch.
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And yet, in my work as an editor, I’ve had the opportunity to launch two websites3. The first site I worked on was Tabletalk Magazine. That project was a ton of fun. The opportunity to launch the web presence of such a prestigious print magazine will be a vocational accomplishment I’ll long remember. And on Monday, I’ll have the opportunity to launch the online theological journal of Grimké Seminary. That too will rank alongside notable project launches that I’ve had the privilege of working on. This launch takes on a deeper emotional tone. The significance and scrappiness of Grimké and Sola Ecclesia make them organizations that I’m honored to serve.
Speaking of Benchmarks
Thank you to all of you who have let me coach you. To be honest, this newsletter started as a way to stay connected to current and past coaching clients. As I accrue coaching certifications, the ICF requires me to keep track of client hours. This week I pass the 200 hundred client hour mark. Anders Ericsson has clearly shown that Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule is spurious at best. Still, the only way to get better at something is to do it, hour by hour, day by day. I still know I have a ton to learn about leadership coaching and continue to read to stay sharp in the practice of “aggressive curiosity.”
Reading, Writing, Coaching
I read a ton of books at the same time, but the main work I’m reading right now is The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul4. I’ve promised some thoughts on social media and technology. Ellul is encouraging me to pump the brakes before I think I know what is going on.
I have a ton of writing lined up. Now, all I have to do is write. I’m still committed to writing longhand for my first draft. But I’m also wondering if that is silly. Ellul is helping me think through that too.
I continue to coach guys across industries—marketplace, church leadership, big teams, personal development. I love getting a front-row seat to watch men struggle forward in their leadership challenges—a true privilege.
I should note that by sixth grade, life-long is not all that long.
Contrary to all style considerations that a sixth-grader should consider, I wore my flight suit to school on several occasions. It is a wonder that I didn’t pick up an unfortunate nickname that followed me into middle school.
I will readily admit that this is an extra level of nerd. I moved from Space Camp to being excited about launching websites. That is extra special.