who benefits from your leadership?

NMC SEP 2014 blue skyCrawford Loritts says in his book Leadership as an Identity that someone pays for your leadership – either you or those you lead.

Let’s look at it a bit differently – for whose benefit are you leading?

Are you leading for your personal benefit? Are you leading to advance your career, impress your bosses, or to improve your resume?

Who should be benefiting from your leadership? How about those you lead? They are the ones who should be benefiting most from your leadership.

Lead for the benefit of those who have been entrusted to your leadership. See them as unique individuals who have been created in the image of God. People who want to do well, but so often have been beaten down by life.

Lead them, grow them, serve hem, show them a better way – give them hope.

Lead not for your own personal gain, but for the benefit of those you lead. You will be surprised by the impact on your own life when you do so.



are you a bearer of hope?

snowflakes 2014Good Monday morning to you!

One of the most important things that a leader does for his people is to give them hope. Not false hope, but true hope.

We have to be honest with our team about the obstacles and difficulties ahead of us, but at the same time it is our job to give them hope and then to work our way through those challenges together.

Be a giver of hope, seek hope, share hope – it is powerful.

By the way, if you want to be a hope-filled person, you need to be a “Word filled” person.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV

Blessings on your week,


hope, attitude, and obedient action

Do you lead with hope and a positive attitude? An authentic positive attitude? Read what Crawford Loritts has to say about this:

“As a leader God calls you to model obedient action instead of reflecting the unbelief and negative attitudes and behaviors of the people whom you lead. Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, this is impossible to do. But you must embrace and press into this kind of obedience. . . You need to remember that anger and cynicism will eventually cause you to unravel and disqualify you for leadership.” – in Leadership as an Identity

Are you a cynic or are you someone leading out of hope that comes from the Lord?

Have a great weekend!


Are You Afraid Yet?

Good morning!  Hope your week is getting off to a great start.  My two daughters treated me royally yesterday, so it was a great Fathers’ Day for me.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Sex sells!”? Apparently it does as evidenced by our sex saturated society.

There is something else that sells almost as well if not better – fear.  Not only are we a sex saturated society, we are a fear saturated society.  News organizations are not really news organizations (both conservative and liberal).  For the most part, they are entertainment, for-profit businesses.  They exist to make a profit and if they don’t, they eventually go out of business.  They also exist in a hyper-competitive environment.  They need you to tune to their station, go to their channel or click on their website.  So how are they going to do that?  How are they going to attract your attention?  By the use of outrageous, fear generating headlines. They want to generate in you a “need” to keep coming back to them, so they generate fear and anxiety in you and let you know that if you just tune back in to them they will keep you up to date with the information you need to know to deal with this new fear they have introduced into your life.

Fear is used in so many other contexts as well – it is especially prevalent in politics.  How many times have you heard if you don’t elect a certain politician or pass a certain piece of legislation, that our American society as you know it will come to an end?  How often have you heard that if you don’t use product X, something bad will happen or that you will miss out on something important in life? How often is fear used in the workplace? If you don’t produce you will lose your job, the boss uses intimidation to “motivate” workers, and so on. I have even heard a leader say a little fear is good in that it keeps people sharp! Sadly, fear is too often used in our Christian community to move people to action. Too often as Christians we hunker down in fear instead of striding out boldly to confront the issues of the world in the love and name of Christ.

As leaders, we are to drive out fear and to give people hope. Now I am not talking about some Pollyanna type approach that sugarcoats issues and challenges, but a straight forward approach that directly and candidly confronts a challenge, but does so with vigor, creativity and ultimately hope that we will prevail in the end. As a leader, you do not deny the difficulties of the issues, but you don’t shrink from them in fear either.  Instead, you lead with hope to directly confront and to overcome the challenges.

As Christians, we realize the seriousness of the times, but God is still sovereign and is doing great and wonderful things through His people to set His creation right. Be bold and join in His work, encouraged by the hope we have in Jesus Christ and share that hope with others. Do not shrink back in fear or be a carrier of fear.

We of all people should be full of hope and sharing that hope! Your job as a leader is to give hope to those you lead and that hope should be based upon Jesus. So be a carrier of hope, not fear.

Have a hope filled week!

Hope or Fear – Which One Do You Share?

Do you give hope to those you lead?  When one of your staff members leaves a meeting with you are they encouraged?  Are they more hope filled?  Do they have more clarity about the mission?  Do they see you as a positive person that is eagerly looking to the future with great anticipation?  Are you joy filled?

Or do they leave a meeting with you filled with a sense of doom and gloom?  Do they leave thinking what’s the use?  Do they leave worried?

As leaders in God’s kingdom, we should be the most hope filled and positive people walking on this planet, filled with joy and sharing that joy that is found in Jesus!

I am not talking about a Pollyanna type attitude where you deny the “brutal facts”, but an attitude that clearly faces the situation and appreciates the possible gravity of the situation. Knowing Who sits on the throne and Who is  Lord of all should be a great comfort to us, fill us with joy and cause us to relish challenges and cause us to engage in being a part of the process of redemption with great energy and hope.

So, be a dealer in hope, give your people a vision of what things can be like – spread joy.  Not doom and gloom.  For we of all people should have hope.


Hope or Despair – It’s Your Choice

Things are really bad aren’t they?  Have you heard lately just how bad things are from the media?  Are you stocking up for the great financial crash when anarchy sets in and it will be every man for himself?  Are you hearing a steady stream of just how bad our world is? Are you pessimistic about the future of mankind?

Before you go jump off a cliff, Dr. Bradley Wright wants you to think about a few things that he has put in his book Upside.  First of all he reminds us that the news media is a business and needs to make a profit and that with the 24/7 news cycle it has become hyper-competitive.  They also know that fear sells.  If they can scare you enough, you will pay attention to their newscast, website, newspaper, and so on.  So fear is their primary means of getting your attention – even when what they are talking about should generate no fear at all!

Let me give you a few pieces of information from Dr. Wright’s book:

  • Total compensation in the US has risen by one-third from 1980 to 2004. A family of four today actually earns 41% more than a family of four in 1970.
  • Since 1955 world income has increased three-fold.
  • From 1915 – 1940 between 50% – 75% of Americans lived in poverty.  That number today is between 11% and 15%.  Of course what we define as poverty here in the US is wealthy in the rest of the world.
  • In 1981 a full 52% of people living in developing countries lived in poverty – this has fallen to 26% in 2005.  A full 50% reduction in only 25 years.
  • Commodities and goods are not only much cheaper now, but are of much higher quality. A measure they used is how many minutes of work does it take to purchase something.  In 1920 it took 27 minutes worked to purchase a gallon of milk – in 1998 it was only 7 minutes.
  • Americans now live longer than ever before. Someone born in 1900 could expect to live 47 years, born in 1950 could expect 68 years, now it is 80. Overall, life expectancy worldwide has doubled in just 100 years – an extraordinary accomplishment!
Those are just a few highlights – also, infant mortality rates have dropped dramatically, accidental deaths have dropped, there has been a radical decline in deaths from infectious diseases, AIDS cases are declining, hunger rates worldwide have dropped remarkably and on and on.
There are still serious issues in this world, but there has been great progress made and there is reason for hope.  And at the center of the movements to make things better are Christians injecting grace and hope into this world.
So, don’t give in to despair and pessimism – live a life of hope and joy!  Where things are broken, engage and be part of the process of redeeming a broken world for the glory of Christ.  Be an agent of hope!

Encourage the Heart and Keep Hope Alive

Good morning to you this Friday morning.  I hope you have a great weekend planned of spending time with people you love and setting aside time to quietly meet with the Lord.

As a leader you are, or should be, a dealer in hope.  Actually that should be fairly easy as we serve the One who is our Hope.  However, I am afraid that at times I lose sight of that fact in the midst of busyness.  We of all people should be brimming over with hope.

James Kouzes ad Barry Posner in their excellent book Encouraging the Heart make the following statement:

“Encouraging the Heart is ultimately about keeping hope alive. Leaders keep hope alive when they set high standards and genuinely express optimism about an individual’s capacity to achieve them. They keep hope alive when they give feedback and publicly recognize a job well done. They keep hope alive when they give their constituents the internal support that all human beings need to feel that they and their work are important and have meaning. They keep hope alive when they train and coach people to exceed their current capacities. Most important, leaders keep hope alive when they set an example. There really is nothing more encouraging than to see our leaders practice what they preach.”

So are you keeping hope alive in those that you lead?  Including your family?

Have a great weekend.