what do you want to “look” like in the future?

Good afternoon! I am running behind on my posting as we have traveled South for my nephew’s wedding leaving little time for yellow rosewriting.

Question – what do you want to “look” like ten years from now? What kind of person do you want to be? What do you want to be known for? I know that you realize that the decisions you are making today effect that future you, but even with that knowledge, are you actually making decisions with the future in mind? For most of us the answer, unfortunately, is no.

Read this article by the Harvard Business ReviewYou Make Better Decisions If You “See” Your Senior Self. You might find it quite interesting and it might actually impact the way you think and act now.

So, now what kind of person do you want to be when you “grow up”? Start being that person now.

Peace & grace to you today,

How Good Are Your Leadership Skills?

A leader is, or should be, constantly evaluating themselves and seeking to grow and improve.  Fortunately there are tools out there to help us in our regular assessments.

MindTools has a good quick assessment tool (free) that should be of benefit to you.  Click here to go to the assessment page.

The key is after you take the assessment – what are you going to do with the information?  What you do with what you learn about yourself (not just this assessment, but in any situation) is key to whether you will continue to grow or if you stagnate.

Enjoy your day today!

Nine Things to Do to Become More Effective

Highly effective or “successful” people tend to do some things differently.

Heidi Halverson has documented nine things that these people do differently in an article and makes the statement that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.”

Get specific.  “Lose 5 pounds” is a better than “lose some weight,” “. . . saying I will be in bed by 10:00 pm every weeknight is better than saying I will get more sleep.”

Seize the moment to act on your goals. “. . . we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them.”

Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress

Be a realistic optimist. “. . . whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal.”

Focus on getting better, rather than being good.  Embrace the fact that you can change.

Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty.

Build your willpower muscle.

Don’t tempt fate. Remember that willpower is a limited resource.

Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

It’s a good article and worth reading in its entirety.

Peace & Grace to you,

7 Questions to Ask Your Boss

As a leader, you are on a path of continuous growth and we need the input of others to develop well.

One of those people who can provide you valuable input is your boss.  I am not talking about an evaluation sort of thing, but of you being intentional and going to your boss and asking him or her some very specific questions about some key aspects of your role.

James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their excellent book, A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders, give a list (one of many!) of seven questions to ask your boss to help determine how well you are in regards to “Modeling the Way” or setting the right example for your team.

So try asking your boss these questions:

“How well do my actions align with the organization’s goals and strategies?

How well does my performance align with the vision?

How well does my performance align with the values?

How well do I strengthen [constituent] relationships?

How do my actions affect others’ performance?

How well do I reinforce what we stand for – Model the Way?

How well do I demonstrate my personal commitment to team members?”

Some good questions that ought to be revealing and very helpful to you as you grow as a leader.

Have a great weekend.


Seven Life Management Best Practices

Well, it is a beautiful morning here in southwest Michigan and it has been a great weekend with my family. Having made some changes in my life, I have found greater fulfillment and, even more importantly, my family is healthier and stronger.  More of my weekends are now centered on my family and other key relationships.  I have changed many of my life management habits and have grown stronger as a result.

Greg Salciccioli talks about this in chapter 4 of his book, The Enemies of Excellence, 7 Reasons Why We Sabotage Success.  In chapter 4 Greg talks about how bad life management habits often derail so many leaders.  I know that to be true for myself.  While I wasn’t “derailed”, I was much less effective, less fulfilled and frustrating my family.  I made changes which were hard at first, but have been some of the best decisions I have made yet.

Following are seven best practices Greg has identified – see which ones you might need to incorporate into your life:

Establish work boundaries.

Schedule vacations and personal planning times a year in advance.

Invest mornings in uninterrupted, high-priority activity.

Engage in daily exercise, providing emotional and mental relief as well as energy replenishment.

Use the afternoons for management, including meetings, phone calls, and e-mail.

Guard evenings and weekends for relationship connection and peraonal enjoyment.

Invest in outside insight from mentors, coaches, and trainers focusing on personal and professional growth.

Personally, I have greatly benefitted from implementing many of these practices into my own life and my life and that of my family is much richer as a result.

Making these changes is not easy, but it is worth the effort.

Grace and peace to you,


Life Management – Some Best Practices

Life mismanagement is one key area that results in the downfall of too many leaders.  This is “Enemy Number  Two” in Greg Salciccioli’s book, The Enemies of Excellence, & Reasons Why We Sabotage Success.

In his book, Greg lists some best practices exhibited by leaders who have learned how to build sustainable success.  They are:

  • Establish work boundaries.
  • Schedule vacations and personal planning times a year in advance.
  • Invest mornings in uninterrupted, high-priority activity.
  • Engage in daily exercise, providing emotional and mental relief as well as energy replenishment.
  • Use the afternoon for management, including e-mail, meetings, and phone calls.
  • Guard evenings and weekends for relationship connections and personal enjoyment.
  • Invest in outside insight from mentors, coaches, and trainers focusing on personal and professional growth.

Greg then follows up with three key steps to mastering Life Management:

1. Determine Priorities

2. Plan Priorities

3. Practice Priorities

Some good advice – so how are you doing in terms of Life Management?  Could some of these suggestions help you to become more effective and to lead a more fulfilling life as you follow your calling?


Seven Ways Leaders Sabotage Themselves

Why do leaders fail?  Why do so many promising and gifted people wind up sidelined when they should be hitting their most effective years?

It seems almost common place to see prominent leaders falling and damaging so many others along the way.  I have mentioned some good books on this in the past such as Dave Kraft’s Leaders Who Last and Dr. Tim Irwin’s Derailed.  Well, now an excellent book is out by Greg Salciccioli entitled The Enemies of Excellence, 7 Reasons Why We Sabotage Success.  Greg is the co-founder and president of Ministry Coaching International.

Greg has coached leaders for years now and has discerned seven common things that lead to sabotaging leaders in their journey.  The seven Enemies of Success as defined by Greg are:

1. Egotism

2. Life Mismanagement

3. Bad Habits

4. Indulgence

5. Broken Relationships

6. Isolation

7. Self-Sabotage

This is an excellent book and I would recommend you picking it up to see how Greg explains how these seven “enemies” impact us as leaders.  Also, you can go to his site, coachgreg.com and download tools from the book.

Hope you have a blessed week and please do avoid these Enemies of Excellence as you lead others.


Leading By Example – Some Questions for Evaluation

Leading by example – I am sure you have heard that and probably often said it.  The question for all of us – are we actually living it?  Or do we sometimes feel that because of our position we somehow are exempt from the “rules”.

Another question – do we really know what our values are and do we actually live by them?

In their book, A Coach’s Guide To Developing Exemplary Leaders, Kouzes and Posner have some diagnostic questions that help you to evaluate if you are setting the right personal example for those you lead.

1. What do you think it means to “set a personal example”?

2. What are your top three defining values?

3. Imagine that you are setting the perfect personal example; what would it look like?

4. How will you know what the expectations are?

5. What do you wish leaders you’ve worked for in the past had done more? Less?

6. Who can you relate to that is a good example of setting a personal example?

7. Where do you think there might be a disconnect between what you say and what you do?

8. Why should someone follow you?

9. If your team could select its leader, would they choose you? Why do you think that?

Some great questions – might be a good exercise to take some time and answer  over the next few days.





Are You Living Intentionally? Here is a Tool to Help

“Striving to be Intentional” – this is the e-mail signature block of a friend of my wife.  She and her husband see life as a wonderful gift of God that is to be lived intentionally and not squandered.

To live intentionally requires seeking God in prayer and the Scriptures, times of deep reflection and deep discussion to better understand your purpose.  It also requires planning.

Daniel Harkavy of Building Champions and Ministry Coaching International, the sister organization to Building Champions, have a couple of great tools for life planning. Building Champions has a Life Plan and Ministry Coaching International has the Life Book.  Both are great tools for living life intentionally.

In an earlier post I talked about the Life Accounts in the Life Book and how they are so very helpful in living life intentionally. Click here to read that post.

Additionally, Michael Hyatt has taken the Life Plan and turned it into a great e-book and is offering it free for a time – click here to read Michael’s post and to register for the free e-book.

Do not just float through life – live intentionally and with great passion for the glory of God.

Have a great weekend!


Work Less, Think More

What do you “think” about that title?

Well, it is the title of a chapter in Mark DeMoss’ great book on leadership called The Little Red Book of Wisdom.

The Little Red Book of Wisdom

Mark goes on to quote Albert Einstein who says, “The significant problems we face in life cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

Taking time to STOP and actually think for an extended period of time is a critical leadership discipline and one of the most neglected of the leadership disciplines.  It seems we live our lives reacting to our e-mail, texts, daily tasks, and etc. to the point that we are constantly living at the operational or survival level in our jobs instead of at the proactive conceptual or strategic level.

And short-sighted decisions or living produces short-sighted results.

So, consider instituting the leadership discipline of “disciplined, uninterrupted thinking” into your life.  It will be hard, in fact very hard, at first, but the results will be transformational.

Serving Christ,