it’s Friday!!

Today is Friday. How do you maximize your Friday’s? Usually Friday’s tend to be days of low productivity for many people as they are tired from the week and anticipating the weekend.

Why don’t you do something a bit different? Use your Friday afternoon to not only clean up some of those pesky emails, but use a bit of your afternoon to plan out next week? Not overly detailed planning, but ensure you have your major priorities planned out and on your calendar instead of coming in Monday morning and begin reacting.

Be proactive on Monday morning versus being reactive due to your Friday afternoon planning time.

developing your personal plan

developing a professional plan

are plans useless?

Quotes and Various Formats.001

Good advice from GEN Eisenhower – his quote captures the reality that as soon as plans make “first contact” with reality, they immediately change and may quickly become irrelevant. However, a good planning process prepares you to deal more effectively with the unexpected obstacles or opportunities while still maintaining focus on your mission or objective. So, don’t be “married” to your plan, but do develop a robust and disciplined planning process that allows you to respond, and possibly even anticipate, the unexpected.


a disturbing lack of reflection

Louisana Flower 2014Good Monday morning to you! Hope you had a great weekend.

Alarm clock goes off, hit the snooze button, alarm clock goes off, snooze button again.

Rush to get dressed and then, maybe, grab a quick high carb (and sugar) breakfast as you head into the office.

As soon as arrive, you power up your computer and immediately begin checking your email and reacting to them. (OK, you also might have checked Facebook as well).

Then you check your calendar and look at when you will be hopping onto the meeting carousel. In between the meetings are rechecking email, sending email, scheduling more meetings, and making a stab at your to-do list.

In fact, you may even look at your calendar with some pride! Look at how it is full of meetings! My input is needed (and is vital!) to so many people. Why, look at my overflowing inbox, surely that is an indicator of my value to the organization.  In fact, I am so busy and vital to the organization that I need to do some (actually a lot) of this at home at night and on the weekend. My family understands because they know how important I am to the organization.

My busyness is surely a testimony to my importance. Right?

One thing seems to be missing – reflection. When did you take time to reflect on what you are doing and why you are doing it? When did you take the time to reflect on your priorities (in all areas of your life) and consider ordering your life around those priorities?

If you don’t take time to truly reflect on what is most important in your life and in your vocation, who is? Are you spending your life merely reacting to the various stimuli in the world around you?

Do you realize that most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their own lives?

Why not stop long enough to spend some time reflecting on what is most important (at home and at work) and then start acting in a proactive manner that is consistent with well thought out priorities?

It is your choice as to whether you live in a state of reaction to the world around you running frantically to catch up or if you live a life of intentionality based upon well thought out priorities.

Have a blessed week!


a powerful planning tool

business model canvasGood morning!

A while back, I came across a book on a powerful planning tool – Business Model Generation. I have used it and now teach it in my management classes. Watch the video below and see what you think. After you do, go to the site, review it, and download a copy of the model – you will be glad you did.

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!

Business Model You

Good Friday morning to you! I hope you have a great end to your week.

In the past I have posted about the Business Model Canvas which is a one-page tool for developing your business model. That tool has also been adapted into the Business Model You which is a great tool for drawing your own personal business model and helping people adapt to the changing market place. The book is excellent and is also a great help for a young person trying to figure out their career path.

Watch this video:

Business Model You from Square Tomato on Vimeo.

Have a great weekend!

Four Signs of Bad Strategy

As leaders in ministry we have a key responsibility before the Lord to be good stewards of the mission, people and resources he has entrusted to our care. And, in my opinion, bad strategy results in poor stewardship which is irresponsibility on our part.

So many of us really don’t know how to plan and often don’t recognize poor planning. But we need to!

The book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy has some good pointers for us. One help is a list of four signs of bad strategy:

1. Fluff – gibberish or “Sunday” words masquerading as strategic concepts.

2. Failure to face the challenge – this happens the most in my opinion. It is simply our tendency to avoid the hard things, the real issues. A strategy that avoids the real issue(s) will not give you the right results.

3. Mistaking goals for strategy – I have seen and done this often. You write out a list of goals or tasks and proclaim it a strategy.

4. Bad strategic objectives – when strategic objectives fail to address critical issues or are impracticable.

Planning is an act of stewardship, so learn to plan well and learn to recognize when it is not done well.

Have a great weekend!

Assessment – Alignment – Action

Good morning from Atlanta – about to go into some exciting meetings about the OneCry movement today!

Planning – something that we now is important, but often avoid doing – at least at the personal and family level. A key aspect of growing as a leader is intentionality – having a plan.

The way you walk through it is first Assessment – this is where you come to grips with your current reality.  Then Alignment – this is where you align yourself with God’s Word. And then Action – this is where you take intentional actions to move you towards accomplishing your objectives.

The folks at Ministry Coaching International have developed a great process called a Life Plan that addresses the major areas of your life.  Click here to see and download the plan (free).  Try it for 90 days and see what a difference it will make in your life.

Be intentional about your life and your family.