When taking command of my first Army unit, my battalion commander told me:

“Captain, your responsibilities are simple, you are responsible for everything that does or does not happen in your unit.”

No excuses, no deflecting blame to someone in my unit, no dodging responsibilities. As the leader of the unit – I was responsible – period.

Excuses and leadership don’t go together.

Responsibility and duty do go together with leadership.

Being a leader means you are responsible for your team – period.


one indicator of the character of a leader

If you want a glimpse into the character of a leader, watch how they interact with the housekeeping, janitorial, or groundskeeping staff of their organization.

good video from Simon Sinek -“Simon Sinek: The Alfa of Organizations”

Leadership should be recognized as a model to “Give Control” over “Take Control”, Podcast with Jacob Morgan

Leadership should be recognized as a model to “Give Control” over “Take Control”, Podcast with Jacob Morgan.

what do you tell a leadership team?

Today and tomorrow, I, and two others, have the privilege of facilitating a retreat for a leadership team from an organization that is making a difference. The organization has been around quite a while, but many on the team are new or relatively new so we will hopefully be helping them to connect and to learn what it means to truly be a team.

We do have two full days of training and activities scheduled with some really good materials including Lencioni’s one day seminar on “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team“. But as I was thinking about the retreat, it occurred to me to ask, what is the one thing that I want them to come away from this retreat understanding and embracing.

The thing that hit me was “You Need Each Other“. To me, understanding that is fundamental to the operation of a good team is the core understanding that you actually need the other members of your team. Once you understand your need for the other members of your team, you begin to appreciate them as people with unique skills, strengths, experiences, quirks, and weaknesses. And you learn to value all of that and more.

If you are a team member, I would ask you to consider if you truly appreciate your need for the other members on your team?

Also, when you think about leadership teams – what is the one thing you would want to tell them?


doers, leaders, lovers, and learners

Good morning! Inc.com has another good article today about the four unique working styles. Which one are you?

Doers: “Doers execute. They come alive when tasks are complete, lists are checked, or projects are tackled. They typically have intense focus and are detailed in their efforts.”

Leaders: “Leaders create the vision and inspire others to believe in it.”

Lovers: “Lovers are relationship-builders. Believing that we’re stronger together, they thrive in harmony and work hard to manage relationships and build consensus.”

Learners: “Learners are the researchers. These engineer types love learning and meticulously understanding the nuances of a problem.”

So, what do you think? Are these good categories? Do they help you? How can you use this information to better shepherd those you lead? And finally, where do you fit in these four type?

Personally, I am a mix between Leader and Learner.

Have a great Thursday!

“The Biggest Challenge of Being a Leader” – Tony Morgan

“The Biggest Challenge of Being a Leader” – Tony Morgan

Do you know the biggest challenge of being a leader?

Eventually you have to lead.

Stop and Look Back

It’s Friday! This may seem funny to you, but I get excited about Friday because that means that tomorrow morning Angela and I will go on our Saturday breakfast date. We have been doing this for almost ten years now and it my favorite time of the week.Keely - Sky and clouds

Recently I was talking to a leader that is a friend of mine and he was dealing with some challenges and discouragement. He’s a hard charging guy who is trying to make a dent in this world for Christ. He has high standards and is always leading his people to grow and to make an impact in their community. As we were talking it occurred to me that his eyes were fixed on the top of the mountain that he was climbing. Like all good leaders, the gap between where he (and his people) were and where they could be was frustrating. He sees the potential and strives to lead himself and others to reach that potential.

However, a steady diet of “mountain climbing” will take its toll, so we all need to learn to stop on occasion,  turn around and see just how far the Lord has brought us on the journey. We need to stop and pause and give Him thanks for what He has accomplished in our lives. Then, we need to take some time to celebrate with those who are on the journey with us. That simple act of turning around and acknowledging how far the Lord has brought you will give you perspective, cause you to develop a more grateful heart and allow you to reconnect in a more meaningful way with your fellow sojourners.

So stop for a bit, turn around and enjoy the scenery, give thanks to the Lord and your traveling companions, and then gather some strength before you tackle that next ridge on the mountain.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend,