Scripture of the Day

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When Confidence Becomes Arrogance

Being confident in our ability to lead is vitally important if we are to be successful, VALID leaders.

However, if we overextend our confidence into the area of arrogance we turn the tide backward.

A VALID leader understands all gifts, including the gift of confidence must not be taken lightly.

Confidence is defined as: powers, or reliability of a person or thing. When we are confident we are bold to speak what we believe as stated in Philippians 1:14 (MSG)

Where as Arrogance is defined as;
display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride. When we are arrogant we are prideful as stated in Proverbs 21:4 (MSG)

A confident leader shows how much he cares. An arrogant leader shows how much he knows.

A confident leader has praise for his people. An arrogant leader has praise for himself.

A confident leader is proud of his people. An arrogant leader is proud of himself.

A confident leader makes the right decision. An arrogant makes sure he is right.

A confident leader promotes others. An arrogant leader promotes himself.

A confident leader takes blame and passes the credit. An arrogant leader takes the credit and passes the blame.

Hopefully you get the point. Please add to the list, thanks and God Bless.

Friday, November 26, 2010

How Do You Spell Success?

Success. What is it? Where is it? How can we achieve it?

The definition of success I like best; the favorable outcome of something attempted.

Based on the above definition, success can be anything we attempt to accomplish. The confusion is generated by the word, favorable. Do you have to actually accomplish a task to be successful or does success come from the attempt?

The technical antonym of success is failure. But do we really fail when we don't achieve a desired result? Or is the failure only revealed by act of quitting before we achieve our goal?

My belief is we can eliminate most of the confusion by setting proper goals. Once we have solid goals in place we develop and implement our daily action plan. Success will show its face as we attain each of the smaller goals. eventually leading up to the ultimate prize, whatever that is.

We may not actually reach the pinnacle of our dreams. However, by not quitting we'll be in a far better position than we started.

Isn't that success?

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It is time to talk about goals again. A previous post on goals is shown below:

Behind any meaningful change there has to be a motivation to change. That motivation is most effectively shown as a goal. Goals can be anything that leads you to sustained action. Goals are usually material in nature because tangible items are easier to see then intangible.

Setting goals can be difficult if you don't have a guideline to follow. Here is your guideline.

1. They must be measurable.

2. They must have a date.

3. They must be realistic.

4. They must be written.

5. They must be believable.

Jason Brader from FASST and I held a seminar discussing goals on Saturday afternoon. Our audience was student athletes and their coaches. The turn out was great and the kids left with a renewed vigor and confidence.

The "V" in Valid represents vision. Goals help you define and reach your vision. The next few weeks will be dedicated to Goals and Vision.

Another significant event which took place on Saturday was the start of my personal coaching venture. Personal Coaching is an extension of my mission, which is helping to restore others. More info can be found at

Proper goals can energize, but poor goals will demoralize.

How do you set goals?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Conflict: Why we need it!

As a leader there are a few labels you don't want to be branded with. Two of them are:

1. Non-Confrontational, which we'll cover in this post.

2. Arrogance, which we'll cover in the future.

In each area of life we encounter conflict and confrontation.They're unavoidable. Speaking from experience these times will create an enormous amount of stress and discomfort if we are not prepared.

To be an effective, VALID leader, we must not back down from conflict. We are clearly commissioned as Christian leaders to confront and face conflict head on.

Defining conflict is simple. Two differing viewpoints toward a similar subject. It is not fighting or arguing to win the battle. When this occurs it is generally due to lack of leadership and/ or misuse of power.

Allowing conflict, in its proper terms, provides clarity. Focusing on the topic and allowing everyone to speak candidly paves the way toward resolution. We can also expect to reach consensus and establish collaboration within our teams. These are far better than settling for compromise. Plus, great decisions often result from allowing conflicting viewpoints.

Don't shy away from healthy conflict. Your leadership and credibility depend on it.

All scripture provided by Bible Gateway.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Character Revealed

I have heard it said many times, character is shaped by adversity. It is also said character is revealed through adversity. Which is correct?


What others see during our stressful times is a combination of our experience, wisdom, and integrity. These three areas are the primary make up of our character.

Realize though, our character is never fully formed. Every time we encounter a stress point we are not only revealing our existing character; we are also re-shaping and reinforcing it for the next display.

If we are not happy with our reaction to adversity, we can change. Positive change takes time, but in the end pays huge dividends.

Romans 12:1-2(MSG) spells it out perfectly,
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Remember when our character is tested others see right through the facades into our hearts. This leads us back to demonstration once again.

To be an effective, VALID leader, our character traits must to be real. We all fail at some point in our life. When this occurs, don't make excuses. Make it right and press on!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How Do You Demonstrate Your Leadership

What we do and how we act, or react, is heard loud and clear. Our actions drown out the words we speak. VALID leadership describes this as demonstration. It is the external expression of our integrity. Integrity consists of everything we think, say, and do publicly and privately.

We demonstrate this with every breath we take. Our credibility is formed by our external expression of integrity. It is either developed or destroyed depending on our actions. Building credibility takes time and patience--losing it can take seconds.

It is much easier to preserve our credibility than to regain it. Regaining lost credibility is nearly impossible. I contend once it is breached, it is gone.

Two scriptures from the book of Proverbs express this perfectly. They are:

Proverbs 11:30 (MSG), A good life is a fruit-bearing tree; a violent life destroys souls.

Proverbs 29:19 (MSG), It takes more than talk to keep workers in line;mere words go in one ear and out the other.

Emotional Intelligence has this listed as Self-Regulation or Self- Management. The way we handle our emotions and reactions.

Preserving credibility is a key component to effective leadership in any field. All it takes is to think before we speak, or delay our reactions when faced with a crucial situation long enough to settle our emotions. When we master this our level of integrity will flow and we can build our credibility with others and become a VALID leader.

All scripture is from The Bible Gateway

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who Are You?

Have you ever witnessed duplicity? You know when a person acts differently depending on his surrounding. Or when they change opinions solely because some one else changes their viewpoint. The chameleon comes out. This can usually be attributed to trying to hard to please others.

Acting this way is considered hypocritical and creates serious concern about our integrity. Our relationships at work and home lose stability and eventually the trust factor dissipates. All because we are worried about pleasing others.

James 1:8 states, a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Webster's dictionary defines Duplicity:contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action;especially : the belying of one's true intentions by deceptive words or action

I contend most of us know duplicity hurts our character, then why does it exist? Why do we fall into the trap?

The Biblical answer is found in Romans 7:7-25. Our spirit is at war with our flesh. Causing us to act in ways we know are wrong, yet we cant seem to stop it.

Be bold and stand up tall for what you believe in. When you feel squeezed, remember God holds the answer. Pray for wisdom and don't back down from what is right.

All Bible Scriptures from Bible Gateway.Com

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How are you treating others

This morning one of our employees asked me to handle a situation for her. She had to switch a driver from a brand new shiny, beautiful tractor into an older dusty, dirty tractor. The switch was for a recall and required maintenance. Already knowing the answer, I asked her why she needed my help?

Her response as expected, “He is miserable and grumpy. He’ll complain and give me a hard time. He’ll probably call off work the rest of the week.” I told her she'd do fine and I’d help if need be.

I happened to be outside when he drove up in his personal vehicle so I stopped him to say hello. We discussed the warranty issues and the tractor he was to drive and everything was great. He had no issues and understood completely. He even said he would stay with the old tractor until his was fixed completely.

This leads me back to the title of this post. This particular driver is labeled as grumpy, miserable, hard to deal with, and many other descriptions which are similar. Yet to me he is easy to get along with, but it was not always this way. What changed?

The way I handled him changed. By refusing to buy in to other's opinions about him I formed a relationship with him over time. He trusts me and knows he can talk with me and I’ll listen.

Building trust in any relationship takes time and effort—by both parties. I contend people reflect our attitude toward them back on us. When we are happy, others usually reply with a happy response. When we are unhappy, we get unhappiness back.

We can’t change or control what others think, say, or do. We can control how we react. We can also control how we approach others. Stephen Covey puts it this way, "We can act, or be acted upon." He also states, "Between stimulus and response, man has the power to choose."

So what is our choice? We can either respond with in kind and perpetuate the tension or use the Platinum rule, which states, Treat others the way they want to be treated.

Once you master this you’ll reap the joyful fruit of blossoming friendships instead of the prickly thorns of poor relations.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

MBWA or MBSA? You make the call!

How many of you have heard of MWBA? Management by Wandering Around. It is a proven method and quite effective as well.

My staff got quite a laugh when I explained this the first time. I had to physically prove the method was real by showing them a text book containing this philosophy.

Lately I felt stagnant at my job. The wandering around and talking with everyone was not pumping me up. I prayed for a few days for guidance and wisdom and here is what was put on my heart.

Instead of walking around and visiting, I actually moved out of my office and made a new work area out on the floor of the Operations department.

The new philosophy could be called MBSA. Management by sitting around. Pretty catchy dont you think?

What do you do when you feel stagnant?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Leadership Taken Way Out Of Context

Several weeks ago I was listening to CNBC. One of the analysts on this particular show made a comment which caught my ear. His statement in effect was, "I will recommend this stock when it finally takes it's leadership position in the market." He has made this statement many times over the years.

At first I thought, "What an interesting way to describe his thoughts on this stock."

A few days later my thought changed to, "What a bizarre way to discuss his position on the stock."

Today while driving my son home my thought was, "That makes no sense at all and is actually quite a cop-out."

How can an inanimate object such as a stock become a leader? Stocks rise in price when there are more buyers than sellers and vice-verse. They don't practice leadership techniques or go to seminars.

In reality his statement actually diminishes the role of a leader. We don't simply wake up one day and assume a leadership role. Leadership is hard work and takes a tremendous amount of time to accomplish.

Maybe when this analyst assumes a leadership position and actually gives worthwhile advice I'll start listening again. Maybe!

Friday, August 13, 2010

VALID Leadership

VALID Leadership

The pursuit of sustainable leadership concepts has been the passion of many. This quest remains fertile ground for new ideas and philosophies because leadership is a personal venture. Leadership is something we are, more than something we do. Concepts, which work well for some, do not always transfer to others successfully.

The very definition of leadership differs significantly. Seldom do you get the same definition from multiple leaders. I would venture to say, the number of leadership concepts is only eclipsed by the number of leadership definitions. What is my leadership concept and definition?

A Leader is defined as: One who sets a vision and provides his followers with the resources and guidance to bring the vision to fruition. Leadership then is the act of doing so. Valid is defined as: sound, just and well rounded; producing the desired effect.

VALID Leadership (VALID) is how we lead consciously and sub-consciously to produce the desired effect. Valid leadership consists of five factors. The first three, “V”, “A”, and “L” comprise the foundation and must be present in all leaders. The “I” and “D” are variable and intangible factors. These can be adapted to the individual to help in the areas needing improvement. The factors of VALID are as follows:

1. V = vision. Without vision there is no need for leadership. Vision is seeing the future and blazing a trail toward it. (Proverbs 29:18 NASB)

2. A = association. Our inner circle is crucial to our success. Do we protect who we let populate our inner circle? How well we get along with others? (Proverbs 11:14 NASB, 2 Tim 2:23 MSG)

3. L = love. Leaders need to love others. If you dislike being around other people, you will not make a good leader. (Romans 12:8-10 NASB)

4. I = involvement, intuition, improvising, and ingenuity.

a. Involvement is being a participant, not a spectator. There is much more to leadership than being the boss. James 2:14-26

b. Intuition allows you to feel what is going on around you.

c. Improvising lets you adapt quickly to any situation effectively.

d. Ingenuity brings out new ideas needed to keep the vision alive.

5. D = discernment, determination, demonstration, and development.

a. Discernment is insight and keen judgment, which every leader needs. 1 Chron 22:11

b. Determination to succeed means never quitting, regardless of the obstacles ahead. Phil 1:6 Romans 12:8

c. Development of skills never ends. Change is inevitable, but self-improvement is optional. Your improvement program will be the difference maker at some point in your life. Joshua 1:8,

d. Demonstrating your leadership by being engaged sets a positive tone. It also brings your commitment into action. Leaders go first and this has to be demonstrated, not discussed. Heb 10:24-25

These areas are flexible and matching the “I” and “D” factors will produce great synchronicity. Understanding where you are in your journey, and where you want to go will guide you to the area with the highest priority. If you are a new leader you may need to work on all areas.

Applying the VALID concepts of leadership will help you produce the desired effect. And this what we are trying to accomplish, isn’t it?

Monday, August 2, 2010

An Overview on VALID Leadership

A key leadership behavior is discernment. Can we be an effective leader without this ability?

Discernment is the basis behind situational leadership. Having keen insight and sound judgment allows us to interpret how others need to be led. We can then take the appropriate measures to lead them properly.

The other side of discernment which is often overlooked is how critical we are to our own ideas and philosophy's.

Not everything we experience in life is good teaching material. There are certain traits and abilities each of us have which work for us, but are not universal and cannot be taught. For example, you can teach a running back the playbook, but you can't teach him speed and quickness. You can teach them how to grow stronger through weight training, but you can't teach them when to make a cut or spin move. These traits are intuitive and come from game experience.

It may be easy to view our methods and concepts as infallible, but this can be a costly mistake. As VALID leaders we must be able to identify and change strategies which prove to be ineffective.

A good system needs strong basic concepts which are easily duplicated. Combining the basics with our personal strengths is what makes VALID leadership so powerful.

Over the next few weeks I'll be breaking down the various components of VALID Leadership. I hope you get as much out of it as I did developing it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great Things are Happening

The next few weeks promise to be awesome. Coming up on August 5 and 6 is the Global Leadership Summit. This will be my first time and I am fired up about it.

On August 12-14 is the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. This will be my first multi-day conference and I am fired up about this as well. I'll have a chance to meet other writers, editors and agents and learn from them.

My company is breaking revenue records almost weekly and there is no sign of a slowdown on the horizon.

Leading the Way will be back in full stride introducing the VALID Leadership philosophy. It's exciting being in the position to produce and teach this concept.

My prayers are to help restore others to fulfill their purpose in life using God as the foundation and VALID as the tool.

The bottom-line is God continues to work in our lives doing amazing things. We are reaping the harvest of well sown seeds.

God Bless each of you!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A few weeks away

I have made the decision to concentrate my efforts on completing my book, Saving Grace...Inc. The Philly Writers conference is a month away and the manuscript and proposal needs to be ready. I am still writing articles for publication at and ChurchMouse Publications.

Thanks for following and God Bless!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Part Three of "PCD," Demonstration

The third and final piece of “PCD” is demonstrating your morals, values, ethics, and integrity. Merely talking about these is not sufficient. To be a great leader, we must live out loud. We need to be transparent and practice the age-old adage of, “Actions speak louder than words.”

Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them
Romans 2.15 NKJV

We may be able to hide things for a period of time, but as my awesome wife says, “What is in the dark, will always come to the light!”

Here are a few areas, which can demonstrate our effectiveness as leaders:
1. Never compromise your integrity
2. Treat everyone with respect whether they are present or not
3. Resist the temptation for short-cutting the process
4. Focus on what you do, instead of what happens
5. Understand the basic thought progression
a. Thoughts turn in to feelings
b. Feelings turn in to actions
c. Actions turn in to habits

The quickest way to lose credibility is to allow our actions to be inconsistent with our words. When we have these incongruities we can be labeled as a hypocrite. Needless to say, this will not help us establish effective leadership.

When we are properly prepared, establish excellent communication, and demonstrate our morals, values, ethics, and integrity; we can rise above the pack. And be an effective leader.

How do you demonstrate your leadership? Do you watch how others demonstrate theirs?

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The second piece of “PCD” is communication. This subject is vital to success and arguably the area most leaders need help with.

I believe you cannot over communicate! You can beat a dead horse by not letting go, but there can never be enough good communication.

Excellent leaders are master communicators. They understand how to relate to others thereby getting their points across effectively. The three main forms of communicating are: verbal, written, and non-verbal. As leaders we must use of each these effectively.

Active listening is another area we must master. There is a large difference between listening and hearing. Understanding this can make the difference between being successful or failing as a VALID leader.

How can you tell if you are actively listening? Consider these points:
1. Are you able to repeat back what someone told you?
2. Are you formulating your response while someone is talking?
3. Are you interrupting the other person?
4. Are you looking right at the person who is speaking?
5. Are you taking notes to make sure you capture the most important items?

Effective two-way communication comes in the form of dialogue. Not monologue. In order to establish dialogue one has to send a message and one has to receive the message. They maintain dialogue by alternating between sender and receiver. Dialogue needs at least two parties equally engaged or it becomes monologue.

It can be easy to use our power and authority to ruin the dialogue and revert back into a monologue. We must guard against this. It will hamper our efforts of being effective with people, which is the main goal in communication.

We will dig deeper into this mid-week. For now focus on dialogue!

God Bless.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Personal Commitment Dynamic

As we discuss preparation in more detail, it is imperative that you decide for yourself how you will prepare. Everyone has differing goals, and personalities. Because of this each person will prepare in their own way. Here is what I do each morning.

1. Read my Bible or a devotional.
2. Record my affirmations, personal mission statement, goals, and daily priorities.
3. Check my planner to see my appointments for the day, and add new items.

These are fundamentals for me. I do them everyday even when on vacation.

Throughout the day I prepare for meetings by reviewing the subject matter ahead of time. I ask myself questions and try to anticipate what others will ask so I can be ready. As a side note I like to talk early in meetings. I find the longer I am silent, the harder it becomes to get fully involved.

At night I get ready for the next day by:

1. Reviewing my schedule and adding any new items.
2. Writing a new blog post, when needed.
3. Reading.
4. Praying.

These are fundamentals for me as well.

You can see there is not a tremendous amount of time or effort needed to prepare yourself. Develop your own system of preparation and reap the rewards.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Personal Commitment Dynamic

There is a cliché stating, “Behind every good man, there is a great woman.” Without a doubt this is true. Also, behind every successful leader there is a leadership concept. Behind every concept there is a system to make it work. defines system as: an ordered and comprehensive assemblage of facts, principles, doctrines, or the like in a particular field of knowledge or thought.
Concept is defined by as: an idea of something formed by mentally combining all its characteristics or particulars.

My concept is Valid Leadership, which makes its debut in a few weeks. My system is Personal Commitment Dynamic, or PCD for short. PCD is comprised of preparation, communication and demonstration.

Art Williams, founder of A.L.Williams once said, “You will beat 50% of your competition just by showing up.” I believe you can do better than 50% if you show up well prepared. We covered preparation on this blog a few months ago and the subject is worth re-visiting!

Being prepared in its simplest form means having a routine to follow each day. My experience leads me to believe many people do not take this seriously. They roll out of bed at the last minute and scramble getting ready for their day. The rest of the day is chaotic and they wonder why. With a solid routine and the commitment to follow it everyday, these same people will find themselves in control of their day and their life.

Great examples of what a routine looks like can be seen at any sporting event. In particular, golf and baseball. A professional golfer performs a routine before he actually hits the ball. A baseball pitcher follows a set routine before he actually pitches the ball. This is how they maintain consistency and it works for us as well.

We’ll break down the Preparation portion of PCD throughout the week. Stay tuned and get involved in the discussion.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is one of the most important days we have as a country. Yet like most other holidays it has been diluted into just another day off work. The link below gives a good historical background.


We should all be grateful to the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom! Not only today, but everyday. Next time you see one of our awesome military personnel thank them for making the sacrifice to preserve our freedom.

If you have served, I want to thank you. You are always in our prayers!

May God continue to Bless them and their families!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Sneeze Review of Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge

This is a review on the revised and expanded New York Times Bestseller. The subtitle of the book, discovering the secret of a man’s soul is addressed. The secret, per John Eldredge is getting past the wounds left by our fathers. This may apply to a certain part of the male population, but not all men have been damaged by their father’s mistakes or lack of guidance.

My father was at best an absentee dad. My mother did an outstanding job of raising 5 kids. My brother and I kept our masculinity throughout. While I related to a few things the author discussed, I really could not get fully engaged or excited about the book.

If you or someone you know has deep wounds caused by a poor father, this book could help them.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Windshield University, re-post

Recently I spoke with one of my employees about this concept. He is struggling and could use help. The idea of learning at this stage of his life shocked him. He felt like he already knew everything needed. This attitude can be fatal.

Learning never stops and dues are never fully paid in life.

This was originally posted in Jan, 2010.

Have many of you have your degree from WU? That's right, Windshield University! If you consider yourself a leader and are not yet enrolled, what are you waiting on?

You don't need your SAT or financial aid. All you need is a CD player and desire to succeed and you are in.

There is no excuses for not attending.
No money for audio programs? Get them from the library.
No CD player in your car? Get them on cassette.
No Cassette in your car? Put them on your Ipod or smartphone.

I can go on forever. The fact is you can make the normal excuses and fail or you can find your reasons and win. The choice is yours.

Here is your challenge. Turn off the radio and put in an audio program that teaches you success principles. After you listen to it ten times or so, get another. Then another.

The time is now to make your move and get your degree. It's never too late to start learning!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Waiting Game

Do Good Things Really Come to Those Who Wait?

This expression gets tossed around with no regard for the destructive power it contains. In my opinion those who use it do so for validation of missing out on something or because they procrastinate.

This can be compared to the phrase; money is the root of all evil, which is equally destructive. Both have been shortened to produce a translation, which was not the desired intent. As we all should know,

for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil
(1 Timothy 1:6 NIV).

As for waiting, this statement should be changed to; good things come to those who are patient.
There is a huge difference between the two words.

1. Waiting: to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens
2. Patience: quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:

Sitting around waiting for something to happen is not what God intended.

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised (Hebrews 6:12 NIV).

Our time of patience should also be our season of great sowing. Here is a guideline I use to S.O.W. good seeds while God is working in my life.

1. S- Stand strong in my faith. I continually show my faithfulness through prayer and tithing.

2. O- Overcome. I resist the urge to take shortcuts or quit. This is where patience is a virtue. It is much easier to give up and place blame elsewhere.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride
(Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV).

3. W- Work on myself. I grow in the word and continually look for ways to improve myself.

There is a period of time between sowing and reaping. How we use this time is critical. If we think we can reap an instant harvest, we are fooling ourselves. Seeds take time to grow and this is where many lose their patience. James 5:7 states,

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains (NIV).

As leaders we must recognize where our teammates are in their season. We must be patient with them as God is with us. Although the sowing stage should never end, our goal as leaders is to help them reach the reaping stage. Seeing the fruits of their labors will keep them motivated.

Good things really do come to those who are patient and understand God’s timing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Power of Shortcuts

Do you remember the first time you created a shortcut on your computer desktop? You found the freedom to bypass the entire process of finding and opening the program. What took 4 or 5 clicks now only takes one. Or discovering the route you took to work for years was much longer than it should be. 1 or 2 different turns cut your drive time in half. These are constructive shortcuts. They save you time. They help you become more efficient.

Another group of shortcuts taken are not as good. These are destructive shortcuts and pack a devastating punch behind them.

Numerous times throughout my life I was told of my great potential. At first this sounded complimentary. Eventually I realized that potential is unrealized results. My full potential would never be reached because I was always looking for the easy way; the shortcut to success.
It does not exist.

Matthew 7:13-14 states don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God! —Is vigorous and requires total attention.

Success in any area takes hard work and time. We can trim time by learning from others, but we’ll have to go through the process internally to reach our full potential. A great example is planting a garden. Simply putting seeds in the ground is not enough. We have to provide nutrients and allow time for the seeds to germinate and grow. The shortcut is the proper care along the way. This hold true for us as well. See Galatians 6:7-10.

Here are three areas where shortcuts will wreak havoc.

1. Relationships- building solid, positive relationships takes time. We can’t rush them. Our goal is to shoot for effectiveness in our relationships. To be effective requires our commitment to learn and understand what motivates others. Before we discover these, trust must be established. It can take a long time to establish trust, but only a few seconds to destroy.

2. Leadership- this title is earned not taken. Simply reading books on leadership does not make a leader. We have to work the techniques into our life and give them time to germinate. Leaders gain followers by doing the right things. Leadership takes time to develop.

3. Financially- trying to get rich quickly. We cannot continue to chase the “Hot” stocks and expect great returns. Our money needs time to grow and losses are tough to overcome. Playing the lottery and excessive gambling take their toll as well. Financial pressures force us to take shortcuts, which usually lead to disaster.

Can you think of other areas where shortcuts wreak havoc? Are you prone to take shortcuts in a specific area of your life?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Plan B, Pete Wilson

Plan B, Pete Wilson
This book concentrates its focus on dealing with the other side of life. How do we react when things don’t go our way? 2 Corinthians. 5:7 states “to walk by faith not by sight.” I have heard this scripture many times in the past and have questioned how to use it in my life. Pastor Pete Wilson tells us how to accomplish this in his new release, Plan B.
The use of his personal examples brings out the sincerity in his writing. You can tell by these stories and his other quotes he really lives what he writes about. His teachings go deeper than a simple how-to. Pastor Wilson breaks down the barriers to learning by exposing biblical truths from both sides on the aisle. He blends in the right amount of scripture to make sense of the problem. He also tries to explain why other problems happen, so we can work on prevention.
There are several instances and examples, which hit me right between the eyes. There are also a few I have been able to use while helping others.
I highly recommend this book, but only if you are really interested in changing yourself and those you love. There is no sugarcoating going on here. Pastor Wilson puts it out there without any façade. The question will be, can you accept the truth? If so, read this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Building a Solid Foundation For Leadership, Pt 2

On a previous post, we identified the six major styles of leadership. They are:

1. Charismatic
2. Transactional
3. Transformational
4. Participative
5. Situational
6. Servant

The style(s) which work best for me are Situational combined with Servant.

Situational Leadership forces you to re-think every situation as it happens. You may even make two different decisions to similar problems because of the overall circumstances.

When the two are combined, not only can you adjust as needed. You also put others first. This is an unbeatable approach to leading others.

However, to make this work, you'll need a solid foundation. If not, you may lose your effectiveness and be perceived as a Chameleon (The type of leader who is always changing his decisions to blend in). 

My foundation is reflected by my personal mission statement. 

My life purpose is to help restore others to fulfill their purpose using God as the foundation. I focus on who I am and display the highest level of morals, values and integrity at all times.

I view my statement in the shape of a pyramid. I chose this shape for two reasons. First. pyramids are impossible to blow over. Second, I can label each corner of the pyramid with my morals, my values and my integrity. Then holding it all together is God who sits on the peak.

Regardless of which style you prefer, you must build a strong foundation to be successful.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Building a Solid Foundation For Leadership

Having a strong foundation is vital for long term success in any area of our life. The foundation is the basis which supports the entire structure. This is true for religious beliefs, building homes, financial plans, relationships and so on. Without a strong foundation, the structure will collapse.

Leadership is no different. The foundation of your leadership style has to stand the test of time. It must hold up against the weight and pressure being forced onto you.

Matthew 7: 24-27 in The Message states:

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
 "But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards."

Do you know what your foundational beliefs are? Can you stand firm on them even when they are unpopular?

Your actions as a leader must be congruent with your philosophy. Failure to maintain consistency will harm your leadership abilities. Others will perceive your inconsistencies as weakness or lack of confidence. EIther way is bad. Hebrews 13:7 in the Message states:

Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn't change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself.

Do you have the proper foundation? How would you rate yourself on consistency? 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finding the JOY in Servant Leadership

There are different philosophies accepted as the major leadership styles. Servant Leadership is classified by some as a style and by others as an enhancement to a particular style. Servant Leadership simply means putting others ahead of yourself. Jesus practiced servant leadership perfectly.

The scripture that explains this best, Mark 10:31 from the Message... 
And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first."

Many new leaders think of leadership as being in charge. They fail to realize the difference between being the boss and being the leader. Having a title does not necessarily make you a leader. True leadership is earned over time, not bestowed upon us with a title.

In my opinion being a servant leader is the best way to lead. How do you accomplish this?

From a Christian viewpoint an easy to remember and simple to use three step process sums it up. This process is The JOY Principle.

1. Jesus- He comes first (Deuter. 5:7)
2. Others- Placing other's needs after Jesus and before ourselves (1 Cor. 12:28, Eph. 4:29)
3.Yourself- Our needs come last. (Rom. 12:3, 1 Tim. 4:15)

We'll cover the process in more detail on the next post, until then God Bless!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Guest Blogger

I have the privilege of again being a guest blogger at 1to1 My post will air on 4-22 discussing effectiveness and efficiency. Please log on and participate in the discussion.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

leadership DNA (LDNA)

The third major factor in our Leadership DNA is association. In normal terms, who we hang around with. This is straight forward and though there is not much to talk about here, it is as important as the first two factors.

The old saying, "if you hang out with dogs, you get fleas" is true. As is "guilt by association."

It is nearly impossible to stay positive if you are surrounded by negative people. It is equally as hard to stay negative when you are surrounded by positive thinkers. Certain groups will tear you down, while others lift you up. Pick your friends and business associates with care.

Proverbs 11:14 NKJV states, Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. 

In all areas of life we reap what we sow and sowing good relationships with like minded and positive people will pay dividends forever. This goes for both parties of the relationship.

In conclusion, the three major components of LDNA are:

1. Discernment- how well you know yourself
2. Normalize- the stability of your emotions
3. Association- who you build relationships with

Everyone one of us has the ability to make the necessary changes in these areas. Doing so will help you become a more effective leader, friend, spouse and person.

God Bless!