Archive for the 'decisions' Category

Leadership v. Management

Here’s another example of how important it is for us to realize the difference between leadership and management. As evidenced below, a person can choose two ways to manage, correctly or incorrectly, management or mismanagement. True leadership is black and white, it either is or it isn’t. You’re either a leader or not. There’s no such thing as a misleader. This story exemplifies management with the absence of leadership.

While working out at the gym yesterday I couldn’t help but overhear an employee’s phone conversation. Apparently, he had heard through another employee that management would come later in the day for a termination meeting. As expected the soon to be fired employee was fuming and the fire could be heard throughout the gym. Paying closer attention to the one sided conversation I couldn’t help but be amazed at what I was hearing. Management had thought it would be a great idea to let another employee tip the soon-to-be-terminated employee of his impending doom. Management believed by doing this the terminated employee would resign his position before being terminated.

I’m amazed! Never in my life, especially in these days of increased work violence, have I heard of a more illogical approach to termination. By their mismanagement and illogical approach to termination they have thrown gas onto what was already a volatile situation. Hopefully, they have not put the safety of employees, customers and themselves in jeopardy.

Later in the day I’m gonna share with you some hip ways we can lead. Check it out.

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You have to expect more to obtain more

As I meet new people and get a better understanding for what makes them tick and for what they dream it continues to amaze me how little some people expect out of life. Some will say, “I would really like to get my degree and establish my own company but no one from my family has ever went to college. I could never do that.” Someone else said, “Since I was born in rural Alabama God must have meant for me to be a line worker like my dad. But if I had a choice I would go to school and become a doctor.”

These are just a few examples of how placing invisible barriers between you and your expectations can keep you from obtaining your dreams. The government, their family, friends or education is keeping them from expecting and obtaining their dreams in life. The only barrier keeping them from obtaining their dreams is self.

There are very few circumstances beyond our control that keep us from expecting and obtaining more from life. When we fail to expect and obtain more out of life it’s more often than not because we placed invisible barriers between ourselves and our expectations. Be the first person in your family to obtain a degree and own a business. Be the doctor you dream to be and use those teachings from rural Alabama to better care for your patients.

Remove those barriers that keep you from expecting and getting the best out of life. Look at obstacles as opportunities; use that wall as a stepping stone. When you expect the best and you don’t obtain it’s still good. But when you expect the best and receive the best, it’s great.

Making a deposit into another’s account

I’ve blogged about this in the past and I think it’s a topic that needs to be revisited from time to time, and that’s the topic of making a deposit in the life of another.

I’ve read several articles recently discussing this topic and am amazed at the wide ranging opinions of leadership and management experts. Some say that the simple task of asking someone about their day is making a deposit into their life. Another group of experts say sending an encouraging e-mail is making a deposit.

These actions are certainly positive and well meaning however it’s my belief that they fall short of making a deposit into the life of another. To deposit something you must first sacrifice something. When you deposit a check, you have sacrificed it to the bank for later use. When you deposit those overdue DVD’s in the drop-off bin, you’ve sacrificed your viewing of that movie.
When I sit out on the daily mission of making a deposit into the life another a few important factors come to mind.

1. What am I sacrificing on their behalf? Is it time, money or self-satisfaction? If I’m not sacrificing something then is it truly a deposit?
2. Will the person who receives the deposit be able to make a withdrawal in the future? What good would a deposit in the life of another be without continual compounding interest?

When you ask someone how their day is going are you truly sacrificing and more importantly, can they continue to withdraw from this type of deposit? When you send an encouraging e-mail is the sacrifice of bandwidth and e-mail storage a true sacrifice?

It’s not lost if you know where it is

It’s never easy to let go of loved ones when they die. My wife’s grandmother passed away last Friday evening due to kidney failure. Thankfully, the doctors told us earlier in the week that Mamaw wouldn’t make it too much longer. It gave us all plenty of time to tell her how much she meant to us and remind her of how much her loving hands impacted our lives. While were blessed to have one last time to say our good byes, it was still hard to let her go.

Mamaw was the glue of the family. Despite disagreements she could always someway bridge differences and pull off the most peaceful and enjoyable holiday dinners. This was a lady who could barely walk due to degenerative arthritis in both ankles. Every step she took was filled with pain. However, you would never know her pain by the look on her face. For the 15 years I knew her, I never once saw her without a smile. She had a gift of making you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. She was an eternal optimist. She led by influence.

As we buried Mamaw yesterday I couldn’t help but thinking how proud she would be. Not that people of all ages showed up to give their fond farewells but proud that people she came in contact with were a little better because of her influence.
I sincerely hope and pray that when I take my last breathe there are many who can say that they were made better by knowing me. As I told some family members, we didn’t lose Mamaw because something isn’t lost if you know where it is. And there’s no doubt Mamaw is enjoying some pain free and peaceful days now.

Quick to listen and slow to speak

Yesterday was rather busy for me as my schedule was packed with meetings. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, the first meeting of the day got off to a bad start.

By the time we took a mid morning break I was tense, nervous and could feel a very negative attitude coming on. In fact I did something that was not very exemplary of a leader. I joined the crowd in blaming others for not reaching some of our goals.

Thankfully, I’ve been molding my leadership abilities long enough that I could hear that little voice saying you better step back and asses the situation and find a way to turn the tide of negativism. When I hear that voice I know it’s time for coffee and contemplation.

Upon returning to the meeting I first apologized for pinning the blame on another. After this a quote by Coach Bill McCartney came to mind and I decided to write it on the dry erase board. “We are not here to compete with each other, we are here to complete each other.” I asked the meeting group to read it and think about the words of the quote for the next sixty seconds.

What happened after that was truly amazing. You could feel the energy return, the winds of negativity die down and ideas begin to fill the room. For the next three hours we were able to identify some obstacles keeping us from our goals and began to work on them as a team.

Anyone in that room could have turned those meetings from negative to positive. I just happened to be the one who has learned to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I’m living proof that anyone can be a leader when they so choose.

Diving into peaceful waters

Yesterday I posted about taking the time to think about your daily agenda and life goals. For those of us that have practiced taking time to think it has provided us an avenue to dive deeper into our very being. By daily listing the goals for our life, career, family and faith we see picture emerge that depicts our very being.

Another important thing happens when we take the time to think, peace. It’s much like the seas during a hurricane. While they may be churning at the surface, the seas 25 feet below are always serene. Like those seas, if we have depth it will provide serenity during storms and tough times. No matter how tough the obstacles are in life if we dig deeper into our very being we can remain at peace.

Continue to dig deeper into your life by taking the time to think, for it’s at these depths the waters calm.

Mosquitoes and people, both can suck you dry

Despite their evil appearance, scientists have found that mosquitoes are very advanced creatures. They tell us that when a mosquito bites you it injects several things into your body including an anti-coagulant and an anesthetic. So, when the mosquito sucks the blood out of you it doesn’t have to worry about clotting and you don’t have to worry about it hurting. Mosquitoes are smart, by the time the anesthetic wears off and you feel the pain, the blood sucking flyers are long gone.

Unfortunately, I’ve come across some people that are like mosquitoes. These people can suck almost every ounce of blood, sweat and energy from your very being without you feeling the first bit of pain. By the time you’ve refreshed and re-energized, the life suckers are long gone. You want to slap them but you can’t find them.

It may not be a person sucking the blood, sweat and energy out of your life. It could be your job, a bad habit, or mental/physical illness. If you feel something or someone is zapping you of the life you long for, the important thing is to identify it and refuse to allow the sting to continue to impact your life in a negative way.

This is your life are you who YOU want to be?