Stay DANGEROUS or Stay Safe?

Welcome to the New Year and this delayed post for the Storyteller’s Compass.

Often this time of year, we set up goals for the next few months. My news feeds continue to talk about New Year resolutions. This year I’m taking a new angle. Instead of resolutions, I’m setting up commitments. To me, this shift in the words serves as a shift of attitude.

This year instead of Stay SAFE, my commitment is to Stay DANGEROUS.

My major 2024 commitment is to continue developing this idea of Leadership Life-stories and offer practical ideas through a book, articles, and conversations and training opportunities. After sitting on the ideas for this post for the past 26 days, I’m taking the first step of many!

DISCOVER – Everyone has Leadership Life-stories

As a review, Leadership Life-stories are those moments of DISCOVERY that are around us every day. Some of these Leadership moments are BIG like a promotion at work or stepping up in our community or family in a specific area.

These Leadership moments can also be small and seemingly inconsequential.

Several years ago I saw a quiet statement that speaks loudly to me just about every day. “Lord, help me to savor the sacred in everything today” I’m not sure of the source, but this small, yellow sticky note is right next to my work computer. When I get overwhelmed or the imposter syndrome kicks in, I try and take a moment to slow down, take a breath, and let the day develop.

My commitment this year is to SAVOR THE SACRED. This is a dangerous act for me because it goes against many of behaviors and actions build up to this moment in life.

DEVELOP – What is the WHY?

Once we identify the big and small moments of Leadership in our lives and WHAT happened, we should take a moment to think about WHY these are important. These are developed by ourselves in solitude or within a community.

I continue to play in a slow-pitch softball with a group of men. This 25-year history and community of men is important to me. These gentlemen and their families pour into me and help me clarify the steps forward.

Time alone is also important.

I’ve written a few times about this picture from North Iceland, God spoke clearly to me and helped calm my soul at a pivotal moment in the Summer of 2019

My commitment this year is intentionally engage Community.

I often retreat to solitude that can result in isolation. As an Introvert, stepping into community with my wife, family, and those around is a dangerous act for me. I’m a bit fearful about how to develop community around the idea of Storytelling and Leadership. I’m excited to see how the Holy Spirit will work this year in community to serve others authentically.

DELIVER – To Connect Well and Serve

The final step of the Leadership Life-stories process is to DELIVER these stories. While many jump right to telling MY story, I begin the communication process by listening first.

The statement that sticks in my head is that “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. So that we could hear twice as much as we speak.” I have a joy listening to the important Leadership Life-stories of individuals and engaging the back and forth with people to see and hear how their stories develop. It is pretty cool to hear a story similar to yours, connect to a meaning, and hear a new thought or a practical step that I then can use in my life.

Most recently I experienced this fresh air working with faculty and class colleague at Panteion University in Athens, Greece.

My commitment this year is to continue developing a group of people that are interested in smashing together Communication, Storytelling, and Leadership. I have an idea of specifically working with people early in their careers who are seeking leadership development. I also believe that I can work with teachers and faculty members to connect well in the Online or In-person classroom.

This is dangerous step because I do not have an end goal. As a planner, stepping out to see where this might go, is kinda freaking me out. I’m curious to see how and where this develops and what happens this year.


I’m excited that you are along for the journey. Typically, I end classes or workshops with the statement to “Be Safe.” Let me encourage you to take the step with me “To Be dangerous” and see what happens.

Here we go…..!

Let's Connect

One of my strongest passions is connecting with others and hearing their stories. Even if we never work together, I’d still love to meet you, learn more about you, and hear some of your unique experiences.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you, future friend. 

Chris Hamstra

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