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Leadership is the ability to create an environment where individuals come together to produce something extraordinary. No better example than Jesus and the twelve disciples. They were described as ordinary men, but together they changed the world.

We continually talk about the value and importance of clarity. As a leader, you must constantly chart the course. Each day there are new tides and changing winds. Each day brings new weather. Great leaders chart a course that steers them away from bad weather and the resulting consequences.

For example, great leaders manage tensions before they become problems. Many minor issues become major because they are not confronted and solved early in their formation.

One of the great ways to do this is by using the START, STOP, AND CONTINUE conversation, not only with individuals, but teams as well. Jesus used this method effectively throughout His ministry.

Here are 3 positive outcomes from implementing this leadership tool:


This technique is an important part of the "clarity component" because it cuts to the chase. Stop doing this, start doing this and remember to continue doing this. That is about as clear as it gets...

Leaders stretch, direct, teach, and confront. Jesus knew how to have the tough conversation. He knew that conflict was one of the roads that leads to growth. Conflict when used correctly, can be healing. Jesus created many "defining moments" for people. In fact, Jesus was at the center of conflict during most of his ministry. Jesus confronted the rich young ruler with a tough choice for his eternal destiny. When Jesus turned over the tables in the temple, He made it very clear what behavior He wanted to stop.

The Sermon on the Mount is filled with starts, stops, and continues. Think of all the direction Jesus gave to his disciples. Start letting your light shine before men, stop seeking after your own interests, continue sharing the gospel and remain steadfast.

Read through the New Testament with the focus on the start, stop, and continues, and you will be amazed how clear everything becomes.


One of the greatest coaches of all time was college basketball legend Dean Smith. He constantly taught that "action beats reaction." Your action creates a reaction. In a baseball game, who has the advantage? A great hitter is only successful 3 out 10 times. He must react to the pitch.

As leaders, we need to be "creating the action," not only for the performance of people, but for ourselves as well. Each day we can ask: What should I start doing, what should I stop doing, and what should I keep doing?


Jesus dealt with people based on their individuals needs. To some He showed more grace, others received harsh warnings, but ultimately Jesus wanted people to come to repentance and healing.

By implementing the START, STOP, CONTINUE conversation, you will create some conflict, but conflict can be the antiseptic for wounds that need to be opened up and dealt with. Hurts and motivations can be uncovered and healed.

Emphasize that you are concerned with their growth enough to have the "tough conversation". If you have developed relational capacity with your people, they will know they can trust you and that you want the best for them. This is how Jesus changed lives.

Remember action beats reaction, so don't avoid the conflict, go through it. You will come out the other side with deeper relationships and a more productive team.

START having the tough conversation...
STOP avoiding conflict...
CONTINUE leading with integrity...

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