Archive for the 'personal growth' Category

Never Underestimate the Power of HOPE

I was reminded recently of one of the most important characteristics a true leader must exhibit, Hope. Hope must always be the common theme throughout our leadership processes. A project without hope is doomed from the beginning. A team member without hope is doomed for failure. A leader without hope is an incurable cancer that will affect the entire team.

A friend of mine shared a story with me recently of a team leader who called a meeting with subordinates to discuss a new marketing project. When the team members assembled their leader stood before them and announced, “We have a very tough assignment, but one that must be accomplished. This is our last chance at this, if we don’t get it done this time all of us are out of here.” What little hope team members may have had when they entered the meeting were now dashed. With hope seemingly gone, you can imagine what happened to the project. Yep, it failed and just like the team leader explained, everyone on the project was terminated.

As leaders we are often faced with some pretty tough consequences if those we lead do not perform to levels that exceed the norm. We must always remember that it’s our job to inject those in which we lead with the empowering effects of hope. While we may feel that if the project doesn’t succeed all will be terminated, that message should never be shared with the team. Inject hope instead of doubt.

Inject hope and you’ll be amazed at how the human spirit will react. Hope never disappoints us. I’ve often found that those in which I lead are often searching for hope in their personal, professional and spiritual lives. When I introduce them to hope its amazing how they become more involved in the project, grow personally and ultimately become leaders themselves. And if you’re truly a leader, developing other leaders is the ultimate goal.

Never, ever forget, every project in which you lead must begin with hope!

Belated as it may be, here are a couple of hip pointers to leadersHIP.

Keepin’ it real

I’m preaching to the choir on this one. I suffer from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to organization. I often over organize and miss out on giving others and myself the opportunity to sit back and soak in the effects our action. Often times after I’ve organized a task or event myself and those who work with me are on to the next thing and do not take the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. That’s not too hip.

For all the arrows that are shot toward the present and next generation, one attribute these generations share cannot be overlooked and that attribute is get-in-your-grill, John Wayne type honesty. People of these generations can spot a fake 20 miles away. They want us to be real and often times that means not over organizing. It means we have to ditch the daily walkthrough meet and greet.

I know this will seem too simple, but to put the HIP in leadership with these generations we must seek and take advantage of those opportunities when we are one on one people. Group recognition is great, but with these generations it’s more about being genuine and the best way to be genuine is to get in their grill with true and open leadership. Encourage them face-to-face, correct them face-to-face. If we’re too organized it dulls the shine of genuine leadership.

HIP action: Utilize the 30 second rule made famous by leadership expert John Maxwell. Folks, I know this works! Make it a habit to engage those whom you meet for the first time of any given day for at least 30 seconds. Ask them how their evening went, ask them about their game, family and upcoming weekend. 30 seconds isn’t along time especially when you’re asking from them 8 or more hours of personal sacrifice.

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.

When you face trials, run toward the roar

Over the past few days I’ve received several e-mails and phone calls from friends and relatives who are facing some pretty tough situations. The problems they are facing are familiar to us all…family, medical and financial. I certainly would not call myself an expert on how to deal with tough times as I often fail to do the right thing. But as with everything I attempt to fail forward. As I’ve told those with whom I’ve communicated, I have a great friend who shared the following story with me during a time I faced some pretty tough trials.

Run toward the roar

We all know that the Lion is king of the jungle. Every creature that graces the jungle floor must surrender to the power of the lion. Every bird that thinks of flying through the jungle must get runway clearance from the lion. Yet, as the Lion rules the jungle he has his detractors. Imagine that, animals like humans, have their detractors. Each and every day the lion wakes up he must defend his right to rule. As he grows older more and more attack animals the throne of the lion. Even his closest relatives, the young and vivacious lion cubs begin an attempt to overthrow the Lion. The entire jungle is against the lion, yet he is able to hold onto his reign of the jungle. How? He continues to roar. As he gets older and older, as his mange begins to tatter and become worn, the lion roars and his attackers retreat. As he continues to rule through his old age, the very teeth that once killed the gazelle are now gone. With his mange gone, his ability to run and stalk behind him and his teeth on the floor of the very jungle he rules, the lion has only one form of protection left, his roar. As the younger lions prepare to attack, he roars and they retreat. As the gazelle near, he roars and they retreat. You see, what the lion cubs, gazelle and other animals don’t realize is that the Lion has lost everything he once used to rule the jungle. His great mange gone, his swift speed gone, his teeth gone, all that’s left is the roar.

Often times when we’re facing trials all we can he is the roar. We make initial attempts to combat the problem but we fail because once we hear the roar, we turn away. Like the young lion cubs and gazelle we don’t realize that the trials we’re facing have lost their ability to destroy and rule. The teeth of trials we face are lying at our feet. Though the roar of what we’re facing may become louder and louder, we can be encouraged to run toward the roar knowing that its ability to attack, destroy and conquer us is a thing of the past. For Christians, we must accept even more encouragement in the fact that over 2,000 years ago, Christ ripped the teeth from our trials and tribulations. Folks the teeth of your trials are beneath the very feet that will take you to overcoming your trials. Though the roar may become overbearing, run toward the roar! And, when you do…you’ll find a toothless warrior that you can easily overcome.

The next time you’re faced with trials and tribulation begin to tap a foot knowing that you’re driving the teeth of the situation into the ground.

Run toward the roar!

A few quickies…

It’s great to be back and for those who have been keeping me in your thoughts and prayers I appreciate it and please keep it up.

QUICKIES
1. A little taste of Hell? 102 yesterday wasn’t bad. Yesterday marked the sixth consecutive day we had temperatures in Alabama reach or surpass the century mark. Most of the time 90 seems unbearable when you factor in the humidity. But I must admit, yesterday’s 102 with low humidity wasn’t intolerable. Or maybe my tolerance has improved after a week filled of hell-like temperatures.

2. I’m diggin’ me some College Football Live. Ok, for those of you that know me it will not surprise when I say that ESPN’s new daily College Football Live show is now my favorite. How can you get too much college pigskin? My buddy and fellow Alabamian Rece Davis does a great job with the show and really gets us some inside information. This show is the best remedy for college football addiction.

3. Where does Rupert get these girls? Watching Fox News this morning got me to wondering…where in the world does Rupert Murdoch and/or Roger Elles, head of Fox News continue to get these beautiful women? Let me just say the weather reports keep getting better. Before you churchy people e-mail me…my wife knows I love Fox News and realizes my feelings of who puts the fox in Fox News, I’m not condoning the sin of lust however I am saying you should thank God for Fox News. 😉

4. Your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying. In my county today we’re voting on two major issues. One is for the city to continue alcohol sales and the other for a one cent sales tax increase to improve schools. There are very passionate people on both sides of the fence however, none can compitently explain their cause. The city has given three different figures on how much they’ve received since alcohol sales were legalized 4 years ago. The school superintendent has been way over the top on his presentations of the tax hike by labeling everyone who is against a tax hike as being against children. No sir, I’m not against a tax hike however I am against what seems an inability to correctly account for funding.

5. Podcasts are coming. The podcasts are coming and will include myself and some friends who are way better at this than I. More coming…

6. A must read… Since I have a short memory God gave me short books. Just finished “The Gift for All People” by Max Lucado. It’s a Christian book that gives thoughts on God’s grace. I believe in God, I believe in livin’ it and not thumpin’ it. Which is why I think this a great read for the Christian or non-Christian. The Gift is for all of us!

7. I have been reminded recently how we must look at the valley’s of our life as God does. God looks down out our problems from the mountain top and that’s exactly where we should be. Problems that fill the valley’s of our lives seem so large until we go to the mountain and look down, that’s where the valley actually displays it beautiful qualities. Something I always try to remember when facing trials, “Fruit doesn’t grow on the mountaintop it grows in the valley’s.”

8. Been breaking down the 07 schedule of my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide and I will continue to voice my opinion that Bama shouldn’t play Georgia. Why you ask? It puts me in a tough position…I have what my friends say is a man crush (?) on UGA head coach Mark Richt. I think this guy is one of the great leaders of our time. While I do admire Coach Richt my love for the Tide runs deeper. However, UGA doesn’t walk into Tuscaloosa with the hatred all other opponents will. You can thank Coach Richt for that!

9. Starbuck’s Venti-Yukon, no room for cream or sugar. ‘Nuff said.

10. Do teachers really get it? I’m amazed at some teachers who I come into contact with who do not realize the influence they have on a child’s life. They think all they should do is throw the subject content at the kid and that’s all. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~William Arthur Ward

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?