I watched a TED Talk this week by Rick Warren where he talked about how to stay relevant. His main point was that “An organization or person becomes irrelevant when the speed of change on the outside is faster than the speed of change on the inside.”

He went on to say that relevancy is a choice. In other words, an organization or an individual has the ability to choose to stay relevant by making sure that they are changing faster than the world around them.

 He shared the acronym DNA that defines:

3 decisions you need to make to stay relevant:

D – Develop a lab mentality (Always experimenting)

N – Never stop learning (All leaders are learners)

A – Acknowledge the grief

            There is no growth without change

            There is no change without loss

            There is no loss without pain

            There is no pain without grief

Rick got me thinking about what I am doing in this area to stay relevant, to insure that I am continuing to “Raise the Bar” on the value that I provide for people that I serve. As I looked back on the last couple of weeks, I came to the conclusion that a marvelous way to “develop a lab mentality” and “never stop learning” was to be intentional about building a network of people to learn from.

Since the New Year,

  • I have fostered at least three new relationships with people that have already opened my eyes to new challenges and opportunities to add greater value.  New relationships open up new possibilities and challenges!
  • I have met with an old friend that I had not talked to in over three years, who opened up more doors in 2 hours than I could have ever dreamed. Key friends with important connections can be invaluable to your impact!
  • I spent hours hiking with dear friends in AZ where we mutually challenged each other on how we could continue to help raise up our community around servant leadership and faith at work activities.  There is no substitute for close friendships where challenging each other is not only OK but it is expected!
  • I spent two days working with great leaders who all have a heart for the community, challenging each other on how we could continue to enhance value and also provide direction and assistance for other communities. Being associated with groups of leaders with similar values can be powerful engines for change and development!

There is not much that excites me more than constantly driving towards new levels of positive impact in people’s lives. I know I could never stay relevant in this area if it were not for an amazing network of friends and acquaintances to help me. I also know that I must continue to be intentional about building those relationships to capitalize on the benefit.

What are you doing to be intentional about expanding your network of people that can help keep you relevant? 

Mark Deterding

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17