are your habits causing you to waste time?

I came across this article on and realized how accurate it was for me. The title of the article is, “7 Time-Wasting Habits You Need to Cut Out of Your Life for Good”.

The seven bad habits are:

  1. Checking email constantly.
  2. Waiting for things to be perfect.
  3. Multitasking.
  4. Inviting interruptions.
  5. Being disorganized.
  6. Failing to delegate.
  7. Never saying no.

Read the entire article as it is very worthwhile if you are interested in wasting less time as you pursue your calling in life.


ever been out of sync?

autumn leaves - lauren OCT 2014Good morning! It’s been awhile since I have posted to my blog and I have missed writing.

Have you ever been “out of sync”? In season where your normal rhythms and routines have been disrupted so that you don’t get done what you want? I have been for the last few weeks – it has been a good, even great, disruption, but it has thrown me out of sync in many ways.

Back in August while visiting family a friend asked me to stop by and talk with him and five weeks later I was in a different state in a new job – talking about a whirlwind! It has been great in that it is an excellent organization filled with top-flight people who are passionate about what they do every day. It is also back in my home state so we get to see family and old friends on a regular basis. All together a great move!

Yet, it was / is disruptive, stressful at times, and has caused me to be out of sync. It has caused me to see even more the value and importance of healthy rhythms in our lives – especially in times of change and stress (yes, there is good stress). For me, I allowed the disruption to interfere with several important rhythms or habits in my life; my time of prayer and reflection on Scripture, proper exercise, reading of good books, writing and interacting with others. I also experienced the negative aspects of ignoring these important rhythms in my life.

What I wished I would have done is to have been more vigilant in maintaining those rhythms or habits in the midst of the transition – no matter how difficult. It would have made the transition even more manageable in terms of stress and not so difficult to “restart” them.

So, learn from my mistake. If you are about to go through some type of transition or time of stress, do not neglect those life giving habits or rhythms that will give you the strength and peace to deal gracefully with the ensuing stress – even good stress.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving week!


a note to senior leaders – their commitment may be more important than your insights

Marshall Goldsmith
Marshall Goldsmith

Good blog post by Marshall Goldsmith, “Their Commitment Might Mean More Than Our Insight”.

He talks about how much more powerful employee commitment to an idea is than is the “brilliant” insight of the leader.

Following is a paragraph from his post:

The next time you are working with a direct report or team member and you start to “improve” upon their ideas with your insights, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”

When communicating with direct reports, don’t just ask for understanding – search for commitment. Listen to the tone of their voices and look at their faces. When describing a project, ask the employee to rank their level of enthusiasm for executing the plan. Ask a simple question, “How can we work together on this project in a way that will lead to your highest level of commitment?” Listen to their ideas. Be willing to trade off some of your insights on content to gain their commitment and enthusiasm.

Read the full post – especially if you are a senior leader in your organization and you truly desire to make your organization more effective.


a common trait of truly effective leaders

leaf AUG 2013 LaurenGood morning! You can see the signs of Fall approaching here in NE Indiana. I enjoy the Fall, but not what follows!!

This past week, I was able to work with two excellent leadership teams. From last Sunday through last Thursday, I had the privilege of co-facilitating a leadership retreat for the AWANA Global Leadership Team. What a great group of people – they are passionate about their mission and they are united in their hearts.

I left the AWANA retreat Thursday morning headed to southwest Michigan to join in Life Action Ministries annual Board of Directors meeting that lasted until this past Saturday. The Life Action board is also an outstanding group of people. They are a group of men that love the Lord, love Life Action and are highly competent and successful in their vocational lives.

A common thread I saw among those two teams was one mentioned in books as diverse as Crawford Lorritts’ Leadership as an Identity, a book on spiritual leadership, to Jim Collins’ Good to Great, a secular book on leadership. That common trait is humility.

Truly great leaders share the trait of humility. Of course that is directly counter to the image our culture seems to idolize, but it makes perfect sense in light of Scripture.

If you desire to lead others well, choose the path of humility.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Have a great week!


jealously and ambition

blue sky Lauren AUG 2013Good morning! Looks like it’s going to be a great week working with the AWANA leadership team at their leadership retreat!

Jealousy and ambition! Ever had those two things intrude upon the workings of your leadership team? They will destroy the effectiveness of a team as quickly and more thoroughly than most anything else.

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” – James 3:16

In contrast, teams that truly collaborate, where leaders operate with wisdom, then there is harmony – peace.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17

So, which of these two verses describe the operations of your leadership team? Are people competing with a self-centered view, or are they seeking the wisdom from above? Are people open to reason? Are they sincere – authentic?

If verse 16 describes your leadership team – maybe it is time to have some frank discussions about how to move to a team that reflects verse 17.

Blessings on your week!

achieving a different result requires ___________

LAM PatioGood morning! It was a spectacular day here in northeastern Indiana yesterday. Beautiful weather. Angela and I had a nice walk around our neighborhood last night.

One of the things I sometimes struggle with is desiring different results – I want to do some things differently, live differently, think differently and so on. So, I work hard as some of these things, but I don’t get different results. I just get more of the same, plus a lot of frustration. One of the reasons is that while I am working hard, I am just working harder doing the same old thing I have always done and achieving the same old results.

If I, and you, really want to achieve different results in our lives, then that requires doing something different! Simple logic right? Yes – but for some reason most of us don’t get it. What we have to learn is that when we hit the limits of our current abilities, systems, and etc. then maybe we need to look for new models and systems of doing things. We need to learn, adapt, and grow – continually. If you keep doing the same things the same way, you will stay stuck and seldom see any different results.

If you really want to see different results in your life then that requires doing things differently. Get out of your comfort zone, quit doing things the same old way, learn new ways to do things and start to see different results in your life.

Have a great weekend!

4 mindsets you must choose

Good morning! Ready for another week? I hope I am.Beautiful shy June 2013

For those of us that lead, maintaining the right mindsets or attitudes is critical to our effectiveness. Yet so many of us struggle to maintain them or at times are unaware of the proper mindsets or attitudes that are necessary to lead effectively. Here are four mindsets that are key to your effectiveness as a leader:

1. Trust – you must choose to be trustworthy and to trust others. Trust is a volitional choice. not an emotion or feeling. You choose to trust those that you work with and as it is foundational to teamwork, you won’t have an effective team until you do decide to trust.  Of course you will be disappointed at times and you will disappoint others – we are human and prone to make mistakes. However, you still choose to trust. I know that this is a tough one for those that have been scarred by things in their childhood, but you still have to choose to trust.

2.  Dependency – you must realize that to do anything of any worth that you and I are dependent on God and others. In truth we accomplish little, if anything, on our own that is of any value. We have to realize that we are dependent on God first and then others. if not, we will lead a lonely and ineffective life.

3. Humility – We must have a mindset of humility. We need to learn to put God and others before ourselves. We must choose to esteem others more than ourselves.  Read Philippians 2: 3-8.

4. Gratitude – Do you have a grateful spirit? Are you truly grateful for what God has done and is doing in your life? Are you grateful for what others have done for you? Are you grateful for what you have or do you grumble and wish for more? Show your gratitude today – write a thank you note to someone, pick up the phone and call someone from your past who had a major impact on you and thank them, and finally go to God in prayer and thank Him for life and His endless love for you.

Have a blessed day today!

“sleep is more important than food” – really?

Tony Schwartz

According to Tony Schwartz of The Energy Project -“sleep is more important than food“. I think he may be close to being right!

Click here to read his very interesting post on the subject.

Have a great Tuesday!


Don’t Manage Your Time – Invest it

Good Monday morning to you! Hope you had a great weekend, we did other than learning our daughter’s car needs the timing belt railroad tracks - Keely 2013changed and there might be some other problems associated with that issue. But otherwise a good weekend.

Question for you – how many articles, books, and blog posts have you read about time management? Have you been to any seminars on the subject? How about time-management training at the office?

Now the next question – do you feel that you are any more effective at how you use your time? Not efficient, but effective? Do you feel that you are accomplishing what is really important? My answer has been too often – No. Now why is that? Why is it that we have spent so much money and time on learning to manage our time and yet we still aren’t accomplishing the important things in our lives?

Maybe, it is time to look at our time in another way. Maybe we need to reframe the issue. Time is a resource, many say your most important resource. Maybe you need to think about investing your time in order to produce the future returns in your life that you most value instead of simply “managing” your time in order to accomplish more tasks. What are your priorities? For me it is God, Angela (my wife), Lauren & Keely (my daughters), my family, my country, and then my vocation. There are “returns” I desire for each of those priorities (or areas) of my life. I desire to honor God and to have an intimate relationship with Him, I desire to love and honor my wife and to have a rich and long marriage, I desire that my daughters be healthy individuals that are a positive force for good, and so on.

So, what is important to you? Your time (attention) is the most important resource you have to invest into the priorities of your life. Are you truly investing your time in to your priorities? Does the manner of your investing reflect your stated priorities? Ask the same question about your vocation. How do you allocate your time at your work / ministry? Is it focused on your priorities or on how many tasks you can accomplish that day?

Try these simple steps:

1. Identify your priorities in life, including your work or ministry. (You will need to probably set aside a half day or full day away somewhere where you can really think without being disturbed)

2. Compare how you really spend your time against your stated priorities.

3. Determine why the gaps exist between your stated priorities and how you use your time.

4. Develop a strategy to close the gaps and to start investing your time according to your true priorities.

Remember, it is not about how many tasks you accomplish, it is about how effective you are in accomplishing the truly important goals in your life.

Quit managing your time and start investing it!!!

Have a great week!

“How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day” – Michael Hyatt

Good morning!Beautiful flower Keely 2013

In line with what I have been posting this week is a post by Michael Hyatt entitled “How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day“. It’s worth a quick read.

Have a blessed day!