I recently read through & discussed James Kouzes & Barry Posner’s book called The Truth About Leadership with a group of guys. Here are some of my nuggets I took away from the book:
I hope you can also learn from some of these quotes. It may be a reminder or a new challenge. We are all leaders to some degree whether at home with our families, at work, at church or in your community. I’ve heard this many times and I believe it that everything rises and falls on leadership. Lead On!
Living an emotionally healthy life is incredibly freeing. Yet it is very difficult to do because we all grow up learning unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy emotions. Think of it like pieces of armor that we put on growing up, defense mechanisms, ways of handling conflict, how to treat other people, what we think about ourselves, others and God.
In order to get healthy here are a six guideposts that can help us all get healthier emotionally and live with freedom and joy. Many of these guideposts come from researcher, author and speaker Brene’ Brown.
Start pursuing an emotionally healthy life by cultivating the good and letting go of the bad.
Reading is one of the most important things you can do to learn, grow and improve yourself. I love to read and I try to read one or two books a month. I also listen to pod casts, and audio books to keep feeding my mind good stuff. As a leader this is vital to keep stretching and pushing yourself to get better.
So over the next several months I plan on doing a lot of reading. I have carved out some extra time to allow for this by taking some vacation time and incorporating it into my regular work schedule.
Here are the books I am currently reading and several I plan on reading later:
Spiritual and Personal Growth:
Just for Fun:
I found this in my leadership files and wanted to share this. Not sure where I got it, but some great reminders for everyone that has influence and is leading other people.
15 Leadership Tips:
There has been a lot written about teams and team work. Yet many companies struggle to have healthy, high functioning teams. Most often that is the result of an unhealthy culture or misguided leadership. There are some fundamental elements of great teams that allow organizations to get things done quickly with excellence.
Teams are only as great as the leader. Leaders that try to control and direct instead of casting vision and empowering tend to have average teams. As a leader don’t get caught up in telling your team what to do. Instead make sure they know their purpose and what the wins are. Establish clear goals or outcomes and then allow your team to figure out how to get there. If you can’t trust your team then you have the wrong team and need to find people you can trust.
As the leader you are there to coach along the way and not get involved in the how. This means encouraging people, redirecting people, refocusing people and backing your team up even if they make some mistakes. Building a great team takes great leadership. If you have a very new team or inexperienced team you may have to spend more time with them and give them some of the how. Getting your teams to great is a process, there is an ideal yet you need to work with reality. Start with yourself as the leader and then your team members. The better you lead the better your team becomes.
Over the past 12 years I’ve been working at NewPointe Community Church is various leadership positions. NewPointe is a multi-site church meaning it is one church in multiple locations. Currently there are four locations and we are working on locations five and six to be launched in 2015. Over the years there has been a lot of change at NewPointe. The strategy has been a constantly moving thing but the vision has always been steady. Our vision is to lead people to realize and reach their full potential in Jesus Christ. With millions of people in Ohio, which is where we are located, we have to keep growing in order to continue reach more people to help them grow spiritually.
Recently I went over some points of emphasis with my staff at the Millersburg Campus. These are areas that all of us as leaders need to pay attention to and constantly be working on. These points lead to a healthy organizational culture and to steady growth. These points are all transferable to any business or organization. These are leadership issues that I have found to be important in building a healthy organization.
10 Points of Emphasis at NewPointe Community Church:
1. First Impressions matter – So remove all distractions and create wow moments of service. You only have one opportunity to make a positive first impression. Make someone’s day and then keep building on that positive first impression.
2. Lasting Impressions matter – So follow-up is essential. Once a person comes to your organization it’s important to connect with them so that they keep coming back – write notes, send emails, texts and calls – meet with as many people as possible – Each touch matters in building relationships. You don’t want to bombard people, but they need to know that you value them as a customer or client.
3. Lead by example – People are watching and listening so make sure your healthy emotionally, physically, mentally and especially spiritually, so that you can be positive and passionate about the vision. Sometimes you need to do things that are not your job, to show people that you are willing to do whatever it takes to move the organization forward.
4. Focus on the individual – Be fully present with people. When you are talking with someone focus on them and not what’s going on around you. Work at listening and not thinking about everything else you need to do or what you are going to say to respond. When you make the person you are talking to feel like they are the most important person in the room they feel valued, heard and cared for.
5. Do for one what you wish you could do for all – You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone. When you come across a person in need and you can help do all you can to help and serve that person. It might be providing a needed piece of equipment to an employee or finding a way to help during a difficult time.
6. Always try to make it better – 1% improvements over time make a big difference. Have a mindset of how can I improve this. Constantly ask for feedback and give people permission to be negative and honest. When you get negative feedback be grateful and don’t get defensive.
7. Be good stewards of all our resources – Pay attention to details and don’t waste resources. This forces you to be creative and responsible. Work within your budget and spend money as if it’s your own, not the organizations.
8. Don’t just care about your team, care for them – When the people around you know you care because of your actions it builds loyalty, healthy community and a positive culture. You care for people by taking the time to listen to them, serve them, follow up quickly if they have questions, be flexible and give them open honest feedback.
9. Be clear when you communicate – Make sure you clarify the win and the expectations and then repeat and follow up. Repetition is important especially when it comes to values, guiding principles and vision. Don’t make people guess at what you mean. Most people appreciate clear direct communication.
10. Keep it simple – Take the complex and make it simple for people. This is hard the bigger you organization gets. You have to be very intentional about keeping things simple and easy. Remove as much red tape as you can. Systems are good but can become too complex if you as the leader don’t keep pushing for simple.
These are things I think about and try to do on an everyday basis as a leader. Leadership means you are out in front and yet walking behind and with your team. Serving the people you lead is vital in leadership.
Recently I ran races on back to back weekends. First it was a race called Rough & Rugged which was a 5k cross country, trail, mud kind of race. I finished but was exhausted and struggled along the way. Then the next weekend I ran a 10k on a flat course. Again I finished but struggled and had to reach deep to keep pushing myself. After I finished that second race I made the comment that these races are much harder when you don’t train properly.
You see I had been running once a twice a week in preparation for both of these races. I also did nothing between the two races and I felt it on race day. I know this because at one time I did train hard and went into similar races in much better physical condition. I ran better times and felt better after the races. The preparation I put in made a difference on race day. I was both mentally and physically ready. That was not the case with these last two races.
It is similar in our spiritual lives, when we are staying connected to God and feeding our minds the truth, it is much easier to recognize lies and deal with the difficulties of life. It’s the things we do day in and day out that prepare us for those big moments in life and those small moments that make a big difference. Those crucial conversations, the big decisions, the temptation that comes out of no where or the unexpected tragedy. When we are not training spiritually those things can knock us down and take us out.
So here are some spiritual exercises we can all do to keep fit both spiritually and emotionally.
I encourage you to pick one or two of the areas I mentioned and start incorporating it into your everyday life. If you do all of those on a regular basis you will grow and become more fit spiritually.
A Balanced Life
Are You Courting Burnout?
What do you do to keep your life balanced?
THREE STEPS TO BALANCE:
When you know your purpose it brings better focus to your life. It determines the patterns in your life and the disciplines you pursue. Finding your life purpose is a process that everyone should go through. It will take some time and effort but it’s worth the time and energy. A great place to start is to answer this question: What would I want my family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to say about me at my funeral? Not what would they say now, but what would you want them to say. Think about that and start writing down some things.
When we understand our purpose better, it helps to simplify our lives. It allows us to eliminate the things that distract us and say yes to the things that further that purpose. I my own life I’ve developed a purpose statement of Leading myself and others to grow in Faith, Character & Leadership. That statement drives what I do at work, at home and in my spare time. It’s what I write about in my posts, it’s what I talk about with the people around me.
Balance in life is possible if we practice life according to a single priority, and that single priority is our purpose.
FOUR DIMENSIONS IN LIFE
Balance is achieved when we establish, build, and maintain capacity in each of the four dimensions of life. How much time and energy do we give to each of those areas of our lives? That will only happen if we are intentional about focusing on each of those areas of our lives.
Reflect and rate yourself on the four dimensions in your life:
Couch Potato ………………………………………………………………………………………………..Cross Fit Freak
Take this quiz to gauge whether or not you’re headed for burnout. (Pay attention not only to your answers, but also the way you react to the statements.)
1) Despite getting adequate sleep each night, I wake up tired.
2) Lately, I’d define myself as moody.
3) Increasingly, I see the negative, or what needs to be fixed, with my work and others’. Positive comments and thoughts are rare.
4) My vision or purpose is becoming blurry, or harder to focus on, despite being clear in the past.
5) If I were totally honest with myself, I’d say I’m going through the motions at work or home, rather than contributing everything I can.
6) I shorten (or wish I could do so) my workday just to leave work or get away.
7) I lengthen many workdays to get the job done, instead of delegating or managing my time or mindset more effectively.
8) I cut down or stop other activities (such as hobbies or other rejuvenating activities) in order to keep up with work responsibilities.
9) I don’t have time to reach out to connect with colleagues,mentors or friends on a regular basis.
10) Relationships within and outside of my work are not as strong as they were.
1-4 “True” answers: You should be in the normal ebb and flow of business ownership, or work. Continue to find ways to improve.
5-7 “True” answers: Burnout is rearing its ugly head. Within the next week, schedule two days away from work to reconnect and clarify your vision or purpose, and identify at least 5 action items that you can do to change the course and refuel your engines.
8-10 “True” answers: Stop, your in trouble. Stop everything and take a deep breath. In the next week get away for awhile to revisit your vision and purpose. Reconnect with colleagues and mentors. Write out your vision and an action agenda to get you back on track in doing what is important.
TEN TIPS FOR AVOIDING BURNOUT AND INVITING BALANCE:
Where do you need to focus more and be more balanced?
If your in any kind of leadership position, whether leading your family or a major corporation, you want to be productive and get results. You want to see your family communicate and grow closer together and for your children and spouse to develop and grow. You want your company to be profitable and your employees to succeed. You want to deliver on what you promise.
There is always resistance to getting results or productivity. Every day we wake up and that resistance is there to greet us. Here are some of things we must face everyday and overcome in order to be productive and get results.
So what can we do to overcome these forms of resistance and be productive on a consistence basis?
Everyone can improve in this area of productivity and getting results. Think about one thing that if you finished it would bring great results or move you further along as an individual, family or organization. Now go do it.
I was watching some video’s on how to shear sheep. It’s pretty interesting, but I’m not ready to give it a try. If you want to watch click here. The reason I was watching the video’s is that I had heard that sheep have to be sheared before summer or they could actually die from the heat. So I started researching this to find out more.
The first time a sheep is sheared it puts up quite a fight and I am sure feels like its in danger. However once they experience what its like after being sheared they are much more cooperative the next time. They soon discover that without all that wool it’s much cooler and they don’t get sick as easily. So the next time they sit quietly while the shearing happens, because they know they are not going to be hurt, but helped.
As I was thinking about that I realized that many of us need to be sheared as well. We have weaknesses that cause us to fail and struggle and overheat/stress out. We need to have the layers of sin, bad attitudes, hurts and hang-ups cut away. But when someone tries to do that we fight and kick and are scared or angry. You see we can’t shear ourselves, we need the help of other people. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” That is the point of accountability, caring enough about another person to respectfully shear away the layers of life.
If you want to be sheared here are three things that must happen:
The cool thing about this whole process is that when you allow someone else to sharpen you or shear you, you can in turn sharpen and shear them. That only happens when you you are open and honest. If you hide your stuff it can’t get sheared. Happy shearing!