learn to say yes

One of the popular mantra’s now is learning to say no to what we consider to be unimportant things that will hinder our “success”.

I agree to a point, but a friend reminded me that we need to learn to say yes to being selfless, to loving, serving, caring for, and helping others.

Maybe there are times we consider something as unimportant, but it actually may be life changing to someone else? I have heard it said that one revealing trait of the character of a person is if they help people that cannot help them.

Maybe there are times we do need to say yes when there is no material benefit or gain to us personally. Maybe that is when we truly begin to learn what it is to be successful – to live a life of meaning?

Is there something you need to say yes to that is not about you?


leading when you’re not the expert

Have you ever been in a situation where you were leading an area in which you had little or no expertise? Where many of your team knew much more about the area/industry than you? How did you handle yourself? What did you do?

For me, except for the first two years of my military life, that has pretty much been the case most of my working life. I now am once again in the situation of leading a team that has much more technical expertise in our area than I do. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a good leadership team who want to be even better. I have learned to choose to trust my team and to do my best to take care of them while they take care of business. Of course, I do learn the technical aspects in each new situation, but it is often the case that I will never catch up to the experts I have led and do lead now. So I have learned to give power away and to take care of my team. So far that has worked for me – not perfectly of course – but it has worked.

One of the best books on this subject, in my opinion, is L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around. Following is  TEDx Talk by David Marquet – it’s worth watching if you are interested in a better way of leading others.

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.



living well or living comfortably

Good morning to you!
sunrise SEP 2014

Have you ever heard that life is short? Sure, we know it is – for everybody else. Somehow we think we are the exception, that somehow we have all the time in the world.

But we don’t.

So that begs the question – how are you living your life? Are you focusing on what is important, what is significant? So many things that we get concerned about are not really that important, that significant.

Are you focused on living comfortably or living well? Is your focus inward or outward? Are the lives of others being made better because of you? Is your community better because of you?

I am not talking about doing grand things, but simply living our lives with awareness and intentionality. Living with purpose so that those you touch in everyday life are better because of you.

Life really is short – make it count. One day at a time – one person at a time.


are you relentless?

laen chair JUL 2013Good Tuesday morning to you! I hope you had a great three-day weekend. I took Friday as a vacation day and had a nice four-day break.

relentless: showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relentless)

“no abatement” is the key part of that definition. Relentless is often used in a negative sense, but here it is very positive. Positive, when it applies to our efforts to learn, grow, and become more effective in what the Lord has called us to do with our lives. We have the capacity to grow and learn no matter our age or station in life. We have the capacity to change. Not only do we have access to the knowledge required, but we have Christ in us as well. We have no excuse to not be growing and becoming more effective. However, we have to develop that attitude of pursuing growth in a relentless manner. The reason is that there are so many things that distract us and get in our way. Usually it is our own laziness.

So, how do you make sure that you are on a pathway of learning and growth? How are you becoming more effective, daily, in what you have been called to do?

Are you relentless in your pursuit of growth? Growth that is for the glory of God and to serve others in your community?

Blessings on your week!


Take Your Eyes Off Of Yourself

Running a little slow this Friday morning. I have been blessed in that I seldom get sick, but now have a spring cold. Can’t even remember the last time I had one.

This week, we have been talking some about Jeremie Kubicek’s book, Leadership Is Dead, How Influence Is Reviving It. He touches on many things that are so good, but today I wanted to talk a bit about relationships. At Ambassador Enterprises where I now serve, we have two key sayings:

First – “A Caring Community and A Team That Performs” – too many organizations simply want a team that performs which really is a task orientation. We have found that if you first have a caring community within your organization, you are much more likely to achieve the goal of having a team that performs.

Second – “Relational Effectiveness Drives Organizational Performance” – very similar to the above statement in that there have to be strong, healthy relationships among the members of your team for them to perform at the level of potential.

Mr. Kubicek says the following, “The best leaders are those who have simplified it down to relationships.” and “To be effective, respected, and a positive force for change, today’s leaders must overcome our cultural tendencies toward narcissism and self-centeredness.”

As a leader, your focus should be on others, not yourself. It’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about others, it’s about the mission. So, we need to learn to take our eyes off of ourselves and begin focusing on other people.

Have a great weekend!


What Matters Most

Good morning! Today is my last official day in the office at Life Action Ministries. A bittersweet day – leaving a people I love and an organization I respect and care for deeply, yet headed to a great organization that will stretch and grow me.

What matters most to you in your job? Where are you investing your time?

I have come to understand that what matters most in what I do in my job is investing in other people. Sure, we have our tasks to do and projects to complete and they are important, but what really matters the most in the long-term, what has the most lasting impact is what we invest into the lives of those around us.

Are you really speaking into the lives of others? Are you helping them to grow? Are giving them grace when they are having a bad day? Are you making a difference in their lives?

Do what matters most. Make a difference in he lives of those you serve with on a daily basis.

For the glory of Christ,

Forget Passion – Find a Problem

Good morning – a foggy and wet morning here with some snow on the way this afternoon.

In a Harvard Business Review blog post Oliver Segovia, a young twentysomething businessman, talks about how his generation was raised to “follow their passion” to do what excited them and met their needs.  He then goes on to talk about ultimately how unfulfilling that path is for them.  That is understandable as at its core that path is very self-centered.

What he advocates is finding big problems and becoming part of the solution.  In other words, become other focused instead of self focused – the rewards are much greater.  Truly making a difference in the lives of others is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life.

I teach as an adjunct at a local college on nonprofit management.  It was interesting that last night our discussion centered on international organizations that have been and are changing the lives of thousands upon thousands of lives across the world.  They are at the center of the process of improving the lives of people across the globe in a very real way.  Think about this – life expectancy worldwide has doubled in the last 100 years – that is absolutely remarkable!  The thing is, each of these organizations that are impacting people across the globe were started by an individual who saw a problem and decided to do something about the problem. The result – changed lives.

Will you be one of those people?  Find a problem and be part of the solution and find the joy that comes from serving other people.