Why Your Leadership Journey Matters

What makes you and me what we are today? What was it in our makeup and wiring as well as in our experiences and mentorship that has gotten us to this point?

Thinking of this question a bit differently, what is it that has caused you to stop being you? Was it a comment made or the disapproval of someone significant in your life that has caused you to settle into someone you never thought you would be?

On the positive side, did a coach or a parent help to shape you by giving you a practical roadmap to become the leader that you wanted to become.

The leader’s journey is an important process to observe. If you want to know which way a leader will go or the decisions they will make you only need to look backwards and see who they were groomed under and the decisions they have made in the past. Our present leadership is the culmination of past experiences and apprenticeship mixed with our personality and nature.

Lance Humphrey’s, CEO of Anthology Destinations, is one of the best leaders I have ever met and it is no wonder. Lance is who he is because his father poured into him well in his nurturing years and because his wiring is suited to lead well. Even more, Lance has chosen to learn as much as possible from men much older than himself. This desire for growth has affected him. He is who his mentors were and are on his path for being a leader worth following. Because he has become secure in that he can now give himself away to dozens of young leaders needing inspiration, wisdom and clarity.

Leaders define the culture. And leaders become whom they were cultured by and the experiences that occurred. Bad leaders tend to have had little positive influence in their lives and simply commit the same sins to others that they experienced for themselves.

That is why your journey matters so much. As you go so do so many around you.

  • Do what it takes to know yourself well.
  • Review your past and the positive and negative influences on you.
  • Ask yourself this question, “How have I passed on the negative influences of my life onto the lives of others.” Ask the opposite from a positive perspective as well.
  • Respond to any that you have negatively affected with proper remorse. Set it right.

As you go, so do others.

We are who we are. While we can’t change our yesterday’s, we can absolutely affect tomorrow, and quite possibly today.

When reviewing your leadership journey, realize that it affects more than you. Hundreds of people are affected by you becoming secure, confident and humble. Make level paths for your feet and for those that are coming behind you.

 

How You Might Be Driving Your Family Crazy

Do you know what it is like on the other side of you inside your family?

Do you want to know?
I ask in jest a bit because while I am sure we might know a bit, I am not so sure we want to know fully.
Which of these do you have a tendency to be from your family’s perspective:
  • “He is disengaged”
  • “She is controlling”
  • “He gets mad, easily”
  • “She is in to herself more than in to us”
  • “He won’t stop working”
  • “She never looks me in the eye”
  • “He won’t spend time with me”
  • “She says one thing and does another”
None of these are fun. Some of you may tend to live many of these out. Others may have an additional list.
My goal is not to cause you pain, but rather to highlight an area or a pattern that leads to actions that drives a wedge in between you and your family. This wedge can be removed – it doesn’t have to remain.
Some of you just might be driving your family crazy, or worse, driving them away. And all because you have gotten consumed by your work or worry. When we are consumed by any negative patterns then the wedge drives pain into relationships and distance into love.
Might you just ask yourself what it is that is undermining your influence inside your family? And maybe, just maybe, you will do something about it.
For you…always.

Something Special for Someone Today

This is for someone out there that just needs a pick me up today. Email this to the person that you feel it was designed for. Encourage them through these words today.

“Hey there,
I am writing this for you, to give you a bit of refreshment today. Maybe there is something here that will change your perspective or lift your head just a tad.
I am sorry for what is going on. The depths of pain are immense and you can’t seem to get out of this pit of despair. You have had the weight of the world on your shoulders for what seems like years now and you just need a rest – I get it.
Work is heavy, life is grey. What you thought would be isn’t. Unmet expectations. Hopelessness. Your sleep has been sporadic and you notice yourself sighing quite a bit. Tears are always welling up in your eyes and you are feeling a heaviness on your chest as you try to get some fresh air.
All is not lost. Sometimes it is actually good to get to the end of yourself. It doesn’t feel good, but believe me, new life will come. There really is light at the end of the tunnel, but there are some hard yards to be had before you get to run and jump.
When you are down and a bit out the last thing you need is a sermon, so instead, I am giving you an exercise. It is called perspective. Would you take the time to try this? Walk through this in order and watch what might happen.
1. Find a location that brings you some peace and get comfortable.
2. Now, start breathing. Take some deep breaths and some moderate breaths.
3. Close out any negative thoughts or heavy pressures for a while. Imagine forcing them out of the door of a house and shut the door so none of those thoughts would enter in.
4. Ask God to be close to you.
5. Start making a list of the things in your mind that you are grateful for – saying them out loud. Everything that is positive or has been positive say them out loud and give thanks for them.
6. Keep breathing.
7. Get a few post it notes and on each sticky note list the things that are holding you back or bringing you pain (one per post it note).
8. Picture yourself handing those to God. Ask him to take them and solve the issue then ask God what he plans to do with them. Really listen.
9. Choose right then and there to think different of the issues – to think above them – to get a different perspective.
10. Tell yourself that “this issue will not control my life!”
Some times we have to give up control before we can deal with the issues properly.
There is always a solution to most every issue. Sometimes you just need a good friend or a change of scenery or a prompting like this email to help give you new perspective.
Nothing is impossible with God. When you gain a new perspective then you will begin to change your patterns, which will positively affect your consequences and then your reality.
Breath, Ask, Be Grateful, Change the Pattern. Don’t allow a circumstance to dominate your world and make poor decisions that could take you down a road you don’t want to travel.
All is not lost. There is life to be had, plenty of it.
You can do this – you can experience the change that you have longed for.”

The Big and Small

My wife and I recently returned from a quick trip back to London, flying over the big, Atlantic Ocean. We flew over parts of Greenland and Canada, which are massive on our way back to America. In that moment it hit me that this is a big world.

And yet, when I looked back over our Facebook pics and continue to follow our friends over the pond, the world gets smaller.
While on this recent trip we met with a number of our friends who invited us back into their lives with numerous acts of kindness. We talked about friendship, everyday life and how the culture was different and the same in multiple countries we have all lived in.
This reality hit me – when you spend time investing in relationships the world feels very small.
England feels a half a world away until one of my friends pings me in a message asking for some advice or sharing a funny story. When that happens they feel as near as the next town. The key is to gain the ability to make friends that feel like they are only a town away with.
Point: When you invest in others the big becomes small and attainable. When you don’t the reverse is true. When you choose to keep your investment for yourself then wherever you go feels large and unattainable because there are no friends to help make the big small.
Relationships lead to sustainable peace and long term joy. Transactions may get you something in the moment, but leave you cold and numb down the line. Invest in others and get the benefit of those relationships in the now and in the future.

Understanding Time, Schedules and Focus

Time is slippery.

There are some seasons where time drags by and other seasons where time flies.

They say time flies when you are having fun, most likely because you become distracted in the focus of what you are enjoying, which makes time move quickly.

“I didn’t have enough time to finish,” says the high school student who wasn’t disciplined enough to use their time wisely because the project was boring to them.

“I simply ran out of time,” says the man enthralled in his hobby and didn’t schedule appropriately.

 

Time ticks by the same way it has since the beginning. It is the most consistent thing in life. And yet, it becomes an excuse for most not because time changes, but rather because of our own self-control or lack of planning.

Quite possibly, our work has nothing to do with time, but rather with focused engagement. When we don’t enjoy what we are doing (and have a lack of passion) then time becomes an excuse for us. “We ran out of time” means that we put it off until the last minute because we were dreading it and thus ran out of time to hit the deadline.

When we do love our work then we can become obsessed by it and miss appointments because of our focus.

How do you manage time? Are you bored with your work or enthralled? For most, it is a mixture. Some hate administrative work, while some love it. Some love to brainstorm, while others abhor it.

I absolutely dread administrative work and usually put it off until the stack of receipts becomes the leaning tower of expenses. That is when I deal with it. Surely there is a better way.

Here are some thoughts that you can take or leave:

 

  • What % of your work do you love and what % do you despise? Make a list of good and the bad. Then put a % by each section. Do you love your job % wise more than you despise it?
  • What areas do you find are difficult to do because either you are not good at that part of your job or you despise it? Is there a practical way to delegate or deal with those areas?
  • Do you use excuses about time when it is really an issue of your focus?

 

Admit the areas you are bad at, make a plan to delegate or commit to getting them done and watch your productivity increase.

It is not time’s fault that you missed your deadline. You are either in the wrong job, wrong role or you are obsessed by what you are doing and forgot to come up for air.

 

When you get real with time you will find you have enough time to get what you need to get done.

The Two Types of People To Understand

If you want to hire the right people, this post is for you.

If you are trying to understand why some are filled with drama, this will help.

If you are struggling with frustrations within you or with someone else, then dive in to this thought.

There are two styles of people at the end of the day. Which type are you?

  1. Responsive people or
  2. Resistant people

I have been both. And, there are some days that I am both.

Responsive people realize when they have made a mistake and seek forgiveness and reconciliation because they are secure in who they are.

Resistant people either don’t see their shortfalls or make excuses for them as they blame other people because of their fear of being seen as weak.

 

How do you know whether someone is responsive or resistant? Watch their life. What happens when they make a mistake? Do they blame others, become defensive or seek to make amends?

Have you ever seen a professional sports figure admit they made a mistake by raising their hand while saying, “my bad!” That is a responsive player who is humble enough to admit their mistakes in front of millions of people.

The resistant player points a finger at their teammate with the words, “c’mon man!” He is suggesting the other player caused the error that millions of fans just watched on replay.

 

Responsive leaders gain respect over time.

Resistant leaders obtain scorn over time.

 

Resistant leaders are simply insecure. They are afraid that people will think less of them as so they create a persona of superiority and stubbornness. They blame, fight, yell and curse all to keep the image that they are not weak.

Again, I have been that guy. Thankfully, that guy has been dying in me (though not fully dead).

Responsive leaders are secure at their core. They have become confident in who they are and who they are not. They are not trying to prove themselves and walk with a limp, as they have been humbled a bit in life. Secure, confident and humble.

I’m tired of resisting pride, which is weakness.

I’m ready for responsive leadership, which is strength.

How about you?

Fight for your life to be a responsive leader.