Actions > Words.

Fruit of the Spirit

The evidence of one’s faith is often referred to as “fruit of the Spirit” because Christians rely on the Spirit to guide them to right actions and develop their character. It’s also sometimes called “Christ-like behavior” or “Christ-like character.”

In other words, our actions (a.k.a. fruit) demonstrate that we are indeed following the teachings of Jesus. The “fruit“ is also a pretty simple way for others to discern whether not someone who claims to follow Jesus actually does—of if they’re just saying it to manipulate public opinion.

Fruit of the Spirit

The Apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Galatia:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, KINDNESS, goodness, FAITHFULNESS, gentleness and SELF-CONTROL. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Christians, don’t assume someone shares your faith because they “say” they do. Examine the evidence. Look at their FRUIT.

Click here to download a FREE PDF of this article, and feel free to share it.

Book Review: The Self-Evolved Leader by Dave McKeown

Book Review: The Self-Evolved Leader by Dave McKeown

Brené Brown. Stephen Covey. Jim Loehr. Cal Newport. Carol Dweck. Simon Sinek. Michael Hyatt. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Henry Cloud. Whether they have opened your eyes to view vulnerability as courage, motivated you to find your why, or advocated for you to set clear boundaries with others, each of these best-selling authors and speakers has shifted the way leaders think about and approach leadership.

Imagine if there were ONE book where themes of vulnerability, authenticity, mindset, purpose, clarity, communication, and boundaries all came together to paint a complete portrait of an effective and influential twenty-first century leader. Would you be interested?

Enter The Self-Evolved Leader: Elevate Your Focus and Develop Your People in a World That Refuses to Slow Down by Dave McKeown. In this single volume, the principles taught by each of the aforementioned authors has been distilled and synthesized into a coherent and comprehensive model for personal leadership development and team management.

The Self-Evolved Leader is a “How to Lead” manual for managers and directors in charge of teams (size doesn’t matter).

It is a GPS for people on a mission to develop their own leadership abilities whether they are leading a team or aspire to do so. Maybe they are lifelong learners like me and can’t get enough of leadership theory, or maybe they are suddenly thrust into a leadership position and feel unequal to the task ahead of them, or maybe they were never taught healthy leadership principles from their senior staff.

McKeown takes readers through a step-by-step process to discover “their authentic leadership calling, create a vision for a better world, and build the framework and structure needed to chart the course (p. 2).” And the framework and structure are legit.

The Self-Evolved Leader includes an actual  90-day plan to begin implementing what you’ve learned. He literally tells you what to do each day so that by the time you’re done with the 90-days, you will have set in place a roadmap for yourself and your team that you repeat each quarter.

McKeown rejects the industrial era model of teamwork (“a cog in a well-oiled machine”) and instead posits that teams in the twenty-first century function more like cells in organisms.

“The interactions are more amorphous, the nature of work is more prone to change, and the individuals are connected by more than the mere interlinking teeth of a cog or spoke. There’s a stronger degree of interdependence of connection and of symbiosis. Each person is uniquely individual and at the same time part of the whole. Each person is connected by more than the pursuit of a common goal; they are connected by a sense of shared humanity.”  

(p. 37)

The author’s description of a “self-evolved” leader really resonates with me because it’s exactly who I strive to be. This type of person is someone who accepts responsibility for their own growth. They demonstrate vulnerability and regularly practice empathy which strengthens their connection with the team. This leader is clear on boundaries and daily chooses to stay in their own lane. 

Smiling personal health coach sitting in an office and talking to a woman

According to McKeown, when a person adopts the self-evolved leadership approach, they will focus their activities, decisions, and interactions on helping team members achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves.

He lays out three essential elements which increase the self-evolved leader’s impact on the team: (1) creating a shared vision; (2) establishing a “pulse” and a variety of vantage points from which to assess progress; and (3) key disciplines to adopt in order to have long-lasting impact. He does this by not only suggesting what the elements are, but also by detailing HOW to implement each one. It’s like a road map for how to lead your team over the course of the next year. Literally. 

McKeown has identified eleven“key disciplines” (six micro disciplines and five core disciplines) essential for every self-evolved leader. He lays out a 90-day plan to help the reader practice what they are learning and hone their leadership skills. 

The author takes a methodological approach to explaining the five core disciplines. He describes the importance of the discipline, shares the benefits of it, and then answers the question “why is it so hard?” He then offers a proven “how to” strategy to spur you towards growth in that area. 

The Self-Evolved Leader is packed with helpful tips, strategies, and methodologies for implementation based on the latest research and best practices in leadership accepted across sectors. I highly recommend it for anyone currently leading a team and anyone interested in moving into leadership at their organization. 

If you are interested in purchasing this book based on my review, I’d appreciate it if you use my Amazon link:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Images properly licensed through Envato.

Why I Give on #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday

If you’ve donated to a nonprofit organization within the past few years, you’ve likely got an inbox full of donation requests for what some consider to be a “made-up holiday.”

The good news is that the narrative around this “new” non-holiday has finally started to turn, and people are seeing it for what it really is: an opportunity to collectively show unparalleled support to nonprofit organizations small and large who are working tirelessly to make this world a better place.

As you know, I am privileged to support thousands of nonprofit leaders worldwide. What you probably don’t know is that every year, when #GivingTuesday rolls around, we have a long discussion about whether or not they should participate in it. Why?

Why would a nonprofit organization—especially one that NEEDS the money to accomplish its mission—be unsure about participating in a national day of giving that was created to bring our hearts and minds back to a state of benevolence following cut-throat Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales?

Why would any nonprofit neglect engaging in a day of giving so widely marketed and advertised on both social and traditional media?

3 Reasons Why Nonprofits Hesitate Asking for Donations on #GivingTuesday


Even though #GivingTuesday is a national campaign, it sometimes comes right on the heels of an organization’s established annual fundraiser (e.g., an organization that supports breast cancer survivors having an annual gala in October). It’s also smack-dab in the middle of many organizations’ year-end campaigns which may account for up to 30% of the annual budget. And some communities have begun organizing their own giving days which tend to overshadow the national giving day.


When Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began offering matching funds to nonprofits raising money on the social media platform, MANY nonprofits hopped on the bandwagon to raise double the funds for their organizations. Sadly, we all learned that the matching funds were gone within an hour (usually less) with much of the funding going to LARGE organizations. This disappointing experience left many with a bitter taste in their mouths since they had worked so hard at getting the word out.

REASON #3: FODF (FEAR OF DONOR FATIGUE) — Especially during this pandemic.

The bottom line is that nonprofit leaders are keenly aware of when and how they ask for your support, and they’re afraid of over-asking. They don’t want to appear greedy, even though they need the money to move their missions forward. How many times can you ask the same person for money before it becomes awkward?

What’s a Nonprofit to Do?

#GivingTuesday will be widely promoted whether individual nonprofits actively participate or not. The fact is #GivingTuesday has become one of the largest philanthropic days of the year, and it’s on a growth trend. Every donation matters.

I think all nonprofits should participate in the day. Regardless of their size, it makes no sense to leave money on the table when many people plan to give the day after Cyber Monday.

In the Nonprofit Leadership Lab, we have encouraged nonprofit leaders to talk with major donors and their boards to secure their own matching funds. That way, when people donate, their donations are doubled or tripled with no reliance on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s match.

Why I Give on #GivingTuesday

On #GivingTuesday, I like to make a bunch of small donations to a variety of nonprofits addressing issues about which I am passionate. I do it because (1) every little bit helps; (2) it’s encouraging to the nonprofit leaders to see donations come in on #GivingTuesday; (3) it puts me on the organization’s email list; and (4) joining forces with other donors to make a positive difference in the world just plain feels good.

Imagine what a huge difference we could make if everyone made a small donation to the causes they care about.

And while I am not a huge fan of email, I do appreciate being added to nonprofit organizations’ email lists. I don’t read every word of every email, but being on their email list gives me a front-row seat to watch them in action throughout the year, and this helps me make a more informed decision about who to support with bigger donations.

On #GivingTuesday, it feels good to spread small donations around to every organization you know is doing an amazing job! 😊🧡🌍 Click To Tweet

I challenge you to give a little something to at least one organization before midnight this #GivingTuesday, and if you can give more, please do it. Don’t wait. Not only will your donation be greatly appreciated, it could be doubled or tripled! Every little bit helps. Really. Especially now.

* This article was originally posted on December 3, 2019. It’s been updated for the December 2020 #GivingTuesday.